Category Archives: PAP

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The cost of recruitment – are you maximizing your ROI?

Recruitment is costly. Companies spend on average USD$4,000 on attracting and hiring a new employee – $4,000 that could be better spent elsewhere – especially if that new hire turns out to be a new disaster.

Join us, as we take a look at the hidden costs of recruitment, and how you can maximize your return on investment by securing the best talent for your business.

The trust costs of recruitment

No matter whether a long-serving employee has decided to retire or your business is growing fast and requires additional headcount – you know that searching for, attracting, and retaining the top talent is going to be costly. But do you know how costly?

Obvious costs

Recruiting for junior positions, senior roles, and everything in between generates certain predictable costs, including:

  • Print and online advertising;
  • Attending job fairs and networking;
  • Legal fees;
  • New equipment costs; and
  • The final salary.

Hidden costs

What many managers and recruiters fail to take into account, are the hidden costs involved in recruitment, including:

  • Time – anyone’s time spent away from the business sifting candidates, arranging interviews, attending interviews, and onboarding new employees.
  • Performance – any delay in recruiting the right person, will result in a dip in performance for their team, or the costly hourly rate of a temporary worker.
  • Engagement – losing a team member and taking on their workload while you recruit a replacement will impact upon the wider team’s employee engagement – resulting in reduced performance or other notices being handed in.
  • Reputation – while your competition is gossiping about why someone left your company, candidates are also talking about your recruitment process (warts and all).

So, how do you go about reducing these costs and maximizing your return?

Maximizing your recruitment ROI

Ultimately, you want to recruit the top talent in the quickest and cheapest method possible. This requires:

Maximizing your time

Is your time best spent advertising vacancies, sifting through applications, and arranging interviews – or is it better spent elsewhere in the business? If you can generate more profit and business impact than the cost of hiring an external recruitment agency, then it’s time to outsource.

Minimizing the time to hire

Taking a long time to hire no only elongates your recruitment spend, but it also risks losing potential candidates to your competitors. Reduce your time to hire by using automated hiring selection tools to speed up selection and remove bias, becoming DISC personality certified so you can carry out profiling yourself, and creating a recruitment competency framework to streamline your interview questioning.

Attracting the right candidates

Too much time and expense are wasted during the recruitment process on candidates that just don’t fit the position. Change this by attracting the right candidates through clear competency-based job descriptions, by using strong branding that demonstrates your company values, and by pre-screening candidates using background checks and Skype interviews.

Making the right choices

There is nothing more expensive than making a bad hire. Not only do you need to repeat the costs of recruitment and onboarding, but projects are placed on hold, team engagement is further dented, and your morale takes a beating. Make the right hire choice by using employee assessments and job matching data to avoid hiring mistakes and competency-based interview techniques to improve your interviews.

The true cost of recruitment – final thoughts

Recruitment can be costly, but done right, that cost can be returned through increased performance, profits, and engagement. Ensure that you make the right hire by investing in the right branding, assessments, and screening techniques to maximizing your ROI and begin performing at full capacity once again.


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How to Implement Strategic Talent Management

Managing a workforce over time, as organizational needs change, is one of the most difficult jobs handled by HR. Strategic talent management is the process of optimizing recruitment, hiring, and internal development in line with business goals and needs, so that the workforce is always ready to meet those goals.

Although many HR teams don’t implement talent management beyond the basics of acquiring, hiring, and retaining skilled individuals, strategic talent management can offer a great deal of value to organizations.

Identify Organizational Goals

Understanding organizational goals will allow you to understand and recognize the organization’s needs for those periods. Here, it’s especially important to look at expansions, changes in direction, new branches, and growth.

What are drivers and challenges facing these goals? Is the job market very competitive? Could new technology change how work is performed? Is new legislation set to change what your organization does?

Working closely with management will allow you to understand projected growth and direction, so that you can calculate factors such as expected growth, excepted turnover, expected number of jobs becoming irrelevant, and so on.

