4 Tips To Close Candidates Before You Lose Out

As a small business owner, you make deals all the time. You make a sale to a customer, secure financing, and reach agreements with vendors. But, do you ever think about one of the most important deals you can make—getting top talent to accept your job offers?

Hiring is a time-consuming, costly, and stressful process. It generally takes weeks of planning, screening, and interviewing. And just when you think you’ve found the perfect candidate, you’re faced with the harsh reality that they don’t have to accept your job offer.

So, how do you spruce up your job offer? How can you make sure that you close a deal with a candidate and emerge with a new employee? Try these tips to improve your chances of getting candidates to accept job offers.

How To Close The Job Offer With A Candidate
You can’t force a candidate to accept your job offer. But, you can entice them to want to work for your business. And let me tell you, it’s not just about the money.

After being an entrepreneur for over 30 years, I realize that salaries are important, but they might not be the deciding factor for a candidate to choose your business. Consider the following tips to improve your hiring process.

1. Craft Clear Job Postings
Before you can extend a job offer, you need to find candidates who qualify for the position. You can start the sourcing and hiring process on the right foot by drafting an accurate representation of the open position.

Your job description must be specific so it attracts the right people to apply. Talk about the skills and experiences that are necessary for the job. And, be clear about what the job responsibilities are.

Although you want your job description to be detailed, you don’t want it to be too lengthy. At the same time, it shouldn’t be too short. The length of your job posting might be influenced by things like your industry and the position. Generally, you should keep job posts between 500 and 1,000 words.

2. Create Competitive Compensation Packages
Offering a reasonable salary is probably obvious. You know salary is an important part of getting a candidate to accept your job offer. In fact, 28.8% of candidates who rejected a job offer said it was because the salary was too low for the position, according to a recent State of the Recruiting Industry report conducted by Top Echelon, LLC (one of my companies).

Candidates, especially candidates in niche industries, want to accept jobs with attractive salaries. Because salary is a pain point for candidates, you need to know how to determine a salary that will seal the deal. But, how can you know what a fair salary is?

You should conduct market research to help you decide on a salary range. Use resources like the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Glassdoor to determine fair annual salaries for different occupations.

After you’ve come up with a fair salary range, you might include it in your job description. And, you can ask candidates the minimum salary they will accept for the position. That way, you can weed out job applicants who expect too high of a salary.

Keep in mind that salary isn’t the only form of compensation you can offer candidates, nor is it the only thing they’re thinking about. Sixty percent of job seekers want to know what additional benefits you offer. Consider sweetening the deal with benefits like health insurance, flexible schedules, remote work options, and a generous paid time off policy.

3. Promote Your Employer Brand
Ask not what your candidates can do for you, but what you can do for your candidates! OK, so you need to consider a little bit of both in the hiring process.

You need a high return on investment (ROI) for each employee you hire. But, you can also sell your business by showing off your employer brand strategy.

Your employer brand is your business’s reputation for how it treats its employees. It also includes the value that employees receive from working for you.

When you sell your employer brand, highlight the value employees will receive, like career development. According to one Gallup poll, 87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials think employee development is important in their jobs.

According to Top Echelon’s report, 23% of candidates rejected a job offer because other offers were better. Showing candidates what you can offer them in relation to their career goals might set your offer apart from the competition.

4. Shorten Your Hiring Process
Nothing’s worse than losing out on something great because you dragged your feet and missed your opportunity. Although you need to put time into the hiring process, it shouldn’t be so long (e.g., months and months of waiting) that you scare away top talent.

Shortening your hiring process gets your offer on the table before other companies. And, it makes the candidate feel wanted.

If you drag out the hiring process, your top candidate might accept an offer with another company. According to Top Echelon’s report, 22.4% of candidates turned down jobs because businesses took too long to make an offer.

And when you are moving candidates along the hiring process, don’t neglect to follow up with them. Keeping in contact with candidates can ensure that they are still interested. Letting candidates know where they are in the hiring process might discourage them from accepting other offers first.

Be an Outstanding HR Professional with these 8 Tips

Of the people, and for the people; that is what HR is all about. Let’s elaborate on how you should learn to manage that when you begin your HR career.

Understand your people:

First and foremost, to begin with, understand your people, know that an HR’s role begins with empathy. Get familiar with your employees – their personal lives, milestones and work anniversaries, roles, calibre, strength, weaknesses, comfort and discomfort, etc. Value the diversity and learn to develop a balance in it. This is an investment you need to make from day one as it will help you in the long run when it comes to creating the right culture, increasing employee engagement and productivity, and achieving the overall goals.

Recognize your role:

HR now is recognized as a strategic partner, the focus is more on employee engagement, talent management, fostering innovation, breaking stereotypes and developing a collaborative culture.
Understanding the strategic definition of your role and then connecting these to the business plan will assist you in planning a strategy that is completely results driven.

Comprehend the business:

It is difficult to capitalize on the human capital unless you have a completing understanding of the business. This means identifying the respective stakeholders i.e. the top management, employees, potential employees, and everyone else who falls under the corporate umbrella. Understand their specific needs and requirement, develop a bridge between all of them and based on it comprehend the year’s targets of the organization. If you have a clear understanding of the vision of the business, you will then also be able to develop the culture that will help achieve the defined targets easily and at a faster pace.

