Tag: Recruiting

Workplace Disloyalty: Doubles Down On Deception

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By Wayne R. Bodie, MBA, SPHR

Recently I spoke with a Director of Human Resources for a local Professional Employer Organization (PEO) during a networking event. She notified me that they were initiating a “Confidential” employment screening for a replacement Human Resources Manager and she asked if I knew anyone that may be interested. When I asked what happened to the incumbent, the response fell in-line with what is becoming the new standard. The Director stated the manager is currently still employed, but due to personality conflicts she may need to be “let go in a couple months.”

The hairs on the back of my neck stand when I hear comments such as these, so I asked three simple questions:

  1. Was the employee notified of a deficiency?
  2. Has the employee been placed on a plan for success?
  3. Did you attempt progressive discipline in attempts to correct behavior?

The answer to all three questions was a “no.”  So, this employer is sourcing for talent for a “what if” scenario that they are not interested in pre-emptively correcting. I personally see a moral and ethical breach on the part of the employer; however, things are always difficult to truly judge external to the organization. I bring this up because of employee and employer loyalty, both appear to be heading for extinction.

Recruiters will tell you 73% of people currently employed are open to exploring new employment possibilities. Conversely, if a recruiter contacts an organization having no current vacancies, may ask if they would like to “upgrade” any staff most will say yes. This employee and employer loyalty model has driven the median tenure rate to below 4.2 years according to the 2016 Department of Labor Statistics. The trend is expected to continue its downward spiral unless there is a drastic change in employment ideology.

If the employee and employer relationship is a problem, then certainly one of its associated symptoms is its effect on recruitment. Once a profession that once struck lifetime relationships, it was once possible to help the very same person through every transition of an employee’s career. For example, my grandfather worked for DuPont for 35 years until retirement. His two brothers had similar tenures with the same employer, and one of them worked his way from a blue-collar, non-exempt position to an executive. They all had living wages, promotions and enviable benefits by today’s standards.

This was yesteryear, recruiting is lucrative but it is also extremely competitive as a profession. Those that hustle make top dollar, and that’s generally only are placing 5% – 10% of inventory. Notice I used the word inventory instead of “Human Capital.” Top performers can’t be bothered with the 90% that is not hirable by organizations and they generate the most maintenance in terms of customer service. So, what do they do? Forget about the lost 90% and move on, no need for phone calls, feedback letters, or follow-ups.

Look at the horizon and wait until the internet giants awake from their slumber and begin capitalizing in the recruiting space. Imagine the disruption of the industry if Google, Facebook, and Microsoft go all in competing for market share. Don’t think they will try? Google is ramping up now. Imagine the power of Google AdSense’s targeted ads but think in terms of employment. Picture it, potential candidates surfing their favorite websites and instead of receiving a targeted ad they receive a targeted employment invitation. An open job, which they meet all qualifications, and need they only hit one click. Boutique recruitment firms would have to up their game to compete even in niche markets. I mean who could target better than google?

I can’t help but wonder if that increased level of technological innovation would help the employee-employer relationship or further exacerbate the problem. Would easier access to jobs and an expedited hiring process decrease average tenure due to increased availability? Or would it make finding the candidate’s dream job an easier reality thereby increasing our employee and employer loyalty relationship?  What do you think?

 

Source: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/tenure.pdf

Source: http://blog.accessperks.com/2017-employee-engagement-loyalty-statistics#1

Source: https://joshbersin.com/2017/05/google-for-jobs-disrupting-the-recruiting-market/

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/17/google-hire-is-a-recruiting-tool-that-works-with-google-apps.html

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Resources 2042: Wait, Where Is The Human?

By Wayne R. Bodie, MBA, SPHR

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Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

Today’s human resources management profession has jettisoned far from its humble beginnings. So far that, with the advent of newer technologies, the ghostly specter of transactional personnel departments with their voluminous paperwork and manual record keeping, seems…well…other worldly, pre historic perhaps. Even after the outgrowth from headcount reporting to more expansive employee services, bleeding-edge technologies have revolutionized the industry even further.

Nowadays, as human resources professionals, you have seen your roles swell into true strategic business partners in every sense of the word. The average human resources generalist is a part attorney, psychologist, project manager, IT professional, and above all champion of human capital. To be fully proficient in this industry now requires an amazing skill package. But, given the dramatic evolution in the past 40 years, especially the milestones reached in the last 10, what effect will tomorrow have on this profession?