Identify Talent Gaps

Talent gaps are work-related gaps that prevent you from achieving specific organizational goals. For example, if your organization’s goal is to improve Net Promoter Score by 27% over 2 years, you could gauge gaps relating to customer service quality, how individuals are assigned to clients, and even the personality of individuals in customer service. Similarly, talent gaps can affect future gaps that don’t exist now. If your organization is intended to phase out a major software solution in favor of a new one, you have to take note so you can take action.

Define How HR will Solve These Problems

HR has to define how they will solve goals based on competency frameworks and job profile frameworks. If you know which competencies and skills affect jobs and how, you can train or hire to fill those gaps. For example, with the previous organizational goal of improving the Net Promoter Score, you could then formulate goals like:

  • Implement customer-service training to Customer Service teams
  • Administer follow-up training to persons scoring below 75% proficiency after training
  • Change hiring goals, with a focus on individuals skilled in relationship building

Talent gaps should be validated to ensure you’re actually solving the right problems. This means having a competency framework and job profile framework in place, so you can see which skills contribute where and how, and can hire or train for them to meet needs.

Finally, it’s important to recognize priorities. It doesn’t matter how many goals you set if you don’t have resources or budget to pull them off. Prioritize HR actions based on highest business impact, gain buy-in from management by sharing business results, and follow-up with secondary measures as more budget becomes available.

Measure and Validate Results

Strategic talent management is about validation and long-term results. This means that you have to implement talent management processes for assessment, performance review, ongoing development, competency, job profiling, and so on. These can then be used to improve results, validate that hiring and efforts are on the right track, and will give you something to take to management as proof of process.

Strategic talent management helps HR to ensure that the workforce meets the organization’s goals, now and in the future. While it does involve having a strong understanding of existing workforce, strong solutions in place to measure and monitor results, and a budget, it will help your organization to achieve goals because resources and talent are in place to do so.


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How Should Employee Assessments Impact Business Results?

Employee assessments and performance reviews are an often-resource-intensive endeavor requiring training, time from HR, and third-party tooling for assessment, testing, and monitoring programs. Whether you’re attempting to validate the efficacy of employee assessments, attempting to streamline them to meet goals, or attempting to gain buy-in for improvements from management, understanding how these assessments do and should impact business results will help.

Employee assessments exist to tell you the state of employees and their performance, which can be used to impact numerous business results.

Documentation for Workforce Protection

Employee assessments exist to inform you of employee performance and progress towards performance goals. Documenting this progress and follow-up practices allows you to protect your organization and the employees who are part of it. For example, having routine employee assessments in place allow you to target individuals who are poor performers. You can then take targeted steps to improve that performance:

  • Identify problems. What’s behind poor performance
  • Identify development opportunities. Where can individuals improve?
  • Identify candidates who are performing poorly because they are in the wrong roles
  • Discuss performance issues with individuals and work to find solutions
  • Highlight candidates who don’t improve after 3-9 months of development for possible termination

How will this work to improve business results? Actively responding to employee assessments enables you to lift performance for the organization, improving work turnaround, reducing turnover, improving motivation, and offering opportunities for individuals with problems or misalignment with roles and goals.

Streamlining a Workforce to Achieve Goals

Understanding what your workforce is capable of will allow you to make better decisions regarding work-force optimization, development, and hiring or onboarding to meet future goals. For example, if you know the organization wants to achieve something specific, employee assessment can give you a better starting point with which to begin steering the workforce to meet those goals. This applies even when future organizational goals include restructures or changing departments, because assessments help you understand what people can do and therefore where you can move them and why.

Streamlining your workforce to achieve goals also involves offering development to improve performance, moving individuals who aren’t suited to a particular role, removing individuals who simply aren’t performing or responding, and hiring to fill performance gaps.

Finally, this includes hiring individuals who meet assessment requirements or job profiles to fill specific roles well. If you know what the organization needs to achieve specific results, you can design a recruitment plan and hire for it, whether that includes leaders or those with leadership potential, high-performance individuals, or individuals showing promise in specific roles and categories.