Be technology savvy:

Understanding the technological know-how has become a must, especially for an HR Professional. You need to incorporate an end-to-end software in the organization through which you can operate your payroll, systemize the attendance, employee information, taxes, scheduling and more. This will help track most of your important processes and save the investment of time that otherwise is given for organizing and processing.

Widen your skill-set:

Make every effort to increase your expertise. This could be through e-learning, sector based seminars, training courses or simply taking up projects that are complementary to the HR profile. This will not only give you exposure to different verticals but ensure that you keep growing. Schedule skip level meetings every quarter with the top management, this will help you understand if you are in track when it comes to your management’s vision of the organization and also your profile.

Increase your network:

Investing time in networking with professionals in HR field across sectors is the fastest way to increase your knowledge and your skills and also expand your business connections. Discussions with ‘like-mind’ HR professionals is extremely rewarding, it will give you different industry insights and perspectives which will eventually help you build a knowledge base and confidence to become a strategic partner in your company.

Embrace your role:

This is the textbook definition of being an HR. Ensure that you are well-organized, good at multitasking and multiple focusing, self-disciplined, good at negotiations and dealing with ambiguous areas, are an excellent communicator, problem solver, receptive towards your profile and above all, transparent. This is your basic checklist that will give you an advantage not just with a new career but will also with every new role.

Know that when you are an HR Manager you need to have knowledge and be strategic to make an impact in an organization; this requires focus and a long term commitment. A simple suggestion to achieve this? Have a mindset of a startup owner. Be determined, passionate, goal setter, hard worker and a hustler!

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/312894

5 Hot Employee Recruitment Trends That Will Change How You Hire

In the last year we’ve seen new advancements and applications in technology that have made the recruitment process easier. We’ve also seen work forces becoming more diverse, and remote work growing in popularity, changing the way recruiters fill open positions.

But the recruitment process isn’t done advancing yet. In the future we can expect to see continued changes to the way we hire new talent. To help you gear up for these changes, let’s take a look five recruitment trends we believe will be major game-changers this year.

1. Further expansion of AI in hiring
It seems that artificial intelligence is making its way into just about every area of the business world, making it one of our top recruitment trends. While the use of AI in hiring was prevalent throughout 2017, it was still a fresh concept. This year we expect more and more companies to implement AI into their hiring process.

AI in recruiting can solve major problems for companies in all industries. From cutting down the amount of time HR professionals spend sifting through stacks of applications to removing biases during the hiring process, AI can help companies find the right talent and diversify their workforce. For these reasons and more, we expect to see sizable growth in the number of companies using AI in recruiting.

We also can expect to see the way HR managers use AI to expand. In addition to making the hiring process easier, automation tools can be used to improve communication with candidates, increase the quality of candidates, and reduce the time it takes to hire new talent.

2. Increased focus on candidate experience
Last year we started seeing a shortage of qualified talent in a number of industries. With about 40% of global employers reporting they weren’t getting the desired skills in their applicants, it means we’re operating in a candidate-driven job market.

For those in recruitment, there needs to be an increase focus on a candidate’s experience—maintaining a strong customer experience can encourage a stronger bond between a company and job candidates. If the pool of qualified candidates continues to shrink, companies will be fighting for the same talent. When your company is not considering your candidate’s experience during each stage of the application process, you may lose them to another opening.

Candidate experience is especially crucial if you’re using an automated application process; HR technology can actually improve your candidate experience. Using automation software can make it easier to stay in contact with your candidates, ensuring they get the information they need to stay satisfied.

3. More and more applicants turning to mobile devices
The marketing world has been preparing for a shift to mobile users for a few years now. As more and more individuals choose to let go of their desktop and laptop computers for tablets and smartphones, the way they’re browsing the web is changing. This means the way they’re searching for and applying for jobs is changing, as well.

Unsurprisingly, millennials make up the most active group of mobile applicants. However, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are still incredibly active participants. With 73% of Gen Xers and almost 60% of Baby Boomers using mobile devices to search for jobs, a mobile application process needs to be easily accessible, regardless of industry or job level. Additionally, Google and other search engines give preference to mobile-friendly websites, meaning your page will rank higher if you’re using responsive design.

As we continue to see the trend towards mobile use grow, companies need to be considerate of what this means for applicants who are applying on these smaller screens and devices. Company websites—as well as applications—should be fully responsive and easy to view, no matter the device the visitor is using.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a relatively steady increase in the number of individuals choosing to work remotely. Remote work gives companies the ability to hire the best candidates, regardless of their location.

With more and more companies and industries embracing remote work, the way talent is acquired to fill job positions is also changing. Recruiters are no longer confined to candidates within a particular area, expanding the pool of applicants and making it easier to find individuals who fit their job descriptions.

However, as the shift towards remote work continues to grow, recruiters will need to change the way they screen and evaluate candidates. Remote workers require different skills than in-house employees, meaning recruiters may need to be retrained to know what to look for in a remote applicant.

