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Remote Workforce Is Now a Common Term

Many companies have used a remote workforce for decades.  But that has traditionally been offshore in manufacturing and software development.  With Covid-19 we now have a boom of remote workforce teams domestically as most now work from home.  How do you come up with a sound plan to effectively manage a remote workforce?

How-to-effectively-manage-a-remote-workforce-in-covid-19

The pandemic is creating a constantly changing national condition often leading to confusion, lack of proper communications, and fear.   But there are steps you can take that will empower your remote workforce while encouraging better behaviour and allowing employees to remain engaged.

Remote Workforce Shifting Boundaries

Every day the boundaries and goalposts are moving. It is vitally important that leaders in industry, business and human resources are kept as up to date as possible. This will help to avoid generating fear, adding to the confusion or creating workplace dysfunction.

We need to know all we can in order to adapt, innovate and implement new ways of operating during a crisis.  Therefore, clear communication, accurate information and considered action are required.

Effective Remote Tools

What tools can be used to effectively manage a remote workforce?

Video meetings:  Zoom is one of the best as it offers group meetings with employees, group meetings with customers, and more.  All meetings can be recorded.  For many, you need just one paid Zoom account and then you can add all other users for free.  That saves you money, but it has one serious limitation. In group calls of 2 or more, you cannot record more than 40 minutes.  So, make sure those who need longer times have a premium account. To avoid hackers sending porn and scam, make sure each meeting requires a password to access for all who attend. With security concerns with Zoom, the best alternatives are GotoMeeting and Signal Wire.

Effectively manage a remote workforce for management:  Slack and Asana are both excellent and well-built tools for collaboration, even providing Agile and Scrum.  For Engineering they provide tools for work flows from code review to release. For Financial and accounting teams, it offers secure collaboration, digital transformation, and connects systems, plus internal and external teams, to reduce friction. For Sales and business development, from the CEO to the new AE, comes together to move deals forward.  Conversations happen in channels, organized by topic, territory, etcn so the full context of a deal can be easily seen by everyone. Share sales goals and track progress to keep everyone motivated and aligned. For Customer Support, it supports urgent and routine issues from a central hub. Field requests directly through Slack or Asana or integrate your help-desk software to assist users.  Send new tickets to a related channel and sort out issues together.  Start a new channel for incidents or response-heavy releases to keep discussions on track. For Human Resources, it speeds up their hiring process by facilitating candidate reviews and preparing for interviews.  By integrating review tools and prepping interview panels moves candidates from on-your-radar to offer letter, faster.

Cloud based sharing:  you’ve heard of Dropbox, Google Drive and Sync.  But the #1 easy to use system by far is Sharepoint.  Sharepoint if built in to MS Office. If you have your firm using the MS Portal or have an internal Exchange server, nothing matches the power of Sharepoint. It allows you to share with certain team members and control the release, edit, view and download restrictions as you see fit.  Plus, no reliance on Google, who prefer to control you anyway.

Alternatives to the production floor.  Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a process that creates a physical object from a digital design. It is surprising how many companies produce products using robotics and RPA – very helpful when one cannot staff a manufacturing facility amid social distancing.

VoIP phone systems. Ring Central is one such affordable system, proving rerouting of phone numbers, group video meetings, conference calls, SMS chat, and much more.   While here at NextGen that is our actual phone system, many companies are using it as a temporary alternative. Has your organization been impacted by the pandemic?  Are you a K-12 educator? A health provider? A non-profit organization? Ring Central Office is free of charge to you during the pandemic.   In other words, they will provide all those impacted with video conferencing, team messaging, business phones, and even SMS and fax. These are all modes of communication needed by teachers, students, healthcare providers, and non-profits as they come to terms with the impact of COVID-19.

Cloud Services Security. A growing number of businesses are using cloud services as part of their commonly used tech infrastructure. What many firms do not realize is that they are responsible for the most important part of the security of their service. The three main types of cloud services offered are SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. In all three cases customers are responsible for securing their data and controlling who can access that data. While the popular SaaS providers like Office 365 and AWS secure access to their servers, only the client can control security to their individual portion of the Cloud. The largest cause of breaches of Cloud data continues to be configuration issues on the client side of the setup. A comprehensive personalized security protocol must be implemented to suit each client’s needs to effectively manage a remote workforce with full online security.

Other Online Security Measures.  Two things every remote worker should have – Roboform and a quality VPN (Virtual Private Network).  Roboform renders every complicated length of passwords using upper/lower case alpha, numeric, symbols, and special characters.  It is free and the trick is to make sure 1) you use your personal email address to register and a minimum 12 characters password to login to Roboform and 2) use Gmail as is far safer than Yahoo, mail.com, and others. If you are taking your IP/Desk Phones home from work, you should be connected and configure the Windows or Apple firewall, including the firewall settings in your router.  When connected directly to a router/gateway/modem, the device’s IP will be exposed, and the device’s registration credentials can be used to connect unauthorized endpoints for the purpose of making fraudulent (international & domestic) calls.  If using wireless to connect to the Internet, please make sure you have updated the SSID (name of your network) and use Roboform to generate a new complicated password.

Need HR support?  If your company uses Quick Books or an Inuit product or service, for a limited time, QuickBooks partner Mammoth HR is offering free HR resources to all employers.  In addition, having a new hire onboarding system (not orientation) is essential.

The Future of Online Workforces

How will COVID-19 change the future of work?  It’s impossible to predict the long-term implications of today’s sudden, massive shift to remote work, but a few outcomes are possible. One is that C-levels will finally open their eyes to the value that can be unlocked when each individual has the freedom to work where and when it makes most sense—which may be from home either full-time or a combo of home and telecommute.  Obviously, the future of physical workplaces will change in how we address the need to effectively manage a remote workforce..

