The Apple store in London
This past August Apple became the most valuable corporation in the world based on market capitalization, surpassing every firm in the technology industry and every other industry! As a consumer products company, its prolonged growth spurt is even more amazing because it has continued through economic times when consumers are reluctant to spend what little they have. Considering that Apple was near bankruptcy in 1997, its story is both extraordinary and noteworthy.
The extraordinary valuation is not a result of 30+ years of stellar performance. Apple has failed at many things. Its success isn’t the result of access to special equipment, manufacturing capability, or a great location, but rather superior leadership, access to great talent, and unusual talent management approaches.
Almost everyone in business is aware of Apple’s amazing product success and the extraordinary leadership of Steve Jobs. Some authors have described the firm’s approach to HR, but few have analyzed the firm close enough to identify why the approaches work. Visits to the headquarters and interviews with HR leaders convinced me that there are lessons to be learned from this company. After two decades of researching and analyzing Apple’s approach to talent management, I have compiled a list of the key differentiators. keep reading…
I had my first shot at management last year, and like every newly promoted doe-eyed employee I was on a quest to be the best manager ever! However, I had no management experience and no playbook as to how I was going to go about winning over my team. I went through my mental rolodex of previous bosses to draw inspiration; after all, the one benefit to the amount of job-hopping that I have had is that I have met quite a few characters along the way. I have had some great mentors in the past, and inevitably, some not-so-great ones. One mentor comes to mind who I have now followed to three different roles and honestly would follow her just about anywhere. She believes in me enough to do anything to help me be successful (Best Boss Ever — yes I still feel the need to brown-nose her).
But as I examined some of my other supervisors, I devised a list, or manager playbook of rookie mistakes that I vowed never to repeat. Below I’ll walk through some of the things I have seen personally. The stories you are about to read are true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. keep reading…
In Part 1 of this series we looked at the first 35 of 70 exceptional employee referral program features. This episode continues with 36-70 and covers features related to program responsiveness, communications, special needs/populations, technology, and process management.
V. Program Responsiveness Features
Being responsive to those who refer and the referrals they submit are critical features that drive program loyalty, participation, and engagement.
- Rapid response to a referral is critical – a lack of responsiveness to employee referrals is the #1 program killer. The best programs set a target of getting feedback to the referrer and the referred individual within 48 – 72 hours of submission (Aricent & AmTrust Bank).
- Expedited interviewing – some firms make a commitment to decide whether to interview/not interview all referrals within a week. Others make a more narrow commitment, which is to actually schedule an interview with all “A” quality employee referral candidates within a week of receiving their referral (Owens Corning).
- Referrals must be tagged and the processing expedited – in the best programs, all referral applications are tagged in order to measure program effectiveness. In addition, the tagged referrals are given a priority for processing (i.e. fast tracked). This is necessary in order to ensure that both the employee and the referred individual feel like they are “special” (Accenture).
- “On the spot” screening – consider developing a process where resumes collected at the referral desk undergo instant screening followed by instant feedback to the employee and the candidate (Tata consultancy).
VI. Communicating with employees and applicants
High-performing referral programs require frequent and effective communications. keep reading…
As important as the first days of a new job are to an employee, onboarding is the unglamorous stepchild of the hiring process. Paperwork has to be filled out, a workspace assigned, gate passes issued, and introductions made.
Even in shops at the top of their game in recruiting, onboarding itself can make or, as was the case with Morgan Hoogvelt’s friend Herb, break the budding relationship.
“Most corporate onboarding programs are designed from the HR administrator’s perspective,” wrote Dr. John Sullivan in a 2008 article on the subject. That’s one reason why HR vendors have focused on automating the form filling part. That’s transactional onboarding.
The few that offer more — Kenexa is one that stands out here — incorporate social components and cultural acclimation into the onboarding program via externally accessible intranets. The best employers provide the new hire facility maps, profiles of their new colleagues, and welcome messages among other information.
But in the end, as Kevin Wheeler wrote, “a manager who takes time to discuss issues with a new employee, who shows concern over that person’s assimilation, and who knows what the employee can do and wants to do, will make wiser decisions and build loyalty over time.”
Now PeopleAnswers, the assessment firm, is introducing a behavioral onboarding component to its assessment software suite. It’s one of those tools that make sense the minute you see it. In a crisp, direct handful of paragraphs it gives a manager guidance into how best to work with the new employee and make their first few months productive. keep reading…
May 15th marked the 1-month anniversary for my friend Herb who was the focal point of my previous article regarding onboarding. Herb has settled into the role and he is starting to feel a little bit better about his decision than he did at first. However, the fact remains that he views his current role more of a stepping stone versus the career he initially imagined. How amazing is it that the little steps in the onboarding process can have such a profound effect on a new hire? keep reading…
This week, David Lee spoke on how to create a more inspiring, pride-inducing, and welcoming onboarding experience using the science of human nature and a “designer’s mindset”
For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out ERE.net!