5. Use of social media (beyond LinkedIn) as a recruitment tool
When we think about recruiting talent on social media, most recruiters immediately think of LinkedIn. While LinkedIn has introduced the idea of professional networking on a social media platform, we can expect to see other social media platforms join the recruitment world.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram encourage more engagement with candidates and attract higher-quality talent. When companies use their social media platforms to engage with prospective employees, they’re able to reach an even bigger pool of passive candidates.

We expect to see recruiters stretch beyond just connecting with talent on LinkedIn. We also anticipate more “behind the scenes” social media accounts, allowing companies to show off their company culture by showcasing their team’s employees and inner workings.

Preparing for recruitment
The recruitment trends we can expect to see all center back to one thing: technology. As the way we use technology continues to change, we can expect to see shifts in the way recruiters find, engage, and hire new talent.

These technology-driven recruitment trends will only continue to grow and change in the years to come. Properly preparing to implement new technology, ideas, and practices into the recruitment process can help HR professionals stay on top of the ever-changing needs of the recruitment industry.

Deskless Leadership Development

While organizations in every industry need employees with strong leadership skills, many struggle to develop them in employees who don’t have regular computer access during working hours. In fact, only 25 percent of deskless workers say their employers have training programs in place to develop their leadership skills, according to a recent CGS survey of more than 500 deskless employees.

“In a lot of cases, companies don’t view deskless employees as leadership material because the jobs these employees fill often have a very high turnover rate,” says Doug Stephen, senior vice president of learning and country manager for CGS Canada. “The attitude is that people won’t stick around long enough to use any leadership skills that a company helps them develop.”

However, Stephen suggests that these ideas are misguided. He notes that companies often find that employees with “deep real-world experience” make the best leaders and play an important role in driving the business forward. “Think about Ray Kroc, the man behind McDonald’s,” he says. “When he was a young kid, he worked in his dad’s grocery store and learned all about the importance of serving customers quickly, which fueled a lot of the ideas that made him successful later.”

So, if companies do have a lot to gain from providing leadership training to deskless employees, what’s the best approach?

According to the CGS survey, 37 percent of deskless workers say that in-person training is the most beneficial delivery method for learning, making it more popular than simulations (23 percent), group exercises (21 percent), video (11 percent), or games (4 percent).

When asked why deskless employees may prefer in-person training to other delivery methods, Stephen notes that these employees may enjoy the interaction it provides. “It reminds me of something my mother-in-law once said—that there are so many people but no one is around,” he says. “A lot of deskless employees might work near their co-workers and supervisors but not spend much quality time with them, so communicating with an instructor and getting real-time feedback can be really valuable.”

How AI predicts your next employee, and engages the current one

Prashant John, co-founder, Kwench Global Technologies, reveals how companies are using AI in the employee engagement, hiring, and productivity space.

Over the past few years, the use of technology has grown considerably and it has been the driving force helping organizations engage with their employees efficiently and improve productivity. Keeping up with this momentum in the HR tech industry, Kwench Global Technologies offers a platform that empowers organizations to engage effectively with their employees through social learning, recognition and collaboration features.

Prashant John, co-founder and executive director, Kwench Global Technologies, in an exclusive interview with ComputerWorld.in talks about the dawn of AI in the human resources technology space, and how companies are using it in the employee engagement, hiring, and productivity space.

Edited excerpts:

How can AI be used by a company for competitive advantage in the HR space?

AI has been around for a long time. Off late, this whole AI landscape has exploded, which is why everybody is talking about it. Marketers have a lot of fault in that as they slap on AI to everything. There are different levels of AI and when an organization is going through a transformation—be it digital or even an overall transformation—they have multiple choices of what they need to do. There is a three-level transformation.

First is an IT transformation where they use technologies just to improve the processes the company has. Next, the company has process transformation where it transforms the entire process end-to-end. The last is the business model transformation like Meru looking to be Uber.

Where Kwench Global Technologies fits into things is: At the very least we may come into IT transformation, where you have processes, but you use our engagement models to do much better. Next level is embedding into a real-time conversation. Kwench engine is running in the background; depending on the conversation in the context may trigger it or Kwench can actually prompt you.

What challenges are the HR tech industry facing?

Adopting technology to take things to the next level is a paradigm shift. It involves massive transition and also sometimes a change in the way the company works. These are things on which HR head and CIO work together. Typically, with these kinds of paradigm shifts, the result is slow and changes don’t happen overnight. Sometimes the company is visionary, senses the change and are active about it. Sometimes the company has a strong legacy; a new CEO or CIO needs to come in, convince the leadership, and get the company screaming and shouting into the future.

How can AI improve the hiring process for companies?

Take for instance your resume screening process. You have a portal on which you specify 10 parameters you have, and in a particular format. This method isn’t prescriptive as then you can’t source from people with appropriate resumes and social media. But if you have a system which can take all kinds of fields, parse that data, figure out if your relevant search terms exist in the resume and flag them for you. This is the very minimal ML/automation kind of system.

A more intelligent system would be deep learning. Over a period of time, the algorithm will figure out what kind of resume would work for your organization. So the next time, the person looking for system scanning resume would avoid ‘dud’ people even if it fits all parameters.

