Quality Over Quantity: It’s Time to Hire Better | Featured Image

Quality Over Quantity: It’s Time to Hire Better

Quality Over Quantity: It’s Time to Hire Better | Main Image

These days, there is rarely a technology that can’t be mimicked, a service that can’t be purchased, or a system that isn’t for rent. Big organizations mostly use essentially the same services from Microsoft Office to ATS databases. With so much homogeny, what separates successful companies from the rest? The people are the secret sauce. Even with proprietary software or patent-protected techniques, no company can truly thrive without one extremely important element: effective and creative teams.

Despite all our technological advancements, it’s humans who truly make the difference at an organization. In our 21s t century reality – where technology is ubiquitous – talent acquisition professionals become one of the most important departments at a company, because they are responsible for the most important competitive asset: new hires.

Unfortunately, we don’t always realize how important our talent acquisition processes are. In fact, many companies remain focused on the wrong metrics, concentrating on hiring quickly, rather than zeroing in on finding the right candidate.

Some organizations are already making the shift. Where most recruiters are encouraged to fill roles as quickly as possible, forward-thinking organizations are focused on quality, tasking their recruiters to fill the roles with the best possible candidate.

What caused this shift? That’s easy – organizations are realizing that emphasizing speed in hiring sacrifices quality. And filling a role quickly with the wrong person is extremely costly to an organization.

For the organizations not yet making the shift and slower to realize they are doing it wrong, it’s not all bad news. The fact is, best practices around making hiring decisions have been understood by academics for years. And they are not that difficult to implement. There are new and exciting talent-acquisition tools that are enabling companies to reform their practices and overhaul processes to create something much better.

With artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, technology can play an important role from the get go . For example, it can help someone write a better job description. This first step in the hiring process would then invite a diverse pool of candidates with capabilities that match companies’ needs. Cloud and mobile computing solutions facilitate better communication between recruiters and hiring managers. Nudge technology and access to data allows decision-makers to move away from hiring based purely on gut-decisions and shift to data-driven choices.

Research has identified five hiring best practices that span the talent acquisition process – from writing targeted job descriptions that invite the best candidates to blind resume reviews to conducting structured interviews. These best practices make hiring more effective and yield stronger teams, happier employees, and improve the candidate experience, which reflects on the company at every step. The talent acquisition industry has technology that can facilitate all of these strategies and transform hiring systems to be both more effective and more equitable. What we need now is a change of mindset.

As an industry, let’s forget the incomplete idea that talent acquisition is only about filling an open position. It’s about strategically finding creative and effective team members that fit the company culture and will drive the business forward. As new markets emerge, and old sectors are rapidly transformed, it’s the employees, the human element, who contribute to a company’s success and it’s competitive differentiation.

Instead of pressuring talent acquisition professionals to be faster, or to collect more resumes, true improvement will come from creating processes that prioritize hiring best practices and finding the right hire. This change in focus from the fast hire to the right hire will succeed only if it is organization-wide and reinforced at every level, from senior leadership team and executive suite to the hiring manager and recruiters.

The data is there: the hiring process is broken. We have the tools and the strategies to change. It’s time to start changing our priorities and focusing on the metrics that really matter. It’s time to hire better.

About the Author:

Laura Mather, Founder and CEO, Talent Sonar

Laura Mather, CEO and Founder of Talent Sonar, is an expert on hiring, AI, and the future of work. Her innovative technology, Talent Sonar, is the only comprehensive hiring platform to improve hiring at every step from incorporating values into the hiring process to conducting blind resume review and structured interviewing. She was honored as one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and as one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. She is a featured speaker at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Generation Summit, HR West, and Ad Week, among others.


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What Is People Science Really All About? | Featured Image

What Is People Science Really All About?

Written by Adam Hale, EVP of Sage People.

What Is People Science Really All About? | Main Image

You’ve heard the phrase ‘People Science’ and have maybe even seen job postings for a ‘Head of People’ or ‘Chief People Officer’. But what does People Science really mean and why does it matter?

