Those who follow my articles know that I frequently write on the positive trends and the big ideas that recruiting leaders need to be aware of. However, I have not often written about the biggest strategic challenges or problems that corporate recruiting leaders face. Of course no one wants to dwell on the negative. But since I am predicting that during the next few years we will all encounter a completely transformed world of recruiting, it only makes sense to at least be aware of our largest current and upcoming challenges. If you don’t act proactively to mitigate these major challenges, they unfortunately may grow out of control, causing exponential damage to your firm.
Baseball spring training is here, so it’s a perfect time for us to talk about the importance of an organization’s bench strength. When you think about all-time greatest baseball players, near the top of the list are legends Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Ernie Banks, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, and Harmon Killebrew.
Guess how many World Series championships those Hall of Famers won combined? As many as you and me: Zero. Those players all set individual major league records, but their teams never won the ultimate prize.
Tying that point to our organizations, we can’t be satisfied having just a couple superstars on our team and no bench strength to support them. Ultimately, we won’t win. Our organizations won’t achieve key goals in a timely manner, and we run the risk of sliding backwards if we lose one of our superstars.
Too often, we hire people whose full potential and ambition are invested in performing the jobs they’re hired for. Then, when we need more from them, they’re not able or willing to go the extra mile.
Your goal should be to have at all times (or be working toward) at least one employee with the skills, personality, character, ambition, and technical competence to take over each key position in your organization right away. Without this, your company will be unable to attain its growth goals quickly, reducing future profits and opportunities for your co-workers to achieve their career goals.
Also, if a key player is incapacitated for a couple months or longer, your organization could be damaged. I learned that lesson the hard way when I was diagnosed with cancer. But I was fortunate that we had hired several high-potential people who filled in for me when I was sidelined by my surgery and chemo treatments.
Here are four important actions I suggest you take to improve your bench strength: keep reading…
With the rate of voluntary quits in the U.S. approaching pre-recession levels — 22.8 percent in 2013 — it’s no surprise that in a survey last year HR professionals and talent acquisition leaders identified retention and its twin “internal mobility” as one of the five top trends.
Nearly 40 percent of the 553 U.S. recruiting leaders who took part in LinkedIn’s global recruiting survey last year said they are increasing their internal hiring volume. Globally, the percentage was even higher.
“Internal candidates are typically higher quality; plus their skills, performance, and cultural fit are known,” LinkedIn’s Leela Srinivasan told SHRM in a report the society did on the survey. The report observed that 51 percent of the talent leaders acknowledged a “need to increase candidate awareness of relevant in-house opportunities.”
Now, just a few months shy of a year later, comes a new LinkedIn survey of workers who changed jobs. And what they told LinkedIn is that the No. 1 reason they left was the opportunity for career advancement.
Shockingly, 75 percent of the U.S. workers were unaware of their previous employer’s internal mobility program. We can’t tell if awareness would have made a difference, but the statistic does point up a very significant disconnect between what workers know and what HR thinks they know. keep reading…
Breaking News: (July 16, 2036) The national Comprehensive and Reliable Assessment of Performance (CRAP) database reached its goal of 100 percent coverage with the last employer — Roto Rooter of Northern Idaho — getting connected to share employee performance data. Employers nationwide now have a central resource to evaluate candidates for jobs, using the concept of Moneyball that was developed in the late 20th century. The database, established by the Dream On Act, is administered by the BUFFOONS (Bureau of Unreliable and Freely Flexible Or Objectionable Numbers and Statistics) at the Department of Labor.
Maybe this will come to pass, but don’t hold your breath and be careful what you wish for. Let’s think about what it’ll take to make Moneyball work. keep reading…
These are not the kinds of tell-tale signals every manager recognizes.
“You might think that someone who starts showing up to work late, failing to return phone calls and emails, and taking lots of sick days might be about to leave, but those weren’t unique behaviors that applied only to the quitters,” says Tim Gardner, a Utah State University associate professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. Unlike a worker who starts taking days off in the middle of the week, or who prowls job boards, or inadvertently leaves a resume in the copier, the signs of a serious job seeker are more subtle. keep reading…
Regardless of mission or vision statements, the ultimate goal of any high-performing HR function — and or its “talent fulfillment” group — is to provide the support, resources, and expertise to help their organization acquire, develop, and retain top talent — a responsibility that starts with strategy, focuses on acquisition, and never ends.
