Check out today’s infographic – courtesy of Challenger, Gray and Christmas – outlining resume best practices as outlined in a recent recruiter survey they conducted. Among other insights, it suggests that the long standing best practice of the one-pager resume may no longer apply thanks to modern ATS’s changing the way hiring managers and recruiters process and review the document. As always, if you like this infographic you can find its author on Twitter here.
…So this morning I read a great article from Talent Analytics CEO Greta Roberts wherein she notes that a large number of companies are hiring Data Scientists for their HR teams – only to use them to generate pretty reports as opposed to using their analytics backgrounds to solve real HR problems around topics such as turnover, hiring, and workforce planning (such as how changes in workforce costs and productivity affect the bottom line). The result is that HR is seeing high turnover and low value add out of a department that could potentially generate enormous value for it. This is a solid read… if you have a few minutes check it out here.
That said, I’m sharing this piece because lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how much it would raise the water level in HR if a larger share of the function had a stronger grasp of analytics. Businesses are certainly clamoring for more data-driven insights from their HR departments… but entrusting these responsibilities to those in HR that don’t understand how to effectively use data and analytics can adversely impact the business. From a recent CAHRS piece (here):
^And yet the above reality is one of the principal reasons that – even when strong analytical thinkers are hired into data driven HR roles – they are often ineffective. Generally speaking, creating a reporting relationship wherein a Manager doesn’t have a strong working knowledge of what one or more of their direct reports does is a recipe for inefficacy. If the decision is made to house an Analytics group in HR, that team needs to be led by someone that sees the prospective value proposition and knows how to use his or her team.
This isn’t me trying to take the high ground, either: Because while I am passionate about leveraging data and anlaytics to make better people decisions, I’ll be the first person to admit that at this point in my career I have no business leading a team of HR Data Scientist. But I *do* think that as a function we have to do a better job of getting this right. As businesses continue to move more and more towards data-driven decision making, if HR doesn’t step up to help leaders leverage its people data to make better human capital decisions then another function will. Maybe this is ultimately okay if it turns out that such work is better housed elsewhere in an organization… but I am of the thinking that this is a space HR should carve out for itself. Yes? No? Maybe so?
As always, please share your comments in the section below.
A little under a year ago I read a working group summary from CAHRS titled “The Changing Role of the HR Business Partner”. At the time much of the summary resonated with me… while other components of it remained abstract. Ergo, I resolved to revisit the document at another time once I had more experience in my role.
…This morning I gave the piece another read (check it out here), and the following section jumped out:
…So a good Generalist is strong at execution. He or she can juggle the priorities of many (at times competing) stakeholders with their client group through strong project and relationship management, policy/process expertise, and excellent interpersonal skills. Be it recruiting, employee relations, workforce planning, guidance on labor law and compliance, compensation review, performance management, training and development or any other number of responsibilities that fall under their umbrella, Generalists are very good at executing on the items currently on their people agenda.
But being able to fill a job or roll out a training program is not the same thing as being able to design a talent strategy that allows one’s organization to attract, develop, engage and retain top people. And being able to do short-term workforce planning (e.g. outlining staffing needs for several lines and departments over the course of a year) is not the same as putting in place a succession planning process that allows an organization to identify and develop a talent pipeline with the skills to move from entry-level management roles to executive leadership positions over time. It’s more than generating reports – its prescriptive analytics. It isn’t just firefighting employee relations issues – it’s raising the water level around living a company’s values – rewarding those that do and taking corrective action with those that don’t.
I have a lot more that I want to say about this… but I am out of time today. I will add though that strategic HR is also about thinking in years (in addition) to weeks and months.
Let me know what I have wrong in the comments section below.
…it’s frustrating. This is when it’s time to revisit some basics.” – Keegan Bradley
…So a funny thing has happened over the last month or so.
I’ve stopped growing.
^I can’t point to when exactly it happened. But this weekend I took stock of the recent past and realized that I hadn’t learned anything new.