People Science is an approach organizations use to relate to their employees instead of seeing them as just human resources. Our Becoming a People Company report found that 87% of HR leaders think more should be done to put people at the heart of their business and that’s what People Science is all about. It looks at every part of an employee’s experience and goes beyond traditional HR in reach and influence, becoming a business-critical strategy that integrates with every part of the organization.

If you’re just starting to wrap your head around People Science, below are 6 ways to understand the power of the approach and the impact it can have on your workplace.

1. 3D not 2D

When you’re looking to engage with people, rather than manage people as resources or capital, you need to know about an employee’s skills, pay scale and reporting lines, and then look more deeply at the individuals themselves. When using People Science, every employee is treated as a multi-dimensional personality, not just a flat outline. The best HR and people leaders understand cultural fit, working styles, strengths, values and the goals each person brings to an organization.

2. Home cooking, not takeaway meals

When you cook at home, you need to collect the right ingredients and add them at just the right time and in the right proportions to get the perfect result. You know how each ingredient reacts, what brings out its best and how to avoid burning or undercooking it. You can learn from your results and refine your recipes, knowing which elements work well together.

People Science is like home-cooking your organization’s culture and values, balancing the people in teams and ‘shopping’ for top-quality hires who have the potential to add depth and flavor to your projects. It’s got a strategic long-term side, as well as a skillful day-to-day process. And while it takes a little more time and effort than grabbing a takeaway snack for instant relief, it’s a more sustainable way to nurture your organization’s long-term health.

3. Sherlock Holmes with DNA fingerprinting

Sherlock Holmes is a genius who can use deduction and logic to unravel murder mysteries with his mind. But imagine if he had a DNA forensics lab and Big Data at his disposal. Intuitive talent plus hard data? He’d be unstoppable.

In today’s business climate, it’s now unthinkable to not use data to analyze customer behaviors, but many companies don’t apply this same logic to understanding their own people. Why are so many overlooking this? If companies want to attract and retain the best people, the use of people data to improve the employee experience is no longer optional.

People Science takes the intuitive power of HR and adds data evidence to support ideas, investigate theories and take pre-emptive action. Because it’s data-backed and evidence based, it can provide iron-clad answers to back up your hunches about things. It can also predict outcomes, so you can foresee and prevent issues like flight risk or talent shortages.

4. Google vs. your multi-volume leather-bound encyclopedia

Google is an essential reference tool, much like your trusty set of encyclopedia books. It knows the answers. But while you can use it to look up facts about ancient Egypt, there’s so much more to it than that.

Like Google – and the technology industry in general – People Science is always changing and innovating. Instead of sticking to rigid processes, HR and people leaders who take a People Science approach are reinventing things according to movements in their industry, in technological tools and in People Science itself. It’s nimble enough to respond to the transforming world of modern business.

5. The X-Men vs. your favorite sports team

Your favorite sports team consists of players with finely-honed skills in shooting hoops, blocking passes or scoring goals. But only in (or on) their own field. Pit them against an unexpected challenge like, say, an evil supervillain intent on world destruction, and they’ll probably be out of their depth.

People teams are multi-disciplinary, with an array of superpowers including data analysis, marketing, building relationships, social media and talent scouting (not to mention saving the world on a regular basis). Think of them as your all-star team of people superheroes, ready for anything life throws at your business, even game-changing digital developments that fall outside the traditional HR field.

6. A hotel, not a dorm room

Like a hotel, a business with People Science knowledge understands that its commercial success depends on keeping people comfortable, feeling valued and leaving with a great experience. Hospitality is vital, not just a nice-to-have – unless you want your people, like the students in a basic dorm room, to upgrade to a nicer workplace once they’ve finished learning from you.

See how your company stacks up in the journey to become a People Company with our free People Company profiler.