Reducing Employee Turnover

Employee turnover relates to poor employee-role fit, poor reactions to performance, and no room for development. Using performance assessments to identify and improve role-fit, to offer those development opportunities, and to create room to improve performance rather than simply being handed a rating will work to improve employee satisfaction and company loyalty. Both of these factors will reduce turnover which will help the organization achieve goals, including saving money.

Employee assessment interacts with and impacts business goals and results, because the state of the workforce affects an organization’s ability to achieve anything. Approaching any type of improvement in processes around assessments and performance review, including pitching ideas to management, should involve approaching the problem from those business results.


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5 Competencies to Test for When Hiring or Developing Leaders

Competency frameworks allow you to define which behaviors and characteristics contribute to the success of a role. While the unique position and organization will contribute to those vital competencies, there is often overlap in the skills someone needs to be a good leader. Those can typically be discovered through job profiling, testing, and leadership training.

These 5 competencies are often invaluable in leaders, because they impact how individuals approach others, approach their role, and how they can take charge. You will, of course, have to add your own competencies based on the specific role and its parameters when hiring or developing for that role.

Social Intelligence

Social intelligence is often seen as one of the best indicators of a good leader. It covers how individuals recognize, cope with, and perform in various social situations. It explains how an individual will react and behave in social situations with different dynamics. A highly socially intelligent person will be able to recognize, respond, and react to a great deal of social situations, remain sensitive to different social issues, and perform well and with empathy towards others.

This impacts leadership because a good leader must change their approach and leadership style based on the situation.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence defines how an individual recognizes, responds to, and controls their own emotions and how they respond in interpersonal relationships. EQ is crucial in leaders because it impacts how they react to others, what they prioritize, and why. An emotionally intelligent leader can build relationships and trust, build loyalty, and respond empathetically to individuals in his or her team. This will improve the quality of leadership, improve individual job satisfaction, and likely reduce turnover over having leaders without it.

Adaptability

Whether testing specifically for adaptability or for a broader competency such as agility, soft-skills like adaptability are crucial for leaders. This is true whether you are either moving someone up into a new role or bringing someone in from outside your organization, as leaders must adapt to new roles and new responsibilities.

As outlined by Ram Charan’s Leadership Pipeline, an individual moving into a leadership position from a technical role must adapt to helping others complete work. A leader moving from managing a team to managing a department must adapt from helping others complete work to strategizing long-term goals.

Adaptability is therefore an extremely crucial soft-skill for a leader, because it defines whether they’ll be able to make the shift from their current job responsibilities to a completely new set.

Ethical and Moral Standards

While ethical and moral standards typically comprise several competencies, leaders consistently agree that having these standards is one of the most important things for success. Strong ethical and moral standards allow an individual to perform well in settings where they are responsible for mitigating risk, protecting assets, and building trust with their teams. Doing so is impossible without a strong ethical and moral code in place.

Self-Organizing

Leaders must be able to self-organize and self-direct if they are to perform in any capacity at all. This means that any candidate for any level of leadership must show strong motivation and self-direction. If they cannot motivate themselves or do not show a strong tendency towards self-development, learning, and organization, they likely cannot succeed in an autonomous leadership position.

Leaders exist in numerous roles and at different levels of organization. A leader might refer to an individual who guides a few people in a team or someone who drives business strategy and structure. This will impact what and who you are looking for. However, nearly every leader needs these 5 competencies to succeed in a role that involves guiding others.


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Using Job Match Patterns to Improve the Quality of Hires

Any role requires different skills, personality traits, and behaviors to be done well. It’s important to outline the skills and personality traits that typically make someone successful in a role, especially in a job profile for your HR team. Here is where job match patterns come in as a useful tool that recruiters can use to define which behaviors contribute to job success, and which candidates make the best match.

Integrating this tool into the recruitment process means establishing a framework to measure what success looks like in roles, where it comes from, and why.

Assessing Job Requirements

Most assessment centers will offer a basic library of job requirements based on standards for an industry or role. They should then further define these job match patterns to meet the specific needs and requirements of your organization. This typically means using tools such as performance analysis, role interviewing, and role assessment to determine what contributes.

