Posts tagged ‘Corporate Culture’

December 15, 2014

12 Days of Talent: Day 2 – 2 Outcome-Focused Recruitment Metrics


2  Outcome-Focused Recruitment Metrics

How many of us in recruiting are getting too caught up in recruitment metrics these days? We seem to feel that having data on every move a recruiter makes will lead to a better recruitment function. Are we focused on too many metrics in recruitment and are we in fact slowing down the overall effectiveness of our function by creating a too heavily measured environment? And do our business leaders really care about all of these metrics?

We need to be concerned with the engagement levels of our recruiters who are in my opinion the most important factor in an effective recruitment function. Recruiters are getting frustrated with the increased level of measures being used to evaluate their performance. They dislike the increased time it is taking them away from core recruiting to provide data inputs used for reporting. We can’t forget about the importance of the engagement of our recruiters and ensuring metrics aren’t becoming a barrier or blockage to successful recruiting. We also don’t want to build an environment for our recruiters that make them feel and perform as if they are working in a call centre.

Don’t get me wrong, metrics can be a great way to tell a story or use to analyze potential problems within a recruitment function but I continue to hear stories of recruitment functions getting too caught up with metrics and spending too much time generating fancy looking reports full of data that they think the business wants to see.

Let’s think of what is important from the business perspective – which should be what is the true outcome of our work and our impact to the organization’s bottom line.  That’s all they truly want to hear from us.  They aren’t interested in the thirty page presentation on how we decreased their cost per hire by 10% or improved the interview to hire ratio by 20%.

Our businesses all feel the pressure from their shareholders, their employees and their customers.  So from a business perspective, my 2 most important measures of recruitment are:

  • Quality of Hire
  • Service Delivery Excellence

Quality of Hire

This should measure the true outcome of the new hire’s performance and the direct impact to the organization’s bottom line. This measure can be taken in the new hires first 6 months or 1 year. Simply prequalify the primary goals or targets of the new hire with the hiring leader prior to hiring for the role. Did the new hire meet, exceed, or fail to meet these goals or targets. If the new hire exceeded their goals, what was the direct impact to the organization – this is the ultimate outcome and my recommended measure of recruitment success.

Recruiter Service Delivery

This should measure how effective the recruiter was in delivering the recruitment service to their client, the hiring leader. This measure should be taken following the new hires start with the organization and can be done using a simple survey asking if the recruiter met, exceeded, or failed to meet their expectations in terms of process and outcome.  Expectation setting with hiring leaders is a major component of this measure and only helps when measuring a hiring leader’s satisfaction with the performance of the recruiter and the function.  A great tool for recruiters to use with their hiring leaders is a service level agreement which sets the expectations of the relationship and service on both sides.

So the next time you are looking through endless pages of recruitment data, ask yourself is this the data most important to me and the business?


Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for HR, Recruitment and Talent Management Solutions at The Talent Company –  Simon is recognized as a global thought leader in the acquisition and management of talent and has successfully transformed the Talent function for organizations of all sizes. Simon works closely with clients to build, develop and innovate their Recruitment, Talent and HR functions. He is a former global leader of Recruitment and Talent for a Fortune 100 company. Simon is a featured speaker at a number of HR and Recruitment conferences across North America and an author of many acclaimed articles on innovative Recruitment, Talent and HR trends and best practices. Simon’s full profile can be found at and he can be reached at

For more information on The Talent Company and our 12 Days of Talent project, visit

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December 12, 2014

12 Days of Talent: Day 3 – The 3 Steps in Talent Optimization


The 3 Steps in Talent Optimization

First of all, what is Talent Optimization?

I get asked this question often and usually by individuals who confuse it with the function of talent development or talent management within their organization.

My definition of Talent Optimization is simply the alignment between the business strategy and the plan for your most important organizational asset, your talent.

It involves three critical steps:

  1. Start with your business strategy and assess its impacts on your talent needs.

The business strategy needs to be at the core of talent optimization.  The business strategy has to drive the desired organization talent outcomes.  Every talent initiative your organization develops, sponsors and participates in must be steered directly from where the business wants to go.  Without this alignment back to your business strategy your organization is simply wasting its time, efforts and money for initiatives that aren’t supporting what is important to your organization’s success.  So many companies have invested heavily in talent focused programs and initiatives over the years which look great…..but many times when I ask them why the created the program they aren’t able to align the purpose of their high visibility programs back to the business strategy.  Simply put, these companies have spent lots of money on “window dressings” and failed to focus their investments into ones that will shape their organization’s talent to where it needs to go.

