Candidates: Are you interviewing and need support?
Every week we hunt down the latest and greatest HR news, articles and insights, compiling them here in a weekly roundup. In this week's roundup we examine feedback as a tool for improving candidate experience, wasted time in the workplace, and how to detect dishonesty. We'll also take a look at how to hire the best salespeople, as well as the importance of creating a data-driven HR function.
“When it comes to recruiting, the importance of providing a good candidate experience during the application process is often understated,” begins John Feldman. “In today’s hyper-connected world where airing one’s grievances and frustrations with the application and interview process is as simple as posting a Glassdoor review, recruiters can’t expect to attract quality candidates without a good candidate experience.”
He provides a simple, two step process to begin making the candidate experience a great one:
1. Learn the Pain Points. Companies that evaluate candidate satisfaction throughout the hiring process not only gain valuable insight into the experience they provide, they also increase quality of hire and decrease turnover.
When evaluating the candidate’s experience, it is critical to use survey questions that:
Ensuring that candidates have a great experience also means previously rejected candidates are available to call upon in the instance of turnover - so a great experience is really a win all around.
2. Promote Positive Change After candidates are onboarded as employees, track their performance. Use the candidate experiences and feedback of newfound top performers to reevaluate and redesign the hiring process.
“By reaching out to placed candidates and soliciting feedback, recruiters can progressively work to eliminate difficulties in the interviewing and hiring process, collecting the data necessary to improve candidate satisfaction, and ultimately impacting employer satisfaction,” Feldman concludes.
Metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) provide great insight into the way candidates view your application.
NPS is calculated from candidate responses to the question: “How likely (on a scale of 1-10) are you to recommend this experience from a friend or colleague?” Subtract the percent of candidates who responded with 1-6 from the percent who give you a 9 or 10. A “good” NPS score is considered to be around 25 - if you’re a math whiz you may have noticed that the scores could range from -100 to +100.
Another thing to keep in mind when evaluating candidate experience is the impact on your organization’s bottom line - not just its effect on your Glassdoor reputation. Candidates are customers, after all.
In the Talent Board’s most recent Candidate Experience Research Report, 41% of candidates who gave their experience one star out of five indicated the experience would impact their purchasing decisions (while 65% who gave it five stars said they would increase their relationship with the employer).
“According to Salary.com, 9 in 10 employees admit to goofing off during work hours, with over a quarter confessing they do so for more than two hours each day,” Beth Leslie explains. And for bosses, the news gets worse: “If all your employees are consistently slacking off, it’s almost certainly your own fault.”
She provides five ways employee disengagement can stem from their manager’s missteps:
At the end of the day, it is crucial to shift the focus from how employees work to how well they work. Set agreed-upon KPIs and other targets and trust them to manage their own time.
As industries continue to be disrupted by data, AI, and all other manner of tech, it is quickly becoming apparent that productivity is not necessarily related to innovation. IBM recently made the news in their decision to mandate relocation for all their remote workers in pursuit of the “water cooler” effect.
However, as John Sullivan points out, this is provides no guarantee of innovation. If colocation is bungled by the sorts of bureaucracy and traditional oversight Leslie outlines here, the move could very well do more harm than good. By shifting from “time at work” to “specific KPIs,” you provide employees the opportunity to innovate their workflow, instead of goofing off.
“Studies have found that roughly four out of every 10 resumes you see contain some form of substantial mistake, such as job candidates over-exaggerating their contributions at previous employers,” Lauren Stead explains. “So how can you root out falsehoods like the HR super-sleuth you are?”
To answer this question, she turns to former Justice Department attorney Michael Johnson, who provided five tips for getting to the truth in the hiring process and workplace investigations:
To the recruiter who is evaluated based on long-term quality of hire, that 40% of resumes contain lies should be terrifying. After all, one of the best predictors of future performance is past performance - but that relation is meaningless if the past performance is a lie.
In a job interview, situational questions and hypotheticals will allow the recruiter more insight into each candidate’s aptitude. If they really do possess so many years of excellent experience, they should have no trouble replying to a simple hypothetical.
Video interviewing holds the potential to avoid the sorts of pitfalls Stead lists, and at the very least provide the ability to scale your lie detection, screen out embellishers, and hone in on those who are actually a fit for the role.
According to CSO Insights, annual sales rep turnover stands between 25 and 30 percent. “One of the most obvious things recruiters should look for when trying to hire salespeople is their previous experience within sales,” says Monika Gotzmann. “Sales experience can serve as proof that somebody has a basic talent for making sales.”
She acknowledges that experience should not be the only factor driving sales hiring decisions. After all, a well-tenured rep with a poor attitude will probably be outperformed by a greenhorn with a great attitude and aptitude for selling.
Gotzmann identifies the three leading reasons for new rep failure:
Hiring the right rep starts with identifying the unique skills your organization requires in its salesforce - and ensuring those expectations are displayed in the job description. “It pays to be as specific as possible about what you are looking for and why,” Gotzmann concludes.
Consider these sales hiring statistics from the Bridge Group:
Those are some pretty scary numbers. Gotzmann nails a valid point that many overlook: each sales force is unique. What made a rep successful at one firm might cripple them at another. Using the job description to let sales candidates know the expectations that will be levied on them will go a long way toward attracting those that best fit your organization’s sales culture.
“Public companies that use data-driven HR methods, or “people analytics,” show 30 percent higher stock market returns than the S&P 500,” begins Meghan Biro. “Big data can help you determine where your business is headed if you make a certain decision or choose a particular path.” She identifies four ways to leverage big data and create a more data-driven HR function:
Human Resources has traditionally been relegated to administrative duties and paperwork - but as organizations gather and organize more data than ever before, the HR function is in the perfect position to take on a more consultative role.
With access to data relating to performance, engagement, and retention, HR can take a more forward-thinking approach to its hiring practices. Rather than filling roles on an as-needed basis, they can predict and prepare for vacancies well in advance.