How to measure the true cost of a bad hire

A bad hire doesn’t just cost employers their reputation – it’s financially draining. According to Zappo CEO, Tony Hsieh, poor hiring has cost his organization “well over $100 million”.

And while that might be an extreme example, HR leaders are all too aware of the price of a poor hire – with half of recruiters believing bad decision-making has cost them thousands.

But, fret not – in this new world of technological advancements, surely we can rely on digital tools to help inform our choices?

When you’re measuring the ROI on investing in good recruitment technology, Matt Charney, believes it comes down to costings and metrics. Charney, chief content officer at Allegis Global Solutions, and speaker at HR Tech Summit Toronto, revealed to HRD that there’s no authentic way of measuring the “quality of a hire”.

“And there’s almost no way to see the impact of individual employees on the bottom line,” he added. “However, aspects such as turnover, productivity and satisfaction are all outcomes metrics of the investment. There all tied directly to revenue.”

Charney was quick to point out that employers turn too often to tech as a ‘be-all-end-all’ solution.

“The biggest mistake that’s made is believing the technology they’re working with is the answer – without even having posed a question,” he explained. “People will buy tech based off a perception of need or vendor promises or industry competition.

“Employers tend to follow the pack rather than looking at their own individual processes and people in order to figure out whether the issues they’re battling with can be solved with new tech.”

In essence, it comes down to where you’re placing your people in the process – rather than purchasing new tools.

To hear more about how to purchase and implement the right tech for your company, book your ticket to HR Tech Summit Toronto here.


Employee experience must transcend mere engagement, experts say

Dive Brief:
Cultivating better employee engagement was top of mind for experts in HR, finance and marketing who spoke as part of Paycor’s 2019 Rise Web Summit — a two-day webinar series on Feb. 19 and 20. Webinars covered a variety of HR’s other focus areas, too, such as benefits compliance and unconscious bias in recruiting.
“Employee experience goes beyond employee engagement,” said Katy Bunn, senior director, marketing communications at Paycor, in a lecture on the topic. Bunn said that engagement starts on day one and encouraged managers and HR to build a supportive culture for new employees backed by frequent check-ins and goal setting. Once HR sees that workers are truly engaged, Bunn said, they can offer a referral program with incentives and source current employees to work as “social media ambassadors” to help promote the workplace culture to the public.
For Kelly Charles-Collins, partner at Smoak, Chistolini & Barnett, PLLC, the concept of ACE, or “atmosphere, culture and environment,” can positively impact employee experience by making workplaces more diverse, inclusive and mutually trusting. “Shifting culture is not enough,” she said in her talk. Charles-Collins encouraged HR to create safe spaces for employees to discuss when they experience unconscious bias at work, provide options in their environments — including access to standing desks and natural light — and prioritize inclusivity. “It’s not enough to just have the diversity piece. ‘We have 10 people who are diverse,’ okay, but what’re you doing with those people? Are they involved in any way? Are they empowered and do they feel valued within the company?” she said.

Dive Insight:
When HR sets out to improve employee experience and engagement, it can be daunting. A positive employee experience is linked to competitive pay and benefits, a supportive workplace culture and more. “This is not just about putting a pingpong table in the break room and calling it a day. This is about inspecting every single thing your organization is doing,” Bunn said in her talk.

Implementing a “culture of recognition” through gradual changes can be a good start. Bunn recommended praising employees in blog posts or the company newsletter and noted that HR should be sensitive to employees’ personality types — perhaps opting for a personalized note over public recognition for introverted employees. HR can lead the charge by codifying rules for recognizing employees and by advising managers and other higher-ups to take on the mantle.

“You have to live your words,” Scott Conklin, Paycor’s SVP of human resources previously told HR Dive, adding that “if not seen at all levels, people aren’t going to do it.”

