Hiring Bias – Create a Fairer Hiring Process

Bias can be a powerful factor in the recruitment process. In 2019, researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley, began secretly auditing some of the top companies for implicit bias in the hiring processes. Their results showed a significant bias against resumes that included candidate names likely to be associated with Black applicants. In other words, even at top-tier employers, bias appeared to be repeatedly popping up in the hiring process.

This may surprise some people who believe that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Act wiped out bias in hiring. After all, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against potential employees based on gender, race, religion, age, national origin, or disability. Nevertheless, bias in hiring is still an issue.

The Root of Bias in Hiring and Recruitment

When it comes to recruiting, bias is the brain’s subconscious way of labeling a candidate as a “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” according to the recruiter’s subjective feelings about a candidate’s observable characteristics. This means that the recruiter can be biased toward or against a candidate (for example, a male recruiter preferring a male candidate), which can lead to unfair assessments. Given this understanding, it’s clear that bias can show up in almost every step of the hiring process.

Consider a recruiter reviewing dozens of applications for a job opening. The recruiter can show bias when judging candidates. Anything from gender and personal pronouns to alma maters and home addresses can spark common hiring biases. Many recruiters aren’t even aware they’re being biased because many of these judgments happen subconsciously.

Even after the resume review stage, hiring teams can again display bias during interviews. A number of studies over the years, including some from Princeton and New York University, have concluded that it takes less than a minute to form a first impression of someone. That first impression could be based on an unfair preconceived notion — related to anything from previous personal experience to common stereotypes.

For instance, a recruiter may expect candidates to be energetic and cheerful during the initial screening. Under those circumstances, a more thoughtful, serious, or reserved applicant could be removed from consideration before getting a chance to warm up to the discussion. While this immediate impression may have some truth to it, the candidate may need time to truly show what they have to offer, which may be far more beneficial to the organization in the long run.

The good news is that it’s possible to mitigate the effects bias can have on the hiring process. And it all starts with having conversations to acknowledge, understand, and address this issue.

Common Types of Hiring Bias

According to ThriveMap

  1. Affinity bias
  2. Confirmation bias
  3. Halo effect
  4. Horn effect
  5. Illusory correlation
  6. Beauty bias
  7. Conformity bias
  8. Contrast bias
  9. Non-verbal
  10. First impression

Reducing Implicit Bias in the Hiring Process

In my years in the recruitment industry, I’ve encountered some excellent, reliable ways to temper bias. Below are a few recommendations.

1. Implement an applicant tracking system.

An applicant tracking system, or ATS, is a centralized platform used to streamline recruitment and consolidate candidates. A robust ATS can collect, analyze, and review hiring and recruitment data objectively, and can provide an overview of all touchpoints and data collected along the candidate’s journey. At any time, a recruiter can retrieve key information about an applicant from the system.

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest benefits of an applicant tracking system is the ability to reduce bias. Certainly, recruiters can tailor candidate searches by inputting keywords such as “developer” or “Harvard.” Nevertheless, an ATS has the potential to be more impartial than most humans.

Another advantage of an automated applicant tracking system is time savings. An ATS can match up candidates with remarkable speed. At the same time, most applicant tracking systems are customizable and can integrate with other platforms such as marketing tools.

2. Remove identifiers.

Applicant tracking systems remove a lot of unconscious bias from recruiting. But, they can’t conduct interviews for you. Instead, get creative in implementing different methods to decrease the chance of discrimination before and during interviews.

One method I learned that proved successful was to scrub identifiers (such as applicant name, education, address, gender, and related fields) from every resume. As a result, your hiring committee can compare candidates on the basis of their experience — nothing else.

For example, in a previous role, I was tasked with building out the DevOps team. I presented candidates of diverse ethnicities and genders, but the hiring manager kept rejecting them no matter how technically adept they were. When I brought up the high rate of rejection, the hiring manager explained that they were only interested in bringing on male applicants of a certain ethnicity.

Though that explanation was genuinely upsetting, I suggested the method of removing identifiers from applications, and we agreed to try it. From that point forward, I presented only candidates’ qualifications, and the acceptance rate went from near zero to over 95%.

3. Involve a hiring panel.

It’s common in recruiting to conduct a final panel-style interview. This is the opportunity for the candidate to meet their potential teammates and vice versa. Someone on the call may have reservations or be impressed just based on their initial perception of the candidate. Rather than letting this bias influence the interview, let the candidate’s qualifications and cultural fit come into play.

One way to mitigate bias with panel members is to ask them to listen in on calls with candidates rather than join by video. Just listening helps panelists focus on the substance of candidates’ answers rather than their appearance.

Final Thoughts

Everyone has biases, whether they realize it or not. Rather than allowing those biases to unfairly affect the hiring process, set up guardrails to guide the process toward more equitable outcomes. You’ll end up making more appropriate hiring decisions and, ideally, improving the candidate and employee experience.

Utilizing Partnerships to Improve Military Hiring Practices

Sponsored: Orion Talent

As organizations – specifically hiring leaders – look to fill their talent pipeline, the US Military is an unrivaled source of talented, experienced people. Decades of research and hands-on experience underscore that military training results in well-rounded employees who serve as an asset to any workplace.

The military has a well-deserved reputation as an extremely effective employer, with its firm commitment to training; it teaches people about persistence, mentorship, innovation, leadership, and success. Let’s face it: the military leads the pack in cutting-edge training programs. This fact has long been embraced by organizations that are champions of military hiring, such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Lockheed Martin.

Follow the Leaders

A SHRM report indicates accelerated military hiring initiatives at major companies including Siemens, AT&T, and Allstate Insurance. Here are some excellent stories from Starbucks about the success of their military hiring program. These leading organizations offer a wide variety of resources to veterans and their families. 

There are also more than 230 firms involved in the Veteran Jobs Mission coalition, which plans to hire 1 million vets by 2025, having already hit its earlier target of 100,000. Many other organizations see the value in military hiring but aren’t sure where to begin.

Here’s a tip. The key to an effective military hiring program lies in the utilization of partnerships. Savvy organizations tap the expertise of those who know the intricacies of military candidates and their families. It’s nothing less than wise to have partners help navigate government programs. In addition, speak the military language, define effective communications channels, advise on the transition to civilian life, and more.

Provide a Positive Candidate Experience

It’s no secret that I love a great candidate experience. Members of the military and their families deserve a positive and promising journey. Veteran job programs are created, funded, and maintained for a reason – to help bridge the gap between the military and the workforce. From employer branding to onboarding, people desire and deserve a smooth process that makes them feel valued.

By coming together and utilizing partnerships with similar goals, it makes the process that much better. Let me refer to the 2021 North American Talent Board Candidate Experience (CandE) Benchmark Research Report, published by The Talent Board.  

When they ranked the Primary Areas Where Companies Plan to Contract with External (3rd-Party) Service Providers to Enhance Recruiting Efforts in 2022, veteran/disability services came in at number 3 with 26% of respondents wanting to invest there. 

Reaching Goals through Partnerships

Many businesses are new to the military hiring landscape, and others haven’t even scratched the surface. Regardless of what stage you’re in, capitalizing on partnerships in this area is critical to the success of military hiring.

The SHRM Foundation and USAA recently conducted research to better understand what employers should do to more effectively recruit and retain veterans, especially during challenging economic times. They found that over one-third of employers (36%) said that they do not think their organization has been effective in hiring veterans since the start of the pandemic.

Here’s some data from that research that I find telling: 

  • 43% of employers don’t know where to post jobs to target veterans
  • More than 1 in 3 employers say recruiting veterans is more difficult than civilians
  • 40% of employers don’t know where/how to sign up to exhibit at veteran job fairs

In a situation where employers feel ill-equipped to tap a talent pool, there is a natural call for help. This research indicates a gap in the process that can be filled with the right allies. It’s best to align with organizations that have already established a foundation of trust and employ communications techniques that work. 

The SHRM research referenced above states, “Many employers…struggle to understand the unique circumstances that impact workforce readiness beyond experience and skillsets when veterans transition to the civilian workforce.” 

This challenge underscores the need to utilize partnerships. Partners like SkillBridge, Onward to Opportunity, Hiring Our Heroes, and MilSpo Academy are great examples of partners who would be able to help employers understand these unique circumstances and adequately address them.

Tapping Expertise is Smart Business

Understanding the nuances of military hiring can make a tremendous difference in the approach. Fortunately, there are many organizations dedicated to helping military personnel find gainful employment after service. Tapping these organizations inevitably saves time, money, and resources. 

Recruiting and talent experts Orion Talent understand the importance of expertise in this space. The company has a rich military DNA and provides a full suite of technology-driven talent acquisition solutions. As part of their offerings, they have a partnership program built on more than three decades of experience. One of their many useful solutions helps organizations understand complex government programs, including the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge, as well as other veteran and military spouse training and upskilling programs. 

Here’s a fact that I would want to know if tasked with military hiring: The U.S. Department of Defense pays the service member’s salary and benefits. The service member participates in a SkillBridge program during their final 180 days of service. There is no cost for leveraging and upskilling this unique talent pool.

Build Support Internally and Build Partnerships Externally

In a recent podcast, I was able to speak with Sarah Peiker, CEO at Orion Talent. Sarah shared, “Get the buy-in you need from decision-makers, talent acquisition professionals, human resources, and operations managers. It’s also important to make sure everyone supports hiring military candidates. Track and measure results. This includes metrics on hiring performance data and retention rates. Do your homework before determining your hiring model. Build a hiring process that works towards a positive candidate experience.”

I highly recommend the eBook: Military Solutions for the Business of Work: Unexpected Lessons in Getting the Job Done & Getting Ahead for more on this topic. 

Military hiring provides an excellent opportunity to bring strategic assets into a company’s workforce. I recommend you open your arms to the vast opportunities for rewarding partnerships that focus specifically on veterans and their families. By doing so, you are exponentially broadening your reach, increasing the quality of your talent pool, and building a stronger workforce. 

