7 Questions – How do you create clarity in your job and those of your employees?

The importance of a good employee-manager relationship:

The manager-employee relationships are vital for organisational effectiveness and efficiency.

Q1 Why is what I do important? Q2 What am I accountable for? Q3 How is my performance measured? Q4 How am I performing? Q5 What am I doing to improve my performance? Q6 What support do I need from my manager to improve my performance? Q7 What is in it for me, if I do great, good, average or below expectations?

Why is this relevant and important?

Despite it being basic I have experienced over and again that it does not take place and often it is only performed half-heartedly and this gives rise to several challenges.

Firstly, that the employee leaves the company due to a poor relationship with the immediate manager. Several studies show that the most often quoted reason for leaving a position is the relationship with the immediate manager.

Secondly, the performance or output from the employee is not optimal compared to what it should be.

Thirdly, a poor or less optimally performing employee has a less than optimal effect on the people and processes in the company.

Fourth, you can probably add to the list yourself, but the above mentioned three should be adequate cause for action.

The above outcome is bad for the company as well as the employee, hence worthwhile to ensure that employees and managers jointly have a good understanding of the job and their respective responsibilities this regard

The below outline is compiled of what I have picked up over the years from inspiring people, leaders I have come across and especially some bright HR people in Maersk Line and I have tried to apply the principles in my own work life, both for myself as well as for the people in my responsibility and I hope you find some inspiration either in your role as employee or as a leader.

Please note this is all about structure, not the interpersonal relationship on how we relate and communicate. Without respect and earned trust all structures come to naught, but this structure creates a culture of alignment and communication at the employee-manager level.

The work and job relationship description consists of seven (7) questions surrounding job purpose, responsibilities, measurements, feedback and managing expectations and outcome.

 Question 1 – Why is what I do important?

Always start with the WHY! Clarity of purpose is critical for motivation and can be used for guidance, when in doubt how to act.

The most important place to start is to ask and answer WHY is the job important to yourself as an employee. Someone may argue that the job is for the company’s sake and not for the employee’s sake, but I think the feeling of meaning, of purpose in one’s job is important for all people and most organisations desire employees with motivation. And frankly, getting up early every morning, commute to work, spend a large portion of your life working; it better be worth your while.

So, why is your job important to you? Is it just the money? Probably not, only you know. Is it a sense of belonging, an opportunity to learn new skills and develop as a person, opportunity for promotion and further development, the creation of good relations, meeting exciting people? Only you know – or do you? For many people it is necessary and a source of joy to belong to a group of people and we must not underestimate the importance of the social relationships in our teams.

Why is your job important for the company? Do you ensure the customers are more than satisfied? Or do you ensure that the people servicing the customers can do this well? You can also ask “What happens if I do a bad job?”, some people, maybe your nearest team-members, rely on you to do a good job or even a great job.

As leaders we work on ensuring the company vision, mission and strategy are clear and understood by all employees and that is very important. But, sometimes we forget to operational this at an employee level, and that may be cause for confusion, uncertainty or even discontent, especially if the employee feels there are discrepancies between the overall vision or strategy and his/her job.

This question is not the job description, but the answer could form the the introduction to the job description.

Question 2 – What am I accountable for?

 This question covers the activities that encompasses the job, the required output and the necessary output, perhaps some quality requirements and timeliness. Processes or systems, which the employee is responsible for, and also important relations inside the company or outside.

Matters that will often be described in the job description if such is available.

This is probably the first a new employee is informed about, since it covers what the employee is doing on a daily basis (or weekly, or monthly, or whatever is described), however, even if an employee has worked in the job for a longer time, it might still be worthwhile to revisit this once in a while.

 Generally a job description can include items such as:

  • Responsibilities
  • Tasks (Example: Prepare monthly reports)
  • Specific tasks (Example: Prepare monthly report for submission by 3rd working day of the month, and as a minimum include information on XXX and YYY, by using information from System ZZZ)
  • Hierarchical relationships (Example: This position reports to Director of Finance)
  • Requirements (The position requires specific knowledge about Danish Accounting standards and IFRS regulations)

It is important that the employee is fully aware of what his/her responsibilities are and at the same time it is important that the job description does not become a straitjacket, but has room for initiative and flexibility in line with changing requirements in the job and the organisation.

When an employee has served a year in a new position, the initial job description is likely no longer complete in relation to what the employee is actually doing and as time goes by the original job description becomes outdated, and as such it makes sense to revisit the job description from time to time.

Question 3 – How is my performance measured?

Or put in another way: “How do I know when I am doing a good job?”.

Do I have some measurable deliveries? For instance some KPIs? Something with timeliness or accuracy. Are there means to measure the quality of my work?

What am I measured on – Quality of my work – Efficiency – Innovation – Adherence to company values – Helpfulness/Being a team-player?

Am I responsible for some large projects to be delivered, by a certain date, within a specific budget or otherwise described.

Can my deliverables be described in relatively short sentences, which describe a future desired state?

