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Why Social Job Matching Will Replace Talent Assessment Tests

by Jun 5, 2014, 12:43 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 10.43.34 AMTalent assessment continues to grow as a legitimate business tool. Times have never been better for those who provide and use talent assessment solutions. Despite the seemingly infinite complexities that can come with the territory, companies of all shapes and sizes are realizing the business value of using assessments to support insight on quality of hire.

As good a tool as talent assessment is, it remains old fashioned and continues to have trouble getting out of its own way. The real disruptive force in quality of hire will take the form of “social job matching.” keep reading…

Examining Zappos’s ‘No Job Postings’ Recruiting Approach — Innovation or Craziness?

by Jun 2, 2014, 12:01 am ET

Inside Zappos profile pic - updatedThe new recruiting “no job postings” website of Zappos is truly unique.

First off, you have to give the Zappos team credit for eliminating anything in recruiting, because we have a long history in recruiting of adding but never subtracting approaches.

The new talent community declares the end to job postings and the painful transaction between applying for a specific job and getting a cold rejection. It further offers the opportunity to become “a corporate insider,” where you join the firm’s exclusive “talent community,” made up of interested prospects and applicants. In essence its own social network that the firm can use to keep in touch with applicants over time. It can also use the information that you provide during the increased interactions with recruiters to find the right job for you, even if it’s outside the typical jobs that you would have applied for.

This article critically analyzes this new approach in order to highlight possible advantages and problems with this approach for others that may be considering a similar move. keep reading…

Steps for Increasing Your Speed of Hire in Order to Improve Your Quality of Hire, Part 2 of 2

by May 5, 2014, 2:06 am ET

This continuation of the two-part article covers specific actions that corporate recruiters can implement to speed up their hiring during each individual step of the recruiting process. Part 1 covered the cost of slow hiring and some advanced steps on how to improve the speed of the overall hiring process.

Speed Improvements for Each Major Step of Recruiting keep reading…

Recruiting High School and Non-degreed Top Talent — A Missed Corporate Opportunity

by Mar 3, 2014, 5:43 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 12.55.50 PMIn case you didn’t hear about it, college football powerhouse Alabama recently offered a scholarship to eighth-grade football player Dylan Moses and LSU offered a scholarship to a ninth grader. Before you react in shock as a parent might, consider the fact that teenage talent may be the last remaining untapped corporate recruiting pool.  keep reading…

Moneyball and Recruiting: The Future of Hiring or Pie in the Sky?

by Feb 20, 2014, 12:29 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 9.31.09 PMMoneyball is getting to be the new buzzword in recruiting. We’re supposedly on the cusp of a data-driven revolution in hiring. And it seems one is sorely needed, judging by the state of hiring practices today.

When NASA was just getting started many of the engineers that were hired were chosen only on the basis of their resume and cover letters. That was the norm for many jobs up until the 1950s. Interviews were not common for jobs where the candidates were located far from the worksite — the cost of travel, and even long-distance calls, made them unaffordable. Then employers started using all types of assessments, which would suggest that hiring must have improved dramatically over the 50 years that have elapsed.

One would be wrong to reach that conclusion. keep reading…

LinkedIn Buys Job Matching Company as It Plans for Jobs Posting Boom

by Feb 6, 2014, 7:22 pm ET

4th Q job board financials 2013LinkedIn made a sort of history today. For the first time since going public three years ago the company’s stock price dropped even though LinkedIn beat Wall Street’s expectations for earnings and revenue, and, for good measure, announced it had acquired a fast-growing matching-based job board for not much cash.

Reporting its fourth-quarter financial performance after the markets closed this afternoon, LinkedIn said it earned 39 cents a share on revenue of $447.2 million. The company simultaneously announced it had acquired Bright.com, a two-year-old startup that matches jobs to seekers by scoring the latter on how well they fit the position.

The $120 million price will only require LinkedIn to come up with about $36 million in cash, a pittance for a company with $803 million in the bank. The balance will be in LinkedIn stock, which, after dropping more than 7 percent in after-hours trading, is now around $207 a share. keep reading…

I Filled a Job You Didn’t Know You Had

by Feb 4, 2014, 6:27 am ET

OK, so you’re a hiring manager, and you’ve just arrived at the office, grabbed your coffee, and opened up your email inbox. There — in boldfaced lettering — the subject line of my email screams

JOB PROPOSAL MEMO.

And you’re thinking … great. Another spam from some job seeker. But you open it anyway.