Talent fulfillment — the act of identifying, acquiring, and retaining top talent – can mean different things to different organizations and HR professionals. It could be hiring external recruitment agencies, temporary employees, contractors, or some combination thereof. That said, those organizations operating with that mindset, unless in the midst of a significant growth phase, aren’t likely to meet anyone’s definition of high performing. High performance means finding talent, growing talent, securing talent, and keeping talent — your organization’s own talent.
This is sort of like a short-order cook and a baker. keep reading…
In professional sports, almost everyone readily agrees that a top-performing athlete is worth their weight in gold. That value is clearly reflected in their compensation, where for example a top-performing NFL quarterback can get paid 10 times more than the third-string quarterback on the same team. The value of adding a LeBron James, Peyton Manning, or Lionel Messi to your team can easily exceed hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The same is true in entertainment, where adding the right actor to a film or rock star to a concert can easily double the gross over an unknown performer.
Unfortunately in the corporate world, the HR function has failed to come up with a credible method for quantifying the “performance differential” between an average employee and a top performer in the same job. And as a result of not having this economic justification, executives have all too often been reluctant to fund the leading-edge recruiting, retention, and management processes that are required in order to successfully attract and retain these highly desirable top performers and innovators. In last week’s article, I demonstrated how to calculate the negative costs associated with hiring and keeping weak performers, and in this companion article, I highlight how to calculate the performance multiplier of top performers.
Calculating the Performance Multiplier of a Top Performer keep reading…
The New Year is the perfect time to reexamine and refocus your talent efforts. The coming year will see a surge in economic growth, but it will occur in a business environment with continued volatility. Succeeding in this environment will require a new approach. So before all of the activity that accompanies any new year begins, take at least an afternoon off for some “strategic thinking and planning time.” In order to guide your thinking, I propose 10 talent resolutions or focus areas which are likely to have high strategic and business impacts.
10 Strategic Action Areas in Talent Management keep reading…
The complete guide on how to use stay interviews to improve retention
Many firms use exit interviews to find out why employees are leaving their jobs. Unfortunately, asking an employee on their last day “why are you leaving?” doesn’t provide useful information in time to prevent the turnover. A superior approach that I’ve been recommending for over 20 years is a “stay interview.” I alternatively call it a “pre-exit interview,” because it occurs before there is any hint that an employee is about to exit the firm. A stay interview helps you understand why employees stay, so that those important factors can be reinforced.
Definition: A “stay interview” is a periodic one-on-one structured retention interview between a manager and a highly valued “at-risk-of-leaving employee” that identifies and then reinforces the factors that drive an employee to stay. It also identifies and minimizes any “triggers” that might cause them to consider quitting.
The Many Benefits of Why-do-You-Stay? Interviews keep reading…
Football, and in particular the NFL, is a big part of my life. Not only do I enjoy the game and all it has personally done for me, I enjoy all the lessons about business management it has to offer. In the latest rounds of NFL scandals the Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito was accused and tried in the media for work place harassment. It has caused another valuable member of its offense of line, Jonathan Martin, to quit the team and create a storm of controversy about the culture of the NFL locker rooms. Is this commonplace? Is it generally accepted behavior for professional football players? Probably not. As this controversy continues, we may find out differently. From what many of the experts are saying this is simply a case of mismanagement, and a player or players out of control.
In the business world, degrees of “problem generators” like Incognito exist; these are the people with the bad attitudes masked by talent. In some companies they are more prevalent than others. Many organizations actually seek to eliminate these problem generators and prevent them from ever being hired using some of the techniques and tools suggested in this Simple Guide to Interviewing for Attitude. One bad apple can cause a lot of damage, and the evidence is obvious when the promising Miami Dolphins lose to the winless Tampa Bay on Monday night mostly due to the loss of two key players.
Problem generators create host of subtle but extremely damaging side effects. Here are my top five areas that are affected the most by a problem generator. keep reading…
If you expect to win “The War to Keep Your Employees,” you must continually assure that the best offer that a top performing employee receives comes from inside your own firm.
In order to assure that, management must periodically approach top talent and recruit them again (re-recruit) just as if they were a new external prospect. Although I coined the term “re-recruit” more than 20 years ago, it is still an effective retention tool today. keep reading…
Some of you like turnover, I realize: after all, you’re recruiters. But others on this site are in-house recruiters who’d like to keep who they’ve recruited. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are a small company or multi-national, selling food, clothes, or technology, or servicing patients or homeowners. Employee turnover is affecting every organization in every industry from New York to California, from Canada to Japan. Even India and China are beginning to experience high rates of turnover.