Massive amounts of talent + partner organizations eager to help both organizations and job seekers = a win-win in the talent war.

Mid-Career Employees and Their Impact on The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation has not hit the world of work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rates of resignation are highest among mid-career employees. Many of these workers are leaving their jobs and fields to pursue a new career path offering better job security or greater flexibility.

Mid-career workers are attractive to companies because of their skills and life experience. Skills like leadership, problem-solving, and multitasking transfer well to new roles and often give seasoned hires an advantage over younger workers.

It’s almost as if the entry-level openings don’t exist anymore: Thirty-five percent of “entry-level” openings require years of job experience. That’s higher in skill-heavy industries like tech, with 43% of college graduates leaving school without a job lined up. This will affect us for years to come.

We must tackle the dual-pronged issue of investing in these entry-level employees while also retaining our mid-level workers. Younger, less experienced hires need a chance to enter the workforce and get learning, and mid-level employees need to feel valued and cared for within their current roles.

Growing Your Retention Rates

Company leaders need to recognize that both mid-career and entry-level employees have essential roles to play in the success of their business. If they can nurture both experience levels, they can retain and onboard successfully and simultaneously.

To start, leaders need to acknowledge the hurdles that mid-career employees face. Forty-five percent of caregivers said they had considered leaving the workforce because of personal demands on their time, while 34% said they had “lost critical skills” in the past year.

To combat this life stress, mid-career employees need flexibility and understanding. Companies must develop permanent, sustainable methods of retaining talent via flexibility, including remote work, in-office childcare, and flex time. These employees also need the opportunity to gain skills (or grow existing skills) in an accessible, low-cost way.

Helping Employees Grow Their Skills

 Eighty-nine percent of employees are willing to reskill, but too few get the chance. Providing opportunities to learn new skills and develop professionally shows the company is invested in growth. Give employees of all levels some opportunities to skill up, and they will show their worth.

Teaching your employees will lead to better engagement — 2.9 times higher engagement than employees who don’t see opportunities to learn and grow. Upskilling opportunities are also a win for your company. It allows you to move existing employees into roles that are often difficult and costly to fill.

Be a Mentor

Mentorship programs have positive effects on both mentor and mentee, so even mid-career employees who aren’t interested in upskilling can still benefit. Taking a junior employee under their wing creates a sense of loyalty among mentors, boosting retention rates. A program could increase mentees’ communication skills, community engagement, goal-setting, and a sense of purpose — even if the mentee isn’t an entry-level worker.

Furthermore, mentorship is currently underutilized. That means companies adopting mentorship programs will stand out among competitors. As a result, you’ll gain another layer of protection against poaching while also making your business stand out from the crowd.

Companies don’t need a gimmick to make it through the Great Resignation; they need to evolve alongside our changing world. Changes to how we work and train workers are necessary to make it through this event. Utilizing a mentorship program will gain more engaged employees and gain better career outcomes.

Talent Analytics, What is it and Why Does it Matter?

How often do you think organizations use talent analytics today? More often than you may think. We know everyone talks about data. Whether you’re figuring out how to acquire new users or build an audience with content, you’re probably using analytics to set goals and measure what’s working. But it is a critical area where both qualitative and quantitative data continue to make a difference in the world of work.

At its most helpful, talent analytics takes the guesswork out of hiring the right talent. Talent analytics doesn’t just help you get a warm body in a seat, either. This data can help recruiters and companies ensure a talent match where only the most motivated and those inspired to do their best work sign the dotted line.

When it comes to world-class recruiting in an increasingly competitive landscape, talent analytics plays a central role in making HR and recruiting work smarter. Think of it as a way out of the HR fog

That said, understanding the right metrics is key to narrowing down the focus. By applying talent analytics, you can better pinpoint and hire team members who will ultimately serve as positive assets to the organization

What Is Talent Analytics?

Talent analytics is not just data. It’s the term for a data-focused approach to decision-making about current and future employees. By analyzing past employee behavior to predict future performance, talent analytics is often used by HR, hiring managers, and recruiters to find the best type of candidate.

According to Deloitte, “Four percent of organizations surveyed believe they have predictive talent analytics capabilities today. Only 14% of companies have any form of talent analytics program in place. Yet, more than 60% want to build a plan this year. 

In a classic Harvard Business Review article about competing on talent analytics, Tom Davenport, Jeanne Harris, and Jeremy Shapiro outlined 6 types of data used for managing a workforce:

6 Types of Data Used for Managing a Workforce

  1. Human Capital Facts: The key indicators of the business’s health, such as headcount, turnover rate, and employee satisfaction.
  2. Analytical HR: Segmented data on the units, departments, and individuals that most need attention.
  3. Human-Capital Investment Analysis: Tracks the activities that have the largest impact on the business, such as how employee satisfaction results in higher revenue, lower costs, and greater employee retention.
  4. Workforce Forecasts: Identifies and predicts the best times to either ramp up or cut back on staff.
  5. Talent Value Model: Provides information on why employees want to stay in an organization or why they choose to leave.
  6. Talent Supply Chain: Predicts how to best staff a company according to changes in the business.

Levels of insight vary – from basic information to predictive modeling. As organizations integrate talent analytics into their practices, deeper insights allow for better planning.


Analytics, What is it and Why does it Matter? | TalentCulture

What Moneyball Taught Us About Analytics

Using data gathered from your current workforce can drastically improve your ability to make smarter decisions when recruiting talent. Relying solely on your gut to make a hiring decision is a mistake.

I like to compare talent analytics to the more commonly known practice of sports analytics. This was made famous by the book and film Moneyball. It transformed the way professional baseball teams recruit talent. Instead of relying on gut instincts and old-fashioned scouting, Billy Beane and Peter Brand transformed recruiting by using something now known as “sabermetrics.”

The Oakland Athletics used empirical analysis of baseball statistics to measure in-game activity and predict future performance. Once laughed at by old-school baseball managers, sabermetrics is now used by every team in the Major Leagues.

Just like Beane and Brand, organizations can use talent analytics to hire the right people. Additionally, it can help companies better understand how to align strategy and employee capabilities. It can help make decisions on how and where to allocate human capital across the organization much more reliable. And this makes it much easier to be effective at placing individual employees in the optimal role.

Talent Analytics: Art or Science?

As much as I strongly believe in the power of data, I would never advise someone to rely solely on data to quantify and qualify a human being. 

In my opinion, stellar recruiting is an art as much as it is a science. Using data and analytics as business intelligence is powerful, but your value judgment is also fundamental in this process. If talent is a natural ability, it is impossible to precisely quantify. Plus, talent doesn’t (usually) stagnate. It grows and changes, so you need to take that into consideration when assessing data.

Talent analytics has proven to be a powerful business asset. It lets HR and recruiting teams better connect with organizational goals. By helping you clarify the skills and capabilities and performance levels you you’re seeking and achieving, talent analytics can save your organization time and resources. But like any tool, it is most powerful when used in combination with human understanding, organizational context and situational nuance. The ability to measure and leverage people data is not only exciting but smart business. 

Better Pay Isn’t Always the Key to Retaining Talent

Is your organization feeling the effects of the ‘great resignation?’ If not, you are one of the lucky few. Official figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that resignations have been abnormally high through 2021. By the end of August, over 10 million open jobs were left unfilled. In a normal year, average turnover rates are typically under 20%, but in recent research from the Achievers Workforce Institute, over half of survey respondents said they would be looking for a new job in 2021. Retaining talent has become a major issue for many organizations. 

The aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic are one cause of today’s great resignation. Some people had the time to reflect on their jobs and they began to wonder if they would rather do something else with their lives. Others hunkered down, put their careers on hold, and waited for the storm to pass. Now the economy is restarting, organizations are hiring, and employees can and will move on. The new normal of remote working also makes it easier and safer for individuals to look for new job opportunities. It has never been easier for organizations to attract and recruit talent more quickly and efficiently. Hiring senior talent without meeting them in person used to be unheard of. Now it’s entirely normal. The new challenges in retaining top talent calls for organizations to think outside of the box and find new ways to keep their employees happy.

Better Pay Isn’t Always the Only–or the Best–Way 

So how can organizations retain talent during the great resignation? One simple solution would be to pay them more, but this doesn’t always work. Apart from those in lower-paying jobs who may need more money just to keep going, the actual amount that companies pay people is less important than whether it’s more or less than what they think they are worth.  In practice, that means: are you paying them more or less than other people doing the same job in your organization or elsewhere? 

If your competitors have deeper pockets than you, this strategy won’t work. And if employees start comparing salaries within your organization, you risk demotivating people and starting a wage war. The end result? Paying more money to less motivated, less engaged employees. 

Reward Employees the Right Way

We all tend to motivate and reward other people in the way that we would like to be motivated and rewarded. If money motivates us, that’s what we offer. If we appreciate autonomy and space, we might try that. The problem is: not everyone is the same.

A better approach is to try and understand your employees as individuals who are motivated by different things and have different personality preferences. This is where tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment can be really useful, both in helping us to recognize how we are different from other people and in understanding what would work for everybody. Once we understand that, we can apply a more tailored approach to rewarding our employees and improve retention. 

Adapt Feedback and Motivational Styles Using “Thinking-Feeling” 

“Thinking-Feeling”, one aspect of the MBTI framework, deals with how we prefer to make decisions. People with a “Thinking” preference prefer to make decisions based on objective logic. Alternatively, those with a “Feeling” preference tend to consider how their decisions affect people and whether the decision lines up with their values. They prefer the decision that feels right rather than the logically correct choice. Understanding how employees arrive at the important decisions in their lives is invaluable in determining employee retention strategy. 

Tailor Recognition and Feedback to Employee Preference

“Thinking-Feeling” influences many aspects of our lives, including how we prefer to receive recognition or appreciation. People with a “Thinking” preference like to be recognized for their competence and expertise. They want to know when they’re doing a good job or going above and beyond the norm. Having this feedback at the end of a project or when a task is completed is important for them. If they are given appreciation on an ongoing basis, such as before the result of their work is clear, it may irritate and demotivate them. 