How are companies adopting AI to their advantage in the space of employee engagement?

Today, HR is adopting strategies into employee lifecycle. An employee lifecycle starts when you zero-in on a potential employee, until the time he/she moves on to the next job or retires. Employee engagement starts even before the person becomes your employee. You have onboarding, appraisal automation, and feedback mechanism.

Now companies also have employee net promoter score. It defines: How engaged are you, what’s the probability that you recommend the company to your friends. This can be asked to the person explicitly, or derived from variables. Intelligent systems look at the way you are behaving over a period of time. When you get disengaged, there is a behavioral change in the way you work. This can be monitored with sentiment analysis at the very least. Sentiment analysis in the most primitive way would be pulse surveys every month instead of once a year or quarter.

Can you elaborate a bit more on sentimental analysis and its use cases?

So, the problem with something that happens once a year is relevance. A pulse survey done after appraisal, you would give a bad response after bad appraisal. But that necessarily doesn’t mean you don’t like the company or your job, it just is a momentary distraction. After every transaction that happens, you have an option to give your feedback on how you feel that day. Kwench, kind of does it on a daily basis. Every day you log onto the system, you get a question how do you feel today and a couple of smileys. In the background, we are able to build an emotional map of every employee to the team level.

For instance, consider a people manager who isn’t good. In that case, you see green everywhere and one orange developing. This is a very simplistic use case. At the deep learning level, you can figure out sentiment through conversations. If the conversations are getting aggressive, it is a symptom of impending stress. So then you can take action to reduce stress. These systems today can raise flags for intervention. Systems are evolving but right now they are a little discreet and in silos. That’s where the next generation collaboration platforms are enabling them to come together.

Source: http://www.cio.in/cio-interview/how-ai-predicts-your-next-employee-and-engages-current-one

Amplifying employee recognition through technology

Technology has changed the recognition game in organisations, but the best might be yet to come, write Mark Barling and Amit Kaura

Technology is helping to transform employee reward and recognition programs faster than at any other time in their history. So, why is this the case?

A key in the shift from reward- to recognition-led programs is the removal of as many barriers as possible that limit the act of recognition, such as passwords and separate portals. By removing these barriers and incorporating recognition into an employee’s fl ow of work, recognition frequency increases.

At Achievers, through a clear focus on creating a fun, easy-to-use and integrated SaaS platform, recognition frequency is now the number one metric for best-in-class R&R programs. Globally, this produces programs that average 12 moments of recognition per person per annum.

The next evolution of modern R&R is the seamless integration of where to recognise everyday great acts with where people work. This means recognition from and for everybody, everywhere, every day.

So how does HR capitalise on the technological advancements in modern R&R platforms, and what do these changes mean?

To answer that question, we need to consider how most organisations operate and how their people spend their week at work.

System overload

Most organisations use anywhere between 10 and 16 different software systems to run their businesses. These systems can range from HRIS systems such as Workday or SuccessFactors, to document management systems like SharePoint, project management software like MS Project, and collaboration tools like Yammer and Facebook for Work. Not to mention social tools with a newsfeed, instant messaging and email, and many more. Employees spend at least 30 hours of their work week in such systems.

With technology helping to transform R&R, the risk is introducing even more complexity into the HR-technology ecosystem. Modern R&R technology like the Achievers Employee Success platform are SaaS-enabled. They introduce a range of simple, smart, yet sophisticated functionality to power a recognition-led culture within any organisation. The risk, however, is that an organisation’s IT function will see such technology as yet another platform that needs to be managed, secured and controlled.

The challenge is simple: how do you enable your employees to recognise everyday great work in your organisation while ensuring any R&R-enabling technology complements, rather than clutters, your existing systems?

The way employees need to recognise

Employees need an easy way to recognise their peers from whatever system they are working in when they discover a colleague’s accomplishment. It won’t matter if the employee is on the shop floor, using a point-of-sale system, answering calls in a call centre, in the warehouse, or in an email system like Outlook. Employees should be able to create and send a recognition from whichever system they are in at the time they see something worth recognising.

Recognition needs to be where employees spend most of their time. Recognition needs to be where the work gets done.

How can you achieve this outcome? By connecting your organisation’s software systems with modern R&R technology via API technology.

What is an API?

An application programming interface (API) is essentially a way for two different software systems to communicate with each other via a predefined, well-understood and agreed-upon standard. The API lays out the functionality that is available in the host service, how it must be used, and what formats it will accept as input, or return as output.

Why is an API valuable in the world of modern R&R?

Firstly, imagine all of your employee R&R programs – everyday recognition, innovation, recruiting referrals, years-of-service awards, even sales incentives – on one platform. It’s the place where everything belongs: a behaviour-driving engine that aligns your employees to your business objectives and company values, fuelled by recognising and rewarding shared victories every day. And because it’s the modern approach, you have a recognition-led, fun-to-use social media approach in which great moments are shared in an instant. You have an HR software platform that everybody actually wants to use.

