November 24, 2014

Are You at One of the 90% of Companies that Does What Everyone Hates?

Yep, talking about the annual performance review.

Performance Review Time

It’s Coming Up. How Do You Feel About It?

 

Studies show that not only do employees generally dislike this exercise but so do managers and even the HR department. Time for some disruption – ya think?

The Perils and Perturbations of the Performance Review

 

There’s some great reading on the perils and perturbations of the performance review. As a recap, they tend to pit people against each other, and they are predominantly backward looking – two things no company ought to be focusing on at the detriment of building collaboration and communication, making forward-looking plans, and retaining top talent. These are some recommended reports/articles:

 

Behold The Entrenched — And Reviled — Annual Review

By Yuki Noguchi

“Performance review season is nearing, and if that makes you break out into a cold sweat, you’re not alone. Studies show between 60 percent and 90 percent of employees, including managers, dislike the performance evaluation. Some companies are starting to look at alternatives, but the performance review is pretty entrenched.”

 

Get Rid of the Performance Review!  

By Samuel A. Culbert

“You can call me “dense,” you can call me “iconoclastic,” but I see nothing constructive about an annual pay and performance review. It’s a mainstream practice that has baffled me for years. To my way of thinking, a one-side-accountable, boss-administered review is little more than a dysfunctional pretense.”

 

An Alternate Strategy: Cultivating and rewarding passion and engagement

 

So since performance management is important, but performance reviews aren’t creating the passionate and engaged people you want in your company, what is the answer?

Companies are trying different approaches. Here are some that might be of interest to you:

 

Juniper Networks is turning words on the wall into behaviors in action.

Juniper Networks replaced the performance review with a “conversation day” that has achieved a record 93% participation, and 66% of participants found it “helpful” or “extremely helpful”. The semi-annual conversation day has employees and managers sit down to discuss areas for improvement and opportunities for new growth, set goals aligned with employees’ career aspirations. And importantly, there are no rankings and ratings associated with performance measurement. One of the positive results is that Juniper retains more top performers now.

 

Why Adobe Abolished The Annual Performance Review And You Should, Too

By Drake Baer

“When Donna Morris joined Adobe in 2002 as a senior director of global talent management, she noticed that the annual performance review, such a central part of the human resources job she had been hired to do, wasn’t much of a resource to the humans it served.”

 

A Systems Thinking Alternative to Performance Reviews          

By Steve Rogalsky

“A refreshing discussion of what can be influenced and how much can’t by individual performance, and how to elicit it. An experiment with a conversation aimed at pulling out the performance goals of employees by having a conversation and asking: What are you proud of? What do you want to learn or improve this year? What part of our team’s system is preventing you from doing your job better? What should we improve or change? How is the company enabling or inhibiting you from achieving your best? What do you need from me? How can I help?”

 

Suggesting an Alternative to Performance Reviews

By Josh Patrick

“Instead of one annual review, I suggest setting up regular, one-on-one coaching sessions with your direct reports. The sessions should run from 15 to 45 minutes and should be held every three to four weeks. The goal is to have a continuing conversation aimed at helping employees become great at what they do.”

 

What do you think?

 

What kind of performance review does your company use?

Do you like it?

What would you choose to use if you had the choice?

If you think there’s a better way, share this!

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November 17, 2014

Recruiting Trends for Job Seekers

Recruiting Trends

Career Text On A Gold Key With Black Background As Symbol Of New Job

The Top 10 Best Recruitment Practices coming out of one the ERE Conference Think Tank Sessions include recommendations to hiring managers and recruiters on finding and engaging candidates. Carl Kutsmode’s article is a good read, especially for those recruiting talent.

 

Recruiting Trends for Job Seekers

What about advice for passive and active job seekers? How can job seekers understand these recruiting trends and leverage them in their own career management?

 

The Top “Get Recruited” Practices for Job Seekers (in no particular order)

 

Be findable online

As a job seeker, passive or active, you should be managing your LinkedIn profile, GitHub account, and other relevant specialized professional (social) media sites to provide an up-to-date professional portrait of yourself. Use keywords and active descriptions of your accomplishments so that searches are accurately identifying you.

 

Be attractive

I don’t mean you should go get a make-over, but ditch the selfie you took with your smartphone in a cubicle with those fluorescent lights that shows both chins. Make your online profiles attractive by keeping active on these sites, posting new projects, articles, updates, you increase the chances of being seen and promote a picture of yourself as a dynamic professional in your field.

 

Reach out

Search out the companies you like the most and connect with them via LinkedIn, and other media. Don’t just hit ‘connect’: Make a comment on their latest PR or post. Tell them you want to connect because you are passionate about their sector. Name the other professionals you have a relationship with at the company to strengthen the connection. Try to reach out in a meaningful way, it will give more momentum to further discussion and make you stand out. Connect with various players at the company from managers to HR.

