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There’s No Silver Bullet for Hiring the Best Talent

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(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Criteria Corp, a leading provider of pre-employment testing services. They recently launched an app called JobFlare (iOS, FREE) that allows users to play “brain games” that are scientifically created to test the cognitive abilities that are considered the key predictors of job success. Enjoy the post!) 

You might be wondering about the title of today’s post. The term “silver bullet” has become an American expression meaning a quick, simple, and seemingly magical solution to a complicated matter. The reason I’m bringing this up is because it might be tempting to think of pre-employment testing as a silver bullet. But it couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to Josh Millet, CEO of Criteria Corp, when a testing provider tries to sell you their services with the promise “never make a bad hire again”, you should run, not walk in the opposite direction. “Testing isn’t a crystal ball, and that’s not how the science of employee selection works. Incorporating pre-employment tests into the hiring process is about making more informed decisions and maximizing your chances of hiring people who are likely to succeed. Think of it like improving your batting average.”

This raises the question, what can organizations do to improve their recruiting processes and select the best talent? One way is to use pre-employment tests as a way to predict learning potential. In the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study “The New Talent Landscape: Recruiting Difficulty and Skills Shortages”, sixty-eight percent (68%) of respondents indicated that they are experiencing challenging recruiting conditions.

I can see organizations being faced with a hiring dilemma. Do we hire Candidate A, who has 80 percent of the skills and provide them with training for the remaining 20 percent? Or do we leave the position vacant until we find a candidate with everything we’re looking for? Pre-employment tests can help organizations hire a candidate with the potential to be a rock star and allow them to invest in their development.

Avoiding the Bad Hire is Essential

Millet says the other way to improve hiring is by reducing risk. “Ultimately, it’s not about hiring the perfect person every time, it’s about improving the number of good people you get in the door and avoiding the truly toxic hires.”

And bad hires are expensive.

In an article on Business Insider, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh says that bad hires have cost his company “well over $100 million.” Arte Nathan, former CHRO for the Wynn Las Vegas, points out in a SHRM article that bad hires impact the entire organization. “Most companies don’t know the full cost of the turnover, so they don’t apply the resources upfront to avoid it. If you make a bad hire, there is a ripple effect among all who work for you, your product and your product quality.”

While using pre-employment tests to predict learning potential and reduce risk aren’t mutually exclusive, let’s focus today on some of the hiring tactics designed to reduce risk and how pre-employment testing can mitigate workplace injuries, employee errors, employee theft/fraud, in addition to the cost of a bad hire. Mitigating risk, especially when it comes to employees, can mean different things in different industries and occupational settings, and is dependent on the business outcomes you’re trying to achieve. For example:

Manufacturing: It’s important to hire employees who are more likely to follow the company’s rules and avoid safety accidents. Workplace accidents and incidents can harm human lives, which lead to higher workers’ compensation claims and can be costly (among other things). 

Retail: I think it goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway. Organizations want employees who are less likely to steal inventory, cash, or customer data.

Technology: Companies want to hire software engineers and workers who can motivate and push their teams to deliver projects on-time and within budget without making coding mistakes that could jeopardize security. 

Marketing: Organizations want to hire public relations and social media managers who are not prone to posting inaccurate or inappropriate content, which could damage the company’s consumer brand.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. Simply using pre-employment testing won’t magically prevent you from ever making a bad hire again. But testing can provide a way to reduce the overall risk an organization faces each time they hire someone. Pre-employment tests provide a data-driven way to way mitigate risk because they are correlated with reducing these types of risks.

Criteria Corp, assessments, assessment, skills gap, bridge, skill gap, recruitment, recruiting

One final thing – I wasn’t aware of this, but some insurances companies that write business policies give discounts to companies that use tests in the hiring process. Criteria Corp shared with me that they have a partnership with an insurance company that specializes in professional liability insurance and risk management services, and they actually provide discounts to their customers who use their integrity tests to hire employees because those tests are correlated with reduced risk.

Reduce Risk to Increase Employee Retention

Organizations today are focused on retention. That means making the best hire possible. No one wants to spend all that time and money hiring someone to have them leave after six months or a year. However, hiring the best talent involves mitigating risk so the company can avoid hiring a toxic, unproductive employee who brings down the entire organization. Pre-employment testing is one way to do it.

Pre-employment testing is a complex topic. Luckily Criteria Corp has created a “Definitive Guide to Pre-Employment Testing. Download a copy to learn more about the benefits of pre-employment tests. And be sure to follow their blog to learn even more.

The post There’s No Silver Bullet for Hiring the Best Talent appeared first on hr bartender.

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About Mildred Blankson

I am a Human Resource Professional with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. I have several years of experience in Human Resources and i hope this blog will be a great resource in helping you find the perfect job or candidate that you seek.

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How to Leverage Company Benefits to Recruit and Retain Top Talent

One-third of organizations have increased their overall benefit offerings in 2016, according to a research report compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). As recruiting and retaining top talent continue to become increasingly difficult for employers, robust benefit packages play a key role. When salaries and perks (think: free lunch) are nearly equal from company to company, employees are likely to opt for the company that offers the best benefits and greatest opportunities.

Medical and financial benefits aside, employees are looking for lifestyle and career benefits. SHRM reported that the top reason employers increased benefits in 2016 was to remain competitive in the marketplace—and the three biggest focus areas for change were in the health (22%), wellness (24%), and professional and career development (16%) categories. Robust benefit packages that include career development, health and wellness, and flexible working options provide a platform for employers to stand out. Nearly one-third of employees look for external positions because they desire “overall better benefits,” second only to higher compensation.

The type of benefits you offer speaks volumes on how you treat and support employees, which always manifests by way of your external employer brand. It’s not enough to say “we have great benefits,” because “great benefits” are now table stakes. Companies have mastered the art of talking about perks, from catered lunches to team building activities. Failure to talk about the real support and development opportunities you offer to employees might translate to missed opportunities. So how can hiring managers and recruiters promote employee benefits to help with recruiting and retention?

#1: Kick “industry standard” out of your vocabulary

When recruiters and hiring managers list their company’s benefits and summarize with the catch-all phrase, we offer “industry standard” benefits, it’s not enough. When all else—compensation, vacation days, and perks—are even, offering a standard benefits package won’t help your company standout enough to secure commitment from a top employee. Even though it might be tempting to default to a quick response, it pays to provide more detail about the benefits your company offers, in length, during the interview process.

And even more importantly than providing a laundry list of benefits (but kudos to you for that list!), explain how these benefits fit in with core company values. For example, if you offer flexible work arrangements and flexible hours, explain that these arrangements support your company’s value of work-life balance. If you provide a gym membership or showers at work, talk about how it enhances company culture or creates opportunities for employees to get the exercise they desire in a convenient way.. When recruits begin to see how your benefits support their shared values and interests, they’ll see the benefits you offer are much greater than “industry standard.”

Employers hoping to keep a competitive edge are offering more than the “industry standard” at every stage of the employee journey, including at severance – according to a recent study by RiseSmart. If you’re on the cutting edge of severance offerings, use those benefits to differentiate your company form the competition.

#2: Talk about goals in the recruiting and interview process

Before an employee is even hired, find out what they’re looking for in their employer and what their short and long term goals are. Ask questions like, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and “How are you hoping your employer will support you along your career journey?” Employees, many of whom are seeking opportunities for career development and continuing education, need to know you plan to invest in their individual career goals.

A Career Builder survey found that 45% of employees, regardless of generation, plan to stay with their employer for less than two years. During their tenure, they expect to benefit and grow with each new role and and at each new company. It’s important to convey to prospective employees that you invest in each individual employee, regardless for how long they plan to stay in the role for which they are being hired.

#3: Amplify the employee voice

Remind employees early on that they have a voice to share about company culture and employee benefits. Glassdoor, for example, recommends employers invite new hires to reflect on their first few months at the company. Whether this leads to internal feedback or a public review, it can assist efforts aimed at creating a positive employer brand.

L’Oréal recently launched a #LifeatLoreal hashtag to encourage employees to share photos of their experiences at work. The campaign all stemmed from the idea that people would trust their peers on social media when it came to L'Oréal being a great place to work. Employees posted a wide variety of pictures, including snapshots of various benefits and perks in action—such as flex days and catered lunches. Encourage employees to share the experiences they enjoy the most on the social channel of their choice.

#4: Keep employees engaged with benefits

On average, salary is only about 70% of an employee’s total compensation. When employees don’t take advantage of the benefits offered by the company, it’s equivalent to leaving 30% of the total compensation package on the table. Employers who keep employees engaged with benefits are more likely to see benefits manifest as part of the employer brand. An employee is highly unlikely to leave a Glassdoor review that mentions a positive benefit if she has never actually utilized the benefit.

Try hosting monthly or quarterly Q&A sessions to discuss available benefits. When you roll out a particularly hefty benefit, such as a new 401K offering, or an update to parental leave policy, give employees ample opportunity to ask questions. You could also share success stories from employees who have taken advantage of a particularly niche benefit, such as an hour of free lawyer services, to showcase how the benefit is used and encourage other employees to check it out.

#5: Benefits are the forgotten negotiation tool

If you are a hiring manager or recruiter engaging with a candidate, think beyond salary, or equity. Everything is negotiable, from vacation days to health insurance choices. Savvy employees, especially as the war for talent continues to heat up, will use benefits as negotiation tools—but don’t shy away from doing the same thing on the employer side. It’s often easier to offer more benefits than to secure additional salary for an employee.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your full complement of benefits, including your severance benefits. Prospective employees may feel more comfortable about joining a company that will take care of them, in the event of a downsizing or restructuring event. You may want to consider offering perks like outplacement and career transition services to employees who leave voluntarily as well as those who are involuntary subjects of a layoff. Knowing that you are invested in their career, even after they leave, will help you create a workforce of dedicated, engaged, and satisfied employees.

The world is small and everyone is connected. When you invest in employees, it leads to a positive employer brand. In the new Employee Relationship Economy, former employees will someday become vendors, customers, brand evangelists, recruiting references, or even boomerang employees. In a world where the employee/employer relationship is no longer finite, it’s important to convey your full support for employees’ career endeavors at every stage of their career journeys -- beginning early in the recruiting and interview process.

In every recruiting conversation, highlight your dedication to each employee’s career. When you frame up your organization’s benefits in context of how they fit in with the employee’s journey, it’s easy for the candidate to see how your company would support his journey. Communication about employee benefits can go a long way in the recruiting process—and will have a direct impact on your employer brand. If you offer much more than “industry standard,” you should be screaming it from the rooftops. Your current and prospective employees deserve to understand just how committed you are to their personal and professional journey.

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