4 ways to empower your HR talent processNews added by Benefits Pro on July 9, 2014
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By Dan Cook

Most companies are still in survival mode with respect to talent acquisition and development. That viewpoint comes from a study by consulting firm CED entitled Global Assessment Trends Report, and perhaps takes some of the sheen off the economy resurgence occurring around the world.

“Just one in 16 (6 percent) companies are equipped to shift from survival to growth mode” in the talent field, the study says. “The findings indicate that weak talent infrastructures are threatening corporate growth and impeding strategic HR support. Rapid intervention is needed to strengthen the rigor of current talent practices if HR is to help build the foundations for corporate growth through talent development and acquisition.”

CEB executives acknowledge that this human resources-focused crisis is happening at a time when the dollars and technology should be available to transform the process of hiring and developing talent.

“Economic indicators are positive and business confidence improving, all the signs suggest that businesses are poised to switch from a survival mentality to growth mode. However, our research shows that for some companies, yesterday's talent practices are jeopardizing tomorrow's growth opportunities,” said Ken Lahti, vice president of product development and innovation at CEB.

“Firms today are purportedly focusing on internal employee initiatives to engage, retain, and develop top talent to propel organizational growth, but lack mature and formal processes for core HR areas such as succession planning, leadership development, and workforce planning, thereby compromising performance and productivity in 94 percent of companies globally,” the study concludes. “Fewer than half of respondents have hard data to demonstrate people impact on business initiatives and prove ROI.”

Given that scenario, CED offers four guidelines for improving the corporate talent process.
Empower the talent dashboard

“Talent dashboards can transform organisations, but only via infrastructures that integrate rich data and robust measurement tools,” CEB says. “HR professionals can usher in the big data era for their organisations by setting up an infrastructure for the efficient collection, use, and integration of data to support people processes. Our findings show there is considerable room for improvement in the data systems, data policies and use of objective measurement required for this.”

The model HR should be using can be easily found just down the hall, in the finance department. There, discipline and control measures are to be found everywhere. They show ROI and thus are supported by the C-Suite. With all the data available to HR about job candidates and current employees, with innovative benchmarking systems now at their fingertips, new and more useful dashboards can be created that will impress the heck out of the big bosses, CEB advises.
Job candidates are often customers, too

We all want job candidates to exit the interview process desperately wanting to be part of our team. But almost no corporations actually attempt to measure the perceptions these people come away with. And CEB’s study found that less than 25 percent see a connection between client perceptions and organizational outcomes.

“This runs counter to research that one in five of candidates left with a negative impression stop buying from the company as a result. This can become a ‘vicious circle’ in which a flagging consumer brand then affects the employer brand and applicant quality, which in turn affects consumer brand. We believe measuring candidate satisfaction — of both failed and successful candidates — should be an integral part of the recruitment and hiring process,” CEB says.
Align talent measurement usage and budget with HR priorities

The data underscores that HR’s priorities rarely change much over time. These include the identification of good talent, developing it once the folks are on board, and then giving those stellar performers a reason to stay with the company.

But “the priorities are often at odds with how organisations allocate budget and the use of objective talent measurement. Assessments are used substantially more in pre-hire than post-hire, even though our respondents prioritise the post-hire realm,” CEB notes.

“Extending objective measurement into post-hire can give organisations the data they need to manage talent effectively throughout the employee lifecycle, and the ROI information to focus expenditure where it has a proven impact on business results.”
Proceed cautiously with innovative HR tools

HR professionals want more technology backing their efforts to find and develop the best talent. Of that there’s little question, CEB’s research finds. But, “Their use is often characterised by inconsistent or inappropriate justification or processes, or without demonstrable job relevance.”

Social media can be a great elixir for hiring and retaining — or a complete flop. It has to be relevant to the company culture and executed effectively, CEB says.

Read: Your Facebook post could cost you a job

“Most HR professionals are unclear about the criticality or relevance of such information for hiring and few have formal processes in place to advise hiring managers on its use. If social media searches are to be a fair and legally defensible component of recruitment processes, organisations should ensure they are circumscribed by clear policies and are not a substitute for objective assessment.”

While social media lust is apparent in the data, HR types showed much less interest in mobile apps of any kind. However, “the potential benefits are significant, as mobile-enabled assessment may broaden the size/composition of candidate pools, may engage passive job seekers, and can positively influence employer branding. Even with modest interest from candidates in mobile testing (21 percent), the rapid expansion of mobile device usage” should be a warning flag to those who are disdaining to use it.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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