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Growing as a Servant Leader
As a typical high school student, I went through the college selection process weighing all options that would contribute to professional success and personal fulfillment. I thought long and hard about the factors that would optimize my potential: price, academia, athletics, brand recognition, demographics, community fellowship, leadership opportunities, and any affiliated costs … Now, looking back six years later, the deciding factor was that Seton Hall genuinely fostered a community centered on servant leadership. My service-oriented character was able to transition well from high school to college because of this, and I naturally found my groove as an up-and-coming leader. Although I can go on and on about how this was the crucial contributing factor to reaching certain collegiate milestones, my end goal in publishing this post is to share how employees, managers, and recruiters who practice servant leadership can directly impact long-term business success and employee retention.
Servant Leadership in Management & Marketing
Servant leadership, often hidden in various sectors of society, is centered on developing a “living for the sake of others” mindset along with making and keeping accountable goals. As an emerging marketing professional, my first reference point for consistent leadership is my direct manager at iCIMS. She has shown me firsthand that employee empowerment, paired with accountability, can directly result in greater productivity, higher performance levels, and better professional relationships. Not only does this help form a positive corporate culture for recruitment advertising, but naturally results in a higher degree of organizational loyalty and lower employee turnover.
In the realm of marketing, this tenant of servant leadership can be employed when applying advertising tactics, increasing prospect engagement, and creating a content strategy. Regardless of an organization’s industry, sales and marketing efforts that reflect “why” a company does what it does will naturally attract prospects that believe in its core values- and will feel called to purchase a product (or suite) not only as a want but as a need. These potential customers become more engaged in what the company stands for and are thus more likely to perceive this organization as an industry disruptor and educational leader.
Long-term Impacts of Servant Leadership in Organizational Development
Whether your organization is an innovative industry trailblazer or in a constant battle with competitors, according to Simon Sinek, great organizations think, act, and communicate in the same way: the complete opposite way of everybody else. In his TED talk viewed over 14 million times, Sinek shares how organizations disrupt industry norms by hammering the following point home: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. iCIMS does business based on a “why” with core values of drive, passion, innovation, customer orientation, communication and adaptability at the center of how and what we do (reference the golden circle for better context). Whether we are selling talent acquisition products or plush Ikes (fictional example), iCIMS stands on foundation of integrity and service- and the industry can feel that. This orientation results in positive and long-term impacts on all aspects of the organization- customer training, product development, C-level decision-making, sales strategy, top talent attraction, employee retention, etc … Even if it can’t be seen or felt initially, servant leadership changes the direction of an organization. It’s long-term and short-term results can be seen and even motivate an entry-level Marketer to write about an intrinsic value that can only be known firsthand by working in a culture of true success based on the “why”.
Reid Klion is Chief Science Officer of pan. Involved with pan since its founding in 2000, he provides psychometric and science-based oversight in the development of technology-based personnel assessment systems and is involved in internal and external consultation on assessment system design, psychometric issues, test content, and test implementation. He is active in industry, scientific, and regulatory affairs and plays a leadership role in a number of professional organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of both the Association of Test Publishers and the International Personnel Assessment Council. A member of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Reid is a graduate of Hobart College and received his doctorate from Miami University.
In the aftermath of the most severe economic downturn since the 1930s, there are signs of improvement including companies holding higher levels of cash, unemployment rates trending downward, and consumer spending increases. This means organizations will eventually be faced with the need to increase staffing levels to meet rising demand.
Many employers have avoided hiring thus far, both to manage costs and avoid prematurely adding to the workforce. However, when hiring resumes, the need for increased staffing could be substantial. It is critical for human capital leaders to invest in the resources required to wisely expand their workforces in an increasingly competitive job market.
Strategic Workforce Planning
The process of strategic workforce planning in its simplest form involves two important steps: clarifying vision and self-study.
As organizations grow, it is beneficial for human capital leaders to help the company clarify its vision and direction. They must facilitate discussions to help reach important decisions about future employee roles and competencies that will be required to realize longer-term initiatives. Unless recruitment, selection, and development processes are aligned with the overall vision, the organization will have little chance of success in achieving its goals.
Leaders must also engage in self-study by examining the strengths and weaknesses of current human capital using metrics such as turnover rates, sales, employee engagement and customer satisfaction data. If the answer to questions about these metrics is “we don’t know” or “we can’t get the data,” this is a warning sign. Not knowing where you are means there is little chance you’ll be able to reach your destination or even know if you’ve arrived. Organizations must be educated on the importance of collecting and using accurate workforce performance metrics.