Working toward diversity and inclusion is of vital importance, both to engage employees and meet business goals. Though 98% of employers have invested in diversity, a quarter of workers in diverse groups don’t experience a measurable benefit, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group survey. Charles-Collins acknowledged that diversity initiatives can misfire unless employers work to banish exclusivity from the workplace and solicit input and participation from diverse workers. “Inclusion is the empowerment and the involvement of those people in your decision making,” she said. For talent professionals, blind recruiting can be a powerful tool to check unconscious bias and bring more diverse candidates into the fold, Charles-Collins said.

When employees are engaged, retention is better and recruiting new talent can be easier. Several Rise speakers referenced a Paycor study of 700 HR leaders and C-suite executives released earlier this year, which found that 80% of small- to medium-sized businesses and 72% of CEOs don’t believe their workers are engaged. The survey also found that, among these businesses, those with highly engaged employees were 86% more likely to report that their company has an effective referral process.


The Top Employee Mentoring Trends For 2019

Last October, I reviewed a study that had just come out from Endeavor highlighting the importance of quality mentoring for a startup’s success. The study found that founders who received mentoring from top performing entrepreneurs were three times as likely to become top performers themselves compared with peers. The study’s conclusion: quality mentoring matters.

To learn more about what the new year will bring, I reached out to Phil George and Andy George, Founders of MentorcliQ, to find out their take on the best mentoring trends of 2019.

Companies Will Begin Establishing Mentoring Cultures

“We’re witnessing the distinct evolution of mentoring as a business tool. It has evolved from its organic roots where employees naturally built networks and developed interpersonal professional relationships, to more formally-structured mentoring programs,” the Georges explain. “In the coming year, a new multi-program approach — leveraging technology — will make mentoring a full-time component of the workplace environment and a vital part of contemporary job culture.”

Mentoring will Become a Business Priority

As CEO, Phil’s job is to help companies develop and complete talent strategies including employee development programs driven by mentoring. “We’re seeing mentoring becoming a business necessity for companies of all sizes, not just the larger enterprises,” he notes. “We’ve seen a 200%-300% increase in programs initiated by employers with under 5,000 employees. Now, even program with fewer than 1,000 employees are investing in mentoring programs. Organized, results-measuring programs, which require corporate funding, are getting the green light because they are seen as smart investments. These programs offer with positive returns to both the business and the employees.” He adds that almost all Fortune 500 companies have active mentoring programs — a focus that will grow this year among smaller companies as well.

Mentoring Programs will Deploy on Mobile Platforms.
“We have seen a 20% increase in mobile and tablet usage in the last two years. This trend will continue to increase in 2019 and beyond,” says Andy. “Employees find that mentoring apps give them the flexibility they need to engage effectively in a mentoring program. This will make measuring and monitoring the program outcomes easier and automatic.”

Mentoring Will Include Diversity and Inclusion Training
The duo suggests you watch how HR departments will provide more transparency, with programs especially designed to focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. “Mentoring programs are an excellent channel to instill egalitarian workplace values, and transfer their tenets from one generation to the next. Mentoring programs are a great way to engage underrepresented workplace groups in any organization,” they note. They add that these programs are especially helpful in addressing gender issues. There is a 72% retention rate for women who have gone through company mentoring programs.

Mico-Mentoring Programs Will Thrive
“Watch for an evolution in 2019 and beyond of an informal mentoring culture, where people move within and between explicit mentoring programs. The relationships are supported by technology and management but are more self-directed. Informal mentoring programs are spawning organic, self-supporting, user-based networks whose influence reaches well beyond the workplace, and into the wider community,” concludes Phil.

His final prediction is that “micro-groups” will emerge – such as Dads of NY. These mentoring groups attract hundreds of participants based on common interests and goals outside the workplace, but with the same focus on improving outcomes.

For business looking to stay ahead of the trends (and build quality businesses using the latest studies as a guide), it is clear that fostering strong mentoring programs of all kinds is the way to go in 2019 and beyond.


Employee Engagement: What Makes Them Tick And Stick Around

Employee engagement is all the talk. Whether it’s discussions among HRs trying to crack the winning formula to employee engagement or watercooler conversations among employees whining about the lack of the same. Need you be concerned about how you walk the talk with your employee engagement strategy? The latest research studies certainly say so. Insync surveys reveal that engaged employees display 18 percent greater productivity and 60 percent higher quality, while an Aon Hewitt survey shows that companies in the top quartile of engagement scores enjoy a 50 percent higher shareholder return. Bottom line, employee engagement affects your business’ bottom line. Here are some things you need to know about fostering an engaging environment for your employees.

