Posts Tagged ‘Hiring Process’

Find, Develop and Keep the Best Employees

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

The following post is by Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO and President. The article originally appeared in Bruce’s News & Observer column, The View from HR.

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

When the economy crashes, a blindfolded rhinoceros could find good people to fill open jobs. When labor markets tighten, great hires are in short supply again. It is a cycle as predictable as the tides. Finding, developing and keeping great talent is not complex. It is hard, expensive and time consuming. It means you know what the role requires, what your culture rewards and what your tolerance is for variations. Tight labor markets mean it is time to think differently. Our organization teaches best and next practices to HR professionals and managers. Here are some tips for small and mid-size employers.

People are Human

Every employee eventually reveals their humanity. The key to great hiring is learning what makes this applicant human before you make the hire.  Internal hires, promotions, employee referrals, social networks and live networking give you free previews. References will lie and interviews are usually terrible predictors of future success.  Certain assessment tools will help, if you understand which tool suits your specific needs. Maximize your funnel of applicants that you know something about! Fill that funnel in advance of a need.

Be Specific and Demanding

Spend as much time screening out as you do screening IN. How will you find the best fit if you cave on your criteria early? Look for legitimate job-related reasons to eliminate applicants:  not typos on resumes, but a true lack of skills, experience, desire, capacity and fit. You may have time to purposefully modify your requirements later. For now, stick to your guns.

Interview for Successful Experience

If the role requires experience or judgment, spend interview time on these things. This is not the time to explain your company culture or role requirements. This is the time to test for them. If an applicant cannot describe their solid sales process, it is unlikely they will be an immediate contributor on your sales team. Resist the temptation to overlook serious gaps with the hope energy and effort will prevail.

Get it

Successful, growing businesses are unique. Their best employees “get it,” embracing that uniqueness. Short of a hostile or illegal environment, each employer still has the right to select people who “get” their uniqueness and their customers. A tech start up has a very different “it” than a drywall contractor. Know the “it” and hire people who get “it.”

Developing People
Your best people want development, on the job experiences, rotations and new assignments. The best employees deserve mentoring and coaching.
Training is another great way to introduce new skills.  The point is, development is important for employers to get the most from employees but is also an important retention tool. Good people leave workplaces that offer no growth.

Keep the Best

Great people quit for many reasons, both preventable and unavoidable. Managers are surprised to learn these reasons:

  1. Unrealistic pre-hire expectations
  2. People will exchange some pay for some flexibility, but it must be real flexibility
  3. Employees who feel ignored by their manager may look elsewhere

Stop allowing the economy to guide your commitment to talent acquisition and retention. Grab the reins!

Your Top Performers Can Help Attract Good Talent

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

The recruiting process is, in some ways, very similar to the sales process. In the recruiting sense, the product you are selling to the candidate is your organization and what it can do for them and their career.  As with any sale, you want to position your product in the best possible light, showing key differentiators between your product and your competition.

In an extremely competitive market, like North Carolina, there is an overwhelming array of features and options that can be mixed-and-matched with any product sale togoldfish further confuse the buyer (or candidate).  When faced with so many choices, we often turn to others to see what their experience has been.  This is where your top performers come in!

What is it about your organization that motivates your top performers to give 110% each day?  Why did they choose to “buy” your product, and why do they continue to remain a loyal “customer” today?  The answers to these questions will help you to better position your product against your competition during the recruiting process. Below are a few items that typically motivate top performers.  Your current employees will be able to provide you with what specifically motivates them each day.

  • Compensation – No doubt a paycheck is a strong motivator.  However, the total rewards package also includes other benefits and non-tangible perks such as workplace flexibility.
  • Values – Adoption of a positive corporate culture is one of the most powerful  intangible benefits of working for an organization.  If a company shows a corporate responsibility toward the environment, for example, candidates will appreciate that. Or, if an organization practices charity and giving back to the community, their corporate culture is viewed by many as philanthropic.  These ideals are big attractors for candidates who have similar values.
  • Quality – Product quality and support of the customer base is a big motivator.  It goes back to treating people the way you want to be treated.  An organization that cares about its brand will likely care about its employees in the same manner.
  • Goals – Everyone has goals.  They may be long-range goals, or shorter-range goals which are “stepping stones” to a larger goal.  In either case, when an employee or candidate’s goals are aligned with those of the organization, it is a win-win for everyone.
  • Innovation – Knowing that your organization is open to new ideas and willing to listen to your thoughts on a new product or process can go a long way toward attracting and retaining top performers. Companies that embrace their employees as individual contributors and value their input will have no trouble selling their “product” to potential candidates.

