Is Your Job Analysis Process on Auto-Pilot?

A funny thing happened on the way to school last week.  My son, a high school senior, was getting ready for an awards event.  Before leaving he asked me to tie his tie for him.  Putting a tie on is something I’ve done almost every morning for more than twenty years.  You think I could do it in my sleep by now.  But I couldn’t!   First I tried to do tie it standing in front of him while it was around his neck.  That was strange; I’d never done it before from that perspective.  Then I tried to tie one around my neck, over my own tie, while standing in front of his mirror.  For some reason that was even stranger.  It took me almost fifteen minutes before I could get it tied.  For years I put on my tie in the same room, at the same time, in the same mirror, the same way for so long.  Now I was out of my element, in a new environment, and I couldn’t do it.  The entire process was on auto-pilot and when something new came along the process broke down.

The same thing can happen if your job analysis process is on auto-pilot.  When a job evaluation has been done the same way for so long it becomes ineffective.  Companies that want to attract top talent must transcend the tradition of writing job descriptions.  Today’s talent will not come to your company when the human resources process for job evaluation is a cut and paste operation.  The HR job description from four years ago is not the same as a true performance based job analysis.

The process of job analysis consists of several steps (see my related post The Pros  & Cons of Job Analysis).   If you think your job analysis process is on auto-pilot, take a fresh approach.   Start with your HR job description.   This will have all of elements of what a person needs to have to do the job.  But the job analysis process goes well beyond writing job descriptions.   The next step is to understand what a person must do to be successful.  This can be different from the HR job description.  Would you rather have a person who has done the job successfully in the past or someone who has all the job description requirements?  Most Strategic Employers would take the former, even if person didn’t have all the requirements in the HR job description.

Take your job analysis process off of auto-pilot.  Begin the process of job analysis with what someone does to be successful, not what they need to have.

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What You Can Do About Recruitment Strategies In The Next 10 Minutes

If you were to audit your recruiting process would it consistently deliver top talent?

Finding top talent is not easy and it’s getting harder.  Just because the recession is lasting longer than originally predicted doesn’t mean your next superstar is waiting for your newspaper recruitment ad.  Recruiting strategies are as important today as they have ever been.  Recruiting right the first time is how to retain employees.   Today no business can afford to lose its top talent.

To find, and keep, top talent, business leaders must have an effective recruiting strategy.  In my recruitment process outsourcing business I find few companies with effective recruiting strategies.  Effective meaning a recruiting process that is tailored to their specific talent needs.  Every organization, large or small, has to adopt a recruiting strategy that will pull the best people into their organization.  This is not the old “post and pray” method of recruiting.

So what can you do about your recruitment strategy in the next ten minutes that will dramatically improve your results? It is not new recruitment software.  It is not the next bestseller about how to retain employees.   Very simple; quit trying to hire people and start attracting them!  A popular recruiting strategy is to cut and paste your job description into an online posting.  This might be effective if you want to generate a lot of resumes, but it has little to do with attracting top talent.   Top talent wants to know how a job will challenge them, what they will learn, who they will work with, and how they can contribute.

Look at your current job postings.  Would they really attract the best?  If not, take the next ten minutes and change your recruitment strategy.

6 Reasons to Fear Video Interviews

Charlie Sheen in March 2009

Image via Wikipedia

Today I read about a company that provided a candidate video interview service.  For a fee companies sign up to have a third party ask prospective employees to answer one question on video.  The candidate gets one shot to answer the question and get an interview.  There is no other initial screening.   Sounds like it might be efficient.  That’s great if your goal is to churn as many applicants through the process as possible.  Not so great if you are trying to hire top talent.

There is a place, however, for video in your attraction, selection, and hiring process. In our executive search practice we try to use video interviews with as many candidates as possible.  This gives us a much better sense of who we are talking to.  It also goes miles in building a personal relationship with that person.  We have also started to encourage more of our clients to hire with video interviews.  Video doesn’t take the place of an in-person meeting.  Online interviews do, however, save money. They also position the company as having an innovative and technology centered culture.  Something the Millennial generation is actively seeking.

But there are reasons to fear video interviewing.  Below are 6 reasons to fear video interviewing that I have actually heard people say…

1) “I don’t know how to use the equipment.”  – Then learn.  The job video interview is probably not going away and this technique is growing.  Something as simple as Skype works great and allows you to share video clips of interviews with others in the hiring process.

2) “It’s just a phone call with a picture, isn’t it?” – If you believe this then you should fear video interviews. More than just a phone call with a picture, video interviewing is like an audition.  You are auditioning the candidate and the candidate is auditioning you.  Be prepared for the call and practice looking at the camera when you are speaking, not the screen.

3) “I don’t have a make-up artist.” – Get over yourself.  Office lighting is usually terrible and no one looks like a movie star on a webcam.  Just watch one of the recent Charlie Sheen videos and you’ll see what I mean.

4) “I’ll just do it at home in my kitchen .” – Maybe you won’t do it from your kitchen, but what about that awful wall in your office behind you?  Candidates don’t want to talk with a disheveled person in a cluttered space.  If your background is not orderly and pleasant, either change the angle of your camera or go do it in the conference room.

5) “Where will I get an announcer voice?” – If you are going to change the tone, cadence, and resonance of your voice to sound like a monster truck pull advertisement, then be fearful of video interviews.  You don’t need a TV voice, just be yourself.

6) “They won’t work here if they know what I look like.” – Seriously? Will you be wearing a disguise when you meet them in person?

There really is nothing to fear when recruiting with video interviews.  Employers will find this to be an effective and efficient way to quickly meet prospective candidates.  Just take the time to prepare, know the intent of the video interview, and start doing your interview videos today.

Unpacking The Jobs Plan – What is Really There?


The link below is to an article in the Wall Street Journal about the President’s jobs bill.  It is an excellent overview and every employer should read this.  Some key points contained in the jobs plan….

  • Nothing really addresses the underling cause of current unemployment; the real estate mess.  Until real estate, housing in particular, starts to make a comeback we will not see tremendous growth in jobs.
  • Like a domino effect, the housing crisis has created an access to capital crisis.  This was cited in Inc. magazine as the number one reason why small businesses are not hiring in a robust way.  According to the article below nothing about capital is addressed in the plan.  Small business tax breaks are part of the bill, but they appear to be temporary and most small business owners will take those savings to the bottom line, not necessarily hire people.
  • A large portion of the plan relies on government sponsored/funded construction projects. While this may offer some temporary unemployment relief for that industry, it is doubtful the Super Committee will spare the axe for these projects.

Read through the article and leave me your thoughts.  The comments on the WSJ site are particularly interesting.

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