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After five and a half months, I’ve finally finished The 2012 Index of Social Media in Recruiting and HR. It’s been quite a project. I’ve tried to sort out the various things happening around the industry. There’s a lot going on.
After one last edit, we’ll be selling it on the HRxAnalysts’ website. There should be ads here on the HRExaminer and in email over the next couple of days. There will be webinars and articles in the months to come.
The 2012 Index lays a foundation from which it’s possible to make sense out of all of the moving pieces. Based on over 200 detailed interviews with vendors, practitioners, pundits, technologists and investors, the report covers 17 types of technology. It describes the way that those technologies move through vendors and on to proactitioner desktops.
The goal of the project was to create a baseline report that could be used to help buyers, sellers and investors determine the relative worth of product offerings. With a section on the timing of Return on Technology Investment, the package aims to help with decisions about when and what to implement.
There are 70 vendor reviews and an additional 40ish companies covered in some way. The reviews try to quickly get to the heart of the relative value of a vendor’s approach. Unlike a lot of this sort of stuff, the 2012 Index actually notices when something is a bad idea.
There’s a forecasts section that identifies about a dozen key trends coming to an HR or Recruiting organization near you.
The report is 100 pages. There’s not much fluff. It’s designed to be a comprehensive guide to the subject.
It will retail for $595. This week, there’s an early bird offer that drops the price to $395 until November 1.
George Anders: The Rare Find
You can see this one coming from a mile away.
This weekend, I read George Anders new book, The Rare Find: Spotting Exceptional Talent Before Everyone Else. The book is a tour of exceptional hiring practice by Anders, a Pulitzer Prize winning author. He chronicles the stories, successes and failures of people who are in the business of finding exceptional talent.
The book is a powerful view that is going to be a part of the conversation in the HR and Recruiting world for the next couple of years.
The ideas in Anders’ book are a stark contrast with much of what has come to be understood as good recruiting practice. Here’s the money quote:
“Consider this admonition from a popular primer on hiring: Lou Adler’s Hire with Your Head. The author’s number one precept is “Remain objective throughout the interviewing process, fighting the impact of first impressions, biases, intuitions, prejudices and preconceived notions of success. This way, all information collected during the interview is both relevant and unbiased.”
That’s a fine way to pick out a lawn mower. It’s not a great way to choose people.”
The book is an homage to the power of individual insight in personnel selection. From Special Forces to Sports recruiting with key stops at Google and Facebook, Anders showcases the way that powerful companies find and harvest the people who give their organizations a real edge. It’s a powerful sock in the nose to recruiting by competency or the kind of matching systems that try to fit candidates to job descriptions.
In the settings that Anders describes, transformative talent falls into one of three categories
- The Jagged ResumeThese are people who don’t make the final cut when 100% of all criteria are applied. They have resumes that sort of meet the requirements. Anders tells great stories about reading the bottom of the resume first as a way to discover these people. They are often the real prizes in the organizations they inhabit.
- Talent that WhispersThese are the players who don’t get discovered during the hiring equivalent of the draft in pro sports.
They have the ‘stuff’ but its not apparent in the midst of a sea of flash. Like Mike Piazza, destined for the Baseball Hall of Fame, the don’t get picked in the early rush.
- Talent that ShoutsThese are people who turbo charge results by their presence.
Throughout the book, Anders returns to the idea of resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity and failure. Many superior performers are people who have learned key lessons the hard way.
I’ll have more to say about this important work in an upcoming article.
What I wanted to notice today is that Anders advocates an approach to hiring that is almost the precise opposite of what technology companies are delivering today. Discovery and matching are often seen as precise disciplines that can have precise outcomes. The truth is that great personnel selection is a discovery process. The more time invested in that discovery, the better the answer.
Faster decisions are not always better. Anders argues against an overflow of objectivity and for the use of personal experience and selection bias.
Get it and read it.
Read Heather’s posts on HRExaminer.com here.
Drama Management–Dealing With Problem Employees
by Heather Bussing
Everyone’s been there. An employee is reprimanded for some performance problem. She gets defensive and complains to everyone about being treated unfairly. People take sides. Someone suggests she file a grievance, or write a letter to management disputing the write-up.
A week later, more time is being spent on the drama than doing the work. Emotions are high. Lawyers are consulted. Everyone feels threatened and uncomfortable. How should the company handle it?
The challenge is to make it better without making it worse. Here are the options I suggest:
Do Nothing. Doing nothing is one of the most sensible and underused options around. Fires need fuel. Without it, they die out.
