Author Archives: papeditor

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7 Reasons employee learning should be a top business priority

Does your organization prioritize employee learning and training? Employee learning has been shown to have links to business performance. A recent study found higher rates of business performance in organizations where employee learning and performance lay at the heart of their human resource and leadership strategy when compared to organizations that did not invest in human resource development or utilize transformational leadership styles.

There are various types of employee learning. The different methods of employee training include:

  • eLearning
  • Orientation and onboarding
  • Instructor-led training
  • Mentorship programs
  • Skill development
  • Lectures
  • Team training, activities and discussions
  • Examinations
  • Case Studies
  • Hands-on training
  • Leadership training
  • Simulation-based training
  • Role-playing

Your organization will likely use a combination of various employee training methods dependent upon your business needs. When developing your employee training program, it’s important to understand the various benefits of employee learning.

By understanding the benefits of employee learning, you will soon learn to understand why employee learning should be a business priority for your company.

1) Increase job satisfaction

One of the most notable benefits of employee learning is its relationship with job satisfaction. Many studies have shown that investing in employee training results in those employees having greater levels of job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction should be recognized as an important component of an employee’s lifecycle and their motivations to remain loyal to their current employer. For example, a study into hotel employees found that employee training was positively related to training satisfaction and job satisfaction. This then had an indirect effect where job satisfaction positively led to intention to stay at their job.

Investing in employee training should, therefore, be a business priority if you want to benefit from having employees who are satisfied within their current role.

2) Maintain and nurture top talent

Developing an employee training program within your organization will also help you to better maintain and nurture top talent. Nurturing your existing employees and helping them to unlock their full potential by providing learning opportunities can turn “average” employees into top performers.

Research has found that internal employee development has a greater organizational benefit than external recruitment. Benefits of nurturing internal talent include improved motivation, lower staff turnover and reduced business costs.

3) Reduce employee turnover

It has been stated that two in three workers have changed jobs due to a lack of learning and development opportunities. Having a high employee turnover can be costly for your business. However, providing employee training can significantly reduce your employee turnover rate.

In order to reduce employee turnover, you should look to provide employee training for new employees as part of their onboarding and as an ongoing process for existing employees. One of the reasons why new employees leave a job within the first six months was due to a lack of training. In this same study it was also found that on-the-job training was one of the requests on a new hires onboarding wishlist.

A report by LinkedIn found that an impressive 94% of employees would stay with their current employer if they invested in employee learning and development. Knowing this, it is evident that employee learning should be considered a business priority if you want to retain employees and minimize the costs associated with having a high employee turnover rate.

4) Gain an advantage over competitors

It could be argued that a company’s greatest asset is its employees. In fact, a research report noted that, in a competitive environment, people make a difference and the quality of an organization’s employees can impact the organization’s productivity, customer service, reputation and survival. Investing in your employees can, therefore, help your organization to get an industry advantage over your competitors.

Rather than hiring new employees, it would be more beneficial to invest in employee training in order to enhance the skills and capabilities of your current employees. This, in turn, will help your business stay at the forefront of your industry.

5) Boost company reputation

The reputation of your company can be integral to its success. Having a strong positive reputation can allow your organization to be perceived as providing high levels of value. This perceived value can enable your business to charge a premium, can increase customer loyalty and can attract better people to your business.

As we know employee learning will improve job satisfaction and performance, it can be said that these factors will, as a result, raise the reputation of your business by showing employees, competitors and customers that you are a company that truly cares about employee experience and business performance.

6) Reduce stagnation

When employees become comfortable in their role they run a risk of complacency. This complacency could turn into demotivation, boredom and eventually underperformance. A workforce study by Gallup found that 55 percent of employees are not engaged at work. This disengagement could stem from a lack of meaningful relationships at work.

There are several ways to combat employee stagnation. One of which is by making employee learning a business priority. Investing in employee learning and development can help stagnated employees to set in-house career goals and objectives to work towards. Thus, helping them to develop a meaningful connection with their work.

7) Improve your bottom line

Ultimately, the purpose of any business is to turn over a profit every year so that you can remain a profitable, successful business for the long term. One way to improve the bottom line of your organization is by prioritizing employee learning.

By improving employee retention rates through training you can avoid company costs associated with hiring and training new employees. Other ways that employee learning can impact your organization’s bottom line is through improved customer service and reduced error frequency. All of which can add up to have a significant positive impact on the profitability of your business.


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Key soft skills to look for when hiring remotely for eCommerce

When scaling up your eCommerce business, there comes a time when you need to consider bringing more people onto the team. From finding the right candidates to understanding what roles to prioritize, building a strong team to support the growth of your eCommerce business can be a difficult feat. Outsourcing common eCommerce roles to a remote team could be the answer to all of your hiring problems.

As an eCommerce company, operating online should be second-nature to you. So, if your online customers can trust you to deliver high-quality products, you should be able to do the same with your team. Building a remote eCommerce team harbors great benefits for you and your company. But first, you need to understand what qualities to look for when hiring the perfect candidate for your team.

In this article, we’ll share with you six common eCommerce roles to hire for your eCommerce business. We’ll also delve into key soft skills to look for when remotely hiring for these common eCommerce job roles.

Virtual Assistant

If you’re looking to hire your first employee, a virtual assistant is often the best role to start with. As an eCommerce business owner, you’re likely spinning lots of plates at once which can lead to job overwhelm. Hiring a virtual assistant can help reduce your responsibilities. This allows you to focus on other key areas of your business while your virtual assistant hands some of the more general duties and administrative tasks.

Key responsibilities of a virtual eCommerce assistant include:

  • Updating your online store products
  • Processing online orders
  • Responding to customer enquiries
  • Managing online promotions
  • Handling your finances
  • Maintaining your website

The key soft skills to look for when hiring a virtual assistant to support your eCommerce business are:

  • Organization
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management

A strong virtual assistant will be highly organized and able to manage their time well, able to adapt to different tasks and have a keen attention to detail. They should also be able to work as part of a wider team and effectively communicate with customers.

Copywriter

The words on your online website can be the difference between your website visitors making a sale and clicking off your website never to return again. Having website copy that connects with your audience, captures their attention and encourages them to make a purchase is vital to creating a successful eCommerce business.

Hiring a talented remote copywriter will ensure that your website features high-quality copy that turns your website visitors into customers. Your remote copywriter can also assist you with e-mail copy for your transactional and marketing emails, and by writing marketing copy for use in both online and offline adverts.