In most cases, an assessment center will consider factors such as:

  • Existing benchmarks and profiles based on industry standards
  • Performance data from your organization highlighting which persons excel
  • Interviews and assessments to determine which factors contribute to role success
  • Existing job profiles

In most cases, job match profiles are divided into three categories including organizational match (attitude and behavior), skills match (technical skills, degrees, etc.) and job match which includes personality, cognitive abilities, and personal interests. Each of these will greatly affect an individual’s performance as well as their ability to fit into a role or team, which is why it’s often important to restructure job match based on individual teams.

Testing Candidates for Job Match

Once you’ve created a job match profile for a role or a specific position, you can hire candidates accordingly. Here, candidates are tested using tools such as structured interviewing, test assignments, and a range of assessments such as cognitive, competency, or behavioral depending on the role and the traits you are looking for.

Here, you should work with an assessment company to determine which assessments you should be using and why. In most cases, you want a small series of assessments to give the most complete picture of the traits and behaviors you are looking for, so assessments must often be tailored to the role. You can’t ask a candidate to complete assessment after assessment, so you should choose only the solutions that identify the most relevant information.

You can then use this data to match the qualities shown by candidates to those of your most successful employees, to rank candidates based on likelihood of strong performance, and to otherwise match them to the profile you’ve created.

Validating Results

Job match patterns are valuable because they primarily exist to help you find candidates with attributes and behaviors matching those of your most successful employees. However, it’s important to keep in mind that job needs change over time,and you may have overlooked personality traits or influencing factors for job success. Therefore, it is crucial to continue validating the success of your job match profiles with continued performance review and updates. If candidates hired through job match programs don’t perform as expected, the job profile must be adjusted and improved to ensure future candidates meet those expectations.

The bottom line: Job match profiles look at the factors that enable individuals to perform their jobs well, and observing those patterns can greatly improve hiring and retention.


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How to Follow Up on HR Assessments and Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are a crucial element of most company cultures. At the same time, HR assessments and performance reviews are in the middle of a massive overhaul. Most organizations recognize that old-school performance reviews are more harmful than helpful and many offer little value, only demotivation.

While some of this demotivation surrounds the natural process of being tested and the possibility of being found wanting, most of it relates to what is tested, how, and why. Most organizations don’t have processes in place to actually use performance reviews for positive improvement. At the same time, these processes both add to the value of performance reviews and reduce the negative reactions surrounding them, because employees at every level get something back from their participation.

So here are a few ways to bridge the gap, and follow up on HR assessment discoveries and performance reviews (both good and bad).

Recognize Performance

“Old-school” performance appraisals force HR to categorize a certain percentage of employees into top/middle/bottom categories, with some offering more room for nuance. At the same time, it’s important to step back, look at performance holistically, and recognize where individuals have succeeded and have improved. Doing so will allow you to acknowledge individuals and offer positive feedback.

Understand Failure and Its Reasons

Most people don’t underperform for no reason at all. If individuals are performing poorly, it’s crucial to step back, look at their team, their role, their personality, and, when possible, family and personal life. Here, poor performance often relates to factors such as:

  • Poor role/team fit
  • Poor culture fit
  • High levels of personal or work-related stress
  • Poor management / aggressive management
  • High or low levels of responsibility (boredom/overwork)
  • Poor skill fit (under/over-qualified for a role)
  • Personal disagreements/conflict inside the team or with management
  • Lack of personal motivation

Each of these factors can take an otherwise highly effective and high-performing individual and dramatically reduce their performance. This will result in flagging performance, flagging quality, and changes to the individual’s personality and disposition. If you can identify a reason behind poor performance, especially when it extends to a team or group of people, you can work to improve that performance by correcting the problem.

Improving Role Fit

Some individuals do not fit into certain types of teams, management styles may not fit their work styles, or there may be an excessive amount of interpersonal conflict inside a team. Here, issues may stem from problems such as the individual is over/under-qualified for their role, the individual doesn’t get along with others in the team, or so on. Solving this issue can be complex, but typically relates to moving someone into a better fit, working to improve management styles for that team, or otherwise changing facets of the role or team to improve.

While your actions here can impact just the individual or the team as a whole, those decisions must depend on the performance and behavior of the rest of the team.

