Table of Contents
Today, I conducted yet another interview on Skype. I routinely use videoconferencing in either Skype or Google to do business outside of domestic American borders. Like many technical things, the rest of the world is fairly well ahead of the US in communications technologies.
It happened while we weren’t looking. While there is sure to be a real mobile boom, with all sorts of interesting recruitment advertising schemes, it will be while the US catches up to the rest of the world where mobile advertising is mainstream. The same holds true with video communications (unless you are a Mac user). The rest of the world is quickly grabbing on to trans-global video communications. The range runs from Cisco’s astonishing products to the more humble laptop based chat tools.
I have not been a fan of the idea that video interview companies were going to be able to add value in the HR marketplace for a sustained period. I’ve had more than one CEO hang up in frustration when I asked, “How is this different from having a telephone?” In most cases, it isn’t. Simple bandwidth offerings, posed as something else, will be early roadkill. Video calls will be as common as telephone calls in a couple of years. The technology is already good enough.
Last week, though, I had an amazing call with Mark Newman, CEO of HireVue. The company, which grew by 800% last year, is rooted in the delivery of pain reduction for the talent acquisition process. The flagship video interviewing tool is just a gateway to a company that makes hay reducing cycle time. I’ve been peppering him with the ‘video can’t be the only thing’ query for more than a year. But, I’d never seen the product up close.
First of all, it turns out that bandwidth and real time video conferencing are only about 15% of the company’s flow. The predominant use for video interviews is time shifting. That is, recruiters can generate qualifications driven hard core interviews for a group of candidates and review them all simultaneously. The HireVue software allows some pretty interesting things.
For instance, the interviews are segmented by question. That means that a recruiter can see all of the candidates respond to a single question rather than having to watch all of the interviews all of the way through. A knockout question that will disqualify some of the interviewees makes it possible to conduct full interviews while shortening the time it takes to reject a bad fit.
You can also consume the video data at 1.5x normal speed. On top of that, you can skim through the answers so, an hour of video (in what would have been an hour long interview) becomes a half an hour of video review. Talk about a productivity boost.
Videos are built into a workflow that allows the hiring team to comment on a question by question basis across the field of candidates. Rather than hours of sequential interviews in the office, candidates can be led through structured interviews with follow up.
Of course, HireVue has developed real logistics skill. The company can get a web cam into the hands of a candidate with extreme predictability. Their support team is powerfully good at installation.
Newman’s view is that the flood of data is going to overwhelm everyone in every job. He is positioning HireVue to be the hub for the interview process. We think that’s a smart place to set up shop.
Cutting huge chunks out of the time it takes to interview means that cycle time and costs can be cut while increasing quality. It’s the right direction for the industry. to be the hub for the interview process. We think that’s a smart place to set up shop.
Cutting huge chunks out of the time it takes to interview means that cycle time and costs can be cut while increasing quality. It’s the right direction for the industry.
At the heart of good recruiting, retention based on personal desire, great customer relationships, solid team work, clear delivery of results and, increasingly, any business success, is the mastery of relationship management. Relationships are hard to develop in volume and many people take statistical shortcuts in processes that develop relationships based on the luck of the draw. The reason that Direct Marketing techniques generally have a bad name is that they tend to treat people like objects as a precursor to a deeper form of relationship. The message in this approach is “if I can figure out what value you bring to me, I will invest in a deeper relationship.”
No good relationship begins with the proposition that it will depend on my understanding of the value I’ll get. They begin with the question “What value can I give?” They start with the notion that the “objects of our desire” are people first. When they are “objects” first, the very beginning of the relationship is sowed with the seeds of its ultimate failure.
In situations that require people to sift through volumes of potential relationships, the tendency to objectify feels like a quick shortcut to successful completion of the task. Reviewing hundreds of resumes to arrive at a “shortlist” of ten which will then be sifted to an interview pool of three or four is a task that demands sensitivity to data and the nuances of personal PR. Remembering that each resume represents the desires, hopes and aspirations (and sometimes desperation) of a person is a nearly superhuman task that requires the constant availability of forgiveness, a sense of humor and a willingness to see beyond the data. It is tremendously hard to keep this perspective fresh and foremost, particularly in a reactive environment.
