Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Behavioral Interviews: Use Behavioral Interviewing to Select the Best

Behavioral Interview: How To Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

Behavioral interviews are the best tool you have to identify candidates who have the behavioral traits and characteristics that you have selected as necessary for success in a particular job.

Additionally, behavioral interviews ask the candidate to pinpoint specific instances in which a particular behavior was exhibited in the past. In the best behaviorally-based interviews, the candidate is unaware of the behavior the interviewer is verifying.

As you read my tips in How to Conduct an Effective Behavioral Interview below, please note that the actual behavioral interview is preceded by behavioral trait identification and a job description. The upfront work makes the behavioral interview effective and successful.

How to Conduct an Effective Behavioral Interview

Start by identifying what you want the employee to do in the open job. Use job evaluation and write a job description to describe the requirements of the position.

. Determine the required outputs and performance success factors for the job.

. Determine the characteristics and traits of the individual whom you believe will succeed in that job. If you have employees successfully performing the job currently, list the traits, characteristics, and skills they bring to the job.

. Narrow the list to your key behavioral traits for the job.

. Write a job ad or job posting that employs the behavioral characteristics in the text. Make sure the characteristics or requirements section of your job description lists the same behavioral characteristics.

. Make a list of questions, both behavioral and traditional, to ask each candidate during the behavioral interview. A structured list makes candidate selection more defensible and allows you to make comparisons between the various answers and approaches of your interviewees.

. Review the resumes and cover letters you receive with the behavioral traits and characteristics in mind.

. Phone screen the candidates who have caught your attention with their qualifications, if necessary, to further narrow the candidate pool.

. Schedule interviews with the candidates who most appear to have the behavioral characteristics, along with the skills, experience, education, and the other factors you would normally screen for in your resume review.

. Ask your list of behavioral and traditional questions of each candidate you interview.

. Narrow your candidate choices based on their responses to the behavioral and traditional interview questions. Complete the selection process using these recommended steps.

. Select your candidate with behavioral characteristics that match the needs of the job in mind.

Ref: Susan M. Heathfield,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Best Practices in Interviewing

How to Interview Legally and Effectively

We all know how litigious our society has become in the area of employment-related issues. Every recruiter, hiring manager, executive, and department manager must realize that asking the wrong interview questions or making improper inquiries can lead to discrimination or wrongful-discharge lawsuits, and these suits can be won or lost based on statements made during the interview process.

Thus, it is important to incorporate risk management into your interviewing process to help minimize your firm's exposure to employment practices liability.

You, or your company, could be accused of asking improper interview questions or making discriminatory statements or comments that reflect bias. It is also possible to make assurances or promises during an interview that can be interpreted as binding contracts. Recognizing these potential danger areas is the best way to avoid saying the wrong thing during an interview.

Most companies have at least two people responsible for interviewing and hiring applicants. It's critical to have procedures to ensure consistency. Develop interviewing forms containing objective criteria to serve as checklists.

They ensure consistency between interviewers, as well as create documentation to support the decision if a discrimination charge is later filed by an unsuccessful applicant.

Interview Problems to Avoid
To minimize the risk of discrimination lawsuits, it’s important for interviewers to be familiar with topics that aren’t permissible as interview questions. For example, you shouldn’t ask a female applicant detailed questions about her husband, children and family plans.

Such questions can be used as proof of sex discrimination if a male applicant is selected for the position, or if the female is hired and later terminated. Older applicants shouldn’t be asked about their ability to take instructions from younger supervisors.

It is also important to avoid making statements during the interview process that could be alleged to create a contract of employment. When describing the job avoid using terms like "permanent," "career job opportunity," or "long term."

Interviewers should also avoid making excessive assurances about job security. Avoid statements that employment will continue as long as the employee does a good job. For example, suppose that an applicant is told that "if you do a good job, there's no reason why you can’t work here for the rest of your career." The applicant accepts the job and six months later is laid off due to personnel cutbacks.

This could lead to a breach of contract claim where the employee asserts that he or she can't be terminated unless it's proven that he or she didn’t do a "good job." Courts have, on occasion, held that such promises made during interviews created contracts of employment.
Ref: Mike Poskey

Monday, July 20, 2009



Recruiting Leader of the Year, Best Use of Metrics, and Best Recruiting Process: Dan Hilbert, Valero Energy

What Dan Hilbert and his team at Valero Energy have accomplished will forever change the strategic options that recruiting directors must consider. They have developed what may be the world's most strategic staffing approach, one that emphasizes using metrics to refine "talent pipelines" to produce a talent supply chain.

Leveraging technology, advanced analytics, and process design/integration, Valero has built a talent supply chain that is virtually automated and proactive. It is clearly the most business-like recruiting approach anywhere and Hilbert is a courageous leader to even attempt it.

