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How Effective is Your Employee Pipeline?

image_08An employee pipeline of key individuals and leaders to fill crucial roles is important for the organizational success of your company. The talent management process should focus on this, but it might miss the mark in some areas. For starters, some hiring managers and HR personnel have different views on managing employee pipelines. Hiring managers might put more emphasis on external candidates while HR focuses on relationship-building with internal candidates.

If you are nodding your head in agreement, it’s time to rethink your company’s recruiting process and begin working from a clear definition of needs and goals. No one disputes that a company’s success is largely based on the talent of employees. Nevertheless, your employee pipeline may have potential leaks when areas such as performance objectives or talent mapping remain unclear.

Begin identifying areas of conflict along with steps that will offer reliable ways to have an effective employee pipeline. Develop a plan to engage current employees, classify high potentials and explore various sources to know the type of talent your company needs to thrive.

Develop Internal Talent

How can you develop an employee pipeline that is impervious to competition, economic impacts or internal struggles? One way to begin is to create opportunities for entry-level and managers to learn skills that allow them to move up within the company. Tiered development opportunities that extend beyond the management team shows most employees that their input is valued. When they begin looking for a new position, they will know they can start with their current employer.

Identify High Potentials

In addition, tiered development programs help to identify employees with the best potential to fulfill needed roles. Make sure there is a sufficient level of transparency. Letting employees know that they are considered high potentials for promotion will affect their view of the company and of themselves.

Plan for Future Needs

This last point might seem redundant, but many companies fail to plan for the skills, education and experience necessary to fill certain roles. Planning reveals where on the spectrum current employees are to fill prospective roles. Old job descriptions often change as industry dynamics change.

Create a development-focused culture and you can have an effective employee pipeline to face business challenges today and in the future.

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Common Hiring Mistakes Companies Make

image_10You hire a promising candidate, but within a month, you are cringing at your decision. What went wrong? Hiring mistakes are costly and frustrating, yet even the most seasoned managers make them. Build a better team by identifying which of these hiring mistakes you might be making and how to fix them.

Too Many or Too Few Criteria

You have an idea of what the position requires, but do you know the specifics? Before you interview for a position, create an outline of the exact skills, experience, knowledge and personality traits you seek. At the same time, having too many criteria will kill your focus. Stick with six to eight critical points.

Hiring for Skills or Personality Alone

A candidate can have ideal skills but a personality that clashes with your company mission, or they can sweep you off your feet with their personality yet lack critical experience. Balance experience and behavior-based interviewing techniques, and resist hiring anybody that fits your company in only one of the two ways.

Not Asking Follow-up Questions

“I’m a very fast learner,” the candidate says. Should you take them at their word and move on? An interview is a fact-finding mission. You need proof that your candidate’s assertions are true. Always ask specific experience-, behavior- or job-based follow-up questions.

Not Identifying Previous Mistakes

Why have your previous hires failed? Most managers can list the reasons easily, but few will have incorporated those points into the hiring process. For example, if you have a job that looks solitary on paper but requires frequent contact with vendors, make sure that you ask about communication skills.

Not Having an Entrance Strategy

Many otherwise perfect hires will fail if they do not get thorough training and oversight when they start. If you do not have a good training plan, the resources to scrutinize their initial performance or a solid structure of expectations, you might as well not be hiring.

Small shifts in hiring practices can eliminate many mistakes. With these changes, you will open the door to building a stronger team and better company.

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The Benefits of Gender Balance in Workforce Planning Strategy

image_04Pursuing gender balance is one of those small hiring changes that translates into enormous benefits. Beyond the virtue of gender equality, companies that diversify show greater efficiency, innovation and cold hard profit. It’s not a lofty goal – it’s smart strategizing.

Deeper Talent Pool

No manager would consciously slash their talent pool in half. The instant you start leveling the playing field, you broaden options and have a better chance of securing top talent.

Improved Performance

Men and women bring different viewpoints and psychological strengths to the table, and those viewpoints working together will create different personal synergies. A study by the Kellogg School of Management found that heterogeneous workgroups consistently out-perform homogenous ones [1].

Diversifying Leadership Styles

Just as you improve your problem-solving styles, you will also improve your leadership choices. Women often form leadership techniques very different from that of men. Having more management options allows you to harness the perfect fit for different teams.

Widening Your Customer Base

In order to appeal to more potential customers, your product development needs to incorporate different perspectives. Having your development teams mirror your customer base only makes sense.

A Better Bottom Line

The proof is in the numbers. One Gallop study found that across two industries, gender-balanced businesses improve their revenue by 16.5 percent above average compared to just 4.91 percent for unbalanced businesses [2]. Another study by Pepperdine University found that Fortune 500 companies that promote more women to executive management are 18 percent to 69 percent more profitable than their counterparts [3].

Smart Execution

Remember that regardless of gender, performance and skill should remain your top priorities. After all, women that feel they were hired because they are women will not be happy. Cultivate a business culture that is gender-neutral, motivating men and women to form working relationships and pursue goals equally. Your hiring strategy should encourage gender balance without disregarding merit.

Gender balance does not mean putting any one gender at the forefront. You are looking to balance the scales, hiring, and encourage and promote both genders equally. It is a smart choice for both your business and society as a whole.

 

[1] http://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/better_decisions_through_diversity

[2] http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/166220/business-benefits-gender-diversity.aspx

[3] http://www.psmag.com/navigation/business-economics/profit-thy-name-is-woman-3920/

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Generational Issues in Technology

image_11Generational differences in the workplace are real, especially in regards to technology. Baby boomers are less comfortable with technology due to the frequent changes and overload of options. While some of these differences can cause miscommunication and strife, they also present opportunities for businesses to take the initiative for employees to work together and build stronger teamwork skills.

Training and Experience

Older generations of workers may lack up-to-date skills for using technology. They may also lack the confidence and initiative to learn new technological skills on their own. Employers that offer on-the-job training such as self-directed learning modules and in-person training sessions may be able to boost the confidence and skills of these workers. The baby boomer generation generally has less confidence and use for technology in the workplace, typically preferring in-person interactions. Employers that would like to boost technology and innovation may need to encourage baby boomers to consider ways that technology can help them communicate with their younger coworkers such as by pairing an older worker with less technological training with a younger worker who has plenty of experience using different technologies.

Comfort

Baby boomers are less likely to make use of the newest innovations in workplace technology. This even includes older technology such as email, with baby boomers 27 percent less likely to use email than members of Generation X, reports the LexisNexis Technology Gap Survey [1]. The baby boomer generation is also less comfortable than younger workers in using laptop computers, smartphones, text messaging, tablets and apps. The lack of comfort of baby boomers means that these workers may be more difficult to reach after hours, are less likely to network with coworkers and may engage in less frequent communication with supervisors and other staff.

Philosophy

The baby boomer generation generally has a lower regard for the use and importance of technology in the workplace. They tend to be more interested in in-person meetings, face-to-face conversations and telephone calls. Human resources staff and supervisors may need to emphasize the benefits of technology in the workplace such as increased productivity, enhanced creativity and easier problem-solving.

 

[1] http://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/about-us/media/press-release.page?id=1256847004307201