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Posts Tagged ‘Recruiter Experience’

September 5, 2011

Virtual Job Tryout Demonstrations at Taleo World

Shaker Consulting Group will be conducting demonstrations of the Virtual Job Tryout for participants at Taleo World.  You will see how we create a candidate experience as unique as your brand, an evaluation experience as challenging as your job.

This is our sixth year as a sponsor/exhibitor at Taleo World.  It is a great opportunity for us to connect with our existing clients on the Taleo platform.  It also allows us to showcase our simulation for pre-employment testing to other Taleo clients.

If you are attending Taleo World, stop in and see us at Booth 23.

If you would like to read what some of our clients are saying about the Virtual Job Tryout, check out this sample of testimonials.  The decision support from candidate results enhances the recruiter experience.  Your recruiters identify best-fit candidates faster and build a workforce that delivers superior results.

We look forward to seeing your in San Francisco.

August 22, 2011

Recruiter Rights Vs. Candidate Experience

Rayanne Thorn of Broadbean sets out a call for recruiter rights over candidate experience in her blog post.

Recruiter Rights begin with recruiter responsibilities.  Sourcing that creates unnecessarily high applicant to hire ratios, candidate evaluation methods that rely on subjective word search and resume data review technology, and posting methods that present jobs to geographically distant populations are examples of recruiter self-inflicted wounds.

Resume spam is a function of technology looking for a solution versus recruiters designing a candidate experience that adds two-way value to the information exchange.  Most applicant technology interfaces are incapable of offering an assessment of candidates that differentiates job-fit capabilities in a meaningful and valuable way.  Beginning candidate evaluation with resume data is a GIGO proposition.

Gerry Crispin and I, plus a small, but growing list of people see a more candidate centric process as raising the rights and responsibilities of both parties in the business process called staffing.  Placing a more engaging and meaningful candidate experience into your process can reduce unwanted through a percentage who self-select out, and by providing data that compares candidates in a more useful manner.  Candidates and recruiters who have been through a meaningful experience offer testimonials that document the win-win.

The new Candidate Experience Award is about the entire, balanced approach to staffing process improvement.  Recruiter Experience AND Candidate Experience.

Come visit us in booth at 351 the HR Technology Conference.  Learn about the power of a Candidate Experience that improves the Recruiter Experience.

July 21, 2011

Gaining Management Acceptance for Assessment Tools

This spring over Easter dinner, I was told by a highly successful, MBA grad from an Ivy League university that he could tell, without a doubt, whether a candidate was right for a job in 5 minutes flat. Perhaps he could. After all, Babe Ruth could hit 60 home runs while breaking every training rule in the book.

AssessmentUnfortunately, few of us are the recruiting equivalents of Babe Ruth. We need all the help we can get to accurately assess and select the best candidates for our jobs. But, how can we convince the would be Babe Ruth’s that there is a better (read: more valid, reliable, legally defensible and fairer) way to assess candidates?

My experience, working as both an external and internal consultant in candidate assessment, points to 3 important factors in gaining assessment tool acceptance:

  1. Assessment Fidelity, how close the assessment looks like the job, is assessment‘s secret weapon. It not only has a stronger track record in prediction of success for most jobs, but more easily gains acceptance from hiring managers and candidates alike. They “get it” because they can readily see and experience the job through the assessment process. Fidelity enhances the candidate experience.
  2. Have a Champion, Mid-way through a recent assessment project, we lost our executive champion. At that point we needed to re-sell the project and find a new champion. We didn’t; leading to acceptance challenges. Lesson learned. Visible leadership endorsement is a must.
  3. Ease of Use impacts  2 audiences: candidates and hiring managers. Hard to find candidates may not always be willing to take your best thought out assessment tools (though fidelity helps a lot here too). This in turn can lead to hiring managers blaming the tool for sourcing problems. Recruiters need to have a clear candidate message to convert those sourced into applicants. Know the organizational culture you’re working with. Are hiring managers and candidates patient, analytic and detail oriented or, fast paced, go with the gut types? Tailor your tool to meet your audiences’ appetite and realistically balance assessment style and time against tool acceptance.

A valid tool with strong psychometric properties and eye popping utility numbers is still only as good as management’s willing acceptance of it. The key to assessment success goes beyond validity. It is achieved by gaining the support of hiring managers through fidelity, a visible champion and making it easy to use.