Best practices:

. Predictive labor needs system. Algorithms analyze historical data that is combined with data on planned capital projects to predict future talent needs as far as three years' out.

. Automated sourcing. Labor needs are automatically communicated to defined sources (both internal and external) based on each individual source's efficiency (cost, time) and effectiveness (quality of hire, reliability).

. Candidate mining. Rather than have recruiters crawling through job boards and posting job advertisements, web spiders are programmed to crawl, retrieve, and upload candidates into the applicant tracking system based on both current and projected needs. Advertisements are automatically broadcast as part of the automated sourcing approach.

. Multi-dimensional performance monitoring. The system relies on metrics at four defined levels to monitor system health and performance, as well as to diagnose problems or issues that arise. Levels include forecasts, macro-level (sourcing channel effectiveness, costs, etc.), micro-level (efficiency, cost, speed, quality, retention, customer service, and dependability per transaction), and human capital metrics (impacts of staffing best practices on the bottom line).

. Integrated processes to create a talent supply chain.

. Predictive modeling functionality enables the effective use of both short/long term sources.

. University recruiting that leverages teaching assistants as talent scouts on targeted campuses, allowing Valero to secure interns and new grads prior to on-campus career events.

More details on Valero's approach can be found in the five-part case study published via this column in 2005.

Most Innovative Employee Referral Program: Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans might just have the best and most aggressive recruiting team in the world (honest).

Michael Homula, clearly the most sales- and marketing-focused recruiter on the planet, has helped Quicken Loans to create an employee referral program that turns every employee into a "talent scout." If recruiting has a Tiger Woods, he would be it! The referral program relies on frequent refreshing, creative approaches, and extensive promotion to drive high-volume participation.

The program is so effective that 61 percent of hires come from the ERP each month.

Best practices:

. All referrals are contacted by a live program coordinator within 48 hours of submission.

. Referring team members are kept in the loop through a web portal that allows them to track the status of referrals online and by emails that update them when:

- The referral has been initially contacted.
- An interview is scheduled.
- A post-interview decision has been reached. To move forward, the system advises recruiters and managers of the next steps.
- A hire is actually completed.

. Utilizes highly branded contests (example — a contest for finding the best salesperson in the Detroit area), in addition to bonuses to drive participation. Such contests offer unique and highly valued prizes.

. Surveys are periodically conducted internally to measure:
- Employee satisfaction with the program.
- Ease of process.
- Referral "experience."
- Employee motivation and their willingness to refer.

. Focus groups are held periodically to generate new ideas for contests and promotions and to gather feedback on the current process.
. They provide training to employees on how to better make referrals.
. In addition to process metrics, Quicken Loans tracks retention by source, quality of hire, and cost per hire.
. Bonuses are grossed up to cover taxes.
. A proactive referral process approaches key individuals directly for high-quality referrals.
. Extensive e-mail marketing is delivered to the target employee population to:
- Educate them on current hiring needs.
- Drive referral for specific types of jobs.

Best Corporate Careers Website: Deloitte

Deloitte has long been a leader in both recruiting and retention, and now it has broken new ground by building a global careers website designed from the ground up to focus on the candidate experience. Unlike most corporate sites, which are dull and serve as nothing more than "front-ends" to applicant tracking systems, the Deloitte solution uses cutting-edge marketing approaches and the latest technology to serve candidates consistently around the world.

Quick facts:

. The site is a living example of "a global strategy executed locally."

. It leverages both localization and personalization engines to dynamically deliver content relevant to the site visitor.

. It is a single site supporting more than 80 country-specific recruiting strategies.

. Deloitte delivers a consistent brand message around the world in 10 languages.

Best practices:

. Target audience research. Deloitte conducted extensive usability research with two external candidate groups — students and experienced professionals — to help create the original design specifications. Ongoing surveys and focus groups with candidates sourced both inside and outside the organization help to guide refinements and changes. (This research led Deloitte not to follow a trend of using extensive flash and graphic-heavy page design, as their target candidates found such elements a barrier to usability.)

. Use of localization and customization. The use of these two technologies ensures that candidates are presented with information unique to their specific needs. College students in France, for example, are presented with different information than college students in Australia and both are presented with different information than professional hires. Extensive research is conducted to help determine what type of content each target demographic needs/wants.

. Employment brand measurement. The messaging of the site is adapted continuously based on input from candidate surveys and third-party market research which details how Deloitte is perceived in the talent market.

. Localized content management. Deloitte custom-built a content management tool to allow local HR professionals — who are not technical experts — to manage local content.

. Robust analytics. Because the global site is truly one site versus a portal that forwards users on to local sites, all movement throughout the more than 7,000 web pages can be monitored and analyzed.