  1. Assess your current talent to effectively understand current skills and capabilities.

Similar to analyzing the value of an organization’s asset, understanding your organization’s own talent and their capabilities is another critical factor within talent optimization.  Companies need to properly gauge their own talent’s skills, abilities, and limitations to effectively understand the gaps between their current talent and the desired skills and abilities needed to successfully achieve their business strategy and goals.  Very few companies are able to do this successfully.  Most companies understand the skills and competencies needed within each role but fail to understand the full capabilities and experiences of the talent working within that role.  Companies recruit and hire simply to fill their roles and fail to recognize the other skills, abilities and experiences of the new hire beyond the requirements the role.  There are so many great tools and technologies available for organizations to gain a better understanding of their talent which is essential to building an effective organization talent strategy and plan.

  1. Move, develop and recruit talent successfully to meet the organizational needs and goals.

An organization’s ability to effectively move, develop and recruit talent is the third critical factor for an organization to optimize talent.  Companies must be self-aware and understand their true capabilities within talent management, talent development and talent acquisition.  An organization who isn’t effective in managing and developing their own talent will need to rely more on hiring new talent to fulfill the requirements of the business strategy.  The organization must understand the limitations of their talent function and make the appropriate decision to either invest quickly in resolving their functional deficiencies or work around them.

Talent optimization starts at the top of the organization and shouldn’t be just another HR exercise which the executive team and the rest of the organization isn’t fully supporting.  Talent optimization is an organizational function – not just an HR function.


Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for HR, Recruitment and Talent Management Solutions at The Talent Company –  Simon is recognized as a global thought leader in the acquisition and management of talent and has successfully transformed the Talent function for organizations of all sizes. Simon works closely with clients to build, develop and innovate their Recruitment, Talent and HR functions. He is a former global leader of Recruitment and Talent for a Fortune 100 company. Simon is a featured speaker at a number of HR and Recruitment conferences across North America and an author of many acclaimed articles on innovative Recruitment, Talent and HR trends and best practices. Simon’s full profile can be found at and he can be reached at

For more information on The Talent Company and our 12 Days of Talent project, visit

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December 11, 2014

12 Days of Talent: Day 4 – 4 Reasons Why Onboarding Is Your Competitive Advantage


4 Reasons Why Onboarding Is Your Competitive Advantage

In a world of hyper efficiency and doing more with less, Onboarding for most is an aspect focused on short-term tasks and getting a new hire settled in. It often starts with being brought to their desk, given a laptop, asked to setup their voicemail, email and then of course, the journey starts to fill out copious forms and reading through mind numbing company documents that “help you get familiar with us”. Our view is that this common approach is too systematic and critically void of what Onboarding is truly supposed to be – a human experience.

Onboarding is not a checklist, nor should it be an attempt to get a new hire to a desk and setup. It is a unique opportunity to show your new member that your external brand mirrors your internal brand. What is promoted externally as a wonderful place to build a career is not only words on a website but is in fact tangible and can be experienced within every aspect of your organization. Additionally, Onboarding should be an experience that provides a new employee with the opportunity to engage, socialize, understand your company’s culture and embrace its core values.

For the few that recognize Onboarding as a competitive edge, it is considered a series of milestones that can often last up to one year. For these exemplars, Onboarding includes mentoring and coaching, networking opportunities, formal goal setting, training, development plans and it is integrated into the talent management process and part of the overall talent strategy. Executing on this well not only produces an engaged employee but it also generates the following:

  1. New brand ambassadors for your company and, hopefully, a source for new and otherwise untapped candidate pipelines
  2. Valuable competitive and industry intelligence
  3. Robustness in your talent management program as existing employees are given opportunities to expand their skills beyond functional areas
  4. Leadership becoming more “connected” to their employee base.

Within these organizations, Onboarding is a shared accountability. It is not the responsibility of HR but rather includes the contribution of many. More importantly, the onus resides with the performance manager to ensure the new hire has a successful first year.

Companies that view Onboarding as a set of painful steps facilitated by checklists are missing out on a unique opportunity. It is a short window of opportunity that provides you with a chance to connect, engage and develop the talent that you have hired, not another number that is added to a report.


Joe Minaudo is the leader of the Recruitment Strategy and Transformation practice with The Talent Company (, a human resources consulting firm that works closely with clients to develop, optimize and innovate their Recruitment and Talent practices. Joe possesses more than 15 years of recruitment, talent management and workforce planning experience. He has lead recruitment and workforce planning functions for both international and global Big 4 consulting firms. Joe can be found at the following social tools LinkedIn and Twitter.

For more information on The Talent Company and our 12 Days of Talent project, visit

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December 4, 2014

The Talent Company’s 12 Days of Talent: Day 9 – 9 Strategies for Driving HR Innovation


9 Strategies for Driving HR Innovation

As we move in to the New Year, it’s natural for individuals and teams to set goals. Changing our old ways and/or introducing new practices and habits can be a big part of this practice. So, how do HR departments innovate?

