Tag Archives: Annual Performance Reviews

Quality of Hire: A Vaguely Valid Metric?

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In November I wrote about Linkedin’s 2016 Global Recruiting Trends Report (you can re-read it here) and took them to task about their methodology. Turns out they did a bit of a miscalculation and corrected data that looked askew. Good on them. As I looked at a relatively new infographic about their survey data, I was again intrigued by some of their findings. In a good way.

The infographic, found in Linkedin’s Talent Blog, 4 Recruiting Trends to Watch in 2016, boils the report down to 4 key points – and they are good ones:

  • Quality of Hire is the magic metric
  • Employers are finding quality hires faster through professional networks
  • Employer branding is bouncing back as a top priority
  • Employee retention is growing as a top employer priority

The big question raised in my mind by this infographic is: how should we define quality of hire. Linkedin helps us understand that perhaps we should be talking about this a little more than we are.

Linkedin 2016 Quality of Hire

Linkedin’s data show that around the world, the KPIs that define quality of hire shift between three primary metrics:

  1. New Hire Performance Evaluation
  2. Turnover/Retention
  3. Hiring Manager Satisfaction

These are interesting and good metrics. But are they the correct metrics to use in judging wether a hire was a quality hire?

As more employers shun “labeling” performance and leave traditional performance management systems and their inherent biases in the dust, having fair, accurate and reliable performance evaluation metrics may be harder and harder to obtain – especially for employees new to their jobs.

Turnover and retention data are somewhat valuable in that they measure whether the new employee actually commits to their job and the organization and decide to stay. The challenge with this particular measure is that it is two-sided. Employees can quit their jobs if they don’t like their employee experience more easily than employers can fire new employees who don’t perform. It’s hard to make a case that turnover or retention are valid measures of quality of hire.

And hiring manager satisfaction, while maybe the most influential measure, is the least scientifically valid assessment of the three: every manager has their own performance benchmarks that are shaped by their experience, education and time in the job. Certainly a new employee’s ability to create a positive relationship with their boss is significantly influential in creating a positive impression from a performance evaluation perspective. And that makes it only vaguely valid.

It’s interesting that employers in different parts of the world have developed different steps to develop Linkedin’s “magic metric.” That there is not the emergence of a common standard (SHRM or CIPD anyone? Bueller?) creates opportunities for stakeholders to get confused about what is trying to be accomplished. And that just makes it harder to make a business case for a critical aspect of talent management.

I think Linkedin has pointed out an opportunity for significant value in the talent management game:  unless and until we can develop a relatively standard, valid set of KPIs for Quality of Hire, we can’t really make sense of whether or not we’re hiring the great talent we all need. And since having the right talent available to us when and where we need it will make the difference in whether our businesses survive or not, getting a handle on the magic metric just might be helpful.

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Filed under Analytics, Annual Performance Reviews, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Global HR, HR Analytics, Linkedin, Performance Management, Quality of Hire

The 2020 Workforce: Misconceptions Between Management and Employees

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Oxford Economics and SAP recently released the report “Workforce 2020: The Looming Talent Crisis” aimed at understanding the opportunities and challenges of the evolving workforce. The research is based on survey responses from over 2,700 executives and more than 2,700 employees in 27 countries. Understanding the core characteristics of “the new face of work,” as SAP puts it, is an important step in recognizing the opportunities and challenges that will come with it. SAP and Oxford Economics’ research identifies several key characteristics of the 2020 workforce, including that it will be an increasingly flexible one. Of executives surveyed, 83% cited that they plan to increase use of contingent, intermittent, or consultant employees in the next three years and 58% say that this requires changing HR policy. In addition to being flexible, the 2020 workforce will be increasingly diverse, and SAP advises that because of this HR leaders will need to become more evidence-based to deal with these realities. As of now, only 50% of HR departments state that they use quantifiable metrics and benchmarking in workforce development and only 47% say they know how to extract meaningful insights from the data available to them. This is likely part of what influences the reported lack of progress towards meeting workforce goals that many executives cite. Just 33% stated that they have made “good” or “significant” progress towards workforce goals.

SAP identifies technology as a key need for the evolving workforce that organizations are unprepared for. While this may seem obvious, in the U.S. just 39% of employees report getting ample training on workplace technology and only 27% report access to the latest technology. While it’s understandable that not all organizations can offer the most cutting edge technologies, a lack of sufficient training for the technologies that are in place could be seriously affecting employee productivity. Aside from technology, misconceptions about Millennials are another trend of the evolving workforce that SAP points out (and with the expectation that this generation will make up more than 50% of the workforce by 2020, any misconceptions are noteworthy). The research points out that while Millennials are different than other generations, they may not be as different as they are typically portrayed. According to executives surveyed, 60% believe Millennials are frustrated with manager quality but only 18% of Millennials say that they actually are. Additionally, 62% of executives report that Millennials will consider leaving their job due to a lack of learning and development, but just 31% of Millennials say they have considered this.

millenial-misconception

In terms of the emerging workforce, there may also be gaps between what companies believe employees want from them and what employees actually want.

what-employees-say
Perhaps not surprisingly, the most important incentive to U.S employees is competitive compensation (84%) followed by retirement plans (75%), and vacation time (62%). 39% of employees say higher compensation would increase loyalty and engagement with their current job. When it comes to attributes that employees think are most important to their employer, job performance and results is number one (46%), followed by the ability to learn and be trained quickly (29%), and loyalty and long-term commitment to the company (28%). This differs however, from what employers deem most important. The top three attributes executives want in employees are a high level of education and/or institutional training (33%), loyalty and long-term commitment 32%), and the ability to learn and be trained quickly (31%).