The key soft skills to look for when hiring a remote copywriter to support your eCommerce business are:

  • Storyteller
  • Inquisitive-thinking
  • Innovation
  • Empathy
  • Creativity
  • Organization

A copywriter must be someone who can put themselves into someone else’s shoes and tell a story. They need to be inquisitive and creative; and having an innovative mind will ensure that they write compelling copy. An organized copywriter will also be able to handle their workload and effectively juggle multiple copywriting projects at once.

Marketer

As an eCommerce business owner, you would benefit greatly from hiring a skilled Digital Marketer to manage your eCommerce marketing activity. Marketing is an integral component of any eCommerce business.

From re-engaging visitors with abandoned carts to building brand awareness and ensuring visibility online, optimizing your eCommerce marketing can be a time-consuming process. Hiring a remote marketer can help you do more with your time without worrying about neglecting your marketing efforts.

Some tasks that a remote marketing assistant would be able to assist with include:

  • Create a successful marketing strategy
  • Implement SEO, conversion rate optimization, and user experience actions on your website
  • Keep your social media channels updated
  • Manage your email marketing campaigns
  • Develop influencer relationships
  • Write and distribute press releases
  • Market product launch campaigns

The key soft skills to look for when hiring a remote copywriter to support your eCommerce business are:

  • Organization
  • Curiosity
  • Persuasion
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Resilience
  • Communication
  • Teamwork

When hiring a marketer for your eCommerce business you will need someone who is highly organized. However, they also need to be creative and flexible as they work on various creative projects and tasks. Marketing is similar to sales and, therefore, a good marketer should be persuasive. Curiosity, resilience and teamwork will enable a marketer to work well with our employees and test various SEO, CRO, and UX frameworks to ensure your company gets the best results from its marketing initiatives.

Financial Manager

Running an eCommerce business involves a lot of financial work. Hiring a finance manager will allow you to keep your company on track to hitting its eCommerce goals. A skilled finance manager will analyze data to develop and execute an online financial strategy for your eCommerce business.

Example tasks that a financial manager may be responsible for in your eCommerce business include:

  • Updating Profit and Loss statements
  • Managing payroll
  • Processing returns
  • Producing financial data reports
  • Developing departmental budgets
  • Conducting financial risk assessment
  • Handling company taxes
  • Sales forecasting

The key soft skills to look for when hiring a financial manager to support your eCommerce business are:

  • Decision making skills
  • Organization
  • Analytical
  • Attention to detail
  • Negotiation
  • Problem solving
  • Dedication

Financial managers need to have strong problem solving and decision making skills as they will be responsible for making crucial financial decisions for your eCommerce business. As their work will require a lot of analyzing data and crunching numbers, they also need to be organized, analytical and attentive. Working in finance will also involve managing business costs and department budgets therefore it’s beneficial for your financial manager to have strong negotiation skills.

Graphic Designer and Photographer

The visuals of your website play an important role in converting visitors into customers. Outsourcing graphic design and photographer work to experienced graphic designers and photographers will ensure that your website stands out for all the right reasons.

You may not need a graphic designer or photographer to work for your business full-time. In this case, outsourcing this work to a remote designer or photographer will be the most cost-effective solution for your eCommerce company.

From product photographs and ad banners to social media graphics, lifestyle imagery and website headers, well thought-out visuals will capture the attention of passersby and encourage them to engage with, and shop from, your business.

The key soft skills to look for when hiring graphic designers and photographers to support your eCommerce business are:

  • Communication
  • Active listening
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Persistence
  • Understanding
  • Problem solving

When hiring either graphic designers or photographers, you will want to look for individuals who are good communicators and listeners as they need to be able to take feedback and suggestions on board. They will also need to be creative and good at problem solving so that they can work on creative briefs to develop strong visuals for your brand.

Ads Specialist

By 2022, mobile advertising spending is expected to surpass $280 billion dollars. The world of online advertising is vast. You can advertise your business on search engines such as Google, on marketplaces like Amazon, on social media platforms like Facebook, or on other websites using banner advertising. You can also engage in affiliate advertising to generate sales through affiliate partnerships.

If you are interested in exploring online advertising for your eCommerce business, you should consider hiring an Ads Specialist. An Ads Specialist will be able to generate powerful advertising results for your online business through their expert understanding of various ad platforms, advertising best practices and optimization skills.

You may want to hire different Ads Specialists for each of the platforms you intend to advertise on. This will ensure that you get the best possible results from each of your adverts. However, if you choose to go down this route, make sure that your team of ads specialists communicate with each other to harmonize brand messaging across all ad platforms.

The key soft skills to look for when hiring graphic designers and photographers to support your eCommerce business are:

  • Problem solving
  • Results oriented
  • Communication
  • Persuasion
  • Persistence
  • Analytical
  • Organization
  • Reactive
  • Decision Making

When hiring an ads specialist, you want to hire somebody who is a strong problem solver and confident decision maker. Someone managing ads needs to be able to analyze ad performance and decide what the best next step to take is to ensure success. They will, therefore, also need to be analytical, results oriented and persistent. Being reactive will help them create ad amendments in response to unexpected changes. They will also need to have great communication skills as they will need to liaise with various other members of your marketing such as graphic designers and copywriters.

Focusing on a potential employee’s soft skills, as well as their hard skills, will ensure that you always hire the right person for the role.


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Screening for Distributed Workforces: Traits to Look for in Distance Employees

Organizations are more and more often supporting flex and remote work, with employees who come into office a few days a week or not at all. Globally, some 50% of professionals work out of the office at least two and a half days a week.

These shifts allow for greater flexibility, personal time, and reduces costs for the employee and the company, as well as greater opportunity for safety in light of a global pandemic.

At the same time, allowing or asking employees to work from home means asking them to work in a completely different environment, necessitating different soft skills and different competencies.

If you’re hiring new people in this environment, hiring for remote work should be part of screening. That means looking for traits and competencies that allow people to succeed and thrive in a changing environment.

Importantly, if you’re eventually planning to switch back to full time in-office work, it’s important to screen for that as well.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is often recognized as the number one soft skill for leaders. But, it’s also incredibly important for distributed workforces. Emotional intelligence or EQ is a trait best described as awareness and perception of your emotions and those around you, and the ability to regulate your own emotions.

While emotional intelligence is a hugely positive trait in any employee, it becomes more so when employees interact with each other at a distance. Collaboration often requires individuals to empathize with and understand the other. Communicating, sharing, and engaging in a functional way requires that same empathy. And, empathy is harder to establish when you don’t see your colleagues in the office every day.

People with emotional intelligence can gauge coworker’s reactions to a statement, offer useful criticism, and act in ways that benefit their team. Someone who is emotionally intelligent can review their colleague’s emotional states, respond to people in ways that elicit the hoped for responses, and be conscientious of how requests, comments, and actions make others feel.