How can I ‘objectively’ identify the level of my performance. Inside myself I know my effort level, but how do I know if the hard work results in the right performance?

Some organisations set targets for the following year, however, since the environment and the work tends to change over time, similar to the job description, as mentioned above, then sometimes the targets loose relevance or the targets are fulfilled already mid year, perhaps the projects were easier to finalize, and as such it is important that new targets are set.

Question 4 – How am I performing?

It is one thing to know the responsibilities and the required activities, as well as the expected output, the performance. It is another thing to assess how things are going. Am I performing? And how well am I performing?

The employee has an opinion, but so does the manager, and alignment facilitates a good dialogue.

Firstly, the employee must ensure to form his/her own understanding on the level of performance. Firstly by considering how the performance is measured and whether he/she meets the targets.

Secondly, it is also important to get feedback from the manager to assess the extent of alignment of the employee’s opinion and the manager’s opinion.

One thing is the personal performance, but also in the larger scheme of things, “are we delivering as per the overall purpose?“. For instance the employee delivers well on all personal targets, but overall the department is not meeting its targets, for instance within customer satisfaction, then that needs to be addressed jointly in the team and with the manager. Maybe the targets, or even the tasks, do not properly contribute towards the overall goal, and this must be addressed.

Sometimes there will be a difference in opinion. The employee thinks that he/she has made a stellar performance, whilst the manager will regard it as average. That has got to do with differing expectations or lack of clarity in either responsibilities or performance measurement or reviews. An on going dialogue is the most effective way to manage expectations and create clarity.

Do you get regular and clear feed-back from your manager? And how? Regular feedback is critically important for most employees in order to ensure to manage expectations and create alignment on targets, activities and behaviours.

Question 5 – What am I doing to improve my performance?

We can all get better at what we are doing, and we should strive to improve – for our own sake. So what am I doing to improve? In some cases it is a matter of working harder, going the extra mile so to speak. However, in most cases it is a matter of working smarter, not harder.

So, how do I reflect upon my job, my tasks and activities? Can I do it differently, more effectively? Do I need new training? Do we need to change the process, can we get the person who makes my input to make some changes and thereby make my job better? Can I do some changes in my output which is improving the work of the people who uses my work?

You can argue that any employee has two jobs – the current job plus the job of continuously improving the current job. In some organisations that is already included in the job description and measurements.

Question 6 – What support do I need from my manager to improve my performance?

One of the manager’s most important responsibilities is to ensure that the employees can perform and continuously improve their jobs. This requires that the employee has the right competencies i.e. the right skill-set and training to perform the job. But also the right environment, tools and support. Example: If there are challenges in getting the right input from another department, and the employee has tried in vain, then the manager must step in and take action and help to get this sorted.

Sometimes it is easy to help employees to improve performance, say an accounting employee spends a lot of time reconciling, then two computer screens may be a big facilitator in improving performance and perhaps job satisfaction. But it can also be more complex and requiring cross-functional process changes. For instance if an AP employee spends time on locating the purchase responsible on incoming supplier invoices, the solution may be to get the purchasing functions to inform suppliers to put purchaser’s name or department on the invoice.

Question 7 – What is in it for me, if I do great, good, average or below expectations?

The answer to this question is linked to the very first question i.e. Why is what I do important (for me)?

A pay-check is one answer and continued employment could also be one. Some jobs have bonus and incentives assigned depending on job performance, and some companies base salary increments on past performance, so money is one lever that companies use to try and secure best possible performance, although a number of studies show that there is no link between incentive and performance, but that discussion is not the purpose of the article.

Clearly, personal fulfilment from the feeling of doing a good job is important for most employees, but the positive recognition from management and peers is also a motivator for most people.

There may also be opportunities for promotion either into another position or by getting more interesting and challenging tasks and activities in the current position. Both may come with company supported education and courses, which may improve future employ ability and improved CV.

The above primarily goes for above average and great performances. If on the other hand the performance is below expectations and below average, then both management and employee need to do some soul searching.

First consider why the employee is performing poorly. Assuming all the preceding questions have been properly asked and answered i.e. purpose is clear, responsibilities are clear and performance requirements are clear and aligned, then have a conversation about why the performance is poor. Is it lack of skills, poor cooperation in the team, bad attitude on behalf of the employee or something else. On the basis of this it is the manager’s responsibility to put actions in motion to improve the situation, as also clarified in a previous question. However, sometimes it ends up with letting the employee leave the position.

Conclusion

For the employee it is important that the “Why this job is important for me?” is fulfilled. If it is not, then nobody gains and it is a lose-lose situation, because an unsatisfied employee is bad for business. So even if all 6 preceding questions have been asked and answered positively, and the manager has maintained a good feedback loop there may still be dissatisfaction and sometimes it is because the employee changes opinion in terms of what is important, but it can also be matters beyond the manager’s sphere of influence, so the above 7 questions do not solve all things, but it is a good start.

