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Remote Personality Testing Tips for Recruiters

Personality testing is a standardized element of recruitment for most organizations. With 80% of all Fortune 500 companies adopting assessments like Meyers Briggs personality tests, it’s also consistently used by some of the world’s most successful companies. It makes sense for many organizations to adopt personality testing and skills assessment as part of the recruitment process – both to narrow the pool of potentials and to reduce churn after hiring.

At the same time, many organizations are shifting work to remote environments. That tracks to changing work norms and increases in flex work, remote work, and outsourcing. It also tracks to safety measures, which are further pushing work norms. Remote interviewing is already normalized. You likely already use video calls and email or a portal to exchange data.

Remote personality testing can further add value to this process, helping recruiters to fill in the blanks around skills, personality traits, competencies, and how well that person will fit into a team they may never meet in person.

Can You Run HR Assessment Tests Remotely?

Most personality assessments are delivered over a computer. Yet, many are traditionally taken in office settings, where recruiters can monitor responses and monitor attempts to cheat by looking up answers, can gauge the individual’s personality and match it with answers, and otherwise use tools to determine if the individual is being honest.

Optimizing personality and competency testing for remote environments means delivering testing without expectations. Users cannot know what you might want or expect to get as answers or results. And, in many cases, you have to tweak assessments to require pressure testing and therefore to avoid intuitive thinking – where users are able to simply guess which answer you might “want”.

Portals

Digital testing is easiest to support through online portals, hosted on your own or the developer’s site. Developing your own portal allows you to reduce cheating by implementing time-pressure, integrating testing into larger projects, and using tactics like forcing full-screen to reduce simultaneous look-up.

Testing for the Right Traits

It’s impossible to test for a full panel of personality traits and competencies without any sort of face-to-face interaction. However, you can easily test for specific traits to determine if the individual is a good fit for the role. Here, core competencies, big 5 personality, and team mapping work quite well in remote settings.

Personality Testing

Personality testing means trying to map an individual to personality traits or a personality type so you can fit them into a team or role. This type of testing is intended to show general traits, how this person will interact with other team members, and what their strengths and weaknesses might be. It does not show whether they are qualified for or suited for one role or not. Communicate this. It’s also a good idea to map what success has looked like in this role in the past. Map incoming personality traits to others in your organization holding the same role and assess whether personality factors play any part in success in the role.

Competency Testing

Competency mapping allows you to build a framework around competencies mapped to individual roles. Testing for these competencies in remote situations means delivering tests as skills or project tests and as personality tests. For example, if you can map out the 6 core competencies required for a role, you can create a personality assessment around them and then a follow-up skills assessment. How can you see soft skills in an assessment? If you need someone who’s good under pressure, simply putting time pressure on the assignment will give you a good idea of how the individual performs and reacts under pressure. For example, deliver the assignment alongside the message that you need it several days sooner than communicated because of someone going on vacation.

Assignments

Assignments don’t work with every type of role, but for many they do. Here, even small assignments of 20-60 minutes can help you map competencies from a test to real work. Assignments also show hard skills, which can be useful especially in creative roles. These are traditionally handed out remotely, so there’s a very high chance you’re already accustomed to doing so. The difference here is putting in processes to map assignment results to skills and personality tests.

Of course, you can still involve teams. Zoom, Discord, and Microsoft Teams allow you to conduct “meet the team” exercises to validate how well people get along (in a first meeting), to see how people interact, and to track responses. While everyone will be in their own environment, you still get discussion, see how that individual fits into the team, and potentially introduce them to the “work floor” to gauge reactions. That can add a lot of value, in that you’ll have opportunities to map reactions to assessment results to attempt to validate them. For example, following the team meetup, you can discuss the individual with team leads, share personality traits and results, and decide how and if the candidate is a good fit.

How to Minimize “Cheating”

Cheating will always happen. It’s a very measured and measurable phenomenon in any type of job testing. Applicants will lie on personality and competency tests as much or more as they lie on resumes. Your goal should be to collect the data you need anyway.

  • Don’t make outcomes obvious in any question. If there’s a clear “best answer” for work, you probably need a different question
  • Conduct personality testing during live video calls to increase pressure and reduce intuition. Performing in high-pressure environments also means individuals are more likely to quickly choose an answer, much like they would under pressure at work.
  • Share explicit messages regarding the fact that testing is used to match candidates to roles and teams – there is no best answer
  • Validate tests by using double tests, asking the same questions in multiple ways, and validating through assignments

DISC assessments and Myers-Briggs indicators work for both personality and competency assessments, but it’s important to incorporate them with skills assessments and projects. If you can’t validate the data from more than one source, you have no way of ensuring you’re getting the right answers, instead of the answers the candidate thinks you want to see.

Personality testing can offer a lot of value in helping you to choose talent from pools, match candidates to teams, and choose candidates based on competencies shown to contribute to long-term success. Doing so can help you to improve the quality of hires, to reduce churn, and to improve communication in teams once the new hire settles in. Remotely, you primarily have to consider validating and verifying results, because it’s significantly easier to change input and much harder to tell what someone is actually like. Therefore, supplementing pre-hiring assessments with calls, live reviews, and work assignments will help a great deal.


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Why More and More Organizations Rely on Psychometric Testing for Hiring

Digitization has made it easier than ever for recruiters to collect and compare candidates for roles. That’s why the average recruiter now looks at 200+ resumes per role.

Additionally, organizations increasingly screen for not just hard skills (like C++) but also for behaviors, personality, and how that individual might fit into a team. Short of asking candidates to come in to work for a trial day (or week), there’s historically been very little way to do that.

Psychometric testing is an increasingly popular way to screen for factors like behavior, personality, work ethic, and communication style. In theory, it allows recruiters to see data about how an individual works, how they might fit into employee culture or team culture, and what they might lack for the role in the scope of a competency matrix defining success in that role. That’s why 75% of Fortune 500 companies use psychometric testing and 18% of all companies do, too.

If you’re considering adopting psychometric testing as part of the hiring process, this article covers why you should do it.

A Better Culture Fit

Organizations are more and more often focusing on building a culture. This might include “company” culture, “branch culture” or even “team culture”, but most recognize that it’s important to hire people who have the same values and priorities.

If you work in an Agile environment and everyone largely has ownership of their own work and responsibilities, a person accustomed to waterfall management and direct delegation would function poorly and might not be willing to adapt.

Similarly, someone accustomed to an Agile environment might feel stifled by a waterfall environment. Understanding personality and competency traits allows recruiters to better match the individual to the company and team.

This also applies to basic team building, where systems like DISC use different types of personalities to build fully functional teams. Understanding personality upfront allows recruiters and HR to get an idea of how that person might fit into the team and if they can fill existing roles, or if they would result in an imbalanced team.

Of course, personality tests cannot be the end-all final say in this, since interviews, interaction, and one-on-one time with the team can result in new dynamics being created with positive results.

Matching Hires to Competency Frameworks

Many organizations are adopting competency frameworks to better understand how and why work is completed across the organization. Here, HR or an external company matches hard and soft skills such as “Excel skills” and “time management” to succeed in a role.

Over time, the organization using that competency framework has a strong understanding of which “competencies” result in high performance or poor performance.

Psychometric testing can essentially function as a filter to check which competencies the employee has. This is significantly better than relying on the resume, which quite often is based on simple self-assessment and is therefore often wrong. The psychometric test must include both an aptitude test and a personality test to fully map the candidate’s soft and hard skills to the framework.

Unfortunately, with most psychometric testing requiring one or more hours, most organizations cannot ask candidates to take part until at least the second stage of interviewing. However, once completed, you can very easily narrow down the final selection based on competency framework mapping.

Switching Focus to Aptitude

HireRight’s 2019 Employment Screening Benchmark Report shows that as many as 85% of candidates lie or stretch the truth on their resume. This may be accidental and a poor choice of wording, or simply phrasing to make themselves look good for new employers.

Studies like these mean that recruiters cannot fully rely on self-assessment on resumes. And, while candidates can provide references, following up and interviewing those references in-depth is expensive and hardly feasible for all but the most important of roles.

Instead, most reference interviews result in a few minutes of casual questioning regarding moral standing, performance, etc., without touching on roles, responsibilities, or active projects.

Aptitude testing switches the focus away from resume listed skills and simply asks the individual to show off what they can do. These tests range from simple multi-question examinations to in-depth projects requiring 1-4 hours of investment.

