Posts Tagged ‘management report’

Cost To Recruit

09/06/2013

HR and Talent Acquisition Directors discuss the implications of not knowing their true Cost To Recruit (CTR), the difficulties in measuring and reporting on it, and how they have formulated various versions of it to make efficient resource allocation and forward-looking decisions. [I will manually send you this article]

Why you need a real recruitment metric

07/11/2010

Management Information, or MI, was one of the biggest issues highlighted in the October 2010 survey of members of the Direct Resourcing Think Tank.

Assessing the business impact of the Resourcing Department is key for the careers of heads of resourcing – and indeed their immediate bosses – so what MI would their CxOs and Senior Management want to see?

A Newman Group survey threw up the most-used MI

http://www.slideshare.net/beeshields/talent-acquisition-2008-survey-and-analysis-of-the-changing-recruiting-landscape-presentation

Top came open vacancies, then time to fill, volume of hires, cost per hire, internal placement, offer to accept, interview to offer, decline to offer, and lastly diversity.

The Newman Group clients have missed the point. DRTT members, being taxed to influence CxOs and Senior Management, all agree that a different metric – Quality of Hire – is the key criterion of judging their own performance and giving shareholder value.

However, QoH is a bit of a Holy Grail, because these same businesspeople say it involves measuring the performance of new hires, ensuring that all the skills & competencies that drive performance are present in new hires, that new hires are a good cultural fit, that retention ratios are good. Some have even linked Quality of Hire to succession planning, on the grounds that a quality hiring process will predict when business-critical roles will become vacant and will already have created a pipeline of replacements. All legitimate arguments, and all making QoH more fiendish to measure, less tangible even, though somehow more holistic. Never mind the width, feel the quality, they say.

This is not a counsel of despair, because what you measure you can improve, and if you continuously improve, you improve your  Quality of Hire, you make a bigger  impact on your business, and get the attention of your CxOs and Senior Management.

(A word of advice: if you tell your CEO that your Cost per Hire is just your advertising, recruitment agency, and recruiter salary costs, then you might get some of her unwanted attention!)

Job descriptions: detailed or general?

20/01/2010

A reader asks RecruitAdvisory ….

Job description: detailed or general?

This question comes from a number of readers. One highlighted the differences between a job description (or JD) and a job advertisement, another that JDs are out of date almost as soon as they’re written, and yet another suggested we go to the best employee for a JD.

Given that employees are in their jobs for an average of one and a half to two years (CEOs are in place for just 26 months, from one stat I saw recently), sharp employers are writing JDs with the achievements to be attained by this notional end of tenure and with a view to succession planning. Indeed, companies like Coca-Cola, HP and Kimberly Clark now have many roles as contracts with just such fixed-terms. They are also including more cross-functional skills and experience because that’s what it means to work in a team. The style of this JD needs to be detailed because, whether the role be contract, fixed term, or permanent, it is being used to frame the performance review. Using it as thus helped simplify immensely my job of assessing the performance of my team when a line manager.

It’s because of the understanding that organizations are teams that the person specification is important too along with the JD, not just for hiring but also for analysing a job (JD + PS) within the context of workforce planning.

By contrast, the JD designed for recruiting needs to be short and punchy. When a recruitment agent, I looked at employers’ websites to see which ones had merely copy & pasted a witheringly long JD onto their careers site, one because it would fail to sell the job to potential applicants, two because the hiring line manager would all-too often have a different and more up-to-date view of what and who she was looking for in her head, and three because if I could get the permission of the hiring line manager to speak to the best employee I had both a person specification to find similar profiles and someone I could headhunt in the future.

There is great technology available now that profiles the best employees and then finds similar people out in the market, and the management reporting shows that employers using it hire better people who stay for longer. I wish I’d had it when I was a hiring line manager and then a recruitment agent!

Brand from the Inside

31/10/2009

Recommended Reading

Brand from the Inside. Eight Essentials to Emotionally Connect Your Employees to Your Business, Libby Sartain and Mark Schumann, 2006

Libby Sartain was, until earlier this year, Yahoo’s Chief People Officer, so what she writes is worth reading. She reads the Discussions in the Employer Branding group on LinkedIn, so you can have a discussion with her. Mark Schumann is a senior exec with Towers Perrin. They have written a number of books together. This is a light summation of their 2006 book.

Marketing own the brand, right? And they jealously guard it – “Don’t risk the brand!” they scowl at you when you make a suggestion for your job advertising! But if you want to deliver exceptional service, your branding program should really begin with your employees: when employees feel an emotional connection with a company, they deliver exceptionally good service, which your customers will recognise and appreciate. This is why Sartain coined the phrase earlier this month on the LinkedIn group “HR is the new Marketing”. This book could be a powerful ally when trying to co-opt Marketing into your way of doing things. Your employer branding campaign should include eight essential activities.

Discover

How customers view your brand determines whether they like, trust and buy your products. If your brand breaks its promises, your customers may turn away. Conversely, when a brand delivers excellent service or quality, that can have a halo effect on your entire product line. Brands can accelerate sales and customer acceptance.

