Difference between structured, unstructured and semi-structured job interviews

How-to-Hold-an-Effective-HR-Meeting

There are 3 main types of job interviews: structured, semi-structured and unstructured job interviews. In this article you will learn the differences between them so you can decide which one is your best choice for assessing candidates. Tips & tricks for conducting a great interview included!

Job interview types

Recruiters and human resources professionals divide job interviews into 3 different types:

  • Structured interviews
  • Unstructured interviews
  • Semi-structured interviews

Structured interview

A structured interview is a type of interview in which the interviewer asks questions which are planned and created in advance.
Tips&tricks for conducting structured interviews:

  1. Prepare interview questions to ask candidates in advance.
  2. Develop a scale for grading candidates answers.
  3. Take detailed notes of each candidate’s answers.

Unstructured interview

An unstructured interview is a type of interview in which the interviewer asks questions as they arise spontaneously in a free flowing conversation.
Tips&tricks for conducting unstructured interviews:

  1. Keep in mind specific experiences and qualities you are looking for in candidates.
    2. Feel free to explore specific interesting points from your candidate’s resume.
  2. Develop each next questions based on your the candidate’s answer.

Semi-structured interview

Semi-structured interview is a type of interview in which some questions are predetermined and others arise spontaneously during conversation.

Tips&tricks for conducting semi-structured interviews:

     1. Create basic set of interview questions to ask your candidates.

  1. Customize your follow up questions based on your candidates’ answer.
  2. Return to your basic set of questions and repeat the whole process.

Which type of job interview should you use?

You should choose the right type of interview based on the needs of your candidate persona. Create representation of your ideal candidate by defining the characteristics, skills, and traits that make up your perfect hire.

Try to put yourself in your candidate persona’s shoes. Create questions which would allow your candidate person to show of her/his best qualities and skills.

Importance of choosing the right job interview type

Choosing the right type of job interview will help you find and hire your ideal job candidate, improve your candidate experience and make your recruiting efforts more effective and successful.

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The Benefits and Challenges of Hiring a Borderless Workforce In Global Economy

Today’s economy is extremely globalized. Many factors contribute to realizing success as a truly global business.

Expanding into other markets isn’t simply a matter of sending a sales team on an overseas mission. There is so much more required. According to a recent report by Accenture, companies need a human capital and HR strategy that is fully aligned with the business growth strategy. Often, the HR component of a business strategy is looked at as a follow-up measure to consider after the advanced team has established some presence in a new market.

To be successful, however, senior leadership must agree that this component isn’t a follow-up, but something that is part of the globalization vision from the very beginning. Additionally, it is critical to find the right balance between international structures and local processes. So, while HR systems will play an integral role in creating global operations that can function in accordance with local norms, establishing local credibility will be a matter of hiring the right people. Local credibility can only truly be achieved through the employment of a relevant and able workforce.

Ideally, it’s nice to think that hiring in a global economy is truly a borderless process. However, this is not the case. Different visa restrictions and legal policies in countries can often prevent the continuous seamless transfer of employees. It is becoming more difficult to bring talent into the United States.

For companies that want to succeed globally, management and leadership need to be well-versed with different countries and cultures. Diversity of board makeup is very important. For example, the board of directors at MasterCard, include executives from the United Kingdom, India, the United States, Mexico, Belgium and Hong Kong. Philip Morris International Management’s board includes members not only from the United States and Europe but also from Mexico and China. Thus, it is often best to bring this talent in from overseas to appropriately lead and orient teams who will be working with a specific region.

Unfortunately, visa requirements are abundant, and companies are finding it increasingly difficult to diversify the way they desire. While H1-B visas are limited and based on luck, another way to bring in talent, even temporarily is through the O-1 visa, for people with “extraordinary ability.” This is especially useful for company superiors and is more acceptable as it does not threaten local jobs. HR professionals need to be aware of possibilities such as these, that allow for a transfer of leadership talent when necessary. In this way, to be both globally efficient and locally responsive when necessary, a company must adapt HR models that are more agile.

A good example is the London-based Diageo, a premium beverages company with offices in 80 countries and a presence in about 180 markets. Diageo created appropriate HR operating models for different markets by using a customized shared services model that provides consistent service to employees and can quickly be adapted to adhere to local market requirements. The company has two centers (in Europe and North America) that serve as virtual hubs, providing faster service to employees, in terms of processing paperwork, legal requirements and more, wherever they are. For instance, a knowledge repository helps standardize functions and process transactions in accordance with local laws for any of Diageo’s offices/markets.

Virtual hubs like that of Diageo’s are only possible due to the major technological advancements in today’s day and age. Digitization has allowed for a plethora of opportunities in terms of streamlining work processes, boosting productivity and efficiency overall. One of the many benefits of digitization that is especially poignant to hiring in a global economy is the ability to work remotely. According to a recent report, 43 percent of American employees spent at least some time working remotely in the past year. So even if it isn’t possible to immediately hire local help in case of a work emergency, or for an entire team to relocate to another country for a short assignment, cross-continental telecommuting is a viable solution. Ease of access today helps with communications amongst worldwide offices, allowing for “borderless” workforces.  