What executives and employees do agree on is that organizations are not focused enough on developing future leaders. Only 51% of U.S. executives say their company plans for succession and continuity in key roles and 47% say their plans for growth are being hampered by lack of access to the right leaders. Employees agree that leadership is a problem area, with just 51% of employees stating that leadership at their company is equipped to lead the company to success. Better learning and education opportunities will be key to bridging this talent gap. The need for technology skills in particular will increase in demand (e.g. cloud and analytics), although SAP’s data states that just 33% of employees expect to be proficient in cloud in three years. This statistic is slightly better when it comes to analytics, with 43% expecting proficiency in three years and almost 50% expecting proficiency in mobile, social media, and social collaboration. In terms of training programs, only about half (51%) of American executives say their company widely offers supplemental training programs to develop new skills. This aligns with employees’ perceptions toward training, with 51% reporting that their company provides the right tools to help them grow and improve job performance. Additionally, about half (52%) of employees say their company encourages continuing education and training to further career development.

Take a look at the graphic below that highlights the five major labor market shifts discussed. Are you beginning to think about shifting workforce development strategies for the future? Are you really sure what your employees think? Or are you making assumptions based on popular press reports that may not be founded on fact?

labor-market-shifts

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, 100 Best Companies to Work For, Leadership Aspiration, Leadership Challenges, Learning/Development, Millennials, Recruiting, Recruiting Technology, SAP

Tying Recognition to Values: Who Knew?

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Organizations that believe in driving an intentional culture – whether for engagement purposes, recruitment purposes, performance purposes, innovation purposes, or all of the above – might think it logical to tie their recognition programs directly to their values. But as it turns out, maybe not.

The new SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey Winter 2012 Report has some interesting survey data and thought-provoking findings. The survey, sent to 6,000 SHRM members at the manager level or higher, had a response rate of 13% and a margin of error of +/- 3%. So, with 770 randomly selected HR professionals employed at organizations with more than 499 employees across North America, the sample size is large enough for the results to be interesting.

The broad findings are a little surprising – although the survey questions focused entirely on recognition, engagement and core values. (So, for example, the challenges of implementing healthcare reform don’t show up, nor do the issues of perceived talent or skills shortages.) But even within that context, these findings make me scratch my head:

#1  Employee engagement tops the list of HR challenges.

#2  Performance management remains stuck in neutral.

#3  Recognition programs fill the feedback and appreciation gap.

#4  Recognition programs have an observed positive impact on business results.

#5  Recognition aligned with core values leads to more effective managers.

#1  Employee engagement tops the list of HR challenges:  well, I do find that surprising – especially given the rest of the survey data. I might have thought that the issues of performance management done the same way it’s been done for 10-15 years (or not at all) would top the list of HR challenges. But no, employee engagement is at the top of the list. Despite (or maybe because of) the fact that most HR professionals haven’t been able to make the business case for investing in creating higher levels of engagement, it’s at the top of the list.

#2  Performance management remains stuck in neutral:  Performance management is the talent management infrastructure weak link. Most CEOs and other members of the C-Suite report that they know their system is ineffective. And what’s more they know their employees don’t like their current system either. That HR folks are “stuck in neutral” in this regard is perplexing. With the billions of dollars being spent on ineffective, unpopular legacy systems, this would seem ripe for corrective action — not being stuck in neutral.

#3  Recognition programs fill the feedback and appreciation gap:  so investing in new solutions that fill a gap rather than fixing the full system seems shortsighted to me. Don’t get me wrong. I think that there are recognition programs that powerfully engage teams, inspire individuals and create positive momentum for employers and their customers. Some of the new entrants that utilize social technology and are natively mobile are stunning. And worthy of investment. But should we be thinking bigger than filling gaps?

#4  Recognition programs have an observed positive impact on business results:  that’s research-speak for “we can’t quantify it yet but we think it’s real based on anecdotal evidence.”  ‘Nuff said.

#5  Recognition aligned with core values leads to more effective managers:  that’s it! If the data clearly support this finding, then this is the foundation for the business case that HR has been looking for. I’ve long believed that if the middle manager cohort was effectively trained and managed, the incidences of workplace drama and their resulting legal issues – and the resulting time-suck for HR – would be hugely reduced. Managers would be held accountable for managing. And HR could get to the strategic business of workforce planning and talent management leadership.

