Philippines’ Top HR Blog

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Why HR Assessments are Vital for the Philippines’ Growth

Every time an employee is hired, trained, evaluated or promoted, the organization is being rebuilt. Every employee is engaged in either moving the business forward or holding it back.

Previously, it was believed that any reasonably intelligent person could, through training, be shaped into a productive employee. However, if this were true, companies would not suffer many common ailments.

When people are correctly matched with the work they do, the combination of motivation and interest means that work becomes a creative challenge, and results go up.

Using HR assessments to gain better insights into the full candidate

In general, people only let you see what they want you to see, but like icebergs, what you don’t see is often more significant. To make the most advantageous decision, you must look beneath the surface to see the essence of the ‘Total Person’, as is done in The Profile XT assessment.

A top-performing employee is typically a good fit for their organization in 3 key areas.

  1. Skill Match: Does the candidate have the education, training and experience needed?
  2. Company Match: Does the candidate have the appearance, demeanor, integrity, attitude and values of the company?
  3. Job Match: Does the candidate possess that unique combination of thinking style, occupational interests and personality traits that lead to success on the job?

Skill match is what most HR professionals hire for, and the most obvious thing to evaluate. You tend to look a work experience, hard skills, and qualifications or certifications to gauge this. However, many employees who have all the hard skills they need to do a job still fail.

Company match can also be called culture fit. HR professionals usually rely on interviews and sometimes reference checks to gauge whether the candidate aligns with the company values, understands the company mission, and the like.

The job match is often the crucial component between a top performer and an average performer. This refers to job-related core competencies found in top performers, which can include hard and soft skills, the combination of which creates the best skill set for excelling at a certain job.

Value of job matching for businesses

A good job match improves business and processes overall in many ways. A few of these include;

  1. Higher productivity
  2. Better employee retention
  3. Reduced tardiness and absenteeism
  4. Reduced conflict, fewer management interventions
  5. Lower training costs

1) Higher productivity

The average difference in productivity between a top producer and an average producer is at least 2:1.

In Myths of Employee Selection Systems by Podsakoff, Williams and Scott, they determined there was a threefold difference in productivity (what they called “The Three to One Ratio”). Closer to home, a client of Profiles has shown a 5:1 ratio for a particular sales function.

This is the heart of the many benefits of utilizing The Profile assessment. Although figures vary by company, it is typical to hear that in any group of employees roughly one third are regarded as top performers, one-third average, and one third poor. The latter group are basically mistakes created by the existing selection process.

That means an organization ‘got it right’ one third of the time and is seeking improvement on the other two thirds. If a top performer produces twice as much as an average performer, a poor performer products as little as half the average performer.

The application of The Profile assessment, when added to your existing interviewing and background checking procedures should help companies hire top performers (“get it right”) 60% of the time, or more than half. After that, approximately one third would be average and the remaining few percent would be the poor performers.

That means, using the right HR assessments can help boost productivity by almost one third, or approximately 33%.

2) Better employee retention

Research shows that replacing an employee can cost up to 150% of that person’s annual salary, and the average cost of hiring a new employee can run more than $7,000.

Using HR assessments to hire well in the first place will help you avoid making poor talent decisions that end up costing all that time and money to replace.

3) Reduced tardiness and absenteeism

Whilst it is not costed in many organizations, absenteeism alone is reputed to cost a 50 person company $31,000 a year in the USA, and pro rata for larger concerns.

If an average employee looses a “few” days each year through absence or lateness, and that employee stays with the company an average of 4 years… then it is clear that over the term of employment, some weeks of time will have been lost.

Not only is the time of an employee lost to the company, but also the productivity levels of everyone who has to work with those absent or late employees, and are relying or waiting on something from them to do more work.

Investing in good job fit helps to reduce absenteeism thanks to the motivational factor behind hiring people with good job fit, from values to ability.

4) Reduced conflict, fewer management interventions

The less tangible items such as reduced conflicts, stress and management interventions will also benefit the company.

For example, a recent survey suggested that managers spend as much as 60% of their time solving “people” problems rather than pursuing matters directly related to the aims of the business.

For illustration/quantification purposes, let’s say that the average monthly compensation of a manager is P50,000 and the company has five managers, the monthly cost of taking away valuable executive time, therefore, is: 60%  x P50,000 x 5 = P150,000.

Job fit will reduce this need by always having the right person in the job, who is compatible with the job, his/her co-workers, and management.

If one can recover just 20% of the above cost, it will amount to a savings of P30,000 per month. And, we have not yet considered other related factors such as the effect of reduced management time taken away from project management, revenue-producing activities, and strategic thinking/planning.

5) Lower training costs

Further, reduced training by having good ‘job-fit’ will impact the training budget. In some cases it will be shown there is no training needed, but where it is needed it will be very specific to the particular candidate and his or her new job. Wasted general training programs will be eliminated.

The return on investment for HR assessments is huge. Further, this is a one-time investment, which will be recouped over the tenure of the employee in the company. The data obtained through the Profile Assessment can be reused many times over, for a more objective evaluation of promotion, transfer, career development, succession planning, and development of specifically needed training programs.


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Benefits of online learning and development for your team

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted businesses of all sizes all around the world. Many teams have shifted to working remotely, or not at all. During this time, it’s important to give your team the same learning and development opportunities to continue investing in their careers and performance.

Although maximum productivity shouldn’t be demanded from your teams in these trying times, online courses and remote work can do much to help your company continue to operate smoothly and level up.

3 Benefits of online learning

Stay productive

Continuing to learn and get exposure to new ideas can help teams of any size, from any industry, stay productive. Online learning means this can be done from the comfort of your own homes, which is especially important during the city-wide quarantine.

Level up even out of the office

Many managers have expressed concern about their teams not being used to working remotely, and wasting company (and their own) time struggling to find busy work. However, there’s a better way to invest your time when you can’t get into the office – level up your skills to ensure better performance either at home or once work is back in session.

Support satellite teams

The world isn’t going to be forced to stay remote forever, but offering online education can help businesses show they’re ready and willing to invest in all of their teams – even the satellite teams located far away. Online learning and development courses helps level the playing field, and gives your entire company access to the same resources, regardless of whether they live in the metro area or distant provinces.