Still, working remotely when it comes to leadership positions is not the smartest business decision, let alone very inconvenient. To be successful in the global economy, global experience and exposure is not a luxury, but a necessity. Sometimes, this sort of experience requires sending American personnel overseas for work. This is often in the form of long-term overseas assignments for employees.

However, there are more creative ways of facilitating this. Take the example of Royal Dutch Shell cited in the report by Accenture. Julian Dalzell — recently retired after 43 years in HR leadership roles with Royal Dutch Shell, employed a different approach. At one point, he had 11 people from his HR team, each with less than five years’ experience, working overseas on short-term assignments in Singapore, Canada, Holland, Brazil, Turkey, Qatar and Kazakhstan, among other locations.

This worked in a myriad of ways. More people were agreeable to sign up for shorter assignments, visa laws were more amicable to short term placements and there was less worry that outsiders were coming in to compete with local talent. Even though overseas assignments require a lot of preparation, Dalzell said “the unintended consequence was that they [employees] came home keen to share the incredible experiences they had and what they had learned. So it sparked an enthusiasm and an energy that we could not have created ourselves.”

In this way, HR processes must be in sync with the growth strategy for any company to succeed globally. Companies must create processes and work in ways that encourage innovation and efficiency at the local level, fostering an attitude of transparency amongst global and local offices, without compromising global set standards. To do so, hiring the right people in the right manner is significant for proper execution. As the world becomes more globalized, it’s easy to overlook some of the barriers that prevent a truly “borderless” workforce. However, with the correct human capital and HR strategies in place, companies will be able to get as close to “borderless” as is possible.

Q & A with David Green | The HR Tech Weekly®

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function: Q&A with David Green

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function

Today our guest is David Green, a true globally respected and award winning writer, speaker, conference chair and executive consultant on people analytics, data-driven HR and the future of work.

David is the Global Director, People Analytics Solutions at IBM Watson Talent. He is also the longstanding Chair, of the Tucana People Analytics conference series, the next edition of which – the People Analytics Forum, takes place in London on 29-30 November.

David has spoken at conferences and/or worked with people analytics leaders in over 20 cities in the past year including San Francisco, Sydney, London, Paris, Singapore, New York, Amsterdam, Moscow and Berlin. This affords David with a unique perspective and insight into what’s working, what’s not, and what’s forthcoming in the field of people analytics.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

1. Hi David, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. The year of 2017 is approaching its end. What made a difference this year in the field of people management and HR technologies?

Thanks Alexey, it is a pleasure to speak with you. For me, 2017 has been a pivotal year in the field as the realisation that people analytics is core to the future of the HR function has become far more widespread. In one of his recent articles (see here), Josh Bersin described people analytics “as the lynchpin of success for HR in the next few years”, and I have to say I completely agree – although that probably doesn’t surprise you!

We still have some way to go in terms of widespread adoption and just as importantly in embedding analytics and data-driven decision making within organisational culture, but the acceptance that this is core rather than peripheral is a welcome momentum shift.

Elsewhere, the move from many companies to develop programs and technologies that personalise the candidate/employee experience in areas such as talent acquisition, onboarding, learning and mobility is also positive. It’s about time that we have rich and personalised experiences at work similar to those we already enjoy as consumers. Data and analytics plays a foundational role in this.

2. People analytics is an area of profound interest to business leaders. What do you see as the main trends in the people analytics space?

You are right to highlight the heightened interest levels in people analytics Alexey. I’d summarise the main trends as follows:

  • More and more organisations getting started with people analytics – 2017 seems to have been the year that the talking about when to start analytics stopped and the actual hard work in creating capability began for many organisations. So, the number of organisations in the early stages of their people analytics journeys is on the increase and many will face similar challenges in terms of data quality, skills and capabilities, stakeholder management/education and project prioritisation. Our recent IBM Smarter Workforce Institute research on HR Analytics Readiness in Europe demonstrated though that most organisations still have a long way to go.
  • Developing an analytical culture: this is key for organisations that want to develop sustainable capability in people analytics. This means exciting, equipping and enabling HR Business Partners, and clearly demonstrating and communicating the impact of people analytics initiatives within the organisation. This is the focus of many companies that have built initial capability and success in people analytics.
  • Ethics and privacy concerns: this continues to be the most important and challenging aspect for practitioners. Research from Insight222 reveals that 81% of people analytics projects are jeopardised by ethical and privacy concerns. With the EU GDPR legislation coming into effect in May 2018 and the emergence of new employee data sources, focus on this area will continue to be high.
  • The consumerisation of HR – as per my earlier point, many organisations that have developed people analytics capability are looking at ways to understand and improve the employee experience. In addition to the personalised machine-learning based technologies referenced earlier, this includes efforts to understand and analyse employee sentiment. You can’t do either of these things without analytics so those organisations that have already developed people analytics capability are in pole position to take advantage here.
  • Organisational network analysis (ONA) – interest in ONA has exploded in 2017 as organisations seek to better understand team effectiveness and productivity. Practitioners interested in this burgeoning area of people analytics should check out the work of Rob Cross, recent articles by Josh Bersin and vendors like TrustSphere, Humanyze and Worklytics. Expect interest in this area to continue to soar in 2018.