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Executive Search Firm Evaluation A How To Guide

The big challenges in the recruiting game is that great talent is in short supply and most talent acquisition strategies are broken. Executive hiring managers are interested in ONLY one thing – whether internal or external the ability to not only Identify, but to recruit exceptional talent.  When you perform an executive search firm evaluation, look for two things. One, do you have the capacity to perform research to identify target competitors and passive candidates. Two, do they have experience in cold calling, a deep network, and reputation of getting referrals?

Most Companies Fail to Properly Evaluate an Executive Search Firm

Most common is to go with the big name search firm.  The issue there is you pay a full fee regardless of outcome, other than the principals the recruiting force is a revolving door, and a bad track record in retention.  Secondly, if you are a startup to mid-cap you really need the expertise of a team that specializes in your industry; known as niche recruiting. Most big name search firms work across all industries without specialization.  while that diversity may work for a CFO or Board role, it falters with lack of a deep network within your industry.

Evaluate-an-executive-search-firm-for-success-300x233What you should look for is a retained search firm that not only has the industry expertise but has a sound evidence-based recruitment process management system utilizing Ai predictive validity.    It all begins with a discovery step where the search strategy is built upon defining the objectives of the role and learning what the role with do with the required skills, not just the having of them.

Next is using scientifically based psychometric to determine team dynamics and thus the search form can then develop a target candidate profile and custom search strategy.  A great recruiter will define prior desired accomplishments in a similar environment and make sure candidates are screened who have similar.  Rather than accepting verbatim the experience and skills required, a good recruiter will drill down to ascertain in what environment and product / service those skills are used in , again further  screening candidates to validate they actually can meet the objectives of the role.

Most Hiring Managers Not Up To The Task

For almost 30 years, we often run into Hiring Managers that say just send them resumes and they will determine which candidates to interview.  Which of course begs the question, why would you be paying a search fee?   You can simply hire an RPO to troll job boards or have HR post job openings to dozens of web sites.  Great hiring managers know three things:

  1. They don’t have the time to go through an in-basket full of unqualified resumes
  2. They know that the one-size-fits-all resume is perhaps the poorest document ever created.  It is generalist, vague, and rarely indicates if the candidate has used required skills WITHIN a similar environment, as well as accomplishments tend to be exaggerated and without verifiable substance.
  3. Great hiring managers know that professional successful  executive search consultants are good at what they do and do not pretend to be a Hiring Manager who may be a CXO or VP of engineering or sales or whatever.  So why do so many Hiring Managers assume they are great recruiters?  Trust me, in all my years, it is less than 1% who are good at both roles AND those who can do both are very successful startup entrepreneurs in early stage building their executive team.

Finally ALWAYS base your executive search firm evaluation by these three factors

  • Candidate placement retention rate is far and above client retention rate.  That is because some companies will prefer the cheapest or who best serves HR rather than the client on the whole.  For instance, NextGen has an average 93% in 4.5 years are still working for that client whereas we have lost new searches with the same client to other firms with an average 2 years or less of placement retention.
  • The average replacement guarantee for contingency is 30 to 90 days, which of course should alarm you as the confidence in the quality of candidates presented for you to hire just can;t be that good.   Basically any average “C player” can be presented and hired and a company not realize in under 90 days wow that hire is just a body filling a space.   The average retained is 90 days to 6 months while a very few will go one year.  At NextGen we offer a full 24 to 46 months replacement guarantee.
  • Executive levels with MBOs – most retained search firm you will pay the entire fee without regards to an actual hire or success within 60 to 120 days.   For many they believe you are paying them for their reputation and experience, NOT for their success.

For more information on how to perform an effective executive search firm evaluation, download the PDF to compare what NextGen Global Executive Search does to others.

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Myths in Recruiting – Part 2 of Make Better Hiring Decisions

Myth #3: HR Orientation includes all the On-boarding Needed for New Hire Success

 

Many companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on complex onboarding plans that all too often require an unrealistic commitment of time and effort from several busy individuals.  One of the foremost myths in recruiting is these “one-size-fits-all” plans ever actually work. The truth is they are rarely successful.  All companies include orientation, but orientation is not actual on-boarding.

Retained executive search consultants are experts in this area as our reputation is dependent on new hire retention.  An on-boarding plan must be simple and easy and require a minimum amount of time.  As the executive recruiter has already defined the team profile and discovered how the new hire’s skills and behavioral traits will impact the team he/she will work within, it is a matter of producing two documents.

Good On-boarding Plans are Not Myths in Recruiting

 

The Personal Action Plan, used by the new hire, right at the start is based on conversations between the new hire and his/her immediate supervisor.  After consultation, the new hire has an action plan to not only meet the objectives of the role he/she were hired into, but provides self-development that will allow for career growth, utilize the new hire’s strengths, and work on their weaknesses.  A second document, the Mentoring and Coaching Plan, is used by the actual Hiring Manager.  It was designed for that new hire, not a “one-size fits-all”.

What is the result of orientation that uses an expensive all-encompassing on-boarding?  Waste of valuable time and little to show for it.  The result of a retained executive search firm’s personalized on-boarding plan?  Streamlined efficient means that results in fast assimilation, quick productivity, and longer retention.

Myth 4:  HR and/or Hiring Managers Should Always Make the Offer

 

Another of the myths in recruiting is that HR makes the offer as that is part of their job function.  Often, we see a hiring manager or HR extend an offer to a candidate who would have helped the manager’s company and career enormously – only to receive a turn down.  In many instances, the offer fails to emphasize the specific elements of the opportunity which are of greatest interest as well as fail to address the aspirations and goals of the candidate.  These quality performers are not actively looking and may need to be “sold.” Diversity Hands Recruitment Search Opportunity Concept

It is so frustrating to watch human resources and hiring managers think that THEIRS is the ideal company, opportunity, and offer and that passive candidates should be 100% sold into the opportunity.  The fact is often HR low balls the offer or insist they be the sole negotiator.  I’ve got news for you – great candidates don’t believe you; they are not going to work for you, and really it is rather insulting to them.

