Tagged hiring

Can We Not Discriminate Against Bad Habits?

A recent Gallup poll of Americans showed that 56% of smokers believe they are at least occasionally discriminated against in public or employment life with 13% of them claiming that they are discriminated against daily.  Smokers report the most common forms of discrimination come in the forms of bans at places such as beaches and parks.  In addition, smokers face higher insurance rates and smokers claim they are discriminated against in the hiring process.

My posts generally revolve around hiring so I will neglect the challenges smokers face at the beach and in Yellowstone and focus on their hiring dilemmas.  Yes, smokers do face discrimination during the hiring process and may be turned down for employment solely because of their habit.  Reasons for this are smokers have higher health care costs and absenteeism from work.  Co-workers are also likely to grow annoyed with the frequent smoke breaks that smokers take.  For instance my son, a non-smoker, frequently complained about having to leave work late because the individual who was assigned to take over his register first wanted to have a cigarette before coming on duty. 

A few states protect smokers from job discrimination but is this reasonable?  If an employee or job applicant is engaged in a habit that is scientifically proven to be detrimental to themselves, to those around them and increases company expenses, why would that individual not expect some sort of negative reaction?  An employee sneaking off for five minutes every hour to look at pornography on their mobile device would expect a rightful reprimand even if their behavior in no way affected their co-workers or cost the company an increase in expenses.  Why then are smokers miffed?

I used to smoke back when smoking wasn’t so out of vogue.  I sympathize with the cravings smokers have but I also worked and never smoked until I departed work.  Not smoking is possible for long stretches of time.   A smoker cannot expect their fellow co-workers not to grow perturbed by their frequent cigarette breaks especially if the non-smokers must pick up the slack in their co-worker’s absence.

Wikipedia defines addiction as “a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences.”  If an individual is not truly addicted to smoking then their best course of action is to quit or at the very least, refrain from stepping outside every hour.  However, if they claim to be addicted, then by definition they must expect adverse consequences.  These adverse consequences may manifest as discrimination in the hiring process.  I take issue with using the word “discrimination” though.  Not hiring an employee engaged in a bad habit that causes them to work less and costs the company more in healthcare costs sounds more like plain common sense than prejudice.

Do you agree or disagree?

Can You Hire Top Talent in Only 10 Days?

Last year the national average for filling an open position reached 29 days which was a record.  Believing that recruiters are simply dragging their feet and waiting for a purple squirrel is a common assumption time-481444_640and true to some extent.  To be fair though to recruiters and hiring managers, the number of measures that must be taken the moment a position becomes vacant needs to be considered.

Recruiters must:

  • Advertise the position
  • Identify acceptable candidates
  • Conduct interviews
  • Complete background and reference checks
  • Extend an offer
  • Wait for the candidate to accept the offer

When you consider all of this, 29 days doesn’t seem so long but it is!  According to some statistics, top talent remains on the market for only 10 days!  Additionally, during that 29 days, as the position remains open, productivity, revenue and morale drops among your employees.  The solution seems simple.  Speed up the hiring process! Weed out candidates with an ATS.  Conduct more interviews in less time with video interviewing!  Even with those measures in place, is ten days to fill a realistic goal?

Recruiting in the business world isn’t like recruiting in the sports or entertainment industry.  My team has an open position at quarterback and Cam Newton is available?  You’d better believe we are going after him! He’s a proven star!  Carmello Anthony is a free agent and I need a forward?  My VP of People Operations is calling up Carmello’s agent.  My movie’s director just dropped out?  Let’s see, is Scorsese Spielberg or Christopher Nolan available? No?  What about Alejandro Inarritu?  He’s been nominated twice in the last two years.

Within these fields top talent can easily be identified.  Right from the start a short list of stars to fill the open position is formed.  In the corporate world unless you are poaching executives at the “C” level from high profile companies such as Amazon, Apple or Google, most top talent is relatively unknown.  You don’t know that you have a potential Steph Curry, Odell Beckham Jr., or Cate Blanchett applying for your open position.  At least not from the start.