3. On the eve of People Analytics Forum 2017 could you slightly open the curtain on what makes an ideal agenda in modern HR analytics, workforce planning and employees insights then?

I always enjoy chairing the Tucana People Analytics World and People Analytics Forum events as the agenda is always cognisant of the fact that the diversity of delegates in terms of where they are with analytics varies widely. As such, the three tracks: Start (for those getting started), Grow (for those building capability and looking for deeper insight) and Advance (for advanced practitioners and those exploring new data sources) means there is something for everyone. This is hugely important as in my experience the people analytics community is highly collaborative and there is a mutual desire amongst practitioners for shared learning. The Tucana events provide this in spades.

4. It was heard that some attendees of conferences recently formed a viewpoint that the slow adoption of analytics has been because of a lack of practical cases delivered by speakers. Your point of view on the problem will be of great influence.

I haven’t really heard this viewpoint from many. I would argue the contrary in fact that most of the conferences I attend feature numerous and diverse case studies from practitioners. I think you need a balance of speakers from the practitioner, consultant, vendor and analyst communities as each provides a slightly different perspective – indeed much of the innovation in the space is coming from the vendor community. As such, at the conferences I chair, speak and attaned there is normally much to inspire delegates whatever their maturity level when it comes to people analytics. Of course, there is a distinction between being inspired and immitation as each organisation faces different business challenges and has unique cultures. If I could offer one piece of advice to practitioners, whatever their maturity level, it is to channel their efforts on the key business challenges that have the biggest impact within their organisations.

5. What new data-driven HR solutions are on your watchlist and why?

As I mentioned before much of the innovation in the people analytics space is coming from the vendor community and I always recommend to practitioners to keep abreast of the latest developments here. Data-driven companies to look at include: TrustSphere, Alderbrooke Group, Aspirant, Glint, Visier, Crunchr, Workometry, Peakon, OrgVue, Headstart, Worklytics, Humanyze, Qlearsite, One Model, hiQ Labs, Cultivate and StarLinks; and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head!

If you’ll forvive the self-promotion, I would like to add that IBM is also doing some groundbreaking work in this space through bringing Watson to HR, particularly in the talent acquisition and the employee experience areas – see more here.

6. What advice would you give to HR professionals looking to boost their careers within the people analytics space?

Well, firstly you should get yourself along to the People Analytics Forum and read my articles on LinkedIn!

Seriously, analytics is a core capability for the future HR practitioner and it won’t be long before the likes of CIPD and SHRM build this into their educational programs. Until then, find some courses (like the Wharton School course on Coursera), attend some conferences, read some books (like The Power of People and the Basic Principles of People Analytics), and seek to learn from analytics professionals both in and outside of HR.

For me, HR is one of the most exciting places in business to work in at the moment and the increased use of analytics and data-driven decision making is one of the reasons why I believe this to be the case.

How are companies maximizing 2018’s hiring budget? I asked the expert, Elaine Orler

To celebrate our recent announcement that Talent Sonar and Talent Function have joined forces, I picked Elaine Orler’s brain on ways she’s advising clients to get ahead of this tight talent market in 2018.

Laura Mather [LM]: I was struck by this new report that contradicts the old wisdom “slow to hire, fast to fire.” How does Talent Sonar help hiring managers move quickly but focus on the right criteria for the new hire?

Elaine Orler [EO]: The “slow to hire” mantra is meant to convey to hiring teams how important hiring is for the success of their business. We don’t want people filling the ranks with bad hires just to keep time-to-fill down. But no one should be advocating slow hiring for its own sake! In a competitive job market, that’s simply horrible advice.

Instead, hire better. Use evidence-based best practices—and here I mean best practices confirmed by research, not just the “fact” that your competitor is doing it. Talent Sonar is pretty exceptional because it makes it easy for hiring teams to truly focus on what is needed for each role and then act quickly to fill it. First, hiring teams select the right skills and values; then, they prioritize those. Next, Talent Sonar makes it possible to focus on what matters in the resume instead of being distracted by someone’s gender or alma mater. Finally, your hiring teams can set up and conduct professional, structured interviews in record time. The bottom line is that when you focus on best practices, you will hire faster and better.

LM: Skilled women and minorities are available. The key is to attract them to your company, but how?

EO: They are available! Anyone concerned about the so-called “skills gap” at their company needs to know this fact. Next, develop a plan to attract skilled women and minorities. There are several approaches that have been shown to work: for example, starting a hiring task force with a cross-section of people from your company and targeted college recruitment programs.

One very scalable approach that has shown excellent results is improving your job descriptions. Research finds that really subtle language can turn women and minorities off from applying to a job because they don’t think they’ll fit into the culture. That’s an easy fix thanks to technology. Talent Sonar will highlight those problematic words in real-time and suggest alternatives. A five minute effort results in a 25% increase in female applicants, on average. That seems like a no-brainer to me.

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LM: What are some examples you’ve seen of companies addressing the skills shortage today in the right way/wrong way?