After all they are considering working for the actual hiring manager.  While there are various reasons why good candidates are open to making a change, the fact is that virtually none would be comfortable sharing those concerns with an internal recruiter.  It is extremely frustrating when an executive recruiter must come in to save the day on a turn down.  It’s gotten to the point that at NextGen we simply will not accept a loss and insist in our contract that we make the offer and close.

Professional recruiters have great expertise in developing in-depth individual relationships with the candidates they present. As part of a professional recruiter’s service, they will provide the candidate’s primary motivators to making a move – and by advising the client on the compensation plan in the offer and making the offer verbally acting as the go-between thereby reduce or eliminate turn downs, and assure the manager of securing the best talent available.

 

Who Makes the Employment Offer – Myths in Recruiting

 

While companies do experienced turn downs, retained executive recruiters rarely do. We know what it will take to get the offer signed and when a candidate appears unreasonable, retained search forms have the experience and skill set to pull the offer when needed and get the candidate won over by addressing their concerns,

In the final part of this series, we’ll look at the biggest in the myths of recruiting, which is that executive search, specifically retained search fees are too expensive.  In that article, we actually lay out why recruitment fees based on performance and delivery by the search firm, the hire, and the success of a hire that meets or exceeds the objectives of the role is far more cost effective than any other means with the rare exception of a great referral.

 

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Make Better Hiring Decisions Amid Myths in Recruiting – Part 1

Executive hiring managers depend on the quality of their people to achieve goals and implement strategy. A better understanding of the skills and capabilities of executive recruiters can enable any hiring manager to make better hiring decisions by increasing the quality of their hiring decisions, and thereby enhance their own career!

Some executives are aware and take full advantage of the best possible means of identifying and selecting top quality candidates for critical staff openings. However, many do not. Frequently, this stems from myths regarding the merits of utilizing the services provided by topflight retained executive search firms. By a better understanding of these realities, hiring managers will dramatically improve their ability to secure the most qualified candidates in a timely manner.

In the first part of this series, we’ll explore the myths behind sourcing exceptional talent, the differences in the screening and assessments methods used by internal HR and talent acquisition groups, how that is done by experts in retained executive search, and the pros / cons of behavioral testing, and how they impact the ability to make better hiring decisions.

Make Better Hiring Decisions Start with Finding the Right Talent

 

Myth # 1: Companies Often Unearth the Same Talent that Executive Recruiters Do

 

With the rise in popularity among HR and internal talent acquisition in the use of online job boards, job aggregators, and networking platforms, many companies mistakenly believe that these sources contain the same talent that can be found through retained executive search firms.

Make-Better-Hiring-Decisions
This belief couldn’t be further from the truth. Good executive recruiters don’t post ads on job boards to find qualified applicants. Instead they focus on specific industries and even specialize by types of positions within those industries. The benefits of doing so are enormous. It allows them to invest tremendous time and energy forging relationships with high performing candidates within these niche markets, learning the types of positions in-demand people would see as advancing their careers.

Professionals who genuinely excel have neither the time nor desire to peruse online job ads or to respond to the dozens of email inquiries sent by internal recruiting staff. It is only when an executive search consultant personally approaches them that the best people take the step to becoming available to discuss an opportunity.

Retained executive search consultants invest countless hours establishing unique connections and building relationships with key performers. These connections allow access to talent pools built over many years…and which are available through no other sources.

 

This, along with the ability of these search consultants to carefully screen and evaluate the best candidates, is what allows them to bring the strongest talent to the table – those “A players” at any level who produce 8 to 10 times more than the next level of “B players”. Instead companies continue to rely on job boards, career sites, and networking platforms that will never find the outstanding quality of talent that retained executive recruiters can provide.

Myth #2: Internal Staff can Access and Vette Candidates as well as an Executive Search Firm

 

While this belief is prevalent within many companies, a thoughtful analysis will prove the opposite. Retained executive recruiters make a living by finding talent that companies cannot find on their own. While in-house resources may be effective for lower level and even some middle level roles, when it comes to functional leadership or key critical roles, retained search firms are not limited to C-levels. it makes sense for hiring managers to give themselves every opportunity to interview the very best candidates to make better hiring decisions.

Internal recruiters typically spend their time vetting applicants who apply or can be found through online portals. Think about it – in a less than 4% unemployment world we live in, the best candidates are simply not found that way. Retained search firms focus on finding superior candidates who are successful in their present situation and can show similar expertise, accomplishments, and skills relevant to the role you need to fill. This very different methodology results in a very different level of candidate.

A Solid Assessment Method Enables You to Make Better Hiring Decisions

 

Moreover, retained search firms look at many other factors, such as discovery and validation of candidates’ industry relationships – with internal customers, as well as suppliers and eternal customers. In addition, seasoned executive recruiters do not focus on “corporate culture”. Why is simple. Each team that a candidate will be hired within is unique.

Therefore using psychometrics to discover and measure this team members as stakeholders of the role allows the executive recruiter to measure values and motivations, real and situational communications skills as well as the traits within conflict resolution, problem solving, and decision making. This Team Profile allows executive recruiters to then conduct behavioral interviews and scientific testing of potential candidates to make sure they are only a role fit, but a team fit as well.

Finally, the ability to call proven performers with direct competitors to discuss career options is a significant factor in what sets external professional recruiters apart from internal recruiters or HR people. Having the ability to reach out to these peak performers offers hiring managers access to highly-sought-after candidates they would never see otherwise in order to make better hiring decisions

In part 2, we will discuss HR Orientation including onboarding process that do and do not work, as well as pros and cons of having human resources and/or hiring managers making employment offers.

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Engaging a Retained Search Firm for Multiple Key Staffing Needs is Best Option

The truth of the matter when engaging a retained search firm for multiple key staffing needs is they produce far better candidates, have much deeper relationships in the industry they are working in and have a search process that in the end delivers candidates who can meet or exceed the objectives of the role in which they are hired into.

Many company’s HR and Talent Acquisition groups think more short term than long term when it comes to staffing critical roles.  The long term strategy is most often used – a combination of career site branding, job boards and job aggregators, LinkedIn talent solutions, and using multiple contingency search firms to help build a large database of potential candidates.

What is missing is that for critical roles that must be filled with quality new hires, the long-term strategy rarely works.  Even though using RPOs and contingency search firms will result in the most resumes, it is pure folly to believe quality is the main driver produced by those outsourced means.  Therefore, engaging a retained search firm is the best of all options when outside recruitment help is needed.

Engaging-a-Retained-Search-Firm-to-Focus-on-Recruiting-Transformational-Talent-1024x576

Let’s look at the recognized statistics in the global workforce. The majority of all workers – approximately 55%, are “C players”. They are literally just bodies taking up space.

They show up on time, can perform assigned tasks assigned such as software or QA engineer, customer service, inside sales, operations, manufacturing and production roles.  But the reality is that they don’t develop intellectual property or design anything new;

 

They are not problem solvers, entrepreneurial or creative and contribute virtually nothing to increasing market share or improving P&L ratios.  In addition, many “C players” are just not good employees. Often a lack of upwardly mobile skills, education, and more equates to lack of motivation outside of a repetitive paycheck.

Next are the “B players” who make up to 35% of the workforce, have real education and skills, contribute to developing IP, producing revenues, or some other vital contribution.  However, the cream of the crop is approximately 14% of the workforce known as “A players”.  From janitor to CEO every type of role has their “A players”.  What is so great about hiring them?  Leadership IQ and SHRM have developed studies and surveys that demonstrate that “A” players” produce 8 to 10 TIMES MORE than even “B players”.

 

Reasons for Engaging a Retained Search Firm

 

With over 30 years of experience in the executive search business, we have rarely seen contingency search firms or RPOs deliver “A players” and have no consistency in delivering “B players” for clients to consider. How do we know this?

  • In a less than a 5% unemployment rate environment, most exceptional professionals are happy where they are now in terms of their role, their employer, and compensation. If they were to become passive candidates and look to make a change due to desiring new challenges or relocation, they would simply network and reach out to hiring managers in their industry directly. They rarely look at job postings and have no need to post their resume to a job board.    They will not fill out an online application on any company career web site. They are bombarded with emails, InMail’s, and calls every day from corporate recruiters and contingency search firms who generally speaking fail to understand these professionals will likely only speak or reply to an actual executive hiring manager or a retained executive search consultant with a solid reputation among industry Board of Directors and CXOs.
  • Contingency and RPO firms rely heavily on job postings and job aggregators.  But many of those applicants are the unemployable, unemployed, or “C players”.
  • In large contingency search firms the recruiters are graded on the number of send outs (resumes that need to be sent daily to meet a quota).  And RPOs have a LOT of clients.  Ask yourself, as a client, how much of a priority are you to a recruiter working on 12 to 25 searches at a time?   What type of quality and search process would you expect?

I’m not knocking contingency recruiters.  I used to be one before I changed to retained almost 20 years ago.   Why did I make that move?  One, I realized to really have clients as a priority and deliver a superior service, I personally could only work on 3 to 4 searches at a time.  To do more than that means both the client and my reputation suffer.  Two, with using a search process that was very sound I knew the methodology would unearth those “A players” so I could assess and deliver proof that the shortlisted candidates I presented could meet or exceed the expectations and objectives of the role and client required of the new hire.

As for cost and benefit analysis, the benefits of using retained search is overwhelming while the costs are not much different than contingency search fees.

  1. When looking to engaging a retained search firm, you are assured that the vetting and development process are superior as you usually receive only 3-4 shortlisted candidates for each role.
  2. Retained Search provides detailed interview and assessments including current / prior KPIs, depth of industry relationships, and similar accomplishments relevant to the new role.
  3. Team fit analysis and Target Candidate Profile – by conducting brief online surveys of the stakeholders for each role (team the role will work within and key internal customers), a team profile allows the recruiter to use behavioral analysis and assessment to determine how the potential candidate will fit in and affect team dynamics. One-way behavioral testing of candidates never works as it fails to have anything to measure against.
  4. Much longer retention of new hires from retained search firms. For instance, 94% of our placements are still working for that client after 4.5 years.
  5. Superior Replacement guarantee – most contingency firms incorporate a 30 to 90 days refund or replacement. Retained search firms are often 6 to 12 months.  We believe in our process so much that we offer 24 to 36 months replacement guarantee depending on the assignment.
  6. Success based search fees – this is relatively new for retained search firms but a practice we have used for the last 5 years. With most large retained search firms, you pay 100% of the fee regardless if the outcome was successful.  Other search firms like NextGen Global Executive Search are performance based.  After the initial deposit, the remainder of the fees are paid based on deliverables, including the hire.
  7. Flat based fees – this is also a relatively new concept. This arose out of the obvious conflict of interest associated with compensation-based search fees.  If the recruiter negotiated a higher compensation that was agreed to by both client and candidate, the search fee increased.  While some retained search firms use the same fee for every search on a flat fee basis, at NextGen we realized we are being paid for our work.  Therefore the basis of the flat fee is appropriate to each role depending on factors such as limitations on relocation, the actual candidate pool size, the number of hours expected in research, search strategy, recruiting, and delivery.

For instance we have clients in the Bay area, NYC and Boston who funny as it sounds believe few exist outside their geography that are worthy of consideration as they often think of themselves as the center of the technology universe.  Additionally, for some roles the candidate pool overall is small such as AI architects and power electronics design engineers.

 

Engaging a Retained Search Firm for filling multiple roles

 

As retained search firms are like good lawyers and executive management consultants, we ask for a deposit,.  This means the client is a priority as they have “skin in the game”, knowing the search firm has a track record in longer retention and producing exceptional new hires.  So, the overall flat search fees mean that engaging a retained search firm is clearly the best choice.

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Why Two-Way Behavioral Assessments is Key to a Great Hire

Why do an increasing number of astute Hiring Managers want behavioral assessments?  The end goal is to make the RIGHT HIRE to achieve quick ASSIMILATION, faster PRODUCTIVITY, and longer RETENTION.  Behavioral assessment (sometimes referred to as “Psychometric Testing”) has become increasingly recognized as a valuable source of information when making hiring decisions.

There is a wealth of data to demonstrate that using behavioral assessments in conjunction with sound, responsible recruitment methods reduces employee turnover, and it’s quickly becoming standard practice for many employers and recruiters.

When used strictly one-sided whereas applicants/candidates are tested, the results are vague and often mis-interpreted.   In addition, when compared to a one-size fits-all “corporate culture” , the results don’t help in determining if said candidate is really a good fit for the team he/she will work within AND what effects they will have on team dynamics .  The one-sided test isn’t worth the additional time and expense

When in the current economic climate is behavioral assessments REALLY an essential part of assessing potential candidates?  When testing a candidate, what are you measuring the results against?

Just in case you’re unfamiliar with behavioral assessment, although the process varies from company to company, it usually involves a questionnaire that asks the candidate about their opinions, preferences and priorities.  Behavioral reports can include information such as preferred working environment, how they respond to tight deadlines, preferred management style, approach to selling, and much more.

Define the Role using Team Behavioral Assessments

Behavioral AssessmentsFiguring out exactly the kind of candidate you’re looking for and creating a job description to match can be a time‐consuming headache. But a simple job survey of the direct stakeholders to the role you are recruiting for, lasting around 12-14 minutes, will produce detailed analysis on how those stakeholders view the role and a composite team analysis on these FOUR POINTS:

 

Save TIME by Conducting Fewer Interviews

A resume or LinkedIn profile tells you whether a person has some of the qualifications and job history but usually it’s impossible to tell if a person has the right attitude, accomplishments until you interview them. Behavioral assessments, on the other hand, can provide you with that information in a fair and objective fashion.

So if, for example, you have 3 to 4 candidates that look great on paper, TWO-WAY behavioral assessments can help you reduce that shortlist to a more manageable number, and leave you with a much more efficient interview process.

An often-overlooked feature of behavioral assessment is its ability to tell you the training and management styles to use to get the best results from your new employee. Getting your recruit up to speed quickly and making them feel comfortable in the role with fast productivity is not only a time saver but it also reduces the expenses incurred through downtime.

Two-Way Behavioral Assessments Reduces Employee Turnover

We’ve already mentioned the fact that behavioral assessments reduces employee turnover, but have you ever stopped to consider just how expensive and time consuming it can be to replace a bad hire?
Aside from the fact that you have to spend time and money, repeating the recruitment process all over again, you also have to repeat the expense of onboarding and assimilation for the eventual replacement.

Although prices vary quite a bit, the average cost of behavioral assessments are s often far less than employers imagine. And any one of the above four points would more than justify the additional, modest investment. But put these four elements together and you have a potential saving of time and money that represents thousands of dollars. Especially in consideration of reducing employee turnover.

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Candidate Video Interviews the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Candidate video interviews in recruiting creates manageable content, and with cloud services the benefit of being able to edit, store, and convert to the appropriate information format for evaluating candidates or future consideration of a new opening.  The three types of candidate video interviews are:

  1. One-Way Video Interview: whereby the recruiter posts questions in the form of yes/no, multiple choice, or requiring a direct reply and the candidate can answer the questions.  Most often, the candidate can review the questions and rehearse/formulate their answers in practice sessions.  These are always recorded.
  2. Two-Way Video Interview: whereby there is a live interaction between the recruiter and the candidate and is often recorded.
  3. Group Video Interview:  whereby the candidate faces an interview panel and the entire interview is recorded.

Candidate Video Interviews can be Useful or Worthless

The one-way type is very basic and for lower level positions where a body or limited skills and experiences may be all that is required, this method certainly enables a pre-screening of dozens of applicants.  In the one-way video interview in recruiting, there is no live interaction between the recruiter/interviewer and the candidate/interviewee.  While many believe the one way video interview offers unique advantage of enabling the candidate to likely provide honest answers without panicking or being under undue stress, this is folly.

The problem is not dishonesty, rather skewered embellishments.  Secondly while the idea is that by not seeing the candidate first, this preempts some type of discrimination or bias, those subconscious biases will come into play once the recruiter views the recorded video interview.  Finally, a major disadvantage is that the recruiter cannot challenge the candidate’s answers nor visually see eye/mouth/facial and body movements and tonal differentiation in the challenges that recruiters trained in behavioral interviewing techniques could make a proper assessment of.

The two-way candidate video interviews in recruiting has the advantage of the recruiter witnessing changes in body movements/expressions (hands, eyes, mouth, sweating) and tonal changes. The ability to challenge answers and delve deeper into particular areas of the interview is a huge benefit over one-way interviews.  There are two disadvantages:  one is the limited time that recruiters have  to conduct an X number of two-way video interviews each week; the second is more difficult to measure as it is preferable to have more than one interviewer whose style, technical or behavioral assessment skills may be better suited for certain types of questions and interaction.

The group candidate video interviews in recruiting is the most difficult to schedule and if not planned properly can result in a disastrous outcome.  A group video interview is similar to a panel interview in-person.  In my 25 years in executive search, sadly 70% of all panel interviews are poorly structured and result in sometimes unfair evaluations.