About the Author:

Adam Hale, EVP of Sage People

Adam Hale, EVP of Sage People, previously acted as Executive Chairman and Non Executive Director having spent over 30 years in the technology industry. He was formerly Head of Software and European Technology at Russell Reynolds Associates, the leading executive search firm and before that ran large system implementation projects at Accenture. Adam is also a committee member of the Technology Leadership Group (TLG) for the Prince’s Trust.


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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

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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.


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Enhance Engagement and Retention with People Analytics

Enhance Engagement and Retention with People Analytics

Employee Group

An organization that provides top wages and benefits loses a great employee to a competitor for no apparent reason. We can’t stop employees from leaving unless we have a plan to make them stay.

“Retention is the single most important thing for growth” – Alex Shultz (VP Growth, Facebook)

What is the biggest and most intractable restraint to growth faced by companies doing business today? For many organizations, it’s the lack of appropriate talent. The reason: As more organizations have expanded their operations, the need for talent has skyrocketed. But there isn’t enough skilled labor to fill the demand. As a result, one risks losing the talent to other organizations. And with so many companies drawing on a limited talent pool, the competition is fierce.

Glassdoor’s statistical analysis reveals top three factors that matter most for employee retention.

  • Company culture
  • Employee salary
  • Stagnating for long periods of time in the same job

By examining the survey responses of more than 100,000 employees in numerous organizations, Gallup also discovered common themes among the reasons employees chose to remain with a company or to leave it. The reasons employees chose to stay with a company included the following:

  • I feel my job is important to the company.
  • My supervisor cares about me and gives me regular feedback.
  • I know my job expectations.
  • My opinions count.
  • I have opportunity to do my best work every day.
  • My career development is encouraged.

All the above reasons are part of what is often known is “engagement”. Organizations, or teams with high levels of employee engagement score high in most if not all of these. Higher engagement levels not only significantly affect employee retention, productivity and loyalty, but are also a key link to customer satisfaction, company reputation and overall stakeholder value.

OWEN Analytics, who is are providing AI-based people solutions have developed a robust and comprehensive methodology to measure and enhance retention. They run quick pulse surveys that are a combination of “ME” questions (My opinions count), and “WE” questions (I would like to appreciate the following individuals for helping me in my day-to-day work). Open feedback questions are interspersed as well to understand sentiment and key issues.

This helps understand engagement drivers not only from an individual employee perspective, but also from a team dynamics perspective. After all, our engagement with the organization is actually our engagement with the people in the organization – hence understanding those relationships is critical in better understanding attrition. This is the science of ONA (Organization Network Analysis). The example below illustrates how ONA can be used to understand team dynamics in a pharmaceutical sales organization.

01

02

Clearly, the more cohesive teams have better performance and lower attrition.

Now that we have looked at engagement comprehensively, we need to look at what other factors drive employee turnover, as shown below:

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As per Deloitte, moving beyond the analysis of employee engagement and retention, analytics and AI have come together, giving companies a much more detailed view of management and operational issues to improve operational performance.

Exploring People Analytics

People Analytics, a discipline that started as a small technical group that analyzed engagement and retention, has now gone mainstream as per Deloitte. Organizations are redesigning their technical analytics groups to build out digitally powered enterprise analytics solutions.

OWEN Analytics specializes in helping organizations improve retention using AI driven techniques. As per OWEN, “Machine learning predictions can be sufficiently accurate and thus very effective in enabling targeted interventions for retaining high risk employees. However, using such techniques requires significant expertise in developing predictive models and experience in interpreting the outputs.

HR leaders and aspiring analysts needn’t be disheartened though. One can start with some very simple analyses using nothing more than basic Excel and develop reasonably good retention strategies” Read their blog here: Manage attrition using simple analytics.

OWEN uses a systematic retention approach to understand, predict and drive necessary actions.

04

Predictive models are developed using various Machine Learning algorithms (e.g. Decision Trees, Random Forests, Logistic Regression, Support Vector Machines and Artificial Neural Networks) and best fit algorithm based on the accuracy and business context selected to predict flight risk.