In contrast, those with a “Feeling” preference like to be appreciated for their efforts. They like to be recognized for their personal contribution, for making a difference (to people, to society, to the world), and for helping others. They generally like a degree of feedback and appreciation throughout a project, not just at the end. 

A “Feeling” employee working for a “Thinking” manager may wonder why they are not getting any feedback during a task. This might cause them to worry and become demotivated. Conversely, a “Thinking” employee working for a “Feeling” manager may dislike praise for their efforts before things are finished. Consequently, they may doubt their manager’s competence, lose respect for them, or wonder if there is an ulterior motive. Once a manager understands how their reports have different needs, they can modify their behavior in a way that helps to keep engagement and motivation high. 

Match Management Style to Employee Personality Preferences 

The other aspects of personality are important in keeping people motivated, too. For example, MBTI theory suggests that people with my INTP personality type want a manager who gives them autonomy. INTPs prefer to do their work their own way without much supervision or detailed schedules. They need a manager who recognizes and rewards them for their expertise and competence and treats them in a consistent way. They value leadership who is open to new ideas and gives them the space to explore new possibilities. 

This may or may not be a manager’s natural style, but knowing about personality types and the MBTI framework will help them to modify their approach to get the best from their employees and keep them motivated. 

Of course, recognizing and adapting to the individuality of employees through their personality type is not the only way to retain talent during the great resignation, but it is an excellent place to start. 

Dealing with a Talent Shortage? Then Liberate Your Talent Strategy

Organizations everywhere are facing a tightening talent shortage. A recent study noted that seven computer- or math-related jobs go unfilled for every unemployed, high-skilled STEM worker in America. Moreover, these jobs represent a disproportionate amount of immigrants, suggesting that the global IT workforce is substantial, skilled, and in high demand. But it’s not just high-skilled work either. Low-skilled, low-wage jobs go unfilled due to high demand and low supply, giving more power to workers.

These trends lead employers to expand their horizons when it comes to sourcing and securing the talent they need. They’re looking wider and deeper into their talent pools, Whether they’re looking for more diverse hires than traditionally expected or in new pockets around the world, they need the right tools.

In-house talent acquisition teams are still burdened with stringing together hiring programs that create rigid, dizzying experiences for everyone involved.

At best, time to hire is too slow. At worst, valuable company time and costs are sunk into a bad fit. In addition, the more inclusive hiring future will only increase the complexities of finding talent efficiently while providing a great candidate and employer experience.

The problem lies in overly complicated processes and disconnected systems leaving hiring teams with just as much work to do and no time to do it. Leaders need a way to simplify the process. Removing this bloat—and meeting hiring needs with efficiency—will depend on leveraging technology that integrates an entire platform to find, vet, and hire global, qualified talent from a single source.

In short, as the business landscape becomes more flexible, organizations need more capable technology to support the increasing variety and variance in hiring. But how? Here are three ways to revamp your talent strategy to keep up with growth.

Liberate your talent acquisition strategy.

The first thing I recommend to talent leaders is to think bigger, liberating the notion of “this is the way we’ve always done it.” Clearly, the old game isn’t going to work. Granted, that’s easier said than done. But the reality is that workers have increasing leverage, demanding that they have more flexibility regarding where and when they work, and, importantly, whom they work for. Labor market data shows that quit rates are at the highest level since 2000. The talent landscape has changed dramatically, and employers need to rethink their approaches.

So, get creative about your talent strategy. Think outside the box when it comes to where and how you look for talent.

Perhaps you could lower artificial barriers to qualified talent. For instance, some large tech firms have rid their job descriptions of bachelor’s degrees, seeking only the skills required to actually do the work. Or maybe you can search alternative talent marketplaces for vetted job seekers from around the world. For example, you may not have the same tools to qualify talent from other countries. However, there are ways to ensure you’re getting the right person with the right skills for the job no matter where they live.

Liquidate the pipeline.

Too many apps and outdated processes stand in the way of a great candidate experience. This results in a slower time to hire and slower growth. It doesn’t have to be like this. You should be able to find any talent for any job anywhere in the world without having to cobble together half a dozen siloed systems. There should be a flood of talent for your open positions, so you just need to liquidate the pipeline by removing its barriers.

Consider this common situation: You have a talented developer who suddenly quit for another firm and you need to fill that vacancy as fast as possible. Traditionally, you’d post job descriptions to a bunch of job boards only to hope you’ll get someone equally talented. It takes weeks—even months sometimes. Communication takes forever, interviewing goes on even longer, and vetting candidates’ qualifications is a crash course in project management.

Now consider an alternative experience. That talented developer leaves and you search through a database of thousands of already vetted, qualified candidates ready for the picking. They’re from anywhere in the world, for any role you need. Communication is a breeze, and you cut interview time in half because of the pre-qualification standards in place. Plus, you move the candidate through the hiring process in a fraction of the time. No barriers, no silos, everything taken care of.

With a good talent strategy in place, that’s the way it should be.

Lower the floodgates.

Finally, with a wider focus on your talent pool and a more streamlined approach to talent strategy, you’re ready to absorb the rising demand, increase the supply, and propel business growth.

We’ve been witnessing and driving a fundamental shift away from traditional recruiting and staffing. We know that those who go all-in on total talent gain a sustainable advantage over market competitors. Now you’re ready to liberate your workforce.

Photo: Bill Oxford

5 Ways To Foster Belonging At Work

What’s the worst thing an employee can say on any given day? How about, “I don’t belong here?” The schism that takes place when an employee doesn’t feel connected with the work culture can have wide-ranging impacts across engagement, performance, team dynamics and the bottom line. Companies need to ensure they cultivate a workplace where employees feel a sense of belonging, whether that workplace is in-office or remote. As much as we talk about the power of employee experience and the dynamics of employee engagement, we first have to address the primary need to belong. That sense of true connection is the foundation for how we feel about work — and indeed, how we work.

I’ve been having some really insightful conversations with Iain Moffat, Chief Global Officer of MHR International, about belonging. It feels right for the times we’re in right now. Some employees have been rapidly sprung out of the tangible community of the workplace and are now working from home. And some workforces are still in the physical workplace, but under increasing pressure as we continue to endure the pandemic and its fallout. But building a sense of belonging isn’t just a fix for now. It’s a powerful talent strategy that has long-term outcomes.

Iain and I agreed that building a sense of belonging needs to be part of any serious endeavor to build an exceptional work culture. We also both noted that while some organizations are surprised by how comfortable employees are working from home, it may be, ironically, because they’re home. So how can businesses provide employees with that same sense of being in the right place?

First, five key points on belonging and businesses:

  • Given the push-pull of working from home or working through the turbulence and challenges of COVID-19, belonging bolsters our realization that we’re in it together, no matter where we are. It’s been linked to improved retention and a far more successful employer brand. Employees who feel like they belong tend to invite others to experience that as well. 
  • We all need to feel like we belong — and when we do, there’s a marked increase in our engagement, overall happiness and health. In that sense, belonging is a benefit that should be part of the employer’s offering to employees: working with us, you will feel like you belong, and we will be intentional about that. 
  • In our consumer-driven society, belonging is more than just a feel-good. It’s a strong driver of brand alignment. When we feel comfortable with a brand, we tend to stay with it. We feel like it speaks to our values, our sensibilities. That loyalty easily translates into the workplace context: employees want to stay with their employer because they believe in the brand and are comfortable with its values and purpose. 
  • Belonging isn’t just a social component. It should be seen as a business strategy that considers and addresses the real needs of your employees in terms of safety, career growth, feeling a part of a work community, and balancing work and life.
  • A culture of belonging doesn’t aim to homogenize everyone into a shared identity, but rather fosters diversity and inclusion as a way of improving and enhancing a shared culture. There’s a big difference. You don’t need to steamroll over differences to find the common ground, particularly in the workplace.

Marshmallows, Spaghetti, and Teamwork   

That said, what does a culture of belonging look like? Iain provided a telling example of the complex dynamics of belonging in action: the marshmallow challenge, originally created by Peter Skillman — and the subject of a great TED Talk by Tom Wujec. In this collaborative training exercise, teams of four have a fixed amount of time to build a tower out of spaghetti and tape that can support a marshmallow. The team with the highest tower wins.

“What’s interesting about the challenge is the pattern of consistently high-performing and low-performing teams,” when you compare kindergarteners and business school graduates, he said. What I found interesting as well is that in general, the five-year-olds outdid the business school grads. 

The children walked into the challenge with no training or preconceived notion of how to work together. So they just did — “in short bursts of collaborative effort, prototyping to find the best solution,” as Iain described. “They have no pre-fixed view of how they should act in the group and no hierarchy. Instead, they just focused on how to solve the problem.” They worked inclusively, unconcerned with status or protocols. 

 But the business school grads got hung up on who would be in charge, wasting valuable time jockeying for position. “They acted in a way they think they should behave given their lengthy investment in an advanced education,” Iain said. “They focused on trying to come up with a single solution rather than collaborating, prototyping, trying and doing. They were held back by a set of assumptions of how they should behave.” Often they ran out of time, or built a tower that collapsed.

We’re not building spaghetti towers, to be sure. But we do tend to walk into work with a sense of hierarchy and how we’re supposed to behave. If, instead, we’re free to abandon our certain assumptions on status and protocols and just work together, we forge a new kind of teamwork that’s far more productive. A team in a culture of belonging can simply focus on the task and the output, and is comfortable enough to be open to each others’ ideas and relish the collaborative process. The overarching attitude is: “Let’s try it, if it doesn’t work, let’s try something else.” Without anyone in charge, there’s no agenda besides tackling the problem. Instead of being driven by ego, the team is driven by the energy of working together. Instead of feeling pressure to arrive at a perfect solution, the team has the freedom and confidence to prototype until they get it. 