Time  and time again I had clients fail to collaborate to give me the foundation and structure of the panel interview and the personalities involved leaving me in the sad situation of not being able to fully prepare the candidate for the panel interview or relying solely upon the client’s group decision about which candidate to hire.

Properly Plan the Candidate Video Interviews in Recruiting

It took me several years to come up with the right solution.  Before a candidate is presented on the shortlist, we have already conducted psychometric testing and weighted against the team profile the candidate hired will be working with, having surveyed those internal customers at the beginning of the search.  By formulating a composite team profile which measures the cultural values, relational communications skills, and decision-making traits, we are certain the candidates who best fit the team are presented.

The added benefit is because we know the individual client members traits, as recruiters we are in a unique position to advise on the structure and responsibilities of the individual panel members as well as the overall group concerning candidate video interviews.  What we find is that the panel video job interview in recruiting structures are often hastily organized or dominated by one person.  A senior recruiter’s expert advice in group/panel interviews is greatly appreciated by clients.

Solutions for Effective Candidate Video Interviews in Recruiting

The benefits and disadvantages of the candidate video interviews in recruiting that are outlined above do showcase that these are evolving tools which confer a company or business entity with the advantages of cost-efficiency and excellent time management which in turn reduce the losses (and some overhead costs) thereby optimizing the overall value of the company.

Retained search firm are diligent in not just unmasking and assessing the best candidates, but they present a shortlist of candidates with complete dossiers including analysis of skills/expertise, relevant accomplishments and problem solving methods, documented contacts and relationships, behavioral and team fit analysis completed, social media reputation report and comprehensive background checks. This means that the in-person interviews are more forward-looking rather than wasting time to attain information a contingency recruiter failed to acquire.

Since the Hiring Manager now knows everything about the selected candidates presented, the lead recruiter develops a short set of hypothetical and situational questions for those candidates.  These are designed to bear witness the candidates’ reasoning and thought processing skills in how they would handle a known situation or a possible issue/trend.  Those finalists’ candidate video interviews and assessments are delivered to the client.

This also best prepares the Hiring Team to properly structure a group panel video interview for recruiting when scheduling conflicts and time differences preclude a 1st round of face-to-face interviews.   In this digital age, new challenges in utilizing candidate video interviews in recruiting will arise, but this will never eliminate the need and human touch of forward-looking face-to-face interviews.

Award-winning Recruitment Search Processes

Leadership Vault, the award-winning recruitment search methodology created by the managing partners of NextGen Global Executive Search, has consistently proven to result in what clients often describe as the best hire they have ever made and that the candidates brought forward met or exceeded their expectations.  Click the image below to discover our unique search process.

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Articles Talent Acquisition - Assessments

Increasing New Hire Productivity Self Development & Mentoring

Increasing new hire productivity requires making sure the new employee can hit the ground and produce.  Behavioral assessment (sometimes referred to as “Psychometric Testing”) has become increasingly recognized as a valuable source of information when making hiring decision.

There is a wealth of data to demonstrate that using behavioral assessment in conjunction with sound, responsible recruitment methods reduces employee turnover, and it’s quickly becoming standard practice for many employers and recruiters.  But by and large behavioral assessments are not used properly.In addition, is it really worth the additional time and expense? In the current economic climate is behavioral assessment REALLY an essential for your next recruitment campaign?

The answer is:  YES with a CAVEAT towards Increasing New Hire Productivity

Increasing-New-Hire-ProductivityHere are three points why increasing new hire productivity works when behavioral assessments are used properly.  What is a general consensus among most companies is this usually involves a questionnaire that asks the candidate about their opinions, preferences and priorities.

Based on the results, and by comparing the answers against years and years of historical data and expert analysis, the individual’s attitudes and behaviors can be extrapolated.

Behavioral reports can include information such as preferred working environment, how they respond to tight deadlines, preferred management style, approach to selling, and much more.

If you’re skeptical, ask one of your employees – preferably one you’ve known for many years – to take an assessment. You’ll likely be surprised at just how inaccurate the results are.

1. Defining the Role Fit and Team Fit = Increasing New Hire Productivity

Figuring out exactly the kind of candidate you’re looking for and creating a job description to match can be a time-­‐consuming headache. But a simple survey of the stakeholders of the role (direct report, internal customers, the top employees already in that team the new hire will work within) can then be put into a Composite survey that will produce a detailed description of the ideal characteristics you’re looking for, many of which can be inserted straight into your job description.  There is virtually no scientific proof that performing a behavioral assessment of candidates alone will result in a “good hire”

To be successful in evaluating candidates and making the right hire so that increasing new hire productivity is the goal, once you know they fit the role in terms of tangible skills, education, and experience, but t,he fact that 46% of all new hires fail within the first 18 months, according to Leadership IQ, it is vitally important to measure the intangibles in the role fit and to assess the candidate’s impact on team dynamics.  And here is where so many Hiring Managers make a HUGE mistake.  The one-size-fits-all “corporate culture” is used to assess candidates across the board.  But the truth is that ALL teams are unique and EACH has their OWN CULTURE which may align in some ways with the corporate culture statement.  An accurate behavioral assessment of a potential candidate is when it is measured against  the team composite profile.  In particular, you need to measure

  • Values and Motivations and how the potential candidate’s views and needs impact  team dynamics
  • Relational Communications Traits – how the candidate is able to listen as well as sell his/her ideas to the team
  • Conflict Resolution Skills – many of post Baby Boomers were not taught this skills, so training is essential if hiring
  • Decision Making Traits –  can he/she make a valued fast decision or do they delay and waiver inconsistently?

2. Conducting Fewer Interviews

A resume or LinkedIn profile can somewhat tell you whether a person has the ideal qualifications and job history but usually it’s impossible to tell if a person has the right attitude and accomplishments until you interview them. Behavioral assessment done the right way, on the other hand, can provide you with that information in a fair and objective fashion. So if, for example, you have 7 candidates that look great on paper, a team fit and role fit scientifically based assessment can help you reduce that shortlist to a more manageable number, and leave you with a much faster interview process.

