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What your Candidate Experience is Missing

Meghan M. Biro of Talent Culture recently wrote a LinkedIn article on her top tips to improve candidate experience, and we at Aspen cannot agree more with her sentiments.

As a talent analytics company, we cannot stress the importance of two specific tips that Meghan mentions enough: 1) communication and 2) honest feedback. The job application process is a two way flow of communication between recruiter and candidate – so why do we so often see processes that make it easy for candidates to stay silent?

Like Meghan, we believe that collecting real-time feedback from candidates allows for a flexible and ever-evolving hiring process. One option is to monitor candidate experience all year long, and have in depth analysis on your business groups, functions, regions and recruiting processes on a quarterly basis. Another option is to have a dedicated team whose job is to make sure no candidate falls into a black hole – and guarantee that all of your special initiatives get the appropriate advocacy.

Give your candidates a voice- you might be surprised at what they have to say.

NYC – You think you know everything…oh wait – thats the other team…

David Wright of the NY Mets – arguably one of the best third base players currently, takes on the Phils in the 3 game series this week.

 

This is a continuation of a series produced by Aspen Advisors on improving recruiting progressively and systematically over the next six months, in parallel with the Major League Baseball Season. 

SERIES 3:  Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets @ Citi Field / April 13, 14, 15

IMPROVING EXPERIENCE

Testing and formalized assessment is a good thing.  Our Prime Group in Pando has some interesting behaviors when it comes to formalizing assessment. This group tends to use 1) additional online assessments during the application process, 2) has a copy of the resume handy during an interview consistently, 3) takes notes, and 4) uses formalized questions that are clearly prepared and observed during an interview.

Now other companies do share some or all of these behaviors – no question. However, it is interesting that those traits happen more consistently in companies that score better overall when it comes to experience ratings from candidates, new hires, and hiring managers. Oddly enough, they don’t necessary score “better” when interview processes are reviewed. All the scores are within margin of error, so don’t look for a quick upshot in feedback when you increase formality. In fact, the Prime Group picks up the same number of low scores for interview and assessment topics. That does not surprise me – its a candidate driven marketplace, and in demand talent may feel that some formalized assessment may not be required.

The takeaway? Make an effort to review your assessment processes and the perception of formality in those processes from both the candidate and hiring manager’s point of view.  Using the traits above long term mirrors the profile of companies that have higher experience scores from hiring managers reviewing recruiting’s performance, and candidate scoring on the recruiting experience. Formality isn’t a bad thing – in fact, I look my best in a tuxedo 🙂

IMPROVING ANALYTICS

Smooth or harden lines to reinforce your story.  “WHAT? What’s smoothing a line?” LOL. I know.

When you create a trend line, you have usually the ability to choose how the line is actually drawn. You can either have a connect the dots kind of look or a smooth look. However, you can see that the visual tends to tell to story. The smoother the line, the less volatile the trend appears.

Screenshot 2015-04-14 10.23.35

Example of chart 1 with SMOOTH lines, indicating within tolerances or targets

If I was to change the line to be straight line connections, it can show a jaggedness, which can be used to communicate that the trend itself has volatility.

Example of chart 1 with hard lines, indicating volatility

Example of chart 1 with HARDENED lines, indicating volatility

So when you tell the story, if you think the trend line is good or in compliance – give it a smooth line. If it is not, give it a hardened line. The audience will immediately understand that improvement is needed, or the trend needs correction.

IMPROVING COMPETENCY

Analysis / Problem Identification is a key dimension for any recruiters and recruiting leaders. Honing those skills means better understanding the competencies of that dimension, as listed below. There are probably one or more you can work on, but also one or more you are an expert in. Pick the ones you will develop, and pick at least one you can mentor somebody else on.

Recognizes the problem first; Stays ahead of the problem; Remains effective when another’s direction is uncertain; Persuades people to provide information to help resolve upcoming issues; Cites little problems before they become big problems

IMPROVING STANDARDS

Tracking Currency. You would think this is a straight forward concept – but there are global implications here for sure. In many cases, costs are allocated in the regional currencies, and then there is a global currency for a business. As an example, we have customers that track costs in over 10 different currencies, as they have several operating groups located globally. So local data on costs are collected in Rupees, Yen, Australian Dollar, US Dollar, GBP, Euro, and so on. Meanwhile, the global organization is has its headquarters in the EU, so they report to the markets in the Euro, but the US market is the highest growing market. What to do??

First – stop trying to convert everything. Market fluctuations allow for too much volatility, and after a year, what you converted from US Dollar to Euro then means something different now. Instead, report regionally first, in a regional currency. If you have an operating company in Asia, with a headquarters in Singapore – use the Singapore dollar as the regional aggregating currency, don’t covert to Euros – that does not mean much to the operators in Singapore or Asia.

Second – find out what the official company currency is. If you are public – you have one, but if you have several operating entities, you have actually have more than one (see if you are traded on multiple exchanges). If you are private, this could get ugly quick – so talk to finance on what they want you do to when aggregating costs. This is important for tracking expenses, cost per hire, relocation expenses, and so on.

Focus on Assessment – Integrity

INTEGRITY is a word that is used in many corporate behavioral constructs. It is not unusual for the 12 or 15 behaviors of a Fortune 500 company to have INTEGRITY listed either as a value on its own or to be weaved into that value system across the board. I do find it using that although INTEGRITY seems to be something that most corporations take great pride in, when I asked how do you measure for it during your assessment process they seem to be a bit at a loss.