Two factors changed the outcome for the business school grads, Iain said: “First, when someone with facilitation skills joined the business school graduates, they often performed better, as the group was organized around the task.” Second, “If the group received feedback on their performance, and had the time to reflect and then perform the task again, they outperformed by several hundred percent.” 

We have a remarkable opportunity right now to foster a sense of belonging within our workplaces. So many of us have taken the veneer off: we’re meeting from kitchens, we’re video conferencing with children in the background; we’re seeing each others’ lives. We’re seeing how important it is to protect employees working on the front lines or out in public, and how to include their perspectives in how we better safeguard our workforce. 

The climate of working during a pandemic has removed so many of the assumptions we bring into the workplace, and replaced them with a basic understanding that on a fundamental level we are people, working together. When you can build on that understanding by meeting one of our most fundamental needs — to feel that sense of belonging – it drives peace of mind, focus, productivity, collaboration and performance. In so doing, it fosters everyone’s success — that of the business, and that of its workforce. If you want to see how cohesive and collaborative your work culture really is, break out the spaghetti and the marshmallows. Then build on that until those towers are as high as they can be.

This post is sponsored by MHR International.

A Seat at The Table

I started my career in HR over 17 years ago, and the questions I heard most often at all the HR conferences were “Why don’t I have a seat at the executive table?” and “How can I get the executives to take me seriously?” Well, we’re 17 years on, and in spite of all the best intentions, I still hear these two questions repeatedly. What are we doing wrong?

  1. Stop asking “what can I do for you?”Asking “what do you need me to do?” would be like a CFO asking “What financial information would you like me to report?” Ask the business what they are trying to do, and be the expert who translates their business goals into actionable human capital strategies. Would a CEO think about making a major shift in strategy without consulting the CFO to talk about the financial implications or the COO to talk about operational challenges? By showing the C-Suite that you understand their goals and can help them reach them through human capital, your CEO will be calling you to talk about the people implications of their strategies.
  2. Stop speaking HR-speak.The main focus of your business leaders is on meeting enterprise wide strategies and goals, not on the challenges of finding, developing and retaining quality talent. In your next meeting with the C-Suite, think about how you can make your words relevant to their issues. Increased revenue, decreased cost, and higher productivity are much more compelling to an executive than time to fill or number of training courses taken. In his article From HR to the C-Suite: Speaking the same language, Mike Psenka states, “Your first task is to ensure you are conversant in the lingua franca of the C-suite: money… When HR professionals can demonstrate how their operations improve the bottom line, they are able to form stronger connections with the C level executives and continue to enhance the value of the HR department to the entire company.”
  3. Don’t make yourself a victim.A common response I hear to not being at the executive table is “they never invite me to their meetings.” A sure way to keep yourself out of the executive conference room is to wait for them to invite you. Add strategic value by modeling the behaviors in 1 and 2 above (and make sure they know you have), and they won’t be able to think about having their meetings without you.

The chair is already pulled up to the executive table at your company today. If you’re not standing behind it or not even in the room, make sure you’re not exhibiting any of these success-blocking behaviors; you’ll be amazed how quickly you get to sit down.

A version of this post was first published on Black Box Consulting.

Photo Credit: Robert V. Faust II Flickr via Compfight cc

Is Your Brand Telling Meaningful Stories?

Authentic storytelling in the workplace (and outside of it in social media channels) is an amazing way to impact talent strategies. It’s part science: apparently, we respond to storytelling with a change in brain chemistry. It’s part social: a great way to build trust and confidence, and to increase your audience. It seems like a soft skill — it’s called storytelling after all. But companies and leaders that don’t explore their own authentic stories face a hard lesson when faced with more candid competition.

Storytelling is about sharing goals, expectations, and experiences. For an organization’s talent strategy, storytelling has a multi-tiered payoff:

  • It’s an ideal way to attract different types of candidates.

Particularly passive candidates can be hard to reach (they’re not actually looking for a job, so they’re not toiling over their professional profiles or reaching out to HR). But put interesting, relevant content out there, and you’ll pique their interest.

  • It’s a mission refresher for your corporate culture.

There’s no better way of galvanizing and consolidating what’s most important in your corporate culture. It’s also an impactful opportunity for leadership to step up and play a key role. There are countless ways to start authentic storytelling in the workplace. But it should include questions like: What are the important moments in your company’s history? What are the turning points? What are your company goals? When leadership articulates the answers, it puts a human face on the company story.

  • It’s a way to drive employee engagement.

Telling a company’s story is an undeniable way to bring everyone closer to an organization’s core values, and to turn employees into a community with shared experiences and goals. In the workplace, shared experiences forge an emotional connection, building community in a way nothing else can. They connect leadership and employees, strengthen individual goals to company goals, and turn a sense of mission into a call to action that each individual can relate to.

As for marketing, HR and Recruiting, storytelling is indeed a softer approach, but it packs a wallop, expanding audience and increasing visibility. This may be a bit of a tongue twister, but say it with me: Meaningful content is very different than content marketing.

Stories have a relevance, a resonance: they imply that there is an audience who can relate to the experience. That’s entirely different than a product pitch, which says, all too often, we know what you want. One is inclusive. The other can be, at the least, irrelevant; at the worst, alienating. What’s your story?

The deeper a company goes into the act of telling its own authentic story, the deeper it can entrench its own employees and community in its mission and culture: to tell a relevant and meaningful story you have to do a certain amount of company soul searching, a process that not only deepens a company’s own sense of brand and culture, it creates a culture of sharing an experience. And that, in turn, is great for all aspects of HR, as word gets out that Company X is a great place to work, with great goals, a great brand, a great story. I’d go so far as to say that authentic storytelling from an HR standpoint is akin to a feedback loop of win-win.

A version of this was first posted on Forbes.

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Leaders, What’s Your 2016 Talent Strategy

A 2016 Talent Strategy. I’m not referring to your recruiting budget or how many openings you’re planning to fill. I’m talking about a real process that works to improve your company culture, connects your brand to the job seeking community, and incorporates your long-term business goals. A solid talent strategy addresses the entire staff (all levels and departments), not just senior leaders.

HR teams are not keeping up with business needs. In fact, business leaders and HR respondents themselves continue to give HR borderline failure/barely passing grades. At a time when talent is indisputably a CEO-level issue, this should be setting off alarms in every organization. HR organizations rated their teams the equivalent of a C-minus (an average of 1.65 on a five-point scale) while business leaders rated HR a D-plus (an average of 1.32 on a five-point scale), according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015.

Since most leaders maintain outdated views of HR, there’s a lack of awareness about what their organizations really need to thrive. As I reflect on some of these issues I’ve seen unfold in the past year, there are definitive themes emerging.

  1. Lackluster training programs

The people that were once effective in their roles haven’t been properly coached or trained to evolve their careers in a way that brings their company to the next level of growth. The average budget for training in the U.S. is extremely low, only compensating for about one week per employee each year.

  1. Outdated talent acquisition practices

Companies are settling for mediocre talent because they’re dinosaur recruiting methods aren’t reeling in top performers.

  1. Those damn millennials

Tenured leaders are blaming high turnover rates on entitled, finicky millennials. Because the vast majority of organizations don’t understand what motivates this technology-driven generation, they’ve become the scapegoat for skill gaps and unengaged work cultures.

  1. Motivational posters instead of real culture codes

You know what I’m talking about – those cheap posters with cliché platitudes and photo-shopped images of distant landscapes. Employers love plastering them all over HQ but fail to incorporate them into a formalized culture code lived by all team members.

If any of these issues sound familiar, tune into my upcoming podcast with our strategic partner and host, Talent Culture. I’ll be discussing why most employers are falling behind on human capital trends, and what a successful talent brand looks like. What a symbolic time of year to open your mind to new strategies to strengthen your team.

This post was first published on the APA Solutions blog on January 13, 2016.


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What is Recruitment Marketing and How Your Business Can Use It

While recruitment and marketing may traditionally have been thought of as separate entities, they can actually work hand in glove. Recruitment marketing uses elements of both traditional recruitment strategies and brand marketing. The appeal that is created by powerful marketing can be harnessed by recruiters to develop job adverts that will attract candidates and potentially improve the quality of applicants to vacancies within a company.

Here are three ways you can mesh these two areas of expertise together in order to benefit your business:

Keywords That Attract Customers, Attract Job Searchers Too

Savvy companies who are competitive online know the value of SEO for their websites and target specific keywords in order to make conversions. Like customers, job hunters are also googling keywords when they’re searching for job vacancies. They’ll also use keywords for searches on job boards and networking sites like LinkedIn. You can extend the reach of your job ad by targeting specific keywords and phrases in the same way that marketers, advertisers and SEO and PPC specialists do to attract customers.

For example, if your company is looking to hire a new accounts manager, then you will want to look at the most frequently used keyword variations for this job role. This could include “accounts specialist,” “senior accounts manager,” “business account manager,” and so on. Using Google Keyword Planner and checking these against current job board adverts in your industry will help you to select the best keywords for your job ads.

Make An Impact, Do Something Different

There are adverts absolutely everywhere these days and marketing professionals know that in order to complete in a crowded marketplace they need to pull something special out of the bag to get people interested. There’s quite a bit of science behind this. You need to consider the messages that are being conveyed through imagery, colours, and the wording of job adverts. Avoid producing job ads that just replicate those of another company as job searchers are more likely to pass these by or not notice them at all.

Don’t Underestimate Brand Recognition, Utilize It

Your toaster has just broken and you’re shopping online to replace it. You already know what model you want so you type it into Google. You see ads for Amazon, a brand that you recognise, but also for an independent business that you’ve not heard of before. Which do you choose to buy from? The answer is nearly always the brand that you recognise because you already trust them, so it feels like the safer option.

With job hunting, the same situation applies. Job seekers are much more likely to be interested in jobs with companies who they know about, rather than companies that they’ve not heard of before. That’s where good branding and strong marketing presence comes in. Ideally, potential applicants will recognise your company from their branding and then notice the same branding on a job advert. If your company is smaller and lesser known, you want a candidate to be able to google the company and find links to well branded social media pages and articles featuring your company from reliable sources.

