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Sharlyn Lauby, SPHR, CPLP is the HR Bartender, whose blog is a friendly place to discuss workplace issues. When she’s not tending bar, Sharlyn is president of ITM Group, Inc., which specializes in training solutions to help clients retain and engage talent. Her off-hours are spent searching for the best hamburger on the planet, fabulous wine that cost less than $10 bottle and unusual iPad apps.

The purpose of technology is to make our lives easier. Technology allows us to do things faster and cheaper. I believe we’re all on the same page when it comes to the role of technology at work. Businesses are willing to implement technology solutions that help them deliver their product or service in the best way possible.

Sometimes, what can be a challenge with technology is quantifying that effort. Even though we “know” that technology is making our work more efficient, it’s good to understand exactly how much. Being able to have data and metrics can not only pave the way for future technology investments but focus us on the value of our face-to-face interactions.

Improve Productivity by Source Analysis

Organizations want to spend their recruiting dollars wisely. So, it’s important to understand where their applicant flow comes from. Not just any applicant flow, but where the most qualified candidates are coming from. Today’s recruiting technology solutions allow companies to track applicant flow and report on the most effective recruiting sources.

A word of caution: It might be tempting to write a source off after one posting. Be aware that it can sometimes take promoting a job opening more than one time to get accurate data about a source. Once a job is promoted, reporting technology can be used to see trends associated with the posting.

Reduce Time and Improve Productivity

Another way to improve productivity is by spending time on the right things. Being able to hire the best people faster is valuable to the company. It might also help the company maintain a competitive advantage. The “time-to-fill” metric allows companies to measure the average time it takes to open a position and hire a candidate to fill it. The reports from your applicant tracking system can provide you with this data.

Something that I really like about using this particular metric is its flexibility. Companies have the flexibility to decide specifically what the terms “job opening” and “hire” mean to your organization. For instance, does job opening mean the date the opening occurred or the date a requisition was authorized? Does hire mean the date an offer was accepted or an employee’s date of hire? You have the ability to define this metric in a way that makes sense for your organization. Any metric should be clearly defined and calculated consistently.

Improve Productivity and Increase Quality

Yield ratios offer us greater understanding into the success of the recruitment process. Here’s an example: a company is hiring sales representatives. Their recruiting history shows that, if they post an opening, they will get 100 applications. Typically, 25% (or 25) of the responses are qualified for an initial interview. After the initial screening, 50% (i.e. 12) are qualified for a second interview. Only 25% (or 3) will be considered after the second interview. Of the 3 remaining, at least one typically doesn’t pass the background screening process. So 100 applications yields 2 candidates.

The best part? HR doesn’t have to calculate these numbers. They’re readily available in your recruitment technology.

Being able to share this data with hiring managers is incredibly important. They need to understand the best sources of hire so they can support them. The time-to-fill metric not only speaks to the length of the HR process but the hiring manager’s performance as well. Lastly, yielded ratios can help focus recruiting efforts to obtain better results.

Human resources departments are equipped with the technology to make their processes more efficient. Leveraging the reporting feature in recruiting technology allows HR to share data that will make recruiting more productive.

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As one of the Client Relationship Directors here at iCIMS, I interact on a daily basis with several different clients. Due to the configurability of the iCIMS Talent Platform and the diversity of our clients, I see our solutions being used in a variety of different manners. The system is dynamic and scalable, so companies can tailor it to meet their unique needs, size, industry, and user experience. 

In recent conversations with clients over the past few months, I find myself asking, “Where are you getting your traffic from?”. Invariable, my clients always mention that they have a process for attracting talent. Often times the process involves the use of the same job fairs and the same marketing strategy to attract their candidates.  

With hearing the same answer over and over again, I consistently urge my clients to shake it up a little bit.  It is critical that they try new ways to attract candidates. Sourcing from the same avenues year after year is good, but we want you to be great.  So we have a few exceptional tools that are worth exploration to help you in your searching.

