Category Archives: Hiring Difficulty

You Think We Have Skills Shortages Now? Let’s Talk in 2020!

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Skills shortages in 2020 will rise to an entirely new level. And I’m not talking about STEM skills, although they’re critical. Or the ability to speak multiple parched earthlanguages, which needs to be more common in the U.S. Or even the readiness of college graduates to take a place in the economy, which a majority of employers report is lacking.

I’m talking about the skills that the globally-connected, superstructured, computationally focused, smart-machine powered organizations of the future staffed by longer living and working, new media using employees will require.

We’re all thinking about that right? We’re re-writing job descriptions and re-wording job postings to incorporate the emerging skills we know we’ll need. Aren’t we? Well, maybe not. We know the names of the skills we can’t get today – those STEM, analytical thinking, communication and personal responsibility/accountability skills we’re sure our young people don’t have.

But really. What about the skills for the future?  I’m not sure what we’ll call those skills. I’m not even sure they’re skills, to be honest, but here’s what I do know:

  • People are living longer and will want/need to have longer careers
  • Smart machines are taking over the most routine workplace tasks
  • Data – big, medium and small – are changing the way decisions are being made at every organizational level
  • Text isn’t the only way we communicate any more
  • Organization structures and behaviors are changing due to social technologies
  • We say “Global” but what that really mean is that innovation and growth will be primarily driven through the integration of differing cultural norms and diversity

IFTF LogoThe Institute for the Future’s Future Work Skills 2020 highlights recent research that predicts the kinds of skills for which we’ll be recruiting in 2020 (which is only 6 and-a-half years away). Trust me when I write that the majority of HR/recruiting professionals are not ready for this. ATSs aren’t ready for this. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter aren’t ready for this. And clearly, our education infrastructure isn’t ready for this. And yet, here we are.

The IFTF identifies and defines ten skills that we need to begin to teach now so we can deploy them in six-and-a-half-years.  They are:

  1. Sense-making:  the ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
  2. Social Intelligence:  the ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
  3. Novel & Adaptive Thinking:  proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based
  4. Cross-cultural Competency:  ability to operate in different cultural settings
  5. Computational Thinking:  the ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning
  6. New-media Literacy:  the ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication
  7. Transdisciplinarity:  literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines
  8. Design Mindset:  the ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes
  9. Cognitive Load Management:  the ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques
  10. 10.   Virtual Collaboration:  the ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual teaSocial intelligence (we call it EQ today, I think) and Cross-cultural Competency are certainly emerging in more sophisticated and global organizations currently. Perhaps we have a leg up with these two.

But have you ever seen a job description requiring Transdisciplinarity and a Design Mindset?

What kind of behavioral interview questions would you use to determine if a candidate has Cognitive Load Management and Novel/Adaptive Thinking Skills?

How would you Tweet those jobs? How would your careers page change?

And once onboard, how would you manage the performance of employees’ Virtual Collaboration and Sense-making?

And speaking of job descriptions and performance management, how will New-media Literacy and Social Intelligence change the very nature of these processes?

Whew! We think the current skills shortage is frustrating and scary. It could be that the future skills shortage will upend everything!

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Filed under Annual Performance Reviews, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Hiring Difficulty, HR Data, Institute for the Future, Performance Management, Skills Shortage, STEM, Workforce Skills

Sources of Hire: Is Perception Reality?

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Along with Quality of Hire, Source of Hire is starting to take center stage in the talent acquisition world. The annual report tracking and analyzing Source of Hire from CareerXroads is out today.  Sources of Hire 2013:  Perception is Reality contains truly interesting data – understandable and actionable.  And the authors ask some really important questions about B2D (Big Bad Data) and how to measure the pre-application talent supply chain.

Early in the whitepaper, Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler, the principals at CareerXroads, show the following chart of source of hire data from 1997 – collected by SHRM and EMA (now part of SHRM).

Sources of Hire 1997

Talk about a blast from the past! Newspaper ads generated the most hires at 28.7% of hires and Agencies – both contingent and executive search – generated 12.5% of hires. My how the world has changed.  Here’s the 2012 data:

2012 Sources of Hire

Print has fallen from a combined (newspaper and trade journals) 32.9% to 2.3%!  “Internet” has grown from 2.1% (had Al Gore even invented the internet in 1997?) to a combined (career site, job boards and social media) 44.4%!

There is a lot in which to be interested in comparing these two charts, so have fun.

There nuggets of pure gold in this whitepaper.  Two in particular stood out to me. The first is the expectation for increased hiring in 2013.

Total Hires 2013 Source of Hire

If true, we’re about to see a whole lot of domestic hiring!  The national hiring figures are trending slowly upward, but at the same time we read in the press that the implementation of the new health care rules is retarding hiring in the small business sector, the sector credited with being the job creation “engine.” This will be interesting to watch. Will the need for growth overcome the risk and costs associated with that growth?

The second nugget is the reminder that the source of the majority of hires is the pool of existing employees.

Internal Movement Source of Hire

The whitepaper accurately points out that internal movement and promotion are higher during difficult economic periods – and this is evident in the graph above.  However, a steady increase in this category may also be due to the perception of a growing skills scarcity in the outside talent market.