In a recording I recently watched of the World Economic Summit 2017, Elon Musk – the CEO of SpaceX and one of the guest speakers presenting, was asked, “What’s next in technology that will disturb the way the world lives and the way we do business?”  What a great question for a savvy business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor with an estimated net worth of $16.1 billion, making him the 80th-wealthiest person in the world. In December 2016, Musk was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People.

So given his credentials, I found his answer intriguing and thought-provoking. It made me question what challenges lie ahead for the human resources profession. While this probably won’t affect our generation, but if you have a science fiction bent as I do, you may ponder this question awhile too. In short, Elon Musk said, “The development of autonomous cars and artificial intelligence will have a significant ‘disruption’ on society and employment.” In his vision, “Almost all cars being built will be capable of full autonomy in about 10 years.”

He added, “Somewhere between 20 and 25 years in the future, potentially 12-15% of our society could be unemployed simply due to jobs lost by individuals employed as drivers.” He further warned, “Play close attention to the development of artificial intelligence…we have to be very careful how we adopt artificial intelligence.” He followed with, “There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better.”

Now, that got me to thinking. I already see dedicated self-automation in checkout lanes at Walmart, my orders from McDonald’s are done on a human-less Kiosk, and artificial intelligence has already reached a point that it can beat the best chess players in the world. If you have never heard of Google’s DeepMind project, there is AI software capable of learning to teach itself how to walk, run, jump, and climb all without someone teaching in a mere matter of hours. Now picture that technology, exponentially more advanced in 20 years, combined with the advancements that will be made in robotics. What will our future workforce look like? Can you picture that?

Elon Musk’s interview ended with this final question, “If you want to advise government officials to be ready for the future, what advice would you give them?”

“What are we to do about mass unemployment?” he asked. “This is going to be a massive social challenge. Um, and I think ultimately, we will have to have universal basic income. I don’t think we are going to have a choice.” From a human capital perspective, his answer evokes deep concerns.

There’s no way for the average layperson to prophesy the future, but there certainly will be mega shifts in business and the workforce if Elon Musk’s predictions come to pass. I can’t help but wonder if the future of Civil Rights and the Equal Opportunity Commission will be the prohibition of discrimination against humans in the workforce. At that point, Generation Z will hold the reins of futuristic Human Resources, and I wish them tremendous success navigating those waters. I surely hope by then, all of us here and now, are in retirement mode, sipping a spritzer, talking to our kids about the good old days and how things used to be.

If you are interested in watching the original interview, here’s the link to YouTube video listed below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbkO2a2T6Cs

Five Job Search Tips for Vets Entering The Civilian Job Market

By Wayne R. Bodie, MBA, SPHR

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Photo by Benjamin Faust on Unsplash

While reading online posts, I noticed a significant number of unemployed military veterans with vast education and experiences. “What does it take to get hired in the civilian market?” they asked. They have decades of relevant service, noteworthy leadership skills, and their profile pictures are charismatic in formal dress uniform, so what is the problem?

Before I list a few tips that may address some of the questions I have seen, let me preface with two important pieces of information. The quest for jobs in the civilian market takes a long time. For each 10 thousand dollars, you wish to make annually, it may take up to one month to gain employment. So, if you are seeking a job that pays $60,000 it can take up to six months searching.

Next, feedback and notifications back to applicants have all but vanished. For every hundred resumes you send, you may hear little to nothing back. This is important to know because it can be discouraging to hear nothing or simply receive auto generated emails saying, “we have chosen another candidate.” You may be tempted to think the problem is with you. The problem is not with you.

Now, let’s work on getting you that job.

Here are 5 key tips for veterans entering the civilian job market. Human eyes typically no longer see your resume on a pre-screen. When you enter an application online, it typically feeds into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This system is designed to house and screen the organizations’ talent pool. It will pull the top candidates based on key words found in the job description or the needs of the hiring manager.

1.    Develop an ATS Compliant Resume. Aesthetics here can hinder your job search. Any complicated forms, text boxes, or tables can cause the ATS system to not “see” your qualifications. A simple TXT, Word, or PDF with no advanced graphics is best converted by ATS systems.

2.   Use the job description for the position you are applying to find the keywords the employer is looking for. Incorporate those keywords into your resume and in the description of your previous job duties. This can be done by reading the job description or using an online site such as www.wordle.com to scan the job description in which you are applying. You can also google top keywords related to the industry you are specifically seeking employment.

