Quality of Hire and Data

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“Quality of Hire” is one of those terms – like “engagement” – that we all use and all mean different things when we use it. And there is no standard definition. Directionally, we’re probably all in the same ballpark. But there is no precise, function-wide, commonly agreed-upon, global definition.

That’s why I read with interest Joe Murphy’s Quality of Hire:  Data Makes the Difference. It was published by Wiley in the Summer 2016 issue of Employment Relations Today.

Joe believes that Quality of Hire is not an abstraction or a myth. He believes that “It is a practical measure, comprising core talent acquisition processes and hiring outcome variables. Its factors can be identified, tracked, and reported in both qualitative and quantitative terms.” And then he shows how.

There’s a wealth of critical information in this article if you are not really comfortable with analytics – including predictive analytics. It breaks it down simply. I like the Talent Analytics Maturity Model and the way it is introduced:

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There are 4 phases in the model that progressively advance in terms of the analytics


“Primitive analytics is the use of simple methods to organize random, text-based data.” Like that from a resume.


“Evaluative analytics is the mathematical analysis of relevant data.” Assigning numerical values to experience, or skills, or employers and adding them up.


“Speculative analytics involves the complex analysis of largely random data and some element of relevant work-related data.” Like that from analyzing “verbal responses, converting spoken words to text to explore patterns and relationships.”


“This method is characterized by experiment design and the conducting of correlational analysis with two or more sets of highly structured, job-relevant data.” These can be collected through work product samples and surveys about experience and work style.

The bottom line is this:

The growing use of data and analytics in all stages of the hiring process helps companies make more educated decisions about the people they hire and lessen the randomness of personal judgement in making these hiring decisions.

Moving beyond trying to make sense of random data (like resumes, LinkedIn profiles and notes from an interview) to using relevant data and advanced analytics really will make a difference in hiring outcomes and improve the quality of your hiring. Take a look at this article. Joe does a great job of making the case for the use of analytics to improve quality of hire – and to do it consciously and continuously.

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Filed under Analytics, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Hiring, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Trends, Joe Murphy, Quality of Hire, Recruiting, Shaker

Talent Acquisition Systems

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Aptitude Research Partners recently published a thorough analysis of the Talent Acquisition landscape. It is a thing of beauty. If you’re looking for an ATS, if you’re thinking about your talent acquisition processes, if you’re wondering who does what to whom in the talent acquisition space, this report is a must-read. It’s meaty, it’s thorough, it’s a complete overview of the providers in the space.

It identifies 10 trends that you must know if you’re tinkering with your processes and systems:

  1. The need for simplicity
  2. Interview scheduling is a “must have”
  3. Do not leave the platform
  4. Recruitment marketing is a critical investment
  5. Not enough candidate feedback
  6. Reporting must be simple
  7. Services integrated into the technology deal
  8. More collaboration between recruiters and managers
  9. High volume is still a differentiator
  10. The marketplace is confusing

While some of those topics are a little opaque, you’ll be glad you investigated them.

But my favorite part of the report was the graphic showing the full HR technology landscape. Take a look:

Aptitude Research 1

This is one of the best one picture overviews of the HCM landscape. While you’re working on the talent acquisition sliver. Don’t lose sight of the rest of the pie!

Madeline Laurano and her analysts have outdone themselves. And they’ve done you a big solid. Take a look at the full report. You’ll be glad you did.


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Filed under Aptitude Research Partners, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Technology, HRM Technology, Madeline Laurano, Mollie Lombardi, Recruiting Technology, Talent Acquisition

People Are Fuel

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the astonishing shift in corporate valuations (here) – from overwhelmingly reliant on tangible assets to overwhelmingly reliant on intangible assets. I wasn’t alone in noticing this research. Aon Hewitt did as well. And mentioned it in an interesting executive brief, People Fuel Growth, The Role of Human Capital in Maximizing Growth.

What’s noteworthy about this brief, that reports findings from their recent study, is its organizational growth model that makes organizational strategy less of a focus than the people strategy. In other words, “people (culture) eat strategy for breakfast.”

Take a look at their simple growth model:

Aon Hewitt 1

Two of the external environment challenges noted in the brief are worth mentioning:

  • 70% of FORTUNE 1000 companies have disappeared in the last 70 years
  • Corporate profits peaked in 2015 and appear to be trending downward

These, together, with the results of pretty dramatic demographic shifts mean that as people are the driving force of corporate value, they are becoming themselves more valuable and more important to business growth. It’s pretty inescapable that people do, in fact, drive growth – and not through execution alone.

I look forward to seeing the complete study analysis that will expand on the conclusions in this brief.