Online recruiting strategies can utilize company marketing, including branding as well as marketing strategies, to improve their job adverts and job descriptions, communicate the message they need, and attract the best candidates for your business.

Article by Ron Stewart, recruitment specialist and CEO of Jobs4Medical, a medical job board.

Photo Credit: Bigstock

Growing into the Role of Manager

Not everyone is born to lead. In fact, most people don’t want to be managers — only 34% of respondents to a recent CareerBuilder survey said they aspire to leadership positions. And yet, there are new manager positions being filled every day. This means there are a lot of managers that may not actually want to be in their position. Leaving isn’t always an option, especially when you have car and house payments to make. So for those managers who need to do a lot of growing in a very short amount of time, here are a few pieces of advice.

Work Less, Facilitate More

One of the first things you’ll have to learn about being a manager is that you’re no longer in charge of doing things, but rather making sure they get done. The difference is that your role as a manager is more about assigning tasks, tracking them, and making sure your team is on track to accomplish them. This means getting out of your office and listening to what your employees are saying. This sounds simple, but you’d be surprised. Most managers (52%) don’t take the feedback from employee engagement surveys.

As an employee, your value was measured by the number of things you got done, the number of tangible things produced or crossed off a list. As a manager, it’s measured by how your team performs. This means actively engaging with the people on your team. As Greg Satell (@Digitaltonto) explains, you can’t be passive when it comes to talking with your team.

“Simply saying, ‘I have an open door, come to me with any problems’ is a cop out. If you want to know what’s going on in your organization you have to go out and actively look for problems, not just wait for them to come to you.”

Because your work is defined by other people, you need to make sure your team, as a whole, is working the way you would as an employee.

Take the Effort to Develop Talent

Working off the idea of listening to your employees, new managers should also understand employees are the ones doing the work, and as such need to be developed so they can work better and produce better results. The analogy is a bit dehumanizing, but humor me: is it not worth spending the money to fix a printer that works perfectly fine aside from one little kink? You could always buy a new printer, I suppose, but that’s not really an option when it comes to perfectly fine employees, especially when the costs of replacing an employee far outstrip those of replacing an appliance.

You can hire the best, brightest employees on the face of the Earth, and you’re still going to have to develop them. With up to 90% of learning taking place on-the-job, you’re going to have to make the effort of properly training employees when they arrive on their first day, and developing them from then on out. It’s not going to be a cheap process, but investing in them is a much better use of company money than trying to find someone new.

Beware Scope Creep

Once you’ve accepted that you’re now a manager in some capacity (whether you like it or not), you’re going to have to behave like one. This means knowing what makes a project manager successful, as well as what can sink a newbie. One thing you should always keep in mind is the idea of scope creep. For a manager who’s not really sure about what a project will actually entail, this means that what they thought was a small project can turn into a much larger one as they realize what they’ll need to accomplish the goal they initially set out to conquer. This can turn projects sour quickly, and make you look incompetent as a result. Christine Marciano, a Commercial Training Consultant for Nationwide, advises using templates to outline your projects before diving into them:

“I think scope creep most often can occur when the project manager, trying to be flexible, begins to accept additions to the project without accounting for the possible need of more resources: time, money, manpower . . [templates are] effective because of the tools’ ability to help the project manager communicate with stakeholders and teammates, and also to add standardization to the mix. Folks move around regularly in our company and the consistency in the form is comforting.”

We want regularity in our process, but being a manger is anything but regular. And while you most likely may not have wanted to be one, stepping out of your comfort zone and being a manager can be one of the most reward, most satisfying experiences you can have, especially when you see your team prospering around you.

Performance Management: Going Beyond the Appraisal

Performance and performance management – it’s something every organization, be it a Fortune 500 or a non-profit or a public sector institution talks about. Odds are they talk about it a lot and despite all that talk it is still likely a topic that causes managers and leaders to want to pull out their hair and one that stirs feelings in employees ranging from dread to fear to mental eye-rolling. Some organizations tackle the challenging of reviewing and communicating performance via three-point scales or five-point or twenty-seven point; others embrace 360 degree reviews; some organizations have highly calibrated processes whereas others have “Oh, it’s that time of year again” approaches; then there are the organizations dropping the idea of formal performance appraisals in the goal of creating more dialogue and something better. The point: assessing, measuring and managing performance is complex and ever-evolving; but there are some core principles that regardless of where an organization falls on the spectrum of processes and approaches that hold true.

Performance Happens Every Day

Employees come to work every day, some do solid work and get done what they need to. Others may perform more marginally and there will inevitably be a contingent that builds a reputation for being “rockstars” or “role models” or “ninjas.” Every organization regardless of industry has employees doing good work and great work and work that falls somewhere on either side of that; they’re doing that work every day and every day serves as an opportunity to recognize the good and the bad, to praise and to coach. So whether your current system formally appraises employees annually or in some other fashion, remember that the role of leaders and managers goes beyond “addressing performance” but rests in keeping an ongoing “performance dialogue” going.

Great Performance Requires Clear Communication

As operational demands change and organizational strategies shift – it is important to make sure that the impact on performance expectations are made clear. From setting annual goals to clearly articulating key responsibilities to holding regular touchpoint and one-on-ones, the opportunity to ensure employees understand what is expected from them, how they are being measured, and the impact of those measurements on them, their team, and organization become more and more important. In making the leap from “meets expectations” to “exceeds expectations” there is as much onus of responsibility on the manager to be clear on what is required and expected – regularly, not just during an overly stuffy sit down once a year – as there is on the employee to meet those requirements and expectations (or to speak up when they are facing a hurdle in doing so). In this sense, communications becomes the two-way dialogue it is intended to be; leadership can better understand the nuanced challenges impacting employees across the organization, and employees understand how to rise to the level of “rockstar” or the like. Or as Jim Collins puts it in his book Good to Great, there is a difference between managing and leading, between telling and communicating: 

“The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake. The best people don’t need to be managed. Guided, taught, led–yes.”

High Performing Organizations Make Performance Investments

Recognizing that performance happens every day and that superior performance isn’t just a matter of an employee doing their job but also understanding what drives and defines performance in the organization are significant factors in facilitating performance and creating a performance culture, but then the question becomes, “what next?” In some organizations that may be intricate performance measurements layered over top of tools and forms and processes, in others it may be a matter of continuing the conversations that is already hopefully taking place – regardless, the acts of assessing, measuring, and managing performance should lead to a larger conversation about talent; where an organization is strong, where it has opportunities, and where it has the ability to create and mold talent on the cusp – this process as its most basic can look at employees as fitting into one of four categories (further illustrated in the tool/diagram below):

Invest – employees who are setting the paradigm, driving operational successes, impacting and informing strategy, those that see expectations and blow right on past them; these employees have a high level of actualized contribution to the organization with minimal to no distractionary consequence (negative impacts, distractions, derailments, etc.) to their colleagues, peers, projects, or teams. Dollars spent here, not just on salary and incentives but also on training, development, and talent fostering are almost guaranteed to create a strong return on investment for the organization and create stronger engagement with your best employees.

Assess – employees who make strong contributions but perhaps not always consistently, they may need help in seeing the big picture or understanding the impact of their work and contributions (let alone those of their colleagues and peers); these employees have a high level of actualized contribution to the organization with a middling to high level distractionary consequence to their colleagues, peers, projects, or teams. Dollars spent here are an investment in “what if,” this group of employees has the potential to become high performers but requires strong leaders, solid coaching, and often times greater organizational effort in order to achieve their best.

Push – employees who are middling or haven’t quite yet found their groove, they may show glimpses of high potentiality, or they may simply show up every day and do their job based on their understanding of the expectations upon them; these employees have a low to middling level of actualized contribution to the organization with a low to middling level distractionary consequence to their colleagues, peers, projects, or teams. Dollars spent here can be viewed as equal parts investment and analysis – the idea being to tap the full potential in this group or determine if perhaps this isn’t the right role or organization for them at this point in their career.

Exit – employees who aren’t meeting expectations, haven’t embraced the organizational culture, or more simply put are a bad fit for any number of reasons; these employees have a low level of actualized contribution to the organization with a high level distractionary consequence to their colleagues, peers, projects, or teams. Time rather than dollars should be spent here in helping this group understand their next steps, how to better utilize their unique set of KSAs with a future employer, and to prepare themselves to find the right role in the right organization that best meets their personal career value proposition.


Hiring Graduates: The Challenges

With 30% of companies expecting to hire more graduates in 2015 than in previous years, UK organisations have expressed concerns about sourcing graduates that have sufficient people skills. New research from Hay Group reveals that as many as 80% of HR Directors feel that recruiting graduates with sufficient people skills is a challenge. Are companies who are taking on new graduates just causing themselves more headaches, or are graduates worth investing in?

As you might expect, employers and graduates take a different view on the situation. Statistics show that 90% of HR Directors believe that employees who have good people skills have a greater commercial impact, and 83% disclosed that graduates who didn’t have the necessary emotional and social skills would not become high performers. Countering this, 69% of graduates said that soft skills ‘get in the way of getting the job done’ and believed that they would succeed in their job role irrespective of this.

Are Technical Skills More Important Than People Skills In The Workplace?

Any HR Director worth their salt will say that first and foremost applicants need to have the right technical capabilities in order to succeed, but people skills shouldn’t be overlooked.

While 76% of HR Directors were concerned that graduates were not prepared for the workplace, David Smith, a Consultant at Hay Group, commented that graduates have the potential to develop soft skills on the job. He said: “It’s now down to organisations to recruit and develop graduates in the right way, so they appreciate the role these ‘softer’ skills play in their own development and the value they offer to the business.”