From a managerial perspective I venture that the 7 questions form a strong framework for focused employee-manager conversations, and it will work whether you have weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or annual one-to-one conversations, appraisals, performance reviews or whichever label is used in your organisation. The more frequent the conversation, the more emphasis on questions surrounding the actual performance, but do not forget to bring the other questions into play now and again. The conversations shall consider the employee’s seniority, maturity and competence into consideration, as well as attitude, as is the point of situational leadership.

Whatever you decide as manager, make sure to schedule regular meetings and stick to it, even if there is very little to review, you can always benefit from getting to know your employees a little bit better, so use the framework. You do not want to be in a situation where you only have a conversation with your employees, when there are problems.

Further Reflection – Is this all there is to good people management?

Is this all there is to it? As said above it is not. This is just one tool in establishing a structure towards an effective dialogue in the employee-manager relationship, and a model for analysis of your work-life or the work-life of your employees, which can create a foundation to build on. Other steps deal with creating strong and trusting teams and of improving one’s own leadership towards transformational leadership.

Several thinkers claim, that in order for people to be truly happy at work, three fundamentals must be achieved for the individual – Purpose, Hope and Friendships. This speaks to purpose of company and organisation and individual and the opportunity to improve on the individual’s situation and the social aspects, the sense of belonging.

As an employee what is your take on the 7 questions? Can you answer these for yourself and does it make sense for you? Is there anything you will change from now on?

As a manager what is your take on the 7 questions? Have you ensured that your employees have clarity of purpose in their roles, the employees understand how you evaluate their performance and do you perform regular feedback to the employees? Is there anything you will change as a result? Or do you subscribe to a different way of managing the important employee-manager relationship?

WHAT RECRUITERS THINK WHEN JOB SEEKERS ARE UNSUCCESSFUL?

Recruiters may seem intimidating, but they genuinely want the best for both candidates and the company. Good recruiters want you to have the best experience possible during the application and interview process–but even though they want the best for you, there are some things that they just can’t share.

Salary bands, candidate competition, internal HR tactics –let’s just call them trade secrets. They are the confidential information that, unfortunately, recruiters cannot divulge.

To get to the truth, we reached out to Omer Molad, CEO/founder of Vervoe, a recruiting company that replaces face-to-face interviews with online simulations for small- and medium-sized businesses. Molad built his business on the premise HR hiring is painful, and he has unique insight into the frustrations and insights of recruiters.

Here are a few of the secrets that Molad says recruiters won’t tell you, but really want to.

1. “We Could Have Gone Higher If You Had Negotiated”

Salary negotiations are like a game of poker–both job seekers and recruiters are trying to maintain control and win the hand. “Very few (if any) recruiters will be so bold as to say, ‘We took advantage of you and we don’t value you highly,’” says Molad. In fact, there is often a salary band or range that recruiters have for each role. Their initial salary offer is very rarely at the top of their salary band, so base pay–as well as benefits like vacation days, work hours, etc.–can usually be negotiated.

Glassdoor’s chief reputation officer, Dawn Lyon, says, “An offer is an offer, and very few employers expect you to take the first one out of the gate. So come to the table expecting to negotiate. Don’t just ask for more, but do so intelligently, with real numbers to support your argument. Use your research to put together a case for more base salary or a signing bonus, because if you don’t ask, you most definitely won’t get it.”

2. “Don’t Go Overboard With Buzzwords, We Can Tell”

It’s smart to include keywords in your resume and to come off as knowledgeable about your particular industry. However, “Don’t try to look smarter than you really are,” says Molad unabashedly. Authenticity is key. Recruiters and employers want your personality to shine–not your ability to throw out words and phrases like “synergy,” “move the needle,” “ROI,”feed the funnel,” etc.

“It’s not about specific questions or answers that stand out, but rather the candidates who display a great deal of passion about what they do that really stand above the rest,” says employer Academy Sports + Outdoors.

3. “You Never Had A Chance After That Bad First Impression”

Your mother was right: First impressions are everything. And according to Molad, few recruiters can get past a bad first impression. Unreturned phone calls, poor manners, and clumsy interviews will all hurt your chances of moving on to the next round. Hiring managers and recruiters will bite their tongues, fighting back the desire to say, “We just don’t like you,” says Molad. However, take it from us: You must really dazzle if you’d like to make up for a rocky first impression.

“Interviewers often care more about the likability of entry-level candidates than whether or not they’re actually qualified for the job,” says career coach Peter Yang. “This is because the person interviewing you will often also be your future boss and mentor, so it makes perfect sense that they would want to hire someone whom they personally like and want to work with. A strong interview performance means establishing a strong connection with your interviewer. Try to show off your personality instead of just answering questions robotically. You can even get a bit personal if you’d like to.”

4. “Your References Were Not Very Flattering”

If a recruiter or hiring manager had doubts about you, they won’t let you know if unflattering references just confirmed their doubts, Molad says. “Your references should talk about your strengths in specific situations– not just basic information,” adds HR expert Jordan Perez. “[References] should be ready to provide examples of actual projects where you exceeded expectations. Your reference should easily cite one or two situations that highlight your strengths.”