How to get started

Profiles Asia Pacific has launched our Learning Management System (LMS), an online platform that provides e-learning services through online courses.

The programs are open to students, employees, managers, independent professionals, and anyone else who would like to increase their knowledge and skills.

During COVID-19, the most obvious use of LMS is to continue leveling up your teams despite not being able to go into an office. However, LMS is useful for many different scenarios as well, from schools that want to offer online courses, to businesses that want new employees to onboard with a certain set of skills.

You can use LMS for the following:

  1. Employee Training – Training employees for their professional and personal growth is a priority for individuals who want to advance in their careers. We offer various online courses on technical skills to essential skills that will surely benefit the employees and their companies.
  2. Employee Orientation – The on-boarding of an employee is one of the most important tasks of HR. Make sure to not miss any point by orienting them through an online course. Briefing them and introducing them to everyone in the office is still important, but avoid repetitive introduction to the processes of the company. They can also have a post-assessment afterwards to ensure retention.
  3. Knowledge Retention – Did you know that after attending training sessions, many participants only remember 20% of what they learned? Break away from this by establishing repeated recall of information through online courses and tests that will give you results immediately.
  4. Online classes – The use of LMS is not limited in industrial institutions, they can also be utilized by schools! For intuitive learning, learners may attend to their classes by professionally-made courses.

What are the benefits of using LMS?

  1. Highly Accessible – Access the courses you are enrolled to anytime, anywhere!
  2. Cost and Time Efficient – Move your training online. Online training removes the need for travel and venue costs and often lowers facilitation costs too. For onboarding, you can save time for employees to attend to other concerns in the company and let them learn about the ropes in the company at their own pace.
  3. User-friendly Interface – A comprehensive manual will be sent to you so you can have the best learning experience. A technical support team is also readily available for your queries.
  4. Multi-media Learning – Enjoy enriched learning with intuitive videos and images to cater to your learning style.
  5. Track Learner Progress – real time reports and updates on the progress of each learner
  6. Improve Performance – Acquiring new skills and knowledge can improve the performance of your employees.

If you are interested in getting e-learning courses for your organization, please fill in this form, or contact People Dynamics Inc. at (02) 8637 8770 loc. 115 or info@peopledynamics.co to schedule a free demo. In light of COVID-19, we’re offering select businesses free use of the entire thing for the next 30 days.


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5 Ways to deal with conflict in the workplace

This is a guest post from Jamie Costello. Jamie is a legal assistant based in Manchester, UK. The topics he writes about varies from business law to dispute resolution. He uses his knowledge from education and working alongside internal commercial litigations solicitors within his role to help collate his articles.

Tension in the workplace is not avoidable. Even in the best cultures, the best teams and even in the happiest office, you will find some form of conflict is unavoidable.

And an office conflict can lead to a lot of bad things for your business;

  • Loss of productivity
  • Loss of motivation
  • Absence
  • Reduced teamwork
  • Poorer work quality

So, as a leader in a workplace it is important to deal with conflict in a set way, which can include some of the following tactics.

5 Ways to deal with workplace conflict

1) Timing

Stepping in and dealing with conflict successfully relies on several factors, not least of which is timing. Leave an issue too long and it can fester; becoming almost impossible to resolve. As a leader, your responsibility is to step in at just the right time to avoid any ongoing issues.

Don’t move into the situation, taking sides and backing one claim over the other without hard evidence by any means. But, it is important that you step in and let both sides know you are dealing with the issue. The outcome won’t be clear at this point, but it does showcase that you are dealing with the issue promptly.

2) Establish Boundaries

Conflict can quickly become unmanageable if both parties refuse to a level of civility. Whatever the issue, it is your responsibility as a leader to establish what each party’s boundaries are during the conflict and ensure they are respected.

In most workplaces, complete avoidance is unavoidable/not practical. But you should be able to establish a basic framework to ensure work can still be done even during the conflict.

3) Confront Issues, Don’t Ignore

One of the biggest failures of a leader during workplace conflict is to ignore the fact that it is happening. Burying your head in the sand may make your Monday morning easier, but it will lose you both employees as well.

If you ignore a conflict between your employees their work can deteriorate, tensions can make their working relationship irreparable, and you may ultimately lose them both. And the blame may be laid at your feet to boot. Primarily, for failing to deal with or acknowledge that there was a problem to begin with.

A good leader needs to understand conflict is natural and work to ensure it has no long-lasting effect, not dismiss it entirely.

4) Mediate

One of the easiest ways to ensure you deal with a conflict is to mediate between the two parties. Having an open, frank, discussion of the issue and what went wrong can be incredibly important–and resolve the issue much better than most other methods.

Of course, if an issue has developed so far that people are too angry to talk civilly during mediation it can be a real issue. At this point, you may need to actively consider a way to solve the solution by moving/transferring employees where appropriate.

Or, if a party is actively causing the issue and there is hard evidence, then termination may be appropriate in some cases. The fact of the matter is that you have to attempt the mediate and then solve the issue if it presents itself.

5) Listen

The worst thing you can do as a leader during a conflict is to fail at listening. It teaches those under you that you don’t care, even when in most cases you probably care too much. So it’s important to ensure that at the very least you are proving that you care about the situation and how everyone is handling it in that sense.

Listening is one of the key steps to ensuring that you have the respect and understanding of your staff. So, make sure that you have an ear available for any situation.

Overall Thoughts

Conflict is a normal part of everyday life. We have conflicts as part of every life and it is hard to avoid, even in the workplace. The fact of the matter is that as a leader, you need to effectively manage and understand conflicts in your team.

Listen, manage and resolve the issues. That way, you can keep your team in place, hopefully, without any long-standing issues. And you then can continue to resolve similar issues in the same way.


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Pros and cons of outsourcing your marketing department

Nobody can deny the power of marketing in the 21st century. After all, your company might be producing an amazing and one-of-a-kind product – but does it reach the customer?