Even if wide-scale change in the workforce is not envisioned, it may be time to look at current hiring processes. This could include completing job analyses, using validated pre-hire assessments and providing great candidate experiences.
It is important from both a hiring and compensation perspective to review information about various job roles to ensure it is consistent with work tasks. Job analyses define the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities that are required for successful performance in a position. This information must be up-to-date and comprehensive so human capital leaders will have a road map in determining if a particular applicant is well-suited for a specific position.
With a good grasp of the key competencies required for success in a job role, the next step is identifying best-fit individuals and one of the most effective ways is the use of psychometric assessments.
There are two basic types of assessments: those that measure what an individual can-do and those that measure what an individual will- do. Assessments that measure can-do, or someone’s best possible performance, are tests of cognitive abilities and job skills while will-do assessments typically measure attitudes and work preferences. Unlike clinical tests used by psychologists and social workers, the assessments used by human capital leaders look at factors that are directly related to the skills and competencies required for a specific job position. Used in this way, organizations can be sure the people they bring on are well-suited for their roles.
A common concern when using assessments is exposure to increased legal liability. However, any method used to make hiring decisions—résumé reviews, interviews, background checks, etc.—is considered to be a test and held to the same legal standard as the use of assessments. Avoiding assessments to protect the organization from legal issues not only creates a false sense of security but also rules out one of the better methods for identifying qualified candidates.
Finally, selling the organization as a place candidates will want to work is extremely important in the recruitment and selection process. The most attractive candidates will likely have multiple employment offers, and human capital leaders need to ensure that their organization stands out with a seamless hiring process. Candidates also have the potential to become future customers or influence buying decisions, so a good experience during the recruitment and selection process is vital.
Human capital leaders need to face the reality of increasing staffing levels head on. Therefore, it is time to help organizations determine how they want to function in the future. Will the organization simply do more of the same or implement a systematic, research-driven approach to identifying individuals who have the greatest potential for success?
Human capital leaders have an opportunity to prove that implementing best-practice talent acquisition processes can help improve their organization’s bottom line.
Starting an internship at any organization is often intimidating. Interns step into a foreign company culture, with policies and norms that are not taught in the college classroom. Preparation for full time employment happens in the workplace through well-rounded and mutually beneficial internship programs. It is the responsibility of the organization to create an enriching onboarding experience that provides interns with expectations and goals that prepare them for the months ahead.
Throughout the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to hold a variety of internship positions. I’ve interned at a nonprofit organization, an innovative start-up, a marketing agency, and now at iCIMS. For me, these experiences were largely categorized by the way I was onboarded into the organization. Each onboarding process, or lack of, was a reflection on the quality of the internship. I found that if the organization was willing to actively invest their time and resources into getting me up to speed on company policies, I left the internship feeling fulfilled. Formal training made me feel like an actual employee of the company, instead of a disposable college student.
You may think an informal process is the best way to get an intern immersed in your organization because it forces them to jump right it on their first day. Some may call this the sink or swim approach. Personally, I call this lazy. Interns look to an organization to learn things. They don’t necessarily have the skills to swim right away. I have found that a formal onboarding process was the easiest and most rewarding way to begin an internship.
I was interested in iCIMS long before I was even hired as a Customer Marketing Intern. Once I was connected with the organization, I received numerous personalized emails from the human resources department informing me about open positions at the company and upcoming events. These interactions kept me engaged and eager to learn more about the organization. Even the interview process was unique. I had the opportunity to meet with a variety of employees in the marketing department. It seemed like they were willing to work hard to find the best candidate for the position. These initial interactions laid the groundwork for the month to follow.
As I prepared for my first day at ICIMS I did not feel as if I was going in blindly. I had no idea what to expect at my previous internships. But here I was directed to a New Hire Onboarding Portal upon accepting my new position. Through the Portal I was able to complete my W4 and I-9 forms from the comfort of home. I had a chance to read through the company handbook, which answered questions that I had about the dress code and parking. The fully branded content got me acclimated to Ike and to the iCIMS culture that I was soon going to be a part of.
It was so refreshing to walk in to iCIMS the morning of my first day and have a computer and desk set up, just for me. I’ve had experiences where the IT department was scrambling to set up my laptop or create my email address as I waited patiently. This is a sign of poor communication and also a breakdown in task management which could have been avoided by an automated onboarding process.
