Philippines’ Top HR Blog

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How to hire for loyalty

With the average cost of hiring a new employee ranging anywhere from USD$4,000 to USD$7,645 and beyond, it’s no surprise that hiring for loyalty is at the top of any HR department’s agenda. But how exactly do you hire for loyalty and, once you’ve hired who you think is a loyal employee, how do you ensure that they stay?

The importance of employee loyalty

The benefits of a loyal employee extend far beyond the costs of recruiting their replacement. A loyal employee also brings:

  • Efficiency – the longer someone is in their role, the more efficient they become at tasks;
  • Progression – long-serving employees tend to build their careers within a company, bringing you home-grown talent;
  • Performance – loyal employees care about the growth of the company; and
  • Culture – loyal employees help to maintain a positive workplace culture.

How to hire for loyalty

The benefits are clear, but hiring for loyalty can be easier said than done – with even your most promising long-term staff unexpectedly handing in their notice. The problem is that many companies focus on only one aspect of recruiting for loyalty when, in fact, they should be focusing on three:

1. Attraction

First, you need to attract loyal candidates to your vacancy, encouraging them to apply. This is done by:

  • Building an employer brand through recommendations, a dedicated careers webpage, and social media – somewhere that people aspire to work;
  • Offering a competitive salary – it’s not the biggest driver of employee satisfaction, but it is a driver;
  • Offering worthwhile benefits – sure artificial grass and an inside slide are fun, but top employee perks such as flexible working, free childcare, and remote working are better long-term; and
  • Making the interview process as flexible as you can – it’s your first impression after all.

2. Selection

Once you’ve attracted candidates to apply to your position, next, you need to determine which of those candidates will be most loyal, while still fulfilling all the requirements of the role. Achieve this by:

  • Looking beyond qualifications – while skills matching important, but you also want to see qualities such as a willingness to learn, a passion for performance, and an ability to get on with people;
  • Asking candidates for the reasons behind leaving previous positions – previous job hopping isn’t necessarily a bad sign, it might be for the reason that there wasn’t a career-for-life for them there;
  • Assessing cultural fit – we all know how difficult it is to stay loyal when you really don’t fit in; and
  • Trusting employee referrals – current employees will refer family and friends because they see them fitting in, doing well, and staying.

3. Retention

Finally, once you’ve attracted and hired your employee, you then need to make them want to stay. This is done by demonstrating the company’s loyalty and trustworthiness by:

  • Keeping salaries competitive – conduct regular market reviews;
  • Delivering the benefits promised – if you said you offered free breakfast on a Friday, offer free breakfast on a Friday;
  • Use employee engagement techniques to empower employees to perform, learn, and progress – and rewarding them when they do; and
  • Ensuring that everyone has the tools to do their job and a voice to contribute to the company’s strategy.

Hiring for loyalty – key message

Ultimately, to hire for loyalty, you must demonstrate loyalty – making employees feel proud and valued, which makes potential employees want to work for you and stay with you. And, if it doesn’t work out – so be it – your next hire can be even better.


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Recruitment checklist: How to ensure seamless interviews and onboarding for all parties

Recruitment can be a loose cannon, with different hiring managers, agencies and team members involved. Sometimes your interview and onboarding process can be spot on – resulting in a long-serving and highly performing employee – and other times it can be a disaster, resulting in expensive recruitment costs with no returns. This checklist arms you with everything you need to do to structure your processes and guarantee a seamless interview and successful onboarding process for all hires.

Advantages of a structured hiring process

A structured interview and onboarding process has significant benefits for your company, the hiring manager and, most importantly, your new employee. Why?

  • It ensures consistency – meaning that everyone is treated the same;
  • It reduced errors – preventing oversights and overcoming forgetfulness;
  • It creates a positive experience – making new employees more likely to stay; and
  • It’s just easier.

Interview checklist

What can take only an hour of your time, actually involves a significant amount of work behind the scenes. A successful interview process should include the following:

Before the interview

Before getting to the interview itself, you need to do some preparation beforehand, including:

  • Arranging a date, time and location with the candidate and interview panel;
  • Booking a meeting room and refreshments;
  • Determining the specific qualities you are looking for – refreshing the job description if appropriate;
  • Reviewing the candidate’s CV and application; and
  • Preparing the interview technique and questions you are going to ask and a scorecard to record responses.