There may be several definitions or interpretations of what INTEGRITY is, but in regards to assessment for a new hire, I’ll try to use a definition is broad enough so it can be assessed . INTEGRITY involves maintaining and promoting social, ethical, and organizational norms and conducting internal and external business activities. INTEGRITY is something that typically is not as such taught as much as it is reflected and were learned great care to be taken to avoid condoning behavior that indicates “low integrity”. If a manager exhibits the behaviors that are “low integrity”, it is likely that the team that reports about will believe that “low integrity” is approved within the organization.

It has been my experience that integrity is something very personal. As such, you may want to get a better understanding of the hiring manager in their style in general, so that you understand what integrity needs to know.  When considering competencies or experiences to measure in order to assess integrity, you may want to consider certain questioning based on the function specifically. As an example, if you are measuring integrity for sales personnel, you may want to measure how someone up sells the customer with a strong value proposition. If you are measuring someone who is in quality, you may want to better understand how to maintain accuracy consistently.

About Rounded Assessment and its Value to Recruiting

Assessment comes in many forms. Our contention is that competencies need to be identified for each position at an organization, and a level of mastery for some or all of those competencies needs to be identified for each candidate that has applied for the role – whether they are internal or external.

It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to then understand which competencies to leverage, which to develop, and which to avoid in order to have the new employee reach desired productivity in the desired timeline. Competence needs to be assessed, but assessing experience, work habits, cognition, intelligence, and other areas are also critical. We believe that the advocacy of a combined assessment, or “Rounded Assessment” is the job of every recruiter. It is not necessarily their job to assess everything, but rather make sure that the assessment is performed and documented so a hiring manager or business leader can make sound decisions.

This blog post is part of a series of posts that are set to release over a long period of time. In each, Aspen provides insight on the elements and assets within Rounded Assessment.

Focus on Assessment – Energy

Productivity is absolutely critical to forecast the success, as such understanding a candidates ENERGY in its capacity is absolutely critical. There are many positions that involve intense workloads, concentrated work hours over short period of time, or repetitive tasks over a long period time that some would find mundane.  If assessment on energy is not done for positions where productivity is absolutely critical and has to be compliant, is reasonable to assume that a long-term fit or immediate fit for that role will be difficult to obtain.

As such, ENERGY can be defined as consistently maintaining a high activity or productivity level or even be defined as simply as sustaining long work hours. It’s important to realize that the definition of ENERGY may be very specific to your own organization. When your organization defines as intense or long hours may be radically different than another company considers intense for long hours.

When assessing ENERGY, you may want to consider any number of competencies that could include the following–how a person puts in extra hours when needed, how they follow through processes tirelessly, or how they prepare for completion. It’s also important to measure if someone has awareness of their low energy and if they can persevere even though they have low energy.

About Rounded Assessment and its Value to Recruiting

Assessment comes in many forms. Our contention is that competencies need to be identified for each position at an organization, and a level of mastery for some or all of those competencies needs to be identified for each candidate that has applied for the role – whether they are internal or external.

It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to then understand which competencies to leverage, which to develop, and which to avoid in order to have the new employee reach desired productivity in the desired timeline. Competence needs to be assessed, but assessing experience, work habits, cognition, intelligence, and other areas are also critical. We believe that the advocacy of a combined assessment, or “Rounded Assessment” is the job of every recruiter. It is not necessarily their job to assess everything, but rather make sure that the assessment is performed and documented so a hiring manager or business leader can make sound decisions.

This blog post is part of a series of posts that are set to release over a long period of time. In each, Aspen provides insight on the elements and assets within Rounded Assessment.

Focus on Assessment – Adaptability

Adaptability is maintaining effectiveness and parenting environment’s when different tasks responsibilities and/or people are present. This dimension has become much more relevant in recent years as companies have become more global,  use matrix hierarchies, use more project teams, and increase their outsourcing.

Additionally, adaptability is reported in the ever-changing world of mergers and acquisitions. In employees ability to shift to a new culture, focus, or value proposition of the business, can certainly weigh in on their retention or ability to promote.

When considering the competencies related to adaptability, several competencies can be assessed. A few include how a person adjusted corporate change, I wanted ask to management styles, how they adapt to different teams were different groups, and how one can transition from one group to another well.

When considering adaptability as part of the assessment for an imposition, consider whether or not adaptability will BEA relevant part of the role. His new leadership is going to be present, if a merger is pending, or a cultural shift is coming, you will  likely need to add adaptability of the candidates into the assessment.

About Rounded Assessment and its Value to Recruiting

Assessment comes in many forms. Our contention is that competencies need to be identified for each position at an organization, and a level of mastery for some or all of those competencies needs to be identified for each candidate that has applied for the role – whether they are internal or external.

It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to then understand which competencies to leverage, which to develop, and which to avoid in order to have the new employee reach desired productivity in the desired timeline. Competence needs to be assessed, but assessing experience, work habits, cognition, intelligence, and other areas are also critical. We believe that the advocacy of a combined assessment, or “Rounded Assessment” is the job of every recruiter. It is not necessarily their job to assess everything, but rather make sure that the assessment is performed and documented so a hiring manager or business leader can make sound decisions.

This blog post is part of a series of posts that are set to release over a long period of time. In each, Aspen provides insight on the elements and assets within Rounded Assessment.