Rather than focusing on being “x-kind of Relationship Manager” most ATS systems (or CRM systems for that matter) might be better called Potential Relationship Databases. Like the personals section of the local newspaper, they give a lonely recruiter or salesperson the opportunity to initiate a relationship. It is the process of evolving and maturing relationships, however, that characterizes real sales or recruiting effectiveness. It’s a process that can be supported but never automated because it involves the feelings of the person doing the recruiting or selling.
While there are tons of sales training programs that do it, we’ve looked and looked for either a managerial training program or a recruiter’s training program that focuses on a simple truth: Your effectiveness depends on how you feel about yourself and others. All of the sourcing and record keeping programs in the world won’t begin to compensate for a recruiting process that treats potential candidates as objects. To the extent that current systems perpetuate the myth that data constitutes a relationship, they are major contributors to the problem.
Addressing What Trade Show Attendees Really Want, The HR Demo Show Announces Details of Inaugural Event
Out of frustration from seeing the same thing, year in and year out, the question begs “Is innovation dead in the HR trade show industry?” No, says SharedXpertise! The company today announced its latest event, which is designed to cut through the clutter of traditional trade shows by giving attendees what they really want: direct access to software demonstrations without the hype. The HR Demo Show will be held in Las Vegas on December 8 – 9, 2010 at the new Palazzo at the Venetian.
Most HR technology conference programs are filled with experts’ testimony and case studies about how other companies use software. The HR Demo Show offers attendees the opportunity to try the software directly and draw conclusions about what’s best in the context of their own organizations. Guided demonstrations conducted by top software companies will be held in large, multimedia salons equipped with large video screens and wireless bandwidth. Attendees can bring their own laptops or have access to available “loaner” laptops on which to follow the demonstrations. Intended to be highly interactive, the format encourages posing tough questions to the presenters in order to help attendees condense months of software investigation into hours.
HRO Today magazine’s technology columnist and the HR Demo Show‘s Conference Chair, John Sumser, stated, “Throughout my own career, I’ve sought to be at the forefront of innovation, starting with my interest in the Internet when it was embryonic as a business tool. As part of my professional journey, I’m excited about the importance of culture and communications through forums such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogging. Until now, no one has sought to change the model of HR technology trade shows and I’m excited to be part of bringing software into the hands of the people to whom it’s most important — recruiters, HR and IT professionals, CIOs and CHROs.”
The HR Demo Show does not include trade show booths on an exhibit floor. Software vendors are invited to present their products via one-hour live sessions to attendees. In addition to the presentation at the HR Demo Show, sessions will be recorded and archived at the show’s Web site for access by attendees for up to six months after the event.
Elliot Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise, said, “In addition to our approach to helping buyers and sellers communicate more effectively in the trade show venue, we place a strong emphasis on attracting the right buyers to our events. The HR Demo Show will be co-located with our very successful RPO Summit, which draws top executives considering game-changing HR decisions. The combined power of the two events will create a must attend scenario for any HR professional who is thinking strategically about the post-recessionary opportunities in 2011 and beyond.”
Clark continued, “Our focus is: less keynotes, more keyboards. We’re looking forward to getting our attendees really involved in vetting their software buying decisions by providing the right environment for buyers and sellers. Our intent is to help both buyers and sellers compress time.”
More information — including discounts for early registrations — can be accessed at the show’s web site, which is accessible at www.hrdemoshow.com Follow the Show on LinkedIn by searching the “HR Demo Show” group; on Twitter at twitter.com/hrdemoshow and on Facebook.
Our sponsor Pinstripe, Inc. designs, builds and delivers high-performance talent acquisition and management solutions. Pinstripe’s innovative approach to Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) integrates sourcing, recruiting, hiring, on-boarding, and engagement into a complete, end-to-end solution. Pinstripe on-demand hiring solutions are tailored for specific clients across a spectrum of industries including financial services, healthcare, technology, telecommunications and other major industries. For healthcare organizations, Pinstripe Healthcare works with clients to attract the best available talent so they can deliver high quality patient care and reduce overall labor costs.
