Recruitment
Recruiting

How To Design A High Impact Interview Process

HiringHiring. It’s one of the top factors in determining whether your organization will succeed. Your people, and the culture they help you build, shapes the DNA of your organization. What are your values? What do you stand for (and against)? Why do you exist as an organization? The answers to these questions are generally framed by the founders or executives, but your employees are the ones who determine whether your organization truly lives these truths.

Early Stage Hiring: Phone A Friend

When you’re an early stage startup or small company, hiring tends to involve tapping your collective networks to see who you can hire. This process may lack diversity, but it’s a path of least resistance and generally leads to low-scale hiring success. As your organization grows, these networks grow thinner and begin to dry up. This tends to be the growth stage when most organization will bring on recruiting help, whether in-house or agency, to help them reach new candidate pools.

Building A High-Growth Interview Process

When you’re in high-growth mode you need to build an interview model that’s efficient, effective, and continues to provide the critical lens through which you want your candidates to be viewed through. It’s important this process has enough structure to be followed, but scales and offers flexibility when needed. The ‘Ideal process’ will vary as it should be tailored to each organization, but the following items should be factored in to most high-growth interview procedures.

Requisition Approval Process

Things move fast in high growth organizations, particularly startups. Strategic decisions (including hiring plans) can be made over coffee or beers. It’s important to have a light-weight process that ensures the appropriate stakeholders (Finance, HR/Recruiting, Division lead) have all signed off that the position is within budget and organizational hiring timeline/priorities. You’re recruiting resources are valuable, and you don’t want to waste time building and engaging candidate pipelines for jobs you won’t hire.

Sourcing & Networking

Recruiting is a team sport. Successful companies get this. No matter how effective your recruiting team is, the reality is that their reach only goes so far. It’s vital to build programs that allow the entire organization to rally behind the company’s growth. Strong recruiting teams will develop programs to ensure that all staff are aware of current hiring initiatives (particularly essential roles), and equip their colleagues with the tools and resources they need to be effective brand ambassadors.

Interview Prep

When you’re hiring at scale, it’s important all the stakeholders are really dialed in on the profile you’re targeting in each role. The hiring manager and recruiter should meet with the interview team before interviews begin to discuss the job description, target profile, intangibles, projects and initiatives they will work on, how the role interacts with their area (for cross-functional interviews, which most will tend to be), cultural fit, etc. This discussion is vital in ensuring all the stakeholders are on the same page and fully aware of what they’re vetting.

Interview Process

The recruiter should discuss the ideal process with the hiring manager during their search strategy kick-off meeting. The interview process should be generally defined so internal teams know what to expect, but also flexible to allow you to accelerate if you find stellar talent that has competing offers. The recruiter is generally the top end of the filter – evaluating candidates fit, motivations, qualifications (generally for technology roles), and identifying any potential blockers that might need to be overcome. Once determined qualified, the candidate will generally speak or meet with the hiring manager via phone/Skype/etc. This step is not always necessary, but important for technology roles to vet skills more deeply than a recruiter may be able to vet. Evaluations, code samples, and problem-solving/behavioral exercises help streamline this stage of the process. Free tools like Skype and Google Hangouts, or paid tools like WePow and HireVue, are valuable here as they allow more robust discussions in the early stages of the process to determine fit and potential. Following the initial vetting to confirm viability, the candidate will come in and meet the interview team for further vetting on skill and cultural fit. I find adding some structure to those interviews (behavioral questions, splitting competency evals per interviewer, etc.) adds value to this stage.

Candidate Experience

This is a really important to embed and reinforce throughout the interview process. How an organizations treats candidates, good or bad, is a tweet of GlassDoor post away from your talent pool. If you communicate regularly and treat every candidate with dignity and respect, you have an opportunity to create advocates. They may not get hired, but they will have a deeper respect for your company – and they will tell their friends. Open and regular communication goes a long way in enhancing candidate experience. An example is a recent ‘Candidate Experience Pledge’ we created to give NPR applicants a detailed overview of what to expect from the moment they apply.

