Tag Archive for recruiting

Desperate, Sweaty, SWM Looking for ‘Love’

DatingGameThe dating/recruiting comparisons are endless and we’ve been drawing parallels for years. The conversation will continue for some time; we’re waiting, after all, for the much-anticipated eHarmony launch of its recruiting/assessment/matching platform later this year.

One thing I’ve never seen dissected though is how one’s approach, to either the dating process or the hiring process, impacts the final outcome. Maybe it’s because at some point enough people find their match, job-wise or romance-wise, so we kind of lose interest. (“Thank God Mary finally found a man. I’m so tired listening to her ramblings about the losers she’s meeting.”) Or, of course, they just stop trying. (“Bob has stopped shaving and just sits around his house in his underwear. All he eats is Papa John’s pizza.”) Either way we’re thankful for the silence when they stop blathering on about how they can’t find “the one.”

But all this starts with some sort of goal-setting, know what I mean?

Let’s take dating. People join dating sites for any number of reasons. Some are laser-focused on finding a spouse or forming a significant relationship while others want companionship so they don’t have to attend events or work parties as the lone single gal/guy. There are folks who just want a partner with whom to sip wine and go for walks on the beach. Quite a number, let’s face it, pony up their hard-earned cash with the goal of satisfying hormonal urges.

As for job seekers, the individuals who take the time to create a lengthy profile on a job board or the soon-to-be-launched eHarmony recruiting site presumably do so for the same reason: to land a job. A job they love! 

People in both camps may be desperate; the out-of-work guy in job search mode needs to start bringing in some income. The why-am-I-still-single? 36-year-old gal who enjoys spinning pottery and singing in the church choir is bone wearingly exhausted being the +1 at couples’ events. Plus she has urges…if you know what I mean.

Candidates and single-people with hopelessness oozing out of every pore. Who hasn’t run into them?

I’ve sat across from job applicants who have begged for a job. “I’ll do anything,” said Rhonda-the-applicant. “I really need to work.”

I’ve also, back in my single days, sat across from sweaty dudes who plied me with cocktails and begged for companionship. “I’m ready to settle down,” lamented one crunchy-granola weirdo hipster dude as he chugged his sake at the Thai restaurant during our first (and last) date. “You want to come and see my house? I brew my own mead and raise earthworms in the basement.” (note: after I feigned an emergency and raced for the safety of my car, I watched him unlock his bicycle and wrap his pants leg with duct tape before he peddled back home to his earthworms).

Where’s the line that one crosses? At what stage does someone move from having a desired (and achingly unrealized) objective into wretched despondency?

Is there a point at which the lovelorn hit a critical juncture and can’t reverse their path? Had earthworm guy, once upon a time, been a tad more circumspect in his quest to snag a woman? Did he change after stumbling through young adulthood on some sort of creepy refection-filled journey?

I dunno.

But I do wonder if the mysterious magical eHarmony recruiting tool will assess “desperation.”

I also wonder if that would that be good … or bad?

 

 

You CAN Bring the Sexy Back: ‘Branding’ Employee Discipline

dominatrix-mistress-with-her-whipIt seems you can’t click open your web browser without reading something about “Employer Branding.” Or “Talent Branding.” Good stuff to be sure; I think it’s important and critical.

What fascinates me is how we tend to explore this concept primarily from a talent attraction or recruiting standpoint. Oh sure, during the strategy phase of “employer branding” there is cursory attention paid to overall organizational culture and the end-loop/integration to the employee life cycle. “If we recruit these people,” says Mary the HR leader, “we need to think about retaining them.” Well…yeah.

So great care is given to ensuring that the brand carries on throughout the onboarding, performance management and succession planning processes. The Learning & Development team aligns their instructional design and training delivery to the brand. Marketing and recruiting teams work hand in hand and it’s a wonderful and glorious thing.

But you know what’s often neglected in this strategy planning? That which HR is often best known for: employee relations. ER, as defined by our friends at HRCI, is the interaction between employees and an organization (for example, communications, conflict resolution, compliance with legal regulations, career development, and performance measurement).”

For the non-HR types, this catch all category includes:

  • “Joe reports to work 30 minutes late 3 times per week”
  • “Maeve is an insufferable know-it-all who pisses off every single human being in the office”
  • “Bob told a dirty joke in the lunch room”
  • “the VP of Sales has been patting the derrieres of all the female account executives”

So, because this kind of crap goes on in every workplace your local HR Department creates an Employee Handbook/Policy Manual. This is where you find information about how you get paid, EEO statements, and your rights under the FMLA.

And nestled in amongst all those nuggets is the section that let’s you know what will happen if YOU are the one telling dirty jokes in the lunch room. But there’s often no attempt to think about brand here; this section of the handbook/policy manual/rule book is often given an authoritative sounding title like Code of Conduct or Company Rules.

Included in this section you will learn that when your manager does need to have a discussion, you may be facing:

  • A Corrective Action Notification
  • The Disciplinary Procedure
  • A Counseling Report
  • The Progressive Discipline Process
  • A Verbal Warning, Written Warning, FINAL Warning

Jesus.

And you’re given this on your first day of employment.