. Multiple presentation formats. Because the site is powered by a robust content management tool, the same type of content can be delivered in multiple ways. For instance, a day "in the life" story maybe be presented as text, short video clip, or in-depth dynamic video.

. Web-based screening. Candidates who move from the site into the recruitment management application are screened using questionnaires tailored to each position.

. Introduces an online network for interns.

. The employee referral program offers a $30 reward just for the first referral, even if the person is not hired. Deloitte includes corporate alumni in the referral program.

Best Employer Brand: PacifiCare

. PacifiCare realizes the tremendous impact that a great brand can have on recruiting in a healthcare industry that has all but ignored employment branding.

. As a result, it has developed a formally managed employer brand that is fully integrated with the core business strategy and brand. The core business tagline is "Caring is good, doing something is better." This is supported by an employment brand tagline of "Envision, Innovate, and Accomplish."

Quick facts:

More than 85 percent of the candidates who received an in-person interview responded positively to the statement that PacifiCare was a "good place to work." This score is 26 percentage points higher than the norm.

When employees were ask to rate PacifiCare, as compared to other companies, 81 percent responded either "one of the best" or above average.

Best practices:

. Full-time HR representatives work in the branding department and they drive internal branding and employment brand integration.

. Full-time HR representatives in the talent acquisition department help to oversee all programs and messaging that affects the employment brand.

. They negotiated a partnership between the brand team, the advertising team and the talent acquisition team.

. They use external market research to gauge target candidates' perceptions in the marketplace in order to drive adjustments in program design and messaging.

. Executives do not rely on the hard sell; they communicate honestly, disclosing that PacifiCare is sometimes "not an easy place to work."

. The branding team participates in programs that demonstrate the brand by demonstrating results. A prime example of this approach is PacifiCare's development of the first-ever Quality Index of Hospitals.

Best College Recruiting Program: Whirlpool

Whirlpool has redesigned its university recruiting program to ensure a consistent pipeline of mid-level management talent through the Whirlpool Leadership Development Program.

Quick facts:

Global rotation programs are developed along functional lines to ensure skill development according to the functions' pre-defined performance criteria. More than seven separate programs exist, covering everything from brand portfolio leadership to global supply chain management.

Each leadership-program participant receives frequent feedback, a senior-level mentor, a tiered compensation package and a defined career path.

Best practices:

. Identified employment brand obstacles that would prevent them from hiring the volume and quality of top graduates that they needed. They then developed a strategy to "call out" negative perceptions, such as those of the appliance industry itself.

. Leveraged the brand identity of Ben Stein, a known and trusted celebrity, to reach out directly to the target audience by including him in all recruitment communications.

. Designed highly visible recruiting events at target schools that leverage partnerships with local organizations, entertainment venues and elsewhere.

. Developed a web-based portal specific to campus recruitment that focuses on the candidate experience versus administrative functionality.

. Highly selective leadership development mentor program. Managers selected to participate as mentors must go through a rigorous selection process and are then monitored closely to ensure that only managers who consistently produce results remain in the program.

Most Strategic Use of Recruiting Technology: Hewlett-Packard

. Hewlett-Packard has been a pioneer in the adoption of a truly global HR strategy and in using technology in order to transform HR for more than 20 years. In its latest move, HP has integrated all recruitment technologies via the @HP portal to support a global HR self-service model.

. The recruitment elements are just one component of the Global Human Resource Management System, which supports 147,000 employees in 178 countries. It provides content in 11 languages and provides self-service for 36 manager and employee transactions and nine additional standard HR transactions.

Quick facts:

. Global staffing practices and technologies were streamlined to support a global strategy and consistent staffing methodology worldwide.

. The approach does provide some degree of flexibility to support variations in staffing approaches and perspectives across geographic regions (Americas, Asia Pacific and Japan, and EMEA).

Best practices:

. Staffing methodology across all four regions is supported by a global workforce planning and staffing leadership team.
Specific technology plans exist to drive the use of technology in:
- Experienced candidate recruitment
- University recruitment
- Intern recruitment
- Diversity recruitment

Monday, July 13, 2009

Are your Employees Motivated? - Top 5 Myths

Employee Motivation: Top 5 Myths

While motivating employees is a key factor in an economic recovery, many companies are failing to keep their workers fully engaged in their jobs because they share some common myths and beliefs, according to Suzanne Bates, author of "Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate Your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to Act!" (McGraw-Hill 2009).

Employers must re-examine their beliefs about employee engagement if they hope to accelerate their business recovery and retain their top talent, said Bates, president and CEO of Bates Communications

In a typical workplace, only 29 percent of employees are actively motivated and engaged in their jobs, while 71 percent are unmotivated and disengaged - either not engaged at all (54 percent) or are actively disengaged (17 percent) - according to the Gallup Management Journal’s Employee Engagement Index.