Offer Development

Many people struggle to adapt to change, new leadership styles, new tooling, new role responsibilities, and so on. Others are over-qualified for their role but don’t have the necessary skills or behaviors to move up. Recognizing this gives you the opportunity to offer development, so that anyone who is struggling in their role can learn the necessary skills to excel or to move on.

While these types of development initiatives can be costly and require that you conduct behavioral assessments and understand job profiles and individual teams, they will pay off in terms of improved performance, improved motivation, and a happier workforce.

Poor performance in the workplace is rarely as simple as employees who don’t care about their jobs, but it can be. If that is the case, your reaction to a poor performance review should be to increase motivation. In some cases, individuals will show no improvement and should eventually be let go or cut from a team, but the cases where they cannot improve and likely excel in a role where they struggled before is rare. Acting on these motivations and taking steps to improve role and culture fit for an individual will improve performance.


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What to Know Before Hiring Remote Employees

This is a guest post from Carolyn Krokus. Carolyn is a contributor for 365 Business Tips and can be found enhancing blogs by writing lively and relevant content. She is a professional digital marketer, which has helped with branding and implementing new strategies.

A multitude of benefits come to mind when preparing to hire remote employees: working with people around the world, not having to commute in the morning, finding a balance between work and travel, and not having to pay for office or facilities, and the list goes on.

Even with all the benefits for both managers and employees, all people involved with the hiring process have to hold themselves accountable.

This article will help explain how managers can be better about holding remote employees to higher standards with their work, while also still being self-disciplined.

Here are some tips for attracting, hiring, and supporting remote workers.

Build an impactful employer brand online

Many applicants who are looking for a remote position are first exposed to prospective companies when researching employment online. Companies should enable themselves to attract top talent by making their first impression a great one.

It is advised for companies to have their webmasters put in a substantial amount of time to help build up online presence and visibility.

If companies want a great reputation for hiring remote employees, they need to be cognitive of how they are being perceived online, while also being conscientious of their reviews. In doing so, applicants can reassure themselves they are applying for a well-respected job.

This can include updating your “About” or “Careers” sections with information specifically designed for remote workers. When describing your company be sure to:

  • Describe your way of working. Describe what the job entails and what employees’ obligations will be. Explain the level of flexibility you offer, paid and unpaid vacations, setting hours, etc.
  • Include employee testimonials. Ask your current remote employees to tell their story, what made them choose a remote job and why they stay at your company.
  • Showcase in-person meetings. Share photos from company events or retreats using photos or videos. Face-to-face contact is important and builds a feeling of community and lets remote employees know that they are valued and not forgotten.
  • Present the values that define your culture. Every company wants to hire and work with people who share the same values. Be open about what you’re looking for in employees and what kind of qualities are most important to your team.

Be clear about what is expected of the job

All managers should be particular with what they ask potential employees during the interview process. These types of questions are crucial when beginning to build trust between managers and remote workers. Managers should be prepared to notice any red flags during phone interviews when screening potential employees.

For most in-house positions, managers can ask potential employees to demonstrate their skills and abilities through mini assignments during the in-person interview. However, online tests or assignments can help put remote workers’ skills to the test. It is very common for hiring managers to ask their applicants to provide a portfolio of their past work experience.

Managers should utilize an on-boarding checklist to ensure their hiring process is streamlined and each applicant has the proper resources that they need.  Don’t be afraid to ask the applicants to expand on certain company core values. A question as simple as this can help weed out the weaker applicants from the stronger ones.

It is imperative to set up multiple phone or video call interviews with various managers. For managers who are hiring remote employees for the first time, should feel it is necessary to invite the candidate to visit the main office for a week or two. It will bring more comfort knowing both parties are able to put a face to the voice or email when beginning to work with one another.

Create expectations from the very beginning, for both the employee and employer, so that remote employees know what is required of them. As for work completed daily, it is encouraged for managers to mandate what is an expected workload on a given day.