The best brands generate emotions that overpower common sense. For example, why do people pay over £2 for a cup of coffee at Caffe Nero when they could brew it at home for pennies or buy it elsewhere in a caff for 50p? Millions pick up pricey cappuchinos every day, but the individual decision to grab a high end cup of coffee has nothing to do with reason.

When customers identify with your brand, it achieves a new level of influence. For other examples of such powerful branding, turn to Lego and Disney. Legoland stands for creativity; Disneyland a happy childhood. Consumers feel an emotional connection with these brands. I can vouch for this being a parent!

Employees also have a relationship with your brand. When people believe in a company, they feel good about working for it and delivering on its promises to customers. What Sartain and Schumann are suggesting is that you should discover what customers think of your offering.

“If the brand doesn’t live on the inside, it can’t thrive on the outside.”

Commit

A 2005 worldwide study found that HR professionals see a company’s brand as the essence of what it communicates internally and externally. The same study found that 60% of companies planned to start employee branding campaigns, which include many of the same components as customer-directed campaigns.

In a customer-directed campaign, you make promises to customers; in an employee campaign, you make promises to employees. In both cases, you must honour your promises.

An employee campaign should connect your brand’s promises to customers with its promises to employees. Both branding exercises must complement your company’s business strategy.

A study by Yahoo! found that 94% of job hunters said they had to believe in a company’s mission to accept a position with it. Companies with strong brands get good recruiting results. 79% of HR professionals believed that employees ranked companies with strong employer brands as top places to work. When employees feel an emotional link to a company, they are more likely to remain with the organisation when it experiences hard times or intense competition. This is why internal branding is important in meeting HR goals.

Make sure employees understand your brand – which means more than just ascertaining that they are familiar with your products and how they work. They must learn what your brand represents to customers and why the brand inspires them. Encourage employees to use the brand. Hallmark, for example, gives employees greeting cards to use.

“Any business, in any corner of the world, must create an experience to engage its employees before it can expect those employees to deliver the brand to customers.”

Diagnose

If you don’t intentionally develop an internal brand, one, or a number, will develop anyway. An informal employee brand may do a fine job of representing the company positively and accurately. However, if it doesn’t, you must correct the problem by making sure that you are communicating the right values to your employees and customers. Ask employees and marketing executives to answer the following questions, and use their responses to diagnose how well you are conveying your internal message and to formulate your internal branding strategy:

• Do those who work here understand what the brand promises?

• How strongly do they believe in the brand’s promises?

• Can staff members do more to deliver what the brand promises?

• Does the brand support the company’s recruiting efforts?

“The key to employer branding is tapping the emotional essence of the company and its brand, and using that emotional essence to frame and articulate the employee experience.”

Prepare

When you plan and prepare an internal branding campaign, your goals are:

• To generate more revenue.

• To reduce talented employee turnover.

• To enhance recruitment potential.

Internal branding should become part of your business plan – however, don’t overstate what branding can accomplish. A change-resistant corporate culture, road blocks from company leaders and departmental turf battles can become obstacles to any campaign.

Although a good employer brand can reduce the amount you spend on recruiting and replacing employees, branding campaigns cost money. You may need to invest in research, the services of an ad agency to communicate your new messages and additional HR support, if the plan involves significant change.

In most companies, internal branding is the HR department’s responsibility. Depending on the type of business and the project’s scope, staff members from marketing, corporate communication, customer service, the call centre, sales and IT may also get involved. All these disparate people must learn to work as a team.

Create

To carry out the plan, the team should take the following steps:

• Set ground rules – Specify the problem. Is there too much turnover? Cynicism? Are new competitors eroding sales and taking your customers? The team should analyse the effects on the brand of both external and internal factors.

• Perform research – Research can help you define your company’s essence, or what your brand means to your customers – which is not the same as what your product does. For example, Hallmark’s essence is “enriching lives.” Harley-Davidson’s is “we fulfill dreams.” Heinz’s is “doing a common thing uncommonly well.” Anheuser-Busch’s is “we will add to life’s enjoyment.”

• Set attainable goals – Specify objectives for each key area: the company, the brand, the market, and prospective, current and former employees.

• Communicate the goals – Everyone in the organisation should know and understand the goals. The team should develop a creative “big idea” that inspires employees and conveys what the company represents.

Implement the employer-branding process whenever you experience major staff changes or other significant shifts, such as a merger. Communicate your employer brand in all your marketing, policy and operational efforts.

“Brands paint the picture a customer steps into.”

“A brand can connect a customer to what a business is all about – its character, personality and values.”

“At their heart, brands touch the soul, excite the mind, satisfy the need and motivate the action.”

Apply

Your employee brand must meet employees’ expectations. Don’t frustrate your staff with a gap between what the brand promises and what it delivers. Make your promises clear; for example, FedEx’s “purple promise” to employees includes a compensation package and a rewards programme.

Break down distinctions between employees and customers by regarding your employees as internal customers. The HR department should insure that employees are aware of the employer brand at every stage of their life-cycle with the company:

• Noticing the company.

• Deciding it is an attractive place to work.

• Applying for a job.

• Joining the company.