Self-Driven and Self-Motivating Traits

Self-motivation is a critical trait when employees work in their own spaces, without top down management. Remote work often relies on employees taking initiative, performing work, and doing so without someone constantly checking or managing what and how they are doing it. Self-driven and motivated employees are more likely to get up in the morning, do work, and have free time and a healthy work-life balance, whether or not they have to work traditional hours.

Persons without that motivation are more likely to have uneven schedules, to spend long periods procrastinating starting work, and to only pick up items when they are specifically assigned. Because it’s cheaper and more effective to hand remote employees a goal and to allow them to work on that goal with as little oversight as possible, the former is significantly better.

While it can be difficult to assess for self-driven and self-motivation traits in pre-employment screening, there are many ways to look for those traits. They include screening for elective education and self-improvement, personal hobbies, and similar. They can also include electives added on to the assessment, which employees can choose to take.

Communication Skills

Communication is a quality skill in any environment. It’s more so when people can’t check in with others to quickly see what they are doing, what they are working on, or if they need help. Remote workers need to seamlessly communicate progress, issues, bottlenecks, and offer assistance to their team to make things worse.

This means the candidate:

  • Easily and naturally offers progress updates and is willing to check in
  • Documents their work as a matter of course
  • Is fluent with different communication tools including video chat, chat apps, etc.
  • Can manage and maintain multiple lines of communication
  • Can voice their needs and feedback in ways that are understandable to others

Communication skills are a must-have for most offices. And, as a soft skill, they are difficult to train in. For many, they improve as individuals adjust to work routines and to colleagues. However, anyone in remote work needs a strong foundation in these skills to succeed.

Task and Time Management

Task and time management include a range of skills like prioritization, managing how long they spend on tasks, and appropriately scheduling tasks so that they can be completed on deadline, without stress. This is especially important when people are likely to be either home, in an environment that is likely to have distractions (chores, pets, children, partners), or in public spaces. Without company policy and bosses around to motivate people to finish up and clock out, people need to be able to manage their time and tasks.

  • How well does the candidate prioritize tasks?
  • How well does the candidate manage time, e.g., time per section on an assessment that’s too long to be completed in the available time
  • Is the candidate familiar with using digital planning tools for project management and task management? Are they familiar with the option your team uses?
  • Is the candidate able to sit down and focus on a task to complete it within a reasonable amount of time, without being held accountable?

Time management is difficult to gauge as a skill but you will quickly see large differences between individuals with and without a strong ability to manage their time.

Adaptability

Digital work environments are constantly changing. Employees might be asked to work in-office, in the home, and in changing digital environments. You need people who can quickly move back and forth between different work environments.

You also need people who can function with different levels of autonomy. If people move to an office and are largely autonomous in how and when they work but then are required to move into strict 8-hour days with a team lead guiding their work, they have to be flexible enough to make that shift.

  • Are there differences between face-to-face performance in interviews and virtual interviews?
  • How does the candidate perform in virtual tasks versus in-office ones?
  • Does the candidate exhibit a preference for strict routines and processes?
  • Can the candidate switch between different assessment methods or between different styles of communication fluently?

Many people can be relatively inflexible and still be good at remote jobs. At the same time, they’re less likely to be able to move back and forth between different work environments until both become a routine.

Tech Savvy

Digital work is performed in digital spaces. Remote workers must navigate project management tooling, collaboration tooling, and the tooling where they perform their work. Depending on the role, this might be as simple as Microsoft Office and a suite of project management tools.

Whatever those tools are, your candidate must be able to quickly adapt to and succeed in changing digital environments, even if you change tooling. This means it’s more important to look for candidates who can adapt to new technologies quickly rather than people who are fluent in the specific tools you already use.

Digital and distributed workforces are becoming more common. Many organizations are forced into them as employees demand more flexible working conditions, cheaper labor is available elsewhere, and safety concerns push for remote work opportunities. Whatever the reason, it’s important that you take the needs of a distributed workforce into account when screening for and hiring for those roles.


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HR Challenges in a global workforce

This is a guest post from Sheetal Kamble, content analyst of the Technology Counter. Sheetal likes to simplify complex HR and payroll processes. Her forte is in employee engagement initiatives and how to choose the best HR software to suit your business.

Organizations today are a part of a global village with evolving technology. There is a vast paradigm shift in the way we work, interact, and perceive.  It pushes the HR department to expand its horizons to acquire the best talent.

It is a challenge to manage a global workforce. It is essential to have a strategic plan to manage talent, mobility, and cultural diversity. According to the world economic forum’s warning, we are entering an era of unparalleled talent scarcity.

Organizations today not only need to hire, sustain, and retain talent, but they need to be flexible enough to set up where the best talent is available with the best price. In this blog, we will study in-depth the HR challenges of this global village.

Top challenges with a global workforce

Effective Communication

It is a challenge to work closely within the team when your teams are across the globe. To handle the virtual workforce is quite a big task to accomplish. There is a big difference between physical office spaces and virtual office spaces. Teams have to put extra efforts to maintain a professional relation virtual and make sure the communication is effective.

Managing Talent Diversity

When your organization has a presence at different places, the cultures also differ. Due to globalization, the workforce has become more diverse. Human resource leaders face a challenge when dealing with a heterogeneous team. Having a diverse workforce will have implications for management.

Managers should understand the differences between in-office and remote resources and make decisions accordingly. HR managers should implement practices that unite the workforce to enhance creativity, productivity, and efficiency.

Managing the workforce effectively with HR software will help organizations have transparency, better communication, and positive work culture.

Abiding by Local Laws

Legal implications harm your organization’s brand image and also can incur high costs when ignored. Many labor laws change with state and country boundaries. The organization must ensure that they abide by the local laws and regulations. If the company breaks any rules, it may need to stop operations in that area.

Talent Gaps

One of the biggest challenges of the HR department is to attract, hire, develop, and retain employees that have the skillset to execute a skilled job. It is an additional challenge to find someone that is skilled who knows the local and international market.

The HR teams need to acquaint themselves with immigration laws to hire resources from other countries. HR software solutions reduce the gap between the talent and the talent system.

Conflicts of Interest

When your organization has a global presence, integration of different markets will be a challenge. The local market also changes and differs from state to state. When it comes to the world market, resources belonging to different nations will have their interest that impacts your business goals.

Challenges for HR Managers

1) Adapting to Change

Organizations are adapting to the transformation of the global village. The technology is also evolving, which comes out as a challenge to adapt and implement change. All your workforce must acquaint with the changes as well.

2) Work Culture and Environment

When your business is on the path of expansion, it will acquire and merge with different people, governments, and businesses. During all of this hustle and bustle, it is a challenge to concentrate on setting up a high work culture and sustain a positive work environment.