Though your job candidate’s resume may scream success up front, you certainly want more than a few days to determine the validity of their credentials.  Assuming an organization is lucky enough to find their dream candidate within seven days of posting a job, recruiters are left with only three days to interview the candidate, verify references and negotiate an offer before the candidate accepts another.  Careerbuilder released a survey a few years ago and the results showed that 41% of employers believed a bad hiring decision cost them upwards of $25,000 and 43% of them blamed their bad hires on a rushed hiring decision.

Organizations face a problem. Move too quickly during the hiring process and they risk hiring the wrong candidate.  Move too slowly and they risk a great candidate getting away. Move slower still, 29 days slow, and they risk losing not only the good candidates but all of the rest.  Hiring managers can ill afford to hold out and wait for a Steph Curry or an Adrian Peterson.  As Dr. John Sullivan points out, “…it’s mostly luck if the most desirable candidates decide to enter the job market precisely when you coincidentally have a job opening.”

So can you hire a great candidate in ten days?  Yes, but only if luck is on your side.  Generally you shouldn’t try because your rushed hiring decision could produce a bad hire.  However if you drag your feet too long waiting for the perfect candidate, your luck will turn to misfortune.  That is if you believe losing revenue is unfortunate.

Employed or Unemployed, Here is What You Need to Succeed in 2016

A new year brings with it hope for new opportunities so if you are looking for a job, thinking about quitting or want to remain where you are at and reach the top, you will benefit from the following articles.

Five lies recruiters tell job seekers.

Finding a job is more difficult if you get a lousy recruiter.  Be on the lookout for these lies they often tell.  From “I don’t have the job spec” to “I need to know your salary information”, be careful not to fall for thesematterhorn-918442_640 five fibs which might derail your job search.

11 tips for turning down a job offer so the hiring manager doesn’t hate you.

The first week of January is the most popular time to apply for a job according to Monster but if you get an offer that’s not a great fit, how do you turn it down without burning bridges with the hiring manager? This article explains how best to handle the situation professionally and ensure those bridges with the hiring manager and company remain unscathed.

A Wharton professor says this is the one question you should ask before accepting a new job.

I won’t make you click through. The question suggested by Wharton professor and author Adam Grant is, “How is this organization different from all other organizations?” Grant explains the answer should be told as a story and you should pay special attention to the following three possible values illustrated in their response: Justice and Fairness, Safety and Security, and Control.

Ask yourself these 16 questions to decide if it is time to quit.

Switching jobs is a major life change. Robin Camarote, author of “Flock: Getting Leaders to Follow” provides sixteen questions to ask yourself and answer before taking the big step. If you still can’t decide, read the following article.

Six reasons to stay in a job you hate.

Not everyone hates their job but certainly not everyone is in love with it either. A 2013 study by Gallup showed that only 30% of the American workforce honestly enjoyed their jobs.  So while throwing in the towel might be the obvious solution, here are six reasons sticking it out will benefit your future.

Ten Ways a terrible boss can teach you how to lead.

How can a bad boss be good for you? Watching your bad boss’ behavior may help you lead more effectively. Do they lack vision, decisiveness, humility? This article provides ten valuable “what not to do” lessons on leadership.

Here’s the most common mistake workers make when it comes to getting a raise.

According to Careerbuilder, 56% of workers have never asked for a raise but two-thirds of the workers, both male and female who ask for one, get it. So the most common mistake is never asking for one.

If you want a promotion, ditch these 5 annoying office habits.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones,” says Benjamin Franklin.  This article lists several office habits you can eliminate to increase your net worth.

Five times it is OK to say “No” at work.

No one wants to be uncooperative nor does anyone want to be a doormat. Here are five occasions where saying no at work is not only okay but possibly encouraged especially if you are not the best one for the job.

As your new year revs up, focus on increasing your net worth, learning from others’ mistakes and standing up for yourself.

