Posts Tagged ‘hiring managers’

Hiring Managers: Be Empathetic To Applicants, Even Those You Don’t Hire

November 18th, 2014

When you are feeling rushed, harried and otherwise stressed out while performing your duties as a human resources professional, it’s not hard to see how your actions or even inaction can be interpreted as rudeness.

Many business professionals keep in mind the adage about being nice to the people you meet on your way up, because it’s always possible that one day you’ll be encountering them on your way down. This is not exactly the Golden Rule, but it’s a good rule of thumb when doing business.

It’s important to remember to be empathetic to all applicants who cross your threshold, even those you don’t wind up hiring.

Hurry up and Wait

Job applicants are finding themselves having to produce more material than they may be accustomed to during the tryout phase of the recruitment process. Then, after they generate a stack of documents in a brutally short timeframe, they are dismayed because the employer takes months to respond. It’s perfectly reasonable to request materials to get an idea of what the recruit has to offer, but you have to treat them with the same respect you would give a hired consultant or an existing member of your team.

Avoid asking potential employees to rush with unexpectedly fast turnaround times on sample materials, proposals, advises Anne Kreamer in a recent post at the Harvard Business Review. Instead, allocate a reasonable time for deliverables, and make the timing of such requests transparent from the beginning.

Be Honest from the Start

Have you ever prolonged an interview with an applicant because you knew he or she was just not going to be a good fit, but you didn’t have the courage to say so from the outset?

This is an example of being discourteous, noted a recent report by Roberta Matuson at Forbes. You don’t want unsuitable applicants to take up too much of your time and resources. Consider then, that applicants don’t want you to take up their time with a pointless interview just because you are afraid of hurting their feelings.

The Courtesy of a Reply

When you engage with a recruit over the course of weeks or months and then let things trail off without giving them a response about the status of the position they interviewed for, it can leave a sour taste in applicants’ mouths.

Set aside sufficient time in your schedule so you can give everyone a response, and customize your message instead of sending out boilerplate whenever possible.

If you think there is a chance that you may not have been as empathetic as you’d prefer when dealing with job applicants recently, you have the upper hand over other HR professionals in that you are sensitive to the issue and are interested in making a change. Putting yourself in other people’s shoes while evaluating whether they might be a good fit in your organization will make a big difference.

 

March Madness – What Hiring Managers & Recruiters Can Learn

March 21st, 2014

march madnessIn business, we often find ourselves using sports metaphors to capture the essence of a situation, such as noting that a new hire “knows the ropes” (from expertise in sailing) or that someone has “jumped the gun” (referring to acting quickly without thinking things through, from the starter’s pistol in the world of track and field.)

With that in mind, it’s useful to consider that every year, as college basketball teams compete to see which is the best in the nation, America is fixated on March Madness. Hiring managers can learn a lot from basketball’s March Madness as they go through the process of recruiting and hiring new employees.

For example, when you see an underdog rising to the top during March Madness, you can view the process as comparable to when a new applicant uses hard work and talent to distinguish himself from the competition, notes a recent article by Tom Gimbel at Entrepreneur.

Applicants who may not immediately look like they are the best, at least on paper, can still rise to the top as HR managers get a chance to see them in action (during interviews).

The very process of screening through applicant resumes is akin to the weeding out period when poorly performing basketball teams fall by the wayside. You can look at your initial cuts (such as eliminating candidates who do not possess a college degree or lack experience using a particular application) in the same way that basketball teams are eliminated because they are ill-prepared to deliver the goods on the court, notes Gimbel.

Lester Picker, writing in the National Bureau of Economic Research, raises a question of bias that all hiring managers should keep in mind. He asked whether March Madness leads to “irrational exuberance in the NBA draft.”

The answer was that NBA personnel do not irrationally give too much weight to the most recent, dramatic and colorful data (players who make big, unexpected scores and teams who win unexpectedly). In fact, observing players giving an exceptionally good performance under all the hype and media attention is like watching a job applicant shine while under the glare of intense questioning by HR professionals.

Finally, when you like a promising candidate who is on the bubble, you are advised to follow up and make an offer before he is snatched up by one of your competitors. This is just like when teams identify a supremely talented player during March Madness and inundate him with lucrative offers.

Because sports metaphors like March Madness are so useful in describing the highly competitive world of recruitment and hiring, we should expect to see them remain as powerful tools amongst hiring managers and recruiters.

 

Bad Hires Will Cost Your Company

May 16th, 2013

avoid bad hiring practicesA lot of work can go into finding and hiring the best people for your organization, as any beleaguered human resources professional can attest. However, hard work is required in all cases – there are no shortcuts to making great hires. No successful company is going to rely on blind luck and wishful thinking when it comes to adding new employees to their roster. In fact, bad hires will cost you plenty, according to a recent report in Quartz.

Approximately 60 percent of employers throughout the world have indicated that they made a bad hire last year, notes a recently released CareeerBuilder survey of 6,000-plus hiring managers and human resources personnel.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive. It shows that a large proportion of companies reporting that they hired employees who wound up performing poorly or were otherwise a bad fit are located in Russia (88 percent), Brazil (87 percent) and China (87 percent).

The percentage in the United States is about 66 percent, the same amount as in Italy. Bad hiring numbers are a little better in the UK, where 62 percent of managers reported they wound up with problematic employees, followed by 59 percent in Japan, 58 percent in Germany and just 53 percent in France. The report did not indicate how many of these bad hires had already been fired.

One reason for the large percentage of bad hires in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) was because companies in these highly competitive, emerging markets are scrambling to hire from a smaller pool of qualified candidates.

HR professionals cited a rush to fill the job as being the main reason for making hiring mistakes. The second biggest reason was what the survey called “insufficient talent intelligence.”

The negative results of these bad hires include a reduction in employee morale, poor relations with clients, dwindling sales and increased costs to hire new workers. Most companies pointed to losses in productivity because of their poor hiring choices.

Some 29 percent of human resources managers in India indicated that their bad hires wound up costing them at least $37,150, while their counterparts in China said their loss was $8,734. About 25 percent of American managers reported that the cost of a bad hire is more than $50,000.

Given the fact that bad hires will typically lead to your company losing a lot of time, money and effort, it’s prudent to make sure your HR department exercises due diligence when searching for, qualifying and recruiting new employees. In the long run, it’s better to do the work up front and make sure you are hiring the best people, rather than working harder to clean up after the mess that’s left from hiring under performing workers.