Are You Making Sensible HR Technology Choices?

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Technology is evolving rapidly. HR Technology is a subsection of this innovation, and is also evolving rapidly in its own right. In addition to rapid expansion, HR Technology appears to be lucrative as well. According to a 2014 Forbes Article by Josh Bersin, the HR Technology market is a $15 billion dollar market. With that kind of money backing this industry, there are endless options and opportunities for both for HR Tech companies and potential buyers.

With more and more leaders shifting their focus to talent management strategies, having the right technology working for you is an operational imperative. The trouble with having all of these choices and options at our fingertips is it is overwhelming. From experts to reports, whitepapers and admittedly bloggers like me- it can be confusing to digest all of the tips, tricks and advice that is out there.

The purchase of HR Technology is one of the larger investments we make in HR. In many organizations, the request to purchase technology is enough to make your CFO gasp and that is even with the proper justification backing the request. If you’re going to invest money in new technology to facilitate your operations; it would make sense to do your homework on the market to ensure you are making the right investment.

You may be thinking ” well that’s obvious, Janine”. My experience has taught me that companies are not as dedicated to a proper selection and implementation process as you may think. More often than not, the purchase of HR Technology is lead by good intentions, distorted by unrealistic expectations and compromised by flawed decisions. One of the things that drives me mad about organizations is: when they choose a provider based on market presence or some other arbitrary factor without holistically considering other important factors like: customer satisfaction, customer retention, their specific niche, and how the technology will improve or facilitate operations etc. Instead, they end up making the wrong decision or poorly implementing a good system, because they were unclear about their requirements. Additionally, they forget to spend a fair amount of time thinking about the inherent limitations and opportunities involved with the purchase.  The criteria I mention are just a few of the many things that should be considered when looking to purchase HR Technology.  As an HR practitioner and potential buyer, half your battle is understanding how important it is to give yourself and your team adequate time to evaluate your HR Technology of choice before purchasing.

Now for some help…

Recently, I was fortunate enough to receive the G2 Crowd Grid for Recruiting Software from my friends at Ultimate Software. While it should not be your sole data point for deciding what to choose- it is certainly a step in the right direction towards making sensible HR Technology purchases. Perusing this report, you will find scores for satisfaction, market presence, number of ratings etc. You can even compare HR Tech providers to see how they stack up when it comes to implementations, contract terms and pricing.

If you are in the market for a new ATS or other HR Technology-this report is worth reviewing. You may even be surprised to find out who is leading the HR Technology landscape at the moment- I know I was. I will hint that some of my favorite Recruiting Technology providers are finally receiving the kudos they deserve.

You can get a glimpse of the report below. The grid as pictured below shows how Recruiting Technology providers stack up when it comes to ‘satisfaction’.

 

For the a free, full report and the ability to run your own analysis of Recruiting Technology providers, click here.

Have an HR Technology Implementation question? Set up a 15 minute Talent Strategy call with me here.

 

Talent Acquisition Professionals Need Career Love Too!

 

I love my job

As someone who worked in Talent Acquisition for most of her career, I was the person responsible for ensuring the continued progression of thousands of people’s careers. I made offers that meant people could feed their families and others that catapulted people to the executive suite, I negotiated great packages and sometimes had to sell the not-so-attractive offers. I was an agent of opportunity always on the hunt for the best person that met the company’s needs. With all of this workforce good I was doing, it occurred to me that many of my colleagues and I were often closing better career deals for the people we served than for ourselves.

If you have worked in Talent Acquisition you know it is not an easy job. As a function we are responsible for making sure that every department is adequately staffed. From the Janitor to the CFO, we are charged with keeping the halls filled with talent with little to no disruption to the business. In my experience, I have had varying requisition loads. I have handled as little as 6 reqs at anytime and upwards of 175 when I worked for someone who was blatantly trying to drown me- but I digress. My point is this job isn’t for the faint of heart and yet there is often a lack of  interest and focus in creating a career path for the very same professionals who dedicate themselves to doing it for others.

If you’re a TA Specialist or Internal Recruiter in a company, where do you go next? The path isn’t always clear or it doesn’t exist. In some organizations, TA Specialists move to TA Leads or Senior TA Specialists and eventually to TA Manager if they shake the right hands- but where else can their skills be utilized? It has been the great paradox of my existence in TA to realize my opportunities were non-existent while remaining excited about the opportunities and salary increases I was able to offer others.