For example, many remote employees work from home due to family obligations. Be clear about how many hours you expect them to work as a minimum per week. Managers should also be interested enough to ask the applicants what their environment will look like. Managers should also ask about all applicants’ time management, task management skills, and how they plan to handle or avoid distractions.

Ask for feedback to enhance future application cycles

Employers should always look to improve their hiring processes. Use an anonymous survey to get feedback from new employees. Find out what would have helped them with the on-boarding process, what worked well, etc. This can help improve your hiring process in the future.

Take the time to train your managers

Managing remote employees requires a different set of skills from managers who are used to working primarily with on-site employees. Training managers on how to work with remote employees is essential to helping them and the virtual company become successful.

Managers that have never managed remote workers will have to learn to hone in on their communication skills. Newly trained managers should show strong characteristics of being able to articulate duties and tasks. These tasks and duties should then turn into clear action points to help summarize what responsibilities need to be completed. Managers need to also be conscientious of how they might be coming across only through writing when delegating out tasks.

Jacob Dayan from Community Tax says that “Giving your managers the freedom to implement their own ideas for their specific team will inevitably create healthy competition between teams and managers. Competition gets a bad rap in some circles but when used correctly it can be an excellent motivator and even drive innovation.”

Quality over quantity when it comes to communication with remote workers

Regardless of whether people are working from home or in the office, no one likes being harassed over communication channels. There should always be an open line of communication, but side chatter should be limited to what is essential for work to ensure focus is maintained.

When providing feedback on areas that need improvement, make it easier on everyone by making the criticism constructive. That way you can give your remote worker the communication tools to be successful in the future. In exchange, employees will feel as though managers are interested in their employees succeeding.

No news is not always good news for some people. As a remote employee, it is easy to feel forgotten and unappreciated. It is crucial for managers to find a balance between the quality and quantity of communication they have with their remote employees. As a manager, be sure to let your remote employee know when they have done a good job. Take the time to be specific about what they did well. This can be as simple as sending a direct message or an email.

It is also important to decide when it is appropriate to meet face-to-face with a remote employee. For small questions or clarifications direct messaging or email is ideal, but for very complicated or sensitive topics, quality face-to-face communication helps build more substantial targeted solutions.

Communication is a two-way street. As a manager, let remote workers know when management is open to communication. Before new hires start the job, be sure to provide how accessible management will be during working hours. Especially at the beginning when they might have lots of questions.

Have fun with your remote workers

With virtual employees miles apart from one another, it is easy for some remote workers to feel undervalued and forgotten. A company outing can be a great way for remote workers to get to know the rest of the team. If there is a central office, schedule a company picnic or lunch. If there are many remote workers, try to organize a company retreat.

Going to conventions and planning company trips gives the employees something to look forward to either as a reward, for good performance, or simply the opportunity to meet and discuss projects in greater detail. Team building and creating connections are especially important even when working remotely.

Also, be sure to celebrate when goals are met and recognize someone when they did a good job! Some good ideas for perks for remote workers are: company discounts or gift cards to local businesses, noise-canceling headphones, covering courses on skills related to the job, etc.

Conclusion

Working remotely can give employees and companies a variety of freedom and mobility, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Flexible hours and working environments can offer distractions, and not being in the office can make communication difficult.

However, if the company has set expectations and guidelines for communication and business processes, these difficulties can be overcome!


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How and Why to Assess Core Values in Candidates

Value-based assessments have always been popular in organizations, but today, they’re more popular than ever. With even large-scale organizations like Southwest Airlines and Aegon adopting core-value based hiring, many businesses are wondering why and how they can do the same.

Core values represent a candidate’s core beliefs relating to moral questions and answers. Most organizations benefit from learning about these values before making a hire but it’s important not to rely too heavily on value-based assessments.

What are Core Values?

Core values make up a set of personal beliefs which are the guiding principles behind an organization or person’s behavior and actions. These values define who and what a person or organization is at its deepest level by defining what they care about, will act on, and are motivated by.

Core values include but are not limited to:

  • Religious, or lack of, beliefs
  • Dependability
  • Humor
  • Passion
  • Fitness
  • Creativity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Empathy
  • Courage
  • Helping others

A core value is only a core value if it is a motivating factor of their personality, something that they act on and make decisions based on.

