Posts Tagged ‘hr tips’

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.


Building a Company Customer Service Culture through Hiring

September 24th, 2013

customer service cultureIs your company doing everything possible to maximize the level of customer service you provide?

As a human resources professional, you have a lot to do with building your company’s customer service culture because of the decisions you make about whether to hire each job candidate. That’s the contention of a recent post by Micah Solomon at Forbes, who notes that there are two primary reasons that determine how your hiring decisions will affect customer service.

The first  is the fact each worker interacts with customers on a face-to-face basis, and the second point has to do with how your employees influence one another through peer pressure to give good (or bad) customer service.

Customer Service on the Front Lines

It may seem obvious on the face of it, but it’s important for you to keep in mind that every person you hire will have a big impact on the customer service your organization provides. The people on your front lines interact with customers the most, and each encounter can lead to increased customer loyalty or drive people to leave if they are ignored or treated rudely.

For example, the Forbes piece notes that at the Mayo Clinic, the needs of patients come first, and this attitude is reflected in the behavior of everyone in the organization, including the people who do the hiring and those who mentor new hires.

At Apple, fanatically devoted employees not only enjoy creating new products and showing other people how they work, they also are driven to protect intellectual property.

Southwest Airlines employees are well-known for going above and beyond the call of duty for their customers, including agents at the gate moving luggage and pilots assisting disabled people moving about in their wheelchairs. This is the result of a corporate culture that embraces a “can-do” attitude at every level of employee, and customers are taking notice.

In a hiring environment like Silicon Valleys that his chock full of competitive start ups – customer service for a new app or website can make the difference between failing and succeeding.  The first few hiring decisions will likely determine the ongoing customer service pathway for a start up.

Peer Pressure Affects Customer Service Too

Peer pressure is a major influence on the level of customer service an organization offers, the Forbes piece notes. Basically, if a new employee sees how well his fellow workers treat each customer, he will be more inclined to treat them well too, because of his desire to fit in with the other employees.

At Disneyland, people marvel at how janitors rush in to pick up trash nearly as soon as it hits the ground. This is not because Walt Disney would legendarily fire people on the spot for failing to pick up litter, but because so many old-timers modeled this behavior to their fellow workers.

When you see a successful employee doing something like leaping to pick up discarded popcorn boxes, you will be inclined to do the same when you see a guest drop trash. The same principle applies to providing excellent customer service. If those around you habitually go out of their way to help each customer, you will find yourself behaving the same way. On the other hand, if employees slack off when it comes to customer service, they could infect their colleagues with their negative attitude, and we all know how bad that can be for business.

The next time you are evaluating a group of candidates to fill a position, you should remember to consider the customer service ramifications of each new hire. The hiring choices you make will have a long-lasting effect on the quality of your organization’s customer service.

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.