By Gerry Crispin, SPHR and Mark Mehler
Since 1996 our Update has been published 10-12 times each year and aims to share commentary, observations, perspectives and data we come across during our staffing adventures. We hope you continue to enjoy it and pass it on to friends. All are invited to register for the Update for free. Coupled with our Bellwether, a provocative monthly look at trends we share with CareerXroads Colloquium members, we are always willing to challenge the accepted wisdom or poke a little fun at the staffing industry and ourselves in the process.
We invite you to keep in touch and join us during the year at the various conferences where we speak or simply attend.
There may be limits to opportunistic recruiting tactics. 48 hours after a serious earthquake devastated Christchurch, New Zealand last month, a Manpower job ad placed on the top job board, SEEK, attempted this hook with survivors:
If you are looking for an opportunity to get away for a while, Australian Engineering firms could be your silver lining. With paid relocation and resettling assistance, the next 2 years could be an experience that you and your family will not regret.
Needless to say the uproar caused Manpower to backpedal quickly as described in this online newsletter from Whiteboard.
Extending their Career site to the desktop, PepsiCoJobs has launched an app downloadable from iTunes for iPod, iPhone and Android to search jobs by keyword, job title or location, store search history, mark job searches as favorites and automate alerts based on interests. Recruiting Roundtable's short summary about the launch described the company's growing mobile strategy as aspiring "to reach their target audience 'anytime, anywhere.'"
In other social networking news - Deloitte Australia has launched a new Facebook page and phone application, designed to help communicate with the 10,000 candidates it expects to attract for its graduate recruitment program this year. This according to Shortlist, a private subscription newsletter out of Australia. "Deloitte's Australian national recruitment director, James Elliott, told Shortlist the company had the biggest annual grad intake in the country - 500 graduates, plus 400 summer vacation interns." Elliott also noted, "the new Facebook profile had been live for the past three weeks, and had 1,000 followers so far." The key point of the new app was that the profile was integrated with Deloitte's internal social platform, Yammer, which meant all of Deloitte's 5,000 Australian staffers could see and reply to questions posted on Facebook.
Good job. Add a 'status' app and we'll do a dance.
A tweet led us to this outstanding Kellogg School of Management article, The Downside of Deliberating. This thought piece about decision-making examines the likelihood of changing your mind depending on whether you make a 'snap' decision or, whether you 'think hard' about the choice you make.
Students were asked to decide which jelly beans they preferred. Some were asked to "think hard" before choosing. Some were asked to react spontaneously and decide. Later the students came back to confirm their original choices. The data from this typical, but clueless-and-entertaining-lab-student experiment showed, contrary to the hypothesis, that people making snap decisions are less likely to change their minds.
The authors explained what they thought was happening by noting: "Deliberation introduces noise into the decision-making process," Nordgren says. "Thinking too much somehow brings us away from our true preferences." Unfortunately, they infer that deliberation may be a bad thing, we're not sure.
Perhaps when we get beyond consumer preferences, as in staffing, where the jelly beans are people whose lives and livelihoods are impacted, our initial preference for who we hire may have nothing to do with predicting their eventual contribution. Perhaps some more noise in the process should be inserted on purpose.
Many firms, even those with extensive processes to share and justify their choices, fail to systematically guard against recruiter and hiring manager 'halo' effects which can sometimes be set in stone in the first few seconds. One might even argue that [too often] when we make a snap decision about a candidate, we then act to uncover supporting evidence and discount evidence to the contrary.
With all the focus on finding candidates and managing talent pools it might be useful to spend some energy on shoring up the decision process.
Arguably, everyone has a comment on Cost-per-Hire. Some recruiters hate being measured by it and some just hate it. However, most staffing leaders have to deal with it whether they hate it or not. Funny how we never worry about WHAT it is until we have to compare it to our competitors or what we did a few years ago.
CPH is finally being addressed. Not as THE standard by which staffing should be measured, but instead, as a measure that ought to be standardized so we all know what we are talking about when we use it.
A working group of more than 50 practitioners, consultants, vendors and academics wrestled with the details and produced a modest 44 page CostPerHire Draft document that is in its public comment phase until March 18. (Modest? Yes, some standards, in engineering especially, can be hundreds of pages long.)
So, make your opinion known after you download and read it - pro or con. Email it to your partners who claim to help you measure CPH and ask if their tools comply. The CPH working group under the guidance of Jeremy Shapiro at Morgan Stanley produced this little gem. They are part of a larger National Staffing and Workforce Planning Task Force (lead by Gerry) where a Job Description standard and a Workforce Planning standard are not far off.
Adding some additional perspectives, the former CEO of SHRM, Susan Meisinger, weighed in on the importance of HR Standards and the role SHRM is playing as a standards development organization for the American National Standards Institute in her February HRExecutiveOnline column. And Lee Webster, SHRM's point person on the standards initiative was interviewed [audio podcast] along with Jeremy Shapiro and Gerry by Peter Clayton, Total Picture Radio, about the CPH standard and potential for staffing standards in general.
It all began with a mysterious woman at last year's HRTechnology Conference who wasn't what she claimed, a potential customer for Success Factors products. Now no one can find her. She was a fake. Her company website is a fake. But somewhere along the line Success Factors thought she was the real deal and gave her a detailed pricing proposal. Now, that is gone too. The opening of a John LeCarre novel? Maybe not.
John Zappe's Valentine's day ERE article, Success Factors Alleges It was Scammed by Halogen, seems somehow appropriately timed as it details Success Factors' accusation that its Canadian competitor Halogen defrauded them. Tom Janz noted that Halogen's website does relate how it is committed to ethical values and suggests that at the very least, if the allegations are true, there appears to be some hypocrisy on Halogen's part. On the other side, a few questions are being raised about Success Factor's practices as well. We agree and wonder [naively] what would make someone so sensitive over pricing? Isn't transparency the new watchword?
Still, whether you call it 'mystery shopping", competitive intelligence or fraud, there seems to be a fine line in the making.
We just have to comment about this Editor and Publisher article congratulating their [print] industry colleagues on adding a new feature, video resumes, to their services. Basically these publications are now educating (and charging) job seekers to make videos and post them on the publication's site.
Before the Internet, a job seeker could circle 30 job adverts from 30 companies in Sunday newspapers, cut them out, mount each on individual pages in their journal, type 30 cover letters, print them out, stuff them along with copies of their resume and mail them all out on Monday morning expecting they would reach their destinations by Wednesday. (The cleverest job seekers bought the Sunday classifieds on Saturday and got them in the mail 2-days early!) Start to finish, it took three to four hours tops. Really!
Today, finding and applying to 30 jobs in 30 companies isn't fixed to a specific time but would take the average job seeker the better part of three days working around the clock. (Try it if you don't believe us, we've timed it). Really!
And now publishers have come up with the bright idea that job seekers would like to spend even more of their waking hours over days, weeks and months learning how to properly project themselves to an imaginary audience of recruiters? Really?
Never mind that recruiters and hiring managers would be out of their mind to spend their days watching and comparing videos of potential candidates. Video interviews, yes. Video resumes, seldom if ever. Really.
This was a bad idea 20 years ago and will still be a bad idea 20 years from now or at least until a meaningful method of searching and extracting content from video is found. For job seekers to upload their video resumes for employers to view is either a) one more indication of how publishers have misunderstood and misused every technology since the invention of the printing press; b) an outright scam to bilk money out of job seekers since employers won't give them any; c) a sadist's answer to the question "How can we waste more time, effort and money of desperate people?"; or, d) all of the above.
Really, that felt good.Copyright MMC Group © 1996-2011 all rights reserved.
The Staffing Strategy Connection
By Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler
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