My first few weeks at iCIMS were jam packed with meetings, power points, and trainings. It was exciting to learn about the different areas of the organization. These weeks were facilitated by a detailed schedule that described what I’d be doing and when and where I would be doing it. Each session was necessary to catching me up to speed on all things iCIMS. Quickly I began taking on my own responsibilities and became a contributing member of the Customer Marketing team. In my pervious internships I rarely got to a point where I felt like I was an asset. I believe this is because other organizations neglect to take the time to prepare an onboarding process for their interns. By cutting corners in the initial stages of an internship they ultimately miss out on a chance to reap the benefits of a productive and happy intern.
By no means am I an expert on internships. I simply wanted to share my various onboarding experiences with you. If you’re considering creating an internship program at your organization remember to spend time establishing your onboarding process. Interns may not be full time employees, but the impressions you make on them will last long after the internship is over.
iCIMS has rolled out Video Cover Letter as part of our own hiring process, and as an organization we couldn’t be more excited about the results we’re seeing. Our very own technical recruiter, Nicole Tucker, gave a quick snapshot of her experience with Video Cover Letter in a recent interview available on VentureBeat:
Technology will continue to play an even bigger job in the recruitment process. At iCIMS, we are currently using video cover letters, and the results have been very impressive so far in terms of quantity and quality of candidates. Job seekers now have the opportunity to represent themselves beyond a piece of paper in order to make a stronger impression on recruiters and show they are dedicated to investing time and effort.
Video is also proving to be an exciting topic in the recruiting world at large. According to a recent Aberdeen report, there is a notable correlation between the use of video recruitment tools and an organization’s ability to achieve recruiting KPI:
With a strategic, business-driven approach to video, 81% of organizations were able to achieve organizational key performance indicators (KPIs). Additionally, organizations were two or three times more likely to improve recruiting (time to fill, cost per hire, hiring manager satisfaction) and business metrics (customer retention and customer satisfaction) after implementing video.
Video can support organizations throughout different stages in the hiring process, including cultivating engagement, screening, interviewing, and onboarding processes. An organization contemplating the introduction of video into its recruiting strategy should consider the following possibilities:
• Create Videos that Promote Your Company Vision
Video advertising is hardly a new concept, and many employers include videos within their career websites or job posts to describe company values and illustrate other reasons a job seeker may be interested in working with their team.
These videos may inspire a job seeker to connect with your company or to apply for a position, and on a larger scale will help you make a positive impression on today’s job seekers—who could become future employees, customers, or partners.
• Ask Candidates to Submit a Video
Candidates now have the chance to shine as well when they submit video materials to supplement their employment application.
Candidates benefit from the chance to stand out by presenting their unique qualifications, and employers benefit from saved time and money as part of their hiring process. Additionally, both candidates and employers may use previously-submitted videos as a starting place to drive future conversations.
• Chat Face-to-Face with Real-Time Video Interviews
Employers are also turning to video technology as for long-distance and high-convenience interviewing when in-person interviews may be costly or logistically impractical.
Live video interviews provide the conversational benefits of an in-person interview, allowing a candidate and one (or more) key stakeholders to speak fluidly among each other. Additionally, an interviewer may easily reference notes or supporting materials during the interview to keep the interview on-topic and effectively dive into the candidate’s qualifications.
To find out more about the role video can play in increasing candidate engagement as well as in streamlining screening, interviewing, and onboarding processes, download our Free Whitepaper titled Video Technology and the Modern Recruiting Process.
Video and Compliance
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has stated that, provided an employer utilizes video as part of an EEO-compliant hiring program, “EEO laws do not expressly prohibit the use of specific technologies or methods for selecting employees” and thus are compatible with technologies such as video.
George Ehinger is Chief Marketing Officer at Chequed.com a leading provider of cloud based pre-hire assessments, reference checking and interview guides. Chequed.com is an iCIMS partner with full integration to the iCIMS Talent Platform. You can follow George on twitter @chequedmktg or Linkedin: /georgeehinger/
Stop the interviewing! Right now. Cancel any that you have your calendar, tell the candidate to leave, whatever it takes.
I mean it. Before you spend another minute interviewing you need to be sure that this critical step in your hiring process isn’t falling prey to the bias and subjectivity that haunts nearly all interviews.
It’s not that the interview in and of itself is a bad process – you’re just doing it wrong. In fact, most everyone is. Even Google.
In a recent interview, Google’s senior VP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, admits that Google used to be just as ineffective at hiring as the rest of the world.