Machines Aren’t Better Than Humans At Picking Employees

I am unable to say this as emphatically as I once may have because new research suggests otherwise, but I still assert this is true.  Two weeks ago I wrote a post about how the practice of blind interviews was misguided and basically contended that the opinions of hiring managers gained from in-person interviews were necessary to ensure cultural fit and employee retention.  In contrast, a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals that computers do a better job at hiring employees and could further validate the idea that the hiring process does not need the hands on evaluation of a hiring manager.

The researchers looked at fifteen companies and more than 300,000 hires in low-skill service sector jobs.  Tenures were compared of employees who had been hired by a human with those who had completed a job test and were picked by an algorithm.  The test evaluated candidates for technical skills, cognitive skills, personality and job fit.  The results showed that candidates picked by the algorithm remained longer with the company and were no less productive than those chosen by recruiters.

Based on this research one article concludedtoy-930612_640 with its title: “Machines Are Better Than Humans at Hiring The Best Employees.”  Is the case open and shut though?  Now the computer’s algorithm was solid.  Its top picks, labeled as green, stayed 12 days longer than those it labeled as yellow and yellows stayed 17 days longer than the reds.  And yes, when a recruiter, based on their gut, deviated from the algorithm’s suggested green pick and hired a yellow, the yellow pick left earlier than the green picks.  Given all of this I still can’t affirm that a human is worse or unnecessary in the hiring process.  The employees evaluated in this study filled lower level jobs such as you would find in a call center and the average tenure of these employees was only three months.  We cannot conclude that machines are better based on a comparison between two processes hiring entry level employees.  Is the human hiring process for a minimum wage earner who likely won’t work more than ninety days equally as sophisticated as the hiring process for someone making $80K a year?  To claim machines are better, the same comparison must be made of the hiring processes at different salary levels.

I’m also curious to know how many green candidates dropped out of the hiring process rather than submit to a rigorous evaluation that tested their skills, personality, etc. for a low paying job.  Based on their gut, how many green candidates did recruiters successfully identify and in less time?  With emerging technologies such as video interviewing, recruiters can see/hear candidates in minutes and make informed hiring decisions.  How do both hiring processes compare in terms of time spent placing the employee and is this speed in filling the position taken into account as a positive?

What becomes of diversity in a computer based hiring process?  Presumably age, ethnicity and gender data is not crunched by the computer.  While this may sound like a measure designed to eliminate discrimination a blind process does not necessarily promote diversity.  How many minorities might be at a skills or cultural disadvantage because their socio economic status did not provide them with the same educational and social resources their white peers were afforded?  Would these individuals possibly be eliminated by a computer but hired by a human?

Lastly, though the research suggests the computer with its battery of tests is better than a human, let us not forget who designed the computer and the battery of tests in the first place.  Ultimately humans created and programmed a better hiring process, at least at the lower levels, so in that respect we should not yet consider ourselves obsolete.

What Will Hiring Be Like In 100 Years?

The hiring process has changed over the years as old methods of hiring make way for new ones.  Online job postings killed the classifieds and soon postings will succumb to social media.  Video interviews will replace the phone screen.  Resume screening software has replaced humans and eventually the flaws these systems carry with them will be replaced with better technology.

I’m setting myself up for ridicule by trying to guess what the future of hiring will be like in 100 years but then again who is going to read this post in the next millennium and point out all the ways I got it wrong?
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First off, in one hundred years few jobs may be left that a robot isn’t already performing? According to the Boston Consulting Group, robots will replace humans in factories at a greater clip in the next decade than seen before.  As of now only ten percent of jobs than can be automated are taken by robots but by 2025 Boston Consulting foresees that 23% will be automated.  Two University of Oxford researchers estimated that by 2033, 47% of all U.S. jobs might be taken over by computers.  Imagining that the majority of factory related jobs will be automated by 2115 is not so difficult. Continue reading “What Will Hiring Be Like In 100 Years?” »

Is the Automated Interview Fraught With Perils?