EO: The wrong way to address the skills shortage is just to throw more money at traditional candidate sourcing efforts or try to lure people in with higher salaries.  With those tactics, you’re just overpaying to reach the same exact type of candidates.

Instead, companies that have broadened their outreach to untapped talent pools are seeing the best results. Does the position you want to fill really require a Bachelor’s degree, for example? Or will several years of experience in the industry work just as well? Hiring teams need to be clear about the skills and values that are really required for a role.

You also need to ask: Are you reaching all possible talent pools? Tech is one of those industries where people complain about a skills gap all the time. But Tech companies are only attracting 16% of Black computer science graduates, compared to 40% of Asian graduates, for example. Are your job descriptions inadvertently turning qualified applicants away? If they are, you can fix that.

LM: Hiring teams that use inclusive job descriptions report an average decrease in time to hire of 16 days. To what do you attribute that incredible return on efficiency?

EO: At first it sounds almost unbelievable, right? But when you think about it, if you improve job descriptions to be more appealing to a wide range of candidates, you’re 1) going to get more candidates applying and 2) you’re going to get the right candidates applying. Job descriptions that are inclusive tend to be free of silly jargon and corporate cliches. They are better at explaining both what the role requires and what the company’s values are. In fact, the Talent Board’s 2017 Candidate Experience Survey found that the #1 type of marketing content candidate’s find useful before applying is learning about a company’s values. So when you have the right ingredients in a job description, you’re going to decrease time-to-hire.

LM: After a job posting is made using an inclusive job description, what should happen when the resumes begin to come in?

EO: I think resume review is where so many hiring teams fall down. It’s understandable: technology makes it easy to apply to a job these days, so hiring teams are under enormous pressure to whittle down the candidate pool quickly. That often leads to “pattern-matching”–looking for the exact same candidates that were successful before, or thinking that everyone from Stanford is going to be great.

What works much better in the long-run is developing a structure to your resume review process. First, decide what is actually important for the role: is it a certain kind of experience or skill set? Then actually rate each resume on the categories you selected. Compare the scores and select the best candidates to move forward. You could do this in Excel. Or you could use Talent Sonar, which makes it really quick to do and has the added bonus of removing unnecessary information from resumes, like a candidate’s name. The important thing is to be able to really compare resumes quickly but systematically. Otherwise, your team is just guessing.

LM: How is Talent Sonar different from other systems out there that do something similar? Better? Why would our potential customer welcome process change and invest in using the software?

EO: Talent Sonar is the only system I’ve ever seen that improves every part of the hiring process. And I’ve seen a lot of systems over the years! There are tools that do one thing well: maybe just job descriptions or just candidate assessments. But to truly improve hiring in a longterm way, you can’t just keep trying one-off solutions. That’s time consuming and expensive. You have to commit to a real strategic change in the way that you hire. Better hiring will impact your recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers so, yes, it will require process change investment. But can you afford to be missing out on major talent pools? Can you afford to keep having un-trained interviewers going into important interviews with no preparation? Can you afford to keep making bad hires? I know companies that are serious about hiring as a competitive advantage will see that the upfront investment is well worth it.

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LM: Can a company afford not to address the skills shortage in 2018 and make hiring best practices part of their hiring process?

EO: No! The job market is getting tighter and tighter. Competition for talent will continue to get intense. What company is going to succeed in this environment? The company that keeps doing the same old thing or the company that wows candidates with job descriptions that speak to them and provides a relevant, seamless interview experience? The answer is clear. It’s just a matter of leadership and will to change.

Chatbots Are the New Phone Interview

Chatbots Are the New Phone Interview

What is the purpose of a phone screen?

What is the purpose of a phone screen?

We asked Jim Stroud, Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy for the Randstad Sourceright Talent Innovation Center. Here’s what he said:

“A phone screen is generally perceived as an effort to gauge the qualifications and interest of a candidate. However, I see it as more than that, especially when representing a client. A phone screen is an opportunity to make an indelible mark on someone we might hire, someone who might refer a candidate, someone who might consume the products or services of our client and someone who may rave about the recruitment experience so much that their testimonial on social media serves as a recruiting vehicle in and of itself.”

Additionally, in a recent blog post titled The Best Phone Screen Interview QuestionsRobert Half similarly highlights the importance of phone screens saying, “a candidate’s answers to key phone screening interview questions can allow you to speedily identify the most promising candidates.” The post goes on to share a list of questions aimed at uncovering a candidate’s work style, soft skills, technical skills and expectations for the position.

When it comes down to it, recruiters use phone screens to achieve three things:

  1. Present information about the job to the candidate
  2. Capture information about the candidate
  3. Be empathetic and engaging for the candidate

These three outputs are vital, allowing recruiters to make informed decisions on whether to move candidates forward or not. Monster and G2V Careers reports that recruiters spend 78,352 minutes on the phone per year or roughly 63% of a 40-hour work week.

By the Numbers
Source: Monster

This got us thinking…

What if we could achieve the outcome of a phone screen without actually having a phone screen?

When we began testing our AI chatbot for recruiters, Wendy, we asked ourselves:

  • Would this save recruiters hours of time each week?
  • Would this be an engaging and empathetic experience for candidates?
  • Would this capture the necessary information to further decision-making capabilities?