But this may also suggest that what the current stock of HR Directors and what new graduates consider to be people skills could be quite different. While graduates may have the right approach when dealing with other graduates, they need time to settle into the company culture and to pick up on the people skills that are expected of them by seasoned employees.

Are Graduates Worth The Investment?

It costs businesses between £500-£1000 to take on a new graduate. It seems that businesses are doing their best to provide training in order to boost people skills. 91% of HR professionals believe that their organisation has adequate training and 83% say that their managers dedicate more time to developing people skills than technical skills.

How Long Does It Fake for Graduates To Reach Proficiency In People Skills?

There’s no fast track here. The majority of businesses expect it will take between six months to two years for graduates to gain the people skills needed to perform effectively for the business.

Looking to the future, HR aren’t all that confident in graduates either. 77% are concerned for the future leadership of their organisation based on the soft skills of their current graduate employees. Yet perhaps graduates mark a new direction for businesses and will have a greater impact than HR Directors give them credit for.

Graduates Are The Future

By 2020, we can expect that millennials will make up 50% of the workforce and many of them will be recent graduates. Organisations need to put strategies in place to make the best of the skills that each individual in their workplace has, whether they are a seasoned employee or a new graduate. Successful companies know the value of their whole team.


#TChat Recap: The Predictive Power Of HR Analytics

We could easily be intimidated by data. Yet, we crave answers on how to make the best hires, reduce cost, drive strategy… the list goes on and on.

Many organizations now turn to predictive analytics: the ability to take what happened in the past and find common relationships and factors (leveraging human behavior and neural networks) to model and predict the future, enabling us to report back in analytics with recommendations for the future.

Finance, Sales, and Marketing departments have already realized the importance of predictive analytics. Now it’s HR’s turn to gaze into the crystal ball.

This week’s #TChat guests: Chad W. Harness, VP of Lead Human Capital Analytics Consultant at Fifth Third Bank; and Jen Phillips Kirkwood, ADP Analytics and Innovation Ambassador, shared their insights on the predictive power that HR can bring (we’re proud sponsors of the Predictive Analytics World for Workforce.)

First step? Get clear on objectives and take a close look at problems that are in need to be solved. Once we have painted a clear picture, ask yourself: How can HR help to support KPIs and find analytics that can yield real action?

If we don’t trust or understand the data, it’s easy to make knee-jerk hiring decisions.

By understanding key differences between data, metrics and analytics we can make better recommendations and decisions for the future.

So how do HR leaders start a predictive analytics initiative successfully?

There’s no doubt that predictive analytics will have an immense role to play as we move forward. HR leaders want to get there, and frankly, they have to get there. Once we have arrived, HR will be given a stronger voice that will drive strategy and help cost reduction and retention.

Just remember, it’s not only about the data, it sometimes comes back to a curiosity and willingness to change.

See What The #TChat Community Said About The Predictive Power of HR Analytics:

What’s Up Next? #TChat Returns Wednesday, April 8th!

#TChat Radio Kicks Off at 7pm ET / 4pm PT — Our weekly radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on Twitter as well. Next week’s topic: Adopting Social Software for Workforce Collaboration and Communication

#TChat Twitter Kicks Off at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date!

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


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How To Cure A Sick Company Culture

Performance wanes. Employee engagement falls and morale sinks.

These are tell-tale signs that your culture is sick and needs attention. So how do you go about fixing it?

First, three housekeeping questions:

1. What is “culture”? Culture describes an organization’s working environment. How people behave. What they talk about. How they interact with and treat one another. The values they respect and hold sacred.

2. What is the purpose of culture? It enables the achievement of goals. It is a tactic, if you will, that facilitates healthy and effective execution of a company’s strategy because it engages every employee in its purpose. Culture is the engine of accomplishment. A finely tuned engine delivers high performance; a poorly tuned one is hit and miss.

3. What is the “right” culture? There is no shrink-wrapped version of culture that applies to every organization. You must create the unique one that works for you. There may be elements in common with other firms, but you discover this after the fact. Culture should never be copied; it should be created.

Cultural change requires an intervention; you can’t expect it to change without an imposition. The challenge is to move from “this is the way things are around here” to “this is the way things must look if we are to survive and thrive.”

Here are five steps that will create the culture that is right for you:

1. Start with building your strategic context. Culture is guided by the strategic game plan of your organization — “what you want to be when you grow up.” It’s an expression of what the inside of your organization must “look like” in order to successfully execute. Early in my career we had to shift from being a monopoly telecom business to a nimble customer-focused competitor; we needed to create a different culture to take us there. The journey began with creating a new strategic vision that would allow us to successfully compete in a world we had not previously experienced.

2. Develop the values you require every team member to align with. Successful execution begs that everyone is on the same page in terms of how to do their job. A value is a common-held belief, without which your strategy is impaired. Technology businesses require risk-taking, creativity and innovation to be successful; if employees don’t act in a way that delivers these values, dysfunction sets in and progress is eluded.

3. Define the behaviors that are required to exhibit each values. For each value develop more granularity to move away from an aspiration to something that is concrete and more understandable. For example, if “spirited teamwork” is one of your values, define in more specific terms what is meant by the value. What behaviors would you expect to see exhibited when spirited teamwork is alive and well in the organization. This is a critical step. Values need to be translated so that every employee has a direct line of sight that connects what they do every day to the values expected.

4. Assess the inside. Evaluate each employee in your organization to determine his or her “value fit.” Some will transition immediately to your new values; others can be convinced to adopt them and others will refuse. The point is you need to get everyone onboard fast; time is not your friend. Exit who you believe are the “non-adopters”; they will infect their colleagues if they stay and prevent progress.

5. Build your values into your reward and recognition programs. Make the expression of values matter by holding people accountable. Reward awesome “spirited teamwork” in front of employee groups. Publicize your “value heroes” so others know what is expected. Ultimately, include values as part of your variable compensation program, in which the consistent heroes are financially rewarded. If you have a 360-degree feedback program, include values as an important part of individual assessment.

The culture that is right for you is much more than an aspiration. If you don’t follow through with the specific executional elements necessary to give it “life,” it will remain a dream.

And nothing will change.

About the Author: Roy Osing is a former executive vice-president and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience. He is a blogger, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead.

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Tackling the Talent Challenge

Businesses have survived the recession and are now looking toward the future. In the face of global megatrends, including technological development, demographic change and urbanization, businesses are changing and so is the workplace. We are in an era where the focus is firmly on expansion, growth and innovation.

In this changing landscape, business leaders are encountering profound challenges when it comes to sourcing and retaining talent. But what can businesses do to tackle the talent challenge and ensure they remain a competitive and attractive workplace in the eyes of the very best workers?

Embrace Flexibility

The availability of skills has been cited as a serious concern by 63% of CEOs, an increase of 5% from 2013. With overwhelming levels of skills shortages still affecting many industries, the competition for top talent has never been higher. Businesses willing to embrace flexibility in the way they source and manage employees are the best equipped to match demand with supply.

In the current market, recruiting locally is no longer enough to keep companies operating at the top of their game. Thanks to leaps in technology, our workforce is now more mobile than ever before. This means that employers can widen their talent search by sourcing talent from further afield by introducing remote working and flexi-hours for their employees.

Founder of online digital marketing company Exposure Ninja, Tim Kitchen, commented: “When it came to sourcing talent, all I knew was that I wanted the best. My business is multi-faceted and naturally all the best talent isn’t just sitting in one place. I set up an innovate online workplace which has enabled me to source talent from across the world.”

Re-Skill and Up-Skill

While it’s the employers who need to put their best foot forward to attract and retain the best employees, we also need to see employees being willing to adapt their skillsets to remain competitive in the job market. Given that 1 in 3 job roles are set to become automated by 2020, now is clearly the time to begin this process.

Jobs that are in greatest danger due to technological advances include “repetitive processing, clerical duties and support services” across multiple sectors. If you have good employees in this area, now is the time to consider their potential and plan out how you might reskill them so that they remain relevant in your company. Be especially aware of employees with transferable skills that, with the right training, can be valuable elsewhere in the workplace.

One of the main areas that could benefit from re-skilling is HR. Forty-two percent of business leaders believe their HR teams are underperforming. In the face of the changing landscape of business, companies need their HR teams ready to capitalize on transformational trends. Re-skilling is an essential component of ensuring success.

The Millennial Generation

By 2020, Millennials will make up 46% of the workforce. All smart business owners know they need to be attracting younger, tech-savvy employees to be successful in the future. Though many companies are still tentative when it comes to hiring Millennials, you can’t ignore the benefits.

Speaking to PwC, Brian Molefe, Group Chief Executive of Transnet, commented, “We have embarked on a comprehensive programme to train young people in different vocations using modern technology.” Transnet are one of the businesses participating in South Africa’s National Skills Development Strategy, an aim of which is to encourage better use of workplace skills programs.

While this is an excellent way to build the skills of Millennials, not all governments are investing in these programs. Another way independent businesses can connect with the Millennial generation is to liaise with university career advisors, attend career fairs and give lectures at universities. Not only is this a good strategy for raising awareness about vital skills gaps, it’s also a surefire way to promote your company as an organization that is interested in hiring Millennials.

Take Action

While 93% of CEOs recognize there is a need to change their strategy for attracting and retaining talent, in reality 61% of CEOs still haven’t taken action. Only the strongest leaders who are willing to take action will be able to successfully tackle the talent challenge.

About the Author: Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years, having owned companies in the IT, construction and medical sectors. He runs the Jobs4Group, and is CEO of Jobs4Medical.

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What Millennials Really Want from Employers

There are a lot of rumors going around that suggest millennials are notoriously hard to attract and even harder to keep. The post ’80s digital generation is more concerned with free time than work, demanding flexi-hours and remote working, they want to take longer holidays, they want better perks and bigger benefits, and so on. But is this really true, or is it all hot air?

What Do Millennials Really Want?

No one knows what millennials want better than the millennials themselves. While employers are taking stabs in the dark, wildly updating their Facebook feeds with photos of creativity in the workplace and bean bags in the office, PwC decided to just ask a group of millennials what they really want from their employers.