1.  HR-Client Surveys. Asking for feedback is an important aspect of effectively working with the business. It’s a practice that sets great HR teams apart from good teams. Receiving feedback from managers and employees across the business should be part of the partnering process. But once the HR/people strategy has been set in motion, HR should ask for formal feedback around key strategy initiatives, programs, and overall satisfaction with HR’s level of service. The feedback should be used to identify opportunities for the development of programs, plus drive continuous improvement in the services offered by HR.

2.  Link HR Strategy to Business strategy. It doesn’t have to be complicated! It’s really about asking a series of questions and effectively addressing them. Start at the top and ensure your People Strategy is linked to your Business Strategy.

*What is your Business Plan telling you about your People Strategy needs? Do you feel that your organization has the skills/capabilities to meet the business strategy?

*What is the Profile of the talent you need your employees to have?

*What is the “Value Proposition” needed to attract and retain this targeted employee profile?

*How will you Obtain the Talent? And how will you Develop the Talent?

*Given the profile of the employee you need to attract and retain, is there an appropriate Rewards Strategy in place to reward the talent?

*Given the strategy, does HR have the Capabilities needed to move the business forward?

Linking the people strategy to business strategy is the foundation for getting HR right.

3.  Employee Communications. Great HR teams learn from internal communication teams and employ their best strategies to support the most important business priorities. They understand that effective internal communications are a strong lever of employee engagement and retention, and deploy appropriate tactics. They support overall communication objectives by establishing communication channels/tools that are best suited to their employees. Channels can be: team meetings, morning huddles, blogs, intranets, social networks, and discussion boards, among others.  Whatever they are, they use only the most effective and they don’t overwhelm employees!  They also know that when it comes to communicating with employees, that nothing replaces face-to-face interaction with business leaders.

4.  Big “I” versus little “i” Innovation.

HR does not need to focus solely on “big I” Innovation (meaning focusing on the next “big thing”); it doesn’t have to be some mind-bending technology breakthrough! Innovation can come in the form of little “i” innovation (small enhancements/adjustments to processes and systems). When you think of all the systems, processes, programs, policies, that touch the employee base, HR doesn’t need to look far to enhance the employee experience.  I would take 100 “small i” innovations over 1 “big I” innovation any day. HR should push innovation.

5.  Recruitment and Social Media – When it comes to recruitment and leveraging social media, innovative HR teams display similar practices. Their social media recruitment strategy is a subset of their larger recruitment strategy. Their tactics address specific recruitment strategy needs.  Whether it is recruitment, building community, or reducing costs, their tactics are well considered. They understand and leverage the tools and channels that are available to them both today and tomorrow.

6.  Performance Management. Good HR teams have cracked the code on performance management in their organizations. They have moved beyond the internal debate on systems and processes and produced results. I see the merits of having a system in place. I have read the wisdom (pro’s and con’s) on the merits of various performance management systems. What system works for your organization is purely situational but my caveat is always to keep it simple! Do not over-complicate it with a myriad of other demands.

7.  HR Capabilities. Stephen Covey coined the phrase “sharpen the saw” to reference taking the time to keep your skills current. Innovative human resources teams take the time to apply this idea to HR capabilities. They have up-skilled themselves in areas such as strategic management, technology integration, change management and influencing ability. Keeping current on these core competencies ensures they are ahead of the curve on being top-notch business partners, delivering efficient HR services and operations.

8.  Workforce Analytics. Yes, HR has to get the basics in terms of employee data storage right, but they must go beyond and provide insight as it relates to business results. Taking human capital data beyond basic measurement is really workforce analytics. The analytical insights created from systems are used to create people strategies that address real business problems. At the forefront of insight provided consider areas such as: ready now talent; turnover of key talent; employee productivity; and total rewards investment. These greater workforce insights position HR to pro-actively advise their leadership teams on key business issues.

9.  People-minded Processes HR policies, services and processes should be designed to address the challenges of your own business. They also need to keep people’s motivations and the larger marketplace in mind. Vacation time is a popular example of this right now. Whether the practice of offering unlimited vacation is widely adopted or not remains to be seen. What we do know is that small to mid-sized organizations are effectively using this approach in the war for talent with larger organizations (and the deep-pocketed benefits they can offer).


Gord MacDonald specializes in providing executive-level HR expertise to organizations where HR leadership is needed on an advisory, interim, contract or project basis. As the Practice Leader for HR Advisory Services through The Talent Company, and his own consulting firm HR Solutions, he works with a diverse range of businesses to develop and implement human capital strategies in support of business issues. He has in-depth experience across: Human Capital Strategy; Building Talent and Strong Teams; Building Strong Corporate Cultures; Employee Engagement;  Leading Change; Employee Communications; and, Delivering Tangible Results. Prior to moving in to consulting, Gord held HR leadership roles  at LoyaltyOne, American Express, Hogg Robinson and Genworth Canada. Gord can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter

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