Once the predictions are drivers are available, simple action planning templates to develop and track interventions are used to retain high potential employees.

Retention Challenge

The retention challenge is the result of increasing job mobility in the global knowledge economy where workers average six employers over the course of a career, coupled with the baby boomer retirement “brain drain” and a smaller generation of workers entering their prime working age during this time. It is occurring in all types of organizations across all management levels. This study empirically investigates whether the impact of an organization’s strategic orientation toward knowledge management, the learning culture it supports, and specific human resource practices impact knowledge worker retention and organization performance.

The Eight Elements of the High-Retention Organization as per SAS Institute

  • Clear Sense of Direction and Purpose
  • Caring Management
  • Flexible Benefits and Schedule Adapted to the Needs of the Individual
  • Open Communication
  • A Charged Work Environment
  • Performance Management
  • Recognition and Reward
  • Training and Development

As per Asia – Pacific Journal of Research, preventing turnover is a wise step to implement because it saves money, time, and effort. The company should spend a considerable effort and time to prevent turnover. It is better for an organization to keep experienced and productive employees than to hire new ones. It should invest in its employees through training programs, creating a good hiring process, and engrain them with strong organizational vision. To effectively solve turnover problems, every company needs to address the causes of the turnover. The causes of turnover might not be the same for every company. Below are the most common and affecting factors for preventing turnover.

It’s no more a secret that People Analytics plays a vital role for organizations in dealing with challenges of employee engagement and retention.

About the Authors:

Soumyasanto Sen — Blogger, Speaker and Evangelist in HR Technologies. Engaging with OWEN Analytics.

Professional Advisor, Consultant, Investor in HR Tech. Having 12+ years of experience focusing on Strategies, People Analytics, Cloud, UX, Security, Integration and Entrepreneurship in Digital HR Transformation.

Tej Mehta — Founder & CEO of OWEN Analytics.

Entrepreneur, advisor, student of social sciences. Founded i-Cube as an intersection of analytics and social sciences. Previously, as Vice President with Seabury Group, led strategy and operational transformation programs across several clients in the airline and aerospace industries. Aeronautical engineer, MBA from University of Southern California.


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People Science: Why Your Employees Are Your Most Important Asset

Written by Adam Hale, CEO at Fairsail.

People Science

We are in the midst of a global skills crisis that is forcing companies to rethink how they attract and retain the right talent. Imagine being able to know why the top salesperson at a business has quit, and then how to ensure it doesn’t happen again. What if businesses could use the profiles of their top performers to identify the candidates most likely to be high performers in the future.

Business leaders are looking for more, data-driven people decisions enabling business goals. I’m not talking about simplistic HR metrics and KPIs; I’m talking about People Science. This means being able to know why one of the firm’s top performers has quit, or what experiences new hires need to get up to speed quickly. It means the ability to hire and develop the right people today while building the skills needed for tomorrow.

What’s more – today’s people insights can prevent tomorrow’s problems. For example, the capability to know the reason why a top performer has quit can help to ensure that the business builds the right work environment, offers the right compensation packages, and creates consistently great workforce experiences to ensure that it doesn’t happen again in the future. By looking at the profiles of the best business leaders today, and the skills likely to be needed in the future, tomorrow’s leaders can be identified and developed so they are ready with the right skills at the right time.

It’s not just about what the business wants though; employees have high expectations too. They want achievable targets based on metrics, specific reasons why they haven’t been promoted, and insight which can help them to develop. For example, it may be possible to let a sales consultant know they don’t perform as well when pitching to prospective clients in teams, which could enable them to improve the way they collaborate with their colleagues.

There’s a growing theme here. These examples of insight gleaned from data aren’t just about HR; they’re about people and the overall business. Put simply, a new approach is required to the HR function. Automating existing HR processes is not enough. HR leaders need to become Chief People Officers – thinking differently about how they engage with employees and design better ways of working to drive productivity and retain your best people. The power of People Science is real, and it could make a huge difference in being able to outwit rivals, ensure the business has a competitive edge and be able to retain and recruit top talent.