While you obviously have to match investment time to the level of the role (most people won’t spend hours on an application for an entry-level role) these assessments show you what skills the person has, at what level they can perform, and how they perform in new environments.

Eventually, this gives the recruiter a much better idea of how well the candidate can actually do the job they’re being hired for.

Improving Candidate Quality

The cost of recruitment hovers around $4,000 across all jobs and all industries. While that’s obviously lower for entry-level and unskilled work, it ranges up into the tens of thousands of dollars for CEOs and C-suite hires. The cost of hiring the wrong person for leadership can more than double that individual’s yearly salary.

Psychometric testing allows you to better align the candidate with the role, to see aptitude and skills upfront, and to assess personality as part of the process. This can help you determine if the candidate is a good culture fit, what they want and need as motivation, how they develop themselves, and whether they’re likely to remain with the company.

A better candidate fit means improved quality of hire, improved quality of work, and reduced employee turnover over the long-term. However, achieving these results does mean ensuring that your psychometric testing is mapped to benchmarks and a competency framework and that you are making selections for validated reasons. No test is valuable without being linked to desired outcomes.

Setting up psychometric testing as part of the recruitment process can help you to make better hires. At the same time, it requires significant investment in the process, performance management, and job matrixes. Simply collecting and ranking competency data across the job matrix is a significant investment, even with a base framework.

Importantly, most testing offers little value without those frameworks because you have to understand why you want one trait over another or why one aptitude is more important than another. Therefore, psychometric testing can add significant value, providing you have an established basis with which to deliver value. And, of course, some tests, like DISC, include their own frameworks for teambuilding and roles, which you can adapt to your own organization’s needs.


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5 Tips to Build Good Teams in Remote Environments

As remote work becomes more and more common, recruiters are faced with the prospect of building teams that might seldom or even never meet each other in person.

Data from Stanford University suggests that 42% of Americans worked from home in 2020 and that number is likely to remain static for some time. Building teams in this environment means paying extra attention to recruitment, team engagement, and how individuals work together, because they won’t have the benefit of face-to-face contact.

These 5 tips to build good teams in remote environments focus on shifting hiring away from looking at individual strengths and towards building a team structure and processes that facilitate team strength.

Start with Team Structure

Remote team structure is essential to creating a solid team with clear goals and responsibilities. While structure is a standard part of team building, it’s more important when you need it to hold the team together.

Structure ensures that everyone works towards a single goal, rather than disparately doing tasks assigned to them from a higher up. Team structure defines how, what, and why a team exists. It should highlight the following.

Mission

Why does the team exist? What is the work the team was made to do? What does team success look like? What does successful work do for the organization? How will the team measure that success in an ongoing way?

Missions should always apply to ongoing work, never to specific projects. E.g., (good) “To develop new features and contribute to the value of the product for the customer” versus (bad), “Building the new invoicing feature in the application”.

Goals

Goals take the mission and break it down into real targets they can work for. Team goals constantly change. In most cases, goals shouldn’t extend out over more than a 6–12-month period.

You can use any goal system you want but S.M.A.R.T. is a popular one. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

In the context of the above-stated mission, that might look like: 

  • Specific – Build the new invoicing feature 
  • Measurable – Satisfy customer requests for invoicing in the tool 
  • Achievable – (The team would have to contribute to this) 
  • Relevant – Building the invoicing feature adds to value for customers because they’ve been requesting it 
  • Time-Bound – Within 6 months 

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities have something of a “chicken and egg” issue, in that you need roles to assign responsibilities, but you need responsibilities to assign roles. If the functions in your team are completely new, you can consider using a pre-built responsibility matrix for the field and tweaking it over time to better suit your needs. If you already have similar roles in the organization, check those to ensure they are relevant and copy them over.

Increasingly, teams are using team responsibilities rather than role responsibilities, so that they can delegate those responsibilities out among themselves. However, it’s still crucial to have a final signoff on items such as quality, direction, etc., so that the team moves forward even if they cannot agree on specifics. The important thing is that you can hand a set of responsibilities to the team and allow them to delegate and remain responsible.

Use a Team Building Matrix

Different personalities can clash a great deal. That’s easy enough to resolve in person, where people have to see each other every day, but much harder in an online environment. Here, communication is often hampered by the fact that text loses the inflection the writer might have intended, leading to more miscommunication.

Building teams around communication means creating a balanced team with different types of team players so that everyone can seamlessly communicate with at least one other person.

DISC is one very popular team building matrix. Here, you use personality assessments to determine how individuals work, communicate, and interact together. DISC then offers recommendations for matching different types of personalities into teams, so that they communicate and work well together.

Why is this important? If one person wants to be left largely alone to do their own thing while someone else is very outgoing and wants to spend work time in calls to ensure ongoing validation, both team members will suffer. If you know how each individual communicates, you could better put person A into their own team with other loners and person B into a team built around quick response times and communication.

Establish a Communication Process

Lack of clear processes around communication can be detrimental to a remote team. This is especially true if your team works in different time zones. It’s crucial to define how work should be completed when it should be completed, how work is carried out, what is good communication, and when communication is allowed.

Most teams already have at least some communication worked into their processes. Remote teams should further work out details like:

  • When are team members allowed to talk to each other?
  • What does delegation and hierarchy look like?
  • What times are teams allowed to message each other?
  • What channels should teams use/not use to talk to each other
  • Are interruptions allowed? Are side conversations? Are chats allowed during calls?
  • How and how often video and voice calls should be used and why
  • How long do team members have to respond to email and chat?
  • What constitutes respectful behavior towards other team members?
  • How should you resolve conflicts?
  • Who makes the final call on each responsibility?
  • What does good communication look like? Is communication training, like emotional intelligence, provided as part of the team?
  • What does documentation look like? How do team members keep other team members informed of progress, tasks, and current responsibilities?

The shorter team communication processes are, the more likely the team will actually use them. Still, it’s important to answer basic questions and create ground rules so that individuals have a structure to work inside of without alienating each other or risking basically working on their own.

Integrate Team Engagement as Part of Work

Maintaining team engagement has remained a top priority for organizations over the last decade. At the same time, it becomes more challenging for remote teams. Individuals who cannot see each other and have fewer mechanisms to collaborate and interact will be less engaged. It’s critical to work engagement in to the work process. This can take many forms.

For example, some organizations leverage a combination of tools to engage teams in their work and with each other:

  • Integrate goalposts and tracking into work, so teams have goals to work towards and to motivate themselves with
  • Directly link work to output and results so that teams understand their work is meaningful
  • Link quality of work to performance bonuses and make bonuses team-based rather than individual-based
  • Use tools like 360-feedback to put individual performance review in the hands of the team
  • Use Agile work methods, so teams have ownership of their own work
  • Use Agile budgeting, rather than “use it or lose it” methods
  • Integrate regular video calls into the work process, so that people frequently see and talk to each other.
  • Offer paid team-building exercises. An hour of paid digital game night a month will go a long way towards ensuring that your teams can have fun together.

Essentially, teams need to have ownership of work, they need to know where they are at in that work, and they need to know how it contributes to goals.

Additionally, it’s beneficial to shift performance review away from individual production and towards team performance as a whole, with mechanisms like 360-feedback to ensure that teams can mention when someone isn’t performing.

Integrate Processes into Tooling

Good processes allow teams to function well without relying on good communication. However, processes have to be visible and usable to be effective.

Here, the most effective thing you can do is to integrate processes into tooling. This might take the form of delineating work processes and communication into Kanban boards. It might also mean using software that integrates into Jira or Slack, so users can share work as part of the tool. If processes aren’t part of daily work, no one will use them.

Remote work complicates team building. At the same time, integrating strong processes, good structure, and building teams around their ability to communicate and work together gets over many of these issues.

If you follow up by ensuring that teams stay motivated with clear goals and team purpose, by linking work to value, and by giving teams ownership of work, there’s no reason why remote teams cannot be every bit as engaged and productive as those in an office together.


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8 Ways Emotional Intelligence Impacts Quality of Leadership

Emotional intelligence is one of the most talked-about soft skills in HR today. While originally coined in 1964, Emotional Intelligence or EQ became popular in the 1994 business book of the same name by Daniel Goleman.

Today, EQ is offered as part of business development, leadership development, and communications in organizations and universities across the world. While it overlaps with IQ and other personality testing, EQ gives businesses a defined way to measure and train specific soft skills to improve interpersonal communication between individuals and groups.