Decision

After the interview, you’ll want to get the stakeholders together to discuss feedback. There are a variety of ways to do this. One way I’ve found to be productive is brief written evaluations (based on pre-determined templates) sent to the hiring manager and recruiter, followed by a group discussion. Gathering the written feedback in advance allows for unbiased input, and raises potential red flags to be discussed in the meeting. The eval includes a thumbs up/down on support for hiring. The hiring manager has the ultimate decision, but should ideally get near consensus from the interview team. Any red flags that are surfaced should be discussed and addressed during the review meeting.

These are just a few things to consider when developing a high-growth interview process. What tips and procedures have you found successful when developing your hiring plans? Please share in the comments section.

Hiring
Job Search

How To Write The Perfect Resume

The title to this blog post is a bit of a ruse. There is no ‘perfect résumé’. Perfect is in the eye of the beholder, and you never know who’s going to be reviewing your résumé – recruiters, hiring managers, founders, admins, etc. Aiming for a ‘perfect résumé’ is a lost cause.

Like most recruiters, I’ve read thousands of resumes over my career. Some great, some awful. Some memorable, some not. The key (in my mind) to a great résumé is one that’s laid out in an easy to follow chronological order. A format reviewers can scan vertically from the top, and ascertain in the first 10 seconds whether there is enough relevant experience to review more thoroughly.

Wait, isn’t the résumé dead?

There is a lot of chatter these days about the death of the résumé, that your ‘digital footprint‘ or LinkedIn profile have made your résumé obsolete. This is (for now) a myth. The reality is while there are sufficient tools and platforms out there to allow hiring teams (in many industries) to make early stage viability decisions, most organizations are still managing through hiring apparatuses and workflows designed 5+ years ago, before some of these technologies existed. This is particularly true with large organizations, or those required to have compliance-driven processes. For now, resumes remain a necessity in most job searches.

What about the robots?robot

There are many blog posts out there advising candidate to load their resumes with keywords to get past keyword scanning tools some organizations have baked into their ATS (applicant tracking system). I personally don’t put a lot of weight into these tools, but there are organizations that do. If you heed this advice, be sure the flow of the résumé is still logical, and doesn’t read as if you’re aiming for keyword density. You might get past the robots, but eventually a human will see and this and may be turned off if it’s an obvious ploy to get past the robot gatekeepers.

Continue reading

Recruiting

How To Design A Corporate Recruiting Calling Card

Recruiting is no longer a subset function of the HR team. The key to competing in today’s global talent market is engaging your colleagues to help with your recruiting efforts. Networking, branding, conferences, referrals – all are key components of a successful recruiting strategy.

As a talent leader at a non-profit with limited resources, this has been an important factor for our recruiting team. We’re constantly exploring new ways to engage our colleagues, and make it easy for them to contribute to NPR’s collective talent scouting efforts.

You never know when you might meet your next co-worker – conferences, meet-ups, coffee, PTA meeting, wherever. We wanted to develop an easy way for our colleagues to connect prospects with our various recruiting channels. That led us to create the ‘recruiting calling card’ below. It’s a business card-size summary of many of our key recruiting channels.

NPR Recruiting Calling Card

NPR Recruiting Calling Card

Continue reading

shrm
HR

Tapping The Collective Intellect of SHRM (#SHRMAdvice)

One of the biggest values of being a member of an organization like SHRM, or any professional network for that matter, is access to the collective wisdom of its membership. SHRM is a massive global organization; with over 250,000 members and 575 affiliated chapters in 140 countries. Think about that for a moment. Amongst its membership, there likely is not a single HR or talent issue that has not been tackled by dozens of members.

How do we, the membership, tap into this collective intellect?

We can look to inspiration from some peer review models like GitHub and Quora. Let’s review how these platforms define themselves.

GitHub: GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over three million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.

Quora: Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge.

Both of these platforms take an open-source approach to sharing knowledge. Millions of users willingly contribute their time and expertise to help their respective peer communities. Imagine if we found a way to harness this spirit within the HR community?

SHRM 2012 HR blogger crew.

SHRM 2012 HR blogger crew.