About the Author:

Adam Hale, CEO at Fairsail

Adam Hale, CEO at Fairsail, previously acted as Executive Chairman and Non Executive Director having spent over 30 years in the technology industry. He was formerly Head of Software and European Technology at Russell Reynolds Associates, the leading executive search firm and before that ran large system implementation projects at Accenture. Adam is also a committee member of the Technology Leadership Group (TLG) for the Prince’s Trust.


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How to Build a Data Science Team

Businesses today need to do more than merely acknowledge big data. They need to embrace data and analytics and make them an integral part of their company. Of course, this will require building a quality team of data scientists to handle the data and analytics for the company. Choosing the right members for the team can be difficult, mainly because the field is so new and many companies are still trying to learn exactly what a good data scientist should offer. Putting together an entire team has the potential to be more difficult. The following information should help to make the process easier.

The Right People

What roles need to be filled for a data science team? You will need to have data scientists who can work on large datasets and who understand the theory behind the science. They should also be capable of developing predictive models. Data engineers and data software developers are important, too. They need to understand architecture, infrastructure, and distributed programming.

Some of the other roles to fill in a data science team include the data solutions architect, data platform administrator, full-stack developer, and designer. Those companies that have teams focusing on building data products will also likely want to have a product manager on the team. If you have a team that has a lot of skill but that is low on real world experience, you may also want to have a project manager on the team. They can help to keep the team on the right track.

The Right Processes

When it comes to the processes, the key thing to remember with data science is agility. The team needs the ability to access and watch data in real time. It is important to do more than just measure the data. The team needs to take the data and understand how it can affect different areas of the company and help those areas implement positive changes. They should not be handcuffed to a slow and tedious process, as this will limit effectiveness. Ideally, the team will have a good working relationship with heads of other departments, so they work together in agile multi-disciplinary teams to make the best use of the data gathered.

The Platform

When building a data science team, it is also important to consider the platform your company is using for the process. A range of options are available including Hadoop and Spark. Hadoop is the market leader when it comes to big data technology, and it is an essential skill for all professionals who get into the field. When it comes to real-time processing, Spark is becoming increasingly important. It is a good idea to have all the big data team members skilled with Spark, too.

If you have people on the team that do not have these skills and that do not know how to use the various platforms, it is important they learn. Certification courses can be a great option for teaching the additional skills needed, and to get everyone on the team on the same page.

Some of the other platforms to consider include the Google Cloud Platform, and business analytics using Excel. Understanding the fundamentals of these systems can provide a good overall foundation for the team members.

Take Your Time

When you are creating a data science team for the company, you do not want to rush and choose the wrong people and platforms or not have quality processes in place. Take your time to create a team that will provide your company with the quality and professionalism it needs.

About the Author:

Ronald van Loon has joined as an Advisory Board Member for its Big Data training category. Named by Onalytica as one of the top three most influential personalities of Big Data in 2016, Ronald will contribute his expertise towards the rapid growth of Simplilearn’s popular Big Data & Analytics category.


Source: How to Build a Data Science Team | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn

What Millennials Really Want In 2017 | The HR Tech Weekly®

What Millennials Really Want In 2017

What Millennials Really Want In 2017 | Woobe

Conventional wisdom holds that Millennials are entitled, easily distracted, impatient, self-absorbed, lazy, and unlikely to stay in any job for long. Furthermore, they want free food; they want unlimited vacation; they want to run the company two days after they arrive. But, on the positive side, they’re also looking for purpose, feedback, and personal life balance in their work. Companies of all kinds are obsessed with understanding them better. Let’s talk, for once, about the positive attitudes:

