By Gerry Crispin, SPHR and Mark Mehler
This non-starter article from the Associated Press was everywhere in March and, from our point of view, much ado about nothing. Not one public company was named and the authors of this and other articles misled readers into thinking, erroneously we believe, that this 'trend' among US firms of all sizes and stripes was real and growing. #Yellowjournalismatitsbest.
We cannot imagine any rational firm requiring candidates to fork over their passwords. Can you just see doing that and then discovering the person was last seen celebrating their pregnancy with their friends? Or, how about forcing a candidate to disclose their recent private status where they were praying (shared only with family and friends) for some less than popular outcomes? #classaction
Who could possibly want to wallow in non-job related content? Who would even have time for that?
OK, despite everything someone will do this, and obviously it is the same idiot who asks the single mom how she will get to work on time with two kids to bring up, etc. etc. and then hires someone less encumbered - and less qualified.
On the other hand, what candidate in their right mind would surrender their privacy unless it is for bona fide, job-related reasons?
Anyone who gives their social security number, social media passwords or anything they keep private without both a rationale and a written conditional offer in hand needs a good talking to. (Have them call us.)
The complimentary whitepaper documenting last year's Candidate Experience Awards, the winners and the results of how 11,500 people viewed their treatment as job candidates, is now available from TalentBoard, the non-profit created last year by Elaine Orler, Mark McMillan, Ed Newman and ourselves to acknowledge firms making the most effort to improve their treatment of candidates. The winners were announced and acknowledged at last year's HRTechnology Conference. A great venue we are using again for 2012.
The document was completed later than we planned but it still offers excellent insights from both participating employers and their candidates about each of the four phases of recruiting that we attempted to examine: Sourcing and Attraction, Application and Screening, Selection and Assessment, and Offer and On-boarding.
Planning for this year is already underway and will include a separate initiative in the UK (eventually we hope to expand globally to dozens of countries). We have already expanded the non-profit's board for 2012 to include two of last year's judges, Mark Stoelzner and Sarah White and now are in the midst of seeking new judges.
We're also sensitive to avoid conflict of interest in how winners are chosen and will rely heavily on the surveys' questions and answers by employers and their candidates to establish the 2012 standard.
To improve on last year's questions, we've asked several skilled and experienced survey developers to help us fine tune the project for both the employers and their candidates. We believe if the data helps firms benchmark their practices and, at the same time, arms them with a stronger business case for investing in the candidate experience, the number of firms willing to participate will increase.
We'll try to 'test drive' the 2012 survey in late April or early May and if you would like to help ensure we've covered the right bases, let us know. Stay-tuned as we officially kick off this year's survey over the summer.
This recent article, A Letter from a Baffled Hiring Manager, is an excellent approach to reaching an audience by personalizing the conversation with job seekers (despite contributing a few erroneous ideas about cover letters). The straightforward tone and credible, transparent commentary is a definite plus.
In the same vein this YouTube Google+ Hangout offering personal interview tips by Google recruiters is also an inexpensive and easy-to-duplicate approach to building an authentic bridge to candidates and prospects alike.
Last week, Gerry interviewed two smaller firms, RMS and Sage, at ERE Expo about the Candidate Experience and worked the audience for additional examples. The live video stream was archived here. During the session RMS's chat feature and Sage's upfront setting of expectations about the black hole were featured.
First of all, congratulations to the firms that won awards at ERE Expo last week as their stories are worth listening to. Since it was video streamed and archived, there is no reason to wonder what is involved in considering and creating an excellent referral program or career site etc. etc. This is our favorite stream conversation from the conference.
There were several other excellent sessions that ranged from Stephanie Lilak at General Mills reviewing world-class practices (and the challenges faced in integrating social media) to Danielle Monaghan at Cisco describing the nuances of global integration. The conference sessions were viewed at various times by nearly 500 attendees, many new to the recruiting space.
More than the conference and the sessions however was a palpable energy that stemmed from recruiters, recruiting leaders and vendors who are experiencing a hiring resurgence and moving forward.
The first [ever] HRM American National Standard, Cost-Per-Hire, was approved last month (See John Zappe's story on ERE). It is likely to evoke consternation among some, yawns among others and considerable scorn from those whose ideas about influence are fixed on individual Klout versus collective might (this last point should just evoke a smile).
In all seriousness, this document represents a watershed agreement among hundreds of professionals making their livelihood from every aspect of recruiting and staffing. Within the next few years any vendor claiming to offer a means to calculate a C-P-H report will have to answer the question: "Is your methodology in compliance with the American Standard?" Is yours? If it is you can immediately bench (at almost no cost) your industry, your competitors, your region and your critical job family.
"The goal of this project", as stated by Lee Webster, SHRM's point person on this and many other standards poised to change the face of HR, "was to create a credible, comparable and consistent approach to calculating the costs of hiring workers."
There is no judgment that CPH is inherently better or worse than any other measure of recruiting. That has been argued (and will be argued) incessantly for years without resolution. In our opinion, CPH is merely a means to assess the cost efficiency of a process - in this case recruiting. Whatever the arguments for its worth, the effort to define it, led by Jeremy Shapiro, now a Senior HR Analyst at Morgan Stanley, should be applauded. It is a template for developing agreement on many more of HR's building blocks lacking clear definition, and clears the way to adding to the body of knowledge in staffing by tackling emerging tools.
The CPH document was "formed under procedures embraced by the American National Standards Institute and crafted by consensus among HR practitioners, academics, consultants, customers and other stakeholders who represent the American professional view of how this metric should be calculated."
There is no question in our mind that a series of effective HR and staffing standards that correlate to how we as professionals impact our firm's bottom line as well as the lives of the people affected by that business will eventually transform HR.
The only question left is who is going to participate in future standards efforts. Patience and more patience is an attribute that is essential for this kind of work. For those interested, an email to email@example.com will serve to keep you informed about the opportunities.
Steve Boese, a blogger and Oracle HR Manager came across this 1960's eight-minute video predicting the future of telecommunications that was put together by the Post Office in the UK. As Steve notes, they correctly predicted:
Although maybe it didn't turn out exactly as they imagined it. Entertaining.
If you can read this you'll know exactly when and where Gerry was about a month ago. Hint: He managed to enjoy a wine-tasting of this country's boutique wineries.
Paul Hebert, writing for Fist of Talent, described this innovative presentation style this way: "Pecha Kucha - pronounced "pa-chok-cha" - is a style of presentation made up of 20 slides (predominately images) shown for 20 seconds each. Originally devised by architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham in 2003 in Japan, it was created in order to limit presentation time. During the presentation the slides are automatically advanced every 20 seconds. After six minutes and 40 seconds you get the hook. Period."
Gotta love it. Would love a Pecha Kucha channel to any conference. Even with a few minutes of questions and time to get to the next session, I could cover four times as many topics in an hour.