• Working.

• Leaving.

• Remembering the work experience.

Market

Share your employer brand messages with everyone the company touches: customers, the community, employees, regulators and competitors. The Internet, with its capacity to spread messages instantly around the world, has changed the way organisations communicate. You must explain what your company does, and how it benefits customers and employees.

When UPS changed its company logo in 2003, it gave every employee a small package containing a pin and a message from the company president explaining the reasons for the logo change, and how the new logo would look on company vehicles and packaging.

Hallmark uses another creative way to deliver its company message. Its annual employee brand conference puts participants in the mood to receive a positive message. Employees explain how the company and its products have enriched their lives. Company artists and writers discuss how they create the cards. The goal of the event is to help employees understand the business and to strengthen their belief in the company mission.

Washington Mutual appointed 75 brand managers, representing all lines of business nationwide. “Brand rallies” around the country had a 95% employee-participation rate.

To communicate your employer brand, follow these steps:

• Recognise that emotions are powerful communication tools.

• Re-evaluate your employee-communication programme&

• Tell the truth. A 2003 study found that only 51% of employees believed what their companies said, and only 48% believed senior management.

• Involve senior management in telling the story.

• Train key personnel to be employer brand advocates.

• Explain how employees benefit from working for the company: WIIFM. Then, explain again.

• Demonsdrate the business’s personality. Southwest Airlines, which has a reputation as a fun place to work, holds job-recruitment auditions, where interviewers encourage candidates to sing.

“Only by addressing each stage of an employee’s experience can you truly make an employer brand come to life.”

“To make the employer brand real for your employees, emotionally and functionally, it must live during each part of each day of an employee’s experience.”

“Your business must create a multisensory experience for your employees in which the  brand is present all around.”

“Ultimately, an employer brand is only as successful as the way in which it directs the choices people make every day.”

Nurture

Once you’ve created and communicated your message, it will take on a life of its own in the workplace, through daily interactions between individuals and among small groups.

All of your senior managers should reinforce the branding effort by embodying what the brand represents.

To keep the branding program focused, monitor feedback from employees and customers.

Determine whether the brand is meeting employee expectations. Use focus groups and surveys to be sure that the customer brand and the employer brand are aligned. On the UPS “brand exchange” website, customers, suppliers and the community interact. The site protects the brand and ensures that everyone has a consistent experience.

Take-Aways

• When employees feel connected to your company, they provide good service.

• See your employees as internal customers; create an employer brand for them.

• Half of HR managers view the company brand as “the essence of our offering” and say that their companies conduct some form of employee branding.

• Your employer brand must meet your employees’ expectations.

• To create your employer brand, know the brand’s essence.

• Take the following eight steps: discover, commit, diagnose, prepare, create, apply, market, nurture.

• Factors such as your reputation, corporate culture, workplace conditions, ethics and career growth opportunities shape your employer brand.

• Work to create trust. In one study, only 51% of employees believed what their companies said and only 48% believed statements from senior management.

• Revisit your employer brand whenever there is a merger or staff change, and in all marketing, communication, policy and operational efforts.

• To convey your company’s message, sponsor an event such as a conference that creates a receptive mood.

To temper what Sartain and Schumann wrote in 2006, the general argument in Direct Resourcing Think Tanks has been that organisations can no longer own or control their employer brand reputation. While once a business could implement an employer branding strategy and related messaging with stellar results, such as being named one of the best places to work, getting positive media attention and becoming the subject of academic and corporate case studies, this control has been usurped by social media, peer-to-peer publishing and online rating services. The shift in power renders all but the most strategic and well-executed efforts virtually ineffective.

Talent acquisition experts can no longer push out a message to those they wish to recruit unless the message is authentic and the experience inside the company mirrors the message.  Any disconnect puts the organisation, and the ability to recruit, at risk.

A business can stay in the driver’s seat of their brand reputation by creating an authentic experience for workers that begins before a prospective worker even thinks about a business as a place to work and ends with an active alumnus who is a fan of the business as a place to work. But this is hard work and requires the participation of everyone involved with the enterprise. It means that the website has to message what is really going on in the organisation. The candidate experience mirrors what the worker will experience on the job and will be the best first impression.

Once onboard, HR programmes should be consistently delivered as branded products and services. Leaders and co-workers influence, more than anyone else, what a worker experiences day in and day out. It means that day to day behaviour must be consistent with the employer brand promise. To have any control over the brand, an employer must screen for people with behavioural attributes that are aligned with the brand when hiring.

I do think that the Sartain book gives you in HR some strong arguments to co-opt your Marketing Department. In the worst case, they will help you confront Marketing, defeat their argument that they are the sole owner of the brand, and force them to get you in HR & Talent Acquisition onside.

A final word: as a recruiter, what management reports would you need to measure your employer brand?

Alumni returns, numbers of speccy CVs sent in via your website that you then interview or put into a talent pool, referrals as a percentage of total hires, retention of grade 1 performers, ratio of offers to accepts, and ratio of candidates who withdraw themselves during the recruitment process against those whom you reject. What other reports could you produce that would reflect on your employer brand?