Correct marketing strategy allows you to offer the right product to the right people at the right time, but the development and implementation of that strategy requires a lot of effort.

Sometimes, in-house marketing departments are simply not enough, or lack certain skills that are crucial for a specific project. These are the most common cases for hiring an outsourced marketing team to help you out and boost your promotional strategy.

In order to gain the most value from hiring an outsourced marketing team, you should know the pros and cons of this collaboration. An improper marketing strategy may not only result in financial losses but also hurt the reputation of your company.

When should you hire an outsourced marketing team?

Before looking at the pros and cons of the outsourced marketing, it is important to understand whether you really need to hire such a team.

There are various reasons to work with an outsourced marketing department. Here are some of the most common ones.

1) Tight budget

It is true that every company needs a marketing team, but not every company can afford an in-house one (i.e. growing startups).

In this case, outsourcing your marketing team is a great decision. Such services usually come at lower costs than in-house teams while still delivering high quality of services in a short period of time.

2) Time pressure

It may happen that you need to promote your product ASAP, and have absolutely zero time for strategy development and implementation. This is another scenario where the outsourced team can quickly jump in and assist you while meeting deadlines.

3) Lack of skill

Another common problem for many companies is lack of skill among the in-house employees and, as a result, problems with project realization.

Marketing is an incredibly vast field with many aspects to take care of (i.e. SEO, PR, social media marketing, PPC, etc.). Not every company can afford to employ a variety of in-house specialists full-time, so hiring an outsourced professional is the best solution to this problem. As soon as you identify the exact services that you need, you will have access to a vast talent pool and can choose a perfect specialist for your project.

4) Need for better results

You may have an in-house marketing team of experienced specialists, but you’re still not getting results. The reason for that may be that the team is missing out on something important, or is following the wrong KPIs.

In this situation, an outsourced marketing team will provide an adequate analysis of the situation and can propose actionable solutions.

Note: Before starting any marketing activity, clearly define the business goals, target audience and KPIs in order to achieve tangible results.

The pros of hiring an outsourced marketing team

So you decided that your company will benefit from hiring an outsourced marketing teams – here are all the pros that this decision will bring.

1) Rich expertise and specific skills

The biggest advantage of any outsourced talent pool is the availability of various skills and expertise. If your in-house specialists lack a certain skill, you can easily close the gap with an outsourced professional.

In addition, the outsourced specialists can bring in their own experience and help you look at the project from a different angle, which may also turn out to be a benefit.

2) Speed and quality combo

Work with outsourced specialists is great when you need to get things done quickly. Most outsourced marketers specialize in deliverables, and can fulfill tasks immediately whereas in-house marketers may be slowed down with other tasks. If you are a young startup in the need of quick promotion or simply have a burning campaign to launch, an outsourced marketing team is a great choice.

In addition to that, outsourced marketers usually have an impressive level of expertise, which means high quality of work. So in addition to fast performance, you can also enjoy high quality work.

3) A look from a different angle

Your marketing team may be composed of stellar specialists, but sooner or later, they will get used to your product and will most probably be biased and follow the standard path instead of looking for unique solutions.

In this case, an outsourced team may be a jolt of fresh air. A different angle and a novel approach may result in increased revenue and unexpected success of a marketing campaign.

The cons of hiring  an outsourced marketing team

Working with outsourced marketing team sounds great so far, but there are certain pitfalls to watch out for if you want your marketing campaign to be a success.

1) Lack of loyalty and interest

Behind every great company are great employees who are invested in its development and growth – but what if your outsourced specialists don’t care about the brand as much?

This is the case with many outsourced specialists. While they may be excellent professionals, they do not have to love your company and share its vision and values. Because of this, it’s hard to expect a lot of loyalty from an outsourced team.

2) High risks

When reaching out to outsourced marketing specialists, you never know whether they are 100% trustworthy or not, and whether they will complete a task as requested.

Keep in mind that there is always a possibility someone will lack certain skills or may even disappear. To minimize the risks, dedicate some time to researching whoever you require, and ask to see portfolios and references.

3) Less control

Working with outsourced team implies that you will have less control over the processes and will not be able to monitor them as closely as you do in case of in-house marketing.

To decrease the risks and increase transparency, agree on the most suitable ways of communication and regular reports. In this way, you will always know what’s going on with the project and what its current state is.

Summing up

Outsourced marketing is a great option that allows companies to cover all its marketing needs at a reasonable price. But to gain the maximal value from this partnership, a company has to come up with definite goals and KPIs so the outsourced marketing team will have a clear sense of direction and can propose the most actionable strategy.


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A guide to professional office communications

Every person understands the power of efficient communication and its impact on daily life and processes. The quality of communication impacts how well we resolve issues, establish relationships, network, and fit in the surrounding societies.

At work, communication not only impacts the well-being of the employees but directly affects the quality of work. If people are stressed, annoyed, or even scared to speak their minds out, that will inevitably lead to poor performance, frequent errors, and a high level of employee turnover.

So what should every employee know about professional communication? Here’s a quick overview that covers the key areas of office communication in a little more detail.

Personal communication

In the office, people interact with dozens (if not hundreds) of colleagues on a regular basis. In order for these interactions to be valuable and with no interference in the actual work process, it is important that all employees know the basic communication principles.

Watch the body language

Even though we are not always aware of our body language, we need to pay attention to it as it impacts the way people perceive us. A person with crossed arms and tense posture seems much more distant and negative than a relaxed person who looks you in the eyes and smiles.

Some of the basic areas to keep in mind when talking to colleagues are:

  • Maintain the eye contact but don’t turn it into a “dead stare”
  • Smile!
  • Try not crossing arms
  • Look at the person, not at your mobile phone or tablet during the talk

Another important thing that needs to be addressed is over-familiarity. Some enthusiastic employees constantly hug their colleagues, tap them on either shoulders or back, shake hands, and overall, get too close to someone’s comfort zone. Such behavior is often uncomfortable, intimidating or annoying so the best option is to restrain from it, except for when talking to close friends or people who do not mind it.

Listen, then talk

Listening is an obligatory skill for efficient communication. Busy office life often implies rush and people try to express themselves as fast as possible in order to be heard and understood.