As Human Resource managers, knowing what motivates your top employees today will give you the references you need to convince your candidates to “buy” from you instead of your competitors.  Reach out to your top performers and involve them in the recruiting process.  Ask them what would be important to them if they were interviewing with your company today.  Have them spend a few minutes alone with a candidate to talk freely about why they choose to work here.  If you’re recruiting college graduates, take your stars with you during campus recruiting trips.  We have one member that takes newly hired engineers on college recruiting trips.  They tell potential recruits about all the cool projects they get to work on (whereas in many companies new engineers do grunt work).  This practice alone has helped the company become a destination place for top engineers.  There is nothing more convincing than a solid reference from someone who consistently uses your “product” on a daily basis.

And remember, as Jill Feldman, CAI’s HR ON Demand consultant states, “recruiting and hiring is NOT the sole responsibility of Human Resources. Anyone who has people reporting to them is responsible for recruiting and hiring.  Don’t be afraid to get others involved in the process.

How to Create and Sustain a More Diverse Workforce

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

diversity

In today’s post, CAI’s HR Manager Melissa Short and Marketing Intern Andy Bradshaw discuss the strategies HR professionals should take in order to foster a diverse and inclusive organizational culture.

In 2013, Harvard Business Review conducted a survey of 1800 professionals that found a striking correlation between diversity and innovation in the workplace. The study examined what it terms “two-dimensional diversity”- which encompasses both inherent diversity, or traits you are born with such as gender and ethnicity, as well as acquired diversity, involving traits you gain from experience. The study referred to companies whose leaders exhibit at least three inherent and three acquired diversity traits as having two-dimensional diversity, and found that that companies with 2-D diversity out-innovate and out-perform others.

In fact, employees at these companies are 45% likelier to report that their firm’s market share grew over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.

Though it may sound intuitive, the evidence for the business case for workplace diversity is significant. Along with carrying the obvious social value of creating a more inclusive, tolerant workplace, diversity in the office really can improve profits and your bottom line, as evidenced above.

Of course, most HR professionals don’t need to be told that diversity is important to the workplace, as they are most likely aware of its many benefits. Where many in HR may struggle with the process, however, is how to get started on tackling diversity initiatives with limited time and money. That’s where we’re here to help. By dividing the process into these easily digestible phases, you’ll not only be able to quickly lay the groundwork for a more diverse workplace, but also put your office on a path to sustaining this diversity going forward.

Selection and Hiring

To create a truly diverse workplace, you have to start at the beginning. Hiring people with different backgrounds may be an obvious way to improve diversity, but it takes a conscious effort to broaden recruiting efforts to reach those candidates. Here are a few ideas as to where to start this process:

  • Think about where you look for candidates. Are you looking in markets or roles that seek out membership associations, clubs, and publications with minority or underrepresented community audiences? Right here in the Triangle, you could be looking at reaching out to minority publications such as Que Pasa and The Triangle Tribune in order to place job postings.
  • But go beyond just posting a job to engaging and networking with the owners and employees in order to build longer term-genuine relationships.
  • Train and educate hiring managers on the importance of organizational diversity, particularly the business benefits. By ensuring the hiring team is aware of both the social and financial need for diversity in the office, HR can lead the charge to finding more qualified and diverse minority candidates.