 

Return calls/emails

When recruiting is done seriously, it is a sales function – the point is to get results. If you are contacted by an external recruiter or an internal HR person, respond even if you aren’t looking for a change now. A few minutes of prompt courtesy now will earn you respect and preference in the future; a lack of response or rudeness could get you blacklisted. No one wants to waste your time, and they certainly don’t want to waste their own time and effort.

 

Hackathon/Hangout

For those companies that really thrill you, try participating in a company event such as a hackathon or hangout. Participate actively so that you can show your stuff and facilitate making meaningful connections with the people working there. It may or may not get you a job offer today, but it will multiply your connections and differentiate you.

 

Post your resume

LinkedIn is definitely the best place to be for professionals, but there are many places to be online. Your own website is a great way to present what you want how you want. GitHub is a great place for developers to strut their stuff. Job boards are a great way to be found. Posting your resume is a good indication you are interested in dialogue and opportunities and not just counting down the days to retire or cash in your equity and move to the tropics!

 

Network!

Ok, all the above qualifies as networking. But there’s also meetup.com, industry associations, trade shows, alumni groups, special interest associations, and many, many opportunities. It may take a little time trying out various opportunities to find the right feel and return on your time, so take a look and start trying out those you haven’t yet.

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November 10, 2014

Recruiting, Staffing & Employment News – November 2014

Spooky Strong Hiring in October

Recruiting, Staffing & Employment News

Hiring is Increasing

Sales hiring was spooky strong in October, we placed a number of positions such as Director of Sales, Sales Executive, and Account Executive this last month. Other hiring included technical professionals including the positions of Senior Embedded Firmware Engineer and Linux Technical Support. The hottest tech sector hiring was in Fitness Diagnostic Technology, Network Security, Web CRM Software, eLearning, and Cloud Hosting.

 

Dice reported on the big tech layoffs this quarter at Cisco and Microsoft Research Silicon Valley but noted that recruiters are busier than ever. Mergers and acquisitions abound, and companies are growing – Google has grown by 7,000 employees over the last year. The unemployment rate for all categories last month came in at 5.8 percent, but tech professionals are nearly half that at 3% in October.

 

The BLS jobs report showed an additional 214,000 in October, which continues an upward trend with an average monthly gain of 222,000 over the last 12 months. The sectors with the most growth include: food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care. Professional and business services added 37,000 jobs, computer systems design and related services increased by 7,000. August and September job numbers were revised upward by 31,000 more than previously reported.

 

The ADP National Employment Report counted 230,000 new jobs last month. Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP stated that “Employment continues to trend upward as we begin the last quarter of 2014, driven mostly by small to mid-sized companies. October’s job growth is the highest since June and the second highest gain of 2014.”

 

Reuters reported that U.S. consumer sentiment rose in October to its highest level in over seven years; the rise is attributed to growing optimism about the economy and more favorable personal financial expectations. According to a recent survey “Overall, five years after the start of the recovery, consumers have finally begun to adopt the expectations and behaviors that have driven past expansions,” reported survey director Richard Curtin.

 

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Rebounds. Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer confidence, which had declined in September, rebounded in October. A more favorable assessment of the current job market and business conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation. Looking ahead, consumers have regained confidence in the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, and are more optimistic about their future earnings potential.”

 

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November 3, 2014

Soft Skills: Easy to Feel Out, Harder to Test

While hard skills are fairly easy to evaluate, soft skills are harder.

Soft-Skills-Definition

The soft skills are rather intangible: communication, leadership, critical thinking, creativity, team collaboration, attitude, common sense, and relationships, amongst others.

Coding and problem-solving tests are fairly straightforward ways to gauge hard skill level, but how do you measure a candidate’s soft skills?

Evaluating Soft Skills

 

Social Media

Almost everyone in the United States has at least one social networking profile at this point, so researching a candidate’s online presence is fairly easy. Social media and websites provide an interesting window into a person’s soft skills. Of interest is everything from how thoroughly and professionally people present themselves, to the content and comments that they choose to post on online media.

Video Interviewing

Some companies solicit video responses as a filtering mechanism that quickly gives a sense of a person’s soft skills. A company may ask candidates to answer a few questions in a video format to be submitted along with a resume or as the next step in the pre-interview process. There are obviously a lot of efficiencies gained by getting a peek at talent, although some people are fairly shy of performing in front of a somewhat anonymous audience. (more…)

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October 27, 2014

The Top Five On-Boarding To-Dos Before the Start Date – By Tory Thomas, Recruiter

The Top Five On-Boarding To-Dos Before the Start Date

Tory Thomas, Executive Recruiter, Tech Sales & Marketing Division

By Tory Thomas, Executive Recruiter, IT Sales & Marketing

 

You may be asking “Why on-board before the start date?”

 

Well… really you should be on-boarding from the first contact with a candidate. When you receive a resume from a candidate, you should be sending a warm acknowledgment, even if you aren’t hiring for that exact profile right now. This is how you build your talent pipeline.

When you schedule a first interview or have an informal dialogue, you are making an impression. At this point you are acting as your company’s brand ambassador and forming an impression with the candidate. (more…)

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