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Since most leaders maintain outdated views of HR, there’s a lack of awareness about what their organizations really need to thrive.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 Outdated talent acquisition practices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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Join #panTalentChat #Webinar Can Data Help You Hire Better?

TalentCulture Founder and CEO Meghan M. Biro will present a webinar with pan, an industry-leading talent assessment solution, titled “6 Strategies to Improve Your Quality of Hire.” The free 30-minute webinar will be held February 17 at 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST), and will be followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session on Twitter at 2:30 p.m. EST (follow hashtag #panTalentChat). The event is designed for HR, leaders and business pros who want to understand how data-driven hiring can increase their company’s hiring success.

It’s always inspiring when we put our heads together in the area of hiring and talent analytics. I’m about to do a webinar with pan (register for the webinar here).panwebinar on innovations in talent analytics during which I’ll present some interesting data from pan and other reputable sources. The fact is, we’re making huge strides in adapting Big Data to our needs. We’re past the stage of asking if and how Big Data will help us. Now the question is: how can we help Big Data help us? How can we use talent analytics and metrics to answer the same basic six questions we always need to ask?

We’ve accepted this immense resource, and are looking for ways to capitalize on its scope, power, and agility. Meaningful data requires the right measurements and assessments. Here are some tips on how to harness Big Data for meaningful answers to those six questions.

1. Is our recruiting effective?

Same question we’ve always asked, but amped up with data that can be gleaned from a range of channels, including mobile and social. Mine the data to show the diversity of the applicant sample, the ratio of applicants to hires, and the time between the arrival of the application and when the offer is accepted.

2. Are we working with the right assessments?

To get a scaled-up answer to this scaled-up version of “Are we asking the right questions” calls for accurate assessments. First, conduct a job analysis so the job is scientifically and clearly defined, including duties, competencies, and requirements. Then dovetail score-able testing and interviewing phases into the hiring process. The data from these assessments can provide great comparisons between candidates, pinpoint relevant qualifications, and help predict future job performance.

3. Are we measuring the whole person?

It’s a bit outside our comfort zone to replace a traditional judgment call with measurements. But data of late has been disproving some habitual assumptions. Make sure you measure the entire spectrum of competencies, from problem solving to negotiating, statistics to communication. Compare those qualities to the requirements of the job (based on your job analysis). Then compare those qualities among similarly promising candidates to find the best fit.

4. Is our selection program effective?

Even with Big Data at our fingertips we tend to lean on it more up front, during hiring.  But we need better hindsight. Continue gathering data to track and adjust the hiring process (don’t just “set it and forget it”). Measure performance, sales, turnover of hired employees (outcome data). Then, combine that with the predictor data gathered during recruiting and hiring, such as interview and test scoring. The results will indicate how to revise scoring metrics going forward, and how to maximize successful hires.

5. Are we getting a good ROI?

How much does a bad hire cost — in lost productivity, mistakes, and the cost to recruit, onboard, and train a new hire? The value of making an up-front investment in an effective hiring process is similarly measurable. Comparing hiring data to critical metrics for success, you can demonstrate the financial impact of a good hire.

6. How can we create training programs post-hire?

Much of the measurements from the selection process can be used to guide training and development. Work-focused personality assessments offer insights into qualities like flexibility, ambition, and teamwork — giving management a clear blueprint for development programs to build on strengths and counter weaknesses in new as well as existing hires.

New tools, same questions: From application through hire, data can shape strategic talent management. The interesting sidebar to this will be seeing if the new world of work, as hyper-networked, hyper-informed, and global as Big Data is, well, big — will change the questions we ask. I’d venture it’s all part of the HR continuum. Businesses. Jobs. People. Social. And now, better measuring and managing tools than we’ve ever had before.

If you’re interested in improving your hiring results, you’ll want to attend this webinar. Register for it here.

About the Author: Meghan M. Biro is a globally-recognized talent management leader and social business and community catalyst. As founder and CEO of TalentCulture Consulting Group, she has worked with hundreds of companies, from early-stage ventures to global brands like Microsoft and Google, helping them recruit and empower stellar talent.

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