And that’s how my story at Beyond.com began. keep reading…

Hiring Employees Who Are ‘Customer-Ready’

by Feb 3, 2014, 12:55 am ET

The Age of the Customer is the title and the focus of Jim Blasingame’s new book. I like the tagline even more — Prepare For The Moment of Relevance.

This got me thinking about manpower — human capital — whether are our employees capable of preparing for that moment of delivering service in an epic way? Moreover, how does the organization consider this in the hiring and recruiting process — hiring employees who are “customer-ready” and prepared to deliver exceptional service in that moment of relevance.” keep reading…

Judging the Voice: The Reality of Phone Interview Bias

by Jan 24, 2014, 6:44 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 8.42.21 PMWhat do you have in common with Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Sheldon, and Adam Levine? If you spend time searching for top talent, quite a lot! After all, with the rise of HR phone screening and first-round phone interviews, recruiting is beginning to resemble the blind auditions on the blockbuster TV show, The Voice.

On The Voice, blind auditions ensure that talent is judged fairly, with no bias based on their appearance. On the recruiting front, the voice of a job candidate could unwittingly cause bias or at least weigh heavily on the decision-making process of an interviewer.

Now, some would say that candidates actually benefit from phone screenings because initial decisions are not influenced by a candidate’s appearance or body language. However, research suggests that many candidates’ voices could sway first impressions and damage their chances for a second interview. After all, it’s human nature to make silent judgments about people based on how they speak.   keep reading…

‘Only Some People Are Talented’

by Jan 21, 2014, 5:57 am ET

This is what an employee of a client of mine said to me this week. He continued, “And we should only hire the talented people.”

This is worthy of a conversation. keep reading…

NFL Highlighting How ‘Problem Generators’ Affect These 5 Components of Your Business

by Nov 14, 2013, 9:45 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 11.20.45 AMFootball, 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…

6 Reasons Why Overachievers Frequently Under-deliver

by Oct 3, 2013, 6:30 am ET

As a fresh crop of recent college graduates hits the job market, big hiring enterprises are out to harvest the cream of the crop. Summa cum laud graduates from top-tier schools with focus, ambition, and confidence are ripe for the picking. After all, many of these dynamos possess the traits we look for in future leaders. But, be warned! A bodacious resume is not a true measure of future success. keep reading…

Now Hiring: No Experience Required

by Sep 25, 2013, 6:31 am ET

Bethany-PerkinsYou know how it works: if the candidate has the right number of years of experience, doing the right things at the right company in the right industry, voila! They make it through the applicant tracking system.

That’s not quite the case at one company, called Software Advice. Bethany Perkins heads up human resources and recruiting at the Austin, Texas, organization that’s not fixated on what many others are.

She and I talk about what criteria she looks for in a candidate — if experience is not the be-all-end-all — and how she judges whether people meet that criteria. We also touch on whether a college degree matters or it doesn’t.

The eight-minute video is below. keep reading…

Like it or Not, You Are Testing Applicants (Part 2 of 2)

by Sep 20, 2013, 6:44 am ET

In Part 1, I explained that job skills walk around on two feet; past achievements are less important than the skills used to accomplish them; employers rent two-legged skills to do specific jobs; and headhunters produce about the same hiring quality as internal recruiters. I suggested readers Google “Principles for the validation and use of personnel selection procedures”and follow the SIOP.org link; and, read how applicants feel about organizations that follow best-practices.

In Part 2, I’ll continue the discussion.

Proficiency Test

If you want to learn whether HR is doing a good job screening candidates for critical job skills, ask the hiring manager. keep reading…

Like it or Not, You Use Tests (Part 1 of 2)

by Sep 18, 2013, 6:38 am ET

Two comedians are talking…

“Do you test applicants?”

“We don’t use tests.”

“Oh. You hire everyone who applies?”

“No … just the ones who pass interviews.”

“You know, interviews are tests.”

“We don’t use tests.”

You see, it’s a crazy conversation you hear in the corporate attorney’s office as often as the HR department. Everyone seems to forget that testing and assessment are just different terms for evaluating whether someone is job-qualified … like interviews. And, if an organization has more than one candidate lined up for a job, by definition they will use some kind test to separate those they think can do the job from those who cannot. FYI … research shows everyone’s favorite tool, the interview (aka test), tends to discriminate against minorities.

Remember: If you have more candidates than jobs, you use tests. keep reading…

Hackathons Are Today’s Most Powerful Recruiting Tool

by Sep 4, 2013, 6:45 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 3.27.24 PMThe secret weapon in tech recruiting today is the hackathon. Most notably on college campuses the mega-hackathon has emerged as the top event for sourcing quality engineers. What started as friendly meetups organized by on-campus tech clubs has evolved into massive and disruptive hackathons with more than 1,000 students participating and companies like Facebook and Google swarming to shell out tens of thousands of sponsorship dollars. But not everyone has bought into the frenzy and some are maintaining an autonomous and even purist approach.