The following charts from the report show the “observed” connection between values-based recognition systems and managerial effectiveness in “acknowledging and appreciating” employees:

SHRM Globoforce Fig 8

SHRM Globoforce Fig 13

*Note:  the red circles on the charts are mine.

The finding that managers do a better job of effectively acknowledging and appreciating employees when recognition programs are directly tied to core values seems to stack up. But it also appears that managers do a better job of effectively acknowledging and appreciating employees simply by being given a recognition program to use. Either way works for me. And either way clearly works for employers and their employees.

But I’ll go out on a limb with the observable improvement in managerial effectiveness and agree that tying recognition programs to values is a winner. In fact, I’ll go so far as to opine that tying talent management in its entirety to organizational values will provide quantifiable improvement, not just observed improvement.

Interesting findings in this report. If you haven’t looked at some of the innovative new solutions in the recognition space maybe you should.

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Filed under Achievers, Annual Performance Reviews, Business Case, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Globoforce, Managerial Effectiveness, Rewards & Recognition, Talent Management

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

From the Archives: Stick a Fork in Annual Performance Review Systems

While I’m traveling, I thought I’d re-post one of the most popular Data Point Tuesday posts from 2012.  Enjoy.

Today’s data points come from two recent surveys:  one from Achievers and one from Cornerstone OnDemand.  Both surveys show clearly that annual performance review systems’ time has come.  It’s over.  Time to stick a fork in them.

Well, it’s time to stick a fork in them if you’re interested in providing the kind of feedback to your employees that is focused on growing their skills, binding them closer to the organization and engaging their full and discretionary energy.

Let’s look first at the Achievers data.  As part of a survey fielded in April of this year, employees were asked how frequently they would like to receive feedback from their managers.  HR professionals and CEOs were asked how frequently they thought employees in their organizations would like to receive feedback from their managers.  Do the answers surprise you?

No surprise that employees would like to receive feedback immediately or on the spot – or at least weekly.  Maybe a bit of a surprise that both HR professionals and CEOs know this.  Here’s the question, though:  if employees, HR professionals and CEOs all know that employees don’t want feedback in an annual context, then why are the majority of performance feedback systems in use today based on an annual model?

Making matters worse, Cornerstone OnDemand published survey results from late 2011 with related findings:

  • only 37% of employees report that they’ve been given useful feedback from their manager/employer in the performance review process
  • Only 32% said that their performance goals are aligned with their company’s business objectives
  • Only 20% have established career goals with their manager/employer

So.  Annual feedback systems satisfy no one from a frequency perspective.  And feedback systems in general are not providing useful feedback for employee skill growth or engagement – or in line with business objectives.

At this point you could say, “Yikes!” and start moaning.

Or, you could say, “This looks like an opportunity for HR to make a significant contribution to the success of the business!” and start collecting similar data from your organization to identify whether this opportunity is real.  If it is real, I see the building of a compelling business case in your future – just in time for the FY2013 budget planning process.

And a new more powerful way to engage employees and manage performance in your organization could be right around the corner.

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Filed under Achievers, Annual Performance Reviews, Business Case, Business Success, China Gorman, Cornerstone OnDemand, Engagement, HR Data, Performance Feedback

HR’s 2013 “To Do” List

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I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions.  Everyone else, though, has their top ten lists of resolutions for 2013.  And for HR, everyone wants you to go socially mobile into the Cloud.

Me?  Not so much.

I am big on “to do” lists, though.  And, while there’s lots for HR to do in 2013, here are my top 4:

to-do-list iPad1.)  Have a tactical plan to stay on top of regulatory (pay particular attention to NLRB rulings and timetables for implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act) and legislative changes coming from your city, your state house and Washington D.C.

2.)  Review your HRIS providers and products:

  • Can you move to the Cloud in 2013 to reduce software and hardware expenses?
  • If any of your providers have been acquired or are likely acquisition targets do you know what your options are?

3.)  Schedule a review of employee programs that are 5 years or older. There are more effective, next-generation solutions that are generally cheaper to deploy and more employee friendly. Likely candidates include:

  • Performance management systems
  • Rewards and recognition programs
  • Learning management systems

4.)  Get a handle on your Big HR Data. Explore some of the new products that gather all the employee data from your disparate HR systems and help you and your organization’s managers make more intelligent, fact-based people decisions.

That’s not a long list.  But it is a powerful list.

Just think how you’d feel at the end of 2013 if you implemented a new rewards and recognition program that actually incented engagement and productivity.

Just think how you’d feel if you installed a system that made getting accurate, timely employee data into the hands of front line managers easy.

Just think how you’d feel if you saved your organization thousands of dollars by moving essential HRIS programs to the Cloud.

It’s good to feel powerful and effective.  It’s even better to BE powerful and effective.

How’s that for a New Year’s Resolution?

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Filed under Annual Performance Reviews, China Gorman, Connecting Dots, New Year's Resolutions, Performance Management, Rewards & Recognition, To Do Lists

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