Technically we already do, but not at scale. We have twitter chats, LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages, Google Plus groups, Slideshare, email lists, etc. We also have many peers in the HR blogger community who freely share their presentations and training materials. All of these channels provide value to the bettering of our field. The shortcomings are that the value is incremental, hard to find, and often times shared between the same peer networks – and not reaching those in our community who would benefit the most from this information.

How do we get this collective intellect to more people?

It doesn’t to be a high-tech custom-built platform like Quora or GitHub, though the investment by SHRM could pay big dividends and lead to a member-contributed resource center (hint, hint). It could be as simple as a hashtag. Let’s call it #SHRMQs. Together with SHRM, the HR blogger community can help promote this as a destination to share resources and ask questions. Yes, I realize it would be hosted within Twitter which has  limitations (real-time nature of Twitter, no file saving/tagging capabilities, and lack of familiarity with many in our community). The upside is that is has zero cost so could be implemented immediately, and would be a reason to get more of our HR colleagues participating in social media.

Fistful of Talent live from The Hive at SHRM 2012 (credit: Dice)

Fistful of Talent live from The Hive at SHRM 2012 (credit: Dice)

SHRM has made good strides over the past several years under Curtis Midkiff’s (@SHRMSMG) leadership. The Hive and Smart Bar at SHRM Annual are good illustrations of tapping into the expertise of the HR blogger network. This is valuable for conference attendees, but with full conference schedules and attendance by less than 10% of the membership each year, we’re missing the majority of our members. We also miss out on the opportunity to learn from our peers who may not be active participants in social media.

These are a few ideas. The aim of this post wasn’t to present an absolute solution, but to plant a seed.

If we find a way to truly tap into the SHRM membership’s collective intellect, the value of our membership increases exponentially.

NPRTwitterChat2
Job Search

The Return Of #NPRTwitterChat

NPRTwitterChat2

We’re back!

The first #NPRTwitterChat was created to bring together seasoned professionals at the intersections of social media, recruiting, and HR with job seekers for a discussion about social media. The turnout was great, with hundreds of participants contributing their thoughts and insights. Mashable covered it in the article, “How To Effectively Use Twitter As A Job Search Resource“.

The most popular question once the event wrapped up? When’s the next one?

So we got together with our friends at Twitter and decided to make this a quarterly event. Our next #NPRTwitterChat will be Thursday 5/30 at 7pm EST. The format will be the same as the last event. We’ll bring in a diverse pool of experienced recruiting and HR professionals to cover 5 topics related to your job search. We’ll cover topics including:

    • Q1: What Social Media advice do you have for recent grads or students/interns?
    • Q2: The job requires experience, but I don’t have any. How do I get it?
    • Q3: What are some tools, tips, and tech that can help in your job search?
    • Q4: I’m a perfect fit for the job why didn’t I get it?
    • Q5: How can I build relationships with recruiters and/or employees in companies I’m interested in?
    • BONUS: Hiring? Take the last 10 minutes to share your jobs with chat attendees.

We’re also hosting a special one hour TalentNet Radio with Craig Fisher (@Fishdogs) and recruiters from Twitter Tuesday 5/28 at 7pm EST. This will be aimed more towards a recruiting/HR audience, but anyone can dial in or follow along on the #TalentNet hashtag. You can check out our last #NPRTwitterChat TalentNet Radio here.

If you’re new to Twitter chats, there are useful tools like TweetChat.com that make following live chats easier. You can find additional resources here. We’ll be posting a recap of the highlights on Storify following the event.

We hope to see you 5/30. It’s an open event, so invite anyone you think might benefit or have something to add to the discussion.

Data Brain
HR

Employee Engagement: Can Data Save Your Organization?

The following post was co-written by Susan Strayer LaMotte of Exaqueo.

As the economy continued to tank in 2011 and 2012, employee engagement dropped with it. Down economies often impact organizational loyalty in a negative way and Mercer’s 2012 report confirms that. According to the report, 24% of organizations are reporting lowered engagement up from 13% just two years ago.   And while organizations continue to invest in employee engagement, or some form of loyalty strengthening activities, popular HR analysts and bloggers are challenging the notion of engagement score value.