Now, imagine if there was a ‘Recognise’ button inside all of the systems that your employees work in every day, allowing them to recognise fellow employees. Fostering a culture of recognition and driving employee engagement isn’t easy, but technology can make it seamless for employees to interact within a modern R&R hub. It can increase adoption and thus further the culture of recognition.

That is the purpose of an API – the ability of a story, created in one system, to be amplified across a recognition hub, an RSS feed, or monitors in a call centre. This single story helps promote the message that what gets recognised gets repeated.

APIs are rapidly transforming the opportunity for recognition to be created by employees – and with that the value, meaning and return on technology for HR.

Wrapping this up

What’s exciting about the world of APIs and app ecosystems is that it has opened new doors for modern R&R technology like Achievers that hasn’t even been thought of yet. As an industry, we have never been better poised for innovation in the space of employee engagement than we are now.

Source: https://www.hcamag.com/features/amplifying-employee-recognition-through-technology-249419.aspx

Launch Your Career on the Right Trajectory

Careers unfold over a lifetime. Unexpected opportunities and obstacles arise—at work and at home—that affect how a career progresses, especially for women. The same job that may eventually lead one person into the c-suite may end in a stalled career for another. There are multiple paths and no guarantees. It’s all part of the journey.

But we do know that certain choices, especially early in one’s career, can set people on trajectories that increase the likelihood of long-term career success. So, a key question for gaining more gender equality in the c-suite seems to be: How can we maximize the chances of success for our most promising young women as they start their careers?

Through interviews and surveys with hundreds of successful female executives, we’ve identified the post-college years as critical to setting a strong career trajectory. Getting it “right” in this decade can pay off for women later in their 30s with faster promotions and better career options, leading to even bigger opportunities and financial rewards in their 40s, 50s, and beyond. Conversely, getting it “wrong” early on can have disproportionate costs over the course of one’s working life, especially if such “wrongs” aren’t righted in the subsequent decade.

For women, the cost of a weak launch is even higher than for their male peers, because the 30s are typically more challenging due to growing family responsibilities. That means there is less time and energy available to make up for a slow start.

So, what exactly does it mean to get the launch right?

The Four Cornerstones of a Successful Launch

While every successful c-suite career has a unique trajectory, there is a common set of understandings and capabilities that successful senior executives gain on their journey to the c-suite. Optimally, these four insights and skill cornerstones that will form a leader’s foundational knowledge are acquired beginning in the launch phase.

1. People Management

Successful executives know how to manage people. The building blocks of people management include learning how to 1) manage your own performance, 2) manage your reporting relationship with your boss, 3) manage your performance as a team member, and later 4) manage a small team. The post-college decade is the ideal time to gain this experience.

Learning how to set and deliver on realistic performance expectations is key. This means holding yourself accountable for doing what you say you will by the deadlines you have agreed to (and if you can’t meet them, anticipating that and letting people know in advance when they can expect your work). It means holding your direct reports accountable to the same standards and knowing when and how to chip in at a higher level to assure that your team hits its goals.

2. Business Core Knowledge

Successful executives learn early on about core functions, business processes, and how they interconnect. The launch years are the time to gain mastery in one function such as finance, accounting, or marketing, while simultaneously building a basic understanding of all the other functions. This is the time to learn how the various functions connect through an organization’s reporting structure and how other “connective tissues” (e.g., regular reports and meetings) drive decision-making, accountability, and performance.

3. Organizational and Strategic Curiosity

Leading at the top also requires understanding how organizations change over time and how organizational cultures can either help or hurt the change process. To the extent that a young professional can use the early career years to develop curiosity about organizational culture and politics (not just where decisions get made, but how), a career will progress more smoothly. It is also a good time to start tracking the business media to learn about the ever-evolving economic, social, and political forces that influence organizational choices and performance.

4. Relationship- and Network-building Skills

Successful executives nurture and expand their web of relationships over the course of their careers. The launch years are the time to begin that process by getting to know well a group of people in a cohort, team, and function. It’s also a time to get to know some of the people in other workplaces. By working, eating, and socializing together, young professionals begin to acquire a group of people at a similar career stage whom they can call on for help and advice as their careers progress.

“If we are going to get more women into the c-suite and other significant leadership positions, we need more women to launch well.”

Early Career Accelerators

While many pathways can lead to the c-suite, there is a set of highly competitive, entry-level jobs that offer some of the most reliable opportunities for acquiring the core business skills and experiences indicated above. We call them “early career accelerators” and describe them briefly below.

Despite the obvious advantages these jobs can provide, research tells us that women often shy away from applying for them. The general perception is that these competitive jobs require long hours and operating in tough work environments. And, at least from a distance, they don’t feel particularly motivating to women as long-term career options. When it comes to business school, some of the same perceptions, as well as the daunting list price, can make that feel like a poor fit too.

Management Consulting

The sheer diversity and magnitude of projects and people one is likely to encounter working for a consulting firm make this an excellent starting point for almost any career, helping a young professional progress in all four key development areas. Indeed, even just two years in consulting early on can make a big difference. Just look at the list of alumni from these firms—they’re leading organizations across all industries, sectors, and geographies.