“Bad references can ruin your candidacy as much as good ones can strengthen it,” says Sam Keefe, digital marketing manager at AVID Technical Resources. Her advice to ensure that only the good shines through? “Give only references who will say positive things about you. Work hard to build good working relationships with coworkers and bosses.”

5. “I Back-Channeled You, And Found Out The Truth”

Backdoor references, or back-channeling, is one of the sneaky ways hiring managers and recruiters gather more information about you–it refers to when employers reach out to mutual connections in order to get their honest opinion of you. “This phenomenon is even more prevalent in the last five years or so because of LinkedIn’s growing popularity,” says Keefe. “Even if you choose not to give anybody there as a reference, backdoor references can reveal the skeletons in your closet. Backdoor references can be especially common when you’re looking for a job in sectors like tech.”

6. “We Already Gave The Job To an In-House Employee”

Unfortunately, it’s perfectly legal to advertise a job that is almost certain to be filled by an insider. In fact, some research has shown that internal hires generally perform better than external ones. However, “phantom jobs” can be downright annoying when you’re looking for a new position. Even though federal labor rules don’t require employers to post openings, many HR departments require roles to be listed on a job board for some period of time to ensure a fair hiring process. Therefore, Molad says, don’t expect recruiters to come right out and say, “It was a beauty parade to show management we ran a process, but it was a sham and you were never really considered.”

Source: http://bit.ly/2xDv6a2

Competition Or Collaboration: Which Will Help Your Team Produce The Best Results?

It’s a question C-suite executives are asking with more frequency — perhaps because reported rivalries among White House staffers have them wondering about the most effective approach for their own leadership teams. Does encouraging rivalry result in everyone bringing their A-game?

When the executives I work with ask me this question, I answer by sharing a story from my own personal experience.

At one point in my career, I worked for an organization where the CEO created intense competition among the leadership team. He even hired two people to do the same job and didn’t tell them. His intention was to decide which one was best and to fire the other.

Did the tactic work?

Hardly. Instead it created a culture of back stabbing, in-fighting and resource hoarding. No one on the leadership team trusted each other. I watched talented people walk out the door, and then I did the same.

If you want to create a culture that will produce breakthrough results, collaboration trumps competition by a long shot. You want people to understand what their individual strengths are so they can pool those strengths and move toward a common vision.

Once collaboration is in place, people are much more trusting of each other, more willing to stretch themselves and more likely to create amazing results.

The opposite happens when competition starts showing up. People hoard systems, information and support staff. They’re less likely to share all kinds of resources — physical and intellectual. Those who see solutions for problems don’t share them until they can be sure they’ll get the credit. It’s impossible to get to the best ideas when people refuse to share and work through thinking together.

When competition is in play, people don’t trust each other enough to authentically create stretch goals that will enable everyone to grow beyond where they are now.

If you sincerely want a group of people to be high-performing together, you don’t want to create a culture of internal competition within the team.

That being said, I have seen other organizations who use healthy competition between teams to produce cutting-edge ideas. In these cases, two or three teams were charged with doing the exact same thing. They knew the other teams existed, but these teams didn’t share resources (budget, people or ideas) across the groups. Each team wanted to get to the end result on its own to be the winner.

This kind of competition between teams can create an intensity that generates powerful results for an organization. When you do this, you need to be transparent, and you want to clearly establish that they’re all working toward the same goal that will ultimately benefit the whole company and everyone in it. It’s also a good idea to let people know ahead of time that those teams will be shuffled up into new groups when the competition is over and then everyone will be expected to share best practices with each other.

Ultimately, you want to create a workplace culture where people freely share information, opinions and perspectives. The best way to achieve that is through building trust and emphasizing collaboration, not competition.

Source: http://bit.ly/2x1ASPH

‘Blind Hiring’ Slowly Gaining Ground In India

 

To avoid biases related to region and gender, among others, organisations are now plumping for a ‘blind hiring’ strategy – where the focus is on recruiting a candidate with the right skill set – say industry experts. Blind hiring is a process of recruitment where the premium is on skills and abilities rather than on soft skills, culture-fit and factors like region and gender. “This method is slowly gaining ground in India, especially when a number of vacancies are to be filled and the role is at the entry level,” CIEL HR Services CEO Aditya Narayan Mishra told news agency Press Trust of India here.

However, he said mid to senior roles call for a good assessment of culture fit and the applicants want face to face interactions with their potential boss.

“Given the impact a mid-level or a senior role produces in an organisation, it is important that the best get hired and the offered candidate has a realistic preview of the job. Hence, blind hiring is not practised for these roles yet,” he added.

Making a similar point, TeamLease Services vice-president-recruitment services Ajay Shah opined that blind hiring will lead to impartial selection, personal bias removal, gender parity, workplace diversity and development of a skill-based meritocratic organisation.

“Corporate India is already seeing dearth in employable talent and this may also be due to its conventional methods and expectations. Adoption of this method will definitely bring in a different perspective and will increase the scope of talent pool in India,” he explained.

