Posts Tagged ‘Talent Acquisition’

Utilize Employee Referrals to Hire Top Talent

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

If one of your top sources for hiring isn’t from employee referrals, then you are missing out on an incredible source of quality hires.

When your business is ready to hire a new employee, where do you typically look first? If you’re like many smaller companies, you may start by asking current employees for referrals. Hiring from the networks of your current team has always seemed like a good idea. Recent research now shows that it’s actually the most effective way to find a match for your company.

  1. Leadership IQ 2012 Global Talent Management Survey found that employee referrals were the most effective recruiting channel for front-line performers.
  2. According to recent Glassdoor research report, “Why Interview Sources Matter in Hiring,” employee referrals boost the odds of a successful job match by a statistically significant 2.6 to 6.6 percent.
  3. A recent jobvite survey found that while only 7 percent of applicants came from employee referrals, that 7% accounted for 40% of new hires.  Hires came faster through employee referrals at an average of 29 days, versus 39 days from a job board and 55 days from a career site.  Forty-seven percent of referrals stayed with the company for more than 3 years versus only 14% hired through job boards.
  4. For more hard facts touting the benefits of referrals, click here.

Although employee referrals more often result in accepted offers, most companies do not seem to be using those referrals enough. According to CAI’s latest NC Policies and Benefits Survey, 69% of local employers do not offer a bonus for employee referrals.  That number reveals that companies might have better luck sourcing and hiring the right candidates by focusing on asking for and rewarding employee referrals.

Why are employee referrals so effective in finding the right hire for an open position?

Much like turning to TripAdvisor reviews before choosing a restaurant, employee referrals provide useful context to both the job seeker and the company. Job seekers gain insights about prospective employers from the employee, and companies learn about the reputation of candidates from the recommender.

If you want to maximize the effect of employee referrals for sourcing your next great hire, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Ask for referrals. Don’t assume your current employees are focused on your hiring needs; instead, actively communicate with them about open positions and the types of candidates you seek. Regularly remind employees that they are well suited for recommending others who would fit at your company, and ask them to refer candidates in their networks.
  2. Be specific. Don’t just ask employees to send their friends and family members to you. There’s no reason to be bombarded with résumés of people who may be trusted but are not a fit for potential positions. Instead, share details about specific job requirements and the experience the new hire will have.  Even better, give employees Facebook and Linkedin links about the job they can share with their friends.
  3. Reward successful referrals. If a current employee refers a job seeker who you eventually hire, they should be rewarded. Establish a reward system and communicate it to all employees. For instance, you might reward them with a small monetary bonus, gift card or special privileges at work.  According to CAI’s latest NC Policies and Benefits Survey, the average bonus payout is $575 for non-exempt hires and $747 for exempt hires.  Now at first glance, those numbers seem reasonable and would clearly motivate some people.  At the same time, the average recruiting fee paid to an agency is 21%, or $6,300 for that $35,000 administrative person or $12,600 for that $60,000 engineer.  What would happen if you paid $2,000 for successful employee referrals ($500 up front and $500 after 6 months and $1,000 after a year, or something like that)?

It’s important to remember that people trust one another more than they trust companies. Embrace this way of thinking, and empower your own people to help you recruit with a human approach by embracing the employee referral. CAI members always have access to the latest salary and policies and benefits survey information to help them make smart hiring decisions and retain top talent. Find out how CAI can help your company.

Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad-based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

HR Metrics that Matter: Talent Acquisition

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Unlike many other functions, human resources has not been able to develop and/or sustain universally accepted performance metrics.  As a result, HR metrics often vary widely from company to company and industry to industry. Additionally, the metrics that are most commonly used are not always the best indicators of HR performance or impact.  In fact, HR leaders often make the mistake of using metrics that relate specifically to how well HR is performing administrative tasks.

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The following measures are geared toward measuring HR’s actual impact on the business.

1. Quality of Hire

This metric can be calculated from a combination of a number of factors, including: performance review ratings, actual job results, 9-box ratings, and 6-month Quality of Hire Evaluation Form to obtain the hiring manager’s perspective. You could also review hires that turned over, hires on the promotable list, and hires on the performance improvement list to help determine quality of hire.