  • Millennials will sacrifice salary for a better work environment: 25- to 35-year-olds said they’d be willing to give up an average of $7,600 in pay for a better situation at the office, such as more career development and a healthier work/life balance.
  • Millennials want to work for the greater good: 73% of Millennials seek meaningful work at an organization with a mission they support. In fact, a remarkable 90% say they want to use their skills for good, suggesting that Millennials seek workplaces with a culture of altruism that enables them to give back. Millennials also care about workplace culture, with 77% noting it is just as or more important than salary and benefits.
  • Millennials want to be entrepreneurial: giving your employees the flexibility and freedom, where possible, to be their own boss with a focus exclusively on results, produces greater employee engagement, loyalty and ultimately better business results.
  • Millennials want to be coached: they crave and respond to a good, positive coach. Overall, Millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees. Their number one source of development is their manager, but only 46% thinks that their manager delivered on their expectations for feedback.
  • Millennials want to design their own career paths: an essential component of Millennial employee engagement is letting them have a voice in how their careers are structured. The one-size-fits-all approach to building careers simply doesn’t work for Millennials’ ambitions. They desire amazing, personalized experiences and the chance to prove their abilities and quickly rise through the ranks. Unlike the traditional career paths, which tended to be more linear, Millennials are forging nonlinear and unique career paths that are aligned with a personal sense of purpose.

Leaders are increasingly turning their attention to the millennial generation, whose attitudes and preferences may profoundly reshape workplaces and society. Like those in every generation before them, millennials strive for a life well-lived. They want good jobs and they also want to be engaged in those jobs. In addition to finding engaging jobs, millennials want to have high levels of well-being. They also want a purposeful life and active community and social ties. Are millennials getting what they want out of work and life? Not so much. Gallup’s latest report, finds that millennials struggle to find good jobs that engage them. Millennials have the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment and only 29% of employed millennials are engaged at work.

Their overall well-being nearly matches that of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, meaning millennials have not been able to forge better paths for themselves, and that’s because of the corporate environment that is not ready to deal with this generation. They need to teach them the social skills that they are missing because of the digital and hyperconnected world they live in. Relationships are built on little things and, since trust doesn’t build in one big event, they have to create mechanism where they allow for the little interactions to happen. To achieve this, you can’t rely on the current social tools or add a new one because, as a matter of fact, too much connectivity kills connectivity.

The key it’s to bring back real human contact but, for large organisations, the only available solution is organising big corporate events which unfortunately aren’t effective. That’s because when you put 100 people in the same room, and hope they will talk, they tend instead to stay with people who already know. A better solution would be organising 25 small events of 4 people each:  that’s how you create new links between people. Unfortunately, finding the right person at the right time for these events is a nightmare without the right tool.

Woobe solves this problem with an innovative approach: managing profiles (age, seniority, departments, etc.) instead of individuals and adopting push communication instead of pull communication. In few clicks, and in less than 5 minutes, you can create a campaign of hundred micro-events! Watch how simple it is in this video:


Source: What Millennials really want in 2017 – Woobe

Brexit, Trump, and the Future of Work | The HR Tech Weekly®

Brexit, Trump, and the Future of Work

Written by Alex Cooper, on behalf of HR Tech World.

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There’s no doubt the world is going through a huge shift in paradigms when it comes to conceptualizing work. While technology rapidly advances, companies are trying their best to adapt. Tech is changing how we understand what we do, how we work, and even how we see the world around us. The disruption that technology is having in the world of work, however, is not the only disruption entering our lives. With the Brexit referendum passing in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in the United States, disruption seems to have gone ballistic.

As Josh Bersin notes, understanding the future of work is more than just simply comprehending technological innovation. The political events occurring in some of the world’s leading economic powers are drastically changing our approaches to society, the workplace, and how we view each other. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, the fact remains that these two events have drastically changed HR and work, not only in the respective countries, but globally.

Brexit, which has dominated the news channels in the U.K. and the E.U, has already had a huge impact on people and work. At the core is the unresolved question as to what this means for those living in the U.K. who are able to work and live there due to the E.U.’s free movement of labor policy. As soon as the results were in, businesses and their HR departments had to immediately confront the problems of how to deal with future recruitment plans and how to manage the implications for staffing and profitability if the U.K. were to leave the European single-market.

