Credentials do not always equal expertise

Getting hammered with invites on training and certifications lately. Sourcing, recruiting, human capital strategy, analytics etc. Most have the same concept – come for a day or two, or week – or take 40 hours of training and get “credentials”.

I am all for training – take everyone you get invited to, learn, use and share. Pass the learning to friends and colleagues. Even I took all the coursework for being a PMP years ago, and learned a ton.

But you know what – recruiting and sourcing are quite a bit different than they were a few years ago – and they will be different in a few years. So here is my POV

1 – find a program like that mirrors the Project Management Institutes way of thinking – you need to recertify and take new courses all the time. Make sure you have to maintain your credentials or you will lose them.

2 – do a certification that is mandated by one party, but taught by another. HRCI credits are an example. I could make up a “certification” and charge for it – but who is auditing our work? Align with academics if possible here.

3 – expertise is honed by using training and techniques over time. I’m a big fan of the 10,000 hours of time in anything makes you an expert – so think carefully about your certification and if it will stand up 10000 hours from now

Have a great weekend all!!

The Importance of Candidate Feedback

Calling a candidate with a job offer is an important step for any recruiter or hiring manager. But what about those candidates who didn’t get an offer?  Is it fair that most never know why they didn’t get it? Blame it on our litigious society, I guess.  Most companies aren’t forthcoming with the reasons why a candidate didn’t make the cut out of fear of discrimination lawsuits.

Lauren Weber of the Wall Street Journal does a nice job of explaining both sides of the issue.  Read her article here.

And after you’re done, make sure you register for the 2013 Candidate Experience awards.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know your company is treating candidates well and be recognized for it?  Register here!

Big Data Needs to Tell a Story

As Big Data circulates more often in the HR crowd, companies are looking for ways to jump on the bandwagon, pull their numbers and crunch away.  But leveraging HR analytics to make decisions is far more complex than having a shiny new system that spits out charts and graphs.

Big Data may start with that shiny new system, but it’s only effective if it ends with a story you can tell to the decision makers.  Being able to tell that story will provide the evidence to show that talent issues are directly connected to business success.  Once HR leaders have the data and the story, they’ll have to get comfortable with their new level of influence.  They’ll not only have a seat at the table, but have something to say that other leaders will listen to.

It’s a new and powerful position for HR to be in, so having a solid partnership with those who know which Big Data story needs telling is important.  Our goal in any partnership is to not only provide the solutions that each client needs, but to plan projects from start to finish that will empower HR leaders instead of just muddying the waters.

Fiscal Cliff, Jobs Market and Turkey

At some point, all of them can put you to sleep. So to perk up the conversation, let’s bring all three back to jobs.

Until we hit 200,000 per month in job adds monthly in the US for three months straight, I am not going to get too excited about anything. What will changing the tax rates do for job creation? Well a small cut stands to have the same impact as a small bonus – like the tax credit for hiring veterans. It wasn’t enough to have a large shift in veteran hiring, so why would an increase greatly impact employment?

Companies (mine included) will make choices on hiring because of ROI and need. For me, as a small business owner, the difference in any tax structure isn’t going to sway my decision to investment many times that tax difference in an employee, and if my business is growing, I will hire.

So watch the job creation numbers in the coming year – this year none of the monthly job growth numbers were 2xx,xxx – but they need to be there next year, otherwise is just more of the new normal.

My prediction? Regardless of tax decisions and fiscal cliff, we average less than 150,000 new jobs per month all next year.

Being social vs. finding on social

I am riding the train from Atlantic City to the office in Philadelphia. I am observing a bunch of teens using their phones to text, take photos, and so on. A typical scene for a train on a summer day.

Of course I turn my thoughts to work, and wonder how these kids will somehow interact with their employers in a social medium. One of my thoughts focuses on how people share work experiences with friends, and how often that happens. In my little social world, it doesn’t happen much actually, especially with close friends. Occasionally they toss up seething on Facebook associated with work, and it’s usually something they are proud of, but not that often. Certainly not a large share of their posts. In fact, of thousands of people that I know via LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, I really don’t know much about what they do, how they work, or if they like their work….at least not specifically.

I know one friend from high school teaches for University of Phoenix, and I know she enjoys teaching, but I have no idea if she likes the company. Another works CNN, and he follows amazing stories on site, but I don’t know what he does specifically, or what his boss is like. Conversely, a third friend is always posting about her work, the people she finds for leadership development programs at BASF, and how much fun she is having.

All three use FB frequently, and post personal and professional stuff. But only one really talks about work in a way that helps me peer into the organization. Which brings me back to the kids on the train and my point.

Maybe it’s more important for recruiters and leaders to find people who are naturally social about work. You really can’t buy that type of publicity, and it’s so valuable. So what if somebody “likes” a page or “retweets” something. Personally, I am more likely to pay attention to something more real, like a check in plus a comment. It’s amazing how people check in at a Starbucks during the 30 minutes they are getting a latte, but they don’t check in for work.

Imagine if you had a sales team that was social about their work experience daily versus not at all. Do you think it would effect sales? Tough to tell, but I think probably. No about a manager who always talks about his/her team vs. one who never does, and then that manager turns to social media for candidates. I bet the social leader who talks about work has an easier time.

Maybe we need to start asking a different set of questions during interviews. Rather than asking “do you use social media” we need to ask “how do you inform our friends about your work using social media?”

May make for a very different work force with different productivity.