2. Time to Fill Key Roles

Not all job openings are equal. In fact, some mission-critical positions carry a lot more weight than a ‘rank-and-file’ opening. Recruiters and HR business partners should prioritize their job openings so that the key roles get the greatest attention. It doesn’t really matter if your overall time-to-fill metric is only 30 days, if it is taking 3 times that long as that to fill key roles.

3. Onboarding Effectiveness

There are basically two simple ways to determine if your onboarding process is effective. The first way is to conduct a post-onboarding survey with new hires on or about 90 days after being brought onboard.

The second way to ensure that the first 90 days are properly scripted into a series of events aimed at supporting the new hire, and ensuring they have been given exposure to the right people.

By asking for completed and signed-off copies of the checklist, with signatures of both the new hire and manager, you improve the likelihood that the onboarding process will be taken seriously.

4. New Hire Dropout Rate

One way to tell how effective the organization is in terms of selecting, hiring, onboarding, and training new hires is to review turnover data. If the turnover rates for new hires (say the first 180 days) or newly hired (first year) are significantly higher that the remaining employee population, you likely have real issues.

Start by asking these questions:

  1. Are we presenting a realistic job preview during the interview process?
  2. Do we have properly trained interviewers asking the right questions?
  3. Are we doing a good job of checking references?
  4. Do we have our act together in terms of a scripted onboarding progression?
  5. Are the hiring managers effectively setting clear expectations?
  6. Have we met the commitments we agreed to during the ‘courting’ stage?
  7. Are we selecting based upon cultural fit?
  8. Do we involve coworkers in the interviewing process?

CAI members have access to all forms, tools, and templates for talent acquisition / recruiting / onboarding online at myCAI. Not a member? CAI can help you build an engaged, well-managed and low-risk workplace, give us a call at 919-878-9222 or visit www.capital.org/membership to learn more.

Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad-based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

 

How Do You Treat Former Employees?: Alumni or Deserters

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

employee-departuresHow do you treat your former employees?  Do you treat them as well as your current employees or do you treat them as deserters?  An increasing number of organizations today are treating former employees as valued alumni!

Why?  There are several very sound and  strategic reasons for doing so:

  • Top employee talent: The “war for talent” is real and great hires are hard to come by; competition is fierce!  Your former top employee(s) may find out that “the grass is not always greener on the other side.”   If so, would they likely return to your business or continue to look elsewhere?
  • Social media and references: People talk about and seek out information when considering your business for employment.  With websites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn it is very easy for your former employees to post their opinions and write reviews about their experience while employed at your business. In addition, many people post information pertaining to their former employer on their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.  What do your former employees write about your business?  Do you even know?  Does someone in your business monitor these sites and respond accordingly?
  • New business opportunities: Some professional services firms such as Ernst & Young consider their former employees as a specific network or talent pool.  This pool is tapped into as a source of new business opportunities as well as job candidate referrals.  The value of these “alumni” is increasing further as former employees are not only changing jobs but they are increasingly crossing over industry lines, which further expands both individual and company networks.
  • Competitive advantage: More and more employers are recognizing that these networks of former employees are providing a competitive advantage.  Some employers have established specific networks for alumni using websites like LinkedIn while other employers have developed a more customized approach incorporating this feature into their company website.  Some companies write targeted e-mails or newsletters to their alumni while others conduct on-line webinars to help engage and keep former employees up to date.

Consider the strategic benefits of treating your former employees as alumni rather than deserters!  The investment to do so is minimal and the return can be significant!

What steps would you have to take to transition your organization from one being perceived as just a mediocre place to have worked at to one of being viewed as a treasured alma mater? CAI helps 1,100+ North Carolina member companies with workplace planning and transition plans, contact us at 919-878-9222 if we can help your company.

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Rick Washburn leads the Advice & Resolution team at CAI. In his role, he advises executives and HR professionals on strategic and organizational issues, tackling subjects ranging from employee engagement to talent management. With his 25 years experience in HR management, Rick is uniquely poised to advice and lead businesses to successful HR strategies.

 

Two Questions HR Must Answer Correctly

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

I once spoke to a large group of HR professionals and I asked them two very important questions.  WARNING: Getting the answers correct may require you to radically shift your perspective and focus.  However, making the shift may be the most important thing you can do as an HR professional to dramatically elevate your value to your organization.