Social Distribution: With an overwhelming amount of candidates taking to social media for their job search, recruiters should consider using technology that leverages this potential sourcing channel. With a click of a button, users of Social Distribution can push out any job opening they want to over 300+ social media sites at peak times and dates based on the product’s alga rhythms.  Another great part about Social Distribution is the ability to have employees get involved and share job openings with their own social network. We believe that top talent knows top talent.

Job Board Posting: To maximize exposure with minimal effort, many clients are taking advantage of iCIMS’ pre-established integration with Job Target’s OneClick. With the seamless integration, customers can automate the process of posting available positions to their choice of more than 14,000+ online job boards. Users also have access to Job Target’s Media Discovery tool, which identifies niche- and industry- specific job boards that target active and passive candidates.

Once candidates come through multiple sourcing channels, it’s time to screen each applicant. We have technology to shake that up as well! Video Cover Letter, unveiled in the later part of 2013, has proven to be a true game-changer for many companies.  In a short video clip, candidates can explain why they feel they are the best fit for the job and in turn recruiters can easily determine the caliber of each candidate’s soft skills – personality, presentation, communication skills, and creativity – without ever conducting a face-to-face or phone interview. No longer is there a need for organizations to lose time and money interviewing potential candidates.

So as a takeaway, we encourage you to regularly explore new avenues for attracting and screening talent.  iCIMS is here to consult and advise you so you can in fact … win the war for talent!  We have great tools to arm you so that the talent that you need to keep your organization strong, will be there. 

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Recruiting without an applicant tracking system is challenging enough all on its own. When I was a recruiter on a team of 5 focused on one region, we ran into several sourcing issues due to an overwhelming amount of unorganized paperwork. Our team was sourcing the same resumes, calling the same candidates multiple times, and contacting candidates that were already interviewed with the company. The amount of time we were spending on the same candidates was mind blowing.

Campus recruiting added even more challenges when using a paper based process. I collected, organized, and rated hundreds of resumes. I lugged my briefcase packed with resumes from hotel to hotel as I visited different schools in the Northeast. After our roadshow, I would then begin contacting the students I had just met. That task alone would take a full day. Whether it was sending out emails, or following up by phone, I wanted to reach out as quickly as I could to avoid drop-offs in such a competitive landscape. 

Then everything changed. I was introduced to my first applicant tracking system, iCIMS Talent Platform. The system was fast, easy to use, and had amazing functionality. Candidates were organized in folders, allowing our team to see exactly where a candidate was in our workflow. We no longer embarrassed ourselves by calling candidates who already come into interviews are had an offer extended to them. Our team became much more efficient. We were wasting less time on the same resumes, reaching out to even more candidates, and making better hires. 

On the campus front, I saw the biggest change. Our candidate experience greatly improved. We set up a laptop where candidates could quickly enter their information and receive a branded email thanking them for their interest. I could even take a picture of their resume and upload it into the system later. Once a candidate’s information was in the system, I could rate the resume, leave notes, and forward profiles to the appropriate hiring managers. As students used our quick and easy new technology, they began to tell me how easy it was and how they wished more application processes were like it. The best part they liked was the personalized emails they would get throughout the process letting them know about the status of their resume and company happenings, which I could send with a click of a button.

Simply put, technology supercharged our recruiting efforts in all areas. Besides delivering a much better candidate experience, our recruiters regained passion and their focus on results. We were spending less time on duplicate resumes, getting to candidates quicker and decreased our time to fill by 43%. After using an applicant tracking system, I would never be able to go back to paper. 

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Cheryl Dallner is Vice President of Partnerships for Tax Credit Co., an iCIMS partner integrated with iCIMS Recruit.  Tax Credit Co. helps clients increase earnings by optimizing the process of obtaining state and federal tax incentives, including national hiring incentives such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), state enterprise zone tax credits, state and federal research and development tax credits, job training grants as well as other state and federal programs. Tax Credit Co.’s proprietary, next-generation software platform manages national tax credit screening and compliance for large, complex organizations. For more information, please visit the company’s website at .