You’ve hired your rainmaker! The hard work is over and now it’s time for the dollars to roll in. After all, you’ve just hired a great salesperson. Take her to the office, hand her a prospecting list, and success is imminent!
Oh, if only this formula worked.
My good friend, let’s call him “Herb,” started a brand new job yesterday. Herb was very excited because it’s an opportunity with a particular financial institution that he had been coveting for some time. Rewinding two weeks … the submission and recruitment process went fantastic as Herb actually located the position online, submitted his resume, and was contacted immediately.
His initial interview was via phone on a Friday, and he did so well that he was invited in for second-round interviews that very next Monday. On Monday, Herb once again wowed the hiring managers and the very next day (Tuesday) he received an offer of employment which he readily accepted with great enthusiasm. Herb kept me up to date through his interview process with this financial institution, and even I was amazed how quick this large giant seemed to move. He told me how everything was great, the people were awesome, and how he was looking forward to day one to get going on his new role.
As I anticipated, last evening I received a phone call from Herb. I was anxious to catch up and hear about his first day in the new position. To my surprise, the tone of Herb’s voice was not that of excitement, rather that of disappointment. keep reading…
On this week’s webinar we weere joined by Madeline Laurano to take a look at what you can do to improve your onboarding strategy. We covered how to tie social media into your onboarding process to maximize your new hires’ experience and improve your employer branding to boot.
For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out ERE.net!
Sales consultant Lee Salz will soon launch a tool that’ll be used to better “onboard” and train salespeople. He says there are plenty of learning management systems, onboarding systems, and sales tools, but he thinks this is the first to focus on all three, to be a “learning management system applied to onboarding salespeople.” keep reading…
Just when it appeared the year would end without more consolidation in the talent acquisition arena, two deals managed to get in under the wire.
On the penultimate day of 2010, First Advantage was acquired by a private equity firm that also holds a sizeable chunk of Lawson Software. Symphony Technology Group, based in Palo Alto, California, bought First Advantage for $265 million in cash from owner CoreLogic.
First Advantage is involved in multiple aspects of talent acquisition, including background screening and assessments, applicant tracking technology, onboarding, and candidate sourcing and recruitment marketing. keep reading…
This week we were joined by Goerge Bradt of PrimeGenesis to discuss long term succession planning initiatives. Learn how to create a strategy that will prepare your employees to smoothly transition from role to role, from the onboarding process all the way to leadership positions.
For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out ERE.net!
David Lee, who has frequently spoken and written several articles about onboarding, says that if your new employees experience any of the following emotions when they join your company, you’ve got trouble. keep reading…
More often than not, it is the simplest things in life and in business that produce the biggest impacts. Having spent more than 30 years analyzing corporate recruiting practices and strategy, I have noticed there are some rather basic questions that, if only posed, would have a profound impact on the effectiveness of most recruiting endeavors.
Unfortunately, the questions are rarely asked, resulting in inefficient, ineffective practices.
Do not pose these questions periodically; incorporate them into your approach to build an engaging candidate experience, a more compelling offer presentation, and ultimately, a more productive hire.
The comic strip on the left is NOT how you want your onboarding process to go.
We were joined yesterday by recruiting thought leader Elaine Orler of Knowledge Infusion to discuss onboarding with a limited budget. With budget cuts becoming widespread in many companies, onboarding is unfortunately a process that often gets cut.
Elaine revealed that an effective onboarding process will reduce turnover in the first 30-90 days and increase productivity among new hires. In addition, effective onboarding can help your brand and reputation.
New hires form opinions of your organization starting on day one. Through bypassing redundant forms and busy work on the first day, new employees are more likely to form a positive opinion of their new role. By welcoming an employee into your business culture as soon as possible, you are in turn preparing them to succeed at their job.
Throughout the course of the webinar, Elaine covered onboarding strategies that included extending existing technology, improving collaboration and communication, and introducing new tools that can help onboarding efforts.
By using a “conversation ecosystem” with third party applications like Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, it’s possible to quickly engage a new hire into the social community of your business environment. Also, by implementing a mentoring or “buddy system” with existing employees, you can acclimate new employees to their roles. In addition many of these strategies cost little to nothing.