Last month I read an article on the Huffington Post titled The Perils of the Automated IMG_20141204_105036082_HDR[1]Online Interview.  The author, a Harvard student, criticized automated online video interviewing after performing poorly during the video interviews he took for three different employers.  Since the student had been so burned he suggested in his article that cameras have no place in the interviewing process. Continue reading “Is the Automated Interview Fraught With Perils?” »

Hire-Intelligence To Address Video Interviewing At Annual American Psychological Association Convention

The first ever research conducted to determine the validity of web-based video job interviewing will be presented on August 10th in Washington D.C. at the 2014 Annual APA convention.

Titled, “Exploring the Validity of Asynchronous Web-Based Video Interviews” the session will address research sponsored by Hire-Intelligence and conducted by GCG Solutions principal Dr. Charles “Allen” Gorman. The study sought to evaluate the ability of video interviews to provide valuable, job-related insights for employers who use video to screen job candidates. The research found that ratings of the applicant, applicant characteristics, and video interview responses all predicted job performance and associated work outcomes. Continue reading “Hire-Intelligence To Address Video Interviewing At Annual American Psychological Association Convention” »

Video Interviewing: 50 Years Have Passed and You Still Don’t Use It.

Nixon-Kennedy debateVideo Interviewing usage continues to increase but still one could easily argue that we haven’t yet entered the early majority phase of adoption.  Still though, all of us have at one time used video to make a hiring decision and probably didn’t even realize it.  Every four years when we select the President we use video interviewing.  No of course we don’t sit and chat with the candidates over Skype or use a fee-based video interviewing service. We do however essentially watch the presidential hopefuls on video being interviewed and we as a nation collaborate on which candidate is best for the job.

In 1960, 70 million Americans watched the first televised Presidential debate.  Each one of those seventy million with the right to vote essentially had the role of hiring manager as they evaluated the candidates for the position of U.S. Commander in Chief.  Nearly fifty-four years later, companies have the option to replicate this process and gain many of the same advantages secured by the televised debates.  As I discuss these advantages below I wonder why a hiring process fit for a U.S. president hasn’t gained universal adoption more than a half century later.

Finally we can see the candidates! – After the debates concluded the media outlets at the time commented more on how the candidates appeared than how they answered.  Of course they did and why not?  So much of our determinations on whether a candidate can or cannot be successful are based on appearance and body language.  We know recent research suggests that viewing a candidate on video can help determine their likely success on the job.  Honestly would you want to hire the president based only on a voice recording you heard of him?  This is why many organizations today are foregoing the traditional phone screen in favor of a more revealing video interview.

Finally we can compare candidates! – “Sennator Kennedy, how do you feel about those darn Russkies in the Kremlin?”  “Vice President Nixon, same question.”  Of course this question wasn’t asked but you get the point.  How did candidate “K” and candidate “N” respond?  Did they have enthusiasm, poise, confidence, all the attributes I want to see in a candidate?  If you are a hiring manager and have chosen two resumes how do you efficiently and affordably ask the same question of both candidates and later compare their responses to one another?  With video of course.

Finally we can collaborate on candidates! – Perhaps the biggest benefit of the televised debate was that the country now had the means to collaborate with one another in a way that radio and newspapers could not allow them.  Clips of the televised event could be replayed for viewers and reanalyzed so that a more thorough evaluation could be conducted.  So even if you were unable to view the broadcast due to a scheduling issue, you could still watch the replay.  Of course today with the internet one can watch a recorded video interview online any time of day that is convenient for them.  Think now about the power that video interviewing affords you especially if you are part of a decision making team.  With video you can comment and collaborate on video interviews at your convenience.

Do you know how much hosting a Presidential debate costs?  The minimum commitment for a university is at least $1.5M but generally runs closer to $5M.  For the mere price of a nice dinner you could review four job candidates with video interviewing and still have all the benefits fit for deciding how to choose the next President.  Honestly, why has your company taken over half a century to adopt this practice?