Enhancing Organizational Inclusion

Once you’ve moved past the selection and hiring of a diverse pool of candidates, how will you ensure they want to stay at your organization? It takes a company-wide commitment to cultivate a culture of organizational inclusion. Employees want to work in an environment where they feel supported and valued for their differences and Human Resources plays a large role in driving this culture. Here’s how HR can permeate inclusion throughout their organization’s culture:

  • Go beyond handbook policies that cover anti-discrimination laws and consider including an organizational statement that addresses the company’s commitment to an environment of support and inclusion.
  • Revisit your dress guidelines to ensure that you aren’t inadvertently excluding items that are cultural or religious in nature.
  • Demonstrate a company commitment to utilizing minority-owned or managed businesses for key vendor relationships.
  • Regularly review your pay system to identify and correct any pay inequities.

Sustaining diversity going forward

Now that you’ve planted the seeds of diversity within your organization, HR must do its part to ensure it continues to grow and prosper moving forward. Creating a diverse workplace is one thing, but what about keeping it that way? Here are a few tips to ensure your diverse workplace is here to stay:

  • Ensure your minority employees have equal access to opportunities through the use of a minority mentorship program. This will not only give minority employees a space for engagement and advancement but also breaks down barriers between generations and other boundaries at work
  • Train managers and all employees on cultural awareness and inclusion – this can be as simple as an online training course or even sharing an article or case study around this subject.
  • Educate your front line managers around the business and social benefits of diversity and teach them to recognize any signs that point otherwise.
  • Be transparent around your intent to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive work environment and the company practices that support it. By openly showcasing your organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, you will continue to create a culture that fosters these ideals and attract employees who are dedicated to fulfilling them.

Though the process may seem overwhelming, it is imperative that HR leads the charge for a more diverse and inclusive workplace. By following these phases, you can foster a sense of inclusion that will transform your business for the better, both culturally and financially. For any other helpful tips about how to create a more diverse workplace, please let us know in the comments!

The Six Most Common Talent Management Mistakes

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Emotional Intelligence

In today’s post, our HR Business Partner Tom Sheehan shares the top mistakes your business needs to avoid when managing talent.

Talent management encompasses a broad spectrum of talent initiatives including workforce planning, recruiting, onboarding, performance management, development, succession planning, total rewards, and others. The goal of talent management is to create a high-performance, sustainable organization that meets its strategic and operational goals and objectives.

HR leaders play an active role in aligning the organization’s talent with its business objectives. Over the years I’ve seen six common talent management mistakes that reduce organizational performance.

1. Paying Below Market Value for Talent

When the demand for talent is high and the supply is low it can be very difficult to attract ‘A’ players. Often the candidate pool will be filled with those who are unhappy or already out of a job. When you pay below market value for talent, you tend to attract the wrong people, the ‘C’ or worse players. This will force you to make hiring decisions based on some of the most mediocre talent in the marketplace.

2. Maintaining a Long, Arduous Hiring Process

The purpose of a hiring and interviewing process is to identify the top potential prospects for a position. It should not be an endurance contest for the candidates. When the total hiring process lasts 2 months from start to finish, the organization will struggle to hire good talent. A good hiring process should last no longer than 3 – 4 weeks, any longer and good candidates will leave the process. Good talent will decide to stay where they are, they will find other opportunities to pursue and they will take other jobs. Make it a priority to keep your hiring process down to 3 – 4 weeks or less to insure you don’t lose the best talent.

3. Hiring Based on Interviewing Skills

Unfortunately, the majority of hiring today is based on the interviewing skills of the candidate and the personal chemistry developed during the interview process. The hiring manager often allows the personal chemistry with the candidate to influence and possibly drive the hiring decision. There are many individuals out there who are ‘professional interviewers.’ They can eloquently answer any question, explain why they got downsized and make it look like it was a promotion. Keep in mind, they are so good at interviewing for a reason, they have had lots of practice at it.

4. Lack of Defined Career Paths

When the goal is to hire top talent, it is imperative to map out the potential career path available, even if the path is dependent upon many variables. As long as the possibility exists, the position will hold a much higher chance of attracting the caliber of talent desired. This is not only important for hiring but also for keeping existing top performers from getting dissatisfied and happy with their career growth with your organization.

