From August, 2011

Video Interviewing: How do candidates feel about it?

Each year more and more organizations look for ways to make their hiring process more productive by cutting costs and hiring candidates more effectively.  One solution receiving a great deal of coverage in online blogs and discussion groups is automated video interviewing.

One-way, automated video interviewing allows the candidate to screen themselves online with their webcam.  Their interview is recorded, and upon completion the candidate’s recorded video is forwarded  to the hiring manager.  The hiring manager can screen half a dozen candidates in the time it takes them to interview one.

While the benefits to employers are numerous,  the benefits to job candidates are often overlooked.  Allowing candidates to interview at their convenience and from a location of their choice (often from home) improves the candidate’s experience.  Consider how many candidates with jobs have to sneak out over their lunch break to attend an interview.  A recent Aberdeen Group study suggested that one of the best ways to attract top level candidates was to deliver a quality candidate experience and their suggested strategy was to use a video interviewing tool.

Sonru, a UK based provider of video interviewing tools, recently released a white paper entitled, “The Candidate Experience of Video Interviewing.”  Their goal was to measure how positively or negatively the process of video interviewing impacted job candidates.

When asked to describe their attitudes towards the hiring company after receiving an invitation to complete an automated interview, 65% responded very positively or positively with only 7% taking a negative stance.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents were either very satisfied or satisfied after completing the video interview with only 13% stating they were dissatisfied.

When asked how the automated interview process greatly benefitted them, 34% stated “No travel” as a primary advantage with 30% stating that flexibility was its greatest advantage.  As one candidate stated, “I was able to relax beforehand in my own surroundings and not be on pins about getting to an interview location.”

Aside from the many benefits provided to organizations, this study reveals how video interviewing greatly enhances the candidate’s experience as well.  Often overlooked, providing a positive candidate experience is key to attracting top talent.  Automated interviewing tools by vendors such as Sonru and Hire-Intelligence are going to improve the hiring process not just for the manager but also for the candidate.

Online criticism from your employees? What do you do?

Recently the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Hispanics United of Buffalo after they fired five employees who publicly aired their grievances about Hispanics United’s working conditions.  The incident started when an employee stated on their Facebook page that other employees did not do enough to help the nonprofit organization’s clients.  This prompted a barrage of comments on Facebook by five other employees who defended their work ethic but also criticized issues within the company.  These five employees were subsequently fired, allegedly because their Facebook comments were considered as harassment of the employee who posted the original comment.

The National Labor Relations board believes the dismissed employees were fired unfairly.  They contend the Facebook conversation is protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act because it involved a conversation among co-workers about their working conditions.

Michael Schmidt, an attorney at Cozen O’Connor in New York City, says that employers should enforce internal policies that prohibit harassment, but he would be concerned about any policy that “chills” the right to air workplace issues with co-workers through social media.  This is apparently just the tip of the iceberg as the NLRB has social media cases pending in all its Regions.

So what would you do if your employees had a frank conversation with one another about their workplace grievances on Facebook or another social networking site?  Is it fair they can air your company’s dirty laundry provided that it is done amongst co-workers?  With job satisfaction at an all time low, can we expect more of this?

Finding employees or Making employees?

“Find” your employee or “make” your employee?

Nine percent of the country is unemployed, thousands of very talented candidates are looking for work, yet according to Manpower’s Talent Shortage survey, 52% of employers cannot find people to fill their “mission-critical” positions.  This is an increase of 14% from last year!  Skilled trades people, sales representatives, and engineers are the
positions toughest to fill.

Cliff Zukin, a professor at RutgersUniversity, suggests that a disconnect exists between the types of candidates the education system produces and what employers actually need.  This makes sense.  As a student you may decide entering your freshman year what you want to be when you grow up, but that doesn’t mean that job will be available when you get out.  I can’t remember anyone, my guidance counselor or otherwise, advising me about the degree I should consider pursuing based on the foreseen availability of jobs in four years relating to my major.  Today, as in years past, students choose based on what they want to be rather than on employment that will be available.

So where does that leave employers?  Not so long ago employers had the power to be selective in their search for the perfect candidate, but now it seems that with no candidates available they have to resort to Plan B.  Kate Donovan, managing director of Manpower Group suggests that rather than “finding” employees, companies must now “make” the employees they require.  Provided that the candidates have the personality the company needs, training employees with the exact skills to perform the company’s necessary tasks makes perfect sense if you can justify the training costs.

The question is, with over half of companies unable to fill positions, what choice do they have?  Many are now partnering with local community colleges to offer post graduation certification programs to prepare candidates with necessary skills.

So what do you think?  Is it better to wait until you find the employee with the required
skills, or should you get a competent individual through the door and quickly
begin teaching them the skills they need?

Your employees are leaving, and it might be your leader’s fault!

According to the 2011 Talent Survey by Aon Hewitt, 61% of more than 1,300 business professionals surveyed anticipate an increased focus on talent development in the coming year.  Forty percent believe there will be an increased focus on hiring, and one-third predict increased turnover.  These numbers aren’t hard to understand in light of the attitudes of today’s employees.  Over 50% indicate they are, at most, passively engaged at work, while 42% are not energized by their work and 40% are generally stressed to the point of feeling burned out.  What does this all point to?  A potential mass exodus of
employees as the economy improves and hiring increases.

Even more surprising than the statistics above, 83% of survey respondents believe that senior leaders play a very important role in motivating and retaining talent, but just  33% say their leaders are effective at retaining talent they need for the future, and less than a third believe their leaders are effective at hiring more productive employees.

I’ll sum up what all these statistics mean.

  • Your employees are not happy at work,
  • They’re leaving as a result,
  • You’re going to have difficulty replacing them, and
    Your senior leadership is partly to blame for
    all of this.

Perhaps placing the blame solely on upper management isn’t fair, but you can’t argue with these statistics.  Considering how much it costs to replace a departing employee, maybe it’s time to dive in and re-evaluate your employees’ job satisfaction, which is directly linked to employee retention.  A recent study suggests two ways for leaders to increase job satisfaction. One, survey your employees’ attitudes more than once a year to take account of changing shifts in attitudes.  Two, announce beneficial future changes which will entice your employees to stay on longer.

I’ll go farther with a third suggestion; behaviorally assess your employees
to ensure they are a good cultural fit, not only for your organization but as
well for the managers under whom they will be working.

Implementing all or at least of few of these suggestions
could save your organization time and money!