This isn’t because I don’t love learning – quite the opposite. Rather, it’s because I’ve fallen into a routine that’s a little *too* familiar. I am comfortable enough – and happy enough – with what ‘today’ looks like that I haven’t looked to change it up every much lately.
…Elaborating, I think that getting better everyday is (theoretically) really simple. One most simply follow three simple steps:
1. Every day, do one thing that scares you (just a little).
2. Expose yourself to a new idea at least once before you go to bed every night (you can do this by reading voraciously).
3. If you ever find yourself becoming overly complacent or comfortable, change something significant in your life.
^These are really basic ideas, but together they can have a transformative effect on one’s life. Ergo, as American professional golfer Keegan Bradley suggests in this week’s quote, I am looking to get back to the basics of making myself better. This means other reading others (new) ideas (as opposed to just going to my preferred watering holes), pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and trying something that makes me a little scared every day.
…As we get started this week, I would encourage you to do the same (and make sure you’re having fun). And as always, please let me know if I have got this wrong in the comments section below.
This evening I had the pleasure of reading a great Harvard Business Review piece by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz highlighting the importance of great talent assessment skills. It’s a really fantastic read, and I recommend checking it out here.
With that said, there is one particular aspect of the article I want to talk about. From the piece:
…all too often organizations leave their most consequential people decisions to board members who may be experts in other business domains but who are woefully uneducated about and inexperienced in evaluating C-suite talent. Over the past few months, I’ve had many small-group meetings with the nominating committee chairs of some of the largest companies in the world. At each one, I asked how many attendees had studied the basic concepts of assessment. Typically, less than 30% answered in the affirmative, and sometimes no one did! Studies we’ve conducted at Egon Zehnder also show that most corporate directors have participated in no previous CEO succession, or just in one.
^This idea that people decisions are often made by those lacking in qualifications to make them well is a powerful idea. Companies such as Google and Amazon have tried to make the hiring process as objective as possible by taking the decision out of the hands of the hiring manager and building several rounds of assessment into the process (from folks that might not have a vest interest in the final outcome). Conversely, there are also companies like Imperial that heavily focus on interview training of hiring managers to ensure a strong assessment process.
Regardless of any individual employer’s process, however, one thing is certain: Companies should consider dedicating more resources to ensuring that they’re getting it right when it comes to reviewing talent. Because ultimately – be it at the C-Suite or entry levels – succession planning starts with great selection processes. Dedicating all the resources in the world to building strong talent pipelines, engaging talent once in the door, and pushing them through world class training programs for development purposes counts for very little if you aren’t putting the right people in key roles to begin with.
…I’ve been awfully in love with developing my competencies in the areas of compensation and labor/employment law lately… but at the end of the day any great Generalist – which is what I am – needs to be able to be able to (i) get great talent in the door, (ii) connect people within the organization, and (iii) paint a clear picture of the workforce (its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth).
To this point: I have filled nearly 200 jobs in the four years since I have entered the HR profession… but I don’t know that I am a great recruiter or assessor of talent. I have probably had more opportunities to become good at these things than I have anything else… but I haven’t yet taken a deliberative approach to becoming excellent in the space. I just didn’t appreciate the value of the skill set to being an elite HR person.
I think I’m going to change my approach
…More soon (and happy Friday).
Check out this WorldatWork video featuring Steve Ulian (Head of Institutional Business Development, Bank of America) as he discusses the need for a personal approach to financial wellness, the prevalence of programs in different sizes of organizations, measuring the impact, and employee communication.