So even in the midst of all the #culture and #transparency and #WeAreFamily hoopla that connects your candidate/applicant experience to your NEW/NOW employment experience, you are slapped right up side-the-head with something that was left out of the employer brand strategy conversations.

HR professionals as tyrannical police agents? Moms? Headmistresses?

Dominatrixes?

I’m not saying we downplay important information by bathing it in sunshine and serving it up with lollipops and cotton candy. I am saying that HR teams, when working on an employer branding strategy need to connect all the dots. Language is important and the branding of your employee relations (discipline!) approach is just as critical as the branding of your career site.

So…what’s your brand?

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credit: image

Culture: You Can’t Fake It

Nancy Drew Old ClockI think by now we all have a pretty clear sense of what company culture is: the collective behavior of the people who are part of the organization as formed by organizational values, norms, systems, beliefs, symbols and traditions. Culture affects the way individual employees and groups interact with each other as well as how they interact with customers, clients and other stakeholders.

It’s the foundation that impacts ‘how stuff gets done.’

In any given organization, there is not one person (or group) who defines culture. There is not one person (or group) who owns it. There is not one person (or group) who controls it.

Yet many who work in HR and Recruiting (or, sometimes, those who advise them) dash around in misguided efforts to categorize their culture as something it’s not.

Perhaps there’s a need to pump up college recruiting efforts to meet projected growth and hiring needs. It’s entirely possible that turnover is picking up and there’s a mass exodus of employees so the HR Department feels an urgent need to re-brand because a member of the HR team sat in a session about branding at a local SHRM conference. Employees (per the latest annual engagement survey!) are demoralized, un-challenged and just not feeling it.

“Hey,” says Debbie the HR Leader, “until we can change the culture, let’s promote what we want it to be.”

See what’s wrong there? First of all, neither Debbie nor her team should believe they can change culture through some sort of voodoo HR. And they most assuredly should not communicate a misleading version of today’s reality. Their culture, whether they consider it great, mediocre or downright evil, is-what-it-is.

But Debbie and her team may still persist in promoting the organization’s ASPIRATIONAL culture as opposed to the ACTUAL culture.

I sat through an event the other week in which the speaker (who had no specific recruiting experience by the way) promised to share the secrets to winning various recruiting and retention wars, battles and skirmishes.

At one stage she advised the audience members to review their company’s career sites. ‘If you don’t have any smiling faces on your career site make sure you show people being happy at work!’ she advised. ‘That’s how you’ll get people to apply!’

Oh bullshit. For so many reasons.

Stock photos on a company career site are as inauthentic as Kim Kardashian. A contrived employer brand is false advertising. A counterfeit value proposition is worthless. And the goal (no matter what this speaker told audience members) is not to get more people to apply; it’s to get the right people to apply. If a company culture is controlling, formal and efficient then THAT is the story to tell; there are candidates who desire a work environment like that – and they can be found.

So Debbie feels good (and HR smart!) when she heads to the quarterly Executive Team Meeting and unveils new tag lines for the company career site: “We have a collaborative culture” “We’re creative and innovative!” “Our culture promotes teamwork and consensus building!”

But she’s just gotten into TAO Nightclub with a Fake ID. She bought a rip-off Gucci bag. She pulled a Nancy Drew.

Is she really satisfied? Or is she just glad it’s over?

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image courtesy of Nancy Drew Sleuth

This is Modern Day Recruiting – LIVE from #gbrshrm14

bridge2I’m attending the Greater Baton Rouge SHRM Annual Conference today along with several hundred of my fellow HR professionals. We have coffee, croissants and, theoretically, cocktails at the post-conference Happy Hour.

Mid-morning I’m sitting in a session with Kara Blumberg, Director of Professional Services, with Hirevue, discussing Modern Day Recruiting.

Kara highlighted what she identifies as three trends driving modern day recruiting:

Recruiting must be Personal

Recruiting is personal and people want their stories to be heard. In addition, the horrendous ‘candidate black hole’ surfaces (boo!) and everything quickly becomes impersonal for, well, most everyone. Use tools and tech to assist but remember to  tell your stories and keep things authentic.

Recruiting drives Business Value

The reality is that HR/Talent Management professionals struggle with trying to fulfill all their responsibilities and have for years. Today, however, executives realize they need HR pros with a talent focus as TALENT is a primary concern for every organization. YOU (HR people!) can get your CEO’s eye by creating a ‘Talent Name’ for yourself. Add business value by focusing on talent needs…and executing well!

Data Science

Kara made the prediction – “in the near future, every HR Department will have a Data Scientist on staff…OR the Data Scientists will replace HR.”  (Gasps, disagreement and “but what about the need for HR to be people-people?” came up.)

And I get it. It’s frightening for many HR practitioners who have not felt the need to stay on top of trends Who have not realized that HR must have a future focus. Who have long considered technology and data and analytics to be something that resides in the server room with the IT Department.

So in the end, this was a great session for our Baton Rouge HR Community; I’ve long tried to be a resource and share information so I appreciate any and every opportunity when learning on these topics occurs.  I hope many of them read this recap of the #HRTechConf from Josh Bersin – The Top 10 Disruptions In HR Technology: Ignore Them At Your Peril.

As Kara commented when wrapping up – “The bus is full; but if you’re not on it….another bus is coming!”