However, he said, as firms in India have been using conventional recruitment or interviews for years, this radical change on hiring will have its own challenges and a large workforce might make it more time-consuming and bulky.

Michael Page India director Anshul Lodha said this concept will work well for large business houses in India, large financial services companies and any organisation that is looking to hire mid-level employees in a large capacity.

“Speaking from experience, blind hiring is suitable for candidates who are applying for mid- to senior-level jobs as opposed to entry-level ones. For instance, in cases of campus recruitment, it is essential to take into consideration the educational background of the candidate to understand and gauge their level of exposure,” he added.

According to GlobalHunt managing director Sunil Goel, this has usually been followed partially where company do contract hiring for skilled workforce to complete task with specific skills.

“This trend will be more evident in technology and new age businesses targeting those segments who do not want long term commitment with the firm,” he added.

Source: http://bit.ly/2xV9Zfw

Why Companies Opt for Recruitment Agency?

recruitment agency helps job seekers find employment,while also helping a company find the perfect person for the job they are advertising.

Companies will hire a recruitment agency so that they do not have to sort through, possibly, hundreds of applications for a job. These days, there are more and more people applying for the same position and companies do not have the time to sift through that many applications. They will therefore hire a recruitment agency to take care of this part of the process and to whittle the number of candidates down to a manageable level. Business owners and executives do not have the time and, in many cases, do not have the skills to find the perfect candidates, so outsourcing to a recruitment agency may be the best solution.

There are a number of benefits to using recruitment agencies for employers and potential employees; below are just a few:

  • Using a recruitment agency saves time. The hiring process can be very time consuming, and especially the initial stages of sorting through applications. With so many people applying for the same position, it is understandable for a company to want to avoid this part of the process. Running a company is time consuming enough without having to take time away from this to sort through large numbers of CV’s and application forms. Giving a recruitment agency the task of creating a shortlist of candidates for a position in a company is good business sense.
  • Some companies will use one recruitment agency to find the best person for their available position and will not advertise anywhere else. Failing to use recruitment agencies means that some candidates will not see these fantastic job advertisements and may miss the opportunity to work in a fantastic company with an excellent package.
  • Not only will recruitment agencies have the best jobs, they may also have access to the best candidates. Companies will benefit from the fact that a recruitment agency may have some of the best talent already registered on their books and it could mean finding the perfect candidate sooner rather than later.
  • There are many levels to the hiring process, including sorting through applications, interviewing, screening, and reference checks. A recruitment agency can take care of all of these steps bar the actual interview. By passing these processes to the recruitment agency, a company can ensure that it does not have to worry about calling previous employers for references or checking up on qualifications, etc. These jobs can all be taken care of by the agency before the interview, and that will give the employer peace of mind that the person they are interviewing has already passed the necessary checks.
  • A recruitment agency will want to make sure that the person they recommend for the position is the best person for the job. They will therefore be meticulous in their vetting process and will only choose candidates that they feel will do the job to the best of their ability. This gives employers the security that the candidate should be a good fit for the company.
  • A good recruitment agency can be used repeatedly for available positions within a company. Once they have found a successful candidate for a company, the company will feel confident that they will be able to do so again and it will take the worry out of the process. It means that when new positions become available, the agency will have the details they need and can find the perfect candidate as soon as possible.
  • Good recruitment agencies will work with both the client and the candidate and will try to help the candidate to make a good impression on the potential employer. This can be hugely beneficial to job seekers who are nervous about their interview.

Locating the Best Recruitment Agency

When it comes to recruitment in Inverses, HR Recruitment Services have access to some of the best positions and the best talent. We can help job seekers find the perfect position and can help employers to find the ideal candidate.

Source: http://bit.ly/1M2goIG

What HR Look For When Assessing A Candidate’s Job Fit

I’m learning the art of hiring. And every time I run a search for a client, I learn the craft a little more. Now that we have interviewed over 10,000 interviews,  I’m beginning to ask three basic questions about job fit as I assess a candidate for a particular job.

When I sit down with a candidate, I can tell pretty quickly if they’ve thought long and hard about the role and if it’s a good fit for them. It’s not that I’m smarter than anyone else; I just have a lot of reps under my belt when it comes to reading people quickly.

When I’m interviewing a candidate, these are some of the main categories I’m listening for in order to see if they are just applying to any job that comes their way or if they are intentionally thinking about job fit.

  1. Has their previous experience prepared them for this role?

I participated in the #AskForbes twitter chat a couple weeks ago. One of the questions that got a ton of engagement was about hiring for education versus hiring for experience. While I do think education is important and and can be immensely helpful, I would choose experience every time.

I believe size and scope of previous experience is one of the key determining characteristics for success in a future role. As the saying goes, “Past performance is the best indicator of future behavior.” While a few business writers might disagree, I’ve seen this truth played out time and time again.