However, by listening to the other person without interrupting or hurrying them is a sign of great respect and professionalism. It shows that you value the opinion of your colleague and are willing to hear it.

Use your body language to show that you really listen to a person: react to their words, mimic some of their gestures (it helps win them round) and watch the facial expression (it should not be deadpan).

The biggest things to watch for during a personal conversation with a colleague:

  • interruption
  • pointless arguing
  • dishonesty
  • deadpan face
  • crossed arms and tense posture

Phone calling

Another frequent form of communication that we often see in the offices is phone calls. When you need to reach someone really fast or urgently solve a certain task, the best way to do so is to call a person. Though seemingly easy, there are still certain rules to follow when making phone calls.

First, always introduce yourself. There might be hundreds of people working in your company and most people don’t even know the people who work on the same floor but in a different department. Therefore, at the beginning of the conversation, introduce yourself and clarify which department you work in.

Second, clearly state the reason why you call and never hesitate to ask for clarification in case you did not understand the person very well. It’s better to clarify the issue once then resolving possible issues in the future. Another good idea would be to take notes during the call to ensure no important information is missed.

Finally, thank the person for their time when ending the call – this will show that you treat your colleagues with respect and value their time.

Remember: your colleagues are people who work on the same goal as you do which is contributing to the company’s development and growth. So one should invest in nurturing good communication skills so it will bring benefits in the future.

Written communication

Most of the in-office communication happens via texts, emails, or chats. So it’s important to know the basic rules of professional communication via the messengers in order to never miss the important information and get heard in return.

Emails

Emails are great because they allow you to share information with different people, exchange documents, schedule meetings and pretty much organize and manage most of the internal processes.

At the same time, emails are often neglected, ignored, deleted, or lost – simply because the sender did not care much about crafting a professional email. Here are the essentials of a good email:

  • Informative and clear subject: a receiver should immediately understand what the email is about from its subject.
  • A well-balanced copy: not too short but not too long either. Write all the needed information and any useful comments.
  • No misuse of emojis, GIFs, memes, etc. Keep the email professional.
  • Appropriate tone: start with a salutation and end the email with a professional signature (i.e. “Best regards”). Do not use slang or jargon in the email.

The problem of many emails is that the sender does not know how to create a professional and informative email. As a result, the email looks more like a message from a social media that was sent to a friend but not to a colleague.

Work chats

Different companies use different messengers and project chats, with Slack, Trello, and Skype being the most popular ones. The cornerstone of professional communication in such messengers is respect for your colleagues and an ability to listen without interrupting.

Remember: there should be absolutely no harassment, jargon, or inappropriate wording in all forms of written communication in the office. As well, always remember to address the person you are talking to, thank them for their time and provide as much information as needed.

Final word

The topic of professional communication is really vast and specific to every company. What we can say is that the efficiency and quality of office communication between the employees heavily depend on the internal company culture.

If a company has well-established culture, based on mutual respect and trust, there will be no or very little issues related to communication. Thus, while optimizing the quality of communication in your office and educating people about it, take some time to work on the internal culture as well.


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Quantifying the Unquantifiable: The Low Down on Soft Skills

This is a guest post from Sophie J. Parker. Sophie blogs over at Surehand, where industrial safety professionals can find their perfect job. It is her aim to help create a safer world, one inspector at a time.

There’s a piece of advice anyone who’s ever looked for work or a promotion has heard at some point.

Develop your soft skills.

Soft skills are skills that enable you to succeed in a range of environments. They include personality traits and attributes, people skills, social skills and more.

Soft skills have slowly risen from accessory ornaments at the end of a great CV to prominence. Changes in the way markets and companies operate in the digital age made non-technical skills crucial.

As fields are taken over by new ways of operating, many technical qualifications are now obsolete. Adaptability, creativity, and willingness to learn went from perks to requisites for survival in ever-evolving markets.

Now, soft skills are at the forefront of requirements for many new positions and divisions. The professional profile companies seek to fill is increasingly centered on these skills.

In a few decades, “develop your soft skills” went from generic advice to thoughtful counsel. In this article, we’ll go over the reasons these skills are in such demand.

We’ll also list the most popular soft skills for employers in 2020. Finally, we’ll discuss some of the metrics available to measure these skills in the workplace.

Soft Skills In Hard Markets

Soft vs Hard Skills: Old School Wisdom

Traditionally, soft skills were considered more as perks than prerequisites. These skills were considered inherently unmeasurable. Hard skills could be trained and measured.

To the first generations of management thinkers, hard skills seemed like a better horse to bet on. Time wound up proving them very wrong.

Hard skills may have been easier to measure, but they also proved more rigid. Specializing in hard skills made workers harder to adapt to new positions.

This would be a crucial shortcoming.

The Age of Disruption

As technological advancements have continued relentlessly, many markets were deeply disrupted. Whole industries rose out of seemingly nowhere.

Many roles and departments that are vital today didn’t exist a decade or two ago. Companies struggle to find professionals to perform at a high level in novel fields.

Both market disruptors and well-established companies see their hierarchies affected. Startups and large players have different priorities, but both require soft skills.

Different Priorities

Startups need to hire people that have the hard skills they need at the moment. At the same time, they need employees with the non-technical skills required to handle growth down the road.

Hard skills put food on the table, but it’s soft skills that keep that table getting bigger. Soft skills in your staff mean that a better workplace culture can flourish. This, in turn, leads to companies that grow sustainably, with higher rates of productivity.

Then, there are the big players. Well-established market titans that put too much stock in hard skills become sluggish.

Social and communication skills allow key staff to develop inter-departmental synergy. Understanding the human factor makes it easier for large companies to react to disruption.

Soft Skill Metrics

The key drawback to soft skills is the lack of data to measure their effectiveness in any given situation. Or so the conventional wisdom goes. That statement may have been a fact decades ago, but social sciences have come a long way since then.

Qualitative methodologies have been refined by social psychologists, sociologists, and other experts. Decades of research have developed an ample array of tools to measure non-technical skills. Their accuracy and predictive power are now settled matters in academia.