That’s crucial for leaders, especially as more and more people move to remote work conditions, and establishing good communication becomes critical to not just high performance but good performance.

The following article covers 8 ways emotional intelligence impacts the quality of leadership.

Interpersonal Communication

Emotional intelligence was first fully defined in 1990 in an article; Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the collection of abilities used to identify, understand, control, and assess the emotions of the self and others

This definition was further refined by Daniel Goleman in his book, where he broke “EI or EQ” into 5 measurable parts.

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Self-motivation
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship management

Essentially, emotionally intelligent leaders are able to recognize and assess the emotions and wellbeing of their team. They can further regulate their own communication to meet the needs of the individuals they are communicating with and for.

Over time, this improves the communication of the whole team, as the leader is able to facilitate and to create channels for effective communication.

Conflict Resolution

Emotional intelligence impacts conflict resolution in much the same way as it affects interpersonal communication. An emotionally intelligent leader is able to recognize underlying problems, handle existing emotions with care, and to ask the individuals involved to do so as well.

This might involve recognizing why someone is actually upset (or thinking to ask) and creating a resolution process that leaves both parties feeling recognized.

For example, an emotionally intelligent response to conflict would be to:

  • Stay calm
  • Ask questions
  • Make every party feel heard
  • React to how others are feeling, not just what they are saying
  • Working with both parties to create a long-term solution

Conflict resolution can vary a lot in organizations. Some have a simple policy of “don’t”, others have well-planned methodology for dealing with when teams disagree, or conflicts happen. Adding emotional intelligence, at any level, only smooths that process further.

Employee Loyalty

Emotionally intelligent leaders respond to their teams and people as people. Rather than simply going off business needs, the emotionally intelligent leader responds to the needs of the individual at the moment to create the best outcome.

For example, if we take an example of someone being late for work…

Option A: Josh is 2 hours late for work. He rushes in and explains that his wife, who has been expecting, went into labor that morning and in the chaos, he forgot to call it in. David, his manager, is livid. The entire team was hung up on Josh, who was supposed to give a presentation that morning. He reprimands Josh and informs him it will go into his performance review coming up later that month. Josh goes back to work with negative feelings about his boss, his work, and his future with the company.

Option B: Josh is 2 hours late for work. When he explains, David, who has recently followed an Emotional Intelligence course, recognizes that Josh is excited, distracted, and had little control over the sudden turn in his life that morning. Guessing that Josh will be little able to focus or achieve much at work with his wife in labor, he tells Josh to take the rest of the day off to spend it with his wife at the hospital. Josh comes back the next day a proud father, grateful to his employer for giving him the opportunity to be part of the birth. He’s motivated to contribute to his team and take part in a workplace that allows him to be human.

In this scenario, the emotional intelligence of the person in a position of power results in a completely different emotional reaction from the employee. You can apply similar processes to everything from requesting vacation time to planning and scheduling, to asking to switch roles.

An emotionally intelligent leader will respond with what’s best for the individual’s happiness and personal comfort (and therefore productivity and long-term loyalty).

Personal Development

Emotional intelligence entails self-awareness and regulation as well as social awareness. This means the individual is highly likely to be self-critical and analytical, to strive to improve, and to work to improve the soft skills that contribute to communication, emotional regulation, and management.

This means an emotionally intelligent person is more likely to recognize and want to work on their own flaws and weaknesses, to take those flaws into account when making decisions, and to actively seek out personal development to improve.

Employee Development

An emotionally intelligent leader will actively work to recognize, reward, and improve the people under them. This often works out to coaching, development, and skills-building across the team or teams.

For example, an emotionally intelligent leader is more likely to recognize when some members are struggling. They’re also more able to sit down with those people to talk about why, to discuss options, and to deliver solutions.

Eventually, this results in a team where people who are having difficulty are able to work on those problems or find resolutions rather than simply falling behind.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily work in all traditional performance management systems, where leaders are rewarded for being able to fire poor performers. However, it does work in modern 360-degree feedback systems, where everyone is given feedback throughout the year and asked to improve and progress.

Delegation

Good leadership is about delegation, not technical skill. But good delegation means understanding which people are best capable of what, why, and how much they can take.

A good leader can properly delegate tasks so that everyone remains challenged, fulfilled, and feels that they are treated fairly. This might involve sitting down with teams to ask questions about tasks, capability, speed, and preferences.

It might also mean giving high-potential individuals more complex responsibilities so they can grow into leadership roles. And, it always involves managing work in ways that meet the emotional and mental ability and needs of the individuals in the team.

Team Building

Good relationship management means facilitating how people work together, communicate, and collaborate. Applying that skill to a team allows you to build stronger teams. This starts with recruitment, where an emotionally intelligent leader could better gauge if a candidate will fit into their team. It also includes understanding the needs of a new hire and what they need to get to know everyone and start building trust.

Over the long-term, emotionally intelligent leaders are better able to understand the emotional interactions of their team. This allows them to facilitate better communication, to coach anyone having issues, and to offer solutions and processes to conflicts and problems.

Setting an Example

People have a very strong tendency to follow the example of their leaders. This is true in change management and it’s true in employee culture. If you want to create a culture of emotionally intelligent communication, it starts with good leadership.

Simple aspects of emotional intelligence like staying calm, approaching conflict with rationality rather than emotion, and seeking to understand what people actually mean or want will transfer to their employees over time. While you should still eventually deliver emotional intelligence training to your teams if you want this behavior, it’s important to establish it in leadership first.

Emotional intelligence is a set of skills, mostly made up of personal and interpersonal regulation, awareness, and management. This means that most people can be trained to be more emotionally intelligent, although some will always be better than others.

For example, anyone with autism on your team will likely struggle in comparison with someone without a social disability.

However, using emotional intelligence as a primary aspect of leadership development can greatly improve the quality of leadership as a whole. Hopefully, these 8 factors have helped you understand how EQ impacts leaders and their teams.


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5 Examples of Workplace Violations Employers Do

5 Examples of Workplace Violations Employers Do

This is a guest post from Steven. Steven is the Senior Partner and co-founder of Miracle Mile Law Group. Steven always knew his calling involved helping ordinary people, not corporations, so he started Miracle Mile Law Group, where he exclusively represents employees in claims against their employers.

Employees often believe that their employers understand and follow all applicable wage and labor laws. In practice, however, thousands of large and small companies in Asia-Pacific and elsewhere in the world commit workplace violations every day.

Employment laws in effect in most countries are complicated. Most employees have little to no idea of their rights regarding minimum wages, the maximum number of working hours, vacation time, privacy, commissions, and more. Most workers don’t even know when their employers violate workplace laws.

Laws and regulations in place to protect the rights of workers vary across countries. At times, there may be some variations within the states or provinces located in one country. But, there are some common types of workplace violations that employees encounter nearly everywhere.

Prior information on the subject can help you guess if people violate your rights. You will, however, need to consult an experienced employment law attorney in your city to find out if you have a valid claim and whether you should pursue the case.

Here in this post, we will shed light on the five most common examples of employee workplace violations.

 

Minimum Wage Violations

Many employers steal workers’ paychecks every day or month by giving wages that infringe on applicable minimum wage laws. Unfortunately, such breaches affect the lowest-wage workers—those who can’t afford to lose earnings.

Minimum wage rates in the Asia-Pacific countries are different. Keep in mind that some states and cities within one country may have higher minimum wages. So, it’s a good idea to learn about the minimum wage rates applicable in your location.

Some countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Pakistan, Singapore, and the Philippines have defined monthly minimum wages. India and Myanmar have daily minimum wages. Other countries, such as Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Taiwan, have labor laws that mandate hourly minimum wages.

 

Whistleblower Retaliation

A whistleblower is someone who reports an illegal activity to the authorities. They can be anyone from an employee to a stakeholder who witnessed unlawful activity in an organization.

A whistleblower may voice their concerns publicly or report the matter to law enforcement agencies. And many employers retaliate against such whistleblowers. The company may even dismiss or deny them employee benefits.

Not all countries in the APAC region have whistleblower protection laws in place. For instance, while Malaysia and Indonesia have enacted whistleblower protection acts, the Philippines is still debating such an act. Thailand has no specific laws aside from the Labor Protection Act and the Labor Relations Act that may deal with whistleblowing in the workplace. Singapore also does not have a dedicated law, but protecting whistleblowers can be done through other statutes such as the penal code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

If your employer does retaliate against you for whistleblowing, consult an employment attorney to discover laws applicable to offer you protection.