During the interview

During the interview, it’s important to stick to an interview structure that involves:

  • Welcoming the candidate and explaining the interview process;
  • Asking questions and giving enough time for the candidate to respond;
  • Asking the candidate for their questions;
  • Taking notes throughout the whole process; and
  • Explaining the next steps.

It’s important to put the candidate at ease and to ensure that the interview stays on track and within time.

After the interview

Following the interview, you should meet with the rest of the panel promptly to discuss the candidate and decide whether they are to be rejected, invited to a second-stage interview, or offered the position. It’s good practice to deliver feedback to all candidates, regardless of their success, quickly.

Onboarding checklist

Once your seamless interview process has identified the ideal candidate, you then need to onboard them. With 90% of employees deciding whether to stay with a company within the first six months, the onboarding process is extremely important, which is why we recommend the following steps:

Before the start date

Before the start date, it’s a good idea to stay in regular contact with your new hire, reducing their nerves and decreasing the amount of paperwork required on the first day. Specifically, you should:

  • Send a welcome letter, including the contract and any paperwork that needs to be completed;
  • Conduct pre-employment checks, such as references;
  • Send the employee their induction plan, along with information on where to go on the first day and who to ask for;
  • Arrange for all tools, equipment, logins, and permissions to be ordered and granted; and
  • Set up a productive workspace.

The start date

Nerves will be high for everyone on day one, making a structured approach welcome by all. On the first day ensure that:

  • Someone is there to greet the employee and show them around the offices, introducing them to everyone;
  • A mentor or buddy is assigned to the employee, who the employee can approach with any questions during their first few months and who can take them to lunch on their first day;
  • An announcement is sent to all other employees, and any organizational charts are updated; and
  • All required health and safety training is completed.

The first few months

The first day doesn’t signal the end of your onboarding process. During the first few months, it’s fundamental to:

  • Have a structured induction plan that eases the new employee into their role and responsibilities, introduces them to other departments, includes the necessary training, and gives them an overview of how the whole company works; and
  • Schedule regular catch-up sessions to see how they’re getting on and to get feedback on your induction process.

Final thoughts

Attending an interview is nerve-wracking and starting a new job is even worse. Make it easier for your new starters, hiring managers and yourself by following these simple but effective checklists.


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What Makes a Top Employee? Utilizing Profiling and Performance for Hiring and Training

Whether you’re in a recruitment phase, working to develop internal employees, or attempting to upskill key elements of your workforce, it’s crucial to be able to identify individuals who can benefit from and excel in roles and during development. Job and success profiling, performance management, and employee assessment are key ways to do so, because you can use this data when hiring, when choosing candidates for succession, and when choosing candidates for internal development. Most importantly, identifying what makes a top employee will allow you to invest into employee development in directions that directly benefit your organization.

Job and success profiling, performance management, and employee assessment are key ways to do so, because you can use this data when hiring, when choosing candidates for succession, and when choosing candidates for internal development. Most importantly, identifying what makes a top employee will allow you to invest into employee development in directions that directly benefit your organization.

Success Profiles

Success profiles create a holistic overview of what success looks like in a role. Unlike competency frameworks or modeling, they look at the complete overview of an individual’s history, knowledge, competencies, and personal disposition. This is extremely useful when determining what sort of person you’re looking for in a role, because it tells you the ideal complete profile for your candidate. You can think of success profiles as something of a complete overview of everything that goes into making a top employee, which means that having a good one hinges on having a quality competency framework, assessment, and validation in place.

Competency Framework

Your competency framework defines the behaviors and ideals or other soft skills that add value to a role, to the organization, and to your future goals. This allows you to prioritize behaviors for the organization at a broad level, and then adjust and focus specific behavior and soft skill requirements for individual roles. For example, your competency framework allows you to define which behaviors allow an individual to succeed in your organization as a whole which will allow them to move across roles and up through leadership. You can use this to hire individuals who can succeed in their role now, as well as in any role their position takes them to as part of your organization.  

Integrating Assessment

Assessment should be part of both long-term performance management and part of short-term recruitment. You should know how individuals are performing and why as a long-term thing. For example, if a few individuals consistently stand out in performance management, you want to know why. Integrating role assessment and performance assessment at a level that it can track success to specific factors such as an individual’s hard or soft skills, their emotional intelligence, or their dedication to continued growth will allow you to look for those traits in others.