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Filed under Aon Hewitt, business strategy, China Gorman, Corporate Valuation, Data Point Tuesday

Gender Equity And The Great Manager Divide

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Gender equality in the workplace is a topic much discussed today:  politically, socially, economically and demographically. Women everywhere wonder “what’s it going to take?” to be paid on par with men for doing the same work. Visier’s new Viser Insights™ Report:  Gender Equity gives some new insight into the demographic and economic side of this situation. It’s great data and will give you some new avenues to pursue as you lead your organization to more equitable compensation outcomes.

The analysis started with a subset of Visier’s database of anonymized, stardardized workforce data, representing over a million active employees. The subset included:

  • 165,000 U.S.-based employees
  • 31 Blue Chip companies
  • 11 of which are Fortune 1000

The organizations included are from a range of industries, such as Energy, Financial Services/Insurance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Technology with employees ranging from less than 999 to 50,000 employees.

The key findings broaden the context from a purely social context and include the following:

  • There is an increase in voluntary turnover and a pronounced dip in the percentage of women in the workforce between the ages of 25 and 40 (from 43% to 39%), the same age range in which women commonly have childre

  • The gender wage gap widens at age 32, starting with women earning 90% of the wages of men, and decreasing to women earning 82% of the wages of men by age 40

  • Women are underrepresented in manager positions from age 32 onwards – the same age at which the wage gap between men and women broadens

  • Manager wages are, on average, 2 times that of non-manager wages

  • Having the same representation of women in manager positions as men would reduce the gender wage gap to 10% across all age groups – an improvement most notable for the age 32 and older population

The graphs lay out this argument beautifully and are easily understood. For example,

Visier 1

What the analysis shows is that the gap in promotions/hiring to manager-level positions starts to widen at around age 32 between women and men. And this is exactly when women start leaving the workforce to focus on family and children. Makes total sense. This is what Visier has dubbed the Manager Divide. And, according to Viser’s data, the Manager Divide is a primary driver of wage inequality.

Visier 2This is a pretty clear picture of the divide. Conclusions include:

  • Removing the Manager Divide would reduce the gender wage gap by just over one third for workers over age 32

  • Removing both the Manager Divide and removing gender pay disparity in manager positions would cut the gender wage gap by one half for employees over age 32

The report continues by discussing the reality that even if organizations paid men and women equally for like positions, but had a lack of gender equity in filling manager positions, gender pay equity would not be reached in the aggregate. What follows is a convincing discussion about the childcare years that starts with this data point:

“Between the ages of 25 and 40 there is a notable and steady decline in the percent of women in the workforce. At the same time, the percent of women (out of the total workforce) in manager positions declines steeply.”

I encourage you download this report and get a broader understanding of the key factors impacting the wage gap. I think Visier is on to something important through the analysis of the data. The Manager Divide is real. It’s not just about women leaving the workforce to care for children. It’s most certainly also about gender equity in managerial promotion opportunities.




Filed under Analytics, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Gender Equity, Pay Equity, Visier

Are You Putting All Your Eggs Into The Engagement Basket?

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George LaRocque, Founder and Principal Analyst at #HRWINS, has published a new report that caught my eye. Where Purpose Meets Performance:  Can HR Tech Solve Culture, is an interesting look at the culture challenges of the U.S. middle market (5,000 and fewer employees) which employs roughly 90% of the U.S. workforce.

Here’s where he grabbed me:

“Studies show that companies with performance enhancing cultures far out-perform those without it in terms of revenue growth, stock price growth, and net income growth. Yet, it remains nearly impossible to tie HR and people programs to business results. Business leaders and HR practitioners have looked to employee engagement as a measure of successful corporate culture but first even defining employee engagement presents a challenge. There have long been efforts to standardize its definition and measurement, and the result has been just the opposite. We’ve seen a proliferation of science and methods narrowly looking at everything from happiness to community embeddedness, social network analysis, motivation and incentives, collaboration, personality and culture assessments, and more.”

What follows is an interesting discussion, with 3 strong case studies, that shows how the acquisition and deployment of core HR technology is supporting the increase in HR credibility and impact on corporate performance, as well as greater employee satisfaction. It’s interesting stuff and incudes results from several surveys that George put out in the field.

At 20 pages, it isn’t a long read and is well organized. The main points cover the following:

  • What employees rate as the leading drivers of their feeling of engagement.
  • What employers feel are the HR and people programs delivering the best ROI.
  • How employee engagement fits in the new world of work.
  • What role core HR technology plays in building culture and aligning with business performance.

