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    Entries in Human Resources (57)


    CHART OF THE DAY: Which job candidate gets the most attention from hiring managers?

    Quick answer - It is Candidate #4.

    Some back story on that conclusion...

    Recently researchers at Old Dominion University published a study called 'How quickly do interviewers reach decisions? An examination of interviewers' decision-making time across applicants' in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. They found that hiring manager decision-making takes closer to five minutes for the first interviewee, and reaches closer to eight minutes by the fourth applicant. After this, however, the time hiring managers take to reach a decision begins to decrease with each additional interview.

    Here's a chart from the study:

    From the researcher's conclusions on this data:

    Interviewers tend to take longer to evaluate applicants near the beginning of their interview schedule and take less time to evaluate applicants near the end of their schedule. This may prevent applicants who appear later in the schedule from having a full opportunity to perform. Organizations may benefit from limiting the number of interviews an interviewer conducts in immediate succession to around four, which may decrease reliance on more automatic information processing strategies.

    What conclusions can we draw from this data, and what changes might we need to consider to make sure we are not falling into the 'Candidate #4' trap?

    Well, the first step is just being aware of this potential tendency. If you have to set up an interviewer or a hiring manager for a day-long set of candidate interviews, make sure you schedule some breaks such that they are not seeing a dozen people in a three-hour block. Chances are everyone after Candidate #4 are not getting a fair look, and we are wasting hiring manager time as well. 

    Next, if you are brining in a smaller set of short listed candidates for a second round of interviews, don't slate them in the same order with every interviewer they have to meet. Mix up the order across the interviewing team to try and reduce the effects of 'interview fatigue' adversely impacting any single candidate.

    And last, keeping this data in mind should make us be more careful about tracking more data around interviewing and interviewers - how much time they spend per candidate, how much does the 'Candidate #4' efffect exist in the organization, and how can we use data on these processes to get better.

    Data is our friend. Use wisely.


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 213 - Try Again

    HR Happy Hour 213 - Try Again

    Recorded Wednesday May 27, 2015

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Featuring: Ben Eubanks


    This week on the show Steve and Trish (calling in from an undisclosed location in Arkansas), talked about the the most valuable brands in the world, how work and workplaces are pretty much forever changed, and the how it isn't really cool to let someone know they are a loser when they didn't even know they were competing in the first place.

    Additionally, Trish made a big and very exciting announcement, Ben Eubanks dropped by with the next installment of Ben's HR Book Review, and Steve showed incredible ignorance of the quality of the fish that one can catch in Arkansas.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or using the widget player below: 

    Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Steve Boese Trish McFarlane on BlogTalkRadio


    And of course you can listen to and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, or via your favorite podcast app. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to download and subscribe to the show and you will never miss a new episode.

    This was a really fun show. Thanks to everyone for listening and subscribing!


    Manager Tracking

    In case you missed it, we had a really fun, interesting, and dare I say engaging conversation last night on the very special 200th Episode of the HR Happy Hour Show and Podcast. You can catch the replay of the show here, or download to iTunes or your favorite podcast app - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    The show, titled 'The Final Conversation on Employee Engagement?', had many highlights, (and was lots of fun too), but for me probably the one nugget that resonated the most was when Mike VanDervort shared how at a former employer, a large retail organization, HR and leadership realized that understanding how managers physically walked around the stores, in what speed and direction, and with whom they talked with and for how long, was a key to better understanding employee engagement. I don't want to put words into Mike's mouth, check out the replay of the show to hear his full comments, but to me this kind of insight while obvious on one level (management by walking around has been a thing for ages), is probably more valuable now than before due to the tremendous advance in wearable technologies, GPS-like tracking (even indoors), and our better ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data.

    Check out the pic below, (email and RSS subscribers may need to click through if the image does not render), it is an example of advanced visualization data on player movement from an NBA game. 

    The visualization above, of the movements of the 10 players on the court, the ball, and relative to the 24-second shot clock, provides both coaches and the players themselves insights into their performance on this play, and can help them make adjustments for future games, understand how player movements are coordinated with each other, understand where and how the movement of the ball impacts player positioning, and finally, use a data-driven approach to evaluating individual performance. This kind of deep dive into player movement is made possible by advanced video capture technology installed in NBA arenas, and powerful new software tools that can make sense of and display the massive data sets, in almost real-time.

    Let's jump back to the retail store manager example then. Just as the NBA is embracing advanced tech that captures player movements in order to make better decisions and improve team and player performance, Mike's example of the store manager incorporates those same concepts. If store leadership had a better understanding of how the best store managers actually, physically moved around the store, and where and how they chose their interactions, who they collaborated with, (the retail store version of sharing the ball in the NBA), they might be able to copy, or at least take the repeatable and transferable elements of successful manager interaction and movements to other, less successful stores and managers. With modern wearable technologies to track movements, record interactions, and supplemented by internal GPS or iBeacon tech, there is almost no reason why a large retail operation could not develop 'manager movement' maps similar to the one you see above from the NBA game. 

    Sure, the 'manager' map would move a little slower, and may not be as compelling a view, but the insights it could give to improve manager performance, (and then increase employee engagement, which is the context we were discussing on the Happy Hour Show), is I think quite attainable. 

    Already retail operations are experimenting with tracking technologies that locate, identify, and then target shoppers with custom ads and offers based on where they are in the store, their past shopping history, and what the retailer thinks will help convert a sale. I can definitely see a time when similar technology is brought to the HR technology stack, and instead of pinging a customer to a sale in Aisle 7, that due to some signals about low stock on the shelves in a certain department, it will then alert a front-line manager to spend some additional time with the employees on the receiving dock.