…So this morning I read a rock solid piece (here) from HR Pro RJ Morris over at Fistful of Talent. In the piece, Morris sights failure to create followership as a core reason that many would-be future leaders fail to ever live up to their potential. As an example of this process in action, Morris provides the following example:
…Let’s take Sally, who just started her career at Vandalay Industries. Here’s her career development:
1. Sally comes in, kicks butt in some technical or sales role
2. Shows initiative, has decent interpersonal skills, and gets noticed
3. The higher-ups call her a high pot and give her some new assignments and maybe a larger span of control
4. Inherits a team or builds a team, none of whom respect her as much as the bosses do
5. Higher-ups monitor her performance, which initially appears strong
6. Sally still gets results, but people begin to fall away from her team
7. Solid talent in the company find ways to join other teams
8. Over time, management catches up to what the people on the street have already figured out
9. Sally’s stock drops faster than that of the Japanese soccer team’s goalie
^The idea here is that because Sally failed to gain traction internally with folks lower down the org chart, she was unable to retain top talent on her team and over time this impacted her ability to produce results. Ergo, her once strong reputation with senior leadership as a “high potential” was eventually diminished and she fell off the fast track.
This is powerful stuff because it’s a reminder that to be successful it’s important to make real connections with people at all levels of the organizations – not just those that you think have the power to advance your career.
^But this piece was also powerful to me because it reinforced the fact that in our careers we all see highs and lows. Sometimes we’re ahead… and sometimes we’re behind. And so it’s important to never become too filled with hubris, no matter how successful one becomes. Because ultimately darker times are probably coming somewhere down the line. And so the way one behaves towards others – regardless of status – when they‘re riding high is probably a lot more predictive of their long-term advancement than their most recent big success.
…Potential is transient, but character is enduring (I think).
Just a Tuesday evening thought stream…
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
…So Tim Sackett has a great new post up on his website here wherein he highlights that – due to an improving economy and the exit of boomers from the workforce – filling vacant positions is becoming exceedingly difficult for companies the world over. Employers today are grappling with the reality that great talent has plenty of opportunities to choose from when considering their next step… making differentiation more critical than ever for companies looking to fill their growing numbers of operationally important vacancies.
…With that said, the reason I’m sharing today’s post is because two things from it jump out at me:
Wage Growth: CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson spoke at SHRM on Tuesday and had some great data showing that organizations see wage growth of around 5% in 2015, and similar in years to come. Are you budgeting 5% increases? I’m guessing not!
Job Design Challenges: Too many of us are working and designing jobs like we are living in a society that was pre-internet, pre-ultra connected. We still think we need employees sitting in front of us from 8-5pm, Monday thru Friday. If they aren’t sitting in front of us, they must not be working! Indeed shared that 80% of job searches on their site include this single word: “Remote”! Are you adjusting those jobs that can be flexible?
^This is powerful stuff because it speaks to two critical things that companies are going to need to do over the next few years:
1. Evolve the existing merit review cycle to compensate top internal talent at a level consistent with what they can find externally (as opposed to spreading increases more or less evenly across the entire workforce).
2. Create flexible work arrangements that accommodate the lifestyles of millennials, dual income parents, and other prospective employee populations that are increasingly seeking roles that allow them to grow in their careers while also accommodating their personal lives.
^Concerning challenge number 1, as previously noted organizations have got to start thinking about compensation differently. Far too often, high performing employees that spend much of their career with one organization end up badly under market because internal comp structures don’t allow their pay to keep up with what they could make on the external market. So then those employees eventually end up getting outside offers that force their organizations to either (i) counter-off, damaging the employee/employer relationship, or (ii) let the employee walk and expend thousands of dollars and untold amounts of time in recruitment and training to bring in a new hire (at the market rate they should have been paying the incumbent to begin with) and get then up to speed. Merit budgets are *not* 5% at median right now in most companies… which makes the fact that this is the going rate for a move in an employee’s market troubling for organizations intent on retaining most of their workforces.
…And as it concerns bullet number 2, leadership at the top of organization’s need to understand the expectations of today’s workforce. As millennials become make up a larger and larger slice of the total workforce – and particularly as they become first time parents – being able to support flexible (and in many cases remote) work arrangements is going to become a table stakes expectation for competing for talent even at the center. Not every job can be done remotely… but for companies looking to compete in coming years they will need to make the option available in cases where such an arrangement is feasible.
…Or maybe I’m wrong. This is just a Monday afternoon thought stream. Let me 1. This 4:20 PM CST post is doable because I am on vacation today.know what I’ve got wrong in the comments section below. 1