Monday, May 14, 2012

Top 10 Hiring Mistakes

Hiring the right people can make our world with full of flying colors and the success gives us everything we want in our business. Yet, sometimes we do not approach hiring in the right manner and often make the some repeated mistakes. Here are the most common Top 10 errors a recruiter could do:
  1. Taping candidates' background.
No matter what the candidate may include on their resume, we unknowingly/knowingly skip reading the resume. If we are serious about specified candidates placement, make sure that their work history are accurate, and check at least a reference or two is available. It helps recruiters to check the basic background of the candidate. We need to conduct some due diligence for the successful closure.
  1. Being overly influenced by advanced degrees.
Candidates with plenty of letters after their names have certainly worked hard to earn their degrees. But there is no substitute for real-world business experience, and people often make the mistake of overlooking candidates with track records but not degrees.
Note: this does not apply, however, to specialized fields that require advanced degrees.
  1. Not having a long-range plan.
Hiring someone to fill a current need can help you through a busy time. Beyond hiring someone on a temporary basis, we need a long-range plan for that employee beyond our immediate need. Include a plan to develop the career of the candidate where he or she fits in with our company's long-range plans.
  1. Making promises which cannot be Kept.
It can be a very costly mistake to make promises that are not well thought out. Know ahead of time what we can and cannot offer a prospective employee.
  1. Hiring someone for all the wrong reasons.
Unfortunately, this is a common mistake. Whether we are doing our cousin a favor or are impressed by the way someone looks or talks, hiring should not be done for the wrong reasons. Our focus should always be on the best candidate for the best job.
  1. Not conducting a good interview.
Conducting a good hiring interview is a skill which many people do not experience off late. It's important to ask the right questions to determine whether the candidate is right for the position and fits into the company’s goals.
  1. Not looking for a good fit.
In most businesses there needs to be a rapport among employees. If we hire someone who does not fit in with the team's chemistry, we foresee our self with unnecessary problems.
  1. Not giving employee offer letters.
Offer letters contains all the important details, including the starting salary, bonus structure, start date, at-will status, and benefit information. It is mandatory that the candidate signs and receives a copy before he/she joins the organization.
  1. Not being prepared.
We can easily make a hiring mistake when we are not prepared for the interview and hiring process. Prepare the list of questions to be asked for the candidate and the type of employee we are looking for. Also be ready to explain the position and answer questions about the company to the candidates.
  1. Expecting way too much.
A common problem these days is looking for one person to save a sinking ship. An unrealistic, lengthy list of qualifications and background requirements — as frequently seen in employment ads — creates a situation where we settle for someone whom we think can do a little of everything, but does not excel in the key areas. Narrow our focus to the most important aspects of the position.

By Mr.Vijay Anand

Ways to find a job in a tough market

Getting a new job may be tough in a glum economic environment, but that should not deter you from looking. Following some easy, yet often ignored, steps should help you sail through.

Map your Competency

"Individuals should identify the skill sets they are good at and should look for industries where they fit in," says Sunil Goel, director of executive search firm Global Hunt. Perry Madan, executive director at EWS Search, adds: "When times are hard, people should think out of the box and concentrate on the skill sets rather than limiting themselves to their industry."

List your Options

Make a list of companies you wish to work for and identify their structures and hiring cycles. "One could make two separate lists - of companies that are most desired and companies that are not high on priority, but can work as a platform for getting another posting elsewhere," says Goel.

Go Glocal

A lot of MNCs are ramping up operations across the country, and not just the metros. "Tier II, tier III cities and rural markets have plenty of opportunities and a lot of companies within the F&B and education space have ambitious plans for such areas. One should not hesitate in exploring such opportunities," says Madan.

Meet People

Get active on social networking websites and job portals, and meet people if possible. "It is always better to meet people rather than mailing or calling them, as face value has a greater recall ," says Goel.

Be Specific

Your profile should be specific and should highlight your work areas and expertise. Avoid overloading your resume with content to prevent misrepresentation.

By Mr Vijay Anand

Talent management – More than just HR?

