What Makes HR Look Good in the Board Room – if indeed they even get there!
Its easy to see the results of the Sales Director, the Operations Director and to review the numbers of the Finance Director. These things are tangible and measurable and tend to receive the majority of the Board Room focus because of this very nature.
Most organisations will tell you that their people are the most important resource they have and that looking after them and developing them is paramount. So why is it that the person who is Head of HR is often not represented on the Board and if they are, they often have to shout loudly to be heard?
The answer may be contained in just one word: ‘evidence’. People are not machines; they cannot be counted as a stock number and additionally, unlike stock, they have a thing called choice!
There are no norms – all people are exceptions to a rule that doesn’t exist
Fernando Pessoa – Late 19th Century Portuguese Poet
Hence HR people are often left with unquantifiable results. Being experts in their own field they can see what strategic decisions have to be made in relation to developing a productive, engaged workforce but with no statistical evidence this can be hard to justify.
Dan Harrison’s 30+ years of research into what makes people successful in the workplace, in particular roles and working in particular teams now gives us the very analytics needed to:
Identify the success behaviours required to perform in a particular role
Produce profiles against which to recruit successful candidates
Assess for leadership, BCs, values-based behaviours, remote working EI and much more
Conduct progressive engagement surveys upon which to make strategic engagement decisions as well as individual ones
Armed with such analytics, the HR professional stands a much better chance of making effective business cases in the Board Room!
You’ve just completed a great project, met the deadlines and brought it in on budget. You are feeling good but nobody says a word? As days go by nothing comes back and you start to doubt your success. The internal dialogue ramps up to a point where you become totally focused on whether or not you did indeed complete a successful project. You venture to ask a couple of questions of the people from whom you may have expected some positive feedback but the bemused looks set you back even further so what’s going on?
Unconscious behaviour patterns are playing out here. You may have a high need for recognition and appreciation because your external reference system means you value other peoples opinions, external qualifications etc in order to measure your own success. Internally referenced people, on the other hand, measure their success against their own internal measures. They include the word ‘I’ to a large degree in their conversation and don’t need others to tell them they have done a good job. They will be bemused when externally referenced people ask for feedback and unconsciously view it as ‘needy’.
No feedback needed, thanks
Internally referenced people don’t take kindly to feedback because unconsciously they have a high degree of certainty that they are right (they are not always of course!). The unconscious thinking is that ‘if I don’t need feedback then nor does anyone else’. Consequently they don’t give it out and if they do it can sounds contrived and awkward. This type of behaviour can often come across as ‘confidence’ and will invariably help the internally reference person up the promotion ladder. They can also be very hard to give feedback to so here is a tip for you –
If you want to give feedback to an internally referenced person start with ‘Of course you probably already know this ……..’
Do you have the capability to source great talent for your organisation?
A recent article in People Management entitled ‘How Do You Pick a Winner from 5,000 Candidates’ highlighted the challenges still faced by recruiters in picking candidates that not only have the right qualifications and experience but who will fit the suitability criteria for the organisation.
CIPD research* also shows that only 8% of organisations rank their talent management activities as ‘very effective’, and highlights the top 3 Learning and Development objectives for talent management activities to be:
Growing future senior managers / leaders
Retaining key staff
Developing high potential employees
It seems many companies are having difficulty retaining top talent. Sometimes job advertisements fall short of expectations, but there is another quite stark dynamic to the talent problem. HR professionals and operational managers are more aware today than ever before of the consequences of recruiting the wrong talent. For example, retail want people who are talented at giving superb customer service, whilst technical firms want people who can communicate in plain language and collaborate with peers and clients. It is no longer enough to have a technical or academic ability, or to have years of experience – companies want people who naturally express the behaviour they see as needed in order to remain competitive, and this is the current challenge.
It’s more about the culture than technical skill
More companies are seeking to create the ultimate cultural environment where high performance can flourish. They have learned that it is not so easy to teach non-technical traits such as customer service, collaboration, empathy, initiative, trustworthiness, enthusiasm and interpersonal skills, or to assess negative traits such as permissiveness, bluntness, blind optimism, harshness and dogmatism. These can be referred to as suitability traits as opposed to eligibility traits. Eligibility traits are the clearly measurable ones that appear on a CV – number of years’ experience, qualifications, achievements both personal and business. If you can find candidates with the right suitability as well as eligibility then you can usually plug any gaps they may have in your technical requirements through training, coaching, shadowing and mentoring.
High performance of any kind is easier when backed up by certain suitability traits such as the tendency to collaborate, listen well, empathise and take initiative. Sadly these traits often take a back seat in our schools, colleges and universities, and the tendency is to rely on a person’s natural abilities in these areas.
Conventional ways of recruiting no longer cut the mustard
Sifting through CVs, all formatted differently, formal interviews, and psychometric tests that don’t relate to the workplace still exist for many companies. Agencies that filter based on CVs and interviews and charge the relative manual labour fees are still the most common form of hiring. It can also be the most costly form of hiring as it is often quite hit and miss, with only an average of 45% prediction of job success. Online agencies are becoming more prevalent today, and some of these are making strides to reduce cost, but behind the scenes you often find a conventional process of CV filtering and interviewing. There simply has to be a better, more value for money way of attracting and hiring top talent.
Ben recently applied for a key role with a major technology company, attracted by the promise of high autonomy to make decisions and a development path into top leadership. Unfortunately the job was hyped up and he found he had to refer to the USA HQ for every single decision. He left after just 3 months!
The solution is at hand!
What if you could identify and capture both the suitability traits and eligibility factors required for a role and measure your candidates against them without the need for manual sifting whilst increasing your prediction of job success from 45% to 90-95% at the same time?
Harrison Assessment Talent Solutions allows you to just this at a fraction of the cost –
Set eligibility and suitability criteria using one of 6,500 job profile templates
Invite candidates to complete their own eligibility information and the online SmartQuestionnaire™ (no more paper sifting by you or your recruitment agent)
Receive processed list of candidates in order of suitability for role (no more subjectivity)
For each candidate selected for interview receive –
An Interview Guide
A How to Attract this Candidate Guide
A How to Manage this Candidate Guide
A Job Success Analysis
Other reports as required
Harrison Assessments is the result of over 30 years of research by Dr Dan Harrison. It is designed specifically for the workplace and is based on enjoyment and paradox theory. It utilises 175 behavioural traits (nearly 4 times as many as its closest competitors) in an online SmartQuestionnaire™. It offers a complete talent management solution from – recruitment, development, performance management, succession planning, benchmarking and cultural change measurement.
If you would like to know more about this exceptional Talent Management System call +44 (0)7768 922244.
*CIPD Annual survey report 2013, over 1,000 respondents from senior L&D professionals