Twitter’s Amazing Evolution

From Twit? Tweet? What? To 500 million registered users.  Twitter will celebrate it’s 7th birthday in March and I’ll admit that, like so many others, my first impression was that it would never last.


Twitter had to compete against the whirlwind of Facebook with it’s friends, walls, albums, and likes and the complexity of LinkedIn with it’s connections, digital resumes, and endorsements.  How could 140 characters and one little bird overcome such behemoth social media machines?


I think that the answer is in Twitter’s simplicity.  You get 140 characters, so make it count–sort of a challenge.  If you follow someone, there’s no expectation they’ll follow you back.  During a time when accepting friend requests on Facebook and connections on LinkedIn could become a full time job, the simplicity of clicking “follow” and having updates and insights from friends, colleagues and even celebrities that are only 1 or 2 sentences long is refreshing.


And what fascinates me most about Twitter is that it’s caught the attention of corporate America as a medium for communication.  Gone are the days of long press releases as the only way to announce a new product or service.  Apple tweets about the latest version of the iPad, Ford tweets about the newest model of the Fusion, Verizon tweets specials for Fios bundle packages.  A single tweet can reach millions faster than Don Draper can walk from his office to Peggy’s to tell her about a new campaign they’ve got to start working on for Lucky Strike.


You’d be hard pressed to find a company out there without a Twitter handle, or be on a website without a “Tweet” button, or go to an event that doesn’t have it’s own #hashtag.   In the busyness of the world, it’s nice to be able to feel connected and Twitter allows for that connection in the simplest way.


In honor of it’s 7th birthday…#HappyBirthday #Thanksforkeepingusconnected


Aspen is a proud user of Twitter.  Follow us here. 

How Important Are Project Documents?

When we are given a new project (or are soliciting a client), there are many documents that must be created along the way. Business case, statement of work, project charter, requirements and communication documents, project & risk plan, change management, project review document just to name a few.

All of these are important to the project life cycle, but there is one that stands out the most to me, and that is the project charter.  And I am not talking a one page charter but a detailed, robust document that will outline the business need, the deliverables, checkpoints, risk plan, identities of stakeholder(s), project champion and team members, funding source, milestones, implementation and delivery of the final product.  Without these (and other) items identified up front and agreed upon by the vendor and the client, projects can go off the rails like a crazy train (yes, I was listening to a little Ozzy this morning to get me going!)

We have all worked on projects where the scope was not clear, the deliverables were fuzzy (increase productivity on my sales team, build me a new enterprise server), the stakeholders were not identified clearly, or worse, did not sign off on the charter. Many PMs lean toward the type A personality (I know that I do); we like to be in control, to know specifics, to have a clearly identified path to move forward.  Without this, the project may get completed, but may not meet all deliverables or be over budget.  And, for a project manager, this is truly a nightmare.

Each project is different; each company has a different approach to project management and what tools/processes they utilize. Whatever documents you may use, it is critical to have project documents filled out completely, correctly and to have the stakeholder(s) agreement and sign off.  Remember that old saying, garbage in, garbage out.

Aspen is committed to designing efficient projects that follow strict project management guidelines and practices.  To find out more about our project design or to explore some of our completed projects visit us here.

Measure the Quality of Hire for Sourcers – NFL style

I have a theory – quality of hire can be a standard formula – but the variables can be defined differently for each company. Of the QoH measures I have seen, there is always a multi-metric formula involved. This plus that plus that divided by something and so on. Its certainly made of several variables, constants, and operators.

What I think is that we need a constant rating system – a number that when you say it, people say – WOW that’s a quality hire. So I look to sports – because like math, many sports have international standards and language. The fact is that in golf, as an example, if you score 65 – that’s a good score. It does not matter which course, what tees you play from, or even really the difficulty of the course – that’s a really good score.

As much of a golfer as I am, I struggled to find something in the PGA ranking that was obvious. So I looked around and found another metric I liked – Passer Rating – stolen from the National and Canadian Football Leagues. In the spirit of the Superbowl, I re-configured the Passer Rating formula using some of the same comparison principles we used for the ANSI Cost Per Hire standard, and came up with a formula for Quality of Hire that is actually pretty straightforward, but configurable for virtually ANY position. It allows you to rate an individual within a job, but then also compare that hire with another hire in completely different position. Its like saying that you shot 72 on one golf course from one set of tees, and then 72 on another golf course from the same tees.