 

Worker Misclassification

How employees are classified determines the kind of their entitled benefits. Contrary to popular belief, job title and description do not determine how you can categorize an employee.

Companies often hire independent contractors or onboard workers for ongoing projects via a third-party recruitment agency but continue to treat these workers as full-time employees. It may be among the workplace violations committed by your employer. Businesses resort to such illicit activity to avoid offering worker benefits, including minimum wage, overtime pay, paid leaves, health insurance, and more.

Singapore reported 300 cases of employee misclassification in 2019. This practice is more common in sectors like construction and mining, but companies operating in nearly any industry can resort to such tactics.

In case your company directly controls where, how, and when you work, it is possible that labor laws applicable in your state or country classify you as an employee and not as a contractor. So, you may be entitled to standard employee benefits.

Many small and medium-scale employers are simply in the dark about exemption rules. So, if you are in doubt if your employer is violating your employee rights due to misclassification, consider bringing the matter to your supervisor’s attention. If necessary, seek legal counsel.

 

Not Paying for Work Breaks

Are you a full-time employee? Does your company pay you for scheduled breaks? If your company attempts to withhold wages for recesses, you may have a valid claim under labor laws in place at your location.

In the case of employees needing to work through scheduled break time, such as lunch breaks, they need compensation. But, many employers would skip compensating team members for their extra work.

It is also a good idea to understand how your monthly salary package is structured. Find out if your employer is making the correct deductions. There are times when employers illegally deduct a significant amount of money from employees’ salaries.

 

Discrimination

Harassment or unequal treatment based on one’s nationality, religion, race, age, or gender in the workplace may be illegal in your country—with laws in place to prevent such behavior in the workplace. Employers too may take steps to eliminate such biases.

However, according to the International Labor Office (ILO), women continue to be the largest group receiving workplace discrimination. Migrant workers in the Asia Pacific region also face intolerance, xenophobia, and racial discrimination at work.

 

Final Words

In the absence of expert legal advice, it may be challenging to get suitably compensated for a violation in the workplace. So, it is a good idea to consult a trusted attorney specializing in employment laws applicable in your country.


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How to Drive More Value with Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are incredibly popular. In fact, some 91% of organizations used them in 2019. While that’s down from a reported 96% in 2012, it’s still a significant portion, especially considering data shows that modern, merit-based appraisal is toxic.

A Gartner study found that in 82% of organizations performance reviews either did not contribute to goals or directly negated them. Modern performance reviews, which involve collecting data and delivering a single performance review at the end of the year, do little but show that a manager is able to lead some people better than others. Essentially, they offer very little value.

While more and more organizations are dropping them altogether, others are shifting focus to use performance reviews for positive organizational change. Making those changes is likely essential to the ongoing value of performance reviews. The same Gartner study listed above suggested that 20% of C-suite leaders wanted changes to performance programs in 2020. What should those changes look like?

Make Performance Reviews Ongoing

One of the largest flaws in performance management is that it means managers cannot give real live feedback. Instead, they are reduced to delivering threats like, “That will go in your performance review”. Employees who are certain they are already losing the “game” have no incentive to improve or better their performance because they’re already at the bottom and they will stay there.

Yet, management best practices, ranging from the much-read “1-Minute Manager” to Emotional Intelligence and many other tactics all recommend avoiding this. New management techniques ask managers to offer feedback in real-time.

For the popular “One Minute Manager” that feedback looks like:

  • Clarify and agree on goals
  • Confirm what happened/describe the mistake
  • Mention why this is concerning
  • Highlight that the person can do better than this and help the person find solutions (do not make the solutions for them)
  • Offer praise for good behavior this person has shown

This approach means that employees immediately know when they’ve done something wrong. This gives them the opportunity to resolve it and replace the behavior with something else. This sort of hands-on approach also means that managers directly play a role in what their employees do by offering feedback on whether something is working, whether something is acceptable team behavior, etc.

For example, if someone is spending 60% of the time in meetings and is not meeting other goals, a review here could include a quick meeting about why this is not great and what is going wrong because of it. The manager would ask the employee to come up with solutions.

S/he might say they often have to delegate content for another team to avoid bottlenecks, which would shift the performance issue to another person entirely. Resolving that would free up the first person to do their job well, completely avoiding a negative rating and potential lost employee.

Integrate 360 Feedback

360-feedback involves collecting feedback from managers, employees, and underlings. This means that HR gets a much stronger overview of a person, their performance, and their contributions. It also avoids potential issues in terms of tracking metric inefficiency.

If HR is measuring performance in terms of output in a development team, but this person has been assigned the role of proofing his or her colleagues’ work to reduce total bugs, their production would look low.

360-degree feedback allows you to get a better picture of the total performance and interaction of the individual in the team.

However, 360-feedback also has flaws. For example, people are significantly more likely to rate someone with a positive review, regardless of the actual quality of work or contribution, if they have known that person for 5+ years.

This means that you must account for how well colleagues know each other when gauging the accuracy of a performance review. Combining 360-degree data with traditional data can help to overcome this.

Stop Highlighting Failure

Most of us would react very badly if someone walked up to us and went, “You’re the worst person on earth, here’s the data to prove it”. Yet, organizations do that every year to the bottom 2% of employees.

These employees are ranked, sometimes publicly, with percentile ratings and informed they are in the bottom “low performance” section. Sometimes their team and the entire organization are informed as well. That’s incredibly demoralizing for most.

Shifting away from negative feedback and towards positive feedback designed to highlight what you did well and what you can improve can greatly change that.

For example, if you avoid ranking employees in any system they can see, you remove the interpersonal competition which leads some employees to work outside the best interest of their team. You also remove demoralizing and demotivating messaging from performance reviews. And, by directly linking negative feedback to “improvement opportunities”, you could encourage employees to make an active change.

Develop 2-Way Dialogue to Share Responsibility for Results

Many employees are resistant to performance reviews because they feel they aren’t’ given the tools to succeed properly anyway. Opening dialogue for employees to share what they do need to succeed can change this. This is especially critical if long-term hires are suddenly not performing, if entire teams aren’t performing, or if performance drops following a change in leadership.

For example, personality clashes with leadership can result in poor performance from an otherwise stellar employee. Similarly, changes in process or tooling can reduce productivity. And, if employees don’t have the tooling they need to properly do their job, it’s unfair to rate them accordingly.

Link Performance Reviews to Personal Development and Coaching

Some of the most common traits linked to poor performance are simple behavioral issues. These soft skills or (negative) competencies are trainable. This means you can deliver personal development and coaching to poor performers to help them excel.

For example, some of the most common traits linked to poor performance include:

  • Clock Watching – these people are the last to arrive and the first to leave, they aren’t engaged in their work, just in doing the job and going home. Time management, motivation training, and better employee engagement all help with the time-wasting and lost hours that result from this behavior. 
  • Resistance to Change – Changes to the company, to software, or to the employee’s job result in resistance and lack of performance. Implementing coaching and training to show the individual they are still valued and can still provide value in the new system can help 
  • Complaints – Everyone complains, but constant complaining is demoralizing and hurtful to those that have it worse. Coaching can help. For example, introducing a meeting protocol where problems are brought up in meetings and discussed in a resolution scenario before being aired outside of meetings can reduce much of this. Of course, that employee has to feel listened to for this to work. 
  • Poor Collaboration – Collaboration and teamwork skills can be resolved with training, coaching, and interpersonal skills development. You should undertake any training of this sort as a team, but some individuals may need extra coaching or help to get through it. 

Performance reviews can add a lot of value. However, many organizations use them in ways that add little to productivity, performance, or ongoing development.

Shifting the current performance review to an ongoing process, with reviews focused on future development and improvement, plus room for discussion with HR, can greatly improve this.

And, if you take the time to offer development or coaching to struggling employees, to discover why they’re failing, and to communicate what needs changing when problems occur, even the worst employee can improve.


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10 Skills Gaps in Leadership and Management

Today’s managers and leaders are increasingly in charge of not top down work delegation, but, rather, people and strategy management. This shift has changed now just how leaders work, but also which skills they need to succeed. Good project management is no longer enough to take on a role as manager.