There is also the 2.7 Second Rule. People will think about other people’s drama for 2.7 seconds before going back to thinking about themselves. So it doesn’t take long for people to lose interest when nothing more is happening.
When the line forms in front of your office and your email box is filling with the latest slights, explanations, apologies and rants, thank each person for keeping you in the loop. Then make it clear you are not interested in doing anything to anyone at this point, and just want everyone to relax and get back to work.
If things are not better in a few days, then reevaluate. This may just be the surface issue.
Aikido Moves. In Aikido, the goal is to defend yourself without injuring the opponent — often by making a counterintuitive move. Step closer instead of step back. Do something nice instead of issuing further edicts and reprimands.
Sometimes ordering pizza for lunch, or giving people coffee gift cards and an extra half hour to use them, can diffuse tensions. I have also brought in massage therapists to give a chair massages, sent people out for pedicures, written prescriptions for a good book, and distributed chocolate. Really good chocolate has magical properties that I do not understand but absolutely believe in.
Figure Out What is Really Going On. Often the “problem” is not really the problem. It’s just a symptom of something else. Sometimes there are things going on in an employee’s personal life that are leaking into work. Sometimes the problem has deeper roots at work — an unreasonable manager, too many changes too fast, processes or systems that make things harder instead of better.
Bring the employee in and ask if there is something more — maintain an attitude of openness and curiosity. You’ll be surprised what you can learn if you are willing to hear the real answers.
Terminate the Problem Employee. If you have tried the suggestions above and things are not improving, then it’s time to fire the problem employees. Give it a reasonable time, a week or two if there doesn’t seem to be any other root causes. If there are other problems, then address those first.
Whether the employment is termination at-will or termination only “for cause,” disrupting the work environment, taking up other people’s time with personal gripes or issues, interfering with others’ ability to perform their jobs, and stirring up drama that interferes with work are all “good cause” for termination.
A “hire slow, fire fast” approach is usually the best. If it doesn’t blow over quickly, then it will only get worse. Disruptive and disgruntled employees affect everyone, and just cause more damage the longer they are around.
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through the ground came a bubblin crude.
Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.
Well the first thing you know ol Jed’s a millionaire,
Kinfolk said “Jed move away from there”
Said “Californy is the place you ought to be”
So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.
Hills, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars.
Last year, Jed Clampett ranked 5th on the Forbes list of the richest fictional characters. With $7.5 Billion in weath created from the oil on his property, Clampett ranks with the great billionaires of our times. As I sat through the presentations at the Recruiting Innovation Summit, I realized the Jed’s view of Investment and Return was worth exploring.
Imagine that you’re Mr. Clampett. Obviously, the very best approach (Benchmark) to oil exploration and discovery is “shootin’ at some food.”
Here’s what you’d be telling people at the next Oil and Gas Exploration Conference:
Investment: $750 (Shotgun, case of shells, buthcering tools, wood for the smokehouse)
- Four hours hunting
- 25 Shells Expended
- 500 pieces of buckshot
- 10 possums missed
- 2 possums shot
- 1 possum run over (still good eatin)
- 1 oil well discovered
ROI = $7.5B divided by $750 (10,000,000% Return)
It’s really hard to overstate the degree to which the important successes of today’s social media pioneers are not repeatable. Like Jed’s amazing discovery of oil in his backyard, social media success stories have a one time value that comes from being an early adopter.
The point is that evangelism is a great thing but the promises exceed reasonable success expectations. That’s how it is with early adopters. They get the vast majoroty of the benefit from new technologies.
So, if you’re doing oil and gas exploration, hire a geologist. If you’re doing social media carefully architect your ambitions.
The whole ‘shooting off the porch’ model just doesn’t scale.
In my post a couple of days ago I mentioned I would offer a pre-order special on my new HRxAnalysts report: The 2012 Index of Social Technology in HR and Recruiting. You can order the full report now (for immediate electronic delivery) for $200 off the normal price of $595. The report will be available for $395 until October 31, 2011 at 11:59PM EST.
Here's a summary of what's in the report
The 2012 Index of Social Technology in Recruiting and HR is a 100+ page report and comprehensive guide that will help you chart your social media strategy for 2012 and beyond.
- Get you & your team focused on what matters in social
- Saves critical time & resources by identifying key trends, tools, organizations & players
- Helps buyers, sellers & investors determine the ROI of social technologies
- Over 200 detailed interviews with practitioners, vendors, pundits, technologists and investors
- 70 vendor reviews
- 40 companies evaluated
- Evaluates 17 types of social technologies
- Forecasts a dozen key social media & technology trends coming to HR or Recruiting
Pre-Order by Oct 31st to save $200 »