Administrator’s Note:

John Miraglia is our first external contributor to the blog, a former client, and professional colleague. He has worked on the implementation of the Virtual Job Tryout for professional positions in the financial services industry. His insight and experience on implementing assessment is highly valued.

March 28, 2011

Alchemy and Algorithms – Recruiting by Ego or Evidence

Alchemy attempts to take common materials and transform them into something rare and valuable. I don’t think anyone has succeeded in this endeavor to date.

Algorithms Can Be Derived from HR Analytics

Unlike alchemy, algorithms can turn raw goods into gold.   The raw goods can be candidate evaluation data and the gold is on-the-job performance.  However, many recruiters have not invested in the data collection and analysis required to create an algorithm.  As such, they make decisions based upon anecdote and conjecture.

Stock traders want to predict future prices and values of individual companies and broader indices.  Recruiters want to predict future behaviors and on-the-job results of candidates. Algorithms are used by the best-in-class of both of these disciplines. And the results they achieve are documented by superior outcomes.

The reason both of these professions use algorithms is to identify meaningful relationships among complex data sets.

Variables that drive company performance and market fluctuations are complex. And, there is likely no doubt in your mind that variables which drive people’s performance are complex, very complex. In fact you might assert people are unpredictable. If that was really the case the workplace would be chaos. And that is just not true. There are some predictable elements.

Algorithms are special equations, expressly for the purpose of teasing out insights and conclusions from complexity.

When used well, the outcome of algorithms increases the probability of making a correct decision more often than not. An algorithm based upon pre-employment testing brings a sophisticated level of HR Analytics that can dramatically improve your quality of hire.

Algorithms were used to determine the premium for your auto insurance, your credit score, the offer you received for a vacation package, and the books recommended for you in on-line shopping. In each case two or more large data sets were analyzed to determine the nature and significance of relationship that exist between and among the variables.

Big Bucks for Equations.

In a current algorithm competition $3 million is being offered for the equation that takes large data sets of health care and lifestyle information and calculates the likelihood of an individual being hospitalized sometime in the future. The underlying assumptions are two-fold. You could be charged a higher insurance premium based upon your probable path to the hospital, or you could be given a specific preventative intervention to reduce or eliminate the necessity of being admitted for medical care.

Why a competition?  The analysis and mental energy required to derive the equation is significant. Asking one individual to undertake the work may take a long time. A competition can attract the intellectually curious and competitively driven statisticians. Having a solution sooner than later is valuable.

How much would your organization pay for an algorithm that predicted your customer’s behavior?  Or possibly a more accurate question is how much has your organization already paid in an effort to better understand and predict your customer’s behavior. Go ask your chief marketing officer.

Ego or Evidence?

Best-in-class recruiting professionals use algorithms.  (We can introduce you to some of them.) Each hiring decision is supported with evidence.  But, just like the challenge in the competition, developing algorithms require thoughtful effort.  When I describe the process of developing a recruiting algorithm, I get two reactions.  One says,”That seems like a lot of work.” The other states. “That seems like it can add significant value to our process.”

Algorithms are derived from analyzing large data sets. Three data sets are required for transforming recruiting raw goods into job performance gold:

  1. Candidate Evaluation data – pre-employment assessment
  2. Behavior/Competency Evaluation data – supervisor ratings
  3. Productivity Evaluation data – objective metrics of on-the-job performance

Recruiting professionals working at the leading edge of candidate evaluation capture 200 to 300 data points from candidate evaluation. The data encompasses work history, work style and work samples.

Similarly, job performance, as defined by 100 to 200 data points from ratings and metrics for each individual provides a robust description of the complexity inherent in any job and the company culture in which it occurs.

When a recruiting professional embarks on capturing this level of data on their staffing process and its outcome as job performance they have the raw goods for the algorithm that predicts the future and answers the essential question – which candidates are more likely to be successful on the job.  Working with this type of information delviers a very powerful recruiter experience, adding both efficiency and effectiveness.

Differentiated Workforce

And, that ability to differentiate among candidates is competitive advantage. Michael Porter the strategy guru at Harvard states competitive advantage comes from business processes which are difficult to replicate.  In their book The Differentiated Workforce, authors Beatty, Becker and Huselid assert competitive differentiation comes from efforts that align jobs with strategic capabilities. (see page 10).

Using an off-the-shelf assessment, and generalized validity is defined as a ‘Me Too” strategy, one that is easy to replicate.  An algorithm which predicts candidate performance in your organization is impossible to replicate. Call us to explore what it might take to transform your candidate experience into competitive advantage and a strategic business driver.