"While there has been a slight uptick in employee motivation in recent surveys, this may be only temporary because it's based on survival. As the pendulum swings back, employers should watch out - because employees will look at their jobs and their companies differently," said Bates.

"The Top 5 Myths about Motivating Employees" are at work even during an economic boom. However, in a serious recession, everything changes, and employers' misperceptions can be damaging. "If employers don't re-examine their human resource practices and beliefs about motivation," said Bates, "they risk damaging morale, losing top talent, and lengthening their recovery time."

The Top 5 myths about motivating employees, according to Bates and "Motivate Like a CEO," are:

Myth #1: Money is the number one way to motivate employees. "Salaries and bonuses have been the staple of motivation. Most companies relied primarily, even completely, on monetary rewards," said Bates. "Money is only one of many factors in motivation. Yet companies have become lazy about motivating people instead of giving them what they really crave, which is recognition, praise, and the opportunity to learn."

Myth #2: If you want to motivate people, don’t let them in on the bad news. "This is a particularly damaging myth. Bad news always gets out to employees. They hate it when you hide bad news; they consider themselves partners in the company, and they long for a chance to contribute and make a difference, especially in tough times," said Bates. "The surest way to motivate people is to empower them even with terrible news, so they can come to terms with reality, think their way through the crisis, and contribute to creative solutions going forward," said Bates.

Myth #3: Most employees know what motivates them. "Many people are searching for a larger purpose, and they are not finding it in their work," said Bates. "In challenging times, employers can become a powerful source of motivation and pride among talented people. In a downturn, leaders must talk to employees and help them discover who they are and what motivates them. Spend time with them; ask them why they enjoy the work, what they enjoy most, how they want to contribute, and where they see themselves in the future," said Bates.

Myth #4: You simply cannot motivate everyone. "This was true in boom times, when organizations were bloated and some people you hired were marginal. Those days are over," said Bates. "Now that companies have downsized and are arguably leaner and meaner with the best talent, this is a damaging assumption. It is a leader’s responsibility to motivate employees. It’s time to stop blaming employees, and start looking to leaders to ignite the spark," said Bates.

Myth #5: People are just grateful to have a job, and this attitude will survive the downturn. "Top talent will always have a place to go, and while they may have had less mobility during the recession, your competitors are already looking around to see who is unhappy and ready to leave," said Bates. "Employers who keep believing their people are just grateful to have a job will be blindsided when their top talent walks out the door because they don’t have leaders who are engaging them, praising them, recognizing them, and giving them opportunities to grow."

Ref: Suzanne Bates

Leave on a Positive Note: How to Write a Letter of Resignation

Leave on a Positive Note: How to Write a Letter of Resignation

Whether you’re on your way to a great new position or unhappily leaving your employer for personal or career-related reasons, you need to write a resignation letter.

The main goal of your letter is to inform your employer about the details of your resignation, but the underlying benefit is a chance for you to strengthen your relationship with your supervisor/colleagues and leave on a positive note. Approach the letter as if you’re writing a thank-you note, and you’ll be on the right track. The following tips will help:

The Introduction

Your letter’s introduction should indicate that you are resigning and should provide your last day of employment. For example: “Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from my position as [job title]. My last day of employment will be [date] .”

The Body

The body of your letter should mention your reason for leaving and show your gratitude for the experience the job has given you. Here are a few ways to state that you are leaving, based on your situation:

· Found a New Job: “I have accepted a position as [job title] in [location], which will give me the supervisory responsibilities I have been eager to assume."

· Starting School: “I regret having to leave [employer name], but I am strongly committed to earning my [degree type] and have been accepted to [school name] for the fall term.“

· Medical Reasons: “I regret having to leave, but I am currently experiencing medical issues that prevent me from continuing in this position.”

· Partner Relocation: “My wife/husband has been offered an excellent job opportunity in [location], and we have decided to move there so that she/he can accept it."

· Relocation Refusal: “The Company’s restructure has left many of my colleagues looking for new positions, so I am grateful for your offer of reassignment to the office. However, my family and I have decided that relocation is not feasible for us right now.“

· Bad Experience: “My decision to leave is based on both personal and professional reasons, but please understands that I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with [company name]. I have learned a great deal from you, and I look forward to applying this knowledge in my next position.”

You may also mention that you appreciate the opportunity to work with your supervisor and other team members. If you name-drop, be careful not to exclude anyone. Remember that your letter may make the office rounds. If appropriate, state your willingness to help with the transition; for example, you might offer to train your replacement.

The Closing

End your letter with an expression of kind wishes and interest in keeping in touch. For example: “I hope that we can continue our professional relationship and that we meet again in the future. Best wishes to you and to the rest of the staff.”

Ref: By Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert