Hiring for Fit and Your Company Culture

hiring for fit failureAs we mentioned last week, there's a lot of talk on the "right" way to recruit. As we also said, there's always going to be a debate, because nobody is the same and we all have opinions based on subjectivity. This next controversial hiring tip follows the same beat. What if we hired based on pure skill level and leadership potential? That is to say, what if we threw "hiring for the right fit," right out the window? Now that's an interesting concept.

Hiring for Fit: Wrong Approach?

Laurie Ruettimann has been known for her controversial standings on HR issues. Her latest opinion criticizes hiring for fit. Personally, we here at SourceCast find this quite intriguing. For an organization to continue functioning, can we completely throw out the notion of finding an employee that can fit into a well-greased machine of a company? The concept seems somewhat flawed, doesn't it?

If We're Not Hiring for Fit...

Suffice it to say, we're not sure what we believe. On one hand, no leader was ever born as a mere follower, someone acknowledging and accepting ideas and truths without question. There's something to be said with employing the "thinkers," those who are always thinking about new ideas, ways to critique and strengthen current practices, and those who seem to just shake things up. However, hiring an entire workforce with their own unique mentalities could cause friction, allowing nothing to get done without painful amounts of idea gridlocks. In our minds, there has to be a single direction, a line of focus to a goal. That means hiring people who mesh into the organization's culture (i.e., the CEO's vision) but also hiring those that have their own vision, who can enhance the company's goals or vision and take leadership to get you there.

Instead of hiring for fit, HR, as Ms. Ruettimann says, "[has] an obligation to advocate on behalf of the cranky, grouchy, unlikeable employees who question everything and don't go along with the flow." HR also has the obligation to advocate on behalf of those passionate, obedient, and loveable employees who also act like worker bees, coercing together beautifully to accomplish goals. Our workforces need both these types of employees. This calls for a shout out to the surge of non-discrimination laws: we don't discriminate in hiring practices or towards those who do or don't follow a company's "culture or fit."

Source: TLNT

Recruitment: One Goal, a Million Paths to Get There

recruitment roadmapRecruitment has and will always be a buzzword in HR, but it's also been surrounded with controversy. What controversy, you may ask? Well, throughout our newsfeeds, email subscriptions, and other morning coffee reads, it's always safe to say that we'll see some article on the "5 Best Recruitment Practices" or "Recruiting the Right Way," etc. Clearly, there's controversy as everyone thinks they've struck gold with their latest-and-greatest recruitment breakthrough. People will always talk, and we will always listen…until we tune out due to a lack of statistical or at least "meaningful" evidence. Trust me, we're skeptics too when we read recruitment hot topics, but I think we've hit the recruitment jackpot when we observe the company named Zappos, an Amazon-owned retail business, and their recruitment model. I mean seriously, the jackpot is not proverbial in this sense; HR could be saving their companies a lot of money by infusing their organizations with new recruitment zen.

Recruitment Starts with Employee Engagement

According to Zappos, recruitment starts with employee engagement and appreciation. Zappos seemingly puts their employees first, often offering incentives and creating an environment where an employee feels appreciated and excited to work. They focus organically to create this sense of trust and dedication to the company and the brand. With a loyal workforce, Zappos allows potential new hires to chat with current employees, yielding tremendous amounts of applicants after hearing workplace praises from current employees. For years, Zappos has been listed as one of the "Best Companies to Work For," hands down due to the environment they've created by putting people first. In turn, they've ramped up their social presence and have taken to these mediums to turn up the volume of their happy community to 11 for the world to see. And what do you know, people are responding to it.

Recruitment Works Inside Out

This is the kind of environment we should all try to simulate. By focusing internally, you're ultimately assisting your external perception. In turn, recruitment sort of works itself out. Posting on job boards and using recruitment services are great; don't think we're anti-traditional hiring practice. However, the difference between the major and minor leagues of recruitment is your companies' work environment. Would your employees speak highly of your workplace? Could you rely on them to attract applicants? Do you have a strong, lasting relationship with your workforce? If you’re unsure or answer no to any of these questions, maybe it's time to reevaluate your recruitment strategies, starting internally.

Source: Talent Culture

Bullying in the Workplace: Common Problem?

As we continue to see equal opportunity, especially for applicants, plastered all over our news feeds, we are still reminded to treat our employees with the same non-discrimination after they've joined our teams. Lately, here at SourceCast, we've noticed a trend in reports and news feeds surrounding the topic of bullying. While it is talked about, we notice that it isn't gaining as much steam as we thought. Then we thought, maybe it's because the definition of bullying is so loosely defined or maybe it's because there hasn't been as much momentum surrounding the topic, therefore those affected may feel judged or shy? Whatever the case may be, bullying is trending, and that needs to stop. Now.