Despite that, many leaders are promoted internally from technical positions, hired on following having similar roles in other organizations, or simply promoted internally for no reason other than seniority.

This leads to massive skills gaps in leadership and management, which do ripple downward, no matter how flat your organization.

In fact, Burning Glass Technologies shows that management skills gaps are significantly larger than employee skills gaps at any other level.

Despite those gaps, many businesses don’t actively work to correct these leadership issues. One study by APQC shows that 80% of employees recognize a need for different leadership styles, 21% think leadership is effective, and just 46% of companies place any priority on remediation efforts.

Good leadership impacts every part of business. It affects how individuals feel about work, team management, work delegation, motivation, and much more. While, eventually, you will need a skills gap analysis to correctly determine where to invest remediation efforts, most leaders can improve on many of the following 10 skills.

Closing these skills gaps can improve leadership style, boost employee retention, and improve productivity.

10 Skills for leadership to improve

1) Team Building

While team building has largely and historically fallen on HR, it’s critical that leaders be involved. Not only do leaders, whether team leads, branch leads, or managers, have to interact with teams daily, leaders know the work being completed.

Anyone in a leadership position should interact with HR and help make key decisions regarding hires, placement, and restructure. Leaders should be able to:

  • Recognize when personality conflicts get in the way of a team
  • Coach and manage teams to improve how they collaborate
  • Choose new people and introduce them to a team efficiently and effectively
  • Create a team environment built on trust and collaboration

2) Strategy

Strategy was once pushed down through an organization from the very top. Today, many teams and departments are relatively autonomous, with freedom to work on goals however they see fit.

This creates a rising need for those organizations to ensure leaders have strong strategic planning, with a good understanding of business goals, the ability to link daily work and tasks to business outcomes, and sound logic in building plans. Much of this is a learnable skill, although some people will show no aptitude for it whatsoever.

3) Listening

Listening is one of the largest parts of people management, but many managers are still more accustomed to talking. Why is it important? Listening is a critical soft skill that contributes to good people management in multiple ways.

For example, it ensures the leader understands situations as related, can learn more about both sides of a situation before acting, can make individuals feel heard, and can weigh in on arguments and conflict with relevant information.

Listening means paying attention to what the individual is saying, understanding their meaning, and taking body language, emotions, and contextual information into account.

4) Knowledge Sharing

Organizational transparency is quickly becoming not just a key point for developing trust, but also a key reason that employees stay with companies. Leaders who don’t share information, whether information regarding upcoming goals, drivers behind projects, stakeholder feedback, or news of an upcoming restructure, will quickly lose the trust of their teams. Knowledge sharing means being able to push information to employees in a sensitive, contextual, and appropriate manner.

5) Inspiring Commitment

Getting new people onboard with and motivated to stay with a company, to start a project, to reach a deadline, or otherwise achieve something is difficult. In fact, many leaders are bad at it.

Working as an inspirational leader means developing the trust of the team, properly leveraging incentives, utilizing good teambuilding, and knowing how and when to push people to keep them motivated and on-goal. This is, understandably, incredibly important for most organizations. Yet, it’s one of the largest gaps in leadership skills.

6) Receiving Feedback

You can’t properly give feedback unless you’re willing to take feedback. Yet, many leaders simply aren’t accustomed to sitting down and requesting feedback from staff or making changes accordingly.

Leaders who can sit down with their teams, accept criticism, and discuss improvements that work for the team and the people will be valued, respected, and listened to.

Here, 360-degree feedback can be valuable because it gives teams an easy way to offer leaders feedback from every perspective. Most leaders should also be comfortable having sit-down sessions to discuss leadership style, what can be improved, etc., as a normal part of process.

7) Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is widely recognized as one of the most important leadership skills. Daniel Goleman’s book on the topic redefined how people see leaders. Yet, more than 20 years onward, it’s still one of the most lacking skills in leadership.

Emotional intelligence encompasses how individuals are able to recognize and manage their own emotions and those of others, responding to emotions in others, and making decisions based on those emotions. It benefits organizations because it builds team trust, improves employee loyalty and happiness, and ensures that teams are happy and productive by taking their mental and emotional wellbeing into account.

8) Coaching

Coaching is the process of working individuals through a process or problem and helping them to find solutions, to grow, and to improve themselves. It’s a critical part of personal development, and a critical leadership skill.

Why? A leader without coaching will simply tell someone how to solve a problem or tell them what to do. A coach will explain the problem and help that person figure out how to solve the problem on their own. The next time it comes up, that person is well-equipped to repeat the thought process and solve that or a similar problem on their own. Coaching helps people learn, to improve, and to be better at what they do.

Many leaders simply don’t do coaching at any level, even when in charge of onboarding new hires, when in charge of developing potential new leaders, or when choosing candidates for their own replacement. Integrating and teaching coaching skills could greatly improve all three of those leadership responsibilities.

9) Change Management

Change management is quickly moving from something organizations needed once a decade to something needed on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. New technology, new tooling, new workflows, remote work, digital workspaces, virtual computers all require change and change management. A quickly changing world means industries and markets constantly shift, leading to faster restructurers, more mergers, and new business branches that come and go. Leaders must be equipped to help their teams through those changes, offering guidance, acting as an example, delivering coaching, and offering reassurance.

10) Delegation

Many leaders are promoted from internal positions, meaning they come from skilled and technical work, not from management work. While not all leaders will have this problem, Ram Charan’s Leadership Pipeline cites it as one of the primary barriers to promoting leadership.

Work delegation means that when new work is available, leaders should be responsible for delegating and helping their teams to do it and do it well. Their job is to facilitate, not to complete work. Leaders who attempt to do so, even if doing work is simply reviewing work completed, eventually function as bottlenecks rather than as functional parts of the team.

Still, making the change from doing technical work to delegating work is a large one, which means your organization should offer training each time someone is promoted through the ranks to a new leadership position.

Leadership skills gaps affect the organization as a whole. They impact productivity, team motivation, employee loyalty, and collaboration. Performing a skills gap analysis, conduction 360-feedback, and offering courses and workshops to help close the gaps you do find can greatly benefit the organization for the long-term.


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How to navigate LinkedIn for Business to boost your HR efforts

Social media is everywhere. It’s ingrained in our daily life. In just one minute, 87,500 tweets are sent and 1 million people log into Facebook. But social media isn’t only about connecting with friends and sharing your latest photographs. Social media can also be a valuable resource for businesses. 

With over 675 million active monthly users, LinkedIn can be a powerful platform for both organizations and individuals looking to stand out within their industry. As a HR professional, LinkedIn can play an essential role in many of your daily tasks. In this article, we’ll be exploring all the ways LinkedIn Business can help you boost your HR efforts.

What are the business benefits of using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn offers many benefits for HR professionals, outside of social networking with other professionals. LinkedIn’s standard features can be used to conduct job candidate profile checks, to build your own personal brand, show off your company culture, or expand your network through LinkedIn Groups. 

When recruiting new talent, you can use LinkedIn to perform a quick candidate profile check for job applicants. While we don’t advise basing your hiring decision off this, it can be a useful tool for gaining an insight into an applicant’s previous job history, achievements and current activity. 

LinkedIn can also be beneficial for developing your own personal brand. As a HR professional your online actions may be considered representative of the company you work for. However, it’s also a representation of you as an individual. By ensuring your profile is up to date and that you are sharing valuable information, you can use LinkedIn to showcase your expertise within the HR industry. 

The Human Resources department is usually responsible for ensuring a positive company culture exists within the organization. By working with your marketing department, you can use your company LinkedIn page to showcase your company story, share an insight into what it’s like working for your organization and show off your great company culture. Company pages are a great way to show people how your company goes above and beyond to ensure employee satisfaction.

LinkedIn is, of course, a social network and so it presents a great opportunity to build your professional network. By joining and being active in LinkedIn Groups you can build real-world relationships and connections with other professionals.

The HR benefits of LinkedIn don’t stop there. LinkedIn also has many additional features that can be used to further boost your HR efforts and, in turn, your business success. 

What are LinkedIn Business Solutions?

Business Solutions on LinkedIn provides a hub of different paid-for services offering additional features for LinkedIn. Comprising talent, marketing, sales, and learning solutions, these LinkedIn Business Solutions can be advantageous for HR professionals.

While the standard LinkedIn features can be used to elevate your HR efforts, the LinkedIn Business Solutions will help you gain a competitive advantage against competitors by ensuring you have access to even more insights and features to support your HR activity.