The ivory towers of academia are far removed from the gritty world of business, though. Distilled techniques in controlled settings are one thing; effective workplace metrics are another. Can these methods be used in a real-world workplace, fruitfully?

The answer is a resounding yes. Here are just a few ways to do it.

Behavioral interviewing

Behavioral interviews focus on the way candidates act in situations. Rather than current or past performance, they use hypotheticals to identify specific skills.

Soft skills-based rubrics

Rubrics are grid-based tools that feature key criteria for employee performance. They allow assessment and scoring on a number of attributes and scales. They should be customized for every role in the company.

Feedback surveys

Questionnaires and surveys can help identify issues stemming from non-technical skill scarcity. Falling levels of employee satisfaction, communication problems and leadership issues are well-captured by questionnaires.

Surveys are also crucial to measure how effective skill training is. Without feedback from colleagues, supervisors, subordinates, and clients it’s impossible to track progress.

Most Valued Soft Skills

Times are changing, especially in the corporate land. As science begins to catch up to the realities of non-technical skills, companies are wising up.

Recruiters now seek and weed out candidates based on their non-technical skills, or lack thereof. The following are the five most in-demand soft skills companies are looking for right now.

5. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to accurately identify emotions in yourself and others. It is the non-technical skill’s jack-of-all-trades. It works as a bedrock upon which all other skills can be built.

Its presence is insufficient to determine that a candidate is most desirable. Its absence is a red flag, though. Companies need people capable of maturity and empathy.

4. Adaptability

Adaptability is the capacity to change one’s behavior and assumptions in a fast and fluid way. In the age of disruption, adaptability is just what the doctor prescribed. Companies need employees who can adjust to new realities without skipping a beat.

Adaptability doesn’t fall squarely on the shoulders of employees, though. There is a lot that an organization can do (or fail to do) to foster or hinder adaptability.

3. Collaboration

Companies have staked a lot on creating competitiveness between coworkers. It’s collaboration, however, that has proven to be the superior skill.

Companies are built on collaboration. The capacity to cooperate seamlessly in different settings and groups is invaluable to success.

2. Persuasion

Long-considered a skill for the sales team, persuasion has a far wider reach. It’s a crucial element in effective leadership.

Great leaders must be capable of persuading their teams to follow them. Dissent is natural and healthy, but a persuasive leader fosters cohesion.

1. Creativity

Creativity is the most sought-after soft skill in new hires this year. There’s a reason for that. In an uncertain, disrupted marketplace, companies know they’ll need to get innovative to beat the competition.. Creative employees approach problems from new angles, finding clever solutions to vexing puzzles.

This trend is likely to grow more pronounced in the coming years. Technology is taking over most job functions requiring high-level hard skills. Creative employees will allow companies to implement these technologies in new and amazing ways.

Conclusion

Soft skills have reversed the tables on a decades-old narrative. Long-relegated to a minor footnote, these skills are now one of the hottest commodities.

The progress of science allows companies to measure those skills, and analyze them. For companies that have, the verdict is clear—the value of non-technical skills is a hard fact.

Companies that create a culture with soft skills at the center face considerable gains. Those that don’t may well go the way of the dodo.


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How to deal with underperformers

As a manager, you have a lot of processes to keep an eye on. Your success is not defined by your own work, but by the results of people you manage. And underperformers can significantly hurt the team’s results (and your own success).

The dilemma of many managers out there is: should I fire underperformers or give them a chance to improve? What do I do if they do not improve and we lose time and money?

It is important to approach underperformers carefully, in a thought-out manner. Otherwise, you risk hurting your reputation as a manager and the company’s profit.

Resolving the dilemma

As a manager, you have increased responsibility. You need to work efficiently by yourself and you need people on the team to keep up.

However, you also need to be an inspirational leader so people can trust you. But how do you combine camaraderie with strict management, especially when handling the underperformers?

The trick is: you don’t. As a manager, your primary task is to manage, not to be popular. Of course, you need to be a good leader and treat people with respect. But that does not mean you should sacrifice the quality of work for a good attitude.

Therefore, as soon as you identify an underperformer on a team, you need to approach the person and try to resolve the issue as soon as possible in order to retain results and meet deadlines.

Invite them for a conversation

First things first – you need to know the exact reason why a person underperforms.

Personal issues

One of the main reasons for low performance is personal issues. It may be sickness, divorce or similar troubles that distract someone from work.

In this case, the best you can do is give someone time to resolve those issues and get back to work. You have the opportunity to gain trust and loyalty when you treat situations such as these with understanding and genuine concern.

Lack of training

Another common issue that happens is simply a lack of training and/or skills.

If a person is assigned to something they cannot do, it doesn’t matter how much time and effort is dedicated – the results won’t show up. And this is a problem related to poor management.

If a manager cannot assess skills and assigns wrong tasks to the wrong people, this will inevitably lead to problems.

Misunderstanding

Another issue related to poor management is misunderstandings. If you set the wrong goals, or don’t explain tasks well enough, that could be a reason for underperformance.

If people don’t know what you want from them, how can you expect good results?

Tip: During any conversations to clear up misunderstandings, keep your emotions in check and be ready to listen before making any assumptions.

Come up with a plan

Once you define the problem behind poor performance, you can come up with a plan for improvement.

Offer help

First, offer help (if this is possible). Suggest courses, areas for improvement, and training. It’s possible that low performance stems from a lack of skills or knowledge, and that individual is too nervous to ask for help. So your task as a manager is to guide the employee in the right direction and give actionable advice.

Listen to their preferences

It’s possible that someone is assigned the wrong tasks that are in conflict with skills and interests. So listen to the employee and find out whether they really like their job or are there any other things they’d prefer to do.

The right allocation of resources and proper task assignment are the driving forces behind the company’s success. Every person is talented in something and a manager should unveil these talents and find an appropriate use for them.

Define deadlines

Once you agree on the improvement plan and the employee understands what you wanted to communicate, you need to define deadlines so they can follow a plan and show tangible results.

During this period, monitor their performance and reward improvements. Always provide a timely follow-up so the employee knows how they are doing.

