By Gerry Crispin, SPHR and Mark Mehler
Last year, 24 firms were acknowledged for their efforts to improve the treatment of their candidates at the HR Technology Conference (where the U.S. awards will be presented again this year). Kudos to these winning firms: Adidas Group, Automatic Data Processing, Inc., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, The Bozzuto Group, Cliffs Natural Resources, Covenant Health, Crowe Horwath LLP, Deloitte, Deluxe Corporation, General Mills, Harris Interactive, Herman Miller, IncInfoReliance Corporation, Intuit Inc., Ontario Systems, LLC, PepsiCo, Principal Financial Group, Rex Healthcare, RMS Inc., Sage, State Farm, Insurance, SunTrust Banks, Inc., W. L. Gore & Associates, Whirlpool Corporation.
Subsequently we have seen dozens of articles about the awards and the winners in major publications including the Wall Street Journal and WSJ blogs (see this recent post, the High Cost of Treating Job Seekers like Cattle mentioning the 2012 award launch).
Webinars and HR Conference sessions have been devoted to the results including this session archived by EREExpo this Spring which featured two smaller firms who won: Sage and RMS discussing their best practices.
We've aggregated the data to describe the essential treatment of candidates in Attraction, Application, Rejection, Selection and Onboarding phases and recently published this whitepaper that is free to download.
It's been great PR for everyone.
To be among these acknowledged leaders in candidate experience, firms simply had to complete a survey of about 30-45 minutes about their practices and then send a note to a sample of candidates with a link encouraging them to describe their treatment. We were (by the way) shocked to find that 11,500 candidates from those same 24 firms were willing to spend 30 minutes detailing their experience!
We know there are more great companies who get that the value of a candidate can be measured and that re-mapping recruiting processes to fully engage this stakeholder has a high return. The 2012 Awards Campaign was launched just a few weeks ago and includes several changes. The new survey/application is improved and we have expanded outside North America to offer a similar but culturally adjusted survey/application for firms with employees in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland).
We expect to have well over 100 firms apply for the US award alone. One of them should be your firm. There is no cost.
(It is worth noting for transparency's sake that the governing body is a non-profit, TalentBoard, set up to engage and administer this award. The non-profit's board of directors are all volunteers and include: Elaine Orler, Gerry Crispin, Mark Stelzner, Sarah White, and Ed Newman. This year's judges include: Jerome Tipper, Joseph Murphy, Jessica Miller-Merrill and Steven Rothberg.)
Assuming your great candidate experience translates to a great employee experience (e.g. high engagement scores); Great Place to Work Institute has a new service, Get Great Rated, under construction. Take a sneak peak and give them your opinion about having a random sample of 45 of your employees rate you (and the result be available for all to see).
Works for some. Will give fits to others - - - but that may be a good thing.
Apparently neuroscientists have found that while the frontal lobe is busy (memorizing new numbers or possibly trying to make sense of all the big data available to a 21st century recruiting leader), new tasks requiring a decision may not be routed to the rational part of the brain. Sometimes the emotional centers of the brain make the decision.
Jeremy Shapiro's blog post on this subject (Jeremy is an analytics geek at JPMorgan who is also heading up a SHRM Task Force to develop metrics standards for HR), describes a seminal study where students were asked to memorize a set of numbers and, in the midst of it all, asked to make a separate decision between two desserts. The more difficult the memorization the more likely the choice of dessert was made on the basis of emotion.
Essentially, complexity can fill your brain (cognitive load) and cause it to reroute the next decision to your emotional center. Now, we're not going to speculate on the quality of this academic exercise - because it's much more fun speculating on its meaning in the world of recruiting.
The science of recruiting is years behind our peers in other disciplines, but when we see research like this, "Paying More to Get Less: the Effects of External Hiring versus Internal Mobility," we know we're beginning to catch up.
This study was published in the Administrative Science Quarterly in September 2011 and recently described in detail by Peter Cappelli (my favorite Wharton Professor), in his column for HR Executive magazine, Paying More to Get Less.
It is perhaps the best work we've seen in years.
In the original research, the author describes how he dug into the data of one financial services firm to identify and track a number of jobs filled by both internally and externally sourced candidates over a protracted period of time.
He then compared subsequent performance ratings of the incumbents (over years) and found statistically significant evidence that:
Now this is science we can enjoy - not because it is necessarily true beyond the one firm in which the study was done - but because it is transparent, describing methodology openly and in a way that we (dear readers) would be able to improve on and replicate within our own firms.
For those who are getting tired of tons of unsupported opinions stated as fact and megatons of research by vendor content creators with serious conflicts of interest, this is refreshing.
Give us more.
Talent42: Not Your Typical Recruiting Conference.
Talent42 is a serious training conference for tech recruiters put on by friends who are former practitioners and Colloquium members, Recruiting Toolbox. They've invited to Seattle, June 13-14, some outspoken engineering leaders and recruiting practitioners to share their experiences and focus on finding, attracting and hiring engineers and developers.
This year the NACE 2012 Conference & Expo will be integrating social media into the conference by offering a conference blog, an interactive mobile app, and a flash learning room (???) What exactly is a flash learning room?
Their answer: "The Flash Learning Room is a meeting room that will be available for discussions that attendees set to their own agenda - whenever attendees want to use it, for whatever topic they use it for! For instance, if you are talking with other attendees at a session or networking event and wish you had more time to talk about this in detail. There will be a board outside to sign up for a topic. Use social media to promote your flash learning session and invite others to attend. NACE will monitor the sign up board and tweet the topics and times."
NACE is also running a track of TED style sessions: 10 minutes, high-energy, concept.
Online Learning Models: Video, short and to the point
Jim Stroud, currently working for Hodes, has independently developed a slick platform for one-on-one learning videos we like. This interview with Jeremy Langhans, Expedia's Employment Branding expert demonstrating how he uses Instagram in recruiting is a great example of a growing archive of quick takes. Imagine 100 of these, free and searchable.
Online Learning: Slideshare.net
It was a great move by Linkedin buying slideshare.net. This global repository of millions of PPTs is the perfect add-on to build out professional profiles. As an example, this "Brand Ambassador" idea shared by a staffing leader from Deloitte in France is exactly the kind of interesting initiatives anyone can stumble on as you research best practices.
However, the winner for innovation in recruitment learning, in our opinion, continues to be ERE.net. The quantity and quality of free archived content just keeps getting better.
In case you are wondering why 'recruiter' isn't as well-respected as it should be, this thread between a prospect and a 3rd party Agency recruiter with a world-class case of hubris is a reminder to pick your partners carefully. #tarredbythesamebrush
- - - but whose course is being set right now!
The February 28th approval of the Cost Per Hire (CpH) Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will likely garner as much negative press as positive (at least in the near term since it is easy to focus on the limitations of the metric and ignore the real point, which is that it is now officially defined for the first time.)
Employers and their partners, suppliers, vendors and consultants no longer have to argue about what CpH is, even as they continue the debate on its relative value as one measure of staffing efficiency.
CpH was the first standard defined and more are in the pipeline. The Investor Metrics standard, worked on by nearly dozens of practitioners, consultants, academics and other professionals for the last year in a SHRM/ANSI taskforce is being publicly reviewed by HR professionals (and by the Finance profession as well).
Perhaps not so coincidentally this recent blog post by Naomi Bloom: Driving Business Outcomes - Vocabulary Shapes Our Thinking on Analytics drives home the point about the importance of having standard financial measures in HR far more articulately than I could. In fact she sparked a group of analysts engaged on the Linkedin HRTechnology Conference group to dig even deeper into the importance of these standards.
And since we're conversing at the 20,000 foot level here, everyone with a stake in the outcome - from leaders in HR and Staffing to the vendor community and, especially the folks in the trenches - should be weighing in on these efforts.
To learn more about this initiative, if you've got the patience and inclination to make a difference, email Lee.Webster@shrm.org (you do not have to be a SHRM member to participate). And yes, for the record I've been involved for three years in the ANSI initiative which SHRM financially underwrites. I am also currently a (paying out of my pocket) member of an ISO Technical Advisory Group interested in influencing HR standards globally. #changetheworldandstopworryingaboutyourKloutscores
Employers are likely to think of this tool in terms of sourcing but we are looking at it as a serious competitive edge for a well-coached job seeker interested in finding a referral or maybe the hiring manager for a published job, or the recruiter responsible for it.
With all the enterprising recruiters who pride themselves on being strictly 'social' recruiters, we fantasized what a map would show about the job seeker's path to a job in the future:
When asked in the application, "How did you find us?", the candidate put in the name of the referral and, internally, the employee completed his form referring the local candidate. When the recruiter searched his ATS, the software's [proprietary] algorithm weighted and tagged the referred candidate as a highly qualified match and the rest is history.
Except, the firm's SOH reporting had switched to last IP address and, since the candidate had come directly from his home computer to the company career site, the 'unknown' IP address was coded "Other" for Source of Hire. Fortunately the external service that put the cookie on that particular prospect at the moment he reached Indeed was able to update the 'source' field - except, the recruiter altered the field again based on his interview of the new hire and so he changed it to, "Facebook".
This video at Racker's Career Site is a bit over the top (not that we haven't seen similar efforts) but the entire site offers interesting ideas. For example the box on the left of the video asks visitors to vote on a new video topic to be answered by a Racker. In the end, the point is whether your site reflects the emotional component of your employment value proposition. Is it plain to see what engages your employees?
This Business Insider article, about how a Recruiter supposedly looks at a resume is a worthwhile study - as far as it goes.
According to the data, "In the short time that they spend with your resume, the study showed recruiters will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education."
This was more meaningful about 20 years ago when most recruiters actually did look at resumes as opposed to digital profiles with yellow highlighted keyword matches. Still, notice the first stop is "name". Relevant or potential halo bias?
This HR Exec Column by Bill Kutik, Lifetimes of Tech Change, is a wonderful step back that reminds us how far we have come in the evolution of HR Tools. (Bill is the maestro behind much of the HR Technology Conference, one of the essential learning events of the year and where this year's 2012 CandEs will be awarded.)
Bill's column notes those wonderful frustrations of waiting in queue for six months to get a form changed or writing on a form that was then keyed in, and promptly printed out so the editing could be done to rekey it in.
We recently described the 'batch processing' of resumes to a person born less than 25 years ago. She had a hard time imagining you could only get your message out once a week (Sunday). Interest in your job arrived several days a week - in a mailbag, sometimes with 400 or more resumes twice a day, dumped in a large barrel and opened and stacked by several assistants. Recruiters had to contact their candidate's one phone call at a time, from land lines to land lines. There weren't even pagers available to alert you that someone was trying to reach you. (Direct sourcing was not allowed but fully 15% of hires came from 3rd party agencies.)
But the time to fill was the same as today! And every 'dispositioned' candidate who had sent in a resume via the mail, received (eventually) a letter or post card with acknowledgement, interest, status and final disposition of the job - every one!