Monthly Round-Up: July's Recruiting Must Reads

bookAs summer rolls on, the fifth installment of our monthly Must Read series boasts a diverse collection of HR topics to contemplate. From improving the overall quality of the hiring process to re-evaluating talent assessments, we present a veritable potpourri of HR-specific topics to peruse and learn from.

10 Reasons Why Time's XQ Article on Hiring is Based on Faulty Science

CEO and best-selling author Lou Adler has accomplished many things in his career. One of those accomplishments is successfully arguing against the validity of generic personality trait assessments. In this piece, Adler debunks a recent Time magazine cover story on XQ, carefully explaining the flawed nature of the assessment and the ways it actually depletes the applicant pool rather than identify the best and brightest candidates. Anyone who has ever used XQ (or similar) evaluations will appreciate Adler’s candor and expert analysis, and realize that such testing can be a serious detriment for HR professionals relying on it to screen applicants. 

Read the entire argument against the Time cover story here. Article written by Lou Adler (@LouA)

Trying To Copy Another Culture, Like Zappos? How’s That Working Out?

Don’t tell HR industry veteran Tim Sackett that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, because he’ll flatly reject that proposition. By name-checking various successful companies with unique corporate cultures, he holds the opinion that trying to duplicate such cultures is folly. Sackett asserts that companies such as Zappos, Google, and Disney have developed internal cultures that are specific to their respective organizations, and cannot be satisfactorily replicated. What he does recommend is to be true to your own culture, and work within those cultural confines to help the environment evolve. Sackett’s philosophy on nurturing your own corporate culture can be distilled down to four essential points:

1.      Embrace the culture you currently have.

2.      Maintain open channels of communication with employees.

3.      Hire people who genuinely want to become part of your team.

4.      Be patient as you work toward improving your company culture.

 If you’re interested in Sackett’s full cultural commentary, find it here. Article written by Tim Sackett (@TimSackett)

Employee Recruiting Trends: 4 Mobile Strategies

Forbes contributor Susan Galer addresses the problem of HR departments and their collective underutilization of mobile technology. Galer offers a four-point plan for HR’s maximization of mobile technology: 

1.      Align with company mobile policy.

2.      Go beyond access: optimize for mobile.

3.      Centralize on one platform.

4.      Build for speed.

If you see that HR has fallen behind in the mobile race, then heed Galer’s advice and begin improving HR’s mobile capabilities ASAP. The highest quality applicants are a finite group, and are coveted by every recruiter and search firm. If you can’t identify and locate them in a timely manner, your competition will find them first.

Read more about Galer’s suggested mobile strategies for recruiting professionals here. Article written by Susan Galer (@smgaler). 

The 3 Biggest Mistakes Companies Make With Their Employee Referral Programs

Referrals are an integral part of the staffing equation for all types of companies, but there is a fatal flaw present in the referral process that is rarely acknowledged: Employees are often hesitant to participate in referrals due to management failing to do the following three things: 

1.      Establish and deliver on expectations.

2.      Extend recognition to employees who referred other employees.

3.      Sufficiently inform employees of available positions.

Taken individually or as a trio, these causative factors clearly contribute to a lack of trust between staff and HR, thereby impugning the credibility of a given referral system. If your company relies on referrals to find talent, then pay close attention to the aforementioned reasons why employees may choose not to get involved, and remember the primary rule for satisfying and retaining a dedicated workforce: Take care of your own.

The full discussion on referral programs can be found here. Article written by Paul Petrone.

Google Found Out That Giving Its Employees Trips To Hawaii is Better Than $1M Awards

A second July Must Read inclusion from writer Paul Petrone centers on Google’s failed experiment with large performance-based bonus payouts. Petrone cites Google’s head of people operations, Laszlo Bock, and Bock’s book Work Rules, in explaining how Google’s $1 Million prize program actually backfired by creating jealousy, resentment, and discontent amongst employees. To correct the company’s misstep, Bock wrote that Google replaced its cash prizes with non-cash options, all of which were received positively, irrespective of size. Based on Bock’s accounts of Google’s failed Founder’s Awards Program, Petrone asserts that financial rewards are best kept private, while non-financial rewards are well received in public.  

A complete reading on Petrone’s detail of the Google experiment and Laszlo Bock’s findings can be found here. Article by Paul Petrone. 

3 Emerging Alternatives to Traditional Hiring Methods

As a professor of Business Psychology, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic offers an interesting take on employment evaluations. His conclusions are uniquely academic, while still meriting serious consideration for HR professionals. Chamorro-Premuzic believes that three newer types of assessments are gaining favor, and will ultimately yield positive results:

1.      Behavioral analytics -- Assessing applicant talent by monitoring and measuring day-to-day activity.

2.      Web scraping – Quantifying candidate suitability by tracking an individual’s digital footprint.

3.      Gamification – Creating IQ and personality tests that are more enjoyable than the current industry fare.

Click here to read a more complete description of the three assessment categories.

Article by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (@drtcp)

Use the ROI of Great Hires to Break Free From Outdated Hiring Habits

Adler’s second featured piece delves into a familiar concept from Finance 101, Return on Investment, and explains how ROI needs to be the catalyst for redefining the hiring process in every company. Adler pulls no punches when articulating why organizations are fixated on the costs of hiring, instead of the impact a new hire will make. His position is supported by 10 pointed assertions, as he argues that only an enhanced appreciation for ROI will lead to definitive changes in the quality of hiring.

After reviewing Adler’s list, you may experience an HR-specific epiphany, and begin looking at ROI as the ultimate arbiter of a successful hiring process.

Read Adler’s complete list here. Article written by Lou Adler. (@LouA

People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO

In this Harvard Business Review article, research by McKinsey and the Conference Board is cited to show the ongoing disconnect between CEOs and their respective Human Resources Departments. When the data notes CEOs identifying human capital as a top organizational challenge, yet ranking HR as the eighth or ninth most important department, there exists a problem that requires immediate attention. One possible solution? Elevating the relationship between CEO and CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer) to the level of a true partnership. Though easier said than done, the CEO-CHRO dynamic needs to improve globally and locally, so that the overall HR function becomes a priority on par with talent acquisition and human capital management. 

The HBR article can be viewed in its entirety here. Article written by Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, and Dennis Carey

Dear HR...

HR Data Scientists take heart, there is someone who shares your pain at being ignored by your department managers. Greta Roberts shed’s some light on why Data Science hasn’t been adequately implemented by Human Resources, despite the industry’s penchant for hiring impressive Data Scientists. It seems incomprehensible that companies will hire specialists then not let them do what they are supposedly hired for, but Roberts gets to the crux of the matter. She diplomatically scolds HR for not being ready to embrace the Data Scientist demographic, and encourages a liberal approach to cutting HR Data Scientists loose and letting them thrive in a given organization.

Read Robert’s entire open letter to HR here. Article written by Greta Roberts. (gretaroberts)

New Employee Onboarding: Best Practices For New Hires

If you believe the process of bringing aboard a new employee ends when the benefits package information is distributed, think again. Once the new hire is officially on the books, an entirely different procedure must begin: acclimating the person properly, and having a support system in place to ensure success. Elements to this honeymoon period can vary depending upon organization, but a positive environment and the team aesthetic will carry the moment, and greatly impact the onboarding process.

Read more about best practices for new employees here. Article written by Lauren Moon. (@elmoonio)

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