In honor of SourceCon 2013 let’s use sourcers as an example:

Metric 1 – Define “Completions and Attempts”. Each job has certain tasks that are supposed to be done according to target. Count how many times an assignment was made, and how many of those assignments had their targets met. For a quarterback, they are supposed to throw the ball (attempts), and its supposed to be caught (completions). For a sourcer, lets use the number of assignments given (A), and the number of times they meet their assignment goal (B). Assignment goals could be get 1 candidate, get two candidates – whatever.

Metric 2 – Define “Total Forward Movement”. Each job has tasks that are supposed to move toward a goal,  target, or assignment completion. For a quarterback, its measured in the number of yards. For a sourcer, tally the number of candidates that are submitted across all those assignments (C). You will compare this with the number of assignments given (A)

Metric 3 – Define “Touchdowns”. Each job has a significant score, goal, or accomplishment that clearly are celebrated. For a quarterback, its throwing a touchdown pass. For a sourcer, let’s count how many candidates they recommend that are hired (H). You will again compare this with the number of assignments they are given (A). Update – instead of just hires, you may want to consider tracking number of offers made to recommended candidates (thanks Jan Grohoske at Right Thing). 

Metric 4 – Define “Interceptions”. Each job has perceived mishaps or failures. In the NFL/CFL, the quarterback throwing an interception is defined as such. For sourcers, lets count the number of candidates that were recommended by the sourcer to a hiring manager or recruiter, and were rejected because they missed the mark (R). I know thats a little harsh, but we want passes to be smart and complete – not just throwing for the sake of throwing. You are going to compare the rejections to the total candidates submitted (C).

What is REALLY cool about the Passer Rating is that it introduces constants that make the rating a maximum of 158.3 – it can never be higher. 158.3 is perfection. The different constants are weighted by overall impact. It also states that there is a minimum value of zero for every metric, and maximum values for every metric, 2.375.

So lets pull your QoH together for a member of the sourcing team:

Step 1 – Calculate your four metrics
Metric 1 = 5 ((# of times an assignment’s target was met / total # of assignments) – 0.455))
Metric 2 = total # of candidates submitted / total # of assignments
Metric 3 = 20 (total # of submitted candidates hired / total # of assignments)
Metric 4 = 2.375 – (25 (total # of rejected candidates / total # of candidates submitted))
updated on Feb 11

Step 2 – Adjust your scores within minimums and maximums
Across all 4 metrics, if your any metric value is less than 0, then make that metric’s value 0. If a metric’s value is greater than 2.375, then make that metric score 2.375.

Step 3 – Add the four scores together, divide by 6, and multiple by 100

Now you have your rating 🙂 The maximum rating is 153.3. You can do this for a month, a week, a quarter, a year, a group of hires, by business, by function – whatever segmentation you need. Segmenting by business group is interesting when you have a sourcer who covers more than one business – you can see their performance by business or group they support individually and compare to other groups.  My appreciation for segmented data is what lead us to develop our business intelligence tool, where you can segment and analyze all of your data from any and all of your HR systems.

This is great for sourcers, but what about recruiters? I tested the formula, and it totally works – except you need to change metric 3. Instead of tracking # of submitted candidates hired, try tracking # of candidates hired that have an exceeds on their next performance review or track the number of hires that are marked by hiring managers and candidates as having a high rating of satisfaction. Ultimately you need to find that “touchdown” for recruiters. Typically, an assigned recruiter ALWAYS gets a hire – eventually. You have the opportunity to define the touchdown based on slate size, feedback, time to fill or whatever. But again, the maximum for metric 3 is still 2.375. Remember, the denominator is the number of assignments, so they should do it some of the time, but its hard to do it all the time.

The key takeaway here is the if we want to be able to compare data we must have standards.  Implementing a standard for Quality of Hire is just the beginning.