It’s also important to note that the saying is “past performance,” not past success. In fact, I love asking people to tell me about a time they failed and what they learned from it. Hearing their story helps me understand what behavior they displayed when they failed. Did they take responsibility, fix the failure, and grow from the experience, or did they blame-shift and play the victim?

I’m not looking for someone who has a 100% success rate doing the exact same role. I’m looking for someone who has a track record of positivity, problem-solving, and growth when facing new challenges.

  1. Have they developed themselves and the people around them?

Not everyone on your staff needs to desire to lead a team. Every team needs both great leaders and great followers. However, I would argue that now more than ever, soft skills are vital to becoming an irreplaceable team member.

When I’m interviewing a candidate, I’m looking for someone who genuinely enjoys helping people find solutions, because whether you work for a church or for a tech startup, ultimately, we’re all helping people find solutions. I believe this so strongly, that “solution-side living” is one of the core values at my company.

I see way too many people make the mistake of judging a candidate solely based on output. While results are important (see my point above), I believe that it’s invaluable to hire team members who value people and investing in them.

  1. Does the organizational culture match the candidate’s wiring?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a million times: Culture trumps competency every time. When I’m interviewing a candidate, I’m looking for someone who has researched the organization, evaluated its culture, and has the self awareness to know whether it matches their own wiring.

Questions like, “This is a well-established organization of fifty years. I like to move pretty fast. Do you think that will be a problem?” or, “I’m big on systems and processes. I noticed this is a young company. Do they have sustainable systems and processes in place to support long-term growth?” show me the candidate is being discerning about the organizational culture and whether or not it would be a fit for them.

Both the employer and potential employees need to spend a lot of time and energy assessing culture fit in order to ensure it’s a good fit for both parties. If a culture fit isn’t there between the company and the candidate, both parties should have the wisdom to walk away.

The more a candidate can honestly evaluate their own experience and articulate it to me, the more realistic the expectations of both parties are throughout the interviewing and hiring process. If you look for candidates who are intentionally considering culture, chemistry, and competency fit throughout their job search, you’re much more likely to hire people with the discernment and soft skills to help take both them and your organization to the next level.

 

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2eIamSU

FIVE QUESTIONS THAT HR ASK TO JOB CANDIDATES

Job interviews can be really unpleasant for interviewers and candidates alike. A 30-minute chat sandwiched between a busy hiring manager’s afternoon meetings isn’t always the best way to get to know somebody, let alone judge their fit for an open role.

But over my past few years in the hiring seat, I’ve developed a set of five go-to questions that are easy to ask within the space of a half hour and still lead to revealing answers. Together, they give me a pretty comprehensive idea of who an individual is, how well they know their craft, how quick they are on their feet, and whether I’d be happy to see them every day.

And over time, I’ve found that asking this same set of questions has helped me get a sense for how everyone is performing against the same criteria, which means I can make apples-to-apples comparisons. The people who knock their job interviews out of the park are invariably the ones we hire, and who go on to thrive. Here are the five questions I always ask:

1. What’s Your Greatest Career Hit And The Role You Played In It?

Why it works: This question allows you to get a sense of the individual’s working process, whether they can lead and contribute, and how enthusiastic they are. It also lets you know their perception of quality. They might choose to talk about a student project (if they’re just starting out), a global integrated campaign, or a startup that they founded or contributed to.

I tend to spend the most amount of time digging into a candidate’s answer to this question–usually I’ll allot 10 minutes to discussing it, whereas the subsequent four only take five minutes apiece–probing for the specifics, and pulling up the work they’re talking about on the internet.

Answers that work: A detailed walk-through of the project that outlines their sources of data, inspiration, challenges and triumphs, along with a clear explanation of why it was successful and why they were proud of it.

Answers that doesn’t Work: An inability to explain their processes, or an eagerness to say that the thing that didn’t happen was the fault of the client/the creative director/the universe–anyone else but themselves.

2. How Your Discipline Is Changing? What’s One Company That’s Adapting Well?

Why it works: The world is changing quickly, and we want people who understand and embrace new opportunities.

Answers that work: A CRM strategist once described the way Glossier is inventing a new model for digital commerce and community-building. A visual designer told me about the way GE made machines brilliant in the smaller spaces of Instagram, and a copywriter gave a blow-by-blow account of the Twitter beef between Wendy’s and Hardee’s.

Answers that doesn’t Work: “Has it changed?”

3. What’s The Last Thing You Read, Saw, Or Listened To That You Wanted To Tell Someone About?

Why it works: I look for curiosity. I legitimately don’t care if the answer is Game of Thrones, as long as they have an interesting take and an ability to communicate it clearly.

Answers that work: There are too many to list, but here are some great examples from our recent hires:

  • A strategist who described an article about the CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro investing in hydroponics products that seem geared to the burgeoning cannabis industry
  • A designer who pulled out a book about interface design in science fiction
  • A creative who talked about Big Little Lies, and how Reese Witherspoon’s production career was an empowering response to the lack of roles for older women in Hollywood

Answers that doesn’t Work: Someone who mentions something they haven’t read properly, or only have flicked through when they were at the airport.