The last thing you want to do as an HR or Talent Management manager is add more work to your plate. You’re already doing more with less and constantly overcoming new challenges to optimize your recruitment and hiring best practices.

When I meet with talent management professionals, from mid-sized employers to the Fortune 100, to learn if they are taking advantage of hiring-related tax credits, I’m quick to mention it doesn’t have to add more work to their hiring process. For those who are not taking advantage of these lucrative programs that increase profits, they anticipate it creates more paperwork or adds more time to the hiring process. That can be the case if you’re capturing these programs with manual processes. The good news is there’s an easier way.

Contribute to the bottom line.

Often times employers are already screening for and capturing the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a hiring tax credit encouraging employers to hire targeted job seekers like Veterans and those receiving various forms of public assistance. With the WOTC program, employers can typically earn an average of $50 per hire. The credits can add up, which is an excellent way for HR to contribute to the bottom line and become a superhero.

Less work. More credits.

Once I learn they already are capturing the credit, I dig a little deeper. How are they capturing it? Do candidates have to complete the WOTC form 8850 manually or complete a phone screen? Does it require HR to get involved? This is where employers have fallen off their chair (literally) when they learn how seamless it can be.

Historically, capturing WOTC and other hiring tax credits required every candidate or new hire to complete a paper form. This causes extra work for HR and makes it difficult to ensure that every candidates completes it. The paper form is no longer required when you embed the tax credit screening questionnaire within your electronic application process. It typically adds only 30 seconds to 2 minutes to your application including capturing the candidate’s electronic signature. As a result, employers eliminate nearly 100% of the paper typically associated with capturing these dollars while ensuring you screen every candidate.

Can be used as the tie breaker.

Results of whether or not the candidate is potentially eligible for a tax credit is shown immediately within your recruitment solution along with the rest of the application data. That’s exactly how the IRS and the Department of Labor designed the WOTC program, encouraging employers to hire targeted job seekers and requiring you to screen on or before the day of job offer.  If you have two candidates both qualified for the job and had great interviews, however, one is also tax credit eligible and the other one isn’t, why not hire the tax credit eligible candidate? You could receive several thousand dollars in tax credits -- pure profit to the bottom line.

How many credits are available for your company?

By gathering some basic data from a company like head count and a location list, we can determine how many Federal and state tax credit dollars are available. Typically 10% to 20% of a company’s employees are eligible for the WOTC program worth up to $9,600 per eligible hire, but there are also location-based hiring credits that can be twice as lucrative when hiring in states that offer these programs.

The best way to take advantage of the technology and all of the available tax credits for your company is to consult with a tax credit consultant. Look for one that not only has the screening technology that eliminates the effort but also has the expertise in nationwide tax incentives so no tax credit is left behind.

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Utilizing more than a decade of human capital management, sales and leadership experience, Greg Moran is President and CEO of Greg is also author of Building the Talent Edge: A Field Managers Guide to Recruiting the Best (Spring 2005) and Hire, Fire and The Walking Dead (June 2006, W Business Books).

Previously, Greg served as Founder and VP of Sales for PeopleAnswers America, a leading provider of behavioral assessment software to mid market and large companies in North America. Before PeopleAnswers America, Greg founded and served as President of Pinnacle Technology Solutions, an executive search, staffing, and human capital management services firm. Also, Moran served as Vice President of Best Resume/Career Management Services in Latham, N.Y. During his tenure, he co-authored Job Hunting: The Ten Best Steps to Success, a job search workshop and audio/video tape series.He is a rising thinker in the field of human capital management, having been quoted in numerous national publications including Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, and Inc. Magazine.