That begs the question: Why do employees leave? keep reading…
It’s natural to do everything you can to convert a potential candidate you’re interested in. However, mistakes made during recruiting process and in the onboarding stage can lead that person to leave early.
Recently, a friend of mine left his job after 18 months. He had spent four months looking for a job and deciding that one was the right fit. He even relocated to a new state to take it. He was as excited about it as can be. So what happened? keep reading…
If you are sitting here reading this, you are probably a top performer — the best seek out challenges, look to expand their knowledge bank, and have a strong desire for excellence. What most top performers aren’t looking for is to be sold on something they haven’t had the chance to fully investigate for themselves. After all, most of us are a bit standoffish around salespeople or when facing offers that seem too good to be true.
I recently saw a top-caliber financial analyst leave a company because a headhunter recruited him, offering a 20 percent increase in pay. This offer got the analyst through the door, but the prize at the end of the road blinded his vision of the dust storm ahead. keep reading…
From the employer’s perspective, most of the recent publicity relating to offering health care benefits has been focused on the added cost and burden of providing those benefits to a firm’s employees. However, many employers and especially small businesses seem to have failed to realize that offering healthcare benefits is one of the most powerful attraction and retention factors on the planet. As a result, not offering healthcare benefits may turn out to be a costly business decision, especially when it drives away top potential applicants and results in the loss of your top lower-paid employees to other businesses that have suddenly become more attractive by offering it.
You can’t ignore the importance of benefits in recruiting and retention because recent surveys about “what candidates want in a job by Glassdoor and Randstad both reveal that employee benefits (along with salary) are the No. 1 attraction fact. keep reading…
In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they are up here on this plaque.
That line from the 1986 film Top Gun — a film about Navy aviators — sums up the surprising problem besetting the Air Force. It can’t retain its fighter pilots. Increasingly, its pilots are remembered with retirement plaques.
It wasn’t that long ago that 80 percent of the service’s fighter pilots would re-up after their initial 11 year commitment. Today, the percentage is 65. And unless that improves, the Air Force estimates that its current 200 pilot shortage will grow to 700 in the years ahead.
To combat the problem and get more experienced aviators to stay the Air Force announced a lucrative retention program upping the pay for pilots and offering a bonus worth $225,000 for experienced pilots who sign-on for nine more years. keep reading…
And then we’ll grab a beer.
But first, there’s the matter of office gangs. Got your attention with that one? Actually it’s about the workplaces where 43 percent of employees say cliques exist. (A clique is a gang you can leave without fear of your life.)
CareerBuilder’s survey de la semaine says your colleagues who were high school athletes, class clowns, or geeks are the most likely to wind up in a clique. And just like high school, these cliques exert their own peer pressure; 19 percent admitted they “Made fun of someone else or pretended not to like them.” Almost half went out drinking with the group, which, according to 46 percent of the surveyed workers, counted a boss in the gang. keep reading…
Innovation = Ideas + Collaboration + Execution
As a result of the dramatic business successes of firms like Google, Apple, and Facebook, almost everyone has become aware of the tremendous economic value that comes from continuous corporate innovation. But unfortunately executives at most firms have failed to realize that they can dramatically increase their corporate innovation rate by simply focusing on hiring and retaining more “idea people.”
Ideas Start the Innovation Process keep reading…
A recent Gallup study found that only 47 percent of American workers are completely satisfied with their jobs. A MarketTools study found that 21 percent of employees had applied to another job in the past six months. Clearly, many employees are ready to look elsewhere for the next step in their careers.
How do you make them look at you? More importantly, how do you make your current employees stay with you?
Or, in short, how can your company become an employer of choice?
Becoming an employer of choice means that applicants are eager to work for you, that people envy your employees, that you receive unsolicited resumes, and that your most talented workers stay with the company throughout their careers.
It’s the holy grail for every employers. So do you achieve it?
There’s no single answer to that question. In fact, coming up with the answer may require answers to more questions. Here are a few you should tackle: keep reading…
If you’re going to measure and perhaps reward individual hiring managers for excellence, you will need to work with a sample of them to determine which output metrics are strategic, effective, and easy to measure.
Here are 23 possible scorecard measures as a starting point for that discussion. Note: the highest-impact factors are listed first in each of the four categories.