How can you use LinkedIn Business to boost HR efforts?

If you are looking to hire new talent for your organization, LinkedIn Business Solutions can help you further your recruitment efforts with their Talent Solutions. LinkedIn reports that over 90% of LinkedIn members are open to job opportunities. Providing access to such a great pool of candidates, LinkedIn can be invaluable for improving your recruitment process.

With LinkedIn Talent Solutions, you can source talent using the recruiter search platform. The Recruiter platform helps you find, connect with, and manage candidates for job opportunities. You can also speed up the hiring process by using saved searches and candidate alerts. You can also stay up to date when your top candidates update their profile, making sure you’re ready to reach out with a job opportunity at the right time.

Whilst recruiting top talent is an important part of your role as a HR professional, it’s also important that you provide support for your current employees. Research shows that 76% of employees who don’t feel valued at work will seek other job opportunities. Therefore, as a HR professional, it is your duty to ensure employees feel valued at work and, as a result, have higher job satisfaction levels. Further to this, a learning report conducted by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. Knowing employees value learning within the workplace, Learning Solutions by LinkedIn could be an ideal tool for your HR department.

LinkedIn’s Learning Solutions platform contains over 16,000 courses in seven languages so your employees can access the learning materials that are most suited to their career needs. Survey data by LinkedIn found that employees want access to self-directed, independent learning with 74% of employees wanting to learn during their spare time at work. By providing employees with a range of courses that they can undertake at their own pace, LinkedIn Learning Solutions can help you ensure your business is supporting employees by meeting their demand for self-directed learning opportunities.

Finally, you could work with your Marketing department to make sure that your marketing efforts on LinkedIn put your company in the spotlight. By teaming up with the Marketing department, you can use LinkedIn Marketing Solutions to create a variety of social media ads on LinkedIn that highlight your company culture, increase business awareness, and showcase employee engagement and satisfaction levels. Boosting employee engagement through your LinkedIn marketing is a great way to show prospective employees that you are a company that cares. You could create “Work With Us” ads that share existing employee testimonials and show prospective employees what it really means to work for your organization. Alternatively, you could use the Marketing Solutions platform to create ads that highlight your company values and strengthen your corporate reputation.

Final thoughts on boosting HR efforts through LinkedIn

There are many ways you can leverage LinkedIn for Business as a HR professional. Ultimately, you should plan to use LinkedIn as a tool for showcasing your company values, hiring new employees and building out your professional network of peers and partners. You will be able to boost your organization’s HR efforts by making use of LinkedIn’s various tools and features.

 Whilst LinkedIn’s recruitment tools are ideal for helping you connect with top candidates for job vacancies, the learning tools will allow you to nurture and support your existing employees. By considering how LinkedIn can be used to showcase your company values and culture, you will be able to create content on LinkedIn that boosts your HR efforts and reaches your business goals.


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Remote Work Trends That Will Shape 2021

Remote Work Trends of 2021 and beyond

This is a guest post from Angelo Castelda, a freelance writer from Asia. Besides writing, he also spends his time traveling and learning about diverse cultures, which opened his heart more to learning and imparting knowledge about homebased online jobs and TESL.

Working outside of an office is now a popular option for many industries. Because of the pandemic, it became even more popular because it’s a much safer choice than having employees travel to their places of work. Even now, when most countries are on their roads to recover from the pandemic’s impact, human resource experts and stakeholders forecast that remote work is here to stay.

While it has its disadvantages, just like any work setup, its advantages are much more appealing. For entrepreneurs, it lowers overall business costs and reduces short-term absenteeism of employees due to sickness. On the other hand, employees get to enjoy location independence when choosing an employer and the savings of not traveling to work and paying for food regularly.

As it looks like it’s going to remain for a while, it’s only fitting to focus on what will happen moving forward. For both employers and employees, it’s important to stay updated on the future of working remotely. Let’s explore it in this article, starting with the remote work trends that will shape 2021.

Reshaping of HR practices

Since the shift to remote work happened, HR departments also had to shift their practices. And since remote work will go on, more HR specialists will be reviewing their usual approaches to see how they can change them for the better. They have to basically reform and invent a new worker experience to adapt to the new normal.

The focus will shift to making the virtual worker experience better this year. HR specialists should adjust in-person practices to be more acceptable in a virtual setup. Such methods include hiring, employee orientation, training, and termination.

Because of the popularity of online jobs worldwide, HR has to cultivate a good virtual relationship with employees. Besides communicating and connecting with employees, they’ll also focus on shortening clerical work because of the rising trend of paper digitalization for data collection and processing purposes.

Competition to attract talent between cities and states

Historically, states and cities compete to attract businesses to relocate to their area to provide more job opportunities for their citizens. Now, they’ll be competing to attract talent to relocate to their jurisdiction due to remote work breaking the boundaries of location.

Since remote work broke location boundaries, city governments will shift to promoting incentives of relocating to their jurisdiction for professionals. It’s a much more affordable method of increasing employment in their area rather than giving tax credits to companies to relocate. This competition will add to the appeal of remote work and relocation in a world where an employee’s residence isn’t tied to their place of work.

Urgency in upskilling

Upskilling means providing an employee with more advanced skills through additional education and training. The shift to remote work for the new normal led to the acceleration of the necessity of upskilling. This year, more businesses across different sectors will be busy with training and educating their remote employees to upskill.

According to recent statistics on remote work trends, at least 54% of a company’s staff will require significant reskilling by 2022. This will prompt managers to create a shift away from specifying roles toward needed skills for a company. Changes of such magnitude will entail crafting new skills to help employees respond to them better.

This year, employees will be trained and educated by their companies to gain cross-functional knowledge. Businesses will also be quicker in adopting upskilling programs to help their workforce gain essential skills.

In conclusion

Businesses that’ll go on with remote work will have to humanize and work on improving the skill sets of their employees. More people will also benefit from working from home because of the incentives from different locales for relocation. The year 2021 looks to be an even better year for remote workers and people seeking remote job opportunities as the world adapts to it being the new norm.


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The ultimate guide to LinkedIn strategies for recruiters

LinkedIn has been a primary recruiting platform for over a decade. That’s never been more true than today. In fact, with 765+ million registered users as of 2021, LinkedIn is the largest it’s ever been. That’s important for recruiters, especially as the pandemic pushed cultural shifts to work-from-home, digital communication, and digital hiring.

That combination, plus LinkedIn’s 400+ million daily active users, make the platform a prime part of your recruitment strategy. Of course, any LinkedIn strategy must be multi-faceted. Running ads and using job profiles can get you hires in the short-term. Building networks and connections, sharing your teams on social media, and building a following will help you to gain access to higher quality talent and better hires over time.

Most recruiters should use a combination of strategies, mixing short-term hiring strategies with long-term talent acquisition strategies for the best results.

Recruitment is digitizing & LinkedIn is an ideal platform

Today’s recruitment is increasingly digital. That’s important in a world where the average corporate job listing sees 250+ applications. Filtering technology, AI, and document scanners are crucial tools to help recruiters do their jobs. And, LinkedIn has many of these tools built in, except you’re looking at profile keywords, profile settings, and similar rather than resumes.

LinkedIn is already used by more than half a million people, most of whom only use the platform for work and networking. That makes it an ideal place to connect with the intent of building work connections – because people are actively looking for them. That’s significantly different from other platforms, like Quora, Reddit, or even Facebook, where most people view unsolicited adds and messages as nothing more than spam.

LinkedIn also offers other benefits. For recruiters, it’s a great chance to learn about the person’s interests, views, and ideas and see whether the candidate will be a good fit for the company. For organizations with a strong culture and an established set of values, it is especially important to select people with a similar mindset and attitude so that everyone feels comfortable.

People can also share their expertise on LinkedIn, allowing you to immediately assess whether they are skilled and knowledgeable enough for a certain position. This might be in the form of sharing blogs or projects, it might be in the form of public commentary, or in the form of shared certifications. However, it gives you an at-a-glance look at that person’s workplace behavior, training, and expertise in ways that a resume rarely does.

And, LinkedIn allows you to easily connect with networks. For example, if you need a new software engineer, you can see not only your direct contacts, but second and third contacts as well. You can then reach out to the people who know those prospects to gauge interest, gain clout, or get a referral. That holds true even if you’re building future networks – because not all networking should be about jobs you need right now.