Hopefully I’ve piqued your interest.  So here goes.

Question number 1.  Look at the pictures below and tell me who the most important group is to your business. This isn’t a trick question. There is only one correct answer.

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When I asked this question in a speech I once made to over 120 HR professionals, the most common answer was “the employees.”  As one participant confidently articulated, without employees and their contributions and innovations there would be no business.  Good point.

One person sheepishly said “the customers,” but I could tell she didn’t feel comfortable saying that in front of her HR peers.

No one said “the investors.”  Some experts argue that without investors you couldn’t have a business because there would be no capital to buy the equipment and infrastructure needed to deliver the product or service.

So what’s the right answer?  The answer came most succinctly from the late Peter Drucker who many called the Godfather of Modern Management: “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”  All three groups are important, but without a customer there is no business.  You can have investors in search of a business, and you can have employees in search of an employer, but as the customer goes so does the business.  A business will only continue to exist as long as it has products and / or services that satisfy customer needs.

Question number 2: Who is HR’s most important customer?  I asked the same group of HR professionals this question and overwhelmingly and emphatically they said “employees!”  Wrong again .  Now obviously HR spends a lot of it’s time serving employees, and yes the employee group is clearly a customer of HR, as are managers, other departments, executives, retirees, covered family members, etc.  However, HR’s most important customer is the company itself.  In today’s business environment, HR exists, along with other support functions like IT, to help the company create value for it’s customers.  Let that statement sink in for a minute.  When I ask many HR professionals what HR’s primary role is, I hear some version of “HR’s job is to sit in between employees and management…”  “To sit in between” suggests that HR isn’t part of either group.  Others tell me it’s HR’s job to “look out for” the employees.   Other’s say to “hire and fire.”  These views represent traditional notions of HR, or really “Personnel” or “Labor Relations.”

Companies of all sizes need much more from HR today.  Viewing HR”s primary role to support the company (and it’s customers) results in a much different view of what the HR function should be doing.  I’ll illustrate this point with a few examples I borrowed from a CAI conference speaker and noted HR guru David Ulrich.  Dr. Ulrich calls this new customer focused view of HR “Outside-In” HR.

hr outside in_ulrich_hr domain.png

Companies exist to satisfy a customer need.  In doing so they provide jobs and shareholder returns.  A firm’s talent is at the heart of satisfying that customer need and HR should be driving what kind of talent is attracted to and remains at the company.

Where does an HR leader start?  The most important, and difficult step, is to shift your perspective and your team’s perspective to a company – customer focused view. Next, go visit some of your company’s customers.  That’s right, ask sales to attend a few customer meetings.  These experiences will open your eyes to how your company provides value to customers and what attributes attracts them to your company.  The neat thing is that customers and top talent are attracted to similar things.  And when both groups are happy, amazing things can happen!  Think about it!

Let us know if CAI can help you transform your HR focus.

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Doug Blizzard, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP serves as CAI’s Vice President of Membership, and has been with CAI for more than 15 years.  Doug is well-versed in the world of HR from compliance issues to workforce management to aligning business objectives with HR.  He strives to constantly improve the member experience and provide employers with the confidence needed to turn fears and opportunities into practical actions and results.   If your HR team could benefit from some guidance, you’ll want to learn more about CAI.

 

Recruiting is not rocket science, or is it?

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

recruiting_the_bestPerhaps you’ve heard the name Elon Musk. He’s got quite a résumé. Musk is the CEO of SpaceX, an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company. His company builds rockets that send people and cargo into space.  Musk is realizing his vision at SpaceX by building simple and relatively inexpensive reusable rockets that go into space multiple times. He hopes to achieve turnaround time capabilities that are similar to commercial airliners.

Oh, by the way, Musk is also the CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and cofounder of PayPal.

I tell you this because of how Elon Musk views the importance of hiring great talent. Musk’s recruiting strategy at SpaceX is to demand the best person on the planet — whether they were there to build a rocket or serve ice cream on campus.

Dolly Singh, SpaceX’s former Director of Talent quoted Musk as saying, “Find me the single best person on the freaking planet, then convince me why out of how many billion people on the planet that this is that guy.”  Singh continued, “And he does that even if it’s the cook. When we built a yogurt booth inside of SpaceX, he said, ‘Go to Pinkberry and find me the employee of the month, and I want to hire the employee of the month.’”