In The Know v2.13
Five Links To Expand Your View of HR (Chosen to test your assumptions and offer new models)
- 13 of the Brightest Tech Minds Sound Off on the Rise of the Tablet
The tablet is coming. Here are some really interesting insights on the possibilities of the tablet era. The interface is disappearing and the platform is moving to where you live.
- Famous Cop Outs In The Talent Game: “My Boss Won’t Let Me”
Kris Dunn is at the leading edge of a new kind of HR. Action oriented and focused on business results, Dunn champions a kind of HR that’s in your face, pro-company and anything but wimpy. He’s reviewing Seth Godin’s book, Linhpin” which suggests that you can become indispensable by focusing on outcomes, deadlines and value creation.
While Dunn is regularly the best read in the space, the idea that indispensability is either desirable or acheivable is a bit misplaced. It’s the kind of stuff that’s being peddled to workers who are worried about job security. Truth is, there’s no such thing. Jobs are temporary relationships of convenience and not stable patforms.
- Perfection by Subtraction: The Minimum Feature Set
Steve Blank is one of the great contemporary entrepreneurial thinkers. An advocate of the Minimum Viable Product, Blank argues for making the product and the market work together. The approach he lays out asks entrepreneurs to build a dialog with the customer and use that to flesh out the product. It’s a smart way to build an HR department. Ask yourself, ‘what’s the minimum level of HR service?’
- Google’s New Marketplace Has Over 1,500 Apps
Small and Medium Sized Businesses are going to start migrating to the Google platform. When you consider that the Salesforce Applications Marketplace has over 1,000 tools, including HR and Recruiting, it becomes clear that things are changing. Business is moving to the cloud.
- Management by Reflection
Art Kleiner interviews Henry Mintzberg. Here’s a typical gem from the conversation:
“I think it’s amazing how few people are actively researching managerial work — empirical studies of what managers do — as their main focus. Many people are concerned with organizational issues, but because they don’t actually study what managers do, they lack insight into the essence of organizations. Even topics like the impact of e-mail on the way managers work have not been adequately studied. Some research has been conducted on the effects of the Internet on behavior — for example, the way people tend to casually shoot off e-mail messages and then wonder, “Why did I send that?” But there have been no real studies of the impact of e-mail on day-to-day management activity.“
By John Sumser
Valerie Frederickson v1.25 The Sage
The amazing thing about Valerie Frederickson is that she is really easy to like and a fun conversation partner. Equally comfortable with a stuck, neurotic mid-career bureaucrat and the all-star executives she places, Frederickson is the model of grace and sophistication. She is uniquely able to tell you about her accomplishments without sounding egotistical.
Success is often a matter of clearly and simply seeing what you want and going after it. After the funeral of a hyper-connected Silicon Valley HR leader, Valerie decided what she wanted. She would build a network of HR leaders and CEOs to rival the deceased’s accomplishment. She would become the person HR people trust to give them the unvarnished truth, spot-on brutally honest feedback.
15 years later, Frederickson is living the reality she imagined. Sought after for speaking engagements, the organizational troubleshooter of choice, confidante of Valley CEOs and headhunter extraordinare, Valerie figures out what she wants to do and then starts doing it. What sounds impossible to onlookers seems to fall gracefully beneath her momentum.
Her eponymous company has a client list that includes most of the top tier Silicon Valley companies, a host of non-profits and deep penetration of the Biotech market. A full-service HR consultancy, the company specializes in the placement of HR executives and organizational alignment.
Having her hand in a huge percentage of Valley HR executive placements, Valerie talks about matchmaking with the ease of a pro. “It all depends on what the organization needs. A trophy HR manager? A competent executor? A player who will integrate with the other executives? A mommy? A staff sergeant? The CEO’s new confessor? You’ve got to be conscious of the power dynamics and the needs of the executive team when you fit the HR person on to the team. When I place someone, I look to keep them in place for a decade. “
If I’m allowed to go with my gut, the process can be very quick. Zeroing in on the one person who can do the job is easier than navigating a complex set of obstacles set up by the selection team. My success rate is higher when I operate from my intuition.”