What if the employee did not improve?

If, after an appropriate period of time, the underperformer doesn’t show any progress or willingness to improve, it’s time to say goodbye.

Even though it is an unpleasant procedure, it is usually the best for everyone. In this case, the manager will stop spending time and effort on a below average employee and will be able to focus on more important tasks. As for the employee, s/he will get a chance to find a more suitable and stress-free position.

Note: during the improvement process, do not forget to document everything. This is in case the employee decides to appeal against your decision, you can always prove your point with documented evidence.

Final word

Before, during, and after the probation period you need to provide underperforming employees with constant support and guidance.

Another important issue to evaluate yourself and your managerial skills. Ask yourself: do you provide timely and informative feedback, and do all your employees understand what needs to be done?

When a manager and team works together and communicates efficiently, you get results. So, when evaluating the employees, dedicate some time to perform a self-evaluation as well. This will help you improve and master the skills needed for efficient management.


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5 Ways for new leaders to gain their teams’ trust

This is a guest post from Gemma Reeves. Gemma is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She is also an entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.

Every leader wants to be respected by their peers and teams, especially because respect helps to inspire loyalty cooperation. This makes for healthy leadership.

Some leaders however, like to strike fear into the hearts of their followers. That is most probably inspired by the Machiavellian principle which says that fear comes with the possibility of punishment. To avoid punishment, your team will most likely do anything just to abide by your rules.

Respect and fear could be compelling factors in a good leadership. However, most new leaders tend to forget about the importance of gaining the trust of their subordinates. People may respect and fear you, but that does not automatically mean that they trust you. Like respect and fear, trust should also be gained and worked hard for.

To help you earn respect the right way, here are 5 principles to follow.

 

1) Be firm, but approachable

 

As a new leader, you might not want to shake off that respectable and fearful demeanor, but being too stiff would also come off as intimidating. And when you’re intimidating, people would choose to avoid you and not make efforts to bond with you. What is a leader if you don’t even know your own people, right?

So as much as possible, try to loosen up a bit and make an effort to appear friendly and approachable. The goal is to strike a balance. When it pertains to strictly business matters, stay firm and decisive, but when it comes to personal matters and concerns for example, try to be more open and encourage your people to speak out their minds without any fear of reprehension. Trust is built through communication, so make the most out of it.

 

2) Fulfill your promises

 

Don’t make promises that you cannot keep. People will still judge you by your actions, and unmet expectations can easily let them down. So whenever you promise something, make sure that it is actually realistic and achievable. When people see that you are a man/woman of your word, they will trust you more.

 

3) Don’t be one-sided

 

As a leader, you might be called to settle any dispute that may arise within your organization. This would entail a lot of difficult decisions, but the important thing is to always hear both sides of the issue and avoid rendering a biased judgment. People should know that you are capable of weighing things based on the issue’s merits, and not just based on emotional and personal preferences.

 

4) Let people know that you trust them

 

Trust should be reciprocal. If you don’t trust your team, how can you expect them to start trusting you? To start building and gaining trust, let your people know that you yourself trust them too; You trust them to do well in their job, to fulfill their obligations, and excel at what they do.

 

5) Set a standard. Be the role model.

 

To gain everyone’s trust, you should be a good role model yourself. As a new leader, you are not above the rules. Of all people, you should set a high standard that are ultimately worth emulating. Being a credible and morally right leader earns people’s trust, because by then, they will believe that you are always capable of doing the right thing.

Gaining trust could take some time, so remember to stay patient, consistent and diligent. Focus on building great relationships and mentoring, then you will gain your team’s trust in no time.


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How technology affects HRM practices

This is a guest post from Asma Niaz. Asma is an Academic writer at Zoe Talent Solutions who loves to write stellar content on various educational topics, programs, trainings and courses. Zoe Talent Solutions is a premium teaching division, which offers highly professional HR courses to excel at your workplace.

Information technology plays a great role in this modern era of machines. It replaces humans with machines and efforts with electronic signals. Nowadays, informational technology systems are used by almost every business including leading entrepreneurs for the departments to run effectively and smoothly. Entrepreneurs have accredited the vitality of information technology tools in achieving business targets. It also helps hen performing operational tasks efficiently.

Human Resource Management consists of activities such as recruiting, training, developing and rewarding people in the organization. HRM must remain competitive by providing constant educational and training programs for the personal and professional development of the employees of the organization.

Like other departments, nowadays Information Technology is contributing a lot in the achievement of competitive objectives and fulfillment of personnel policies of the organization. IT enables the organization to improve its internal processes, core competencies, relevant markets and organizational structure as a whole.

It can contribute to fulfillment of business strategy in the case of HRM in order to push the business forward towards quality and to gain the competitive advantage in the market. Numerous researches declared that the HR goals, objectives and policies can be achieved moderately and efficiently by the implementation of HR information technology systems. Their utilization mainly in the HR department of the organization to attain defined key performance indicators can increase the efficiency of the business. The key to success is that you must be aware of the relevance of information system and objectives of the organization.

Information Technology may have greater impact on organizations that exist in a dynamic environment. Development in the technology is an important activity for the innovation process within the business. Technology may also include acquired knowledge. In the context, all activities may have some technical content, even if this is just acquired knowledge and results in greater technological advancement. This will lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness of the Human Resources. Hence, utilizing IT application for primary as well as secondary Human Resource tasks such as database management and advances recruitment system will increase the efficiency of the business. Innovation in Human Resource Management can manifest itself in a number of ways such as:

  1. To identify solutions quickly and flexibly during a negotiation
  2. To identify new ideas for products and services
  3. To identify new markets

One of the leading management theorists of her time, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, argued that the re-birth and success of business organizations would depend upon innovation (developing new products, introducing new services, and operating methods), entrepreneurship (taking business risks) and participative management (encouraging all employees to participate in making decisions about work).

Human Resource Management can have the following impacts of informational technology systems used in HR departments of the businesses:

Work as an assistant to HR and Line Managers

The primary function of HR department is to facilitate and manage the workforce needs and requirements of the organization. The chief objective of both HR and Line managers is successful operating of business. HR and line managers must be competent enough to review projection concerning forthcoming requirements to conclude whether to recruit new contenders with higher skills or to train current employees. Training and developing the line managers in IT tools will, therefore, prepare the line managers for a number of leadership tasks.