Why Assess Core Values in Candidates?

Assessing core values in candidates can tell you what they value, which, in turn, will tell you what they will do and why. Core values also allow you to find candidates whose core values align with or match those of your organization to ensure that they are a good fit, are more likely to stay in your organization, and can contribute in ways that align with the organization’s goals.

Ben & Jerry’s shares their core values on their website. Here, the organization lists three primary values, which are broken down into more complex values:

  • Make fantastic ice cream (product excellence)
  • Manage our company for sustainable financial growth (dependability, reliability, success, profit)
  • Use our company in innovate ways to make the world a better place (Empathy, helping others, environmental good)

Ben & Jerry’s could use these core values they hold to determine that someone who doesn’t care about their product probably isn’t a good fit for the company. Instead, they’d be looking for someone with core values like “creativity, reliability, dedication, empathy, and willingness to help others.”

These core values would help Ben & Jerry’s find candidates who would not only show up to do their job, but who would be excited about the product, the company mission, continuing excellence, and helping others through the organization.

How do You Assess Core Values in Candidates?

Assessing core values in a candidate can be a tricky process, largely because you have to learn a lot about your candidate in a relatively tiny window. Most organizations take the approach of using structured interviews to learn about individual behaviors and motivations. You may also ask specific questions about core values, although many candidates will tell you what they think you want to hear rather than how they actually feel, so most assessment centers will take an indirect approach.

One common way to determine core values is using assessments and questions. Here, you can ask questions such as:

  • What is a major driving factor in your life?
  • If you could change one thing about your previous job, what would it be?
  • What have you learned in the last 6 months and why?
  • What are you looking for in a role and why?
  • What is one of your most momentous life decisions?
  • How would you handle X scenario?

It’s also important to work core values into job descriptions, into assignments, and into how you evaluate candidates and their behavior.

Behavioral questions are designed to figure out how an individual would act or how they think they would act in a situation with moral weight and consequences. This will show you what they value and why. You can see examples of what organizations like Zappos use when hiring if you’re looking for more examples.

Core values can help you to determine if a candidate is a good fit for your organization based on what they believe in and what drives them. However, it shouldn’t be your final decision-making point. You also need a good understanding of what your organization’s core values are before you can use values as a hiring point.


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How to Get Corporate Buy-In for Your HR Initiatives

Starting a new initiative in HR can dramatically change the face of an organization, either through improving hiring, streamlining payrolling, or making data more accessible and available.

No matter what your initiative is, you likely need corporate buy-in, both from financial decision-makers and from the leaders who must serve as examples and first adopters of any initiative you push to the organization.

Have a Plan

The first step of garnering corporate buy-in for any initiative is to quite simply define what you need and why. Management, top-level executives, and most corporate leadership will focus on hard costs and changes first.

For example, does your initiative include new technologies? Training? Tools? What do each of these items cost? What kind of changes will they create in the organization? Will more training be necessary to implement changes? What will new things be replaced? Why is it necessary? What will it take to actually make the changes?

  • What points do you want to highlight? What needs to change?
  • Why does it need to change? Look for bottlenecks, productivity issues, production delays, turnover, etc.
  • What will you change it to? Be specific with tools, services, solutions, or processes
  • What will it cost in the short term? What will it cost in the long term?
  • Will it pay off?

If you can outline your proposed changes in a simple one-page pitch and present it during a stakeholder meeting, you’ll be able to answer a lot of questions and ensure that many people are ready to consider your offer upfront.

Demonstrate ROI Data

It’s not enough to tell corporate that a change will have an impact, you have to estimate how much. This might mean estimating the cost of specific problems you want to solve, estimating the cost of a total solution, and reviewing what you will likely save if that solution is removed.

  • How do problems you are fixing actually impact the bottom line?
  • What does that cost in terms of work hours? Production? Productivity? Dollars?
  • What total costs (training, implementation, retraining, lost productivity, cost of service/tool) will your solution incur?
  • What is the best-case/worst-case scenario return on investment?