The point is, Musk as one of the most innovative and successful business leaders in the world, is still laser-focused on hiring great talent. He understands that bringing in mediocre talent will likely prevent him from realizing his dreams.

The late Steve Jobs, cofounder, CEO and Chairman of Apple Inc. believed in hiring A players.  According to Jobs, “A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”  A-players are motivated, engaged and creative. They are performance-driven and have high expectations for themselves and for others. B and C-players, on the other hand, often do just enough to get by and to be paid for it.

We can learn a valuable lesson from Musk, and Jobs…Settling for ‘so-so’ talent will likely get you ‘so-so’ results. So the next time you are looking to hire someone, think like a rocket scientist and hire only the best.

CAI helps more than 1,000 North Carolina employers with their HR needs including talent acquisition process or strategies.  Contact CAI today!

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Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

No Cost / High Impact Summer Benefits to Keep Employees Engaged

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

During the winter months, when the weather outside is cold, gray and gloomy, employees typically welcome the warm glow of a well-lit and heated Summer_benefits_for_employeesoffice environment.  Your workforce is anxious to get into the office, grab some warm coffee and get to work. They are less likely to leave the warmth of the building for lunch or to take time off from work in order to enjoy outside activities.

As the seasons begin to change and the weather warms, focus begins to shift a little more toward the “life” side of the work-life balance equation.  Employees will tend to arrive at work a little later on a beautiful morning, take longer lunch hours and may leave earlier than usual to get home and get a few things done before the daylight ends.

As an employer, should you do anything about this phenomenon?  Is there anything you can do?  Absolutely.  You can acknowledge this important balance for employees and demonstrate your awareness of the seasonal focus shift by offering some additional benefits for the summer season.  Such benefits will cost you nothing at all.

Start by making a list of possible benefits you could offer during the summer months, making sure you take into account any negative impact to productivity. Every business is different. There will always be things you would like to offer, but simply cannot due to the needs of the business.  Share your list of potential benefits with your workforce to see what your employees are most interested in before making your decision.  Here are a few to start thinking about:

Summer / Flexible Work Hours –

Many organizations are shifting their measurement of productivity away from counting the number of hours an employee works, and looking instead to answer the question “Is the work getting done?” Companies that have adopted this mentality with regards to employee work ethic find it easier to implement a more flexible work schedule.  Such schedules allow employees to stray from the normal 9-5, and work instead an 8-4 or 10-6 schedule.  Some organizations will shift to a 35-hour workweek during the summer months, allowing employees to pick a day of the week to leave at lunch. Some offer 4, 10-hour days allowing some employees to be off on Friday and some on Monday for a longer weekend.

Casual Dress –

In many of the high-end tech companies, casual dress every day is the norm.  However, the majority of large corporations still adhere to a specific, non-casual dress code during normal business hours.  During the summer months, some organizations will implement “casual Friday”, allowing employees to arrive at work in jeans or even shorts, so long as their attire is in good taste and appropriate.

Team Building –

Providing a planned activity for an entire team or department is one way to get everyone outside and still benefit the group as a whole. Morale before the event is high in anticipation.  Morale after the event is high having participated.  Going to a “fun park”, bowling, or even a catered BBQ picnic on the grounds can be used to show employees that you are aware of how difficult it is to stay focused when it is nicer outside than inside while demonstrating appreciation for their work and contribution to the organization.

Employee Garden –

If you have the space for it at your facility, you would be surprised at how many employees enjoy working in an actual garden.  There are many fruits, vegetables and herbs that can be grown during the summer months.  The opportunity for some of your employees to take a few minutes out of their day and tend to a garden can be a huge benefit.  Start small and it will grow to be larger each year as more employees get involved.

Employees desire separating their personal and professional life.  When the employer demonstrates their appreciation for the same, employees feel more appreciated. They are happier, more engaged, more productive and typically more committed to staying with their employer for a longer period of time.

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CAI Advice & Resolution team member Renee Watkins is a seasoned HR professional with a diverse background in Human Resource. Renee provides CAI members with practical advice in a wide-range of human resource functions including conflict resolution, compliance and regulatory issues, and employee relations.

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.