Banking and Finance

Taking a job that helps solidify an understanding of the basics of finance and how and why certain projects get funded, while others don’t, is time well spent. Being comfortable talking to banks and navigating income statements, budgets, cash flows, and balance sheets is valuable for all future leaders. And the opportunities to engage with different kinds of clients across a variety of industries broaden perspectives and relational skills and can jumpstart one’s network.

Blue-chip Corporations

While working for blue-chip corporations won’t likely provide the same breadth of exposure or the hands-on experience that some consulting and finance pathways do, these companies offer some of the most reliable management training programs. These programs are known for developing functional expertise, fostering organizational and strategic awareness, and building key relationships. They provide a lower-travel environment and excellent development. Moreover, getting hired by one adds instant credibility to a resume.

Small Businesses

One route less frequently talked about, but which we are bullish on based on our interviews, is the opportunity to work for a smaller, fast-growing company. Here, we are talking about companies that have established themselves beyond the startup phase. As these organizations expand and move to put a basic functional structure in place, bright young 20-somethings often find that they can get hands-on experience in managing people, learning the basics of business and how and why decisions get made. While smaller firms may not yet have established management-training programs, best-in-class policies and practices, or even a full-time HR person, the evidence from the many successful women we interviewed suggests that early hands-on experience seeing how all facets of a business work together, albeit on a smaller scale, can prove invaluable.

Business School

The other obvious career accelerator our research identified—admittedly, not surprisingly, given our starting point interviewing successful Kellogg alumnae—is attending a top business school. Benefits cited include a thorough understanding of business basics, broad access to business thought leaders and CEOs, exposure to a broad array of organizations, early relationship building, and extensive experiences in peer team management—all delivered in a relatively short period of time.

If we are going to get more women into the c-suite and other significant leadership positions, we need more women to launch well. The good news: there are many ways to accumulate the needed cornerstone knowledge in the early years. The tougher news is that some of the most reliable pathways will require young women to engage in discomfort as they embrace paths they may not fully know, understand, or appreciate, at least initially.

But as our interviews make clear, investing the time and effort to leverage these career accelerators will pay dividends down the road for any woman, regardless of her long-term career aspirations. A better launch means better tools to use later in one’s career—in any sector and at any operating scale.

Why Managers Should Have Their Own Onboarding Program

I started the New Year reading an article from The Washington Post titled “2018’s Challenge: Too many jobs, not enough workers.” The title speaks for itself. Recruiting, engaging and retaining talent will be a priority for all organizations going forward, which means that their onboarding processes will be under the microscope.

Just as a quick refresher, onboarding is the process of assimilating and training employees so they become productive in the workplace. The reason I’m mentioning it is because onboarding is often confused with orientation. It’s true, orientation is a part of onboarding. But orientation is typically a few hours and usually centers around paperwork, benefits and the company.

Onboarding is a longer process and traditionally focuses on the job itself. It’s often the place where new employees discover whether the promises made during the hiring process are confirmed (or disproven). While managers start to build relationships with candidates during interviews, it’s really during the onboarding process where trust and engagement are initially formed.

Finally, it’s important to note that if onboarding isn’t done correctly, meaning that the process doesn’t live up to what new hires expect, then this can be the time when employees say to themselves, “OK, I made a mistake coming here. I’ll start casually looking for something new.” Organizations recognize the role that onboarding plays in employee turnover. In a Korn Ferry FutureStep survey, 98 percent of respondents said onboarding programs are a key factor in retention efforts.

There are several essential components to a new-hire onboarding program. None of these are a surprise. Companies need a solid program in terms of content and they need skilled people to deliver it. This is where managers play a critical role. Gallup reports that managers account for 70 percent of variance in employee engagement. The last thing organizations want is to spend a lot of time and resources bringing talent into the organization only for them to leave because the company’s onboarding program wasn’t effective or because the manager responsible for onboarding a new hire wasn’t effective.

To ensure that new-hire onboarding happens the right way, it’s time to give managers their own onboarding program.

What is Manager Onboarding?

A manager onboarding program is different from the company’s management-development program. Those programs typically cover topics such as problem solving, decision making and so on. Manager onboarding programs, however, cover the topics that new managers will need to know the moment they step into their role. These could include candidate-interviewing skills, performance coaching and employment law. It might also include technical tasks such as approving expense reports and timecards.

Among the key beneficiaries of manager-specific onboarding will be new (non-managerial) hires. Let’s face it: Most companies don’t have training programs that teach people how to conduct onboarding. Many of us learned how to onboard employees from our own onboarding experience, which may have been subpar. Manager onboarding programs, by contrast, can help managers master the right way to onboard employees. This means new hires will become engaged and productive faster, which translates to higher retention rates.

Another benefit of manager onboarding? A bigger number of employee referrals. It’s logical that engaged employees are more likely to refer their friends. Employee referrals remain the lowest-cost and highest-quality source of hire. So, manager onboarding programs can help create a fine-tuned referral source that’s good for talent and the bottom-line.