Corporate buy-in is often driven by numbers. “What does this do for us?” “What can we save”, “How does this improve the organization”.

Most HR initiatives directly tie into a return, even if those initiatives are about improving employee happiness. But, it’s not enough to say, “This will make employees happy”.

Instead, you would want to say something like, “A 15% increase in job satisfaction has historically resulted in a 9% decrease in turnover, saving the organization some $3,855 per retained employee, or an estimated $23,130 in recruitment costs per year. Our solution will achieve that 15% increase in job satisfaction based on X data, with an estimated return on value of 27%.”

While you do have to collect the data that allows you to create these kinds of numbers, chances are, you already do.

Align Initiatives to Corporate Goals

Corporate cares about corporate goals and they should. Pitching to corporate is often about aligning your goals with theirs, so that they think your ideas are theirs.

Quite often, you’ll find that organizational goals already align fairly well with HR, you just have to make the connection apparent. Organizational goals typically include concerns surrounding productivity, agility, profit margins, total costs, growth (general or into a specific department/area/industry), and so on.

Prepare for Questions

No matter how good your pitch, you will have to answer questions. You should be prepared and you should have additional data ready to back up claims, add to what you’ve shared, and show that you’ve validated your assumptions.

If you’ve outlined your initiative well enough, these will be kept to a minimum, but expect to be asked about total costs, risks, resources, accountability, impact of implementation/lack of implementation, bottom line, and, of course, talent retention. Good luck taking your initiative to corporate.


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Top HR Books to Read This Year

Whether you’re working to improve yourself and your approach to HR, looking for ideas to implement into HR practices in your organization, or want to learn more about your industry, reading is an excellent way to do it.

Human Resources is an incredibly popular subject, with thousands of books published year on using data and analytics to manage people, on best practices for people and team management or setup, on emotional intelligence and leadership development, and even on technical tasks such as payroll, process management, and so on. Choosing a few to read can be daunting.

These top HR books to read this year will get you started with a selection that offers balance, a broad range of ideas, and information behind some of the most popular ideas in HR today.

The Leadership Pipeline

Ram Charan’s Leadership Pipeline was published in 2000 and has since become a classic in leadership management and development. The book outlines a framework for developing leaders internally, giving HR the tools to recognize and develop leaders for different levels of organizational leadership. Rather than taking a hierarchical approach, authors Charan and Drotter discuss the need for shifting responsibilities, changing approaches to work, and a diverse range of experience for leaders and how each of those requirements change as an individual moves to the next step in the leadership pipeline.

Stephen Drotter’s “The Performance Pipeline” is nearly as famous, although it doesn’t have the impact or the following of the original book. Drotter’s book shifts attention away from requirements to lead and towards performance management for leaders, which is equally as valuable.

The Power of People

The Power of People was published in 2017 by Jonathan Ferrar, Sheri Feinzig, and Nigel Guenole. The book approaches human resources from the angle of workforce analytics, taking examples from recent and long-term successes in the field. With case studies, The Power of People has a strong focus on giving good examples while introducing readers to the field, and introducing best-practices to help individuals improve the performance of their own workforce analytics.

The Power of People also heavily leans into a business-first approach, outlining strategy as first-and-foremost as a tool with which to achieve business goals. Most importantly, the book offers enough in terms of basic framework to help new HR analytics managers to get started, while providing enough tools, examples, best practices, and mistakes to watch out for to offer value to those experienced in the role.

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ

Emotional Intelligence was first published in 1995 by Daniel Goleman, but the book has not lost its relevance. Instead, it’s become one of the hottest topics of the year, with even top companies like Google and Microsoft working to integrate it into their everyday business practices and leadership. While Emotional Intelligence doesn’t go into detail about how EQ specifically impacts leaders or the workplace, follow-up books do. This seminal work instead explains the foundations of EQ, factors that impact it, and how EQ greatly impacts the way that people are able to form relationships, communicate, and work together.

Each of these three books will offer insight into people, workplaces, and leadership, which can greatly impact how and why you make HR decisions. Most importantly, they influence a great deal of modern HR thought and decision-making.


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