At the top of the list of what makes an employer attractive was opportunities for career progression, which 52% of the millennials cited as the most desirable quality. Shortly after, 44% valued competitive wages and financial incentives, while 35% felt that good training and development programs were essential.

These three criteria seem to me to be something that employers themselves would also desire for their companies. Being progressive, paying a fair wage, being in a position to give nice Christmas bonuses, and ensuring staff are working at their optimum levels of productivity thanks to training and development programs, should be what every boss wants for his team.

How to Retain Millennials

For a company that realizes the value of its employees, attracting millennials isn’t so difficult. Retaining millennials, however, is another story. By 2020, millennials will make up 50% of the workforce but unlike the generations before them they aren’t adverse to job hopping.

As many as 70% of millennials leave their first job within two years, and nearly six in 10 younger workers (57%) say that it’s unlikely that they will stay with their current employers for the remainder of their working life. Comparatively, 62% of Gen X say it’s likely they will never leave their current employer and 84% of boomers plan to stick by their current employer until retirement. The difference is drastic, but is this all down to the millennials?

Many critics of millennials are saying that the degradation of company loyalty is a crying shame and label it as a “generational” thing. A generational “thing” is certainly a part of it, but it’s not quite that simple. Let’s not forget that the job landscape is changing too. Staff turnovers are high in general, work contracts are increasingly temporary and/or short term, and our workforce is now more mobile than ever before.

If employers want to retain their millennials, they need to be loyal to them. Temporary contracts don’t inspire loyalty, and if anything they create a workforce that spends its time on tenterhooks, worried about short-notice job loss, rather than focused on the job at hand. Today’s mobility and willingness to commute also means workers aren’t restricted by their locale. If they can find a better job opportunity elsewhere, you can be sure that they’ll take it.

Value Your Whole Team

A company that realizes the value of its team is what really makes an attractive employer for millennials, baby boomers and Gen X-ers alike. Employers who can put themselves in the position of each of their employees and treat them as they would want to be treated already know the secret of attracting and retaining millennials.

About the Author: Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years, having owned companies in the IT, construction and medical sectors. He runs the Jobs4Group, and is CEO of Jobs4Medical.

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It’s Time For A New Job-Skills Training Model

I attended a presentation by Mary Owens at a local financial advisory firm. In her well-presented talk about the return of manufacturing to the U.S., she articulated a number of facts that got me thinking:

  • Manufacturing was returning because North American fuel (read: natural gas) is now becoming cheaper than the combination of diesel and Asian labor.
  • U.S. factories are utilizing the most advanced technologies.
  • And last, we can put millions of people to work.

This is good news, right? I think so. But we still have a major gap in fulfilling the training that these factories need. She described quite succinctly these additional points that I have been thinking a lot about:

  • Many industries are beginning to (re)grow, and they are using new technologies to do it.
  • In many industries, employers can’t find “locked and loaded” employees who have the skills to perform the jobs they need filled.
  • The current higher education and vocational system isn’t serving the employment needs of employers or job seekers.

Mary’s plea, as I understand it, is to invite the wealth community to invest in an educational system to feed these employers’ needs. I like Mary’s pluck. She is not the first to say it or practice it. It makes sense to see the need and fill it.

But … not so fast. Since writing about workplace apprenticeship a few weeks ago, I’ve continued to ruminate about these additional convergent problems:

  1. Trade schools and career colleges, while making a comeback, are not prolific enough to be a relevant source of fulfillment for these factory and other supporting jobs.
  2. Higher education has too many of the wrong students and isn’t coming close to fulfilling its pledge to any students or fulfilling its own historical role.
  3. Job seekers can no longer afford to create the debt that higher education is demanding.
  4. The public can no longer afford to support this Herculean effort in the form of needed government subsidies.
  5. Employers want to shift responsibility away from themselves and blame everything else—from schools to generational birth year, from government to parents.

If business wants “locked and loaded” workers, then where should it get them?

In his post, “How Education Is Failing To Serve Business’ Needs,”  Mark Lukens  discusses this very topic. His analysis of the raging debate about education not serving humanity’s need to think creatively is extremely relevant. To that point, I agree.

Then he says,

“If the education system is to serve the needs of business, then we need to start by asking what those needs are.”

 Ugh. I cringe. Education should not be the bitch of business. Education should be its own system and its own reward. And yes, I agree, it should shift its focus to help us to learn the needed skill of creative thinking; however, I envision a world where we get to learn for a variety of reasons, at a variety of times, and not always for job skills.

This bears the question, “Where do we learn the skills needed for a rewarding job?”

The answer keeps pointing me to employers. If they are the ones with the needs and they want a consistent, customizable result, then it is on their shoulders.

I believe that it is time for a new model. A model of efficiency and fairness. Let’s take the burden off of higher-learning institutions and the public. Let’s take the financial burden off of the individual as well. Let’s institute a model that allows business to serve itself. The model would allow people with the right behavior profiles to enter into paid apprenticeships to learn the absolute needed skills, aptitudes, and values needed by the employer.

We have hundreds of years of history filled with examples of an apprenticeship model. The last 100-plus years have taken us off track and placed the “burden” elsewhere. I expect that employers are going to rebel against this responsibility. But when they see that it actually MAKES them money through efficiencies rather than turnover costs, possibly the whining will stop.

I envision higher education rebelling because it will see its head count retreat. But it is time to stop the churn of unsuccessful, unhappy, and broke students overfilling our colleges and universities. It is only in the last 50 years that “everyone” went to college. Now “everyone” doesn’t get a result. So let’s stop it.

If we are to get out of our current morass, grab opportunity by the nose, and get back to work, it is time for employers to see themselves as training organizations. Profitable training organizations.

The future of work is dependent upon it.


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Building Legendary Teams With Leadership

Leadership. A single word that carries many different beliefs. It’s intimidating for some and a journey for others. Another word that comes to mind is success. Next time you have a meeting, ask each person what success means to them. See how many different answers you receive.  It’s no wonder companies zig zag on issues. A strong leader will define success and share the vision with a common goal, define roles and responsibilities, and communicate with the teams.

In baseball it goes like this. The common goal is winning the World Series. Each player clearly understands their role on the team. Pitchers don’t practice hitting, they practice pitching.  Spring training is about getting the communication and chemistry right.

When we look at companies and sports teams that are remembered as Legendary Teams, you will find one common characteristic among them, performance.  The companies with the best people have the power to attract loyal customers and top employees. In some cases, people are your product. In the business of sports, people are why 50,000 people show up to watch a game of baseball. It’s the people, the players, the talent, their performance.

Results are outcomes, focus on performance

Great results are outcomes of great practice and preparation. Shareholder returns, a great customer experience, and the candidate experience are all outcomes.  If you want better outcomes, focus on the internal strategies that drive results, people and performance. You’ve heard leaders say “People are our most important asset.” So why do businesses spend billions of dollars each year advertising to drive shareholder returns, customer experiences? It’s because most will focus on the results and not the internal strategies that create them.

All businesses have 3 customers – Shareholders, Teams, and Consumers

The Inner Game of Business

I believe the employee customer (team) is the single most important customer to understand. This is why attracting the top people is so important to your business. When companies get this right, they get it all. In other words, if you have the right employees and they are reaching their potential; the consumers are getting the experience they desire. This leads consumers to enjoy your company and tell their friends about your wonderful company.

When companies get aligned from the inside out, the owners get the best possible returns. How well do you think leaders understand their people? I bet you would agree that leaders can get caught up in chasing results, shareholder returns. If people are the company’s most important asset, this should be a focus. Results are outcomes. Just like sports teams. It’s all about the teams, that’s how they win games. The employees should be your most important customer and if you invest in them, you will improve your consumer experience and drive financial results to your shareholders.  Everyone wins. The employee, shareholders and consumers.

Top talent is a result, not an acquisition

Getting top talent is not about acquisition or the pursuit of top people. It’s about becoming a great leader yourself and making your team better. Top talent is something you attract by the company you become. As a result, your company wins and people will want to be a part of that. The best people have choices. When they understand what you are about, how you lead and where you are going; you will have the best people available to you.

Get Clear

Get clear about the people you need. Think about what people like that would want in a company or leader, and become that. Simple as that. Top talent is an outcome of who you become as a business unit, team or company. When you become more, you are now attractive to the people you desire.

Focus on experience with team development

Baseball teams provide experience based learning in controlled environments. It’s okay to fail. In fact, it advances success when we do. We call it the minor leagues in pro baseball. And like the Yankees, we like 2,000 plate appearances before you reach the big leagues. If you ask Malcolm Gladwell, he says 10,000 hours. Either way, they take development very seriously. In the minor leagues, player development is important and winning comes second. Confidence comes after competence. We get competent by taking risk and learning through experience. As a result, we get confident.

Now that we understand that results are outcomes of great performance, shifting to a performance focus will allow us to create better results.  As Ken Blanchard said, “You can’t hit the ball with your eye on the scoreboard.” When our teams are reaching their potential, we become a better company and more attractive to outside talent.

Apply Now

(About the Author: Patrick leverages a deep insight in leadership to inspire high-impact results. He is an Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur and Leadership Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of CareersinAuto, His leadership & coaching firm, is focused on winning in life and business. Together his companies offer a suite of tools to help people and companies reach their potential. You can learn more about Patrick’s new book The Inner Game of Business at

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How To Attract Tech Talent (Infographic)

Some of you may have already noticed that the battle for the best Tech Talent has already commenced and the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon are hogging all the great candidates. So how do you compete and attract tech talent to your organization? It’s simple… give these candidates what they want. produced a list of the most absurd ways companies try to attract tech talent which certainly has some very wacky/creative ideas.

For more realistic tips, then here are my top 3 tips on how to attract tech talent:

1.  Employee Referrals

If you already have a successful company with a great team then chances are they know people that could fit the bill. It’s unlikely that they would recommend someone that wouldn’t fit in well with the team. If you have 100 employees and they know 150 people that’s 15,000 contacts you didn’t have access to before.