4. What’s A Current Cultural Phenomenon You Want Nothing To Do With?

Why it works: Because we want them to have opinions and not be afraid to express them.

Answers that work: Anything, just as long as they can explain why. Here are some examples we’ve seen persuasively argued: Coachella, cyber-bullying, the word “xennial,” internet outrage, transparent jeans, identity politics, Twitter, dressing children up as animals, the coopting of the term “self-care” by marketers.

Answers that doesn’t WorkSaying you don’t like “politics,” for instance, without being specific about what you find disconcerting.

5. What Do You Do For Fun?

Why it works: Because we work hard, and maintaining a life outside of it is important. I want to hear how they stay grounded and what makes them happy.

Answers that work: Their own genuine answer.

Answers that doesn’t Work: Not having an answer at all.

Top 5 Human Resources Concerns in the Workplace Today!!

While it’s a given that the workforce is in a state of constant change and always has been it’s quite fair to say that today, it changes faster than ever. In this culture of rapid change fueled by generational shifts and technological advancement, human resources departments have their work cut out for them. From sourcing the best talent and developing it to be even better, to driving leadership and navigating the tricky waters of the “gig economy,” HR faces more challenges than ever. Here are some of the largest concerns facing today’s human resources:

The Gig Economy Is Growing

The last few years have seen a shift in the way that people work a shift that will only continue. Freelance and contract-based work are at an all-time high, and the portion of the workforce made up of such contingent workers is expected to reach 40 per cent by 2020. The reason is two-fold: for the contingent worker, they make more money per hour, and for the employer, they spend less on labor. But this presents a significant challenge to human resources. The talent pool, for one, is harder to navigate. Additionally, if companies are not careful about properly classifying contingent workers, they may find themselves in a difficult situation come tax season.

Creating a Powerful Team

This issue sees some overlap with the growth of freelance and contract work. Crafting the best possible team has always been a prevalent human resources concern a team that includes top talent in their fields, that can communicate and collaborate and succeed together. When you add a growth in the gig economy to this, it becomes more challenging. How do you make the best team, when a portion of that team works remotely? This is likely to be an ongoing challenge for human resources, one that will require true dedication to solve.

Streamlining HR Management

With the job of human resources management becoming more complex over time, any opportunity to make it more efficient is a welcome one. By taking advantage of new and powerful purpose-driven software programs, human resources managers are empowered to take their work to the next level without having to put in hours and hours of overtime. Integrated software solutions that combine human resource management, customer relationship management, and more, can be an incredible asset.

Talent Acquisition

Whether the talent you are looking for is full-time, freelance, or contract-based, getting your hands on top talent is going to be a major issue moving forwards. Holding onto that talent in an incredibly competitive job market will be even harder. Today’s workforce is seeing shorter and shorter tenures at jobs and the reason for this, at least in part, is that people are less willing than ever to tolerate low levels of job satisfaction. So in addition to being able to find great talent in your sector, you also have to be able to offer them an attractive position, and work consistently to maintain high qualities of job satisfaction.

Fostering Leadership

With shorter and shorter tenures at jobs, you’ll also see fewer people staying in one place long enough to grow into a leadership role. This is a major issue for human resources, and one that can’t be ignored. It’s of great importance to not only recognize leadership potential in people but to develop those qualities, nurturing them so that they grow and mature. By investing in leadership development, you not only make employees more invested in their work, but you create powerful leaders who go on to do great things.

To stay relevant in an increasingly new and constantly evolving job market, human resources managers need to be certain that they face these challenges head-on while being ready to adapt to new models and paradigms of work. But then again, hasn’t this always been the case? As previously stated, change is the only constant. How you navigate that change is how you define your future.

Source: http://bit.ly/2vEuLDe

Five Ways To Always Get The Right Person For The Job!!

For small, growing startups, each new hire is critical. Get the wrong person for a key role and suddenly your fast track to success becomes a time-sucking pit stop.

Today, we employ more than 100 people and we have an above average success rate with new hires. I’m involved each time we bring in a new hinter and have learned these five lessons for consistently finding the right person for the job.

1.   Hire your weakness.

As a founder, you get used to doing most things yourself. But it’s important to recognize where your skill set falls short. Finding people to fill these gaps helps you focus on what you do best. The classic example is Mark Zuckerberg hiring Sheryl Sandberg to run the business side of Facebook so he could remain focused on all things tech.

Hiring my weakness is something I’ve done consistently. Even though I had grown AOL’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) operation into a billion-dollar business, I also knew that the analytics side of DTC marketing wasn’t one of my strengths. So, I hired a performance marketer who is an expert in all things analytics and now a huge chunk of our sales are DTC.

2.   Use your network.

It’s easy to become completely consumed by the process of building a business. But it’s critical for leaders to spend time away from the office, meeting new people both inside and outside your own industry.

My network is a trusted source of advice and perspective, as well as a valuable rolodex of quality candidates when it’s recruiting time. According to Jobvite, referrals have the highest conversion rates, shortest recruitment process and stay with the company longer. Whenever you have a new opening, let your network know.