Companies do care about employee feedback: 96% of Fortune 100 companies and 65% of mid-sized companies use some sort of employee surveyBut is fighting for increased engagement scores a good use of executive time and attention? And are increased scores really that valuable to your business?It’s data that’s valuable. But it has to be the right data. Data that provides insight. Data that’s proactive.  Imagine if you had a sense of when your best talent was restless and contemplating leaving – Turnover, particular involving key talent, costs employers billions of dollars every year. There are a variety of ways to consider and calculate the costs – recruiting fees, training/onboarding, lost productivity, hidden costsburnout – it’s a cyclical problem that many organizations face.

The HR profession’s answer to this challenge hasn’t changed much over the years. We create annual employee surveys and performance reviews to measure individual performance and collective themes and trends across our workforce.  These procedures are often ridiculed by staff as a ‘check the box’ exercise, and in many organizations are meaningless unless truly championed by leadership and bought into by the organization.

There are exceptions of course. Organizations that are truly performance-driven are often successful because they have leaders and line managers that are constantly checking in on their teams, identifying and addressing challenges and celebrating wins as they happen, using incentives, and openly and honestly confronting challenges head-on.

So why is it that the HR community has seemed to settle on an annual or bi-annual assessment? A great deal can change in a year. The world of work has evolved. The goal for many employees is no longer 20 years of service and a nice watch, particularly for Gen Y talent. Employees want to be challenged and make an impact. They want to be recognized – and they’re less likely to hold onto a job where they don’t feel satisfied, and job dissatisfaction costs companies talent.

In today’s workforce where job mobility is becoming the norm, it’s even more important for organizations and leaders to regularly assess the mood and culture of their organization, and take steps to address issues before those issues send talent out the door.  The problem is, reactivity is a hallmark of old-school HR organizations.  They use exit interview to assess talent misses and performance reviews to address issues that have already been festering for 12 months. And by the time the leadership team has enough meetings and gets enough buy-in to act, the issues could be years old.

That’s why we were interested in taking a look at a new tool focused on real-time, proactive data: Tiny Pulse, the latest creation of serial entrepreneur –David Niu

The premise is pretty straight-forward. You create an account and answer some baseline questions related to how you feel about and inside your workplace.  Then you invite your employees to join. They create a profile and begin receiving weekly ‘pulse check’ surveys where they answer the same question and have an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback. Then employees begin receiving weekly TINYpulses with just one culture or performance related question each time. TINYpulse’s questions vary from “On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you at work?” to “What drives you crazy here and decreases your productivity?” Employees can also provide ‘virtual suggestions’ in their weekly surveys, essentially creating a virtual suggestion box for employee feedback

The administrator views all of the anonymous feedback, as well as week-over-week trends in answers in a reporting dashboard. This repetition of questions, along with the stock monthly question ‘How happy are you?’ allows the admin to identify trends and potential trouble spots early. Like many engagement surveys, you can also benchmark your performance against other companies using the same questions.  You can also publicly recognize colleagues through the “cheers” function.

There are some limitations–at this time you’re not able to create your own questions, which may be a limiting factor if you’re looking to gather feedback trends in specific areas or known trouble spots for your organization.  BuTiny Pulse is an intriguing platform that represents new approach to the outdated annual employee survey.

Regardless of the tools used, the question hinges back to the importance of data. Proactive feedback represents a fundamental shift in assessing employee morale and feedback early and often.

Think about it like this: the FAA grounded the Boeing Dreamliners after several major incidents from Boston to Japan. A reactive review is taking place before they’ll be allowed to fly again.  Imagine if regular data was collected on performance at every step along the way from design to development to launch. Could the incidents have been prevented? Maybe.

The idea is we’re a reactive society. We say we care about feedback and engagement but we rarely take action unless it’s reaction. With proactive feedback, you can identify triggers to potential issues before they happen. And address them in advance. Think that would engage your workforce? You bet.