Validate Results

No matter where you get your data, it’s important to validate it against both existing, current, and future results. For example, if you collect data showing that individuals who are very emotionally intelligent and extroverted are better able to excel in a specific role, you would want to validate that before basing all your hiring decisions on those factors. You’d want to ensure that the success of those individuals wasn’t based on other factors, that those are the only factors contributing to high performance in those roles so that you don’t rule out other very good candidates, and that your data is actually correct. While validation helps you to confirm your results, it can also help you to improve the quality of results by finding elements and considerations you hadn’t noticed before.

Identifying top employees is a process of identifying what performance you’re looking for, what contributes to that performance, and how those behaviors work and operate in a role and when individuals move between roles. This process allows you to see which individuals are likely to succeed, where they are likely to succeed, and why, so that you can make critical decisions regarding employee recruitment, development, and promotion.


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4 Tips on Getting Actionable Employee Feedback

This is a guest post from Ashley Wilson. Ashley is a digital nomad and freelance writer from San Diego, California. When she is not busy baking cupcakes, Ashley loves writing about business, digital marketing, and finance. Connect with Ashley via Twitter @ashleygwilson.

Most businesses understand the value of getting customer feedback, but many are missing out on a much more valuable source of actionable intelligence: their own employees. While customer feedback is important, it often says more about your employees than about your business.

Your employees may treat your customers well in spite of how they themselves feel treated as employees. If you are not careful, however, you can quickly lose the very employees that may inspire great customer loyalty. Conversely, if your customers aren’t happy, it’s a fairly safe bet that your employees aren’t happy either.

In some cases, if you want better customer satisfaction you actually need to improve employee satisfaction.

Getting actionable feedback from employees, however, is not quite as simple as getting it from your customers. While your customers may not hesitate to give an honest review even if it is negative, your employees may not be so eager.

Your customers have little, if anything, to lose from their criticism of your business, but your employees are in a much more tenuous position. Here are 4 tips for getting actionable – and honest – feedback from your employees.

1. Offer Both Anonymous and Face-to-Face Opportunities

Both anonymous and face-to-face feedback have their drawbacks. Overall, feedback given anonymously may or may not be as trustworthy as feedback given face-to-face. Honest feedback is much harder to get, however, when employers know where it is coming from. Anonymous feedback also makes it much easier to vent in a fit of pique or even maliciously slander someone because there is little threat of repercussion.

One way to encourage honest face-to-face feedback is to make performance reviews a two-way street. By choosing to receive an employee evaluation at the same time as giving one, you are more likely to get honest feedback from an employee who is also looking for the same thing.

2. Make Sure Feedback is Solicited from All Employees

As telecommuting and remote work become more common, it is also common for businesses to forget about their remote employees in company matters.

Your remote employees will actually be affected by corporate culture just as much as your on-site employees, but they often have even less of a voice than your on-site employees. Not only is it important to solicit feedback from your remote employees, it is also important to take extra measures to try and help your remote employees feel like they are a real part of the team.

With remote employees, you have to be especially careful and aware of the preferred communication style. This means you should offer feedback in the time of day and using the tools (email, phone, video call etc.) the remote employee will be receptive to. As in any other case, paying attention to your tone and body language as well as making sure you listen, answer and clarify any questions and comments is of utmost importance.

3. Make Feedback Protocols Clear – and Adhere to Them

If employees believe they can be fired or even punished for giving negative feedback, they are unlikely to give it. While everyone loves hearing all the things they are doing right, the truth is what you are doing wrong will be most detrimental to your business. That is actually the feedback you need the most.

It is important for employees to understand exactly how any feedback will be handled and perhaps most importantly, what protections they can expect for giving it. It is also important to respond appropriately to negative feedback and let your employees know they have been heard and you are taking their feedback seriously.

Chances are good you will have to deliver negative feedback to your employees, so this is a good opportunity to set an example of how to receive and handle negative feedback maturely and professionally.

Basically, oftentimes higher levels of job satisfaction, better job performance, trust and motivation depend on the emotional intelligence of both parties. It all starts with you.