Bullying in Real Life

We recently read a story on another blog, detailing an account of an employee who ended up leaving his job due to a female bully. The more we swished the story around our palates, the more we saw the disconnect between such regulations as VEVRAA and how they're implemented in the workplace once the applicant is hired. It's not enough to claim equal opportunity and treatment at your organization if those hired are bullied once on the job! Equality must stem from the recruitment process and cultivate through healthy workplace relationships. Bullying and discrimination both focus on perceived notions, prejudices, and unfair treatment, but let's make it clear, bullies are equal opportunity in who they discriminate against. Isn't that interesting? Discrimination and bullying comes in all shapes and sizes and can happen to anyone.

Preventing Workplace Bullying

To prevent bullying, provide a safe workplace. While we know that's often said, but implementing that is a lot more tactical. This is where HR needs to step up and be the superheroes that we are. Providing team building opportunities, safe channels for discussion, seminars and workshops to explain bullying and prevent against it can ensure your employees feel secure and comfortable reporting something if encountered. There's no way to ensure an applicant won't be a bully, but there are ways to firmly enforce a no-bullying workplace and increase productivity and improve culture along the way.

Telecommuting: Your New Old Workplace Benefit?

As we talked about last week, business is becoming increasingly mobile. Employers and employees are considering options to take business on the go, and one such option that is becoming increasingly desirable is telecommuting. In fact, not only is telecommuting just an option, but increasingly viewed as a benefit.

Telecommuting: Benefiting Staples Employees

Recently, Staples undertook their annual telecommuting survey that showed a whopping 71% of telecommuters listed the mobility of their job as a critical benefit. Even 10% of those surveyed would opt for a pay decrease in order to telecommute. As we can see, telecommuting is highly desirable, but how does a company as a whole fare when employees are offsite?

Telecommuting Makes Employees Happy

As an outcome of telecommuting, employers are noticing significant increases in employee demeanor. Employees are often happier, which has led to a statistical increase in productivity. Which, I am not quite sure why this surprises people, the happier- equals -production notion should be a no-brainer. Much of the workforce is spreading themselves thinner than ever, so as employers there needs to be a shift in flexibility. The age old 9-5 routine simply cannot work for everyone. So, how do employers make this a viable option and how do employees approach this topic with management?

Telecommuting: An Extension of BYOD

As an employer, thankfully, the products we touched on last week can have you cleaning out office space in no time as communication and accessibility can take place online. Again, options like Trello and UberConference replicate physical communication when time or circumstance don't allow for any. Another idea that has been sweeping the working world is allowing for BYOD (bring your own device). As it stands, about 4 out 5 employees use their personal devices for work-related tasks, so why not take that to the next level? We think it's safe to say that all of us have used our smartphones or tablets to churn out work emails, scope LinkedIn resumes, or follow the news on Twitter. We as people like the familiar, and if we have to choose between our own preferred devices versus a dull work device, we'd be willing to take a wild guess and assume we would all prefer utilizing our own personal gadgets. Not only are we familiar with these systems, but there's a sense of freedom when we break away from corporate control which also leads to greater creativity and ultimately, productivity. Not to mention, this hard drive follows its owner any and everywhere. While there are some issues such as compatibility and privacy, it's worth looking into in order to catch opulent talent, requiring telecommuting.

As old school as some of us are, times they are a-changin', and they're leaving us no choice but to follow the current. The world of HR is constantly changing from virtual recruitment to heightened compliance initiatives. Stay tuned for next week's blog as we continue to keep you up-to-speed on today's HR issues.

Source: HR Morning

More to read: New York Times Forbes

Trust and Berkshire Hathaway: Gullible or Brilliant?

Berkshire Hathaway doesn't have an HR department! How can it possibly function?! Honestly, we don't know. We're not here to speculate on what this mega corporation runs without, but rather what it seems to run on and abundantly: trust. What does this have to do with you, who doesn’t have the helm of a company raking in over 150 billion dollars a year? Maybe, just maybe, it’s the fear of getting burned by trusting the wrong people that’s kneecapping both our hiring and engagement strategies.

Trust and the Hiring Process

We each have our own method, our individual mix of desired characteristics, but how often, as we see in the case of Berkshire Hathaway, do we consciously weigh how much we feel we can trust a candidate? If we do not lay this at the foundation of our hiring process, where does that lead our organizations moving forward? We are hiring people whom we cannot necessarily trust, or at least, people we are not certain we trust. Seems dangerous, doesn’t it?

Trust Engages Employees

While it seems irresponsible to just go around trusting people, the Berkshire Hathaway example suggests that employees not only produce, but engage in the workplace. Studies suggest that the power of trust is rather strong, and honestly, say that you’d rather not be trusted. It’s at least worth the argument that employees, we, will be more loyal and steadfast and productive when we feel trusted. And that trust encourages us to interact and engage more openly. Is trust the silver bullet to retaining that top talent? The curious case of Berkshire Hathaway certainly suggests it might be.