3. Customized Mentoring / Coaching = Increased New Hire Productivity

Quick assimilation – faster or rather increasing new hire productivity and longer retention.  It’s the goal for EVERY Hiring Manager.  An often overlooked feature of team fit and role fit profiles and behavioral assessments is its ability to tell you the training and management styles to use to get increased new hire productivity.  Getting your new recruit up to speed quickly and making them feel comfortable in the role is not only a time saver but it also reduces the expenses incurred through downtime.

We’ve already mentioned the fact that behavioral assessment reduces employee turnover, but have you ever stopped to consider just how expensive and time consuming it can be to  replace a bad hire?   Aside from the fact that you have to spend time and money, repeating the recruitment process all over again, you also have to repeat the expense of on-boarding and assimilation for the eventual replacement.

And it’s almost impossible to put a price on the potential for lost business and the reduced employee morale that occurs while the position remains vacant. Although prices vary quite a bit, the average cost of behavioral assessment is often far less than employers imagine. And any one of the above four points would more than justify the additional, modest investment.

But put these three elements together and you have a potential saving of time and money that represents tens of thousands of dollars.  Especially in consideration of reducing employee turnover.   So, the question is not whether you can afford to use behavioral assessment. The real question is…  Can you afford NOT to use behavioral assessment?

NextGen Global Executive Search – Increasing New Hire Productivity

Get an inside look at how NextGen uses this behavioral assessment with award winning Leadership Vault Recruiting process.  NextGen Executive search provides retained and engagement recruitment services for clients who build and service aerospace power systems, UAVs, drones, and stealth tech; artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality; cyber security and cyber defense; industrial automation, robotics, industrial power system, renewable energy, and fossil generation; medical devices and electronic health records; mobile networks, digital media, embedded wireless, IoT, and cellular  infrastructure.  Compare our search process and fees compared to other search firms by clicking the image below or contact us today.

 

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Articles Talent Acquisition - Assessments

Screening Candidates for Team Fit is BETTER than Corporate Culture Match

Screening candidates for team fit is more fruitful and accurate than corporate culture match. Work is a lot like life in general in that screening candidates cultural fit is what many strive for.  While it is a lofty goal, it is also a bit of star Trek wishful thinking that all will be well in the universe and a perfect hire will happen.

 In life, we tend to mingle with people who are quite like ourselves. As an individual, a person would usually be drawn to another who expresses similarities, in language, music, and style are among the things. In a few words: we are attracted to the same culture. The same goes for the business world.

Companies have a selection process where they usually look for candidates who share the same values and methods of their organization, i.e corporate culture. Screening candidates for team fit takes more work but in the end it is about the performance of the team and the impact the individuals being considered for hire will impact team dynamics.

Each team has their own culture.  And teams are made up of individuals.  If everyone thinks the  same and has the same corporate culture and process methods philosophy, their is no innovation, no challenge to different thoughts as everyone is robotic in their thinking.

And cultural fit should not be mistaken for one’s own prejudice. A candidate should be hired based on how they would make a positive impact on the team he/she will work within and how that in the end would be beneficial for the company without clashing with other employees and while at the same time maintain demeanor. If these are met  y assessing team fit instead of culture fit,  then that new hire is likely to fail.

Screening Candidates for Team Fit is Essential to Team Success

While cultural fit can be discerned in the screening process, whether the candidates fit the team he/she will work within is one of the main purposes of utilizing psychometrics to asses a candidate’s impact on team dynamics.  The major problem is the reliance upon one-way behavioral testing that partially measures a potential candidate’s potential behavioral patters, values, and motivations, but fails to take into account the team composite regarding relational communications style, decision maing and conflict resolution skills, and leadership/management style.

Many feel that in  a panel interview they can discern within a few hours how a candidate will impact team dynamics and weigh heavily on Human Resources to provide the behavioral assessment.  the interaction established in the interview exhibits the candidate’s credentials to accomplish the job and an essential fit needed to perform efficiently within the role, but cannot measure team fit.

Behavioral interviews are often used; unfortunately, the standard practice does not work well. Organizations need to measure a candidate’s behavioral profile against the composite reading of the team’s behavioral profile. This type of psychometric measurement combined with the in-person interviews can accurately tell how the candidate’s approach and conduct are compatible with the ones practiced within the team, as well as within the company.

According to Entrepreneur, Corporate culture is “a blend of values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths companies develop over time.” In itself, a company has their own identity within its workforce and it greatly varies from one organization to another. Within a company, it is common that different people are working together.

Screening Candidates for Team Fit Means a Good Hire

Screening candidates for team fit assures that teamwork is common and important in a corporate setting. Employees who value working with peers and acknowledge the input of various ideas is most likely to work well in an organization that puts emphasis working in teams. Working with others is an important part in business organizations.

However, when an employee prefers to work alone, he or she might be a good cultural fit in an organization that is more inclined in working in teams.Screening candidates for cultural fit and team fit also measures the capability of an employee to embrace diversity and exhibits no qualms in working in an organization that is compatible to their own set of principles and ideals. Companies need to recognize and employ candidates who exhibit these traits. Employees who are happy in their work environment tend to perform better and stay longer.

Despite the diverse personalities within a workforce, a company needs to find balance in shaping their work culture that will assure its accomplishment. Working in organizations would mean meeting a lot of people with different backgrounds. Both cultural fit and team fit emphasizes an employees’ abilities in and characteristics that can contribute to the success of the company.