2.  Perks and Benefits

Tech talent already earn a lot of money, so what else can you offer? The most sought after benefit is career advancement and development, following that telecommuting and flexible hours also goes down well. These perks aren’t necessarily costly or difficult to implement.

3.  Contract

If you were lucky enough to attract some great talent the chances of them staying in a permanent position is pretty slim. Instead offer a fixed term contract for the duration of the project. If you happen to have the best onboarding setup then they might stay even longer.

For a more comprehensive look at attracting Tech Talent check out this infographic created by TalentPuzzle.

How To Attract Technical Talent Infographic

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7 Turns To Take On The Road To Your Dream Job

Written By: Mary Isabale

“What do you want to be when you will grow up?”- a famous question we all have faced and had to answer in our childhood days. With starry eyes full of ambition and heart full of high hopes you may have answered that you want to be an actor or a doctor or teacher, lawyer, astronaut, firefighter. You may have also dreamed of a job that would give you rich mansions with butlers and maids, cars. But when you really grow up, things may have changed. The reality around you might have reshaped that it has diverted your vision of your dream job. In a  situation like this it is may be difficult for you to chase or choose your dream job but it is never impossible. These 7 tips will help you to find your dream job.

Analyze your ambition

A good analysis of your ambition will help you to find your dream job. You have to know what is your dream job. What suits you the best as a job? The British born philosopher Alan Watts said that to know what job is the best fit for a person can be found out by asking a simple question. ‘What would you do if money were no object?’. What would you do if you won a lottery and don’t need to do anything for a living? The answers of these questions will lead one to understand his or her ambition.

Know your greatest talent and purpose

In this step you have to be completely objective about yourself. You need to point out your skills and strengths. You can take others advice or opinion into account. You also have to know about your weak points. Once you get the clear indications about your skills, strengths or weaknesses, then you can clearly connect them to choose your path. On the other hand the purpose of your life should be made clear to you. You must know for which reasons you are chasing your dream job. It will help you to not leave the dreams behind.

Being realistic

Not all the jobs full of money are the one of your dreams and not all the dream jobs are currency maker.  You have to take that into account. Your dream job might not be that much financially rich. If you want to earn money, then you have to sort out those types of jobs which will accomplish your needs. But those who are willing to follow your passion should keep in mind that when you follow your passion money often comes too.

Keep calm and patient

You need to keep calm and patient in finding your dream job. The more nervous or anxious we become in finding our dream job, the more prone we become to take actions that won’t help. Happy endings are often obstacles for not being patient. It might take years to achieve success on dream job, but you need to follow the path you have chosen from the heart.

Commit to find your job or create it

It is very important to be committed to the path towards your dream job. An audacious goal is never achieved without proper commitment. Either you have to find the job that fits you the most with all your potentials or you must be that much devoted to make a way to create it for yourself.

Consider the ups and downs of your dream job

This one is one of the most important to find your dream job. There must be some difficulties in your job besides the positive side. You have to be well aware about them. You must have to research the positivity and negativity of your dream job. The more you will be aware about them,  the more you will be certain to find what is your dream job.

Buckling up yourself

Doing some volunteer works or other jobs related to your dream jobs will certainly make you sure about if you have found your dream job yet or not. Besides, it will help to boost your confidence and enrich your CV. It will also help you to get experience which is a crucial factor for getting your dream job.

The famous Chinese philosopher Confucius said that ‘Find a job you enjoy and you will never work a day in your life.’ Finding a dream job will make your life easier to move on. But dream jobs can be also hard in nature too. But life is certainly easier when you are working with something you love. So never stop believing in yourself and always look for what suits you the most.

(About the Author: Mary Isabale is a career expert and experienced hiring manager.)

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

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#TChat Recap: The Power Of Workforce Culture And Continuous Mobility

The Power Of Workforce Culture And Continuous Mobility

Time and time again, employers and organizations find their talent on the move. And why is that? What drives employees to leave? Instead of finding ourselves asking this question, we should be asking, “What drives employees to stay?” Sometimes before you can go forward, you have to go backwards. Meaning, we have to retrace our steps and find ourselves at the early stages of onboarding to discover the secrets of retaining employees. This week, #TChat was joined by Tracey Arnish, Senior Vice President of Talent at SAP, who understands what managing and retaining talent is all about.

Getting new employees onboard early plays a vital role in the outcome of each employee in your organization. Tracey provides us with a glance of the short and long-term effects of new hire onboarding:

It’s through this glance that employers can visualize a roadmap to their employees’ engagement and development. From here, employers and new hires can build a career path together and:

Because at the end of the day, all employees are valuable assets, that provide your organization with the brain power and muscle to innovate and achieve success. But if you want your talent to stick around, then you have to develop it. You can do this if you:

Employees need to know that their career growth matters to you, as much as it matters to them. Why? Simply put, your employees’ engagement, productivity, and happiness is what’s at stake here. This all factors into the kind of short and long-term success your organization will have. And don’t forget, it shapes the kind of workplace culture you’ll have.

Want To See The #TChat Replay?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guest Tracey ArnishClick here to see the preview and related reading.

#TChat Events: The Power Of Workforce Culture And Continuous Mobility


#TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time?

Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to The Power Of Workforce Culture And Continuous Mobility.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on culture?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!

If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

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Sign up for the newsletter to get the scoop on next week’s guest, topic and questions!

Save The Date: Wednesday, June 18!

Next week’s #TChat Topic: Authenticity Is An Inside Job That Starts With Self.

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

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#TChat Recap: Create A Transformative Onboarding Experience For New Hires

Create A Transformative Onboarding Experience For New Hires

There are millions of disengaged workers out there. Working day-to-day in what they feel is a never-ending cycle of the same old routine. But does it have to be this way?

Organizations are now starting to see the “big picture” when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. The process doesn’t just end when employees are hired. To retain employees long-term companies have to build an onboarding process that transforms and innovates the way new employees are engaged and managed.

This week’s guests, Todd Owens, President & COO at TalentWise; & Wendy Matyjevich, SPHR, HR Executive at Entia Ventures & BlackRain Partners, LLC, explain how providing a thoughtful onboarding experience not only keeps new employees around, but it makes them more productive. It builds a culture that can sustain itself.

Todd Owens mentioned:

You keep the candidate in mind during your onboarding process and think big because:

Hiring costs money. Yes, employee turnover is a costly process that ties into how productive and engaged your workforce is, which ultimately, transforms how clients are treated and maintained. It’s vital organizations don’t forget that:

Employees anticipate the same amount of time, attention, and energy from leadership that is expected of them when it comes to how they are treated. It’s a two-way street. If employees don’t receive what they want and demand for, then they may walk and your organization will suffer. Leadership has to remember that:


It has to mean so much more, or else employees will feel disengaged and eventually they will walk. Onboarding is about managing new employees and their transition into your community and culture. By providing them guidance and support along the way, leadership will see the results it expects and meet the demands that employees expect. 

Want To See The #TChat Replay? 

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guests Todd Owens and Wendy MatyjevichClick here to see the preview and related reading.

#TChat Events: Create A Transformative Onboarding Experience For New Hires


#TChat Radio Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time?

Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to Create A Transformative Onboarding Experience For New Hires.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on leadership?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!

If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

We Want To See You On TalentCulture. Become A Contributor Now!

Sign up for the newsletter to get the scoop on next week’s guest, topic and questions!

Save The Date: Wednesday, June 11!

Next week’s #TChat Topic: The Power of Workforce Culture and Continuous Talent Mobility.

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

#TChat Preview: Create A Transformative Onboarding Experience For New Hires

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. #TChat Radio starts at 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT) and the convo continues on #TChat Twitter chat from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT).

Last week we talked about how to visualize real-time talent alignment, and this week we’re talking about how to have a transformative onboarding experience for new hires.

According to the Talent Board’s 2013 Candidate Experience Awards report, based on data from nearly 50,000 candidates from over 90 progressive companies, new hires are sometimes met with less-than-ideal onboarding processes. They’re usually bombarded with disparate paperwork on the first day, as well as left with many questions about everything from benefits to job responsibilities.

Nobody wants to do their “day 1” paperwork from a cold, dark office. They want to do it from the comfort of wherever that comfort derives. They want to get on with the cultural immersion — and get to work.

A good onboarding experience is crucial to the success of every new employee. Since a new hire will decide within the first year if they want to stay with the company or not, the ability to deliver an effective and inviting onboarding process is key to improving employee morale and retention.

A happy candidate experience makes for exceptional hires and happy customers.

Join #TChat co-creators and hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn how to have a transformative onboarding experience with this week’s guests: Todd Owens, President & COO at TalentWise; and Wendy Matyjevich, SPHR, Managing Partner of Human Capital for BlackRain Partners.

Sneak Peek: How To Have A Transformative Onboarding Experience For New Hires

We look forward to learning more from our guests, Todd Owens and Wendy Matyjevich, to learn more about creating a better onboarding experience for new hires.

Related Reading:

David Smooke: Hiring Culture: Creating A Recruitment Ecosystem

Meghan M. Biro: The Onboarding Experience Matters To Your Future Employees 

David Obelcz: Five Keys To Onboarding That Drive Employee Engagement 

Abigail Tracy: Offer Your New Hires Training, Not Free Donuts

Jim Dougherty: Company Culture Is Part Of Your Business Model

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guests and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: How To Have A Transformative Onboarding Experience For New Hires

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Wed, June 4 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with our guests Todd Owens and Wendy Matyjevich.

Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, June 4 — 7pmET / 4pmPT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: Why should candidates be treated like paying customers? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How should companies react to changing modern-day job seeker & employee engagement demands? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: How can recruiting and onboarding be transformative for candidates & new hires? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q4: What practices help leaders ensure a compelling and sustained company culture? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q5: In what ways does a collaborative onboarding platform change engagement? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday.

To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

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