Get your LinkedIn content in top shape

Getting a foot in the door with current or future prospects means using good content, good ads, and ensuring that job profiles, company pages, and your own profile are optimized. This is an important first step before you should even think about moving on to running ads or doing direct outreach.

Optimize your LinkedIn company page

A company LinkedIn page is vital for connecting to talent and opportunities. Having a LinkedIn presence is great for business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer companies since it shows what services are available through your company. A LinkedIn profile is the equivalent of a Facebook profile for the business world and is a company’s social networking “face.” Below are a few simple ways to optimize your LinkedIn company page for great results, aesthetics and connections.

  • On creating your company page, get followers by emailing employees and current customers. Utilize email lists, newsletters, and databases to get the word out. Insert a follow button on your website and blogs and promote your LinkedIn profile on other social media channels.
  • Make sure your company profile picture is your logo for the sake of brand recognition.
  • LinkedIn banner images are similar to Facebook cover images. They are 1128 x 191-pixel images displayed at the top of your company page. Make them eye-catching and they can bring your page to life! A banner can include a call-to-action, your company colors, or your brand.
  • Your company “about” information should be up-to-date, free of spelling or grammar errors, and succinct. This is a great place to insert your mission statement and a little bit of history.
  • Choose your specialties wisely, and only use relevant keywords to describe your company so that you will show up on relevant LinkedIn searches.

Your company LinkedIn page is the first place most prospective talent will click through from a job posting. It’s always a good idea to optimize it to appeal to customers as well as to prospective employees. That means filling out bios, sharing full details, adding photos, and making it a window into the organization’s culture.

The success of a LinkedIn page is also a team effort. Ask your employees to generate thoughts, updates and contributions. This will result in a wide variety of topics and create interest throughout multiple groups.

Engage with current employees

Get employees and LinkedIn members excited about your page by adding value for them. Share information they need, post company updates, and share employee successes and team highlights on the page. This gives you a place to direct internal traffic for updates – while showcasing company culture. 

Offer training

Provide training and opportunities for employees to create full LinkedIn profiles that they enjoy investing time in. Expose employees to compelling information that they can share on LinkedIn and help them become LinkedIn thought leaders in your company’s industry.

Add personality

A LinkedIn Company page offers a number of different features to optimize content and convey important information to visitors. The page design has been tested and developed so that a company can feature what they want, and garner attention with well-placed call-to-actions. Utilizing that will help you to improve your recruiting strategy. For example, you can showcase products employees might be working on. You can share think pieces and company culture. You can share photos of the office or showcase employees “work from home” offices. And, you can share content created by your employees.

Showcase your team

That can also extend to incentivizing employees to build their profiles. Top talent will click through employees at a company before deciding to work there. Showcasing your one of your primary attractions, your human capital, can be important for drawing that talent. Provide training and opportunities for employees to create full LinkedIn profiles that they enjoy investing time in. Expose employees to compelling information that they can share on LinkedIn and help them become LinkedIn thought leaders in your company’s industry. If this is too much investment, you can try simply encouraging LinkedIn contributions to the company page by sharing and posting items your employees write to the page.

Go through the tab options, decide which to add to your page, and make sure it’s well filled out. It’s always a good idea to have “People”, “About”, “Content”, and “Posts”. But, adding a products page allows you to showcase a product or downloadable file that could add interest to prospects.

Optimize your personal LinkedIn profile

One of the biggest mistakes many companies make is ignoring their own social media profiles when looking for candidates online. In the world of the Internet, your social media profile is your trademark. It represents the identity of your brand and immediately informs the visitors about your mission, values, and goals.

For example, if someone visits your page and it’s empty, they will most likely leave – simply because your profile doesn’t seem trustworthy. Always make sure your page looks good before engaging in outreach:

  • Fill in about information
  • Make sure the company you’re hiring for is visible on your profile
  • Post content that reflects your company culture
  • If you are a recruiter for a recruitment company rather than hiring internally, you can always post specific job listings to your profile to ensure it looks relevant
  • Use the right hashtags and tags
  • Ask for references

Improving your own profile ensures you look credible when you go to make a hire. If you’re associated with a specific company, simply viewing someone’s profile can send them to look that company up. Make sure the data people need to find you is on your profile.

Build attractive job listings

A good job profile will make or break your hiring – but it has little to do with networking. Job profiles can link to ads, to individuals making hires, and to ongoing hiring campaigns.

  • Be thorough, always include as much information as-is available about the role
  • Try to include information from the internal job profile
  • Share what software and tools people will be using
  • List hard and soft requirements
  • Be specific about salary ranges, as this is a better way to attract top talent
  • Link jobs to company profiles
  • Share team data. If someone is working at home over communication platforms, share it. If lex work is possible, state that. And, if you know which team they are going in, share something about the team.

Tips for setting up job listings

LinkedIn offers dozens of tools for creating and advertising job listings. These include resumes, branding, search tools, advertising, and much more. Some do cost more money, but it’s worth considering when setting up a recruiting strategy on the platform.

Use targeted recruitment ads – Ensure that only relevant applicants see your vacancy; this doesn’t cost more than a normal recruitment ad.

Don’t forget SEO – Use good keywords to show up in LinkedIn search and increase your search ranking in Google.

Set the right skills – These come up as part of LinkedIn Search.

Open to LinkedIn applications – Allow prospects to apply right through LinkedIn. This “fast application’ reduces the amount of time the applicant spends on the application. But, while it can mean getting more “spam”, it also means seeing more casual candidates, who might be good fits for other roles as well. Plus, LinkedIn applications often allow you to see a resume plus the LinkedIn profile, so you get a more thorough picture of the prospect. 

Add screening questions – These can help you reduce spam, so you get higher quality applicants. 

LinkedIn job ads can be a great way to make immediate hires. But they also put your company page in front of future prospects as well.

Get your team involved on LinkedIn

Internal PR is all about promoting the company’s image and brand among the company’s employees. So, what does it have to do with LinkedIn recruiting?

Internal PR is one of the best ways to advertise that you have a great company to work for.

Satisfied and loyal employees usually become the company’s ambassadors and gladly share their experience and ideas with friends and peers. Once you create a strong internal PR culture and enhance the company’s culture, the employees will more actively talk about the company online – thus, attracting new potential candidates. People greatly trust the feedback from friends and family – use it to your advantage.

When your team is highly engaged, productive, and happy at work, they’re more likely to tell those positive stories to their friends, family, and professional networks. By shifting your focus to recognize team members as your very own, built-in influencers, you can further grow your business by leveraging your team’s strongest suits.

Your employees are connected to ten times more people than your brand. That pays off when it comes to recruitment.

A study on employee activism revealed that, on average, 50% of employees share photos and videos on social media about their work, and a third of them do this with no encouragement from their employer. If your employees are already singing your company’s praises, how can you leverage their networks without being heavy-handed?

The answer is pretty simple: Provide them with the tools and resources that make it easier to promote your brand. Create a Brand Bible, if you will, that clearly explains the vision, mission, and history of your organization. Give your team training on the company’s “elevator pitch”. Make brand promotion part of your corporate culture.

Engaged employees are more likely to refer talent to your organization when openings arise, meaning Human Resources gains access to better talent pools with fewer resources spent. Simply leveraging an employee referral program can help you attract – and retain – the best possible talent!

While it’s not necessary to offer stock options to employees to reap the benefits of ownership mindset, it is up to leaders to create positive change and a culture of empowerment by recognizing, fostering, and nurturing internal brand ambassadors.

Use brand ambassadors

A brand ambassador is someone who speaks highly of your business. Today, most people associate brand ambassadors with highly paid celebrities acting as the face of a brand. But, brand ambassadors have traditionally been individuals who are hired by companies to help entrench the brand into the community by leveraging already established networks and market the brand through word-of-mouth tactics.

To identify potential internal brand ambassadors, look for team members who:

  • Ask questions aimed at discovering new ways they could be more effective or helpful
  • Talk about the brand and may engage with internal branding experts or managers to ensure they’re on the right path
  • Share their thoughts and ideas on how the company could improve
  • Think about your company and/or their role even while they’re not at work
  • Arrive at work each day inspired to do their work and share their thoughts
  • Advocate for the organization online such as by sharing content related to your brand initiatives on their personal social networks

If you’re working internally, it’s also important to encourage these qualities in your team on a large scale. As you identify the employees already demonstrating their enthusiasm, curiosity, and engagement, it’s important to support them to help them flourish. Good company culture is just that, culture.