    It's cool, it is powerful, and I think it is coming...

    Have a great weekend!


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 180 - Putting People First

    HR Happy Hour 180 - 'Putting People First' (Live from Ultimate Connections 2014)

    Recorded Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Hosts: Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane

    Guest: Cecile Alper-Leroux, Vice President of Product Strategy, Ultimate Software

    Last week Steve and Trish were able to attend Ultimate Software's Annual Connections User Conference in Las Vegas and sit down with Cecile Alper-Leroux to get an update on some of the exciting developments and happenings at Ultimate Software as well as talk about some of the ways that putting People First - in software design, in the approach to talent management, and how that leads to the best outcomes for both individuals and organizations is the key to sustained success.

    Ultimate Software, across their thousands of customers, supports over 15 million people records in the cloud. Cecile shared with us one of the primary considerations that Ultimate takes into account when building software for so many people - the almost radically different expectations people have in their relationship with any technology. People's personal lives are filled with technologies that are adaptive, responsive, fun, engaging, and are also simple to use. Those expectations and demands are now being placed on the technologies that we use in workplace as well. Cecile shared the key things to consider: provide user value, hook users in early with a great experience, and be useful and help them get their jobs done.

    We also talked about the ridiculous labor laws in France and how we all want to live there.

    Ultimate Software through their innovative technology solutions, focus on designing software experiences that place the individual's needs at the forefront, and from the deep experience that comes from over two decades of supporting their thousands of customers, have evolved to become one of the most important and influential HR technology solution providers in the industry today. 

    This was a really fun and interesting show and I encourage you to give it a listen.

    You can listen to the show on the show page here or using the widget player below:

    Listen To Business Internet Radio Stations with Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane on BlogTalkRadio


    Additionally, you can subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, or for Android device users, from a free app called Stitcher Radio. In both cases just search for 'HR Happy Hour' and add the show to your podcast subscription list. 

    This was a fun and informative show and I would like to thank Cecile and everyone at Ultimate Software for allowing the HR Happy Hour Show to be a part of Connections 2014. 


    SPORTS WEEK #3 - No one cares what you don't have

    Note to readers: As I have had a really busy Summer and early Fall preparing for the now recently concluded HR Technology Conference, the posting frequency here has been pretty diminished lately. Additionally, I find myself well behind my regular number of 'sports' posts that form the basis of my contribution to the annual 8 Man Rotation E-book on sports and HR. So I have declared this week of October 21 to be 'Sports Week' on the blog. I'm shooting for 5 days of sports-themed posts to make sure I don't get dropped from the 8 Man crew. So if sports takes are not your thing, check back in a week of so, when I will probably have another equally inane theme working.


    No matter who you are, where you work, and the time/budget/resources/talent that you have at your disposal to carry on your campaigns for conquest of the world the unassailable fact is that someone out there has access to more/better/faster/smarter than you. 

    Unless you are a recruiter or Talent pro at Google. Then you have already won, and there is no need to read any further.

    But if you are not in that prime position of recruiting for or managing talent at the clear market or geographic top dog then from time to time you run into what are 'competitive disadvantages' in your efforts to find, attract, coach, develop, retain, and squeeze the best performance from your workforce.

    Someone else can offer a better starting salary to college recruits.

    Someone else has a better, more comprehensive benefits program.

    Someone else has won a few of those 'Best Places to Work' awards, (the ones you can't be bothered to fill out the application for).

    Someone else has a reputation for sticking with their strategy, even when times are tough, and not announcing layoffs three days after posting record earnings.

    You get the idea. No matter how great you are, someone out there is probably doing it better.

    You can let your relative disadvantage be that crutch you rely on, and the excuse you fall back on when explaining why you can compete with the better funded, faster, sexier, and generally 'not that different that you, just not as obviously dysfunctional' others in your space.

    Or you can take a page from the Triqui Indian (or Mexico) boys basketball team, and not only compete, but win and dominate an international competition while PLAYING BAREFOOT.

    From a CNN piece describing the team and the tournament:

    Despite most of the team being of short stature and playing barefoot, the Triqui Indian boys from Mexico won the championship -- and the hearts of many -- at the International Festival of Mini-Basketball held in Argentina.

    Their coach, Sergio Zuniga explains that playing barefoot is a reflection of the poverty in their community in the state of Oaxaca.

    "The boys train barefoot, they always walk barefoot. There are no resources to buy shoes," Zuniga commented in an interview with the Basketball Federation of the Province of Cordoba, where the tournament was held.

    The seven games against six local teams ended with incredible scores: 86-3 over Celestes; 22-6 against Cordoba University; 72-16 against Central; 82-18 over Hindu; 44-12 against Monteeis and 40-16 over Regatas de Mendoza.

    The National Sports and Physical Culture Commission of Mexico named the team as the "Barefoot Giants of the Mountains."


    A team of poor, short, and certainly disadvantages and barefoot kids from the mountains of Mexico remind us that whatever barriers or obstacles or 'It's not fair' complaints that we might offer up are just about always pretty hollow, and kind of meaningless.

    The message?

    Find a way. Don't settle. Don't let the competition beat you before the game has even started.

    And don't underestimate the determination of a foe that by virtue of playing through some remarkable challenges have become much, much tougher than you realize.