A breakthrough…

Alas, I have met someone who understands the need to develop her Talent Acquisition team. Last week while attending the Take The Interview Talent Acquisition Summit/#truNewYork, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a track led by Ali Wong of NBC Universal. She heads up the Talent Acquisition function there and is changing the game for the Talent Acquisition professionals on her team. During her track, she spoke about how she is helping her team get out of the rut of just filling requisitions and on to thinking about how they personally want to impact the business. She’s not telling her team, “sorry, there is no career path” or “we’d love to see you in leadership, but…”. She is insisting that ever recruiter, sourcer, and coordinator have a clear understanding of how they impact the business; while allowing them to constantly learn, develop and be exposed to the people that can advocate for their career progression.

At NBC Universal, Recruiters are responsible for the mentorship and career progression of the sourcers and coordinators who support them. I have always been perplexed by organizations that went as far to create these talent acquisition teams composed of a recruiter, sourcer and coordinator only to remove the recruiter from having any input into the development and performance management  for the roles that support them daily. Frankly, it’s a missed opportunity for the sourcers and coordinators to be mentored by someone in the role they will eventually have and it robs the recruiter of key leadership experience that will be needed as they progress up the ranks.

Back to Ali, she holds her team accountable for results and business impact. None of the ridiculous rumination about time-to-fill and other baseline headaches. She has a clear standard and that is to produce what the internal customers need and she will develop you so you can move on to do the things you want to do in the company, Conversely, if you cannot work up to her standard or find that the job is not what you wanted-she encourages you to move to another area of the company where your talents would be better served.

Changing the game…

If you can’t tell, I am more than impressed with the way she leads her team. Her leadership is not one to admire superficially, but it is backed by results. Her team consistently meets and exceeds their targets. They are “game changers” as she calls them.

Anyone can hire recruiters or a TA team and deploy them to frantically fill all of the positions in a company. However, it takes time, thought and effort to build and deploy a team that love what they do, produce and make an impact. Oh and by the way, she doesn’t care where the work gets done as long as it gets done- a nod and a wink for telework. TA Specialists, Recruiters, Sourcers, Coordinators, TA Assistants need career love too. If you are going to hold them responsible for bringing in the talent you are going to have to invest in them as well. Moreover, ensure that they are lead by someone who understands the value and importance of their work- who also relentlessly pushes them to find their passion. That passion will not only make them happier in their work, but it will come through when prospective candidates meet with these people to size up your company.

I was also reminded by colleagues at the summit that the recruitment and/or talent acquisition function will cease to exist in the next 10 years, so while we still have it-let’s show a little career love to the guys and gals in the trenches making it happen one job at a time.

“I am Revolutionizing HR”- The One-Page Proposal

1-PAGE LOGO-01

 

In 2002, Patrick G. Riley published “The One-Page Proposal” that became a bestselling self-help book in North America, China, Japan, and Korea, which described how the author succeeded in helping businesses all around the world using one-page proposals. In 2011, Patrick G. Riley and Joanna Weidenmiller co-founded 1-Page. The co-founders wanted to take the successful approach and founding principles of the book, and leverage technology to tackle the largest demographic with the biggest communication problem: companies and job seekers.

For every job post it is reported that companies receive an average of 250 resumes, with leading brands receiving up to several thousands of resumes every week. The problem goes beyond quantity, as the content received within a resumes doesn’t provide any indication on the future performances, fit and motivation of a candidate. HR departments and hiring managers need a new system of engagement to identify top candidates before the interview, enabling job seekers to pitch their value instead of simply providing a list of their past accomplishments.

1-Page provides the Challenge-based Assessment Platform that gamifies hiring, giving recruiters the access to predictive data for enhanced decision-making on talent. With 1-Page, companies engage candidates to compete for jobs based on their ability to solve real-time business challenges, to achieve company’s strategic objectives. Candidates’ ability to pitch their value to the company for that specific role, and propose their solution on a 1-Page Job Proposal, is at the core of the process.