Bring a human touch to the recruiting and onboarding process

  • Start with proper onboarding – From the moment you make a new hire, all efforts should be made to welcome your new team member and engage with them – from the time the offer letter is sent to the time s/he walks through the door on their first day. That can be on LinkedIn, or not, but you should always maintain contact through LinkedIn. 
  • Make a good first impression  Make an excited introduction to the team, share profiles so people get to know them. 
  • Assign mentors and buddies – Create a buddy system so candidates know who to reach out to for questions, and new hires have support through the early days.
  • Get feedback – Check in frequently to see how candidates find the recruitment and onboarding process, and if they have suggestions.
  • Keep your team in the loop – Keep the team that a candidate would be working with informed throughout the process, especially during the final stages. They may even want to reach out to candidates they liked to make a connection.

Your employees can only be as engaged as you let them. For this reason, keeping your team close to the action and ensure they’re informed about the business, how it’s doing, and the ways their work ladders up to the strategic priorities and goals of the organization. Eventually, they will likely be your largest source of prospects and new leads on LinkedIn.

If your current team is willing to reach out to their own network, you can ask them to share your job openings and careers page on their personal social networks. Your team is in a unique position to sell the company culture, since they are a part of it. They can share their experiences with the company, how they’ve grown, and other reasons they enjoy working with your business. Just make sure they have good experiences to share before you ask them to advertise an opening.

Use LinkedIn networking

Networking is part of your long-term recruiting strategy. It allows you to build and nurture contacts. It allows you to work your way into groups where you see people looking for jobs. And, it allows you to create leads out of cold contacts by offering them value over time. However, there are always rules and doing things the right way usually means spending more time.

Join groups

Join existing LinkedIn groups and take part in them. Comment, answer questions, ask questions. Do not, under any circumstances, spam the group with job ads unless the group allows that.

LinkedIn groups are either open or private communities where people can share their expertise and thoughts. Unfortunately, marketers actively use these groups as well as an easy way to promote the company’s content. Because of that, it becomes hard to find one experienced candidate among dozens of marketers or expert wannabes.

While the presence in LinkedIn groups is preferable, do not see it as your only or primary talent pool.

Use relevant filters

Filtering is probably the easiest way to find the right candidates, but many recruiters still seem to ignore it.

Filtering allows you to search the candidates by location, experience, occupation, etc. So, once you have a profile of a perfect candidate, match it to the right filters and it will be much easier and quicker to find a person.

Be responsive

Build relationships with your followers and other professionals in the industry. This will give you a direct line to your potential candidates, and it’ll allow you to interact with them and see how they treat your content. Pay attention to whether they share your blogs, the quality of their posts (their work and insights, not grammar), and how they brand themselves online.

Use Hashtags – Hashtags allow you to see and engage with posts from all over the world. Choosing and following relevant hashtags gives you insight into people looking for work, people hiring, and even education and certifications in the field. You can apply this on a broad level with hashtags like #softwaredevelopment or you can do so on a local level, with tags like #Manilla. You can engage, or just keep an eye on what is going on.

Don’t underestimate cold contacts

Cold contacts might include people who are in jobs now. They might include people who qualify for roles you need in one to five years. But, they represent future prospects. Building networks with them now and investing in them now can lead to you hiring them well into the future. Plus, building relationships with people, while asking nothing out of them, makes it easier for them to decide to send job prospects and contacts your way when you do post job listings.

Try a direct outreach

Direct outreach is a viable tactic, but you have to be careful not to come across as pushy or to spam prospects.

Avoid spam

The worst thing that a candidate may receive on LinkedIn is a random and non-personalized message from a recruiter.

On one hand, it is understandable that after screening 100+ profiles, a recruiter can make a mistake and send the wrong message to the wrong person. On the other, if you want to show genuine interest and respect for a person, always take some time to personalize the message and make it interesting for the candidate.

Personalizing messages can mean investing in reading profiles. But that will save you a lot of mis-placed emails and content.

Offer value

Whether you’re contacting a prospect for a position now or one that might open in 2 years, offer some value. That might be access to free training. It might be valuable information. It might be spending 20 minutes offering a free review of their resume. But, that time investment gets you in the door and works to build trust. When you do approach with a job role, you’ll already have established a relationship.

Running your LinkedIn recruitment strategy

Once you know what to use, it’s important to define how much, how, and how to follow up. You can normally work out LinkedIn recruiting strategies based on budget, team involvement, and total number of hires needed.

  • How far forward do you have hiring prediction in place?
  • What is your turnover rate? Can you plan to have contacts in place to fill roles as they empty?
  • Are you adding on new roles? Can you plan to fill them before hiring becomes an immediate necessity?
  • Can you align hiring with teams so that those teams post about and share roles themselves?

Using LinkedIn to research candidates

LinkedIn showcases someone’s interests, hobbies, and even personality. By looking at a person’s profile, you can spot their favorite places, ways of spending time, and even learn about their views on modern trends and culture.

However, you cannot predict whether a person will be a perfect fit for your team or not just by looking at their page. People behave differently at home and at work.

However, looking at posts, content, and personality on pages can give you a good idea if someone will fit into a team.

What to look for

Social media check should not be the primary factor upon deciding whether to hire a person or not. However, a social media profile may have some red flags that you should pay attention to.

Professional profiles

All people are different, and all have a different opinion about things. This is perfectly fine. However, if you see poor behavior social media, like an open combative argument online, that should be a warning sign.

People have a full right to agree or disagree with things. But an aggressive imposing of opinion may lead to conflict in the future. If the person cannot handle him or herself on social media, there is no guarantee s/he can be professional at work.

Communication styles

The way a person communicates with the followers may say a lot about the candidate. If a person is rude, arrogant, passive-aggressive, or never agree with the opinions of other people, this should concern you. Most people tend to keep the same conversational style both at work and at home.

If you see that a person cannot efficiently communicate, think twice about inviting him or her for an interview – most probably, s/he cannot work as a team player and could introduce constant arguing and temper tantrums.

Things to look for:

Now, let’s look at what can actually help you determine whether the candidate is the right fit for your company.

Content that supports expertise

While scrolling the feed, you may see the photos from conferences, re-posts from industry leaders, links to the online courses, etc.

These posts support the expertise of a person and show that they are willing to network and grow their skills. But if there are no such posts, that’s OK too. After all, many people prefer not to mix work and personal life.

You should also look at references, recommendations, interactions, courses taken on LinkedIn, and even listed certifications – whether or not they have anything to do with the specific role. This will give you a significant insight into the person’s total expertise and willingness to learn.

Content that showcases creativity

Creativity is awesome because it helps employees make unusual decisions and find unique solutions.

So if LinkedIn posts show a creative mindset, it’s a good sign. Creativity in your personal life can greatly help at work and would become a great asset for an employee. In addition, creative people tend to be independent thinkers who may as well become good leaders.

Content that shows personality

Let’s be honest – you want to know a bit about the person before inviting them for an interview.

LinkedIn can be a great source of information about the person in terms of habits, interests, hobbies. However, it is limited, because it’s always geared towards work. In a way that’s great, because you see exactly as much personality as that person is willing to bring to work.

Taking the next step

Eventually you’ll move candidates and prospects off LinkedIn and hopefully into an interview and then into a role. As you do, it’s important to continue to dedicate the same amount of attention and time. Offer perks to keep hires engaged. Use good onboarding to ensure the hiring experience is good. And, make sure recruiters continue to work with hires to ensure they are moving towards not away from professional goals. Doing so will ensure that they not only stay with the company – but will improve your existing LinkedIn networking.

Conclusion

Eventually, no LinkedIn recruitment strategy will ever be perfect. You’ll always run into issues. Someone will always eventually accidentally send a copy paste message to the wrong person. And, you can engage with candidates for months only to have the role vanish in a restructure. The important things are to set a budget and keep recruitment efforts within that. You also want to ensure that you continue to tweak your strategy over time, so that you invest time and effort into the people and hiring strategies that matter. That always means keeping job profiles and descriptions up to date. But, it also means changing which groups you interact in, tweaking engagement strategies, changing which roles and skills you look for, and otherwise keeping things relevant. And, if engagement doesn’t’ work, it’s always a good idea to stop and look at why, change tactics, and keep moving forward.


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