Enjoy the whitepaper. And begin to ask yourself some of the questions posed by Gerry and Mark.  Questions like…

  • How comfortable are you defending the 2013 plan for your budget, recruiters, technology tools, partners, vendors, training and your sources to your peers and colleagues?

  • How much should your 2013 recruiting strategy include improving your collection and analysis methods?

  • Are referrals the best source of hire?

  • What “Sources” interact with each other the most?

  • How can I collect Source of Hire data?

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Filed under CareerXroads, China Gorman, Connecting Dots, Data Point Tuesday, Gerry Crispin, Hiring, Hiring Difficulty, HR Data, Mark Mehler, Quality of Hire, SHRM, Source of Hire, Talent Acquisition

Hiring is Broken

SmartRecruiters, a two-year old recruitment platform for social enterprises, published the findings of a survey of 1,100 online adults on today’s hiring process.

The findings are:

a)      Fascinating

b)      Not terribly surprising if you’re paying attention

c)       The stuff of nightmares

d)      All of the above

If you chose “d” you are correct.  Here’s the data:

  • Finding the right candidate takes too long:  55% of respondents involved in hiring at their company reported that filling a vacant position typically takes longer than 60 days, and 43% reported that open positions aren’t filled within their required timeframe
  • Employers settle for good enough:  almost half of respondents involved in hiring report settling for a candidate that was just “good enough” because finding the right candidate took too long
  • Most people are unhappy with hiring:  more than 60% of respondents, job-seekers and employers said that their experience with the hiring process has been less than positive
  • Inefficient hiring impacts more than HR:  70% of people surveyed indicated that their company includes at least three employees in each hiring decision
  • Candidates give up before applying:  almost half – 46% — of respondents have chosen not to apply for a job they are interested in due to an application process that was “too lengthy or complicated”
  • Candidates expect a more mobile, more social experience:  nearly half – 47% — of people surveyed said they would be more likely to apply for a job if they could apply with their online social profile (such as LinkedIn or Facebook) rather than with a resume and cover letter, and 57% would be interested in applying from their mobile device if that option existed

This is one of those areas of talent management — like performance management — where everyone, all the stakeholders, knows that the current systems don’t work.  And they don’t work with a vengeance.  But getting it to the top of the “to do” list for action never seems to happen.

With more than 15 million Americans looking for work (and another several million who have given up), taking more than 60 days to fill positions seems ludicrous.

With more than 15 million Americans looking for work (and another several million who have given up), employers settling for good enough because their systems are cumbersome and selection is hard and there are lots of candidates shortchanges the business and ensures a workforce that won’t deliver on the organization’s goals and strategies.

With more than 15 million Americans looking for work (and another several million who have given up), having more than 60% of the processes’ participants report a less than positive experience means we’re demotivating all the stakeholders to do this well.

With more than 15 million Americans looking for work (and another several million who have given up), involving 3 or more people in the hiring process might not be such a bad idea.  But when it takes months to arrange interviews instead of hours we’re missing the most valuable talent.  Guaranteed.

With more than 15 million Americans looking for work (and another several million who have given up), using processes that dis-incent participation – even when there’s a job at the other end – shows that we don’t value the candidate pool or the candidate experience.  No matter how much we bemoan the lack of talent that meets our needs (see my posts here and here), using systems that intimidate, confuse and scare applicants is simply crazy.

With more than 15 million Americans looking for work (and another several million who have given up), using pre-existing data like profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook can only improve the efficiency of the process.

And it’s not that recruiters aren’t working hard.  And it’s not that job seekers aren’t doing their best to connect and market their abilities. It’s that we haven’t prioritized this as a “must fix.”  Leveraging technology to match supply and demand is a no-brainer.  And emerging businesses like SmartRecuiters, HireVue, RiseSmart, Pinstripe, Acertiv, Achievers – and all the other innovative tech-based solutions out there – have elegant, easy-to-use, cost effective applications that can start to solve these issues.  And start to solve them NOW!

So yeah: hiring is broken.  And yeah, fixing it could be really easy.

The real question is:  why haven’t we moved hiring to the top of the to-do list?  Hiring will continue to be the stuff of nightmares until we decide to fix it.  It might be that simple.

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Filed under Annual Performance Reviews, Candidate Experience, China Gorman, Hiring, Hiring Difficulty, Performance Management, SmartRecruiters, Talent Acquisition

HR Talent Shortage

SHRM has just released a new report in its series on The Ongoing Impact of the Recession. The current release focuses on the Manufacturing Industry.  Previous reports have focused on the Federal Government, State and Local Government and the Finance Industry.

This report clearly shows the continued strong degree of difficulty in hiring professionals with STEM education backgrounds – as well as mangers and executives, the skilled trades, sales professionals, HR professionals and accounting/finance professionals. It should come as no surprise to any business leader or talent management professional that finding professionals in the U.S. with STEM backgrounds is difficult.  The U.S. education infrastructure is not producing enough graduates in these disciplines. See my posts here and here.

It is surprising to note, however, that in addition to reporting a high degree of difficulty in finding STEM professionals and skilled trade workers, manufacturing employers are also having a difficult time finding managerial and executive talent, and sales, HR and accounting/finance talent.

Hmmmm.  A shortage of HR talent. Is this good or bad news?

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Filed under Education Deficit, Hiring Difficulty, HR, SHRM, STEM, Talent pipeline