3) Setting up the Right Ethics and Values

Ethics and value play a fundamental role in business success. Having a diverse workforce gets people from different backgrounds together. It is a challenge to align your workforce with your organization’s goals. The best way they can achieve this is to set the best practices to increase longevity.

4) Maintaining a Low Attrition Rate

Any organization invests a lot of time and money to hire and train the right people that are fit for the job. Globalization has increased the number of opportunities in the market. Resources change for better opportunities or financial growth. The organization will have to start again from scratch to hire and train. It is a big challenge for HR managers to keep a low attrition rate.

5) Work-life Balance

Having a balance in professional and personal life is crucial for happiness and stability. HR managers have a huge responsibility to create a perfect balance between work and personal life. Perfect balance helps to boost productivity and retention rate.

6) Stress and Conflict

Globalization has fueled competitiveness and made things faster. It also has increased the number of working hours, higher targets, and competition. It is the responsibility of the HR department to reduce stress and solve conflicts if any arise. It is a challenge for them to keep the tension and conflicts between the teams minimum.

7) Needed Organization Restructures

The world is moving at high pace organizations need to adapt to the pace and restructure the workforce effectively. It is a challenge for managers to restructure their processes.

How to Overcome the HR Challenges of a Global Workforce

 Mentor Programs

Mentor programs are one of the most effective ways to manage a diverse workforce. Business leaders can choose managers from different departments for the mentor program to train and give feedback to employees from different backgrounds.

Strategic Deployment of Talent

More organizations are entering the global market. That increases the necessity of strategic deployment of diverse talents to analyze and succeed in niche markets. Be sure to allocate a good spread of talent across all your departments, so every pod has the experts they need to keep things running smoothly.

Analyze the Results

An HR manager needs to regularly assess issues like payroll, development, and work environment. It benefits to understand their longevity and growth. It also helps to understand the changes required in the work process.

Motivated Workforce

Workforce motivation is a critical key to success. It helps inspire your workforce to achieve business goals. If your team is content, that can motivate them to be overachievers.

Tip: Ensure motivated employees by making sure they’re placed in the right roles.

Monetary Benefits

Monetary benefits can motivate employees like nothing else. Organizations should appreciate the top performers and reward them gifts, incentives, vouchers, and travel internationally to other offices to learn more about them.

Wrapping it up

HR manager roles should evolve with the global expansion of the business. To manage a global workforce, they need to lead and strategize an effective action plan. HR departments are becoming more flexible and resilient to overcome challenges.


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How to Trim the Fat on Your Resume: 5 Common Inclusions You Can Cut

This is a guest post from Lee Anna Carrillo, a community manager at Resumoo. A resume writing service, and career resource database.

The number of job seekers in the world has grown dramatically in the past few months. If you’re one of them, you should know that the resume format preferred by employers has changed significantly over the years.

Nowadays, knowing what to leave out of your resume is just as crucial as knowing what to include. Some traditional resume inclusions have become redundant or altogether unappealing for those who need to read them. Leaving them out could make or break your success when it comes to applying for your next professional position.

Here are 5 common resume inclusions that your curriculum vitae no longer needs to impress prospective employers.

5 Things to edit from your resume

1: Your Photograph

Unless you live and work outside of the USA, you generally don’t need to add a photograph of yourself to your resume. This may seem counter-intuitive, as most job seekers think that prospective employers would want to know what they look like. If this is the case, they can easily view your photos on your LinkedIn profile or your social media pages. Just ensure that the pictures you do have on these platforms are of good quality and look professional!

There are a few exceptions to this rule that you should be aware of. If you work in a ‘visual career’ such as design, marketing or illustration, you might have a graphically designed resume that includes photographs of yourself. If you do a lot of public speaking, training or consulting work and wish to include a picture, you can add it to a one-page professional bio that you’ll submit alongside your original resume.

2: Your Objectives

Writing experts believe that profiles have just about replaced the objectives section in modern resumes. This section once informed readers about what the job seeker wanted out of their position.

An example would be someone who’s “Seeking a position with a progressive company who will utilize [their] talents as a public relations expert.”

Today, companies are instead seeking information about who you are, and what you can bring to their corporate table. Profiles are now written around your personal brand and value proposition to show off your professional expertise. They also include a couple of bulleted statements listing your major accomplishments. This will assist employers in determining if you’re the right fit for a given position.

3: The High School You Attended

It’s no longer necessary to mention your grade school in your CV. Most professionals have far more to show in terms of their education by way of university degrees, doctorates, masters, diplomas, and ongoing development certifications. Listing your high school, even if it was a prestigious institution, is redundant in most employers’ eyes.

4: The Salary You Are Aiming For

Most job candidates will ask about salaries at some point during their interviews. It’s natural to want to know about the remuneration you’ll receive for a position, and your employers should always be forthcoming with this information when it’s requested.

However, if you include the kind of salary you wish to receive in your resume, you might be screened out by recruiters and hiring managers, rather than being considered for a job. If your requested salary is at odds with what the company had in mind, they may deem you too expensive, or not experienced enough for the position.

If you include a salary on your resume, it compromises your ability to negotiate better wages later in the interviewing process.

5: ‘References Available on Request’

Older resume formats always included this phrase, but nowadays, it’s no longer necessary. In fact, there’s actually an unwritten rule among employers that if you’re a strong candidate for a position, you’ll provide references without being prompted.

The statement ‘references available on request’ is very dated, and using it may make your CV seem outdated or stuffy as a result. It also takes up valuable space on your resume that you could fill with information about your skills, expertise and accomplishments.

In most cases, if an employer is interested in checking on your references, they’ll ask for them. Ensure that you have at least two or three contactable references who will provide positive reviews of your past duties and roles.

Additional Tips for Trimming Your Resume

Your resume is a reflection of your personal and professional capabilities. It should be as perfect as possible if you wish to impress the companies and individuals you submit it to.

Here are a few additional tips for creating a streamlined and professional CV.

Check for and remove spelling errors and grammatical mistakes

Spell check and proofread your resume thoroughly before submitting it; typos and spelling errors can look very unprofessional! If you need assistance, hire an editor or resume writer to assist you.

Nix unnecessary information

Your CV should only span one or two pages, unless you are applying for a specific position that requires more detail. Remove redundant details and instead focus on highlights wherever you can.

Use formatting techniques like short paragraphs and bullet points

This makes your resume brief, concise, and easy for prospective employers to read and understand. Long and cluttered submissions will usually be screened out immediately, as most employers simply don’t have the time to read them.