Enhancing management

HR information technology systems are capable of augmenting the efficiency and effectiveness of the management, which contribute in the success of the business. For example, currently, SuccessFactors Solutions has developed an HR IT tool of talent management for Hilton Worldwide, which had a worldwide operational capacity.

Organizations across the world are driving to improve organizational performance regardless of the size of the organization or the industry. Managers within the organization measure performance, perhaps by comparing it against a benchmark. They analyze and assess their findings and design their controls accordingly to advance the organization’s performance. Customized HR IT tools are capable of providing facilitation to management regarding assurance that all departments are improving its procedures and controls and targeting its activities on better achieving the company’s competitive differentiation through what the employees do and how they are doing it.

Effective recruiting

It is nearly impossible nowadays to achieve effectiveness in the recruitment process without Information technology HR tools. Companies are using online job portals that provide real time information to the intended users or candidates. This process is considered to be very effective as many people come to know of the offer and hence increases the probability of hiring efficient employees. These tools allow the employer to demonstrate all necessary information related to job, careers and personal development of each employee on portals online.

Currently, Envoy has developed an IT tool- Asana for recruiting where a potential candidate’s high priority value and tiny details of recruiting process is analyzed. The HR IT tools not only help hire the best potential but also retain it.

Data management and critical analysis

It is easy, efficient and effective to handle data using IT tools because it becomes paper-free. Monotonous work by the humans affects their efficiency in a negative way whereas IT systems allow doing these tasks efficiently. Organizational performance can lead to timely success of the business whether in a stable or an unstable environment. This is essential, as jobs that do not offer much variety in their performance and are of a highly repetitive nature are disliked by employees. It eventually results in intentional downsizing by the employees or decreased effectiveness. Employee’s performance data can be critically analyzed by the HR IT tools more often if it’s online and becomes readily accessible to everyone.

For instance, Zenefits has recently developed an HR IT tool, which has made Passport completely paperless. The tool is further hierarchy sensitive and pings the manager for approval once it is submitted. Thus, it lets an individual get rid of the hassle of filling the paperwork. Thus by developing this HR IT tool, Zenefits has helped Passport radically simplify and manage its HR internal processes.

Inventory management tools and human resource management

Owners of the business are concerned with the profits made by the business and the entrepreneurs with business perceptiveness describe that the customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and leading edge contributes in the performance of an organization. Customer needs must be met by customization and by providing outstanding customer instances. For this purpose, organizations use HR IT tools to provide a universal set of products and diversify the business by providing improved products and services.

Cost-reduction and efficiency

Considerable benefit can be obtained as various reports can be made using IT tools.

Xero wanted to save its resources and make them easier to manage. Xero then implemented PlanSource’s benefits system and ACA compliance technology with their payroll provider and now all their benefits are in one place and easy to access. This leads to cost reduction and efficient and work processes.

Johnson, Scholes and Whittington have rightly said, “Poor performance might be the result of an inappropriate configuration for the situation or inconsistency between structure, processes, and relationships.” Organizational performance can be increased by implementing management by objectives and using participative style of management through Human Resource Information Technology tools. The management of an organization is accountable to the owners of the business for the performance and the achievements of the organization. Managers can perform well and justify their authority only if they produce the desired economic results, for instance, the profits they have desired to achieve in a period of time.

Management often uses the Operation’s Research to maximize the profit, yield, utilization and the performance. The management of an organization usually creates a measurement system to set targets for change and measure organizational performance.

Customer service and human resource management

As organizational change is inevitable, critical success factors and key performance indicators should be revised, and relevant Human Resource IT tool must be devised for the better quality of work.  Reliable and quality service to the customers depicts the organizational performance of the company. Value can come from providing a reliable service, so that the customers know that they will receive the service on time, at the promised time, to a good standard of performance. Doing good quality work and providing quality results will increase organizational performance.

Career development and human capital management

Informational technology tools for career development are responsible for the learning and management of personal development of entrepreneurs as well as development of the employees. Performance evaluation and career progression is interlinked with each other and can be a key motivating factor for the employees to work effectively and efficiently.

Performance measurement and reward systems in an organization establish views of priority i.e. what is important and what is not so important. Thus sound performance evaluation systems HR IT tool is crucial for the organization. The system must be reliable and logical. Rewards systems must be linked with performance management systems. Employees should be rewarded for performance based on the desired behavior and results as per the HR IT tool database.

Also, according to Vroom, one of the best management theorists of his time, instrumentality (rewards system) affects motivation for the increase in organizational performance. Managers must keep their promises that they have given of rewards for performance and try to make sure that the employees believe that the management will keep its promises. However, performance targets do not usually have to be financial targets. They can be in other forms such as recognition, promotion etc.

Human Resource IT tools have great organizational effects;  serve as a pipeline connecting a personal policy and personal processes in all organization, facilitate personnel management in the company, provide important data for a strategic personal decision-making and enable a quick acquiring and analysis of information for HR assistants and reduce cost labors at performance of personal activities.

According to survey of 37 companies in Turkey applying IT in HRM, the employees expressed that their business environment satisfies them and they work efficiently. The survey confirms that these companies use HR IT tools and should contain all HR processes which will sustain all parts of HR it means from ”Recruit to Retire” functions within the company.

This article was updated 2/4/20

Better focus on serious issues through automation

The whole idea of the HRM industry is to serve and care for the talent. However, if there are dozens of mundane processes that demand the attention of an HR specialist, it will become much harder to focus on issues like employees’ motivation, satisfaction, and well-being.

The advancement of technology led to the automation of many HRM-related processes, such as tracking a certain employee’s data, sending emails or similar notifications, or even communicating with employees with the help of smart chatbots.

By having these and similar processes automated, HRM specialists get an opportunity to focus on more serious issues such as analyzing the level of employees’ satisfaction with the company, new ways to increase their motivation or ways to promote the company’s brand.