Hackathon as Recruiter keep reading…

The Top 10 Best Approaches for Winning The ‘War For College Talent’

by Aug 26, 2013, 6:00 am ET

3381_Wyatt Hall WindowStudents 2011College recruiting has been in the doldrums during most of the economic downturn, and as a result there have been few strategic changes in it, even though the rest of the recruiting function has undergone major shifts during the downturn. And just in case you haven’t seen it yourself, I am predicting that college recruiting demand is about to explode and the competition will soon reach previous “war for college talent” levels.

This resurgence of interest in college hires is due to a reviving economy but also because of the urgent need in a VUCA world for employees who are creative, innovative, fast-moving and who are comfortable with new technology.

If you are one of the corporate talent leaders who want to get and stay ahead of the competition, the time is ripe for re-examining your college program to see what needs to be done to update it. Start with the college recruiting staff. Make sure that it is staffed with data-driven, experienced recruiting professionals prepared for real change, rather than simply enthusiastic young people whose primary qualification is that they themselves are recent college grads. I’ve put together a list of the top 10 categories of strategic change that could literally propel your program into dominance. They are listed with the most impactful strategic changes appearing first.

Action Steps to Win “the War for College Talent” in 2014 keep reading…

A Simple Guide to Interviewing for Attitude

by Aug 20, 2013, 5:51 am ET

Bad attitude signMark Murphy wrote a terrific book on interviewing for attitude, which I highly recommend (also see this interview). His company, Leadership IQ, conducted an impressive survey discovering that 46 percent of new hires failed within 18 months, and that 89 percent of the time it was for attitude, not a lack of technical skills.

Interviewing for attitude presents a dilemma: Most people are on their best behavior when interviewing and even during their first 6-12 months of employment.

You may not realize you have a problem on your hands until the new hire has been trained and is a fully functioning part of your team. Knowing you’ll have to begin the selection process all over again — a long and costly procedure — makes it harder to part with the employee. Meanwhile, the good-natured people on the team have to pick up the slack, putting strain on your best people and leading to harmful side effects. Burnout, discontent with management, and customer service deficiencies are likely to develop.

Since this is a major problem in many organizations, guerrilla tactics are needed. keep reading…

The Many Perils of Interview Handshakes — and Why They Cause You to Lose Top Candidates

by Aug 5, 2013, 6:15 am ET

You’ve probably had it happen to you at the start of an interview. You extend your hand and in return you get a wimpy handshake, a “fist-bump” substitute, or a wet clammy handshake that is an intermediate turnoff. Although weak hiring handshakes are quite common, to most they may seem like an insignificant part of interviewing. But everyone involved in the hiring process needs to take notice and be aware of the high negative business impact of handshake bias.

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 11.17.29 AMAssessing a candidate based on their handshake is a major problem because we know that many interviewers make an initial decision on a candidate within the first two to three minutes, and we know that the handshake and their appearance are the two most powerful elements that contribute to that powerful first impression. The fact that assessing handshakes is a major hiring decision factor is not just conjecture; research from Greg Stewart of the University of Iowa demonstrated that those with the best handshake scores “were considered to be the most hireable by the interviewers.” Handshakes also proved to be more impactful than “dress or physical appearance.”

Handshakes become a high-impact problem because handshakes occur in every interview, and a single bad handshake can immediately eliminate a top candidate, especially in entry-level jobs. You should also be aware that handshakes with women candidates leave a bigger impression and have their own unique set of biases. No one has ever been sued over handshake bias but the loss of top candidates as a result of it is real. keep reading…

Too Many Applicants, Too Little Time?

by Aug 5, 2013, 6:04 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 7.01.21 AMSome organizations are just lucky … they have a huge, Niagara-like, flow of applicants knocking at their front door. They hire teams of people to scan paper resumes. But any experienced recruiter knows resumes contain a considerable amount of fiction; bad applicants often have good resumes; and, good applicants often have bad ones. I’ve even heard of clever applicants seeding their electronic resumes with keywords printed in background font colors to hide them.

There are several ways to effectively screen. For now, though, we’ll concentrate on a few characteristics of an effective screen. They include a realistic job preview; job related items; and, items that predict performance (remember at this stage, the main task is to screen-out blatantly unqualified applicants). keep reading…