5. Not Interviewing When Empty Seats are Filled

It is often normal for organizations to stop all recruiting once their current open positions are filled. Not a good idea. With a low unemployment rate, there is a shortage of good talent. If you wait for the next opening to arise, you will slow future hiring to a crawl. Never stop interviewing for those positions which are most mission-critical or those with frequent turnover.

6. Tolerating Low Performers

GE made a practice each year of letting the bottom 5 -10% of the performers go in every division. The idea was to replace them with “A” players, thus continually creating an influx of strong new talent. It might feel good to have an organization where everyone is happy and there is no goal pressure. However, allowing poor performers to miss performance targets year after year has tremendous consequences.  It conditions the company and the employees to accept and tolerate unacceptable performance and drowns the organization in a sea of mediocrity. Poor performance management and lack of employee accountability can degrade your talent level in a hurry.

Should you have any further questions regarding how to manage your talent, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

4 Reasons the Candidate Experience is Lacking, and How to Fix It

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

right hire

Turns out the old adage of “earning respect by giving it” may actually be true. A recent survey conducted by Inavero on behalf of CareerBuilder reveals how a candidate’s treatment during the application process can make or break their impression of a company. The 2015 Candidate Behavior Study, which polled more than 5,013 workers ages 18 and over in February 2015, reveals the many facets of the candidate experience in which employers are falling short and ultimately damaging their employment brand. Here are four of their top concerns:

  1. Employer’s don’t understand the importance of the candidate experience.

A troubling statistic from the survey reveals that 82 percent of employers “think there’s little to no negative impact on the company when a candidate has a bad experience during the hiring process.” Candidates, however, feel quite differently: 69 percent of candidates polled said they would be less likely to buy from a company if they have a bad experience in the interview. This stark contrast in the importance of the candidate experience between the two parties could pose a serious issue for employers. By severely undermining the importance of ensuring a positive hiring experience, employers can leave candidates with an unfavorable view of the company and a disloyal customer base.

  1. Candidates desire ongoing communication

This survey found that employers are consistently falling short of candidates’ expectations regarding communication. Of the candidates polled in this study, 36 percent said they expected to be updated throughout the application process, but only 26 percent of employers actively communicate to candidates what stage of the hiring process they are in. This gap in expectations exposes an undercurrent of toxic resentment toward employers by candidates that can derail the application process to a negative experience, leaving a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth.

  1. Candidates are frustrated with the application process

According to the survey, 40 percent of candidates feel the application process has become “more difficult” in the last five years. Of those, 57 percent say the process is “too automated and lacks personalization” and 50 percent said it has “so many more steps than it used to have.” This clear frustration with the process shows that candidates and employers are out of sync. By attempting to truly connect with candidates, employers can help personalize the candidate experience and minimize the emotional disconnect many applicants feel pervades the process.

  1. Candidates are more likely to accept lower salaries from employers who left a good impression

In addition to earning respect, treating candidates well may also be good for your wallet. The study found that more than 3 in 4 of the candidates polled would be willing “to accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process.” While a sense of professionalism and manners should be enough for employers to create a strong impression, this creates an extra incentive for employers to positively connect with candidates in order to ensure room for leverage in negotiating an appropriate salary for the company’s budget.

All these findings from the CareerBuilder study reveal a strong disconnect between employers and candidates in regards to the application process. By understanding the importance of making the process personalized and giving candidates the respect and courtesy of proactive communication, employers can develop a stronger and more durable brand for the company and make the candidate experience more efficient and enjoyable for both parties.

If you would like to discuss how you can improve your company’s hiring process, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

 

The 3 C’s of Candidate Selection

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

In today’s video blog, Tom Sheehan, CAI’s HR Business Partner, shares helpful information for choosing great candidates to hire. He starts by saying there are many factors that should be considered during the hiring process, and he simplifies them into three categories: capability, chemistry and commitment.

Tom then explains what each of the 3 C’s mean:

  • Capability – Can they do the job?
  •  Commitment – Will they do the job?
  •  Chemistry – Will they fit in?

He explains each of these factors in more detail in the video, as well as offers some helpful tips to consider with each.

Tom says a successful candidate selection can only take place when you factor in each of these elements. He suggests using tools, such as the job description and success profiles, to eliminate those candidates that fail to meet minimum qualifications.