While most organisations have ad hoc approaches to talent management, it is found that a large portion of them do not have a formalised talent management approach in place 
In a changing business environment a well-thought out approach to talent management is most responsive to identifying and nurturing necessary talent. While most organisations have ad hoc approaches to talent management, it is found that a large portion of them do not have a formalised talent management approach in place. This can often lead to strategic gaps in fully recognising potential issues and lead to problems such as difficulty in recruiting for vital roles within the organisation, inability to respond swiftly to changing external environment and promotions taking place before people are ready.
While most organisations would agree that a talent pool is vital to move an organisation forward, it is equally important to nurture and encourage this talent from within the company. In other words, everyone from the leadership downwards should be willing and able to nurture internal talent.
Managers need to see talent management as part of their role and actively undertake its identification and development. It should also form an integral part of the organisation's strategy and business planning process and also gain a buy-in and commitment to undertake the necessary responsibilities.
Talent management needs to be accepted as a business process and not merely an HR one. Once everybody in the organisation is onboard on the need for talent management needs to be a clearly understood and working methodology to spot and nurture talent in the organisation.
Key areas:
Identifying talent with the use of targeted recruitment strategies, competency frameworks and assessment techniques;
Managing and developing talent using tools such as performance management systems and 360° feedback;
Matching talent to where it is needed through and career and succession planning processes.
Competency frameworks are a great tool to help identify talent and can offer a clearly defined set of expectations to measure performance against, based on linking individual and organisational performance. Well structure competency frameworks encourage organisations to think about performance in terms of demonstrated behaviours rather than subjective opinion, regarding what is effective versus poor performance.
Recruitment: External recruitment and selection of the right people is a vital step in maintaining a high quality talent pool. An organisation would need to be careful in identifying the strategic gaps and then pick the right candidates to fill specific gaps.
Assessment and development centres play an immensely important role in providing the organisation a specific and detailed analysis of performance and future potential. A well-planned and implemented assessment centre can help an organisation identify not just an individual's ability but also creativity, motivation and also provide indicators that the individual has the necessary expertise to move into a new role. These provide a replication of the pressures that an individual may face in the future and allows an organisation to assess the response and map it to certain specific criteria.
360° feedback and performance management systems: Organisations are increasingly realising the value of performance systems that monitor performance, give feedback and draw up concrete development plans. As part of the development process, feedback from multiple sources (360° feedback) can be useful in establishing a benchmark in terms of skills and behaviours. It provides a strong platform to build on the strengths and remedy any weaknesses. The outcome of this exercise can be used not just as part of development with regard to the current role but also to ensure future development
Succession and career planning: As part of the talent management process it is as important to develop people for future needs as it is to develop them in their current roles. Linked to talent management, succession planning ensures that every role is back filled in order to develop future leaders from within.
To conclude, identifying and nurturing talent requires organisational buy-in, particularly from senior management and a structure to support the process. Each link in the entire chain of talent management and development has to be strong because just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link; an organisation is only as strong as its people.

The authors are Sangeeta Singh, partner, human resources, KPMG and Perez Katpitia, recruitment manager, KPMG(

Five Tips to Make the Most of Exit Interviews

Exit interviews don't need to be a formality allowing disgruntled employees to voice their complaints. If used correctly, talent managers can use this opportunity to learn why the employee has quit and determine whether changes need to be made so other workers don't follow suit.

Savvy employees understand the risk of burning bridges, so they're often hesitant to share their true feelings about the reasons behind their departure. However, by incorporating these strategies, it's more likely for talent managers to get more candid feedback.

1. Wait a while.

It's common to try holding an exit interview before the employee leaves the company, but employers should consider holding off for a short time. The final days on the job can be emotional for an employee, given the stress of finishing up projects and anticipation about a new job. For this reason, organizations may not get the most objective responses to questions during this transition period.

Instead, employers can request permission to speak with the departing employee after a few weeks, by which point he or she may have a fresh perspective on certain situations after joining another organization. For instance, employees may find that what they thought were excessive workloads at the company are in fact standard in the industry and did not constitute grounds for leaving.

2. Use a neutral interviewer.

It's best that someone other than the employee's direct manager conduct the exit interview. Companies are more likely to get open, honest input from an individual if he or she hasn't worked directly with the person prying for information. This is particularly true if the issue prompting a professional's job change was a problem with company leadership. Some organizations even hire third parties to handle exit interviews in hopes that it will encourage a more forthright discussion.

3. Offer a reason to be candid.

Employees who've left should be reminded that the exit interview is designed to learn more about concerns that may be affecting all staff. By giving thoughtful responses, these individuals may help their former colleagues. Chances are they bonded with at least one co-worker while at the company, so this type of encouragement may prompt them to open up.

4. Be creative with questioning.

It is best to avoid broad questions such as, "Why did you quit?" because they're likely to lead to generic responses. Instead, employers can pose more targeted questions to yield better responses:

a) What prompted your job search?
b) What does your new employer offer that we did not?
c) What was the best part of your job here? The worst?
d) How does our compensation plan compare to what's offered at your new company?
e) What advice would you give to the person filling your position?
f) How would you describe the management style in your old department?
g) Under what conditions, if any, would you consider returning to the company?

Sharing these questions with the employee prior to the meeting could be beneficial as it gives employees a chance to think about their responses. This also can help the discussion feel less like an interrogation.

5. Take action.

Talent managers need to make sure the information shared is taken seriously. There's no point in conducting exit interviews if they're done only as a formality. Companies should be open to making changes as a result of the feedback, particularly if the same problems are heard from several people. For instance, it may be learned that the lack of salary increases in recent years has become a major retention issue, meaning it's time to make appropriate adjustments.