Leave out your personal data

You don’t need to add any personal details other than your name and contact information. Remove or omit mentions of your social security number or identification number, age, date of birth, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliations, or the names and ages of your spouse and children. It’s unlawful for employers to make decisions based on this information.

Cut unrelated skills, hobbies and work experience

The purpose of your resume is to inform employers of whether or not you can effectively fill the position they are offering. Any information you offer that does not pertain to this role is unnecessary.

By cutting the clutter, you’ll become a far more attractive candidate to recruiters and potential employers. These tips are designed to help streamline your resume and make you stand out above other applicants seeking the same position.


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Microlearning: How to learn effectively during a global pandemic

This is a guest post from Hayley Biggs, marketing coordinator at Ocasta. Ocasta is an employee-focused technology agency and their mission is to transform how people work. They’ve helped the likes of Virgin Media, Next and Tesco Mobile with their employee knowledge platform.

Microlearning isn’t just a nice thing to have, it should be a crucial element of your eLearning strategy, especially during a pandemic. A global pandemic can put an incredible strain on your employee’s attention span, ability to concentrate and the amount of time that they actually have available to train and develop their knowledge.

Below, we are going to list the main benefits of using a microlearning platform during the pandemic and why it is so much more effective than other learning methods out there.

Easy access and flexible nature

The recent pandemic has tipped normal working and training routines on their head. In fact, a survey by Arlo found that 40% of people have deferred or cancelled face to face training sessions and 58% of employees are still working from home. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you offer training which is easy to access and easy to start and stop.

Microlearning has been so popular because employees can jump in and out of learning modules when they have time. Unlike traditional learning management systems, employees don’t have to completely finish a module before they can progress, they can complete half and then come back to it at a later time. Perfect for when urgent work comes up or home commitments get in the way of them moving to the end of their training playlist. These modules are short in length and are usually around 3-5 minutes long making them incredibly easy to fit around an employee’s busy work schedule. Flexibility is paramount during a global crisis because nobody knows what’s around the corner or what the next day may bring.

Improved knowledge retention during a time when concentration levels are low

During a global pandemic, people’s minds struggle to focus on single tasks. They are constantly being bombarded with new and scary information which makes it very difficult to concentrate. Dr Amy Arnsten – a professor of Neuroscience and psychology at Yale University explains that the pandemic has resulted in us cutting off the part of our brain that helps us think beyond the primitive – for extended periods of time. This has meant that our ability to focus is significantly affected which is why it’s essential to choose a learning method that doesn’t overload the brain.

Microlearning content is delivered in small bite-sized chunks which are targeted around highly-focused units of information. These bite-sized chunks are crucial for knowledge retention because the brain can only hold up to seven items at a time in the short-term memory space, microlearning helps the brain remember the information and then eventually transfer it to the long-term memory space. Because learning is only 3-5 minutes long it also means that employees can learn at the point of need. This makes learning much more focused and succinct making employees more likely to remember the knowledge which they have learnt.

Microlearning boosts morale during a global pandemic

During a global pandemic, moods can be low and self-esteem can be down due to lack of social contact, too much or too little work and a change in normal working routines. Traditional learning management systems work by taking employees through a long set of questions and then giving them their final score no matter how good or bad it is. If the score is low, it will deplete the employee’s self-confidence making them feel like they are no good at training and deterring them from wanting to do it again.

Microlearning breaks this negative cycle by giving the learner instant scoring, they’ll be able to see what answers they have gotten correct as they go. It will also reinforce knowledge through repetition so the learner won’t be able to complete the training module until they have got all the questions right. This helps to keep them motivated and makes them feel more knowledgeable and confident about the topic at hand. They will be sent encouraging messages and nudges after every short module which sends their motivation levels soaring.

Tip: Create your own microlearning courses with LearnED, which comes with pre-made courses and assessments.

Microlearning is agile and moves with the speed of the pandemic

The global pandemic has been a steep learning curve for everyone, especially businesses. The constantly changing rules and regulations have been a nightmare for business owners who need to try and keep their staff knowledgeable and informed about the new regulations. This can be exceptionally hard to do when your employees are already busy trying to get on with their day to day tasks.

Microlearning has been so well received during the global pandemic because of its ability to speed up learning. If you have a new cleaning procedure which you need staff to follow you can simply send out a learning playlists under five minutes long and you know that it will be completed on the day or in the same week.

Most importantly, you know that the key information will be embedded in your employee’s mind so the chances of them forgetting your new procedure will be highly unlikely. The other benefit is that a microlearning platform is exceptionally quick to deploy. The pandemic has resulted in 94% of L&D professionals having to change their L&D strategy with their being a major and urgent swing to digital learning. Because of this quick turnaround, it’s been crucial to deploy a learning platform which is quick and easy to use. Microlearning requires minimal training because it is usually mobile-friendly and thus has to be exceptionally simple in it’s design. It’s quick, easy and prides itself on being effortless to pick up and use immediately.

If you are serious about strengthening employee knowledge and are struggling to build up a consistent training routine in these uncertain times then microlearning could be the answer to your prayers.


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How to use emotional and social intelligence coaching to become a great leader

Leadership development has increasingly become a priority as organizations look internally for new leaders, as organizations turn to flatter hierarchies and more people must step up to be leaders, and quality leadership is increasingly linked to improved team performance. Good leaders have to manage teams, regulate emotions, communicate with different types of people, and motivate others through quality and tactful leadership.

Emotional and social intelligence are not the only skills leaders must have, but businesses have recognized their importance since Daniel Goleman coined the term in the 90s. Understanding what emotional intelligence is, how to coach it, and where it impacts business results will help your organization to recognize and develop better leaders.

This article utilizes the Emotional and Social Intelligence Leadership Competency Model developed by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis. This model defines emotional and social intelligence based on their abilities to recognize, understand, and use social and emotional information.

Self-awareness

Most people would say they are self-aware. Most people would be wrong. In fact 95% of people answer surveys claiming to be self-aware. Yet, only 10-15% can answer questions in ways that show they actually are. Research by psychologist Tascha Eurich shows that lack of self-awareness in team members and leaders decreases motivation, increases stress, and reduces work productivity.

Fostering self-awareness is difficult, largely because it depends on the ego (sense of self), humility, and the ability to step away from idealizing the self or self-delusion. This means recognizing strengths and weaknesses, recognize how your emotions and actions impact team productivity, and gain real insight into what you are doing and why.

Coaching this behavior typically involves asking leaders to journal, use emotional journaling, to schedule sessions for reflection, and to discuss responses and behavior with their peers.