4. Handle Explosive Revelations With Care – But Do Handle Them

The Bill Cosby scandal may be one of the most important lessons for businesses. The more widely respected, loved and revered an individual is, the more difficult it may be to believe anything negative about them. Your most efficient manager may actually turn out to also be embezzling thousands of dollars in company funds.

Any time there is a major scandal of any kind, it invariably turns out someone knew what was going on and in many cases tried to tell someone. The problem was that no one listened or believed them.

Yes, employees may always err on the side of believing they are overworked, underpaid and not treated fairly. That does not automatically mean they are wrong, however. Just because an employee makes an accusation does not automatically mean it is true, but it also doesn’t mean it’s untrue just because it is unbelievable.

It is very important to investigate any and all allegations that may come to light by whatever means they are delivered.

It Flows Both Ways

Almost all businesses, employers, managers and employers will have to deliver negative feedback to their employees at some time, and the truth is, employees generally expect it. In order to have a truly healthy business dynamic, however, it is important for honest evaluation to flow both ways.

Receiving negative feedback is hard and it is easy for business owners, supervisors and managers to simply close themselves off to receiving it. Those that do, however, may do so at their own peril.


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6 ways to encourage employee retention

You’ve built the perfect team. They’re talented, they complement each other’s skills, they perform outstandingly, they’re a joy to work with, and they create a positive culture. The only problem? You can’t sleep at night for fear that they might hand in their notice. Employee retention is a hot HR issue, which is why we’re covering the top six ways to encourage employee retention (and get a full night’s sleep).

The importance of employee retention

When you have a great employee – you want to keep them. Not just because you like them but because employee retention brings benefits including:

 

  • Cost savings – replacement recruitment can cost from USD$4,000 to beyond;
  • Performance – when an employee leaves, the performance of the whole team suffers until a replacement is recruited and up-to-scratch;
  • Competition – when you have the best talent, you have a competitive advantage;
  • Culture – high-turnover feeds negative cultures; low-turnover creates positive cultures that attracts positive employees.

Six ways to encourage employee retention

Put simply, you don’t want to let go of your best performers. But how do you go about keeping them and encouraging employee retention?

1. Hire well

An employee’s potential loyalty should be assessed at the very beginning of the recruitment process. During the interview ask candidates why they left their previous positions, assess their career objectives against what you can offer, and determine their cultural fit. If flags are raised – take your time to find the right hire.

2. Reward sufficiently

Money is important, but it’s not everyone’s loyalty motivator. Offer a competitive salary (one that enables the employee to afford to say) and complement it with the top employee perks and benefits that are valuable to employees. Examples include free parking, flexible working, gym membership, childcare, and remote working – benefits that mean something and would be difficult to give up.

3. Offer culture

Culture is crucial when it comes to retention. It determines how an employee feels when they step into work, how much freedom they are given to perform their role, how their performance is rewarded, and how much they can contribute to the company’s vision and strategy. Actively create a positive culture that makes employees want to stay.

4. Develop careers

A strong learning culture can lead to 30-50% increased retention rates. Instead of just offering a job, offer employees a career – one with the necessary tools, learning, opportunities, responsibilities, and employee empowerment to develop in. And, when employees achieve within that career, be generous with both praise and recognition.

5. Give employees a voice

Loyalty is a two-way street. Create an environment that encourages two-way communication, open doors, regular feedback, and transparent business performance. Not only does this involve the employee in the company’s journey, but it also provides an opportunity for pain-points to be raised, heard, and solved.

6. Celebrate

It’s also important to celebrate your employees. Highlight loyalty, praise performance, put out cakes for anniversaries, and make your company a fun company to thrive in.

Encouraging retention – the magic ingredient

What do all of these steps have in common? Engagement. Employee engagement is one of the biggest motivators for loyalty. It makes employees feel empowered, listened to, valued, and needed. Who wouldn’t want to stay in an environment like that?


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Should you do a social media check before an interview?

Social media showcases someone’s interests, hobbies, and even personality. By looking at a person’s Instagram 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 social media page. People behave differently at home and at work – and that’s the primary argument why many employees are against the idea of checking social media before the interview.

Employers, however, have the opposite opinion. Many of them believe that social media check helps learn about the candidate and it may even serve as a decisive factor upon hiring.

So should you really do it, and if yes, what exactly should you be looking for?

Skills vs personality

Before starting to search for your candidate on social media, give an honest answer to a very important question:

Why do you want to look up this candidate?

