“Most organizations struggle when it comes to diversity and recruitment marketing,” Tim Sackett explains in his article “Recruitment Marketing for Diversifying Your Hires.” Most often it involves shoehorning images of various ethnicities into the latest campaign- and no one buys it. “Usually most organizations are asking a white, male TA leader to come up with, or at least approve of, a recruitment marketing campaign involving women, minorities, the LGBTQ community, etc.” In the end, a screwy political correctness calculus ensures a diverse range of protected groups are deceitfully represented in the campaign. So what can be done? How can all groups be represented without looking out of place or forced? The answer is simple: “let your real minority employees tell their stories.” Be transparent, and don’t try to force them into the role of “token diversity.” Don’t make it about your company- make it about your employees. Find Tim at his website.
Often in the workplace we are annoyed by a coworker’s habits, but do not know how to tell them. When it comes to feedback, the situation becomes even murkier. “The temptation to simply say “good job” in a 360-degree review always seems like the safest bet, especially when the recipient is known to have a short temper,” Steffen Maier explains. This paradigm is changing. More and more organizations are encouraging feedback to boost productivity and workplace comraderie. Maier outlines three situations where constructive feedback is useful:
- When someone asks for feedback. This one is a given. If someone asks for feedback, it means they are open to criticism in order to develop their professional skillset. Ask if they want specific or general feedback, and be honest. If you gain a reputation for honesty around the office, this situation will become more common.
- When they don’t ask for feedback. “A common misconception is that giving your peers feedback may come across as patronizing,” Maier says. But often the best situations to present feedback arise in the moment, and waiting for permission to present feedback has the potential to hinder your coworker’s growth.
- When it’s your boss. Your boss is an employee too- and they want to improve their performance. Since one of the most important responsibilities of a manager is employee retention, they have a vested interest in taking your feedback into account.
But knowing when to deliver feedback is only part of the equation. Knowing how to deliver it is an entirely different beast, and just as important.
- Work on delivery. Start with your colleague’s strengths and boost their confidence prior to giving the feedback. “To make sure your feedback doesn’t come off as a personal attack, base your feedback on observations and facts, rather than judgments,” Maier explains. Include specific examples.
- Bring them into the discussion. Give them a chance to respond and reflect.
- Ask for feedback in return. This completes the feedback circle and is critical to avoid coming across as patronizing. Besides, it gives you an opportunity to grow as well.
- Put yourself in their shoes. “Imagine the situation is reversed,” Maier says. “How would you react if your colleague gave you the same feedback?”
Don’t let the fear of offending someone get in the way of providing positive feedback. Building a network feedback network “can help your colleagues grow professionally, diffuse office conflicts, and improve your team’s productivity.” Find Steffen: LinkedIn
In their article 4 Ways Effective Leaders Deal With Incompetent People, Thuy and Milo Sindell examine the best ways to deal with team member incompetence and use it to bolster the team as a whole. “Since firing or avoiding these people isn’t always an option, leaders need to learn ways to keep their cool and manage them professionally,” the Sindells explain. The go on to provide four tips for dealing with incompetence:
- Communicate clearly and explicitly. “Establish a communication system that everyone is expected to follow,” they explain. Build a framework around which information can be shared and feedback expressed. Ensuring that all information is available for parsing is critical for getting work done.
- Document everything. When a “he-said, she-said” argument erupts, comprehensive documentation goes a long way toward getting to the bottom of the issue and remedying the situation.
- Stay cool. Great leaders avoid exploding. “Maintaining good mental health is essential to staying calm,” the Sindells say. “Know when to take breaks.” Step out of the office when tensions rise in order to keep a calm head for when it comes time to defuse them. It also helps to have a person you can vent your frustrations to, someone that does not work in the office. This person can then become a valuable source of third-party insight into whatever problem you are confronting.
- Be prepared for the tough choices. Deviant behavior from one team member causes others to work harder, says research from John Hopkins Carey Business School. “So while it can be incredibly annoying to work with incompetent people, in the end, it can improve the rest of the team,” the Sindells explain. If the success of the project is more important than the potential damage one incompetent team member can cause, it may be for the best to keep them on board.
Find the Sindells at their website.
The talent acquisition field is changing just as rapidly as the technology that surrounds it. Mastering the latest skills, tools, and technologies is essential to stay on top of the hunt for top talent. Christian Schappel and the HR Morning editorial team identify seven skills recruiters must have in 2017, and beyond:
- Data-Driven: can analyze data from online profiles, then convert them into usable intelligence.
- Strategic Thinking: can identify potential top talent, engaging with them even before the job becomes available. Analytics from the above provides valuable insight in this regard.
- Social Recruiting: uses social media to find where the best job seekers are- then use it to reel them in.
- Marketing: can play the marketing role in talent acquisition.
- Mobile Marketing: embraces the mobile revolution, optimizes mobile for job seekers.
- Technology Aptitude: uses the latest tech to grow leads and stay up to date on the latest tools.
- Advanced Negotiation Skills: capable of making career proposals compelling, with an emphasis on long-term goals and career growth.
In the rapidly changing technological landscape, recruiters have to be more adaptable and willing to learn than ever. Those that do will reap great rewards, while those that do not will fall behind. Find Christian: LinkedIn
Listening is one of the most important (and overlooked) skills a business leader or HR professional can have. “Your team members want to feel heard,” the Young Entrepreneur Council explains. They detail six listening tips provided to them by six different entrepreneurs.
- Don’t multitask. “Focus your full attention to the speaker,” Andy Eastes, CEO of SkuVault, explains. He puts aside his multitasking habit during meetings in order to fully prioritize what the speaker is saying.
- (Literally) bite your tongue. “When you stop interrupting others, they feel safe expressing their opinions,” says Andrew Thomas of SkyBell Doorbell. Andrew actually bites his tongue and counts to three after a speaker finishes a sentence before he permits himself to say anything.
- Paraphrase. Jayna Cooke of EVENTup uses paraphrasing as a tool to hold herself accountable as a listener. This acts to prevent her from tuning out during a conversation.
- Reflect on the underlying goals you share. “Listening is hardest when you disagree or are in the wrong. In these situations I often start by reflecting on the courage it takes for people to address an issue directly and the underlying goals we share,” explains Michael Saffitz of Apptentive. Since both parties work for the same organization, focus on how both of you want to achieve the same goal, rather than your differing opinions on how to get there.
- Hold informal one-on-one meetings with your staff. Kelsey Meyer of Influence & Co. always makes herself available for one-on-ones. This allows for more forthright and meaningful conversation to take place.
- Listen to podcasts. Practice your listening skills outside of work by listening to podcasts. “Sitting through 30-minute or hour-long narratives forces me to piece together the different parts of the story in a way that helps me fully grasp the whole picture,” Firas Kittaneh of Amerisleep explains.
Find the Young Entrepreneur Council: Twitter