talent

STRATEGIES CONTINUED (3rd of 3)

Frustration among current team members is perhaps one of the worst effects of a bad hire. Constantly having to help new hires, pick up the slack when the new hire fails, or contend with a “checked out” disgruntled employee when they under-perform is an immediate turnoff to top talent. The last thing any organization wants to do is drive away top-performers.

There are three approaches one can take to identify and release the bad hires and dissatisfied employees.

• Create a six-month “refund” policy – After six months, the organization can offer a modest severance and good reference if the poor performing hire agrees to resign. If accepted, the employee signs away their right to sue. Some companies will allow the employee who refuses this deal to stay on for a defined period of time, up to one year. If at that time there is no improvement, the employee is released without any severance or reference.

• On-boarding – An extended on-boarding process that is highly structured is a great way to identify poor-performers. New hires should be assigned a mentor to help facilitate the training process. At the end of this initial training period, companies can take a page from Zappos and PAY under-performers to resign. Another approach used at Whole Foods is to have the team vote if the new hire is a strong enough member. This approach works best when there are team-based performance incentives.

• Encourage dissatisfied employees to move on – Dissatisfied employees can be just as harmful to an organization as a bad hire. In fact, they can convert a good hire into a bad hire. Negativity, absenteeism, or general “checking out” on their work is something that needs to be addressed quickly. It IS in the best interest of the organization to encourage the employee to move on, even if they are performing well.

There is no such thing as a perfect hiring process. Sometimes candidates are misjudged during the interview process. Making certain that reference checks are performed to help detect possible issues is one of the best preventative measures. In the end, despite some of the best plans and preparation, bad hires still happen. Having a process to work with them will mean the difference between a learning opportunity and having a poor-performer in the organization for an extended period of time.

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STRATEGIES FOR BAD HIRES REVEALED (2nd of 3)

Dealing with Poor Performers

There is no such thing as a perfect hire. Every person entering a new role requires time to acclimate to the position. Training is not only necessary, but an important part of the on-boarding process. When all is said and done, as much as 46 percent of new hires fail within the first 18 months. Holding on to a weak hire can become a disaster if not dealt with in a timely manner.

Unhappy new hires and even disgruntled employees can become a cancer within a company. Identification and corrective action needs to occur as soon as possible to contain the issue. These employees soak up time and resources when managers try (many times in vain), to train, retrain, and coach them up to speed. It is very likely that a bad hire or disgruntled employee will not get any better.

Frustration among current team members is perhaps one of the worst effects of a bad hire. Constantly having to help new hires, pick up the slack when the new hire fails, or contend with a “checked out” disgruntled employee when they under perform is an immediate turnoff to top talent. The last thing any organization wants to do is drive away top-performers.

Next; Three approaches one can take to identify and release the bad hires and dissatisfied employees.

CALCULATING YOUR TEAM’S WORTH (1st of 3)

How to Separate the Strongest from the Weakest

There are four easy steps to calculating an employee’s monetary worth.

1. Determine the Average Employee Worth (AEW) – This number is calculated by dividing the total revenue of the department or organization by the total number of employees. For example, a design team of 5 with a revenue of $600,000 equals an AEW of $120,000.
2. Determine the Weak Performer Differential – Compare the AEW to each employee’s actual revenue. This will create a best to worst ranking for each department. It will also show how strong the strongest are versus how weak the weakest are in terms of performance.
3. Determine other costs – This includes other performance considerations such as absenteeism, missed deadlines, employee attitude, errors, and theft. These considerations may vary based on the job.
4. Determine if weak performers can be made into strong performers. Many times, weak performers can improve quickly and easily through coaching, retraining, and frequent performance evaluations. Other times, weak performers are simply draining time, morale, and revenue from an organization. In this case, the hard decision to release the employee will need to be made.

When an organization learns the true worth of their staff, everyone benefits. Strong employees are validated through data. Weaker employees can either be encouraged to improve or can be removed from the company, if that is the best option for the organization.

Next: Ways to manage employees who are simply not working out.

IDENTIFYING RECRUITING PROBLEMS (Part 1 of 3)

Recruiting top talent that is a perfect fit for an organization is not an exact science. If it were, everyone would be working the perfect position at their dream companies. Errors or difficulties in the process would not exist. However, we live in this place called reality. In reality, companies encounter issues finding and retaining great employees. Over the next three articles, we will look at how to identify and correct some common recruiting problems.

When faced with a problem, whether personal or professional, there is usually a set of steps that one takes to determine its cause and to formulate a solution. When the problem is systemic to an organization, this process is also beneficial.

When an organization has trouble with its recruiting process, it is best to first go to the source of the problem. If there are issues with attraction, or retention, or with making hiring decisions, it is best to go directly to the person or group responsible for talent acquisition and talent management. Is the process up to date designed to address key steps? Are there missing steps or steps that are overlooked – maybe even skipped? Are great candidates lost to a long decision process? How does your company cultivate relationships with passive candidates? Are team members from specific areas of the organization leaving more than others? These types of questions will demand very specific answers that apply directly to the company’s unique situation.