Making the Case for Manager Onboarding

A high turnover rate isn’t good for organizations. It’s costly both in terms of lost productivity and financial expense. So, a good place to start the conversation is by connecting onboarding and turnover. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, up to 20 percent of turnover takes place during a new hire’s first 45 days. In addition, SHRM says, the average cost-per-hire is $4,129 and time-to-fill is 42 days.

New hires who participate in a structured onboarding program, however, are 58 percent more likely to be with the organization after three years. It seems pretty safe to assume that most organizations do not want to spend 42 days and $4,129 to bring a person into the organization only to have them leave after six weeks.

Now you might be saying to yourself, “Hey, those statistics refer to general onboarding.” And it’s true. But the same principles apply. In fact, chances are that hiring a manager takes longer and has a higher cost per hire than hiring a non-manager. Managers are employees, too. Not giving them the tools to do their job will leave them frustrated. A newly hired manager who leaves after a couple of months will hurt the operation. And organizations need to be concerned that if managers start leaving, employees will start getting frustrated and may leave, too.

Manager-specific onboarding programs make perfect business sense for the very same reasons that onboarding programs for new hires do. We want newly hired and promoted managers to be successful in their roles, because when they are, the people they manage will do their best work. Whether it’s through better hires, more engagement or reduced turnover, manager onboarding programs help the organization achieve its financial goals.

Source: http://www.recruitingtrends.com/REC/view/story.jhtml?id=534363737

7 tips for managing young hourly workers effectively

Hourly workers are a significant part of today’s UK workforce, yet the focus on staff retention and engagement in businesses of all sizes tends to fall with full-time salaried employees. The Harvard Business Review recently reported that as many as half of all the young people working in entry-level jobs in the US on an hourly rate plan to leave their employment within a year.

Staff turnover costs money. So, how can businesses keep young hourly workers engaged? While keeping hourly staff engaged can seem like a lot of effort, it is definitely effort well spent. The key to retention and engagement is in managing young hourly workers effectively. Here’s how.

How to manage young hourly workers?
Offer greater predictability

A certain level of unpredictability for hourly workers is acceptable. Shifts change according to demand and it can be difficult to plan staff requirements months in advance. Millennials seem to manage uncertainty better than previous generations, but they are also more likely to move on. Salaries may also fluctuate according to busy and quiet hours, especially where workers rely on tips to top up their income. This lack of predictability can be a real turn off for many.

Unpredictability when it comes to shifts can have a negative impact on staff engagement and motivation. Workers given shift rotas just a few days in advance have little time to plan for life outside of work, often leading to a negative impact on a young employee’s work life balance. Poorly planned rotas and late scheduling are bound to cause conflict. Investing in shift planning software is well worth it. Planning and allocating shifts in advance can cut down on potential conflicts and give hourly employees greater flexibility in planning life around work.

Give your employees a say in the scheduling and decision-making process

Empowering your staff to have some say in their schedule and other areas of work will not only help to increase employee engagement; it will also help to cut down on your admin time. Shift planner apps are a great way of handling some control back to your hourly employees. This gives them the ability to swap shifts and has more control over scheduled hours.

Try to honor work preferences and time-off requests where possible. Building up goodwill will pay off. Let your employees find a substitute when they can’t work. It’s a great way to instill a sense of responsibility in your staff.

Manage with fairness and respect

A company culture built on respect and trust is far more likely to attract and keep the best employees. Handle requests for time off fairly. Offer hours fairly. If you need to give more hours to a particular employee due to their skill set, explain that to your team. If you need to make last-minute changes to rotas, be open with your hourly employees about the reason.

Give them benefits and say ‘thank you’

Create a reward program and try to offer hourly employees some benefits. It may not be feasible to extend gym membership, health plans or bonuses, but discounted self-pay options and other less expensive options will show your hourly paid workers they are valued.

“Give your staff regular feedback and publicly thank them when they’ve done a great job – that goes for salaried staff as well as your hourly employees.”

Recognize potential

Young hourly employees with high potential can be hard to keep. They have lots of options and there is much evidence to show that young people job hop more frequently to pursue better opportunities elsewhere. Look out for young hourly employees who have the potential for fast-track training. Young people are twice as likely to stay in their job if they see their job as a stepping stone to a career. Offer meaningful opportunities for growth within the company.

Be accurate, consistent and offer support

Hourly workers are likely to have other things going on outside of work, especially in part-time roles, where hours aren’t consistent. It’s imperative that you don’t make scheduling errors as employees forced to change commitments to get to work will only create bad feeling.

Recognizing the needs of your hourly workers is really important. Hourly workers may be working part-time because they are in education, or are caring for a relative. Try to have some understanding of your hourly workers’ needs and offer your support, if there is an issue you could help to resolve.

Focus on strong communication

Communication is important for any business to function effectively and that includes communication with your hourly employees. Create small strong and supportive teams with open communication. Team-wide communication will leave less room for errors. Turning up for a shift that isn’t scheduled, or being reprimanded for missing a shift due to a lack of communication is a real turn off.

Use technology your young people understand. Whatsapp, Messenger or texting can keep staff in the loop. Millennials have learned to always be processing, so communication needs to be frequent and in small chunks.

Source: https://www.peoplematters.in/article/life-at-work/7-tips-for-managing-young-hourly-workers-effectively-18117

How do biases influence performance management?