A good leader should be able to:

  • Step back and acknowledge they took the wrong action (and correct it)
  • Admit they are wrong to their team
  • Acknowledge their weaknesses and make plans to improve or correct them
  • Acknowledge learning is an ongoing process and they will never be done

When a leader practices self-awareness, they make themselves vulnerable to their team, show they are willing to learn, and build trust with their team.

Self-regulation

Self-regulation is a critical skill for any leader because it will affect how they are respected, team motivation, team happiness, and culture. Self-regulation is about staying in control of emotions, so that they do not respond with anger, verbally abuse others, stereotype others, make emotional decisions, make decisions out of stress, or otherwise lose emotional control in professional settings.

Some people link self-regulation with maintaining a positive outlook, but it’s more often about remaining calm and waiting to react until they’ve had time to think and review options and information.

Many people will simply respond to things. This can result in very bad reactions and responses. A few angry words can completely demoralize a team, cause someone to quit, end a project. A few well considered words can achieve the opposite.

Coaching leaders into self-regulation can pay off in more ways than once. While this can be difficult because it depends on where the individual is starting from good coaching often incorporates:

  • Considering Values – What are the individual’s values? Why do they value them? How do they uphold them? What’s important and why not? Asking people to actively think about their values and their code of ethics will get them to think about how their behavior aligns with their values, which can help a coach to teach skills they need.
  • Accountability – Good leaders have to take accountability for their own actions. If they can’t control a quick outburst, it’s important to immediately recognize this was problematic and to apologize for it. Taking responsibility for lack of self-regulation is a critical skill, and it is one that can be taught.
  • Calming Down – Skills like mindfulness are increasingly linked to emotional regulation, because it entails staying calm and living in the moment. Breathing exercises, meditation, and exercises centered on learning to let go of stress and stressful situations can be helpful. In most cases, the most important step is to coach individuals to a point where their first reaction to a stressful situation is to step back and take a deep breath and then respond after thinking about the situation.

Having leaders who can intelligently step back and make good and emotionally regulated decisions, even in situations that might normally result in anger, will increase team trust, team motivation, and the team’s ability to have conversations.

Social Awareness

Social awareness, or empathy, is critical for any leader who wants to navigate the emotional and social needs of her team. Social awareness is the simple ability to understand what another is going through or likely going through, to make decisions based on that person’s likely emotional state, and to consider the emotional repercussions of actions when making decisions.

Leaders who strive to understand the emotions of their team are better able to build trust, motivate others, respond in ways that encourage loyalty, and in ways that drive engagement. Building these skills is about constantly working to understand how other people work and why, which often means understanding different personalities, understanding how emotions impact people, and being able to empathize with others. Studies by DDI show that empathy is the number one skill needed by leaders.

Coaching empathy is often about recognizing where and how individuals struggle to connect to others. It can mean asking questions about how another person might be feeling, about what their life at home might be like, and about what factors are being influenced in someone’s lives. It typically often involves teaching hard skills like perspective, body language, and responding to feelings.

Leaders must feel they have the freedom to respect emotions if they are to make decisions based on the emotional needs of their teams. So, if you want leaders to respond emotionally to their team, you need policies enabling flex work, loose deadlines, and structures built around personal freedom and creativity rather than rigid hierarchy and task lists.

Relationship Management

Team leaders manage teams. A large part of that means managing interpersonal relationships inside that team, between the leader and individuals and between individuals. Good leaders listen empathetically, are open to hearing bad news, know how to get a team to support ideas, can resolve conflicts diplomatically, strive for improvement, and work to ensure everyone speaks up and is heard.

Good relationship management will build trust inside the team, but can also actively impact productivity through reducing wasted time on conflicts, increase job satisfaction, and reduce churn rate.

Coaching for positive relationship management includes teaching conflict resolution, helping leaders to review how they resolved conflicts and improve those reactions, improve communication skills, and learn to offer positive and negative criticism. Leaders must be able to recognize emotions in others and discuss them, which does start with doing so in themselves.

Good leadership means building a solid understanding of empathy and how social and emotional factors affect decisions, health, and productivity. People who understand how others interact and feel are able to make good decisions around those people, incorporating those aspects into decisions, and taking everyone into account. This will have a positive impact on team trust, team satisfaction, and productivity.


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4 Essential Personality Tests for Strategic Recruitment

It’s likely your company will already have screening measures in place when hiring new candidates.

Screening for factors such as work history, educational background, drug use and criminal background are routine recruitment practice across many organizations.

But what about personality? How does your company ensure the candidate your hiring is the best fit the role, your business and the wider company team? By using personality tests during recruitment, you can strategically ensure that you are hiring the best possible candidate for the role.

Benefits of using personality tests for recruitment

There can be many advantages to using personality tests during your hiring process. In today’s competitive market, personality tests can help you narrow down the candidate pool before they even reach the in-person interview stage.

At the interview stage, personality tests can help the interviewer ask questions that delve deeper into the skills and behaviors demonstrated in the personality assessment results. This allows the interview to gauge a deeper understanding of the applicant and whether they would be a suitable fit for the team, role and organization.

When interviewing candidates, it’s important to ensure you don’t get blindsided by their charm or the initial impression they’ve made. Although a candidate may make a great first impression in the interview, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right person for the job. Using personality tests alongside your existing recruitment strategy offers a more rounded and accurate representation of the candidates personality, competencies and working style. All of which will help eliminate any biases created by those first impressions upon meeting the candidate.

Personality tests you need to use in recruitment

There’s an array of personality tests available to choose from. So many in fact that it can be hard knowing which personality test is the right one to use in your recruitment process. To help you get the most out of personality tests for hiring, we’ve evaluated the most popular personality tests for recruitment and devised this list of the four essential personality tests for strategic recruitment. Measuring a variety of candidate metrics, these personality tests can be used together or in isolation to ensure you choose the most suitable candidate. By using these tests to understand the personality and emotional intelligence of your chosen candidate you can help set them up for success in their new career.

Myers Briggs

One of the most widely known and used personality tests is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment. This personality assessment has helped millions of people worldwide gain insights about themselves and how they interact with others. Used by over 88% of Fortune 500 companies, the MBTI assessment can be described as the go-to framework for people development across the world.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment comprises 16 different personality types based upon Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type. The MBTI assessment is a great indicator of cultural fit. Understandings from this personality test can help HR employees to manage personal development, support team and leadership training, diffuse workplace conflicts and evaluate career change, and transitions.

It’s important to note that the Myers Briggs personality test shouldn’t be used as an indicator of performance. Instead, it should be used to inform decisions about whether or not the applicant would be a good cultural fit for the company and the team.

DISC profile

The DISC profile has far fewer personality traits that the Myers Briggs personality test; four to be precise. These 4 personality traits are reflected in the name of the personality test which is an acronym for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. The Everything DISC profile is a shorter and more user friendly version of the DISC personality assessment making it great for use during the interview stage of the hiring process.