Could it be that the only flaw in our hiring and retaining strategies is our own unwillingness to be burnt by trusting the wrong candidates and employees? Could it be that we don’t need a better strategy to snag that top talent, but a better way to frame our strategy? Likewise, maybe we don’t need a better strategy to retain top talent, but a better way to view that strategy? What do you think? Is Berkshire Hathaway crazy? Are we? Or could trust really be a novel idea once again?

Source: New York Times

The Rules of Disengagement

In today's business world, employee engagement is a constant topic that strikes interest in HR professionals, upper management, and even employees themselves everywhere. Sure, everyone wants the magic bullet to fix DES (disgruntled employee syndrome), but as professionals in our respective fields, shouldn't we be asking how employees reach disengagement before diagnosing a cure? Today, there is so much talk about how engaging your employees increases sales, customer retention, and builds word of mouth notoriety, but the reality of the business world is that many employees are in fact, disengaged. According to a Gallup Poll taken in 2013, 70% of the U.S. workforce is "completely disengaged" in their workplace. If employee engagement is such a hot topic, how can the rate of disengagement be so high? The answer: we are not correcting the problem and its attributing factors.

Motivational Disengagement

By way of nature, many employees work for the paycheck and hard enough to stay away from the firing line. As a company, simply speaking, finances take the cake for important factors when it comes to the employees it hires. Bottom line, the company must save its bottom line. With these primitive mindsets, how can businesses and its employees grow when the prize has nothing to do with growth? Simple: company management must take the first step in understanding the intrinsic values of their employees. Money is not the only motivator in the workplace.

Drawing from personal experiences and published studies, below you'll find some contributing factors to employee disengagement many employers are still missing:

  • A lack of communication between the employer and his or her employees. Working in blind-faith isn't exactly a motivator.
  • Over and over again, employers don't create a community environment in the workplace. If any employee doesn't feel like they belong to a group or provide a valued piece of the puzzle, there is no incentive to work past the self-serving bare minimum.
  • Often, organizations don't provide enough or any feedback. Be it positive or negative, an employee needs to know that their actions matter and in what way they're affecting their workplace.
  • Change and the aversion to it can often disengage employees. We all want to know that our voice matters, but employers need to be ready to implicate suggestions if they want to retain employee morale.
  • We all hear this and "know" this, but it is often not implemented: recognition. We all need recognition for positive work ethic, ingenuous ideas, superb project performance, and we need it often. Nothing disengages an employee faster than being constantly overlooked.
  • While employers need to have control to run an organization, too much control can detach an employee. Instead of choosing an appropriate solution, why not give lead way to your employees to be decision makers?
  • Finally, often upper-management is thought to not be involved. The old saying goes, "lead by example." If you're disengaged, you cannot possibly expect your employees to be engaged and perform.

While many of these disengagement attributes are not aha moments, more often than not they are overlooked or forgotten about altogether. If each disengaged employee costs approximately $2,300 dollars a year, you can do the math and realize how much companies are chipping away at their bottom lines by ignoring simple fixes like the ones above. Through change, one minor ripple can have a tidal wave effect that benefits your business for a lifetime.

To Improve Work Environment, Keep It Quick and to the Point

Many employers and HR professionals are starting to beg the question, “How do my employees feel about their current work environment?” Sure, you have the common questionnaires, surveys, and performance reviews, but is that enough? Questionnaires and surveys carry with them a mixed bag of how answers can be interpreted, the process of formulating the right questions, and how to respond to a wide range of data. Performance reviews, while highly beneficial and necessary, cannot possibly occur enough to address all the concerns. Not to mention, there is something to be said about the truthfulness in anonymity. So, how do you get truthful answers that can allow for constant change and upgrade? Direct questions, as believed by David Niu, founder of consulting firm TINYpulse, should be your go-to when encouraging employee engagement.

Keep Work Environment Questions Direct

When we say direct questions, we are talking about asking employees one simple question at a time via any medium, and often. According to TINYpulse, these answers should be kept anonymous. With a simple work environment question, you will often receive common answers, which indicate a common problem, big or small. Who knows, maybe your employees often feel nauseated by your cleaning supplies but have just never spoken up? Simple fixes can mend even the biggest problems once they're brought to your attention. Especially in smaller companies, developing one direct question at a time does not tug nearly as hard at the company’s budget strings.

Work Environment Questions to Ask

So, what kinds of questions should you be asking your employees? According to Niu, questions like:

  • “Name one process that, were it eliminated, would make you more productive.”
  • “How transparent is management?”
  • “Please rate the quality of the snacks in the kitchen.”

Each question, while seemingly ordered by importance, is equally as important as the rest. These kinds of questions can easily set the pace for corporate change and ultimately, a more pleasant work environment for your employees. Not to mention, us employees like seeing our voices heard, even when that voice is penned under Anonymous in the suggestion box!

Source: HR Morning