We are in the throes of a global economic transition and recovery. And, while this creates new business opportunities, it also creates new human resource challenges. According to a Bersin by Deloitte research report: Predictions for 2014:  Building A Strong Talent Pipeline for The Global Economic Recovery – Time for Innovative and Integrated Talent and HR Strategies, during times of growth, companies should focus on:

  • Sourcing, recruiting and competing for talent
  • Building global leadership
  • Reengaging the workforce we have

The report goes on to say that externally, organizations need to focus on building and communicating a strong and relevant employment brand, and to treat every employee as a brand ambassador.

And, don’t forget about potential candidates. They can also work as brand ambassadors. How? It’s simple. Build a passive candidate sourcing database from their references.

Enter…Automated Reference Checking

The Bersin report continues that more than two-thirds of the companies it talked with says that they are currently experiencing some type of “HR transformation.” The reason points to the fact that now, more than ever, the value of HR is measured by its ability to source, attract, retain and build talent – not simply its ability to deliver service to employees.

As a result, one of the biggest trends for 2014 is the continued growth and focus on talent analytics. This brings together analytics around recruiting, leadership, performance, engagement skills and more.

And, a vital component of hiring new talent is checking their references. However, more research shows that while nearly all organizations check references, fewer than 25 percent of those phone calls produce any valuable feedback. In fact, traditional reference-checking often causes delays in the hiring process which not only leaves open positions, but also costs companies time and money. It can even put your firm’s brand at risk if performed incorrectly.

The good news is that reference-checking has evolved. There is now a way to get actionable and valuable feedback from references, while uncovering new passive candidates – automated reference-checking. And, it not only captures valuable feedback for potential new hires, it also builds sourcing pipelines and improves your reference-checking efficiency, all while helping to build your recruitment brand.

The bottom line is that sourcing for passive candidates puts you in the driver’s seat as you look for candidates with specific experience and/or skill sets and it also gives you the opportunity to showcase your brand. And considering that most employers ask for three references, you should be able to build up a healthy passive candidate sourcing database in no time; your recruitment brand will thank you too.

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Being part of the recruiting team here at iCIMS is really exciting for a few reasons. First, iCIMS is one of New Jersey’s fastest growing companies. In just a few years, iCIMS has added hundreds of employees and they are expected to add another 120 within the year. Second, I get to use the latest talent acquisition solutions to help with my sourcing and recruiting efforts.

While most of our recruiting efforts come from job postings, social media, and employee referrals, one of the most important efforts comes from college recruiting. Career fairs provide a prime opportunity to interact with students, bring brand awareness, and make many new connections. From planning to the actual event, here are some tips that we live by!

1) Create a Plan

At iCIMS, we spend months planning for college recruitment season. We have frequent brainstorming sessions where we choose our target schools, develop “teams” of the best iCIMS employees to join us, and discuss which jobs we want to focus on while at the event. Additionally, we have the task of choosing the way we market ourselves while there, from picking out the tchotchkes to hand out, to what banners we want to use, to the brochures and information pieces laid out. Once everything is decided, it is time to prep the team, charge the iPad and laptops, pack up the supplies, and hit the road!

2) Go Team!

Having the right team in place is crucial for a success. We carefully select who will be on the career fair teams, which is often hard because we have so many great volunteers. Whether it’s a Monmouth alum from iCIMS’ Sales team helping us recruit at the business school’s events or bringing a Scarlett Knight from iCIMS’ R&D department to a Rutgers tech career fair, we try to bring alumni from the schools who are representative of the opportunities currently available at iCIMS. We hand out special branded t-shirts to the dream team members, give them a break down of the opportunities, the logistics of the career fair, “the elevator pitch,” etc. Once everybody is prepped and caffeinated, we get ready to shake some hands!

3) Keep it Simple

We are a green company, so we are always trying to think of ways to reduce our carbon footprint. We actually don’t collect a single resume at the career fairs. We either have applicants sign into our Talent CRM, iCIMS Connect, at the fair or we hand out an Ike sticker with the career page link on it to encourage them to apply directly online. After a long day of meeting and greeting at the career fair, our work continues. We will run a report to see if any attendees have applied to positions at iCIMS and start to qualify the applicants and take next steps, like sending them a request to submit a Video Cover Letter. It’s important to follow up with the candidates and to be in touch with them shortly after they apply. This gets them interested and excited, as they are usually overwhelmed at these events and may feel they would otherwise be lost in the pile! While on the career site, they will also get a better understanding of who we are and especially our company culture. While this approach is new for us, we have seen a lot of success with this tactic.

Career fairs can be very overwhelming and exhausting for both the recruiters and students. It’s important, even after giving the same spiel a hundred times, to let your passion and excitement for the company show. Be friendly, be welcoming, and be yourself. The students we meet can feel our enthusiasm and it’s contagious. Remember, you could be shaking hands with your future colleague!

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These days it seems “reality” is everywhere. Reality television shows exist about everything from bachelors to housewives to duck hunters, their stars staring down on us from the magazine racks at the grocery store checkout. Most of these shows are clearly staged and scripted for the highest level of drama and shock value. Even when we know they aren’t exactly “real,” we can’t get enough. But why? Are our actual lives not exciting enough?

The truth is many of us are out there in the “real world” doing things every day that are pretty interesting. Those familiar with the staffing industry know that it can be a pretty exciting and dynamic world to be in. While everyone of a certain age has probably looked for a job (or several) in their lives, and may have even worked with a staffing agency, few have had any insight into what it’s like on the other side. Until now. Enter the Real World Staffing documentary, a raw inside look into the world of staffing from RecruiterEco and Mez Media.

But do we really need another “reality” experience? And about a staffing firm?

The documentary isn’t about just any staffing firm. The film gives an inside view into the world of Terra Staffing Group, a wildly successful Seattle-based agency with Terra’s VP of Sales and Marketing and industry veteran, Jenifer Lambert, as its star. The documentary will be the first of its kind, and many in the industry, including the staff at iCIMS, are anxiously awaiting its premier.

iCIMS and RecruiterEco have been working together for the past 5 years. With iCIMS providing technology solutions to help HR professionals target, source and recruit top talent and RecruiterEco providing an online community where over 130,000 of those professionals gather for the latest recruiting buzz, working together has been a no-brainer. When Jonathan Weiner and Jim Shaki of Mez Media approached us about sponsoring this project, we were excited to support them but had no idea what to expect. A year later we’ve seen the project come full-circle and we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it.

Real World Staffing will premiere February 21, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina at Jenifer Lambert’s Power Retreat. Until then I guess you’ll have to entertain yourself with bachelors, housewives and ducks.

For more information on iCIMS visit

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Any employee who has gone through the dramatic economic downturn that began in 2008 knows, for the last few years, the mantra has been, “keep your head down, keep working, and be glad you have a job.” During this period, employers instituted round after round of layoffs and the remaining employees continued to absorb more work with no pay increase. This has led to workplaces across the globe being filled with staffers who are not engaged or actively disengaged, frustrated, overworked, underpaid, and prime to make a move. Now, combine that powder-keg work climate with recent statistics and projected trends for economic growth, and businesses may be in for an explosive disruption in talent acquisition and retention plans. 

According to all indicators, competition is heating up for skilled labor and salaries are on the rise. Couple that with recent findings from Glassdoor that one in three employees indicate they have plans to look for a new job, and the writing is on the wall; we could be headed for one of the fiercest, most competitive job markets ever.  Given the pent up demand for new hires, employers will be scrambling to find, filter, communicate with, and onboard the best talent to support their strategic business objectives. This is why we at iCIMS are taking steps to improve the candidate experience and have dubbed 2014 “The Year of the Candidate.”