“Years ago, we did a study to determine whether anyone at Google is particularly good at hiring. We looked at tens of thousands of interviews, and everyone who had done the interviews and what they scored the candidate, and how that person ultimately performed in their job. We found zero relationship. It’s a complete random mess, except for one guy who was highly predictive because he only interviewed people for a very specialized area, where he happened to be the world’s leading expert”.
Laszlo continues on to say that the brainteasers and pseudo-psychological questions that they - and many others - often utilized actually offer nothing in the way of objective data. In other words, the interviews that Google was using, and that most are still conducting, don’t tell us how the candidate will really perform in the position or work environment.
So, what changed? Simple: Google started using job-relevant data to create structured, consistent interviews. They started asking the right questions and getting answers that actually matter. With behavioral data in hand, they’ve been able to align their interviews to a refined set of requirements based on the job.
What’s more, with improved consistency, stakeholders are able to more effectively collaborate on hiring decisions. When recruiters, hiring managers and executive management are able to make conclusions based on the same data, it eliminates the common “apples to oranges” false comparison that many firms unknowingly face.
All of this results in a more streamlined hiring process that generates better hires. While Laszlo is correct that big data can never replace human judgment or inspiration, it can (and should) augment it. Consider leveraging behavioral science based assessments to advance your interview process, if not all of your hiring activities, and improve your firm’s crystal ball for top talent.
At Chequed.com we offer a suite a Predictive Talent Selection™ tools that enable companies add data to the hiring process, reduce bias, and ultimately make better hiring decisions—and yes, interview better too!
As a thought leader in talent acquisition and a leading provider of social recruitment tools, iCIMS fields a lot of questions from recruiters pertaining to the use of social media in recruitment. Surprisingly, one of the most common concerns employers express involves advertising jobs on Facebook: Specifically, could Facebook job advertising damage the company’s employment brand reputation if the jobs end up posted near objectionable content?
Here, I think recruiters can take a lesson from marketing. The fact of the matter is, with such massive competition to attract the best talent, recruiters have, by necessity, become marketers for the company’s employment brand. Recruiters’ customers are job seekers and your products are the jobs you are trying to fill.
In the world of marketing, concern about the dangers of social media and brand reputation is certainly not new; it has existed since the first emergence of Web 2.0 in the mid-1990s. Back then, advertisers were desperately trying to figure out how to capitalize on a growing trend of un-moderated consumer interaction with peer-to-peer sharing, content syndication, self-publishing, and social media interaction. Since then, we have seen additional risks emerge within the world of Web 2.0: Rating- and review-oriented sites allow individuals to post potentially negative reviews, functions like the ability “Like” brands on social media allows companies brand content to display on personal feeds, which risks appearing near inappropriate content. Early on, there was no way for advertisers to know what uncontrolled interaction and uncontrolled content was going to do to their reputations.
The overwhelming prominence of social media in the modern world meant that, ultimately, marketing departments who wished to remain competitive in an increasingly social world had no choice but to take the leap into social media. In the end, businesses learned a new way to grow their customer base!
So, what about Objectionable Content? Questionable content was indeed a big fear for some. Still, many marketers pushed forward as common sense reminded them that Internet users see ads and content all the time, they are smart enough to look at each piece of content as its own entity. Think about it this way, if a person posts a You Tube music video to their Facebook profile and shortly thereafter posts a photo of the family dog, do you assume the family dog is a rock star? Of course not! Also, the wisest marketers realized that the benefit of free word-of-mouth advertising far outweighed many of the risks.
Even though most users are aware of distinction between separate pieces of content and engage with each piece as a distinct item, many social media providers understand that business still needs to be cautious when it comes to their brand reputation. Accordingly, social media providers such as Facebook have taken steps to keep social content as clean as possible with policies and content standards.
Still, some may question – Why bother with Facebook when I feel much more secure with content on Linkedin?
Simply, Statistics show that Facebook is, by far, the most popular and most engaging social network available today. That means, people pay attention to other people’s status updates and they are more likely to click on Facebook posts, see your job, and apply.
Furthermore, it’s often said that birds of a feather flock together. In the world of social media, that means that your smart employees are likely to have smart friends. You want those friends to take an interest in your job postings because you want smart people to fill your open positions. If you want to reach them, you need to grab their attention where they live - and that is on Facebook.
Still not convinced, download out Whitepaper on the Value of Recruiting on Facebook to learn more.