At the conclusion of the presentation (about 40 minutes into the video) Elaine answered a plethora of questions from the audience. Among the topics covered were how to onboard current employees into new positions, the challenges of onboarding across different countries and cultures, and different strategies for onboarding across generations. View the slideshow and archived video of the presentation below to learn more!
Effective onboarding is essential to any company’s success when new hires are brought on, yet it can be one of the first programs to be cut from the budget during a recession. By using creative techniques to advance the onboarding process, you can expect to increase your return on investment, enhancing the experience for new hires and improving employee retention.
Join recruiting leader Elaine Orler and I for tomorrow’s webinar, as we explore how to get the most out of your onboarding process in these difficult times. We will be examining methods to develop onboarding without raising costs, such as implementing new technology to increase collaboration and data sharing.
Elaine will be taking questions after the presentation to respond to your thoughts and concerns about onboarding. Make sure your company realizes the importance of effective onboarding to ensure employee retention. We still have plenty of space so sign up today!
Wednesday, March 11th
2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Even when times are really tough, most organizations are still recruiting. And, given the times, the people they are recruiting are critical to product design, service delivery, and ultimately profitability.
Keeping these people engaged from day one is the challenge. Other employees are not upbeat; many are feeling overworked and under-appreciated; and everyone has a fear of what tomorrow may bring. So how can you be positive and create an atmosphere that will build commitment and engagement?
Employees who have gone through some sort of onboarding process — one that is more than the usual paper-processing bureaucracy — report feeling better connected to corporate strategy and to the company culture. This translates into engagement and a feeling of belonging.
There at least three things that orientation or assimilation programs can do for you.
Claire Prager of the Cheesecake Factory describes the making of this $30,000, four-minute video developed and produced in two months last year as “pretty painless” — which is not how I’d describe trying to finish off its entire dinner-size Thai Chicken Pasta.
Job seekers are viewing the video at a rate of about 40,000 per year. Their eyes are peeled for an average of 3:48 minutes. (The average for similar videos is 2:33.)
Prager, senior manager, talent selection, was responsible for the overall execution of the video, a task she says MadDash’s good work made easier. The video, aimed particularly at the passive job seeker, was posted on Monster, CareerBuilder, AHRE.org, and HCareers. The Cheesecake Factory shows it again during new-hire orientation (which, we report with jealousy, involves a meal at the Cheesecake Factory), as well as at college career fairs and other job fairs, and on the company’s careers site.
The Cheesecake Factory selected an Area Director, Senior Vice President of Kitchen Operations, Executive Kitchen Manager, and General Manager to play key roles in telling the story. While developing the video, it selected the following elements to include:
- Who is The Cheesecake Factory?
- Our People and Our Culture
- Technology and Innovation.
The uber-consistent restaurant chain also owns the Grand Lux Cafe and now RockSugar.
Originally published April 8, 2008.
It’s a great day at Newman Industries! For the last month, it has been actively recruiting a hot candidate to join its sales team. Today, Steven Harmon agreed to join. Newman sees him as a true rainmaker. The recruiter and sales manager share high-fives. Mission accomplished! Spike the ball in the end zone. The job is done! The competition was fierce for Steven, but Newman Industries won.
While Newman Industries was celebrating, Steven resigned his position with his present employer and enjoyed a celebratory dinner with his wife. That night, Steven lay in bed wondering if he made the right decision. He came to terms with his decision and looks forward to his first day at the company.
Onboarding programs rank high on the list of HR programs that get little respect or attention. When managed well, onboarding programs can have a dramatic and measurable impact on employee productivity, retention, employment brand, service/product quality, workplace safety, and future hiring success.
Unfortunately, most onboarding programs are poorly designed and even more poorly executed. After years of researching and advising firms on developing best-practice programs, I have found that there are 15 key factors that can literally kill any chances of onboarding programs demonstrating a positive impact.
The Root of the Problem
Most corporate onboarding programs are designed from the HR administrator’s perspective. The goal and focus is to ease the administrative burden on HR and to drive compliance activities, not to ensure that new hires can reach expected levels of productivity in the shortest time frame possible.
As a result, most programs have boiled onboarding activities down to all but the bare bones of administration. Every new hire, transfer, or merged/acquired employee gets the same information, on the same timeline, via the same channel.
Doing so has made administering onboarding easy, cheap, generic, consistent, and utterly useless. The result is that most onboarding programs frustrate new hires and hiring managers.
While the concept behind onboarding is truly simple, delivering world-class onboarding is anything but easy and generic. If your current approach demonstrates any of the 15 onboarding program killers described below, you’re missing the mark and need to start over: