Hiring And Retaining Top-Performing Employees

How do you design and implement retention programs that will keep your organization’s best employees from walking out the door? This issue answers this question by providing the tools and advice to build an organization with a culture of retention. This issue offers a proactive nine-step strategy, including a formula to calculate the cost of turnover, a hiring checklist, a sample employee satisfaction survey, and a person specification checklist.

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The Importance of Background Checks while Hiring New Employees

This article discusses the process of background checks that many corporates are running to check the credentials of their employees. The key theme in this article is that both employees and employers have to honor their side of the commitment and for employees especially, it is better to be straightforward about what they declare on their resumes and application forms.

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Quarterly Hiring Outlook is the Strongest in Three Years

According to CareerBuilder and USA TODAY’s latest job forecast, nearly three-in-ten employers (28 percent) reported they hired full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter of 2011, the highest since the first quarter of 2008. The momentum is expected to continue with the same amount of employers planning to add full-time, permanent positions in the second quarter. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from February 21 to March 10, 2011, included more than 2,800 hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 5,600 workers across industries and company sizes. “While employers are keeping a close eye on world events, their confidence levels in regard to recruitment have remained intact,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Job listings on CareerBuilder are up across all categories, from healthcare and technology to manufacturing. Our latest survey points to continued, measured gains over the next three months. As the nation moves toward greater financial stability, more employers are investing in talent for the long-term.” In the last survey completed in December 2010, 23 percent of employers expected to hire full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter of 2011. The number of employers who actually added headcount in the first quarter was 28 percent, signifying seven consecutive quarters where actual hiring exceeded projections. This is also a jump from last year, when 23 percent of employers reported they had added full-time, permanent headcount in the first quarter of 2010. Ten percent decreased headcount in the first quarter 2011, an improvement from 12 percent last year. Sixty-two percent said there was no change in their number of full-time, permanent employees while one percent were undecided. Read more.

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Job Board Created for Laid-Off Newspaper Employees

LAS VEGAS–( BUSINESS WIRE)–In an effort to help laid-off newspaper employees, Newspapers & Technology and The Job Network have created an online program to help journalists as well as operations and production personnel find new employment. Job seekers can post their resumes free of charge on Newspapers & Technology’s Web site, www.newsandtech.com. The resumes will be available for viewing on nearly 375 Job Network sites, plus affiliated networks such as RealMatch, SimplyHired, Google, Scientific American and Geek.com. The Job Network offers state-of-the-art real-time technology that grades and matches employers’ needs with candidates’ skills. Employers can also use the service free of charge to enter criteria associated with open positions. Job Network matches employers’ needs with submitted resumes and returns those resumes that best match those requirements. An employer would be charged a small fee to view the contact information associated with candidates who best matched the job. The partnership was announced Monday at the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference here. With major newspaper groups facing serious financial challenges – and some in bankruptcy – the number of newspaper jobs has plummeted. More than 7,000 newspaper jobs were lost in 2008, and no relief appears in sight for 2009. Late last month, the Rocky Mountain News closed, and daily papers in Tucson, Ariz., San Francisco and Seattle have been targeted for closing or staff cutbacks. “This is a very challenging time for the industry,” said Mary L. Van Meter, publisher of Newspapers and Technology. “Not a day passes that I don’t get a phone call or an e-mail from some very capable person who’s looking for a job.” Van Meter and Marc Wilson, president of The Job Network, both serve on the Inland Press Association board of directors, and at a recent board meeting the two agreed to merge the promotional power of Newspapers & Technology and Wilson’s Job Network technology in an attempt to help laid-off newspaper employees. “I wish we could do more,” Wilson said. “I understand that very few newspapers are hiring. But I think that many newspapers have gone overboard in staff reductions, and when the recession ends, there once again will be a demand for talented reporters, editors, production, circulation and other staff.” The Job Network, a premier provider of employment solutions, is a limited liability partnership owned by TownNews.com, RealMatch Inc., Schurz Communications, Pioneer Newspapers, Dix Communications, the Seaton Group, Calkins Newspapers and the PAGE Cooperative. Newspapers & Technology is the publishing industry’s premier source of news and information about newspaper operations and production. For further information, contact Mary Van Meter at 303-575-9595 or Marc Wilson at 309-269-7826 ( Read the original release at BusinessWire.)

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Employees First to Move Forward

In our fast-paced society, it becomes easy to overlook your human capital; sometimes making quick hiring positions simply to fill a gap. In this podcast, Rob Waldron explains how he does things a little differently. Not only does he interview every potential new hire, but he also works with an employee-first mindset. In this podcast, we explore what it means to be a leader with this perspective and the advantages it has given Rob in his work.

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Economics of Human Resources Management: Hiring, Firing, and Reward Systems

This article examines how the HR decisions in recent years are being driven by economics more than any other concerns given the emphasis on cost cutting and increasing profits. The key themes in this article are that potential and current employees must be cognizant not only of how well they perform or how poorly they have fared but also about how much they cost to the firms and hence, be prepared accordingly.

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ASTD 2010 International Conference and Expo Chicago Conference: a great show for public policy!

Hi there. For those of us who attended the International Conference and Expo in Chicago this year, it was great to see the public policy programming and recognition in Chicago. Public policy programming had three sessions. The first was on the engagement of the public workforce system and an overview of federal and state activities in the worker training area. A good review of local boards and one stop career centers was also discussed. The benefits on involvement to you and your organization were highlighted. Our second session was a good deeper dive into state grants and tax credits. Most states in the US have programs in place to reimburse organizations for their investment in training or in hiring employees for their organization. Working with state agencies directly is the key, and many examples were discussed. The third session was a panel discussion with ASTD members whose organizations had benefited directly from their participation in federal, state or local workforce systems. The goal was to highlight the importance of each level of government engagement. And lastly, the ASTD Public Policy Council received the ASTD-Staff Partnership Award at the awards program on Monday night which was highlighted by the team’s efforts with Congressional Conversations at last year’s conference in Washington, DC. The announcement was in the awards program guide handed out that evening. Over the summer, the policy team will continue to meet with key members of Congress and their staffs about WIA reauthorization, Section 127 of the IRS code and other training related legislation. We will continue to post updates to this blog. And, if you’re a chapter leader, don’t forget that we will be going back to Capitol Hill this fall with a pre-conference day to the ALC Chapter Leaders Conference. Join us for Congressional Conversation 2.0!

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Topic Teasers Vol. 44: Don’t Hire Heroes!

Question: Finally, we have convinced human resources that our agile team lead and our ScrumMaster need to be involved in hiring new team members. But now that we have the authority, we really don’t know what to look for in a good hire. How do we use this new power to our best advantage in choosing a fresh agile colleague?

A. Be careful what you ask for. Only human resource certified people are qualified to choose new employees for an organization. Revoke your participation rights in this process or you will be blamed when this new hire fails.

B. It’s not only the questions you ask, but what you do with the answers that will empower you to choose the best addition to your team. Create a good list of questions and know how to interpret what you hear.

C. Your product owner is the person on the management team and is more experienced in what makes a good agile team member. Ask him to sit in on candidate interviews and then defer to his superior judgment when making the final choice.

D. The person you hire must fit into the team, so assemble the entire team and have all of them work with you to interview potential candidates. Once they have agreed on a choice, they will be forced to work with the new person successfully since they have been part of the hiring decision.

Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

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Workplace Flexibility Gives Companies Unique Access to Professional Talent

(From The Huffington Post) — Why aren’t businesses and out-of-work professionals connecting? Even with the more than 20 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, companies are saying they can’t find the “right people” for their open jobs (which reports estimate to number around 3.4 million). Hiring managers claim that job seekers lack the “necessary skills” to fill these roles, but in actuality, it is the way organizations operate that may be causing the disconnect. Every day we meet with or talk to highly-educated professionals with sought-after specialized skills who turn down offers because they are looking for a work environment that is more progressive than what many of the companies today are presenting. These professionals have a desire — or need — for some element of flexibility in their work arrangement for any number of reasons. But surprisingly, these typically minimal allowances are falling on deaf ears. Passing up a strong hire because he or she needs to work from home on Fridays (for example) hardly makes sense in this day and age. A company’s human capital is what gives it a competitive edge and attracts other talented professionals. By evolving its perspective and implementing flexible work programs, a company can expand its reach for talent tenfold. Here’s why. There are likely millions of applicants out there who fall into at least one of these groups: 1. They aren’t interested in working full time from an office. 2. They require flexibility for personal reasons. 3. They don’t want to relocate. Still, many organizations wonder why they should have to make accommodations for potential employees. If a person needs a job, why can’t he or she come into the office? Or, remote working is too disruptive and will turn my company upside down. In actuality, here’s how the above plays out on the business side when organizations are open to alternative workplace options: 1. The company saves on real estate costs and other operating expenses through an office-sharing environment. 2. The company reduces benefit and salary outlays depending on the type of flexibility programs offered. 3. The company circumvents geographical limits and increases hiring pool through remote work options. Read more.

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Tech Wages Remain Flat in Fourth Quarter

(PHILADELPHIA, BUSINESS WIRE)–After declining in the third quarter to levels not seen since 2006, technology wages remained flat in the final quarter of 2008, according to the latest Yoh Index of Technology Wages. The final weeks of the fourth quarter showed positive gains in wages, maintained by increases in both health care and telecommunications. The Index also saw IT, scientific and aviation wages hold steady, while clinical and engineering wages dropped slightly. Wages fluctuated throughout the fourth quarter, and at the lowest point, hit a 2.39 percent decrease from the same time last year. At its peak, wages were 2.59 percent higher than the same time last year. “The latest data continues to emphasize uncertainty in the marketplace,” says Bill Yoh, President and CEO of Yoh. “Since many businesses have employed layoffs as the primary tactic in this economic rough patch, technology wages have not been impacted as dramatically as we would have expected. In this quarter, businesses will begin to respond by increasing layoffs, decreasing raises and yearly bonuses, or hiring new employees with lower starting salaries, but we anticipate the impact of these decisions will not be as dramatically reflected in wages until later this year. ( Read the entire story.)

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Talent Management Is a Top Priority for 2010

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) — With the economy cautiously turning the corner, senior leaders are focused on hiring and developing talent, according to a survey of more than 450 senior executives on LinkedIn by Right Management. 94 percent of executives said talent management is a top priority for 2010. Right Management is the talent and career management expert within Manpower, the global leader in employment services. The findings present good news for employees and job seekers. Employers are preparing themselves for growth opportunities as the economy rebounds and are looking for ways to enhance performance and productivity. One-third of the senior executive respondents will be hiring new talent in 2010, while 36 percent will focus on developing current talent. Twenty percent reported that increasing employee engagement is a top priority. Career development opportunities and efforts to increase engagement typically improve retention, which may explain why only 4 percent of senior leaders indicated they would be focusing efforts on retention. Read the full release.

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Survey: U.S. Workers to Receive Largest Merit Increases Since Start of Financial Crisis

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–U.S. employers are planning to give employees this year the largest merit increases since the start of the financial crisis, according to a new survey by Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW), a global professional services company. The survey also found that the hiring freezes that were put into place during the recession are beginning to thaw, especially for professional and technical workers, and positions that require employees with critical skills. The Towers Watson survey found that companies are optimistic and are budgeting merit increases of 3.0% for 2011. That compares with the 2.7% merit increase awarded to employees overall in 2010 and is the largest merit increase since before the financial crisis when increases typically averaged 3.5 – 4.0%. Though the horizon is brighter for most companies, the survey also found that 5% of companies plan to freeze salaries for all workers this year, the same percentage as last year. However, 13% of companies plan to freeze salaries for executives while 12% plan to freeze salaries for hourly workers. Both figures are down sharply from 2010. “Most companies have turned the corner and are now in a much stronger position financially to recognize and reward employees, especially their top performers,” said Laura Sejen, global head of rewards consulting at Towers Watson. “Throughout the recession and even afterwards, companies made it a high priority to provide better rewards to those employees who performed at the highest level and made the highest contributions to their organizations.” Read more.

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Survey: HR Execs Report Job Cuts to Increase

New York, NY (Vocus/PRWEB ) March 25, 2009 — According to a recent survey of 233 HR professionals commissioned by SelectMinds*, 48 percent anticipate additional layoffs over the next 6-12 months. With companies facing continued staff reductions, now is the time to determine what measures can be taken to remain connected with former employees, particularly top talent. According to SelectMinds, parting ways with workers is no longer viewed as something that comes to an abrupt end, but rather an opportunity to nurture a life-long relationship. One-time colleagues with deep knowledge of an organization, become a valuable talent source for future hiring opportunities. When the economy turns, companies will need to rehire talent. To ensure hiring costs are not in the millions, like the separation costs being paid today, businesses must find ways to leverage their existing base of past employees immediately. For less than 1 percent of what is being paid now to reduce a workforce, an alumni social network for departed employees can be up and running in a few short weeks, laying the foundation for future hiring needs. “Alumni networks are an affordable and proven strategy for maintaining relationships crucial to longevity and growth,” said Anne Berkowitch, CEO, SelectMinds. “While the news of further workforce reductions is concerning, businesses must view former workers as assets, remembering these connections pave the way to extremely cost effective re-recruiting, new business and partnership opportunities.” ( Read the entire article.)

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Survey: How Small Companies Respond to Recession

SAN LEANDRO, Calif.–( BUSINESS WIRE)–As the U.S. recession deepens and monthly job losses reach historic highs, a recent survey of more than 400 white-collar small businesses is shining a light on how small employers are evolving their human capital management practices in a down economy, and how employer practices are directly influenced by whether the small business owner is considered an “economic optimist” or an “economic pessimist.” Conducted by TriNet, a leading provider of human resources outsourcing and consulting services to small businesses, the TriNet Recession Practices Survey polled businesses in the technology, financial and professional services fields. The survey found that nearly half of the respondents fall in the category of being “economic optimists” and saw market conditions as least as good as in 2008. Of the economic pessimists, 34 percent viewed the economy as worse and 18 percent viewed it as much worse than 2008. When it comes to hiring and talent acquisition practices for white-collar small businesses, the survey found that hiring plans are still on the table, but are being scaled back overall, with more than half of respondents saying they will hire fewer employees in 2009. Just as consumer confidence influences the performance of the market, employer confidence influences their business’s response to it . Specifically, 28 percent of economic optimists are planning to hire more employees in 2009 than the previous year and only 4 percent of economic pessimists are planning to hire more in 2009. ( Read the entire release.)

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Strategic Sales Training

It’s time for some new thinking in sales training. Clearly, there is a need for more comprehensive approaches to increasing individual competency and building sales capacity. The current approach just isn’t working. Let’s look at some of the newest trends in sales and sales management, and how they can help: Talent management. Studies have shown that a deliberate approach to talent management, including the recruitment, selection, orientation, engagement, and retention of top sales performers, results in annual sales force turnover of less than 10 percent (BPT Partners). Top sales organizations focus keenly on the proper identification and selection of new sales team members who have the best fit for building the sales team. That means they fit withing the sales culture, selling system, and types of products being sold. S kills development. Training is conducted with the purpose of helping salespeople increase their knowledge of the business and developing higher level skills, not just focusing on one element of the sales training mix such as product knowledge. Sales leaders coach and develop their team members. Sales process execution. Once equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills, salespeople must be free to use them. They must be permitted – and expected – to take initiative, use good judgment, and make ethical decisions. Yet, 81 percent of sales organizations say that they don’t have a consultative sales process or are not following the one they have. Foundational selling skills. Skills such as presentation skills, speaking, closing, and follow-up – seem to be less important in today’s selling climate. Don’t get me wrong, salespeople do believe that addressing tough customer requirements, leveraging industry knowledge, and troubleshooting complex business problems provide the right customized experience for the buyer. Salespeople can provide value to buyers through a collaborative approach that co-creates a solution through a complex sales cycle. These approaches require salespeople to develop a wide variety of skills to keep pace with the increasing sophistication of the market and of their offerings. A competency model can help to define and guide that development. A competency model. A sales competency model can serve as an objective foundational starting point that can help to forecast and address knowledge and skills issues that arise due to the changes in markets and demographics. Consider the impact of a younger workforce: Will the only gap be one of turning knowledge into skill? How will companies turn the raw, undeveloped abilities of these younger players into consistently applied talent? What resources do we have for the bright, knowledgeable sales-team member who lacks the interpersonal skills to form lasting relationships with customers? And how will we address the loss of accumulated knowledge and years of experience when our most senior salespeople retire – many of them within the next five to ten years? If the experience of maturing workers is important to a company’s success, how can that experience and expertise be captured and transferred to younger, less experienced workers? Sales trainers, sales managers, and company executives must be more concerned with providing a holistic learning and development progression rather than relying on ad-hoc sales training activities. Furthermore, management must take a more proactive role in promoting the importance of this development and supplying adequate resources. Right now, many companies’ leaders are getting in the way of their sales teams’ success: In response to the ASTD survey, 44 percent said that there was a lack of management buy-in to sales training in their organizations, and 42 percent said that management’s short-sighted focus on results was an obstacle to successful sales training. To engineer world-class sales performance, sales team development must be holistic, all-encompassing, and proactive. There must be a paradigm shift in thinking, from “sales training” to “sales development and performance.” Sales training must quickly and deliberately evolve from a sometime activity by sales managers to an intentional, qualified effort that is directly tied to business strategy and measured according to business outcomes. Its practitioners must be knowledgeable, dedicated, and guided by a competency-based approach. A quantum shift to sales development and performance will bring sales team members together with professional sales trainers to create positive, progressive change by balancing human, ethical, technological, and operational considerations. A competency-based approach can help organizations attain business outcomes and results by focusing on sales-team member knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, and actions in relation to the workplace environment. For example, a competency-based approach allows sales development and performance professionals to work with a hiring manager to select new employees who demonstrate the agreed-upon competencies and expertise required to be successful in the position. These competencies then become part of the performance management system to monitor and evaluate the individual’s performance on the job. Finally, these competencies serve as the basis for guiding future development. A competency-based approach applied to the sales organization can provide a firm foundation by which sales team members can develop. With this approach, development efforts aimed at helping sales team members gain basic skills, technology skills, or even management skills are designed to be immediately applicable. Salespeople must continually develop new skills in order to contribute to the growth of their companies. The only way for companies to grow and compete in a rapidly changing global business environment is to have a skilled sales team that is innovative, understands the economic environment and marketplace, and is driven to excel within their industry. This requires the right people, with the right skills, at the right time. The tools and systems created by a competency-based approach to sales-team development can help organizations overcome many of the barriers cited here and maximize the potential of their sales force.

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Recession Causes Perception Disconnect Between Employers and Workforce

MAYNARD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New research from Monster.com and Human Capital Institute reveals a dramatic difference in how employers and workers perceive the impact of the current recession, potentially leading to employers facing mass talent drains as the labor market begins to turn. The reason – employers are vastly overrating the morale of their employees as 84 percent of those surveyed indicated a belief that their workforce is content to simply to have a job while only 58 percent of workers feel that way. Monster.com is the leading global online career and recruitment resource and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW). “Today’s employers feel that employees are loyal due to the economic times, but the reality is they are not,” said Katherine Jones, HCI Research Fellow. “Because of this, there is a strong likelihood that when the economy turns for the better, employers could find themselves with valued employees jumping ship. This places pressure on them to put retention measures in place now.” “While this environment has created a prime opportunity to acquire top talent and increase selective hiring, it is also a time for employers to prepare their workforces strategically for moving forward in a redefined, healthier economy,” said Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster. “However, to do that, they need to better understand the mindset of their employees. As the economy rebounds, those workplaces that have not invested in their people could face a mass exodus of employees, potentially crippling the business.” Read more.

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More Than Half of Large, Downsized U.S. Businesses Plan to Rebuild Their Workforces to Pre-Recession Levels by 2012

(From Business Wire) — More than half (54 percent) of large U.S. businesses that reduced staff in the past 12 months plan to rebuild their workforces to pre-recession levels within two years, according to a study released today by Accenture (NYSE: ACN). “The Accenture High Performance Workforce Study” found that among all U.S. companies surveyed, only 13 percent of executives said that they plan to reduce their employee base over the next 12 months. “The outlook is improving,” said David Smith, managing director of the Accenture Talent & Organization Performance practice. “But as companies grow their staff, it is more critical than ever that they understand their skills needs and approach the expansion of their workforces strategically.” The survey confirmed that companies are shifting their focus away from cost control and returning to growth. The percentage of U.S. companies focused primarily on cost control will decrease from 41 percent in mid-2009 to 18 percent in 2011, according to the study. And the percentage of U.S. companies focused primarily on investment in growth-oriented activities, such as hiring, will increase from 24 percent today to 37 percent within the next 12 months. However, as companies focus on growth, a shortage of high-quality skills may be cause for concern for many businesses. Only 15 percent of U.S. executives surveyed described the overall skill level of their workforces as industry-leading. “A lack of relevant skills may present a hurdle for companies as they position themselves for growth,” said Smith. “Companies need to rethink how they equip employees with the skills required to be competitive today. They must also consider new strategies for hiring and developing untapped talent currently available in the market.” Read more.

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Kenya: New Survey Touts Top Employers

(From Business Daily Africa) This comes at a time when companies are grappling with managing different generations at work that have made it crucial for big shifts in people management in efforts to retain a new crop of highly skilled employees coming into the workplace. Companies are also faced with dealing with high employee turnover resulting from bad employee experiences and high dissatisfaction rates that are costing them millions in hiring and training. It comes on the back of a study by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers that found that inability of the majority of Kenyan companies to motivate young employees, commonly known as the Generation Y, is to blame for the rising rate at which they are changing employers. Read more.

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HR Departments Prioritising Training Over Recruitment

(From freshbusinessthinking.com) — Taleo Corporation, provider of on-demand talent management solutions, today released new research findings which show that organisations are prioritising employee development over hiring for the year ahead, as they look to improve staff retention and develop talent within the business. The vast majority (82%) of HR professionals surveyed said they considered employee development to be a bigger priority for their organisation in 2011, compared to just 18% who felt recruitment was going to be more important. In addition, 56% of respondents reported that employee development and training was perceived as an essential business enabler within their organisation, while 15% reported that it was still seen as a nice to have rather than essential. When asked to identify what would help their organisation to develop its talent better, more than a quarter (27%) of respondents felt that better visibility of skill gaps would greatly assist them in developing employee talent, while almost as many (25%) would like better visibility of their employees existing skills. Read more.

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Global Assessment Trends Report Reveals Shifts in Talent Management Focus

(From PRWEB) — PreVisor, the global leader in employment assessments and talent measurement solutions that connect employment decisions to business results, released its 2nd annual Global Assessment Trends report summarizing findings from over 230 companies headquartered throughout the world. Co-sponsored by ADP, this year’s report aims to provide HR and business audiences with an up-to-date perspective on practices and trends related to talent measurement programs used for hiring, career development and succession planning. Highlights of the 2010 Global Assessment Trends Report (GATR) include key HR trends related to assessment, an overview of talent measurement practices around the world, and changes observed in comparison to the 2009 report results. “The report findings confirm what we’ve witnessed in the past twelve months: that many of our clients, while recognized as leading HR practitioners, continue to feel pressure from the economic downturn”, observed Noel Sitzmann, PreVisor CEO. “However, the data also indicates that many organizations have made the necessary adjustments to move forward with effective talent measurement and management programs that will contribute to business growth going forward. These are exactly the kinds of strategic initiatives we work hard to support.” Among the key findings from the report: 1) The emergence of performance management and career development In the top talent priorities for 2010; 2) The economic recovery impact showed most companies (68%) indicated concern about employee retention; 3) A focus on Quality of Hire, as 70% of respondents feel pressure to demonstrate ROI for the use of assessments in the staffing process; 4) Social Media for hiring received mixed results. While almost 70% of organizations plan to use various social media sites in their recruiting efforts, 50% remain unsure if the efforts are effective. Only 24% of companies agree that social media websites have a large impact on talent management. 5) Applicant reaction was considered critical, but was not always tracked. Eighty-four percent of companies agreed that applicant reaction to the hiring process is important; however, only 41% obtain feedback from candidates. And 6) Formalized Post-Hire talent programs could improve. Only half of respondents use assessment tools with their current workforce. Less than 30% have established formal career development for employees. Read the full release.

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Engaged Workers Report Twice as Much Job Creation

(From Gallup.com) — Employees who are in engaged in their work and workplace are twice as likely to report their organization is hiring new workers as those who are actively disengaged. Workers who are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace are far more likely to report their organization is letting people go than those who are engaged. Americans report these substantial differences in their organization’s hiring practices even though, collectively, Gallup finds overall U.S. job creation holding steady in recent months. These findings are from a special Gallup Daily tracking series conducted January through June 2011 to thoroughly explore American workers’ engagement levels. Gallup’s employee engagement index is based on worker responses to 12 actionable workplace elements with proven linkages to performance outcomes, including productivity, customer service, quality, retention, safety, and profit. More recent research has found significant linkages between engagement at work and health and wellbeing outcomes. Read more.

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Compensation outlook improving but Canadians won’t make up lost ground from 2009

(CNW) — Canadian companies took even more severe measures than originally planned for 2009, with hiring freezes, salary freezes, and a range of other measures designed to manage expenses in line with dramatically reduced revenue, and their outlook for 2010 can best be described as “cautiously optimistic”. Views on the timing of recovery are divided — with one third thinking it will happen in the next 8 months, another third not until late 2010, and a final third not until 2011 or later — but there are some signs of modest recovery in terms of compensation practices in 2010, according to new research from Towers Perrin. Although nearly half of the 143 Canadian companies surveyed froze salaries in 2009 (a much higher proportion than was anticipated in a similar January 2009 survey), only 11% anticipate a general salary freeze for 2010, although that number increases to 18% when it comes to senior executive salaries. And plans to reduce workforce-related costs in other areas look very different to 2009, with fewer companies looking to reduce costs further in areas such as salary reductions, training, benefits and overtime. Further, the number of companies planning significant workforce reductions in 2010 is far lower than 2009 (10% rather than 34%). Perhaps because of doubt around the timing of the economic recovery, companies are being conservative with their salary budgets. The median salary increase for employees is 2.5% — an increase relative to 2009 for many companies, but down about 1% from pre-crash norms in Canada. Read the full release.

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Business Sector Wary of Available Local Employment

(From International Business Times) — In new research released today, it was revealed that 44% of new recruits are falling short of employer expectations. The opinions of more than 2,000 employers and employees were gathered by recruitment specialist Hudson for its annual 20:20 research series which aims to shed light on current recruitment trends, and shortcomings. The data gathered during the research identified deficiencies in current recruitment practices, which appear to be out-dated and misfiring at unsuitable talent, according to survey respondents. Despite human resource shortages, the research showed that recruiters remain focused on ‘traditional’ recruitment practices when making hiring decisions, resulting in substantial financial and productivity losses.

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ASTD Presents its Dissertation Award to Sewon Kim

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented Dr. Sewon Kim its Dissertation Award on May 23 at a ceremony during the ASTD 2011 International Conference & Exposition held here. This ASTD award recognizes an outstanding dissertation that holds major implications for practitioners of workplace learning and performance. Dr. Kim’s dissertation, titled “Managerial Coaching Behavior and Employee Outcomes: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis,” examined employees’ perceptions of the relationship between their mangers’ coaching behavior and employee affective and performance-related responses, an area which lacks empirical research. The study focused on a state government organization, and measured six outcomes: role clarity, satisfaction with work, satisfaction with manager, career commitment, organization commitment, and job performance. Collected data revealed that managerial coaching directly affected employee satisfaction with work and role clarity, and indirectly affected satisfaction with work, career commitment, job performance, and organization commitment. Results also indicated that role clarity, as a direct outcome of managerial coaching, influenced job performance. Study findings demonstrate that managerial coaching motivates and satisfies employees, and improves their commitment and performance toward designated goal achievement, further supporting existing theories. This research gives a clearer picture of managerial coaching practices in organizations, and can potentially guide the use of managerial coaching competency for hiring and developing effective managers. Dr. Kim received his PhD in August 2010, and is currently an assistant professor in the Business, Management, and Economics department at the State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State.

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5 Common Bad Hires and How to Prevent Them

Recruiters and hiring managers both dread the same scenario: After the first month on the job, the new hire is not the person who shone brightly during the interview and screening process.Maybe he or she needs more time to acclimate, but warning sign behaviors could also signal that a big mistake was made.Here are five types of typical bad hires and how to prevent them.A new hire with a jerky attitude is one of the biggest nightmares for a hiring manager. Offering constructive criticism from a fresh perspective could enlighten co-workers, but being disrespectful or insubordinate, endlessly complaining, or expressing that things were better “in my old job” are troubling.”A poisonous attitude is not consistent with a high-performing culture, and this kind of behavior has a strong negative effect on all employees who come into contact with the new hire,” said Kelly Marinelli, SHRM-SCP, an attorney and president and founder of HR consultancy Solve HR in Boulder, Colorado.To avoid this problem, beware of candidates who are confrontational or negative from the get-go, said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at recruitment software company CareerBuilder. “If they can’t be positive in the interview, it could be a sign of worse things to come.”Marinelli recommended requesting feedback from others who come into contact with the candidate on interview day, such as the receptionist, the parking attendant or the server at lunch. “It’s tough for [someone with] a bad attitude to maintain the facade ceaselessly, so you may get lucky and catch this bad hire in the act before it’s too late.”New hires who lack the skills they said they had are another huge letdown for hiring managers. Maybe they’re interview aces but they embellished or exaggerated their qualifications and experience.”Good interviewers can assess the level of understanding of certain skills, but it’s always possible that a candidate lacking in the appropriate skill level but who is a great communicator could slip through the cracks,” Marinelli said.These types of hires quickly lose credibility, which impacts trust and working relationships, added Sharlyn Lauby, SHRM-SCP, author, speaker and president of ITM Group Inc., an HR consulting firm in Weston, Florida, as well as writer of the HR Bartender blog. “Depending on the skills they embellished, they could hurt someone or cause damage. There’s a potential liability to the business.”Lauby recommended verifying candidates’ skills and experience with background checks where appropriate and using behavioral interviewing questions to get a sense of a candidate’s depth of experience with a skill.”My favorite way to avoid this disappointing new hire is to include a work task assessment in the hiring process,” Marinelli said. “It’s not just a test to see if candidates actually possess the skills they are representing, but also a great opportunity for them to see if they actually enjoy performing the work that the employer needs in the role.”Marinelli cautioned HR and hiring managers of the importance of ensuring that a new hire is properly trained in company-specific processes and tools. “Make sure new hires have a full and complete opportunity to perform in the new role before labeling anyone a bad hire,” she said.There will be an expected learning curve for all new hires, but if new employees can’t get a grasp on the tasks discussed during the hiring process within a reasonable amount of time, make the same mistakes continuously, or require oversight for even the simplest of assignments and are unwilling to make decisions on their own, they become more of a chore than an assist.”There is an expectation that after a certain amount of time and training, employees are able to do certain tasks on their own,” Lauby said. “If that doesn’t happen, the company needs to understand why. Is it the employee? Or has the organization failed in some way to give the employee the tools they need to be successful?”Many organizations are asking candidates about their “self-learning” skills, she added. Candidates could be asked a question like, “Tell me about a time when you had to learn something on your own. What was it that you learned, and how did you go about learning it?”These are the workers who can’t be found. They just started but they already come in late, leave early or disappear during the day with personal excuses, or they immediately ask for vacation time.”Of course, there may be many understandable reasons that your new hire is late or requesting time off, but you don’t want it becoming a habit,” Haefner said. “Make sure you have a conversation about paid time off and punctuality before a candidate is hired so you can identify any legitimate barriers to them keeping their contracted hours.”New employees who quickly begin angling for a new position could be a problem. In some workplaces, this isn’t an issue at all, Lauby said. “But in workplaces where paying your dues is an important part of the culture, it can create some friction. Other employees might feel that the new employee is being disrespectful even if the new hire is highly qualified.”Climbers may be able to be identified during the interview and screening process by asking about their expectations, she said. “We have a tendency to cringe at the traditional interview question ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ but it could be an indicator of candidate expectations. The other thing is for the organization to set expectations. If the company expects employees to work their way up, let the candidate know. Don’t let it become a surprise.”Employers could also consider using the climber to their advantage, Marinelli said. “Direct this hire’s energy toward learning, growing and stretching in the role, and you may find there’s a diamond in the rough that you can turn into your best employee. The downside, however, is when the climber loses interest too quickly because no immediate promotion is forthcoming. This hire can quickly turn into the bad attitude example if employers aren’t careful.”Spotting a climber in the interview process is complicated, she added. “When you ask an interviewee about future career plans, goals and dreams, most are unlikely to say they’d like to stay stationary. You can’t assume every potential hire who wants more in the future is a red flag. Then again, if you have an interviewee who is asking about other jobs during the interview, you can be relatively certain that it’s a problem.”Experts recommend that HR document what went wrong with bad hires and incorporate what was learned into the organization’s hiring process going forward. “A good hiring process requires not only preparation but consistency, documentation and continuous analysis of data so that successful methods can be captured and continued, the need for training can be identified and addressed, and poor processes can be discontinued or adjusted,” Marinelli said.Additional tips include: Copyright 2017, SHRM. This article is reprinted from https://www.shrm.org with permission from SHRM. All rights reserved.

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