It starts from day one

Statistics show that the expenses a company bears to replace an employee during their first year are almost 3 times their annual pay. It’s interesting how much damage employers can cushion and sponge up by upping their engagement strategy. Often, organizations mistake employee engagement as a quarterly or once-a-year affair, where they take their team out for a fancy lunch or hold an annual celebratory event inviting employees and their families. Barely and rarely does that suffice. Engagement needs to start from day one. Bring in on-boarding activities that are geared at training and communicating the role requirements to new joinees and make sure you appreciate them as they master their roles. Employees who have a faster time to proficiency are naturally more connected and engaged with their organization.

Managers who engage

The need of the hour isn’t just managers who lead, but managers who can also engage. Employees who are engaged are on the same page as their employers when it comes to the organization’s roadmap. Statistics show that employees who are engaged in meaningful work i.e. understand how their work is playing a part in business success display greater commitment and productivity by up to 60 percent and 73 percent respectively.

How do you let your corporate vision and mission trickle down from boardroom conversations to everyday decisions of the average employee? Middle management is instrumental in this effort, and your job here isn’t done just as yet. Be sure to train your managers so they understand organizational goals and behaviors that matter, reinforce behaviors in their team through timely recognition and rewards, and connect their efforts to the purpose of the organization. While you’re at it, be sure you recognize managers for keeping the culture of recognition alive in the organization.

One for the long run

Employee engagement goes beyond offering an enticing paycheck, snazzy office space and exciting work, it also comes down to how you reciprocate with your employees and appreciate their efforts. In fact, a global study revealed that 97 percent of employees find the need to be recognized. This need to be recognized can also influence crucial decisions that employees make during their lifecycle in an organization. When done right, it pays back many times over. For example, by stemming employee turnover. Recognized employees are highly engaged, simply because they receive consistent (positive) feedback, they know what behaviors are encouraged and then simply repeat them. One survey that measured the effects of recognition program over 6 months, showed that the employee turnover rates simmered down by as much as 17.7 percent among employees who received at least one recognition during the period.

Level Up your game

Keeping your employees engaged is so much about turning the mundane into something magical, and gamification can be a great way to realize this motive. Structure your gamification strategy with points, bonuses, and rewards to keep employees engaged and locked in on their goals. As a study from Harvard University shows, employees are highly engaged when they know how well they are progressing at work. What’s more, is that gamification allows employees to pick their own learning goals and at their own pace. Of course, you want to make sure your gamification strategy is in line with the intended audience. A sales employee, for instance, would appreciate it if a little risk-taking and target-pushing would yield comparable rewards.

Throw in the sociability elements of friendly competition and interaction that gamification brings in, and you know you have a winner, or should we say a win-win; it gives employees an opportunity to interact, bond and most importantly engage with each other. With gamification in the lead the cycle of engagement fuels itself.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


The Motherhood Penalty: Why We’re Losing Our Best Talent To Caregiving

When women in the workplace talk about their children, they’re often seen as distracted. When men talk about their children, they’re viewed as caring dads. New research supports that the “motherhood penalty” is real: The latest Bright Horizons’ annual Modern Family Index found that:

69% of working Americans say working moms are more likely to be passed up for a new job than other employees
60% say career opportunities are given to less qualified employees instead of working moms who may be more skilled
72% of both working moms and dads agree that women are penalized in their careers for starting families, while men are not
Is this fair? The motherhood penalty may play a big part in holding women back from leadership positions and contribute to the wage gap. In fact, women get a 4% pay cut for each child they have, compared to men who get a 6% pay increase on average, according to The New York Times. With roughly 40% of women now the breadwinners, this penalty impacts the financial well-being not only of women, but of men and families as well. Moreover, this bias also affects women who do not currently—and may never have—children.