Our hypothesis was “yes,” we can replicate the outcome of a phone screen without actually conducting a phone screen. In our early beta stage, Wendy has begun validating this hypothesis. She pre-screens applicants via chat (think: text, Facebook messenger or web) and then delivers the transcript (as well as her recommendations) to recruiters. Here’s what we’re seeing so far:

1. Better Candidate Experience

Recruiters have a lot on their plate, especially when over half their week is spent on phone calls. As a result, many phone screens are rushed and distracted, leaving candidates feeling unheard. Wendy, on the other hand, is patient. She doesn’t have the same time restraints as humans and can chat with candidates whenever and for as long as they wish. For corporate positions, candidates are spending around 31 minutes chatting with Wendy, while candidates for more blue collar positions are engaging for 7 to 11 minutes.

2. Better Notes & More Complete Candidate Profiles

Following a chat with an applicant, Wendy shares the transcript directly with recruiters. As a result, recruiters are learning information about applicants outside their cover letter, resume and LinkedIn profile — without having to take notes or conduct any research.

With the Wendy chat transcript, recruiters have a robust profile on every applicant before they ever reach out. The information is detailed and presented uniformly, so if hiring for a position is put on hold and resumed months later, there’s no knowledge gap or need to re-assess the applicant for fit. With Wendy, candidate fit is no longer determined by the note-taking skills of the recruiter. Regardless of how detailed their notes are, at some point, a recruiter will be under the weather and forget to capture an important point or their computer will crash, capturing nothing at all. Wendy removes the subjectivity of recruiters’ notes and the effect they have on a candidate’s standing.

3. More Intelligent & Knowledgeable Conversations

Wendy allows recruiters to pre-qualify ahead of scheduling a phone interview. This means two things: (1) recruiters are taking less phone calls and (2) the phone calls they do take are more informed. With more information about an applicant available to them, the initial conversation flows better and is more relevant.

In some cases, recruiters have moved candidates straight to the in-person interview after reviewing the Wendy chat transcript. We expect this to happen more and more as Wendy’s knowledge base and understanding of various roles and domains grows.

Looking Forward

When you think back to the best interviews you’ve had (whether as an interviewee or interviewer), it usually has something to do with the quality of conversation. People remember really great conversations. Our goal with Wendy is to allow better flowing and informed conversations to occur. By automating the outcome of the pre-screen process, recruiters can focus on listening and candidates can focus on sharing their story.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy is a conversational engagement platform for recruitment automation. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedInTwitter or Medium.

P.S. If you went down on SourceCon, give Bailey a shout at bailey@wadeandwendy.ai

 

CEO’s Corner: Charlene Li on Technology and Employee Experience

Charlene Li

In the end of June 2017 CEO’s Corner post put a spotlight on Charlene Li, Principal Analyst at Altimeter (a Prophet Company) and keynote at this year’s HR TechXpo. Li supports leaders to thrive with disruption, primarily focusing on creating business strategies and developing leadership around digital, social, and emerging technologies. An analyst since 1999, and having seen business, society, and the world undergo seismic changes over the last 18 years, she’s driven to create research and thought leadership that helps to bring greater clarity and inspire audacious actions.

The interview is hosted by Greg Mortona corporate strategy and growth development specialist and Chief Executive Officer of the Northern California HR Association.

Q: You talk about the seismic changes that have recently occurred in the workplace. Besides the obvious impacts of technology, virtual work, and social media, what’s a change you are observing that most people are underestimating? 

A: One of the biggest overlooked opportunities is thinking about the employee experience, as opposed to employee engagement. Employee experience is when you look at a situation through the eyes of the employee, and focus on how the day-to-day experience creates a deeper relationship between the organization and employees. This is a significant shift for HR who must shift from managing transactions (recruiting, hiring, evaluations) and risk mitigation (training and compliance) to nurturing relationships. Technologies makes this easier but it’s only when technology fades into the background, and the relationship work comes forward, that the experience becomes a differentiator to the employee.

Q: What is the biggest takeaway you hope readers get from The Engaged Leader?[i]

A: Relationships form the foundation for leadership and I hope that by reading the book, people understand that digital channels must be part of the repertoire of skills leaders use to develop relationships. My hope is that readers are inspired to hit the pause button on their busy day and take a few minutes to reflect on how they need to be better engaged — even if it means simply listening to the people crucial to the achievement of their goals.

Q: We’re getting ready for our 2nd Annual HR TechXpo which last year was quite an exciting event showcasing the intersection of HR and Technology. You have talked to hundreds of providers, so are probably not easily wowed. What are one or two technological features you have seen in HR solutions that have knocked your socks off?

A: I’m excited to see SaaS-based strategy planning and execution tools getting traction in the market from companies like StrategyBlocks and Cascade. The software makes explicit and transparent the strategic plan of the organization, so that everyone across the organization is connected to the strategy. This means it’s clear how what you do every day impacts the long term strategy. It takes the idea of “connected workforce” and gives it a direction and objective, where the purpose of the connection is a strategic objective. This is exciting for HR because it ties together HR functions (workforce management, performance evaluation) and ties it directly to strategy and business outcomes.