It’s not alchemy, it’s algorithms. And they really do turn raw goods into gold. Employees who perform at gold star levels.

December 14, 2010

iPad Winner!

Shaker Consulting Group is pleased to announce the winner of our 2010 Virtual Job Tryout® Customer Survey Apple iPad drawing, and it is Kate Mitchell, Retail Staffing Manager for Starbucks Coffee Company. We want to thank all of the survey participants, and let you know that we are busy pouring over the responses so that we can continue tweaking the recruiter experience to make it even better (while naturally sipping our favorite Starbucks beverage!).

We are very grateful to receive so many positive comments about the Virtual Job Tryout, and Kate herself reports that the Virtual Job Tryout is a critical competency-based pre-employment assessment in her hiring process that allows her staff to assess leadership/team management and customer service capabilities. In addition, her recruiters now spend less time in the interview and get a much better understanding of candidate strengths and limitations than what they were achieving with resumes and screening questions!

Thanks again to Kate and all the rest of our end users, and watch this space for more customer insights into the Virtual Job Tryout in the near future (click the tag ‘surveys’ to quickly find related articles).

October 13, 2010

Candidate Experience: A Waste of Time? NOT!

In his recent blog, Tim Sackett suggests HR may be wasting its time with focus on the candidate experience.  I beg to differ.

Tim suggests great companies to work for are hard to get into because they hire the best.  Being able to hire the best is a result of not only a great candidate experience, but also a great recruiter experience.

Both the candidate and the recruiter need an experience that improves their ability to decide if this job opportunity is a good fit.  Companies that do not pay attention to the candidate experience are more challenged to make the best hiring decision because they have not designed a process that obtains the best data to make the most informed decision.

The candidate experience, may not be the main focus of recruiting process design, but it does offer an opportunity to differentiate.  A recent comment one of our clients received from a candidate completing their Virtual Job Tryout tells some of the story: “You guys need to talk with (competitor), their application process is terrible, this is really cool!”

Candidates in the job market compare and contrast the companies they are considering.  The candidate’s experience can be neutral,  act as a repellant, or an attractant.

Great companies to work for are great companies because they manage their entire Brand: product, service and employment.  In many cases, a candidate can be or might be a customer as well.  The candidate experience can impact the nature of the customer relationship.  A well designed candidate expereince can leave the candidate with a more favorable inclination toward the company.

As for uncomfortable with being measured, that cannot be more true when it comes to the candidate experience. In the Staffing Metrics and Performance Benchmarks Survey from First Resource it is reported that fewer than 3% of companies have a candidate experience measurement in place. 

Tim writes about measurement like its a bad thing. Without measurment, a process cannot be managed.  And the absence of measurement obscures accountability.  The important thing is to measure that which drives business results. 100% of companies with a Virtual Job Tryout measure the candidate experience.  However, it is the validation analysis based upon data from the candidate experience that documents how effective the candidate experience is at improving the quality of  hire.

Many great companies want and deliver a candidate experience as unique as their brand.  However, not all great companies want to be the target for resume spam or too many poor fit candidates.   Companies in general find they are not interested in 90 to 95% of the individuals who apply.  As such, they build an engaging, educational experience that both adds an element of challenge while obtaining better candidate data that provides internal decision support.  Great companies realize the candidate experience and the recruiter experience go hand-in-hand.

If the candidate experience is all about attraction, then it may be a waste of time.  However, if the candidate experience is about smart decision making, great accountability and the competitive differentiation, I think it deserves a great deal of attention.

September 22, 2010

Virtual Job Tryout® Customer Survey AND iPAD GIVEAWAY!

We here at Shaker Consulting Group are extremely excited to announce our first annual Virtual Job Tryout® (VJT) Customer Survey! The feedback of our end-users is very important to us, and as a way to say ‘thank you’, one lucky survey participant will win a brand-spanking new Apple iPad!  All you have to do is complete our short survey, and share your brilliant hiring-process ideas. You do of course have to be a current VJT user (sorry Shaker employees, but you don’t count!), and if your company policy prevents you from accepting the iPad, we will make a donation to a charitable organization of your choosing instead.

Improving your employee selection process is important to us. We want to collect your ideas to help improve the ROI you get from the Virtual Job Tryout.

Watch your inbox for our survey link, which is being released now. And watch this space for our report on what we learn as we analyze your responses (of course, we will keep your name confidential). We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

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