Some of the largest US and global companies like First Republic Bank, BevMO!, UST Global, Orange, rely on the platform for:

  • Hiring talent
  • Engage passive candidates
  • Internal promotion
  • Open- source innovation

The platform helps the talent acquisition team to turn job descriptions into real-time business challenges that are unique and specific to the role, and share them through their ATS, customized email invitations, referral lists, and social media. Companies can track in real time the status of candidate’s progression, and leverage collaborative and automated proposal scoring (powered by Natural Language Processing technologies) to identify the best. Thanks to the innovative approach to hiring, the technology behind the scoring model, the great candidate experience delivered, and the results achieved by their enterprise clients, 1-Page has been awarded as one of the top three HR technologies in the US (HRO Today, iTalent 2014). 1-Page has also been endorsed by some of the leading experts in the field of HR technologies:

– “While I always ask candidates to describe how they’d solve a job-related project as part of the assessment, the folks at 1-Page.com have taken this idea a few steps further … candidates submit a one-page proposal summarizing how they’d handle some challenge likely to be faced on the job.”- Lou Adler, Best-selling author and CEO of The Adler Group.

–  “The idea of a company engaging with a candidate through evidence of what he or she could do, rather than for what they have done in the past, is a very bright light in recruiting.” –Bill Kutik, Founder of the HR-Tech Conference, on HRE Online.

1-Page’s clients have been able to lower cost per hire by 70%, increase retention by 75% and reduce time to hire from an average of 13 to 4 weeks. With 1-Page, companies have significantly increased the quality of interviews and hires, while delivering the greatest candidate experience.

Author Biography

joanna headshotJoanna Weidenmiller is CEO and Co-founder of 1-Page, the next generation hiring solution that revolutionizes talent acquisition.
Successful and active woman in tech, prior to launching 1-Page Joanna was CEO and Founder of Performance Advertising, responsible for building one of the US leading outsourced direct sales and marketing firms for two Fortune 500 companies, with a successful exit in 2007. Joanna moved back to the US after spending 5 years in China where she developed and led technologies in the mobile and e-commerce fields. On top of building 1-Page, Joanna most recently served as Managing Partner for Hubert Burda Media (one of the largest magazine and digital publishers in the world) in China, where she headed the expansion and led all strategic operations. Joanna earned her BA degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia where she was a Full Scholarship athlete and National rower. Joanna was recruited to the FBI out of college, where she trained police in the Middle East.

Currently she lives in San Francisco, CA.

What Do You Know About Me?

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Once upon a time, I started a position somewhere (they shall remain nameless) where the grass seemed to be greener than my last pasture. I had a great boss, supportive and competent co-workers and challenging work- what more could one want?

It appeared throughout the interview process that this company was very concerned with attracting a competent HR professional that could help them ignite a more progressive HR delegation. I assured them that I was their woman wooing them with my credentials, education, past projects, notable employers and enthusiasm for the discipline of HR.

So said, so done…

I came on the scene and started effecting change quite immediately- to my then bosses’ delight.  The problem was my co-workers weren’t  delighted. You see at the same time that I was wowing my boss, the love and courtesy from my co-workers started to wane. Suddenly, the “good mornings” stopped, invites to lunch ceased and I was conspiring to take their jobs or so they thought.

What did they do next?

Daily, they would whisper and gossip about the many ways they could undermine my prowess and I knew it. What I did was return the favor, by not saying “good morning” or even looking their way. I just kept my head down and did the work. Before you get all mighty on me, it was fair treatment. I had just come out of a toxic environment that took everything from me and almost my health. I had no more tolerance for petty office shenanigans (insert the expletive of your choice for good measure).

In any event, their conspiring led them to my boss one day to complain about my lack of “good mornings” and reluctance to be “more social”. In turn, my boss called a meeting with me to ask me the following:

He said: “Janine, could you just be the bigger person and try a little harder- like be their friend.” To which I responded with a synopsis of my daily dealings with them. They wanted to dig into my personal life, meet for breakfast with spouses after church on Sunday; oh and I was to report to them the where, what, when and why- anytime I met with the Director of HR on a new project.

His answer…

“I didn’t know all of this was going on, but could you just try a little harder- you’re stronger than them.” Keep in mind that, I was working for this company for maybe six months at this time.

What did they know about me?

That is the problem and the question. They knew nothing about me, my likes or dislikes, my work habits or my boundaries. All too often, we make judgments about the new guy or gal on the job based upon our own insecurities and biases. In this instance, these two were essentially uncomfortable because I was quickly productive and my ideas were welcomed. They had spent years doing mediocre work and I was shaking things up. Nevermind, that one of them hired me and gushed about the company and their need for a progressive person. That went out the window the day they realized I was a serious professional that got sh%t done.