Positive changes can result if employers use exit interviews as learning experiences and rethink the way their workplace operates. As competition for skilled talent grows and retaining employees becomes a greater priority, leaders can build greater job satisfaction and ensure that their top team members want to remain at their company.

By Robert Hosking | Talent Management - executive director of OfficeTeam

Organizational Behavior Assumptions

Use this SkillGuide to view assumptions of what drives organizational behavior.

Traditional Assumptions
  • people try to satisfy one class of need at work: economic need
  • people act rationally to maximize rewards
  • people act individually to satisfy individual needs
  • no conflict exists between individual and organizational objectives

Human Relations Movement Assumptions
  • organizations are social systems, not just technical and economic systems
  • people are driven by many needs
  • people aren't always logical
  • people are interdependent, with behavior often shaped by social context
  • informal work groups are major factors in the attitudes and performance of individuals, and management is only one factor
  • job roles are more complex than their simple job descriptions, and people act in ways not covered by the job descriptions
  • there's no automatic correlation between the needs of the individual and the organization
  • communication channels cover both the business aspects of an organization and people's feelings
  • teamwork is essential for cooperation and effective decision making
  • leadership should include human relations concepts
  • increased job satisfaction leads to increased job productivity
  • management should have effective social skills in addition to technical skills

Source: Human Resources Fundamentals (HRCI/PHR - 2007-aligned)

7 Ways to Sharpen Your Leadership Skills

Very few people describe themselves as natural born leaders. It takes buckets of self-confidence to get others to follow your lead. But you don't exactly need to grab the microphone to exude leadership. Leadership is a skill; one that can be learned and developed. Strong leadership skills will help you score more responsibility at work, which means higher chances of a promotion, increased salary, and growth opportunity overall.

So, if you want to give your boss more reasons to promote you, consider doing at least one of the following each work day:

1. Foster a reputation for being helpful and resourceful.You don't have to know how to do everything to be seen as a leader, but you do need to be a problem solver. Keep your eyes and ears perked to be aware of what's going on, even in other departments—who's the best person for graphics? Or who's the most accessible person in the IT department? When a newbie co-worker or manager asks for help, you'll know exactly who to direct them to, which will solidify your status as someone who knows the ropes.
"Top performers are widely known and respected by others not because of their frequent contact, charm or likability, but because they help others solve their problems," says David Maxfield, co-author of New York Times' national bestsellerChange AnythingThe New Science of Personal Success. "By doing so, they become invaluable resources." Aim to be helpful; knowing about your surrounding resources is a great start.

2. Be a self-starter. At the very least, you should become thego-to, indispensable person in your little corner of the company. Do whatever it takes—whether it's classes at night, attending conferences, or starting a blog about your field—to become a super authority on your job.

The key here is to kick into self-starter mode—a major prerequisite to gaining leader status. It's not just about doing the job you're assigned, it's about starting your own side projects to keep practicing and mastering your skill.

3. Mentor someone newer. If you see a co-worker who is clearly struggling, point them in the right direction if you can. After all, what better way to practice leadership than to let someone follow your lead? The trick here is to be an effective communicator. Their success is a testament to yours, and at least one person will now see you as a leader. You have to start somewhere.

4. Get on the radar by networking. Networking is important because it'll not only place you on the map but it'll also help you achieve tip No. 1. Joanne Cleaver, author of the upcoming book The Career Lattice and president of the strategic communication consulting firm Wilson-Taylor Associates, says you need alliances with co-workers who can pull in the resources and expertise you'll need to get a project done. "People often assume that they must network up in the organization, but in this era of professional social networking, lateral networks are just as crucial," she says.

5. Lead collaboratively, not cutthroat. Leadership is centered on teamwork rather than going it alone. If you're only out for yourself, why would anyone follow your lead? A good leader recognizes others' strengths and harnesses them to orchestrate a collaborative project.

6. Gain your colleagues' trust. How do you gain trust in the workplace? Simple: Don't give others a reason to be mistrustful of you. This one is really a matter of being ethical. Don't lie, cheat, steal, or throw anyone under the bus to get ahead. Following the Golden Rule will go a long way in earning trust with your work mates.

7. Encourage others through positivity. Leadership requires strong, positive energy—people gravitate toward positivity. Tony Shwartz is the president and chief executive officer of The Energy Project, a company that teaches people how to have a more engaged workforce. In a guest blog post for theHarvard Business Review, Shwartz writes about how leaders should "Serve as Chief Energy Officers—to free and fuel us to bring the best of ourselves to work every day."
Leaders exude positivity, and it's this energy that helps fuel everyone to do their best. This goes back to being solution-oriented and resourceful. A can-do, pleasant attitude is much more respected than a negative one.

By, HR Power House