A Recruitment Process Unmatched

NextGen’s award-winning Leadership Vault search process begins with the Discovery step where the objectives of the role, how a candidate will use their skills, team dynamics, and value proposition are determines.  The target candidate profile includes researched competitor and company targets followed by documenting accomplishments, relative KPIs, depth of industry / customer relationships, and scientifically based team fit analysis.

Success based recruitment fees where majority is based on acceptable deliverables and the actual hire.  Backed by a custom on-boarding plan and a 24 to 36 month replacement guarantee and a retention rate of 93% of our placements are working for same client at 3.5 years of service with 72% in 5 years.  You should expect NOTHING LESS than hiring an “A player” when you pay a recruitment fee.

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Cost of Failed Executive Hires – Eliminate Poor Recruiting Techniques

The cost of failed executive hires is tremendous. This is NOT limited to just CXOs and SVPs – same goes with VP and Director levels. It is surprising how many mid-cap and large conglomerates retained big-named search firms without realizing that with the exception of a few principals that manage the business and no longer recruit, most of the recruiters for these big firms are a revolving door. They flow in and out according to economic times. Boards should look towards smaller well-established retained executive search firms who have experts that have been working there for a dozen years or more and have a solid history of recruiting in your niche industry.

The cost of failed executive hires is not only damaging – it can prove to be fatal. First are the costs related to the executive compensation, benefits, and severance package, as well as indirect cost such as travel, poor strategy and poor business plan execution, lost market share, lack of direction for the rest of the staff, and lack of trust in the Board of Directors. I see it all the time where I not only need to find a replacement CEO, CTO, CFO, or SVP, but also one that has turnaround experience and is willing to come into a situation that is not ideal for immediate success.

Several times over my career in Executive Search I find myself working with a candidate who believes they are an ideal fit for a retained search assignment I am conducting. My retained search work is “performance based” NOT contingency based, which means that when a client has paid a deposit for my time and effort, I am expected to get the job done.For an executive search consultant, getting the job done means nothing short of bringing forward high-impact “business changing” candidates to our clients. These are the “A Players“.  Not only must they have the required experience, expertise, and a proven track record of success, but he/she must prove to me that they can meet the challenges of the position, meet or exceed my client’s expectations, and make a “direct positive impact” on my client’s business.

Most fail to understand the impact on the cost of failed executive hires is. The truth is that by and large, about 55% of all employees at any given company are in fact “C” Players. They can do the job they were hired to do; they show up for work on time, do the job they were assigned, and are loyal to their managers.  However, they lack the entrepreneurship risk taking mentality, the “take charge” attitude, and the take no prisoners’ mindset required to make an impact on the marketplace.  In addition, they are easily replaced by outsourcing at a lower cost as well as artificial intelligence, software automation, and robotics.  And the latter three can run 24/7 without sick days, benefits, training, and their performance is most often anything but mediocrity.

Avoiding the Cost of Failed Executive Hires

While for many positions it is acceptable until technology advancements eliminate many “C” players, companies will continue to hire them for many roles.  At functional leadership and key engineering, sales, and operations the cost of failed executive hires can be fatal.  Many VPs and Directors will look to “B” players, which based on my 20 years experience in executive recruiting, are roughly up to 30% of all employees at any given company.  They outperform “C” players any day of the week and possess the intuitiveness and hunger to succeed that makes them valuable to their employer. They have a track record of success, albeit in their department but rarely make a definitive impact on the company’s overall performance in the marketplace or the business strategy.So what really is an “A” player? The misconception is that “A players” only exist at the executive level.  That is purely a myth.  Most “A players” were born that way or evolved into it in childhood, teenage, or young adult years.  These unique individuals comprise the Top 14% of the global workforce.  They are easily recognized early on.  In their youth, they were leaders and entrepreneurs – whether having the most lawns to cut, starting a community newspaper, excelling in Junior Achievement or inventing a product or service company that was acquired by a bigger fish.

These “A players” are not always leaders as their ideas, thought processing, and inventiveness make them excellent engineers. Same goes with RSMs and MAMs who can blow out the quotas as an individual, but if you try to move them into leadership levels they fail.  The strategic thinker and the ability to “sell their ideas” type of “A players with superb interpersonal communications and conflict resolution skills are in fact the type of functional leader or senior corporate executive that is a “game changers” not only within a client’s vertical market, but have had similar success in other vertical markets within that industry or in a different industry altogether. They have a responsibility to the owners (founders, investors, and stockholders).

​​​​Cost of Failed Executive Hires is due to a poor Talent Acquisition Process

A Forbes article by a Silicon Valley CEO reveals that the cost of failed executive hires is estimated to be more than $500,000 or 2.5 times salary. And that does NOT include organizational, opportunity, productivity, and transitional costs for the new executive. As an Officer or Board member, you must ask yourself, why would you risk letting mediocre executives hires to occur?The same can be said of a VP of Engineering who needs principal level systems software engineer for that matter. You may save yourself a few dollars in the short run recruiting someone with your existing recruiting process, but the long term effects in the cost of failed executive hires may cost YOU and YOUR STOCKHOLDERS much more than 2.5 times salary or a recruitment search fee.

How to Alleviate the Cost of Failed Executive Hires

NextGen Global Executive Search not only reduces the cost of failed executive hires, we virtually eliminate them.  The award-winning Leadership Vault search method, developed over 30 years, is a the recruitment platform utilized by our executive search consultants that properly measures the potential candidates we identify by psychometrics to determine a strong match to role fit and team fit, document KPIs and the depth of candidates’ industry relationships, and provide a custom onboarding program that includes new hire self-development planning and a mentoring / coaching program that is easy to realize with little investment of time.  Backed by an industry leading 12 to 36 months replacement guarantee, the common feedback is the hire we placed met or exceeded their objectives.  Looking to fill a key  functional leadership or senior executive role in your company?  Reach out and see the difference engaging an Executive Retained Search will make to the quality of candidates you will interview. We don’t get paid in full until you are 100% satisfied.