Posts Tagged ‘interpersonal skills’

Good Hiring Managers Make Effective Use of Data

Tuesday, April 5th, 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.

Human Resources and management require soft and hard skills. Still, the best HR leaders and managers succeed primarily because of their soft skills in working with people. The ones who fail usually have inadequate soft skills.

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

Because HR and management professionals rely so much on their ability to advise, convince and problem solve, they too often underutilize hard skills that could make them even more effective. One hard skill that would make us all better is the regular and effective use of data.

I am not talking here about “big data”, the kind of server clogging repositories that allow marketers to slice you up into multiple consumer categories. No, I am talking about basic data every workplace has, or can easily obtain, to make much better decisions.

We meet employers frustrated with their inability to hire the right people for the job. “Where are the candidates?” “Which internet sites should we use?” Those are probably the wrong questions.

Finding success

A better place to start is where you have success today. Where did the best hires in the last two years come from? How did they find us? Which prospects did we successfully convert at a higher rate than others? Can we find out where this particular skill set “hangs out” digitally and how they prefer to send and receive communications?

When we make good hires but they do not stay long, why is that? Where are they going? What were the reasons? Are we avoiding the difficult pay decisions? Did we talk with them or just warn them not to violate their non-compete clause?

Some data is numerical and some is opinion information sliced in useful ways. For example, we conduct a 31 statement organizational assessment for member companies that asks management team members to rank how they think they are doing on important measures. When the team replies collectively we are at 1 or 2 on “we always hire the best people for the job”, there is a problem.

Right data

The value of HR and management data is to help frame the right questions. If we all agree the company does a poor job hiring great people, then we can ask if we want to improve, the benefits of improving, how we can improve and what resources are needed. Without this data, it is so easy for opinions to dominate and action to be delayed.

Author and businessman Andrew Glasow said: “The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion.” A danger in HR is that the relative lack of traditional numerical data from accounting or operations allows us to hide from the facts. Yes, data must be interpreted, but an imperfect interpretation of reality is better than a mere reaction to anecdotes.

Employers should look for the data right in front of them in the form of opinions, results, behaviors, rankings, ratings, preferences, effectiveness, cost, market pricing, efficiency, rationale, alignment, purpose and points of agreement (or disagreement). It will be well worth the reasonable effort required to collect and analyze.

Employees Who Display Emotional Intelligence Add Value to the Workplace

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

The economy is still down, budgets continue to get cut and staffs remain lean. Producing good work under stressful conditions can be challenging for many employees. The country’s high unemployment rate created a highly competitive job market, which now allows employers to be more selective in their hiring decisions. In order to continue to reach their goals, organizations realize that they need workers who can persevere through tough economic times or strenuous business situations, as well as understand the needs and feelings of their coworkers.  

Surveys indicate that hiring managers place more value on candidates’ emotional intelligence than their ability to fit the job description. Emotional intelligence (EI) describes a person’s capacity for controlling his or her own emotions and recognizing and understanding the emotions of others. EI also reveals how people react to others’ emotions and how they manage their various relationships.

People with a high EI are gems in the workplace. Because they have strong interpersonal skills, they offer many helpful qualities, including mitigating conflict productively, remaining calm when facing pressure and empathizing with their colleagues. Employees with a high EI are also great listeners and take criticism well. These qualities make efficient managers, inspiring motivators and thoughtful decision makers.

The personal attributes found in people with a high EI are coveted in the business world. As an employer this does not necessarily mean that you have to hire new staff members or terminate those who lack consideration, tactfulness, grace, etc. EI can be improved with continuous coaching and frequent feedback.

Help your organization achieve its goals by disseminating the strategies below to encourage your staff to manage how they handle workplace emotions:

Gauge your attitude at the office:

People with a high EI control their emotions instead of having their emotions control them. Make an effort to recognize that your individual emotions affect how you act and how others react to you. Draft a running list of emotions and actions that are appropriate for work and ones that are inappropriate. Revisit this list when you feel your emotions taking over.

Form strong workplace relationships:

Everyone at your organization can potentially provide you with a mutually beneficial work friendship. Establish relationships on being supportive and helpful to each other’s work responsibilities. Friendships based on gossip or fear will not increase EI. Good work relationships help create a more positive work environment for all parties involved.

Strive to be valued instead of right:

Influencing coworkers positively is a common goal among those with a high EI. Being right all the time might boost your ego, but it does not exclusively demonstrate your capabilities. Show that you are valuable and productive by the assistance you offer and the tasks you complete. Your actions will display your worth to your employer more than your desire to always be right will.

For additional information on EI or tips to improve the EI of your staff members, please contact an account manager at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 and inquire about CAI’s class called Emotional Intelligence at Work.

Photo Source: KaiChanVong