The survey work underpinning this analysis lead George to believe as I do:

“…perhaps the strongest component of culture that resonates with employees, of ALL generations, is having purpose and meaning in their work.”

The survey results, as shown below, show that, at least in the vast middle market, Baby Boomers and GenX are the most interested demographic as it relates to meaning and purpose. That’s not what you expected, is it? But it tracks with my research and observations.


This report includes several such graphs and data points that provide solid context for whatever thinking and planning you’re doing regarding culture, engagement and your employee experience. Putting all your eggs in the “engagement” basket will most likely not produce the returns you expect. There are stronger fundamentals that may well have a stronger positive impact on your employees’ experience. Especially if you’re in the middle market.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, #HRWINS, Baby Boomers, China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, GenX, George LaRocque, HR Technology, Millennials

Tangible Vs. Intangible Assets

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You might not be aware of a trend in the corporate valuation world. You might not think that developments in how companies are being valued by the financial world would be of interest to HR. But, hold on to your horses! Validation of “our people are our greatest asset” is here!

Ocean Tomo LLC, the Intellectual Capital Merchant Banc™ firm, publishes an annual study of intangible asset market value. The most recent, published in early 2015, includes a rather eye-popping chart. But first a couple of definitions.

Tangible Asset (from Investopedia):  A tangible asset is an asset that has a physical form. Tangible assets include both fixed assets, such as machinery, buildings and land, and current assets, such as inventory. The opposite of a tangible asset is an intangible asset.

Intangible Asset (also from Invetopedia):  An intangible asset is an asset that is not physical in nature. Corporate intellectual property (items such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, business methodologies), goodwill and brand recognition are all common intangible assets in today’s marketplace.

Tangible assets are things. Physical things. Intangible assets are the results of human intellect and work. And the financial value of those – tangible and intangible assets – have completely reversed in the last 40 years. Completely!

Ocean Tomo provides the following chart showing this complete reversal.

Ocean Tomo Intangible AssetsIf ever the argument was made that our people are, in fact, our biggest asset, this nails it. In 1975 tangible assets comprised 83% of the S&P 500 market value; in 2015 intangible assets made up 84% of the S&P 500 market value. That means people, human beings are the greatest driver of corporate value — and not by a little bit.

So here’s the question:  if the finance/valuation world is truly valuing our organizations based on the value of our human capital, why is it so hard to talk about – much less act upon – the value of building cultures fit for human beings?

Something to think about during this week’s heat wave.


Filed under China Gorman, Company Culture, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Human Capital, Ocean Tomo

Engaged and Committed or Dazed and Confused?

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There are a great deal of research and writing about engagement. Sometimes, I think it’s all we see. And there are a lot of solutions providers who will help you measure engagement, diagnose why engagement is low, increase engagement – and any other thing you want to do with or about engagement.

Here’s the challenge:  every one defines engagement in a different way. It’s enough to drive you crazy. It drives me crazy. Maybe not dazed and confused, but definitely crazy. I spend most of my time at the intersection of corporate culture, business performance, what I call humanity. You could just as easily call it engagement – except I think humanity is bigger than engagement.

My particular bias against “engagement” notwithstanding, my friends at Effectory International in Amsterdam have published a very interesting report introducing their compilation of this year’s Global Employee Engagement Index (vol. 3). I am interested in this report for three reasons:

  1. I know and like these folks a lot
  2. I actually like their definition of engagement
  3. They’ve indexed engagement globally – in 54 countries around the world

It’s pretty interesting reading. Here’s how they think about engagement:

The basis of engagement – or what people want from work:

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This is a much more complete definition than most. I like the “compelling company culture” language – not a one-size-fits-all definition of culture. I like the inclusion of freedom (see www.worldblu.com ) at work. And I especially appreciate the inclusion of immediate managers in the mix, along with exceptional leaders in the C-Suite.

I also think that their data have credibility because they can show regional differences in engagement drivers around the world:

Effectory 3

With data that show a global average of engaged and committed employees of 29%, they are also able to break it out by region:

Effectory 2

The discussion that follows is engaging (see what I did there?) and the analysis of this year’s data covers topics like:

  • Why businesses need employee engagement
  • What people want from work
  • Why engaged and committed employees leave
  • Specific strategies for strengthening the four “pillars” of engagement

There are several case studies, as well as a number of key takeaways that you’ll want to note as you think about your culture and your employees.

You may not have heard of Effectory International, but you should get acquainted with their work through this analysis and report. It may reduce your level of dazedness and confusion. I think you’ll thank me.


Filed under China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Effectory International, Employee Engagement, Employee Loyalty, Engagement, Freedom at Work, Global Employee Engagement Index, WorldBlu