We may even be moving backwards when it comes to supporting mothers in the workplace: Nearly twice as many U.S. women are nervous to tell their boss they are pregnant as compared to five years ago, and 65% of women without children have reservations about having a child, including 42% who fear it would hurt their career trajectory, according to the Modern Family Index.

“I keep wanting to believe that we’ve evolved, and that with awareness comes action, but it’s still the same story across many industries,” says Maribeth Bearfield, Chief Human Resources Officer of Bright Horizons. “Women make up 50% of entry-level positions, but there continues to be a big drop off in middle management.”

Once you become aware of an issue such as the motherhood penalty, unconscious bias is just an excuse. Women lose out on opportunities, men lose out on feeling accepted as caregivers, companies lose out on amazing talent, the economy loses out on the $28 trillion that could be added to the global GDP if we reach full gender equality.

So how can we overcome the motherhood penalty and help companies, leaders and employees think and behave differently? Here are some action steps to change the equation, from workplace practices that employees can take to policies companies can adopt.

Both men and women should be transparent about your personal responsibilities. We all have a life outside of work: Being open about your own can help encourage others to do the same. What if both men and women brought their family pictures to work, and—rather than making excuses—let everyone know they were leaving early to go to their child’s game? The more we talk about parenting in the workplace, the more it becomes the new norm.

“I’ve been in companies where we didn’t talk about our families or put up personal pictures because we didn’t want others to think we couldn’t handle work with our children,” says Bearfield. “There are moments where you have to step out to respond to family needs, and if we see leaders doing that, it makes it easier for everyone to do that. If employees don’t feel comfortable, say, taking a call from their child during a meeting, will they really be present?”

Give parents professional support and pathways to leadership. Promote moms into leadership positions so they are role models in the workplace, and give them the support they need. “Everyone wants to do a good job, so give us the tools to succeed in both work and life, and you’ll have a better associate,” says Hila Roberts, an Atlanta-based merchant at Home Depot and mother to a 6-year old daughter and 3-year old son.

Roberts says there are a lot of things companies can do to support parents. “Home Depot offers onsite daycare through Bright Horizons, plus 10 days of subsidized backup care. I have lunch with my son once a week. It gives us on-on-one time—which doesn’t take away from work because you have to eat—and personalizes family in the workplace.”

Remember that it takes a village. When I was working in market research with three young kids, my girlfriends were indispensable. We coordinated with one another and helped each other raise our kids, such as by enrolling them in the same after-school activities so we could take turns carpooling. I believe having a circle of women to rely on is a secret to success for both work and home life.

“Similar to building a successful startup, it also takes a village to succeed at work and at home,” says Amanda Cashin, Vice President of Illumina Accelerator, which helps entrepreneurs create genomics startups, and mother of a 1-year old son. “I have a very supportive husband, family and friends, and I have had the privilege of having mentors who have believed in me throughout the years. I’m also part of a biotech women’s group who support each other as we advance. Our pledge this year is to help one female advance to the C-suite or to a board.”

Offer inclusive paid leave. If we want to attract and retain best talent and not just the available talent, then we need to create parental policies that matter, that work and that adjust for employees’ life stages.

Having inclusive leave policies in place will help normalize caregiving in the workplace. This isn’t a woman’s issue. This isn’t a parent’s issue. This is everyone’s issue, because having a workforce that enables it’s employees to take care of themselves and those they love is in all of our best interest. Some legislation to watch is the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act that was introduced last week, which would allow both men and women up to 12 weeks of paid leave for personal responsibilities, such as the birth or adoption of a child, or caregiving for a parent or spouse.

Caregivers make the best leaders today, yet we’re losing our best talent to caregiving! The Modern Family Index also finds that 89% of American workers think that working moms bring out the best in employees, and rate working moms as more diplomatic, better listeners, better team players and calmer in a crisis as compared to working dads and employees without children.

The workplace today needs leaders with traits traditionally associated with femininity—such as empathy, nurturing and collaboration—now more than ever. When we support mothers in the workplace and normalize caregiving for fathers, we all win. The time for equality is now.