I stepped into a meeting room. The organizer was late. All of us started doing something or the other. Few went to have coffee, few started replying to emails, few started scribbling on the notebook; most started Whatsapping. Each of us filled the silence, the open loop, with something which we felt was right to do at that time. Don’t worry, it’s not a vague example of cognitive biases that I am putting forward. It’s the human mind that tries to complete the loop.

People familiar with Zen would be able to reflect on this concept of Enso, the incomplete circle. We complete sentences, we fill the silence, we assume when data is not sufficient. We complete the circle. That’s where biases germinate. Most of us denote bias to be NEGATIVE. It’s just the way we complete the circle, which might be positive or negative.

People only see what they are prepared to see.
Why do these biases exist in performance management system?
We have been so trained to look at the impact in terms of metrics, what has been achieved, that it masks the HOW part of achieving results. In organizations where competencies are also measured, managers have a tendency of blurring the impact of metrics over the how aspect as well.

We all have our own judgments, beliefs around how things should be done. Whenever you say “I feel/believe he/she should have/could have done this in XYZ way”, we are introducing our biases to the situation. We need to rate what the person did and NOT on what he/she could have done. ‘Could haves’ could be accounted for while giving development-related feedback.

Data is never enough. We look for more data to close the loop or sometimes use the ‘noises’ that have filled our mind all these days about the person.
As managers and HRBPs, it becomes important to be cognizant of the decisions we take as it’s OUR responsibility to drive a fair and meritocratic performance management system. One of the best ways we can decrease the influence of negative biases is to be AWARE of them!

Some biases that you can relate to –
Anchoring: It is a common tendency to rely too heavily or ‘anchor’ on one of the traits or piece of information when making decisions. We selectively see few things and not others, depending on our focus, or what we happen to be focusing on at that particular time.

Choice-supportive bias: It is a tendency to remember one’s choices as better than they actually were; where we tend to over-attribute positive features to options we chose and negative features to the options not chosen. When you choose something, you tend to feel positive about it, even if that choice has flaws as it’s self-affirming.

Confirmation bias: It is the tendency to look for what confirms our beliefs and ignore what goes against our belief system. It implies that we selectively listen only to information that justifies our preconceived notions/ideologies, which eventually leads to a biased decision.

Similar to me bias: Research shows that when managers rate their respondents, the more similar the employees are, the higher rating the manager tends to give to him/her. We tend to be overwhelmed by people like us. We like and relate well to people who remind us of our own self. Hence, this affects the way we decide ratings or them!
Framing effect: Tendency to react to a particular choice in different ways depending on how it is presented, viz. – as a loss or gain. People might react to 98% project completed and project yet to launch differently. People tend to avoid risk when a positive frame is presented, but seek risks when a negative frame is presented.

Dunning Kruger effect: Sometimes people tend to rate themselves higher, despite not being competent at that level. If you’ve ever been with someone whose performance isn’t that good and they’re not only clueless that their performance is bad, but they are foolishly confident that their performance is good, you likely saw an example of Dunning-Kruger Effect in action.
For every decision made in the performance management process, whether it involves giving ratings, providing feedback, or having a career development conversation, it is essential that a manager asks himself or herself –

Questions that an employer should ask himself/herself:

During my professional journey, what are the biases that I was a part of?

Does the employee in case look similar to someone? Am I associating this person with an experience I had before? How fair am I?

Am I different from my employee? Do we have different work types? Is it wrong to have different work styles? At the end of the day, is it helping my team to get the same or better results?

Now that I know that I might have stepped into biased decision making, how do I try to be objective by using data?

As an employee, we have the right to ask questions about the decisions taken by our managers. The development conversations would help us carve our professional journey. Here are some pointers for managers and employees to look for in a performance conversation.

Consider the timing: Performance conversations are not only meant to be done while communicating ratings but on an ongoing basis as well.

Target the behaviors and not the person you are giving feedback to: The aim isn’t to change people, but help them exhibit behaviors that would help organizations and individuals achieve success.

Quote instances where the behaviors were worth appreciating or need to be improved: Feedback without quoting instances makes it a perception or judgment than a constructive feedback. This would help the employee to know what to continue, stop or start.

As an employee, we have the right to ask questions about the decisions taken by our managers. The development conversations would help us carve our professional journey.
State what is expected out of the person for the next endeavors: All the should haves and could haves can occupy their place here. Make the employee know what you see him/her doing next.

Mention how the employee and YOU can together help him/her achieve the future goals: This will not only help the individual achieve milestones and develop themselves but would build TRUST in your relationship.

Enable the employee action on the development feedback: Most of the development would happen on the job and it’s important for us as managers to provide opportunities to the employees for the same.

Last but not the least, we are all biased and we are selectively blind. Let’s keep this in mind before we take important decisions, especially when it is not only impacting us but is also impacting the ecosystem at large. We are humans and can’t be done away with perceptive judgment, but it’s our duty to be fair to the extent we can.

Source: https://www.peoplematters.in/blog/appraisal-season/how-do-biases-influence-performance-management-18119