The DISC personality test is great for measuring a job applicant’s temperament. However, DISC is ipsative which means it isn’t possible to compare candidate results to one-another. Without the ability to compare test takers’ scores, the test can’t be used to predict future behavior. Instead, DISC should be used to review the potential strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

Profile XT®

If you’re looking for a pre-employment screening test that is multi-purpose, the Profile XT assessment is exactly what you need. Covering pre-employment screening, selection, development, training, managing, and succession planning, this personality test is an all-encompassing assessment for evaluating the suitability of job candidates.

This employee assessment measures how well an individual fits specific jobs in your organization, and the results can be used during the training or succession planning stages. The Profile XT is customizable allowing you to alter the test to suit your company requirements.

Thanks to its extensive nature, including 20 performance indicators, behavioural traits, interests, aptitude, thinking and reasoning, the Profile XT assessment can be used for candidate matching. As a result, you are able to compare candidates, deduce how well suited each of them are to the role, and find the best-matched candidate for that specific job.

California Psychological Inventory

During the hiring process, it can be difficult to determine how a candidate will handle workplace challenges, relationships and tasks. Understanding a candidate’s competencies and, in particular, how they may react under certain circumstances is crucial for confidently evaluating whether they’ll be successful in the role they’re applying for.

The California Psychological Inventory (CPI) can help remove the guesswork around candidate competencies. This personality assessment offers feedback on work-related characteristics such as sociability, conceptual understanding, and independence. By assessing these characteristics, the CPI can forecast how candidates may react under specific circumstances.

Role-specific personality tests

When hiring for a specific role, you may find that there are role-specific personality tests that you can use to determine candidate suitability.

The Profiles Sales Assessment can be used to measure how well an applicant fits a Sales role so that you can optimize your company sales performance. For customer service roles, you can use the Customer Service Profile to see whether an applicant has the right behavioral characteristics to provide outstanding customer service. Moreover, when hiring for a managerial role it’s important that they will fit the company and team dynamic. By using the Profiles Managerial Fit assessment you can evaluate whether an applicant has the correct managerial style to suit the required supervisor-subordinate relationship.

Personality assessments for improving future performance

It’s important to continue with personality assessments after the hiring process. By testing employees frequently throughout their career, you can evaluate performance and help candidates further themselves with their career.

Personality tests can be advantageous for your organization. By integrating personality assessments into your candidate screening process and employee training program, you can leverage employee happiness and productivity and, in turn, boost the success of your organization.


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How to improve dysfunctional team performance with behavioral assessments

A dysfunctional team is one that consistently loses performance by failing to work and collaborate together in a professional or desirable way. Problems arising in teams and between team members are one of the major problems contributing to loss of performance but solving them can be difficult.

This is especially true because team dysfunction can stem from direct leadership (managers, Scrum leaders, etc.), leaders (business direction, business policy), and from individuals.

Stepping back to assess problems and recognize where things are going wrong is one of the first steps to solving those issues, and in many teams, it will often reveal issues with communication, emotional intelligence, and ego. This may be cultural or local to the team, but should be corrected, and quickly.

One study showed that negative behavior in teams is effective for most dysfunction, although negative behavior may stem from poor soft skills, lack of motivation from leadership, poor leadership, or other issues.

Understanding Teams and Their Leaders

Dysfunctional teams are reflections of a whole. It’s difficult to have healthy leaders or team members if either is unhealthy. But it’s critical to review both independently to look for the source of dysfunction. Chances are, you will find issues with both, but they might both be different and unrelated.

Personality Mapping

Understanding individual personalities that make up a team is important for ensuring teams align in terms of communication style, emotional intelligence, work ethic, work method, and social needs. MBTI shows there are 16 basic personality types and not all of them get along. Team conflicts may stem from simple issues relating to different methods of communication.

For example, a team lead might be communicating in strict, pragmatic instructions to a team made up of mostly creative people who need freedom to do things in their own way, resulting in stifled creativity and dropping morale. In some cases, direct personality clashes can also result in constant or regular conflict, sparking issues throughout the team.

In addition, understanding the personalities of the people on your teams can help with improving performance across the organization. Team composition based on personality is increasingly regarded as important to performance and individual happiness, because a mix of personalities functions better, is more creative, and can collaborate in ways that a silo of similar personalities will not.

Most team frameworks are based on personality assessments like MBTI or The Big 5 but will help you to see where different people complement or clash with each other.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, emotional quotient or EQ is increasingly seen as crucial to how people function together. Emotional intelligence can be defined as a measure of how people recognize their own emotions and those of others, use that information to guide behavior and thoughts, and manage or adjust emotions and thoughts to other people and to achieve goals. EQ dates back to the 1960s, but was popularized by David Goleman, who argues that 67% of leadership and team goals can be met with EQ rather than IQ.

Measuring EQ with assessments like EQ-I 2.0 can help you to understand how well people are communicating. This can be important, especially in instances where some people are emotionally intelligent and others are not.

People who are not emotionally intelligent can come off as rude, impolite, and hurtful. Leaders lacking emotional intelligence can deeply damage morale. Like other soft skills, EQ is a learnable skill and there are workshops, courses, and books on the market to help teams develop those behaviors.

Asking Questions

Sometimes, dysfunctional behavior builds up over time, typically in relation to a few incidents that slowly get worse. What started out as a single toxic person can result in an incredibly dysfunctional team, despite the team otherwise being functional. This type of behavior is difficult to assess without actually going in, asking questions, and seeing how the team works first-hand. Swapping leaders, implementing behavior coaches, and implementing workshops can be a good way to assess this behavior.

Solving Dysfunctional Behavior

It’s difficult to assess a team and immediately recognize where problems are from and why. In some cases, problems stem from processes and bureaucracy. In others, it’s simply teams not working together. And, in others, it’s poor leadership. It’s important to be open minded and unbiased, which potentially means having assessments completed by a third-party.

Problem: Disagreements are not addressed but are problematic

Team members frequently disagree but feel unable to discuss problems or resolve them. This can lead to unhealthy interpersonal conflict and dropping morale. This lack of trust will result in lack of team collaboration because individuals won’t ask for help or feedback, won’t utilize the skills or strengths of others, and, in short, won’t be part of a team.

Solution – Review why teams fail to discuss problems and implement solutions to fix those issues. For example, if teams feel they aren’t listened to, implementing EQ workshops may be a good solution.

Healthy debates should be encouraged, even if encouragement involves creating team-building exercises and working to solve negative behavior such as others calling out individuals in unhealthy ways. Getting over this type of issue may require acknowledging and working on specific instances in personal history.