If you need further assistance with your hiring process, please give our Advice and Resolution Team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

4 Tips for Recruiting Exceptional Talent

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

recruit top talentEmployees are the framework for all organizations, and they represent a driving force behind the success or failure of a company. As one of the key elements for long-term success, it’s critical that companies focus on the hiring process, and strive to recruit the most intelligent, motivated and versatile employees available.

How can companies position themselves to not only recruit employees, but attract top talent? Here are four steps:

Evaluate Current Processes

First, evaluate the current selection process your organization has in place. Because of convenience, countless job seekers will come through newspaper ads and website postings, but by using additional outlets (social media, executive staffing firms, industry professional associations, conferences and online boards), a new kind of job candidate can be uncovered. By extending your network pool, you can build relationships, and much can be said about hiring a person whose character you know, instead of hiring solely on Internet credentials.

Provide Thorough Job Descriptions

Once you are recruiting within the correct market, make sure that your company job descriptions are clearly outlined. A detailed description of requirements and responsibilities is imperative, as it’s a way for you to label and define the expectations of future candidates. Don’t wait until the interview process to discover your interviewee doesn’t meet the basic qualifications. If you allow the job description to cover basic requirements, your interview process will reveal the candidate whose skills stand out above the rest.

Keep an Eye on Talent

To recruit the best and brightest, employers must always keep an eye open for top talent. Firms with exceptional recruiting results always monitor potential applicants, whether hiring or not. Through continuous evaluation of the candidate pool, organizations have a better idea of who to select when the time comes. By keeping a running list of candidates, you can keep a watch over top talent and avoid hiring at the last minute.

Monitor your Company Brand

An important piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked is to monitor your company brand. What people say outside of the company walls matters immensely. The overall public perception of your organization will influence many candidates. Outside of salary and job growth, employees want to be part of a company whose culture is respected and valued. Treat your current staff well, as they will be your spokespersons to others about what makes your organization great.

For more information about recruiting, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

 

4 Tips to Act Like a Detective When Hiring Job Candidates

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

CAI’s Director of Membership, Doug Blizzard, offers several strategies to help you make solid hiring decisions in today’s video post. He suggests that you act like a detective during the interview and hiring process to make sure your new hire is the right person to do the job. Doug says that organizations should objectively piece together clues to find their new employee. However, many hiring managers act like first-time car buyers—nervous, unprepared, settle for the first thing they find, etc.

As a detective, Doug encourages you to take your time during the hiring process. Actively find out if job candidates have the character and credentials to fill your open position. Doug gives you four ways to pull off a successful investigation:

1)      Screen for Organizational Fit

Many leading companies believe cultural or organizational fit are more important than specific job skills. Hire someone who fits your workplace culture, and you’ll likely spend less time dealing with a bad hire who affects the morale and performance of your other employees. Doug says you can’t teach character. He lists several ways to screen for organizational fit in the video.

2)       Require Letters of Reference

Doug suggests having your job candidates provide you with two letters of reference—one personal and one professional. The letters will tell you a lot about the candidate and help you indentify the type of character your candidate has.

3)      Ask Behavior-Based Interview Questions

Job candidates are prepared for standard interview questions, such as their strengths, weaknesses and even what type of animal they’d be. However, Doug says the best predictor of success is past results. Identify success factors for your company’s available position, and ask your candidates how they were able to have similar results at their workplace.

4)      Perform Background Checks

In the video, Doug says the cost to perform background checks pales in comparison to the price of a bad hire. Fifty-three percent of all job applications contain errors so performing this step is crucial.

If you have additional questions or would like more information to help you with your hiring process, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Strengthen Your Employer Brand with 4 Tips

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

employer brandWhat do people think of your organization? When people discuss your business, are the conversations mostly positive? Have you googled your company name to see what comes up? Are your employees quick to offer you the number of their friend or family member when an open position becomes available?