You can find Charlene Li on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

You can find Greg Morton on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

[i] Charlene Li. The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation – Wharton Digital Press, 2015

Banner HR TechXpo 2017

2nd Annual HR TechXpo will take place on August 25, 2017 in Hilton Union Square, San Francisco.

The HR Tech Weekly® readers get a free registration! Enter promo code hrtechweekly at time of checkout when you register here: http://hrtechxpo.com/register.

Please use #HRTechXpo to share the news about this exciting event showcasing the intersection of HR and Technology.

If you’d like to comment or have further questions for Charlene Li or Greg Morton, you are welcome to leave your reply here or post on social media adding #CEOCorner.


Source: CEO’s Corner: Charlene Li on Technology and Employee Experience

5 successful leaders' advice: I wish I knew this as a young manager

5 successful leaders’ advice: I wish I knew this as a young manager

young-man-thinking-and-working-with-laptop-in-office-space-picjumbo-com

Good leadership is an essential for any successful company, but it’s not always easy for junior or first-time managers to adapt to their role. Many times, leaders look back on their career and have a whole host of new insights and knowledge they wish they’d known all along.

When we started Impraise 3 years ago, the focus was on the product. As the company grew and we brought more people on board, we faced the challenges of also becoming first time leaders. Managing people for the first time, whilst challenging, was also rewarding, but it was always helpful hearing from people with more experience, and understanding what helped them progress and become the best leaders possible.

With recent failures at Uber showing many young leaders were neither trained or equipped for their roles, we wanted to find out just what people wish they’d known when they began on their leadership path. We talked to five top leaders to find out what they wish they’d known when they started their management careers, and collected their most valuable insights…

Harry WestFrog Design

“In an organization that’s fast moving, with lots of young people… we need to be proactive. We shouldn’t expect people to know how to manage without any training.”

CEO Harry West shares with us the things he’s learnt whilst managing the rapidly growing design company.

Historically, he shares, during the company’s earlier days, when potential future leaders were trained, there was a lack of knowledge and structure in place concerning the skills required and how they should be developed. The company now have in place a management training program to ensure these things are addressed before young leaders are put in charge of teams. Reflecting on earlier practices, he muses that this less than thought out approach to systematic training was not good enough for such a fast moving, young tech company. West soon learnt that this wasn’t working, and began reshaping their training process to be more systematic, now ensuring young leaders go into their positions equipped and confident.

Martin Jellema, Werkspot

“One of the most important elements is the people themselves.”

Martin Jellema, Werkspot & Instapro’s Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for a 70+ team, shares the top three lessons he’s learnt since he began managing.

Jellema maintains that, after all his years of managing people, one of the most important elements is the people themselves. Finding and recruiting candidates that fit the company and can handle every aspect of the role remains one of the most important aspects of managing.

Besides this, he maintains, asking for help where needed remains the second most important thing. He now values collaboration over feeling the pressure to perform flawlessly and prove yourself as manager, saying it’s more useful to discuss issues, allowing people to help you come up with solutions you wouldn’t necessarily think of. In Jellema’s experience, both your boss and your team will see you reaching out for help as a strength not a weakness: understanding that something needs to be done or changed and using the resources you have to make that positive change won’t be frowned upon. You have a great team around you for a reason: use their knowledge and skills! He also outlines the importance of keeping focus on ‘high leverage’ activities: rather than taking time on minor activities, delegate, and dedicate the time to things like team training which ups productivity.

Bob Kastner, Meeting Tomorrow

“If you have great team members, and you get them energized by a great scoreboard, then you’ll be unstoppable.”

Bob Kastner, Director of Marketing at Meeting Tomorrow shares the one thing he wishes he knew as a junior manager: how useful scoreboards are when it comes to keeping the team engaged, energized and on track.

Kaster says things should be easy to read at a glance. People should be able to tell what’s going on by looking at a few, important metrics: only use the ones that are essential to productivity. Kaster’s next must-do for these metrics is keep things constant: update the board as often as possible; keep information relevant and updated in real-time, and have it on display, keeping things in the forefronts of people’s minds, and discussing them regularly in team meetings or daily stand ups.

You can decide whether to create a competitive friendly vibe, seeing who tops the scoreboard, or create a collective vibe: how close is the team to hitting goals? Kaster has learnt to put this focus on striving for more motivating ‘best’ results rather than encouraging people to beat averages, always ensuring most importantly, to celebrate these successes as a team when they occur!

Brett Remington, Wisconsin Centre for Performance Excellence

“Trust holds everything together. It takes huge amounts of time to accumulate… As a manager, your success depends on the preservation and enhancement of trust.”

We spoke to Brett Remington, of the Wisconsin Centre for Performance Excellence,  and he outlined the things he’s learnt: his experience based ‘truths of management’.

Remington’s first learning was the importance of trust and fostering good relationships with those around you. He shares he’s also learnt to see managers as administrative functions, believing that “if you’re going into management because you want to change the face of what’s possible in your organization, you are applying for the wrong job.” The second, he says, is it’s essential to have a curiosity about the processes your team use: you could have a great team, but, if the processes being followed are ineffective, they’re going to be disengaged and unsuccessful.