Valerie’s influence extends in a variety of dimensions. A frequent speaker at HR conferences around the world, she uses her straight talking style to help audiences consider and shape /component/option,com_virtuemart/page,shop.pdf_output/showpage,shop.browse/pop,1/output,pdf/product_id,0/category_id,7/vmcchk,1/Itemid,1/”>is their careers. She has always got a group of emerging professionals under her wing, helping them navigate hurdles and opportuniti
She has a long history of helping to build companies. As a result, you’ll often find well known executives hanging out in her office wrestling with a business problem. She also places a great deal of emphasis on passing on what she’s learned. Her white papers and case studies include practical tips on career development for HR leaders. Here’s an example:
Fortunately, being a star is a discipline that can be learned. What kind of HR executives are stars? What kind of behaviors do they exhibit? Conversely, what traits are danger signs, and how can these traits be self-monitored?
Here are some of the traits of HR executives who are stars:
- They are energetic, brilliant, knowledgeable, prepared and humble about their abilities.
- They are direct with people.
- They know how a new project should work, who should be involved, and how it should be presented.
- They use technology (that is, do their own spreadsheets, programs, etc.) better than anyone and never brag about their ability to do so.
- There is something surprising and unique about their lives and families.
Most successful, HR stars routinely hire subordinates much better than themselves and milk their peers and consultants for their ideas and insights. If an idea can make them more successful, make them look good at their jobs, and help them fix a problem, they will not hesitate to use it.
Senior vice presidents of HR from the valley’s top networking and Internet companies are easily identified and emulated as stars. Stars are directors and vice presidents at hot software start-up companies, serving as HR business partners and HR senior managers at biotech companies, and they manage both HR and MIS at engineering companies.
To be a successful HR executive, have the fun, and make the big bucks, one must learn to think, feel, act, and react like a star.
(From Frederickson’s Human Resources Executives: Stars vs Sustainers)
Influence can be built and developed over the course of time. Regular speaking engagements, publication, networking, building an audience, consistent delivery of career navigation and continuous personal improvement are the essential elements. Valerie Frederickson is a case study herself.
John Sumser is the founder and CEO of TwoColorHat, a company specializing in market strategy for HR – Recruiting Vendors. You can keep up with his other stuff at johnsumser.com. Follow the rest of the Top 100 Influencers project.
Top 100 v1.62: Ryan Johnson
The process of trying to identify patterns of influence in the HR-Recruiting Industry has been revealing. The domain is composed of a number of subordinate silos and the totality is only loosely tied together. If you ask a Recruiter who Jay Cross or Ann Bares are, you’ll draw blank stares. (Hint: They are rock stars in learning and compensation) Few people outside of the the Outsourcing business recognize Mary Sue Rogers’ name. almost everyone in traditional HR roles recognizes Dave Ullrich. It’s fair to say that he’s not well known in Recruiting circles.
When you try to identify hyper influential VPs of HR, they are few and far between. Clout, at that level, seems to have as much to do with position as it does personality. Even then, the influence remains after the achievement is gone.
Influence is a kind of credentialing system. For most of human history, people have wondered and studied the art of developing influence. One of the oldest pieces of literature, the I Ching, is devoted, in part, to the study of influence.
“The tree on the mountain is visible from afar, and its development influences the landscape of the entire region. It does not shoot up like a swamp plant; its growth proceeds gradually. Thus, the work of influencing people can be only gradual.No sudden influence or awakening is of lasting effect .Progress must be quite gradual and, in order to obtain such progress in public opinion and the mores of the people, it is necessary for the personality to acquire influence and weight. This comes about though careful and constant work on one’s own moral development.” The I Ching
, 53. Development (Gradual Progress)
One of the important questions of the era is whether or not social media creates a fast track. Does the ability to communicate broadly and quickly create a pattern of consequences that you could identify as influence. You’d have to say that it does among the people who are actively using social media. How much that group of insiders matters is an entirely separate subject.