In some companies, there is a certain culture or rules of conduct that have to do with the personality of the employees. For example, if you work in a financial company, you’d expect the employees to stick with the casual business style in clothing and refrain from visible tattoos or bright green hair. So obviously, if you see that your candidate is a tattooed party animal, you might worry that such an employee would stir the pot and distract others from work.

Another situation is when a manager takes views and opinions of the employees way too seriously and puts them on par with the skills. In this case, the HR specialists can also check a candidate’s social media profile to make sure the person fits in terms of both skills and desired personality.

However, if you know that skills are the primary thing that matters, social media would not help you much. After all, a person can be an excellent specialist in their field and a totally different person outside the workplace.

So think what matters most: skills or personality. This will make your decision less biased.

Red flags 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.

Radical content

All people are different and all have a different opinion about things. This is perfectly fine.

However, if you see a radical content on one’s social media, like an emotional anti-equality post, or an open combative argument online, that should be a huge 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 style

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.

Too “personal” content

Unless the person is a blogger, it’s not recommended to expose too much of a personal content online. By personal content, we mean posts that contain drunk photos, exposure, etc.

But in this case, watch for the context. If someone had a photoshoot and wants to share the photos, it’s one thing. But if someone’s feed consists of mostly inappropriate photos, this could be a warning sign – especially because your team is so often a reflection of your firm.

Things to look for on social media

Now that we are clear on the big warning signs, 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.

Such 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.

Content that showcases creativity

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

So if the posts on social media show a creative mindset, invite a person for an interview! Creativity in 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 tells about personality

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

Social media can indeed be a great source of information about the person in terms of habits, interests, hobbies.

By studying one’s social media profile, you can analyze whether the person is introverted or extroverted, loves to lead, or is a good team player. All this information will help you assign proper tasks and make sure that the candidate will be able to play to their strong suit.

Summing up

It’s totally fine to check the candidate’s social media profiles before the interview – after all, it will give you a basic idea about what kind of person the candidate is.

However, do not let social media dictate your hiring decision. Unless their social media is a huge turn-off from the start, invite a person for an interview and see how they behave. It may turn out that you will be pleasantly surprised!


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How to Keep Non-Commission-Based Team Members Motivated

Sales teams have very traditionally been motivated by commission-based pay, where they receive a percentage or cut of total sales. At the same time, commission-based pay can be counter-productive, in that it forces team-members to focus on aggressive sales, rather than important aspects such as customer service, customer satisfaction, and ease of administration.

Dropping the commission-based model can result in better customer service, a calmer and happier environment, and happier employees, but how do you continue to motivate team members to make sales without commission rewards?

The following techniques will allow you to continue to motivate sales teams without offering commission.

Create Team Goals

Team goals, purpose, and physically achievable tasks work to boost productivity because individual employees have something to focus on. Here, it’s important to set goals at several levels, starting with high-level targets for total sales and performance.

These targets should be based on data, such as how many sales you achieved last year, what you have to achieve to reach a minimum viable income, or so on.

It’s also important to ensure that sales have the manpower, information, and resources to achieve those targets.

Once you’ve set targets, you can break them down into smaller, more achievable goals. However, it’s important not to set standards for how many sales to make in a day. This can be demotivating if it isn’t reached.

Instead, you should set goals around your sales funnel, with an expected number of signups for a free trial, an expected conversion rate, and an expected return on value over a quarter. You can create benchmarks for expected number of sales, but as your final goal is still profit, that should be your focus.

You may want to introduce daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals, which will allow teams to achieve something every day. However, if goals are too difficult, teams may not achieve them, which will be demotivating.

Introduce Team-Based Performance Rewards

Dropping commissions doesn’t mean dropping performance-based rewards. However, it is often a good idea to avoid individual performance rewards simply because they create disparity in income inside teams. This can be hugely motivating or demotivating to teams depending on the individual. However, rewarding the team as a whole for achieving goals will motivate everyone to step forward and continue to achieve.

Recognize Top Performers

Whether you’re tracking sales, conversion rate, customer satisfaction, or comparing the individual’s performance to existing job profiles, you can very easily tell when an individual is a top performer. It’s important to recognize performance, even when you’re not doing so fiscally.