He also sets a lot of store by keeping metrics simple and useful, and learnt to focus on 3-5 key performance metrics. He says attempting to stay on top of more than 5 performance measures at once makes for accomplishing less, whilst having focus on fewer than 3 at any time means you’ll likely miss opportunities for continuous improvement and innovation.

His next learning? Humility and the need to embrace change.

“You are only about 2/3rds as good at your job as you think. The 1/3rd you don’t know about, don’t believe, or don’t pay attention to is going to determine how long you’ve got left in this job. Find ways of eliminating blind spots and practice humility. Eventually, you may find that your role as manager is vastly different than when you started. People, processes, policies, and potential change. Know when the accumulated changes no longer fit with your skills, aspirations, or interests. When that time comes, be ready to change out of your manager role and reflect on what you have accomplished as you pursue a better future for yourself.” 

Barry Curry, Systeme

“Most importantly learning how to react and behave when you are out of your comfort zone will better prepare you for being out of it.”

Barry Curry, Technical Director at Systeme, also brings back the key point of positive feedback, recognition, and acknowledging your team for their accomplishments: it’s always key to ensure people know they’re valued.

He shared his biggest learnings with us, beginning with the importance of keeping sight of the big picture. It can be easy to get drawn into the small details: stay focused on key details, and don’t take things personally. If things become heated during stressful projects or periods, it’s okay to let people vent. Acknowledge people’s perspectives, never make responses personal and keep things respectful, with co-workers and clients alike.

He also suggests using goals to ensure what you’re doing has direction. This ensures that problem solving for others doesn’t totally overtake your other responsibilities. Another learning is resist the temptation to always check your emails first thing: first complete one of the daily tasks you’ve set yourself, without distraction or prioritising other’s needs.

He also says that although sometimes sharing problems is difficult, having thought about solutions before sharing the problem will show you’ve thought things through and instill confidence in you. Similarly, having a process in place for when unplanned or unexpected things arise is key: have a consistent process in place to help you deal with things more efficiently.

For more information and expert advice on becoming a great leader, check out our free eBook and white paper.


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Employee Experience – The XXI Century Corporate Super Power

Written by João Duarte, Content Director at Tap My Back.

Interviewing Jacob Morgan

Jacob Morgan is a 3x best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist. His latest book is The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces They Want, the Tools They Need and a Culture They Can Celebrate (Wiley, March 2017) which is based on an analysis of over 250 global organizations. Jacob’s work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Cisco, Whirlpool, T-Mobile, Best Buy, SAP, Nestle, KPMG, Schneider Electric and many others.

Tap My Back, a tool that provides the simplest way to provide work recognition recently had the opportunity to talk with Jacob Morgan about the concept relying beyond his latest book, employee recognition. Jacob advocates this concept should be the major focus of companies aiming to attract and retain talent. This article provides a summary of the main ideas explored on the interview. Alternatively,  you can read or listen the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.

Nowadays, we’re living in such a rapidly and demanding world that the skills gap issue is turning into a big thing. Therefore, more than ever before the need to attract and retain talent is a huge issue for corporations around the world. In the end, “every organization in the world can exist without technology but no organization in the world can exist without people”. Bearing this in mind, the concept Jacob Morgan approached in his last book, employee experience, comes in the perfect timing. Companies need to seek out to provide the best possible interactions with their workforce, that is the only way to guarantee they have people delivering their best and sticking for the long run.

On the interview Jacob explained that employee experience is sort of the next step in what regards the way company’s manage workforce. It appears as an answer to the fact that “employee engagement has always acted as kind of an adrenaline shot inside of our organizations” –  Jacob Morgan.

He goes through a few best practices that major companies with the likes of Facebook, Google or Microsoft are adopting to improve their staff experience, highlighting three major aspects culture, technology and physical space. Jacob also confessed to Tap My Back that this concept of employee experience is something that the whole company should be aware and responsible for, even though he sees mainly HR related roles pushing it into company’s’ culture.

In the end of the interview, Jacob Morgan was questioned about the best advice he would provide to SMB companies looking to start from scratch implementing and improving the employee experience they provide. You can check his tips and the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.


If you want to share this article the reference to João DuarteTap My Back and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Current and future state of HR and employee appreciation – Interview with William Tincup

Written by João Duarte, Content Director at Tap My Back.

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William is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a Writer, Speaker, Advisor, Consultant, Investor, Storyteller & Teacher. He’s been writing about HR related issues for over a decade. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 18 HR technology startups. Many say his words dictates and predicts the future of managing people and teams.

Tap My Back, an employee appraisal software, recently managed to have an interview with Tincup about the current and future state of HR focusing topics such as performance reviews and the use of AI. This article is sort of a compilation of the main ideas he went through on this interview.

One of the most interesting topics Tincup spoke was about the way he feels HR managers currently should have more responsibilities than ever before. Following his thoughts we’re moving from era where employee engagement was the main worry of HR managers onto one where there’s the need to manage the full experience staff go through on the workplace.