In each media revolution (the inventions of language, poetry, song, narrative, printing press, popular fiction, telephone, telegraph, radio, movies, email, web, social media), the early adopters received value that was different from the mass of people who ultimately became users. In fact, one of the driving forces of technology adoption seems to be the wild claims of the early adopters. There is a definite kind of influence that early users of new technologies gain.
At the end of the day, however, media sophistication is no substitute for substance. For a short time in the evolution of any social phenomenon (fad), people who ‘get it’ gain visibility whether or not their output really merits attention. As time goes on, the balance returns to a more normal editorial flow in which important stuff rises to the surface.
The most powerfully influential people covered in this series have patiently built reputations and networks that exploded in effectiveness when they introduced social media. The next most powerful group doesn’t use social media at all. They are the current owners of the institutional seat of power in the Fortune 50. Then comes the flock of early adopters in social media who found a home there.
World at Work, the compensation professionals trade association (it’s more or less like SHRM for Comp professionals) is a 50 year old organization. It is a global association focused on compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated total rewards to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork provides a network of nearly 30,000 members in more than 100 countries with training, certification, research, conferences and community. It is getting adept at weathering the storms of media revolutions and manages to continue to grow as the game changes.
Ryan Johnson is their Vice President of Publishing and Community.
“Ryan M. Johnson, Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), is responsible for member community, issues management, research and publishing.
Prior to joining WorldatWork, Johnson spent more than 10 years in public policy, public affairs and consulting/strategy work, having worked for Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer of Columbus, Ohio, and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University. He started his career in Washington, D.C. on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business.
He later worked as a research analyst for the Institute for Strategy Development, a private, financial institutions-oriented think tank. Johnson has authored numerous articles on topics such as current legislative and regulatory developments, stock option expensing, executive compensation proxy disclosure, employee bonus programs, professional ethics, employee recognition, paid time off (PTO), outside director pay, consumerism in benefits, work-life, sales compensation, flexible work schedules, telework and disaster recovery/continuity of operations, salary surveys, salary budget surveys, and total rewards.
Johnson has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, Houston Chronicle, Miami Herald, The Arizona Republic, as well as numerous trade publications such as Government Computer News. He has been interviewed on NPR’s Marketplace program and several metro radio stations. He is a frequent keynote speaker on topics related to trends in compensation and benefits. He founded the WorldatWork Blog.”
Beyond the normal career blah, blah blah, Ryan is an articulate guy with an intense degree of personal curiosity. He moved, with a good deal of grace, from the turbulent rapids of Capitol Hill and Public Policy to the relative backwaters of the Compensation industry. With a high energy player like Johnson
When you talk to him, it feels like growth and improvement are the natural extensions of any professional’s involvement in Compensation analysis and policy. Standing just slightly outside of that small world, this seems like a pretty impressive accomplishment. It was reasonably natural for Johnson to be the founder of the World at Work Blog.
Even if Ryan weren’t such an upbeat and networking oriented player, the nature of his role would make him influential. WorldatWork’s research is used to benchmark compensation in a variety of settings. The organization’s members generally encounter Ryan or his work as the face of the organization. Yet, he’s more laid back than most.
It’s probably the Scottsdale atmosphere. While most professional associations have headquarters in DC, WorldatWork is located just outside Phoenix. It’s partly the result of Ryan’s participation that the entity has a DC office.
While the discipline is arcane and often overlooked, the compensation department has a great deal of organizational power. It’s ultimately their execution of policy that determines who gets which share of the resources. Even more importantly, the sub unit charged with executive comp is often the interface between the board and the CEO on issues of CEO pay. That simple bit of real estate is enough to make or break a VP of HR’s career. There are certainly much worse places than ‘head of executive compensation’ from which to move into the C Suite.
Our conversation ranged over a number of future oriented topics. Perhaps the most interesting involved a discussion about HR’s role in determining the pay of subcontractors. In an increasingly outsourced world, compensation experts have an important contribution to make in the evaluation of subcontracts. It’s one of those places where the interests of HR and purchasing seriously align.
My guess is that the influence of the compensation professional (and therefore Ryan Johnson) is going to grow over then next five years.