Next: Exit Interviews

Intentional Culture Benefits All (Part 3 of 3)

When recruiting, become dedicated to building a team of people who are compatible and enjoy working together. When interviewing for cultural fit, make sure the candidate fits not only the position, but the organizational dynamic. When people who genuinely like and respect each other work together, there is a dramatic increase in recruiting and retention. Your teams are more likely to share how much they enjoy working at your organization and will more likely refer top talent.

Once your organization’s values are defined and the corporate culture is created, it is time to spread the word. Ask all employees to engage with the organization on social media and encourage them to post frequently. Demonstrate your culture with videos of life in the office, team members serving their communities, or share how employees enjoy their time away from work. In the end, happy employees will gladly share in the vision and values, which will yield more recruiting success.

Attracting and Retaining Millennials

Part 3 of 3

Include videos on the Careers page that highlight different aspects of the company and corporate culture. “Day in the Life at XYZ Company” is a great way to attract candidates. Employee profiles and photos of how employees and the company give back to the community are also great talent-magnets.

Retaining Millennials is not as difficult as anticipated. There are five BIG factors to retention.
• Transparency of corporate culture.
• Communication – frequent and through many different means including email, text, and face-to-face.
• Constant feedback – frequent feedback on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis.
• Clearly defined expectations – written outlines and milestones for projects. Define position requirements and expectations.
• Sense of purpose – have a means, either within the company or on personal time, to give back to the community.

Attracting and retaining Millennials is easy if you know where to go and what they are looking for in a company. It is without a doubt that this group of talent will help reshape work as we know it.

INCLUDING MILLENNIALS

 

Part 3 of 3 – Millennials

You may recall Millennials want diversity in the workplace, flexibility, safety and career security, jobs that nurture their core values and the opportunity to constantly gain new experience.

While this may seem like a tall order, if a company can help cultivate this generation into leaders through mentoring, professional development, and re-recruitment, they will be rewarded with a loyal team member.

Failure to reassess the corporate organization and culture to include Millennials will result in high turnover and a loss of productivity. It will also alienate the next generation of minds who can help change the face of work as we know it.

Next time we share the best way to communicate with the more junior members of the team.

Millennial’s Want to Make a Difference

 

Part 2 of 3

This generation wants to make a difference and is not afraid to work hard to achieve their goals. They yearn to work for a company that they believe in.

Seventy-eight percent of millennials will choose their employer based on its ability to innovate. The current corporate structure in many companies lacks innovation. The attitude that a work day is 8 to 9 hours and performed in a cubicle until working your way up the ladder by putting in unpaid overtime doesn’t cut it.

What do Millennials want from their employer?
• Diversity in the workplace
• Flexibility
• Safety and security in their career
• Jobs that nurture their core values
• Constantly gain new experience

 

Next. Minimizing turnover.

 

Outsourcing Dividends

Read a piece suggesting 5 small business tasks that pay to outsource. All great suggestions like customer support, taxes, legal, online marketing and Web design and maintenance but, missing one biggie – acquiring talent. Full disclosure. I’m an executive recruiter helping firms find marketing stars.

Empty seats equal missed revenue. I know, I’ve harped on this subject in the past but, in today’s tight, highly-competitive “human capital” market filling those seats with satisfied, long-term revenue producers is critical. Which suggests outsourcing talent acquisition may have a multiplier effect on your business and its growth.

What are experienced, driven marketing executives looking for in today’s market?

Allow me to share comments from an outstanding sales director I spoke with earlier today. He’s looking for a firm with a differentiated product coupled with a strategy to keep ahead of the competition and established culture that unconditionally supports its employees. A place with around 100 dedicated souls who bring a positive attitude, enjoy collaboration and thrive on applauding everyone’s successes.

If that describes your company let’s talk. I’d love to help keep the momentum rushing forward.

Is Communication Killing Productivity?

 

Before the days of internet driven non-stop, instant communications my employer, WSJ, engaged with Xerox to improve listening skills believing if we became proficient in actually hearing what was being said productivity would increase. And, it did. For some more than others but that’s another story.

I read today around 1/3 of the workforce is so overwhelmed by their company’s communication’s tools they’re thinking of quitting their jobs. Management acknowledges significant loss in revenue to due to missed or poor internal communications – over three billion dollars in annual profits from wasted time alone!

The Dynamic Signal study found that most workers (51 percent) do not feel properly informed by their company, ultimately feeling disconnected (57 percent), unhappy (33 percent) and not valued (76 percent) for their work, resulting in workplace departures.
Being able to listen to others is imperative in the communication process. This means not only listening with your ears, but also being able to comprehend what the person is saying. And receiving confirming feedback.

I’m a recruiter so helping companies find talent is my job but none of us in this profession want to deal with a workforce incapable of managing communications. To management I’d suggest immediately setting basic communications guidelines holding department heads accountable. To HR leadership I suggest all exit interviews probe for this issue reporting progress to senior management. To those faced with a wide array of tools, time demands and that awful feeling of having missed something really important don’t quit but do demand management deliver a workable fix.

A workable fix could be as easy as (a) severely limiting using the annoying, “reply all” response, (a) taking a few minutes each morning before opening one’s computer to make a prioritize TO DO list and, the really tough one, ignoring the internal chatter.

Would love to hear your thoughts!