He even says that engagement is the same as recycling, everyone already recognizes the value it provides but still many prefer to ignore it.

According to William, the reason why performance reviews stopped producing the outcome they used to is related with the fact that many times managers who conduct those are not honest with the employees about whose interest this process serves. As society currently values highly aspects such as transparency, HR staff conducting performance reviews should be clear to people and say something “hey, this actually for us, so that we do better, so that we make sure that we’re on the right track and we get the most out of you because we want the best version of you while you’re with us. We’re going to train you, we’re going to help you, we’re going to throw some stuff in but at the end of the day we want the best version of you while you’re with us”.

Regarding AI and Machine Learning, William provides an interesting opinion, stating that these tools will make insights that used to be remarkable to become commonplace, a commodity. Following his reasoning these tools will turn dump databases into something capable of providing insightful conclusions, sparing human brain of analyzing raw data.

William, with his typical charismatic way of being, finishes the interview with an advice for every entrepreneur, “Grow, comma grow the right way” referring to the fact that the ambition to grow should never overlap the way managers treat people

End note: You can hear and read the full interview here.


If you want to share this article the reference to João DuarteTap My Back and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

HR and Business Are Looking for Data Analytics and Insights

Stacey Browning, President of Paycor

Today our guest is Stacey Browning, President of Paycor.

Since 2001, Stacey has played an integral role in every aspect of Paycor’s operations. As president, she fosters collaboration across the business and ensures executional excellence in product development and service delivery.

Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 33,000 small and medium-sized businesses.Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize their people management.

Paycor’s key areas of specialization include Payroll Management, Human Resources Solutions, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance Solutions, Tax Filing & Compliance, Workers’​ Compensation and Employment Screening Service.

Recently Paycor announced Workforce Insights, a new data visualization solution that extracts rich and actionable insights from people data to bring valuable C-level and operational insights to key business stakeholders.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Stacey, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Straight away, why you have developed Workforce Insights and how it will complement other Paycor products?

Our innovation is driven by uncovering ways to better serve our clients, and Workforce Insights is no exception. Last August we surveyed our clients about the features they wanted to see in future product releases. After reviewing more than 1,000 client responses, we found that the overwhelming majority were looking for data analytics and insights.

In addition to evaluating our client’s feedback, we also looked at industry trends that show HR professionals are striving to prove their strategic value to executives. One way we can help them is by organizing their key people data in a manner that helps with business execution.

For example, through the Workforce Insights overtime dashboard, information from our time platform is correlated to OSHA incidents reported on in our HR platform. Leaders can uncover safety thresholds exceeded by location, department or manager to home in on where a performance issue may be occurring.

  1. What key benefits and advantages does Workforce Insights have when compared with other tools on the market?

Most other tools on the market force standard charts and data visualization. Workforce Insights allows customers to view their data in the way that is most impactful for their unique business needs.

Another key differentiator is the one-click sharing functionality. Users can take their insights and share that information with the appropriate parties without having to import or export data. The custom reporting and one-click sharing allows users to not only have access to the data, but to make it meaningful and actionable.

  1. Why do you think small and medium-sized businesses need their own HR technology solutions?

Employees at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often forced to wear multiple hats, and sometimes that even means taking on responsibilities like payroll. HR technology solutions help relieve the administrative burden of payroll and benefits while ensuring reliability and security, while also protecting against the risk of compliance infractions.

What Paycor offers seems to be what’s desired most by SMBs – a platform or suite of functionality at the right per-employee-per-transaction and per-month price point that doesn’t require a customization. A solution that can be implemented and have value derived in three days to three months, and that can adapt with them as their organization grows.

  1. Paycor has run its operations since 1990. How have your clients needs during this period changed, and what is the secret sauce for long-term success?

Since 1990, the technological needs of our clients have changed dramatically. In 1990 computers were large and expensive, “the cloud” didn’t exist, and phones were connected to a landline or, for a select few, in a bag in your car. Since then, clients have had to react to the demands of their workforce; faster access from any device, and our products have had to evolve accordingly.

Our secret sauce for long-term success may be the only thing that has remained the same since 1990 – putting our clients first. We were founded because our CEO believed there was a better way to serve the needs of our clients, and it’s that passion that still drives us today.

  1. Achievements in big-time sports are based on grassroots sports. What can you recommend to HR Tech startups on how to get into the highest league?

The energy around new HR tech offerings through start-ups informs the entire industry. For some of these startups, success looks like being acquired into a larger company and human capital offering. For those wanting to progress into a higher league more independently, I recommend having an openness to partnerships and distribution options, and feedback to the offering itself. The best emerging technologies in HR are built and market-tested quickly.

  1. Since its founding, Paycor has grown to 1,460 people onboard. What do newbies need to know about the company in order to have a successful career with you?

First, excel at the job you are given, and then look for ways to take on more responsibility. It can be dangerous to be too eager to move to the next level without first nailing the task you are given. At the same time, becoming complacent doesn’t allow you to be a change agent in the organization.

To take on that next challenge and excel to the next level it is critically important that associates know and own their personal brand. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. Think about the impression you want to leave, and make it.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Stacey BrowningPaycor and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.