Taking a minute in meetings to recognize someone’s good work, calling out an individual for making a good decision, or otherwise simply recognizing that an individual has achieved something good will help you to boost motivation and performance across your team.

Sales teams are often difficult to motivate because they have a relatively thankless job, in which they are constantly driving prospects into the sales funnel.

No matter what you sell, sales is the hinge between marketing and customer service. Ensuring they have the data and definable goals to support continuous improvement and sales is the easiest way to ensure they stay motivated and performing.


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Your HR manager should have these 5 competencies for success

HR managers are more than just hiring and firing – they are critical business leaders that should help to shape and drive your company’s future. Which also means that HR managers should have more than just a qualification – your HR manager should also have the competencies for success.

The top HR manager competencies

The remit of an HR manager is never-ending – from attracting talent and resolving grievances, to creating a culture and developing your next leaders. Being successful at all of their tasks requires more than just good organizational skills (although that helps). To be truly successful, your HR manager should have the following competencies:

1. Communication and interpersonal skills

At the heart of any HR manager’s role is communication. They need to work with people from across the business, regardless of seniority, culture, gender, age, or any other characteristics. You HR manager should demonstrate outstanding interpersonal and communication skills – where they can influence the board just as easy as they can mediate employee conflict.

2. Leadership

HR managers need to not only lead their own team but lead the business as a whole. Leadership skills are crucial for building relationships, coaching and developing employees, and guiding the company through organizational challenges and change. Crucially, employees must be able to respect your HR manager as a leader, while still feeling confident enough to confide in them their problems.

3. Strategic thinking

Your HR manager should be able to complement and enhance the company’s strategic direction in everything they do. Accordingly, they need to understand how the organization works and how to develop a competitive advantage through people and their performance – developing complementary hiring, development, and retention strategies.

4. Critical thinking

It’s also important for an HR manager to be able to think critically. No day in HR is every the same – different problems, situations, challenges, and people arise daily. Critical thinking enables your HR manager to balance complex situations and find a solution that combines processes, logic, and out-of-the-box thinking.

5. HR champion

Perhaps most important of all, your HR manager should constantly champion the discipline of HR and its importance for driving the business forward. They need to convince the board of the importance of employee engagement, win over finance for their training budget, inject company culture into everyone, and make your company a place of performance, reward, and fun.

How to screen for HR competencies

Knowing these competencies is one thing, identifying them in potential HR candidates is another. When beginning your next HR manager recruitment campaign, be sure to:

Conclusion

HR managers don’t wear capes – but they really should. A role that involves everything, everyone, and responsibility for the company’s success requires much more than just an HR qualification – it requires skills, competencies, and a personality that can handle it well.


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5 Ways to Build Success Profiles

Success profiles can help your organization to improve hiring, leadership development, and role planning, giving you the tools to strategize who and why you hire and develop. However, the value of these success profiles often lies in their validity, relevance, and ability to adapt to the future, which means that the process of building success profiles is just as important as actually using them.

While your organization can take many approaches to building success profiles, your best option is to use several techniques to complete a well-rounded job profile. In most cases, you can get started by working with an assessment center, tailoring their results to your specific needs, and moving on from there.

Using Performance Management Data

Performance management will always give you a clear idea of who is succeeding, although it may not always tell you why. Here, you should look at who is performing well in their job and in what aspects of their job. You may find that some individuals excel in certain aspects of a role while others do so in other ways. Collecting this information is relatively simple, but it will give you great insight into the skills, personality, and behaviors necessary to hiring or developing a fully rounded person for the role.

Conducting Work Interviews

No one is quite as aware of what is needed in a role as those already in the role or those working immediately around it. Here, you should question how well individuals perform in their role, how they go about performing their role, what is needed for future and upcoming changes, and what they could do better. Doing so will give you a good understanding of not just what people like to see in the role but also what they aren’t seeing.

Using Industry Standards as a Baseline

Industry standards, which can be sourced through assessment centers and recruitment centers, are often a valuable insight for hiring and development. For example, you can look at how others are hiring, look at which skills and behaviors are considered standard, and then tweak those results to meet your own needs. While this will never give you a truly personalized success profile for your organization, you may find details and skills or competencies that you would have missed if building the success profile on your own.