Here’s why these situations are problematic for Talent Acquisition:

1) I was the new person. Instead of being supported, I was being bullied into being more social than I was ready to be at that time. I was told during the hiring process they wanted “productive and progressive” and that’s what I was doing.

2) The onus was placed on me to rectify a situation that my boss should have been able to handle quite decisively.

3) I could have quit and they would have been left wondering why. Toxic environments create turnover.

I didn’t quit, because I wasn’t about to let two bad apples ruin what was a dream opportunity.

As talent acquisition professionals, we need to remain cognizant of the fact that first impressions not only extend to how candidates impress us, but how we impress them. We can’t advocate for competencies and skills in the hiring process but then try to deter the person when they come barreling out of the gate providing the very same acumen you recruited for. Furthermore, you better be sure that you keep a close watch on those in a position to hire, on-board and mentor new employees. There is nothing more costly and embarrassing than to someday find out that your turnover is high and moreover, that it is high because someone in your organization is undermining your otherwise benevolent efforts to retain employees.

Some level of foolery exists in most organizations, but be sure your leaders are prepared to act swiftly, decisively, and consistently to prevent occurrences like these.

In the end, one of the co-conspirators left the company. The remaining one and I established an amicable work relationship.

Need to get your talent acquisition team refocused. Contact me for a free consultation.

The Power of Onboarding

FTC Disclosure: I received compensation for writing this product review listed below as one of the services I offer my clients. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from. iCims is an ATS provider and I have either reviewed or used their product personally. I have not made any absolute statements about its functionality but endorse the capabilities I have personally observed.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

In recruitment, we try any reasonable tactic to gain the attention of the candidates we seek for our positions. We will do whatever is necessary to attract and hire the right candidate all the way up to the offer. You make the offer with a sense of accomplishment; but further engagement or communication dies with the offer, doesn’t it? Fast forward several weeks into the future. Your prized employee starts orientation day- what has transpired? You haven’t been in touch, not even via e-mail. This employee who is bright-eyed and excited is now made to fill out a bunch of dusty HR new hire forms and sit through a long day of company pitches and presentations on what you expect of him or her going forward.

Great first impression?

Not so much, you had the candidate at hello, but you forgot to keep the dialogue and courtship going beyond the offer. This is where the power of onboarding helps. Onboarding is more than a checklist of household items and tasks you and your employee needs to accomplish prior to the commencement of your official partnership. It is about making sure every new hire is consistently and thoroughly made aware of how they will contribute to the organization and what the organization aims to offer them in return.  Being proactive and ready to onboard your employees is a key indicator of the employee’s future productivity, morale, and success. In addition, it is a significant gesture that lets the employee know you are dedicated to their success.

Did you know?

Despite the ongoing discussion about the importance of having a formal onboarding process, only 37% of organizations have invested in a strategic onboarding program for more than two years according to a March 2013 Aberdeen Group report. Taking the time to look at your new hire process and finding areas where you can streamline and automate can only further benefit your new employees and the company.

How do you accomplish all of this?

iCIMS Onboard is an intuitive and extremely versatile platform that not only allows you to automate your onboarding process by allowing new hires to fill out and submit everything from your direct deposit form to I-9’s; but offers a personalized and unique introduction to your company culture. No shock that Aberdeen Group reported that 68% best-in-class companies cited “getting new employees productive more quickly” as a key driver for implementing a strategic onboarding process.  iCIMS electronic forms will save you time and effort in both explaining and collecting papers on the first day; giving you more time to spend with your new hires acclimating them to the company and their new work environment.

With iCIMS Onboard, you can set up notifications and tasks through the platforms task management capability- allowing hiring managers to properly prepare workspaces and other internal clearances so your new hires can be productive day one.  Task management is dynamic enough to be set up by department, region, and new hire type so there is a unique experience delivered for the spectrum of new hires that join your organization.

Got video?

The iCIMS Onboard platform is configurable and able to be designed to match your company’s branding incorporating welcome videos or even training videos to further engage and accelerate your new hires assimilation into your organization. Think of your organization as a mini-society, each citizen that joins your society should be socialized appropriately understanding things like mission, values, culture, and ways of conducting business. Using iCIMS video capabilities in Onboard allows you to deliver company messages, communicating business objectives from day one so employees connect the dots.

Onboarding is no longer a nice-to-have but a business imperative for all organizations. This is especially true, if your goal is to retain new hires and truly realize the ROI on your recruitment efforts.

Start communicating and socializing your new hires today with iCIMS Onboard.

 

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