NPRTwitterChat2
Job Search

Announcement: #NPRTwitterChat To Return As A Quarterly Series 5/16

#NPRTwitterChat To Return As A Quarterly Series

By Lars Schmidt

February 26, 2013

Washington, DC / San Francisco, CA – The collaboration between the Human Resources teams at NPR and Twitter, #NPRTwitterChat, has been extended to a quarterly series. The one hour chat, covered in the Mashable article, ‘How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource‘, brings together a mix of global subject matter experts at the intersections of human resources, recruiting and social media to share insights and tips with job seekers.

“#NPRTwitterChat is intended to bring together diverse views and opinions about the role social media plays in your job search,” commented #NPRTwitterChat founder and NPR Head of Talent Acquisition & Innovation Lars Schmidt (@ThisIsLars). “We received a lot of great feedback on the first #NPRTwitterChat, so are excited about the opportunity to continue collaborating with our friends at Twitter HR to keep it going.”

Twitter’s Recruiting Operations Lead and #NPRTwitterChat co-founder, Anitra Collins (@anitra10), added “I love being a part of such an insightful discussion. The #NPRTwitterChat gives participants front row access to real-time engagement between HR Experts across the globe. The diverse tips and techniques shared during the chat are unparalleled.” Continue reading

expat-relocation
Job Search

Handshakes To High Fives: A UK Ex-Pat’s Journey To The US

The following post is a guest blog post from a friend and former colleague – Sue Dickinson. In the post below, she shares her journey as a UK ex-pat transitioning to the US, and what she learned along the way.

________________________________________________________________

“HEADQUARTERED IN WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA.” These words flashed in front of my eyes, in letters the size of the Hollywood sign. I knew as soon as I saw the job description for the role of HR Advisor with Ticketmaster UK, that not only did I need to get this job, I also had to find a way to make my lifelong dream of living in the United States of America come true.

After a nerve-wracking interview I accomplished part one of my plan, I got the job. Over the next four years I worked hard to build a successful Human Resources team at Ticketmaster’s Contact Center in Manchester, England. I raised my profile internationally by volunteering for global projects, gained credibility, built relationships with key leaders, and four years later was given the opportunity I dreamed about – a new role as Senior Manager of Human Resources with the corporate HR team in Los Angeles. I couldn’t have been more excited, and was ready to pack up and leave rainy Manchester for sunny California to start this new chapter in my life. Continue reading

blog_picture_b2bsocialmediaguide
Job Search

You Never Forget Your First

As we go through life, we’re fortunate to meet some amazing individuals who inspire us; professionally, personally, and when we’re lucky – both.

hr fishbowlI waited roughly a year from the first moment I considered blogging until I launched this site. Why? Blogging was new to me, and I knew I had a lot to learn. Fortunately for me the HR community has a deep pool of experienced and talented bloggers and writers to learn from – and one of the best is Charlie Judy, and his blog HR Fishbowl. Continue reading

SHRM 2012 Bloggers
Recruiting

Amplify Talent: Year In Review, And A Look Ahead

SHRM

A collection of HR blogger Meet Meme cards and press pass from SHRM12

What a year. As I reflect on 2012, there are so many things I learned and experienced. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Generosity is alive and well in the HR community. If you follow the basic social media (and karma) tenants of ‘give before you receive’, your network will be a constant source of knowledge, advice, and inspiration.
  • Social Media is a tool, not a strategy. It can enhance your recruiting efforts in many ways; but be sure to have an objective, measure it, and adjust as needed. If you want to champion social recruiting/branding strategies within your organization, you need to articulate the ‘why’ as much as the ‘how’.
  • There is value in failure. It may be hard to see it at the time, but every lesson in life shapes you.
  • It’s important to find ways to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Employment Branding keys – employee-centric content, authentic, frequent, minimize friction.
  • I have much to learn as a blogger/writer. There are so many talented bloggers out there who are really gifted writers. They serve as a constant reminder of what really tight writing can be, and a source of inspiration and motivation for me to be better.
  • Disappointment will happen in your personal and professional life. Holding onto the angst is toxic, and will sabotage future plans. Move on to move forward. Continue reading