We launched Staffing 360 several years ago and we’ve published nearly 300 columns since we started. In that time we’ve covered a broad range of topics and amassed a bit of a library of information. We’ve written quite a bit about the job search, what to do on the job to make yourself standout, and provided some IT specific information. Whether you’re a contractor looking for your next position or are currently on assignment, we think you’ll find these posts helpful. Let us know if they are and good luck!
Making great hires is often viewed as a bit of an art form, when what we’re really looking for is a recipe for success, a proven process that works. Companies often bring in a number of candidates, interview them, make a “best guess” hire based on the team’s input, and hope for the best. But it doesn’t have to be this subjective. There are fact based studies and long term trends that can make hiring more straight forward and objective.
1. Industry experience NOT required
ATR International has been hiring and training recruiters and account managers for over 25 years. And what we have found is that industry experience is often a negative predictor of success, not a positive one. The reason is that candidates with staffing industry experience are often not happy or successful in what they are doing and think moving to another company in the same industry will help. It usually doesn't. The best approach is to hire for ability, past success, and problem solving abilities. Next, train them yourself and educate them about your industry and you will have much better luck.
2. GPA is meaningless
Google collects data on, and analyzes nearly everything that goes on within their daily operations. This includes their hiring process. And what they found is that a correlation between GPA and an employee’s on the job performance simply does not exist. In other words, a candidate's performance at school is completely unrelated to how they will perform at work. The reason for this is that it takes a different skill set to be successful at school than it does to be successful at work. Read about it in more detail here.
3. Facebook? Yes, Facebook
Facebook is often used as a resource to screen out job applicants who are spending their nights getting drunk at the local watering hole or making questionable “social” decisions. But a new study by a trio of universities has found that Facebook can be used to predict success on the job as well. Researchers at the three universities used 5 personality traits, conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, extraversion and openness. New hires who received the highest scores from independent evaluators of their Facebook presence in these categories received the highest scores in relation to their job performance 6 months later.
4. Problem Solving
A thirst for knowledge and an ability to solve problems is a proven key for a successful hire. But these traits are often not teased out in an interview. Ask questions like these to get at a candidate’s natural ability to solve problems:
There is little disagreement that hiring the right people is the most important part of building a successful company. Finding the best employees to fill the proper roles is what makes a company hum. There are many steps to accomplishing this, the most important of which is often the interview. This is why it was so surprising to hear recent stories of how some tech giants are going about hiring.
The search for the best ways of attracting and retaining talent is a never ending quest and there is no shortage of advice available on how to do it. One nearly universally accepted truth is that it helps to know what your workers want. Money is not the only motivating factor and sometimes not the most important one. We’ve written about this before in Staffing 360 (Are you Building Temples? and Training and Opportunity Key to Employee Retention). Today we offer you a quick reminder of many of things we’ve reported before. Glassdoor has put together a good infographic specific to recruiting software engineers, and it concurs on many fronts with what we’ve said previously.
Making your next hire a perfect one is everyone’s goal. The ideal candidate, the perfect fit, the purple squirrel – it’s what we all search for, whatever your role in the recruiting and hiring process. Evaluating candidates and trying to predict future success during the interview process can be a daunting prospect. Everyone has a story (maybe more than one) about the candidate that didn’t work out, even though they sure looked like they would be perfect. When a candidate has the requisite skills, education and experience, why don’t they work out? Usually this is when the phrases, “cultural fit,” “soft skills,” or “intangibles,” come up. People sometimes know them when they see them, they know when they are missing once things get underway, but don't have a good idea of how to identify or interview for them.
As you are probably aware, the rate of unemployment for the “long-term” unemployed is at an all-time high; 40% of those currently unemployed have been out of work for six months or longer according to DOL statistics. In his column Hiring is Broken, HR professional Steve Gifford has an interesting take on why we need to reconsider the bias against the unemployed in general and this subset in particular. I’ve written on this topic before (Discrimination Against the Unemployed), so I was interested to see what he had to say.
A Boston Federal Reserve study reports that hiring managers are much less likely to interview people who have been out of work for six months or longer. Steve gives three reasons why people think this way:
- The longer you’re out of work, the more atrophied your skills are. You’re not current on technologies, and would have too much of a learning curve. Let’s just hire someone with current skills.
- Herd mentality. No other employer has picked this candidate up, so there must be something wrong with them!
- Unemployed people are just giving up and being lazy about applying.
Adecco recently released the results of their Mature Worker Survey, and despite what the name suggests, the respondents were actually hiring managers answering questions about their perceptions of mature and Millennial workers. There are some interesting results that give pause for thought. Key findings include:
CareerBuilder, in conjunction with Inavero, just released its 7th annual Opportunities in Staffing study which identifies key trends and performance benchmarks for staffing clients, talent and providers. The report provides a host of interesting statistics and information on a range of topics but I’d like to highlight something that I found particularly informative: on many questions there was a significant difference between the perceptions and realities between the groups. For example:
“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. With national unemployment hovering above 8% but employers still reporting significant trouble in filling open positions, it seems an apt description of the current labor market. We’ve heard the terms “talent mismatch,” “skills gap,” and “talent shortage” repeatedly in the news, and I’ve written on this before on Staffing 360. There is no shortage of stories on the topic. Recently, ManpowerGroup released the 2012 results of its annual talent shortage survey revealing that “49% of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions” and CareerBuilder's new Talent Crunch Study reports that 38% have open positions for which they can’t find qualified people. Their study also highlighted some of the many reasons that companies should be concerned about those unfilled spots:
- 34% of those surveyed reported job vacancies led to low quality work because of overworked employees;
- 23% cited a loss in revenue;
- 33% of employers said vacancies have caused lower morale; and
- 17% saw higher turnover rates.
ManpowerGroup reports that in the US the top 10 hardest jobs to fill were:
- Skilled Trades
- IT Staff
- Sales Representatives
- Accounting & FinanceStaff
- Machinists/Machine Operators