To support our candidate-friendly vision, iCIMS is “putting its money where its mouth is.” From a technology perspective, iCIMS has developed candidate-friendly features such as social apply capabilities that allow candidates to apply using their social media profile, like LinkedIn, in order to minimize data entry. Understanding that job seekers are increasingly mobile, iCIMS developed amazing mobile career portals that allow job seekers to apply for a job from anywhere, anytime. To support this mobile experience, candidates can also quickly and easily upload their resume from their Google Drive or Drop Box accounts, then iCIMS automated parsing capabilities draw pertinent information from the candidates uploaded resume to auto-populate the candidate’s profile, again reducing candidate’s data entry.

But, we did not stop there! We have now re-launched iCIMS Hire Expectations Institute (HEI), a thought leadership website dedicated to education and innovation in talent acquisition. This completely revamped website offers the latest information about industry trends, new tools, and best practices to help employers get to know the candidates, hire the right candidates, and create a great candidate experience. Best of all, for the first time, iCIMS Hire Expectations Institute will also cater to job seekers. For job seekers, the Hire Expectation Institute will provide a single source for resources that help job seekers get to know the recruiters, develop professionally, and leverage modern technology to enhance their job search.

Talent acquisition has become the most dynamic aspects of Human Capital Management (HCM). When we talk about talent acquisition today, we use words that didn’t even exist just a few years ago: mobile, SEO, video, social media, gamification, and talent networks. As competition continues to heat up, savvy, innovative organizations need to keep up with evolving trends and job seekers need to be prepared with the best ways to leverage these modern technologies. The Hire Expectations Institute is the best tool to help employers and job seekers stay ahead of the technological curve.

For more information check out our press release about the new and improved Hire Expectations Institute.

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Sharlyn Lauby, SPHR, CPLP is the HR Bartender, whose blog is a friendly place to discuss workplace issues. When she’s not tending bar, Sharlyn is president of ITM Group, Inc., which specializes in training solutions to help clients retain and engage talent. Her off-hours are spent searching for the best hamburger on the planet, fabulous wine that cost less than $10 bottle and unusual iPad apps.

Every organization has a culture. Culture is defined as a collection of commonly-held traditions, beliefs, and behaviors by a group of people. Culture is a part of every company and, in many workplaces, it’s never documented. In order for a company to achieve its business goals, they must recognize and leverage the talent within the company. That means being able to create a culture that is empowering, supportive, and, in turn, allows people to do their best work.

It also means having a culture that is diverse and inclusionary. Lew Platt, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, summarized the business case for diversity and inclusion best. “I see three main points to make the business case for diversity: 1) A talent shortage that requires us to seek out and use the full capabilities of all our employees. 2) The need to be like our customers, including the need to understand and communicate with them in terms that reflects their concerns. And 3) Diverse teams produce better results.”

The question becomes, how do we create a culture that does all of these things? Well, the first step is hiring the right people. The people that align with your cultural identity. Here are four steps to consider:

STEP 1: Understand Your Cultural Identity

Organizations need to have an unfiltered understanding of their culture – not the culture they want to be, but the culture they really are. As a human resources professional, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen companies make is to have meeting rooms full of posters that they say represent who they are as an organization only to discover employees don’t embrace those same qualities.

A company’s cultural identity is tied to the personal leadership of its employees, the emotional intelligence of its leadership, the trust employees share with each other, and the business’ ability to be agile and change.

STEP 2: Incorporate Your Identity into Your Career Website

If companies want to hire employees that align with their culture, they have to share what their culture is all about. A company’s cultural identity should be clear when a candidate looks at the company’s career site.

Organizations can use images and video to give candidates a sense of the organization. For example, I know companies that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and hiring people with disabilities. It is part of their cultural identity and their career websites reflect that.

Images aren’t the only aspect. Your culture comes through in the wording of job descriptions, job openings, and the communications you send out to talent networks and communities.