3.   “Civilianize” your resume. You want your job descriptions and titles of your previous positions to be perfectly understandable by a lay person. If a civilian recruiter does not understand your title or position, neither will the ATS. This may require you to use “functional titles” versus your official title. Find the position of your civilian counterpart and utilize this in your resume. You can explain your official title and rank during a pre-screen interview.

4.   Optimize your social media to reflect all the above recommendations. This will help increase your online ranking and in recruitment searches. If you are using LinkedIn be sure to let recruiters know that you are open to a new opportunity. This link shows a step by step tutorial.

https://blog.linkedin.com/2016/10/06/now-you-can-privately-signal-to-recruiters-youre-open-to-new-job

5.   Consider a professional recruiter that specializes in a military to civilian transition. There are plenty of online services that will redo your resume or optimize your Linked In profile; however, someone who has walked your walk will take the extra time and energy in successfully getting you hired.

You are born leaders in every way. I cannot begin to express the amount of gratitude I have for all of you who have served our country. You have put yourself in harm’s way every day and have dealt with the tremendous personal sacrifice of protecting our nation’s freedom. We owe you a world of gratitude. The organization that hires you will be infinitely more successful because you are in it. I hope these quick and easy tips will help get you where you want to be.

Lessons Learned from a Recruiter

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By Wayne R. Bodie, MBA, SPHR

A recruiter recently contacted me online. She texted that I had an interesting background then suggested we connect. I welcome new contacts and industry networking opportunities so I readily agreed to a video teleconference. That hour-long conversation morphed from the typical recruitment exchange into something different, a life lesson.

In a world now veiled with the most stringent political correctness, some topics are usually considered taboo during routine business conversations. Ours ventured off- grid to several off limits topics such as religion, spirituality, morals, ethics, and world travels. Although a departure, I found this recruiting approach refreshing from the more conventional “what region and salary range are you seeking”. This individual jockeyed into a “life coach” role rather than a recruiter.

After I expressed my delight about her happiness-consulting methodology to clients, she taught me a thing or two about life. I soon discovered this recruiter had completed a video conference two weeks prior with a candidate that had been devastated by life’s circumstance. “You visually could see the weight of the world on this candidate’s back. Her posture and presentation all but radiated defeat,” she said. “I took over an hour to slowly begin nursing back her confidence. All that the candidate needed was a little TLC and someone to believe in her.”

I could not believe what I was hearing, especially in this age. A sales professional who really cares about saving the world one person at a time. Amazing. A happy ending for the candidate for she is now in process of being placed with a firm due to this “life coach” tactic to recruiting. The candidate was so ecstatic about the personal attention she received that she sent a thank you letter to the agency referring to the recruiter as a “unicorn.” In my 17 years of handling recruiting, training, and onboarding, I have never received a thank you letter from a candidate calling me a unicorn. Most of the thank you letters I receive appear “canned” or plagiarized templates off Monster.com.

My take is this, just because you have done something for years, does not mean you have been doing it right. Or if you’re doing it right, be more open to being the finest professional your customer has on his or her team. This recruiter did nothing short of the same for me. After an hour of speaking with her, you know what I did? I went for a jog. Why? Because somehow during an interview, she convinced me that eating right and working out was important. Did you catch that? After an interview, the recruiter convinced me to take a jog. Now, that is some fine recruiting.

I had to strategically bring the interview to a close, because I was pretty sure if I had not, I would be joining the peace corps, traveling abroad then immersing myself in a third world country to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation. We all need to be so effective on the job that our stakeholders will not only be satisfied with your service, that they will be delighted. To all recruiters out there that put this level of total quality service into your work, thank you. I will be borrowing from your tools and adding them to my own toolbox.

One person cannot save the world, but one person can save another’s world.  If we keep reciprocating this ideology to each other, it will lead to positive change.

Growing An Awesome Personal Brand: 8 Tips for Job Seekers

By Wayne R. Bodie, MBA, SPHR

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Nowadays pretty much everyone is personal branding savvy, even non-techies. Very much like a product on a store shelf, the way we dress sends a strong message to those around us. So, obviously it pays dividends to invest in the right clothes, personal fitness, and to exercise presentable grooming techniques.

But You Are Smart, You Already Knew That.

So, let’s segue into much more topical issues. How much thought are you putting into your digital footprint? If you are in Human Resources or Operations, you already recognize how prominently social media factors into sourcing and researching potential talent. What your social media presence says about you today will have a huge bearing on your future employment successes.