Knowing how your organization is viewed by the public, your industry peers and rivals is important. Having a strong employer brand can make a difference on whether you can secure a great candidate for a vacancy or how a news outlet portrays you to the public. There are several steps you can take to strengthen your employer brand to show that your organization is a stellar place to work. Try the four tips below:

Define How You’re Perceived

In order to strengthen your employer brand, you have to determine how you want your organization to be perceived. Once you decide how you want to represent your organization, make sure your company’s mission statement and values reflect that decision. Your mission statement and values are generally one of the first places interested job seekers visit to learn more about a company. Make sure yours represents your organization well.

Offer Competitive Benefits

Do you want to be known as the company that offers lousy benefits? Or the one that doesn’t understand the importance of work/life balance? In order to become an employer who attracts and secures high-performing talent, you must do your homework and find out what the top benefits candidates are looking for. Competition for top-notch talent is fierce. A strong benefits package that includes a competitive salary as well as non-monetary perks will help you establish your positive employer brand.

Make Smart Hiring Decisions

Don’t just hire a candidate because they have the exact skills and qualifications that your job description requires. Making a smart hiring decision goes beyond matching up a resume to an open position. Adding a new hire to your ranks is important, so it’s critical to ensure they match your culture and will get along with their new coworkers. Failing to do so could result in the new hire leaving in under a year, or worse, one of your loyal employees leaving because they don’t work well with the new employee.

Provide Incredible Customer Service

A surefire way to enhance your employer brand is to improve your customer service. Think of brands like Apple and Zappos. Yes, they sell great products, but they also rely on their customer service teams to help them represent their company. Make sure your employees have all the tools and training they need to offer an exceptional experience to your customers. When your employees are content and engaged, your customers are more likely to be content and engaged as well.

For more ways to improve your employer brand, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Robert Scoble

6 Tips to Help You Think Like a Sales Person to Find Top Talent

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

CAI’s Director of Member Development, Doug Blizzard, shares advice for finding high-performing talent in today’s video post. He offers a reason as to why employers are struggling to find top talent:

“…it may be because you’re looking in the same places, in the same ways, and at the same time as everybody else.”

He goes on to say that finding top talent today requires a new approach. He suggests learning from the world of sales to benefit your recruiting efforts. Doug details six lessons that you and your organization can borrow from your sales team:

1.       Start Your Process Early

Landing the best account takes time in sales. Don’t be desperate in your hunt for a new team member because you will find desperate job applicants. Doug says to get great people you need to start the recruiting process well in advance of the opening.

 

2.       Put Your Goals in Writing

In the video, Doug shares that the top sales people all have incredibly clear goals and a written plan to accomplish their goals. For recruiting people for your company’s critical roles, he suggests that you create and keep a list of people you want to hire. These are your sales targets.

 

3.       Define Your Ideal Candidate

Doug says the best sales people win more business because they only focus on ideal prospects, so make sure your team has determined who the ideal candidate is in regard to skills and fit. If you’re not sure what to look for, Doug suggests asking your best employees because they will want your team to attract great coworkers.

 

4.       Get Known in Your Industry

In order to get known by high-performing talent, you must get known in your industry. Doug encourages you to find out what associations your prospects belong to, events they attend and social media platforms they participate on. In the video, Doug lays out several ways to be more visible to your prospects, as well as in your industry. He says these efforts will help you identify your top candidates and also draw them to you.

 

5.       Create a Regular Touch System

Once you find your top prospects, Doug says you should implement a touch system of regular contact with them in order to pull them towards your company. He suggests that you mix up the medium you use. The touch system could include emails, phone calls, snail mail, etc. You’ll also want to mix up the content you send, so share information about your industry, specific professions, and other data your prospects will find useful. Be creative and make sure to include information about your organization.

 

6.       Create a Clear Value Proposition

The best sales people sell on value according to Doug. Relating this to employers, he says you must be able to clearly articulate to your prospects why they should come work for you. It can’t only be in terms of pay and benefits, he warns. Work to uncover their needs and match them to your workplace environment. Show them how coming to work for your organization will get them where they need to be.

For additional guidance on recruiting like a sales person, please contact Doug Blizzard at 919-713-5244 or Doug.Blizzard@capital.org.