STEP 3: Share Your Culture with Candidates

Today’s candidates want to see your cultural identity before they ever apply to your company. They are also looking for confirmation of your culture when they interact with recruiters and hiring managers.

This includes the exchanges taking place during career fairs, interactions on social media, and conversations during screening and interviews. Each contact between a candidate and the company either confirms or denies your cultural identity.

When an organization understands and embraces their cultural identity, sharing corporate culture becomes a natural part of the conversation. If a recruiter is trying to “sell” a culture, it’s often very obvious – the candidate knows it and the recruiter knows it as well.

STEP 4: Include Your Culture in Onboarding

Organizations do not have to lose their cultural identity during orientation and onboarding. For those parts of the process that have been automated, make sure they still incorporate a piece of your cultural identity. Obviously, the company can bring their culture to life using video introductions. But organizations have a great opportunity with mentoring and coaching activities.

One of my former bosses called mentoring “an opportunity to tell you where all the landmines were” and how to maneuver around them. Those landmines were are part of the company’s culture and, to be successful, you need to know where they are.

Cultural identity reflects many things: trust, leadership, accountability and working relationships. It’s what companies stands for and the way for companies to excel is to hire individuals that share those same cultural values.

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Natalie Trudel is the lead author for the Employee Performance Management Blogwhose posts offer practical advice and great resources on performance management and HR. When she isn’t writing, Natalie is the Marketing Manager for CRG emPerform, which offers leading online performance management software (and happens to be one of our newest partners!).

All year long, Santa watches over the children of the world, taking notes on their behavior, their growth, and the effort they’re investing in trying ever so hard to be good. Nobody knows exactly how he gets this job done, but the outcome is clear: the good receive presents, the bad receive stockings full of coal, and both get to end the holiday with a valuable lesson in the books and a clear plan for the year ahead.

If you’re an experienced HR pro, this whole scenario might sound familiar…Is it possible that Santa Clause is actually an all-seeing HR manager in the giant workplace otherwise known as childhood? Maybe. Or maybe we’ve had too much eggnog. But in either case, HR pros have a lot to learn from Santa’s methods. Here are a few of the most important take-aways.

  1. Santa never stops paying attention. He doesn’t just form rushed opinions and snap judgments two weeks before toy season. He watches and takes careful, fair and accurate notes all year long. This doesn’t change just because his “employees” scramble to bring out their best behavior during the final countdown.
  2. Santa knows the difference between high performance and high growth.Bad children who make an effort to sweeten up during the year sometimes deserve as much praise—or even more—than good children who haven’t changed much from last year to the present.
  3. Santa understands that effort should be meaningfully rewarded. He offers praise and approval that are worth working for, not just meaningless lip service. Like Santa, great HR managers know that a strong review should be backed by appropriate raises and bonus compensation.
  4. Santa leaves children with a clear performance approval plan that can guide them during the year ahead. Actually, no he doesn’t. But effective HR managers do. After the celebration is over, the work doesn’t end—it begins.
  5. Santa understands the value of a strong performance management platform. Or at least, we assume he does. After all, Santa does have a list and he checks it twice. But in a world where HR is a year-round gig, a paper list just won’t cut it. If Santa’s list is ever eaten by reindeer or if Mrs. Claus nudges him into the 21st century, chances are he would be using emPerform to set, track, and align performance goals and automate his methods.

Santa sounds like the perfect HR manager right? Maybe not. We can’t help but feel like HR might have some things to teach good old Saint Nick and those lessons would revolve around timeliness. Sure, Santa does a great job, but only once a year. What about the 364 days in between Christmas? We are not proposing a year-round Christmas bash (although we wouldn’t object), but maybe Santa should drop some lines throughout the year and provide feedback and coaching on an ongoing basis so everyone involved is crystal clear on expectations and can remedy bottlenecks more quickly. HR definitely knows the value of that!

If you’re in the mood to automate your ‘list’ this year, check out emPerform – talent management software guaranteed to bring loads of cheer.


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