The days of using a passive approach to social media have come and gone. If you don’t have a social media presence, you better get one. The absence of an online presence can be almost as detrimental to your future job opportunities as having a poorly presented brand. Resisting social media will affect your marketability.

At a bare minimum, if you haven’t done so already get a LinkedIn account up and running. To blow away the ever-expanding competition, consider spending money on the most important facet of your profile, a professional headshot. That investment pays off when that positive first impression entices the viewer to read further.

But, how do you leverage your personal brand into a much larger brand? Keep that LinkedIn account current with your most recent educational and professional history. Fill out as much profile information as you can include skills, achievements, and certifications. Once the basics are in place, you can regularly work the account. This means soliciting endorsements, writing and sharing industry relevant content, and arguably the most important strategy will be developing key relationships. This isn’t your social account, this is a business network. Avoid collecting connections that serve no strategic importance.

Start conversations, interact and join groups. Carry those relationships offline and meet for coffee to talk shop, or plan an after-hour networking mixer. Take a little time each day to work on your social media account and establish professional, valuable, and strategic business partnerships, not just “connections.” Meet a vendor or two that can undercut a current price or provide a better service. This justifies time well spent.

Don’t Stop There!

Consider a piece of digital real-estate to call home. A personal website and a custom URL is not just for graphic designers or amateur photographers anymore. Regardless of your industry, a personal website is the new norm that delivers wonderful opportunities to further develop your brand and be creative too.  Don’t believe me? Fill out a couple of online resume’s today in any industry and see how many now ask for your Linked-In URL and your personal website.

A Final Suggestion

Take the time to tidy up your personal Facebook account.Even if your privacy settings are set to: (1) not show on search engines or (2) can only be seen by friends, don’t be shocked if your interviewer, a recruiter or hiring manager asks you to log into your Facebook account. It is happening with greater frequency every day. Don’t let pictures of a seemingly innocent night out with an old friend end up costing you a six-figure job opportunity.

It’s no secret traditional networking is a huge advantage in a job search. Personal connections land most jobs. The good old-fashioned way still gets results so pick up the phone and dial a friend. But the remaining 20% of positions available that everybody battles for will be online. In this heated arena, only the very best branded online candidates will triumph over those poorly represented or worst yet, those having no online branding at all.

Hiring A Safety Manager: Consider Ex-Military or Paramilitary Professionals

By Wayne R. Bodie, MBA, SPHR

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Your safety manager just left and with him his 20 years of experience out the door. Since you have rapid fire choices to make, you need this position filled quickly. Do you groom someone internally?  A learning curve in a safety role could cost your organization greatly in terms of fines, penalties, or even worst an on-the-job injury or death.

You know you need OSHA compliance, check. You need someone safety driven and goal oriented, check. Probably most importantly you need someone on-site who has a “Command Presence.” Ah, a term that many of us don’t consider in a job description.

We all know the mantra, “every accident is preventable.” We proudly hang our signs “X number of days accident-free,” but achieving success is easier talked about than putting into practice. Pardon the pun, workplace safety best practices do not happen by accident. To establish a safety-first culture as a core value, upper management buy-in is essential, and your safety manager must sell safety solutions and the program benefits to your troops.

Keep in mind credentialing is not the end all be all. You could have the highest credentialed safety manager in the world, but if he can’t sell your line personnel on a safety culture, accidents will happen. Don’t create a “paper” safety culture. Rather, hire a leader who can motivate and inspire others on the importance and strict adherence to safety plans.

Ex-military and paramilitary professionals have an abundance of safety training. In many cases, their equivalency of training far exceeds their civilian counterparts. In addition to their formal safety training, they are bred to lead even the most defiant employee. They function extremely well under pressure. Even the worst in a 9-5 civilian world will not faze these professionals. Consider this talent pool has functioned in the absolute worst conditions, at times in complete sleep deprivation mode, while managing teams and critical incidents that others can only imagine or watch on TV.

Ex-military and paramilitary candidates possess value-added skills. Their ancillary certifications and professional associations can greatly benefit your organization. Many are CPR Instructors, Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedics. Providing skills training in basic CPR/First Aid to personnel may make the difference between a survivable and un-survivable worksite injury. Consider these individuals as a tool in your recruitment toolbox for safety manager roles. Along with expanding your talent pool, come interview day, you will surely hear an interesting tale or two on interview day when you ask, “Tell me about your most difficult situation and how you overcame it.” Take it from me, I have some wild tales to tell.