Problem – People talk about each other behind their backs

This can lead to silos, “cliques” and “us versus them” behavior, and often ripples out from leadership.

Solution – Assess root problems, implement workplace ethics workshops, and stage workshops on having healthy upfront discussions where people feel free to share criticism to each other.

This may also stem from leaders feeling unable to offer criticism to someone who is “emotional”, which likely means the leader needs communication or emotional intelligence training. Feedback should always be given directly to the person, not to anyone else on the team.

Problem – Not everyone contributes

Healthy teams discuss things together. Dysfunctional teams typically rely on one or two people who take up all the time, space, and air. This can stem from people not being listened to, from the leader feeling like they have the only voice, and people simply not feeling as though they can speak up. In a worst-case scenario, people will either pretend to be on board with ideas they don’t agree with or will remain silent, but will end up working on solutions they don’t agree with or like.

Solution – Implement team-building exercises such as role-swapping, create mandatory speaking roles for everyone in the team, and have leaders specifically call out individuals to ensure everyone contributes. Discussion and debate lead to productive creativity and collaboration. Teams have to acknowledge that a certain amount of conflict is productive.

Problem – Teams work aimlessly

Often, this means that communication style doesn’t line up between how projects are communicated and how teams prefer to work. This can result in teams over analyzing and wasting energy or lacking confidence or feeling stifled by too much structure.

Solution – Assess how people communicate and work to match leadership, project, and team styles up as much as possible. Most organizations have space for every type of leader, assessing team types and matching leadership to that team is the best way to solve this issue.

Dysfunctional teams are everywhere, but the causes of dysfunction are often multifaceted. It’s important to assess the full culture including leadership, individual interaction, individuals, and company culture to determine what might be wrong and why. Only then can you implement the right solutions to create teams that stay healthy for the long-term.


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Choosing the Right Assessment for Your HR Needs

Personality and behavior assessments help organizations streamline screening and selection processes using validated and predictive data. This can give insight into not only what makes individuals successful in the organization and in their roles, but also into how people fit together, communicate, complement each other, and contradict each other. Highly effective assessments afford near-seamless options for HR to get a deeper look at candidates, driving better decisions and reducing turnover.

But, with dozens of assessment options on the market, choosing one can be difficult. HR and recruitment professionals are left with the task of narrowing options with the need to show immediate results and return on value to finance. Doing so can be difficult. It can also be a mistake.

Good assessments are made up of multiple assessment tools, typically using frameworks built on multiple assessment types and combining personality, behavioral, competency, and other assessments. In many cases, the same assessments are not valuable across every role or for every individual. So, HR professionals are recommended to create selection criteria and use that to choose a range of tools that will create a better picture of the individual.

Set Goals for Recruitment

Recruitment goals should align with long-term business goals, short-term business changes, and meeting team and culture needs. Chances are, these goals are already defined inside your organization and you can simply adopt them.

Most recruitment professionals also have secondary goals such as:

  • Creating a better recruitment experience for candidates
  • Reducing the cost versus quality of hiring
  • Reducing turnover
  • Improving employee happiness and therefore reducing churn
  • Making unbiased but quality hires

Each of these goals can help you target which assessments you might need depending on selection criteria.

Set Goals for Assessments

What should your assessment do? In most cases, a good assessment will fulfill at least the following goals:

  • Deliver objective and legally defensible information into the hiring process
  • Create a cost-effective and efficient interview process by integrating behavioral and personality testing to highlight desirable or undesirable traits
  • Reduce the need to use hunches and impressions in the hiring process
  • Increase understanding of the candidate’s skills, behavior, preferences, and personality
  • Equip HR with the tools to develop employees and teams and make selections based on that goal

Most assessments fall into a few categories including:

  • Technical skills test (e.g., Excel test)
  • Cognitive ability test (OPM or Harver)
  • Situational judgment test
  • Communication skills test
  • Job simulation test
  • Competency assessment (typically soft skills rather than hard)
  • Behavioral assessment (may overlap with competency)
  • Personality assessment (MBTI)

You can then choose which of these are most relevant to your organization. Here, many organizations can drop technical skills tests (technical skills are easy to train, except where advancement in those skills is crucial to success), to focus on factors such as behavior that influence actual performance. For example, it’s a lot easier to teach a candidate Excel than it is to teach an affinity for numbers and pattern recognition, or a high sense of personal motivation.

Reliability and Validity

Reliability and validity are two incredibly important factors to consider when choosing HR assessments. Here, most are scored based on data on how often individuals score the same on a test.

However, most assessments are scored by their manufacturers or by companies selling those services, so you may want to invest in personal research if you doubt results.

For example, the MBTI foundation publishes that test-takers receive the same results on assessments 75-90% of the time.

Validity is also incredibly crucial. Validity refers to whether an assessment can be validated or not. Most HR assessments will have validity data published online. Most organizations should also continue to collect data to validate the assessment and its results inside their own organization.

This can be difficult and expensive but is necessary to ensure continued budget and the long-term use of an assessment, based on an understanding that it works. You cannot say, “Candidates who score high on X show higher performance, so we will prioritize these candidates in the hiring process”, without validating that data.

Reliable Results

It’s crucial that any test have anti-faking measures and have measures with which to measure that candidates are lying, giving the answers they think you want to hear, and quite simply, panicking. Any test that relies on questions like “I am a hard worker” without using alternative measures to test those results in more subtle ways to validate those answers probably won’t function very well.

Once you have a test, it’s important that any HR or recruitment professionals using it actually take the assessment themselves, and hopefully multiple times. Understanding the assessment, what answering it is like, and what candidates are likely to see in relation to their role is critical to assessing whether results are reliable or not.

Customization

Many HR assessments cannot be implemented off-the-shelf. While some out-of-the-box solutions exist, most behavioral and competency assessments will have to be tweaked and updated to meet individual organization’s and should align with a behavioral or competency framework, if one is in place.

For larger organizations, this may mean adjusting assessments, assessment type, and assessment questions based on role, development tract, and whether the intended candidate is intended for eventual leadership development or not. Therefore, it may be crucial that any HR assessment framework you adopt be customizable, or that the provider offers internal analysis and setup to ensure implemented solutions meet your organization’s needs.

No matter what your organization is intending to measure, it’s critical that your assessments be up for the job. This often means choosing assessments that are scientifically validated, reliable, resistant to gaming (cheating), customizable, and able to provide diverse needs based on the candidate, the role, and the hiring manager in question.

For many organizations, this does mean choosing multiple assessments, optimizing each for their own hiring process, and creating a process to improve and further optimize those assessment over time as you begin to collect your own data.


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