3.   Potential is better than experience.

Though our core products are categorized as beverages, I don’t always look for beverage industry experience when I’m reviewing resumes. We’re about healthy living, not creating a craving for sugar-filled fizzy drinks. Having worked at Coca-Cola doesn’t make a person right for us.

Instead I want to see evidence that people have been involved in growing a business, especially in the lifestyle space. It doesn’t have to have been a success. A person who can identify why something went wrong and learn from it is equally as interesting as someone who hits home runs all the time.

4.   Explore their goals.  

The standard interview question “where do you see yourself in five years?” is designed to show a candidate’s level of ambition. But it’s often a waste of time. People just name a job title that suggests enough progress up the corporate ladder without ever revealing anything about who they are.

I’m more interested in understanding what a candidate wants to do with their life. Do they ultimately want to be known as someone who followed a passion and shook up the status quo? That would show me that they have the curiosity, drive, and enthusiasm required for a fast-growing business in a competitive space.

5.   Good cultural fit.

My driving force behind starting my company was a desire to lead a healthier lifestyle. I would say that every hint employee is physically active and conscious about what they eat and drink. Not only that, they are passionate about helping others remove sugar and sweeteners from their drinks.

We’ve hired so many people who came to us simply because they loved our products and what they represent and wanted to be a part of it. Whatever your business, potential new hires should have some emotional connection to what you do. Otherwise you’re just providing a paycheck.

On that Monday morning when I’m introducing a new hire to the company, I want to be confident it’s going to work out. These five tips have served me well and following them will help you find the right person for the job.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2iQm4zZ

How Positive Employee Morale Benefits Your Business !!

Employee satisfaction and retention are common key performance indicators for business success, but beyond a surface level, how well do you know your employees? Isn’t there a work-life balance for a reason? Past generations of employers have gone by the mantra of “Leave your personal life at home where it belongs” to employee and employer detriment.

The new generations of employers understand that the dash between work and life in the term “work-life balance” is critical to the success of the company beyond a surface level. These employers realize how an employee’s personal life directly impacts their professional life through morale, environment and productivity. Promoting positive employee morale and getting to know more about your employees on a personal level directly benefits your business.

Putting the “Human” in Human Resources

Not every CEO has time to memorize every employee’s hobbies, the names of their children or their zodiac sign. But employers do need to take the time to acknowledge the “human” in “human resources,” by developing more inclusive policies and recognizing individual, yet essential, employee needs.

It’s especially important for employees who are putting in 12+ hour days, because their dedication may literally be killing them by increasing stress and risk for depression, diabetes, heart disease, sleep deprivation and more.

In fact, employees who think they have a positive work-life balance are more productive and dedicated by 21 percent than those who don’t think so, according to a survey of 50,000 employees worldwide. To gain these benefits, the employer only has to offer beneficial work-life services and policies that employees can choose to participate in.

You don’t necessarily have to know every employee’s favorite pizza topping, but it’s vital to recognize their needs from a human perspective and address those issues. In the long run, prioritizing your employees’ morale will be beneficial to the company as a whole as well as to the individual employees.

The Case for Prioritizing Employee Morale

Most employers would agree that keeping employees happy and healthy is intrinsic to a company’s success, but is focusing more resources on boosting employee morale less cost effective than an old-fashioned pat on the back?

Paid sick-leave days cost employers $160 billion annually, but decreasing stress and health risks saves employers money. Meanwhile, extending paid sick leave to contract workers decreases their stress levels because they know they have access to financial security.

In either situation, employees are less likely to show up to work and spread illness due to an unfortunate catch-22: personal health or a roof over your family’s head?

Keeping work hours reasonable can increase productivity. For example, employees in Greece work an average of 42 hours per week or 2,042 hours a year. In 2014, German workers, who averaged a 28-hour work week, or 1,371 hours a year, were more productive by 70 percent.

Burned out employees are more likely to quit. Add in recruitment costs and your business costs skyrocket over what it’d cost to retain that employee and improve their work situation. One study revealed that one out of four workers who felt they had no support structure for adequate work-life balance made plans to quit in the following two years, in comparison to 17 percent who felt they had support.

Interestingly, a separate study found that those who implemented flexible work plans reported an 89 percent retention increase from HR. These arrangements benefit employee satisfaction, health and retention, but it’s important that employers take active steps in making these types of arrangements known to their employees.

The median cost of employee turnover is 21 percent of their annual salary for all positions except physicians and executives, so it’s more economical to retain employees and invest in employee morale. By prioritizing employee morale, employers acknowledge the importance of staff contributions on a personal and professional level.

Cultivate a work environment that promotes true work-life balance by providing access to supportive services and making employees aware of these initiatives. Employees simply having the knowledge of support systems is enough to boost morale, but employers can go the extra mile by being willing to provide realistic and flexible work plans and actively promoting a positive, healthy work environment.

Source: http://bit.ly/2vrgYQm