Taking a Holistic Approach to Success

Success in a role is often about much more than simple hard skills. Other considerations include emotional intelligence, competencies such as communication and adaptability, and ability to adjust to new roles, skills, and tasks. For example, many individuals are brought into a leadership pipeline despite not having the necessary adaptability to switch from technical work to leadership work. Looking at every aspect of competencies does require having a competency framework in place, but it will pay off in the long-term, because your success profiles will reflect not just what is needed to complete a job, but also what is needed to excel in the job, what is needed to adapt to a new role, and so on.

Review Your Biggest Risk Cases

Many success profile standards such as the one developed by SigmaSuccessions recommend that you base success profiles on high risk cases. Which employees would make the largest impact if they were to leave tomorrow? What makes them so special? If you can identify key employees, you can identify the traits, behaviors, and competencies that make them so key.

Success profiles are valuable in leadership, succession, and in recruitment but it is important to validate your results.


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5 Tips to Improve Employee Assessment Practices

Employee assessment and performance reviews have been under fire for some time. Studies show that not only do people actively dislike performance reviews, they dread them, allowing them to interrupt real productivity and value delivery.

At the same time, most experts agree the real problem isn’t performance reviews or employee assessment, it’s organizations using outdated assessment practices that fail to take the individual, goals or other factors into account.

Performance reviews can add a lot of value for organizations that want to understand their employees, their actual productivity, and how they are reaching goals. These 5 tips will help you make those changes to improve your assessment practices.

Set Goals and Measure Performance Towards those Goals

Yearly performance assessments have a long history in top-down organizations, where they’re used to reduce low performers, highlight candidates for promotion, and highlight those who are doing enough. This assessment practice results in stress, poor ratings, and a mandated percentage of employees at the top or bottom of a scale.

Setting goals and measuring performance against those goals allows you to create a more dynamic performance scale. For example, you can measure performance as a whole, measure performance in the light of individual, team, or organizational goals, and better understand what people are doing and why. This may mean redefining what you measure as part of performance, simply because flat output may not be a good measure of what an individual is actually doing.

Coach and Develop Employees at Every Level of Performance

Receiving negative feedback is almost never helpful in and of itself. However, if you combine feedback with coaching, mentoring, and development, it gives individuals an opportunity to improve. If someone performs poorly during assessment, coaching them to improve that performance would not only save you the cost of letting an employee go and recruiting a new one, it would increase loyalty from that employee.

Achieving coaching and development means creating a culture of coaching across your management and leadership teams. It also means investing in employees as a whole, so that when you see individuals struggling with something, you can introduce courses, classes, or mentoring from a peer or manager to solve the problem.

Create a Culture of Feedback

People often react badly to, are stressed by, or don’t know what to do with feedback because they aren’t accustomed to it. Creating a culture of feedback, rather than integrating it once per year, is an easy way to make this shift.

Integrating positive and negative feedback into daily and weekly meetings, asking leaders and managers to coach individuals on problem areas, and making time to actively invest in performance throughout the year will make a difference.

For example, if your teams are accustomed to receiving feedback after every project, actively discuss what went wrong and what could have been improved, share time management strategies, and work together to boost performance they won’t be stressed about the same thing happening on a company-wide scale.

Validate Assessment Practices and Results

No assessment practice should ever be run without some validation. This means checking your results against results without those practices, testing other practices, and checking to ensure that the data you are measuring impacts your organization in the way you think it does.

Validating assessment practices may require bringing in external help to do so and it may require using external benchmarks or data.

Keep Employees Involved

No matter how employee-friendly your assessment practices, it’s crucial to keep employees involved and in the loop. If you’re measuring something, they should know about it and why. Understanding what the organization sees as important is crucial to allowing teams to make good time-management decisions and judgement calls, will build trust inside the team, and will prevent issues where teams or individuals are underperforming because they didn’t understand their role. It also reduces fear and therefore attrition, because your employees know what you’re doing and trust you with that.

Improving employee assessment practices is about more than improving results, it’s about improving how you collect data, how and why it’s measured, and what you do with it.

Legacy assessment practices often collect data in relative secret, assign 20% of employees to a top tier and 20% to a bottom tier, and are forced to include or leave out some of those employees. Individuals who are failing in legacy systems rarely receive extra help.

Changing this into a modern assessment system that integrates feedback as an ongoing process, measures against existing goals, and works to coach and develop individuals at every level will improve your assessment practices.


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