Even though these activities are extremely important, it often happens that HRM specialists simply do not have enough time for them, especially with endless paperwork or monotonous activities.

Better analysis of employee data

HRM specialists have access to huge data sets regarding employees’ performance, personal data, corresponding bonuses, vacations, etc. In order to manage this data efficiently, HR managers need sophisticated tools that can process and analyze big data sets and extract useful insights from them.

The advancement of technology led to the creation of efficient HRM tools that significantly contribute to the data management process and empower specialists with new approaches towards the data.

Now, specialists only need to upload the data in the system and can receive a detailed report, while all the steps in between are handled by the machine.

This is a huge advantage that technology brings to the HRM. Now, employees can find the needed information in mere seconds without going through massive blocks and reports. This, in turn, contributes to saving time and effort and increases the work results.

More precise recruitment

One of the main concerns of any HRM specialist is where to find new talent for a company. And naturally, the more advanced technology gets, the easier it becomes for HR managers to search for suitable candidates.

First, there are now more options to choose from in terms of possible search areas. Before it was just a few job portals but now companies can search for their perfect candidates on multiple platforms:

  • Stack Overflow: a platform for developers where it is easy to find an experienced developer within the required field
  • Quora: this platform is becoming more and more popular for finding specialists for managerial positions as people there tend to share their own personal insights and knowledge
  • Social media: can actually serve as a source of reliable and experienced professionals but thorough filtering is needed
  • LinkedIn: a one-stop platform for easily finding a necessary professional in a certain industry

Above is just a short list of options. You can also search through freelancer marketplaces to hire a remote specialist.

Secondly, recruitment is becoming more precise thanks to the smart recruitment tools. The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning helps recruiters immediately and accurately filter the resumes and get a suitable match for the open job posting. This is a great time saver, since resume screening is hard work that requires much time and effort.

Increased transparency

Transparency of processes is crucial for any company. In an ideal world, every department would be aware of the work that other departments do, so all the employees can work on one common goal, with deep understanding of other’s tasks and responsibilities.

Unfortunately, for a long time, this was challenging due to the overwhelming amount of paperwork.

Now, HRM specialists have access to cloud storage and can manage the roles for access. In this way, practically any department can see what HR specialists do and what kind of tasks they have. It also allows for efficient collaboration and higher transparency.

As a result, everyone in the company stays on the same track, share one common vision and can access the needed information at any time and from any place.

Efficient onboarding

Onboarding is an important process that heavily impacts a newcomer’s perception of a company and people working in it. Thus, it is the HRM’s responsibility to optimize this process as much as possible and the use of innovative technologies can help a lot.

Chatbots, virtual tours, step-by-step guides, welcome letters and much more – all these things significantly facilitate the work of an HR specialist and make the onboarding process more interactive and memorable. Such an approach significantly saves time of both an employee and an HR specialist and also shows that the company cares about the employees and is ready to help them in every way.


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Use these tips to maximize your digital recruitment

This is a guest post from Aria Dillinger. Aria graduated with a degree in psychology and has worked as a recruiter for a contact center in the Philippines for four years. She is constantly looking for ways to streamline processes and access larger talent pools, and enjoys writing about her experiences in her spare time.

Company recruitment strategies tend to look for a mix of talent and technical skills. However, preferences for talent and skill differ depending on a company’s current environment, as well as its needs and existing employees.

Skilled individuals can easily step into a certain role, as determined during the recruitment process’ assessments. On the other hand, talented individuals show the potential to learn skills through their behavior and attitude. In the long run, they will be able to adapt to other roles.

The diversity of employing these two kinds of people often results in the best-run organizations. But how can companies amplify their own image to better attract this talent?

HR practitioners and organizations can use technology to streamline recruitment procedures. A lot of work is now done online, and this begins as early as the job hunting process for applicants.

In this regard, companies have to work on building their online presence to make themselves available to the wealth of talent on the lookout for positions to fill.

A bold employer brand, according to Recruitday’s founder Joel Garcia, must be the focus of companies wanting to entice the best candidates. Companies must impress these aspirants before the latter can do the same for them.

How to impress and recruit candidates online

1) Know your demographic and the spaces they frequent

While physical visits to career fairs still occur, much of the research on companies and jobs are now done online. There are many analytics tools companies can use to learn what digital spaces or websites potential applicants frequent when job hunting.

IT company Riverbed has strengthened its presence through ads––both online and offline. These include company events open to the public, such as hackathons and programming and coding competitions. Aside from boosting their brand, they created spaces for networking among prospective hires.

2) Maximize social media

Using new digital media like Instagram takeovers or Facebook live videos have become non-negotiable tools for companies in Asia.

A growing number of businesses have also begun seeing the value of platforms like LinkedIn when it comes to hiring people since a lot of fresh talent has migrated to the region. It’s an easy way for companies to immediately scope out the backgrounds of their potential candidates.

Ayima Asia’s MD Dean Chew explains that operating in Hong Kong has allowed them to “work with some of the most amazing talent in the world, from burgeoning entrepreneurs running startups to established fintech experts.”

They have delivered successful campaigns for other Asian markets of companies big and small on local leading platforms such as Google, Baidu, Facebook, and WeChat. These digital marketing campaigns are effective in that they promote a more transparent recruitment process.

3) Simplify the process

Technology should be optimized to simplify the typically arduous application process. Online applications should have options to upload resumes or sync LinkedIn profiles so as not to turn candidates off or lose their attention from the tediousness that comes with applying.

Having all information uploaded and stored in a single space that can be passed down–should the application pass the initial stages–will be more efficient for all parties.

4) Build your website’s user experience

The user experience online is of prime importance to the modern job seeker. Information on a company has been made so much more accessible online. It’s likely that one of the first things an applicant will check upon seeing a job posting is the company’s website. It should be simple enough to navigate and draw people to careers pages.

Candidates appreciate knowing the company’s culture through employee testimonials, whether through videos or easy-to-digest statements placed on the site. The PeopleFluent Edge has said that turning current employees into brand ambassadors boosts both credibility and appeal as candidates can envision themselves in the company as well.


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