The U.K. government, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, currently appears to have set the controls for a hard break with the E.U., and as of yet there is no released plan for the road ahead; in spite of this, somehow companies must reevaluate their talent acquisition plans and employer branding. Although PM May insisted this week that E.U. citizens would maintain their right to live in the U.K. Without a concrete legal guarantee, there is little to stem the tide of fear and uncertainty this creates for people and organisations. The Financial Times recently reported that 58 percent of senior executives in major U.K. companies believe the Brexit referendum has negatively affected business:

“In terms of their priorities for the forthcoming negotiations, the business leaders said movement of labour and access to skilled labour came the highest, followed by securing free trade or retaining the single market with the EU and passporting rights. The interviewees said that to be successful in a post-Brexit UK, they wanted the level and complexity of regulation to be reduced and for it to still be easy to recruit EU staff.”

The other obvious shockwave is the rise of Donald Trump in the United States. President Trump relied heavily on his business experience during the campaign and used it to his advantage with the electorate. Yet, in his two weeks in office, Trump has received a backlash from within the business community due to a recent executive order on immigration.

Business leaders came out strongly against the ban because it directly conflicts with their operations. Bloomberg reported that Google CEO Sunar Pichai sent a note to employees after the order was issued condemning the ban and informing the company that the executive order affected 100 Google employees. Google also recalled staff from abroad because of the roll out of the ban, which temporarily barred even employees with work visas and permanent resident status in the U.S. from re-entering the country.

The order barring individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—has since been temporarily stopped by federal court.

At the end of the day, Article 50 still hasn’t been triggered and Trump is only 2 weeks into his presidency with the ban being frozen. However, these situations have caused alarm and posed questions about employees positions within the organizations in which they work, whether they are non-U.K. EU citizens in the U.K. or workers in the U.S. from one of the countries included in Trump’s immigration ban. There are at time of writing no clear paths as to what is next; negotiations between the UK and the E.U. have yet to begin, and in the US states and rights groups are pushing back against the immigration ban through the legal system.

As we move through the first few months of 2017 Brexit and the Trump Presidency leave companies and their HR departments no hiding place; they must begin planning for a wide variety of disruptive scenarios. Businesses are already developing ways to counteract any negative effect and those that are the most agile are often better able to cope with disruption. On the subject of Brexit, for example a Financial Times report states, “A large majority [of business leaders] — 96 per cent — was confident their business could adapt to the consequences of leaving the EU, and more than two-thirds had already taken action in response to the referendum result. A tenth were moving business outside the UK.”

In an interview with HRN about Brexit for the upcoming HR Tech World London show, economist Daniel Thorniley told Peter Russell, Director of Research and Development at HRN, “companies and HR departments will need to show a lot of consideration for staff in how the want to retain staff and motivate them over the next 2-3 years… This time of elevated uncertainty will show which companies can produce Best Practice in HR.”

With socio-economic and political disruption coming in on top of all the media noise on artificial intelligence and robotics it’s no small wonder there is fear and confusion about where the future of work is headed. Precarity does not seem to be dissolving anytime soon; a calm breath, alongside a compassionate and proactive stance should be pushed to the fore. Being preemptive in this regard could save businesses from impaired employee performance, future talent and recruitment headaches, and do much to inject a massive boost of trust and confidence into both worried employees, and those hard-earned employer brands.

About the Author:

Alex Cooper is the Content Specialist of HRN, organizer of HR Tech World shows, and curates the HRN Blog. You can follow him on Twitter @wgacooper.


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Half of American Workers Aren’t Taking a Full Vacation – Is Anyone Benefiting?

Half of American Workers Aren't Taking a Full Vacation - Is Anyone Benefiting?

Majority of American Workers Don’t Use Allotted Vacation Days

Over the winter break I came across two articles that were fascinating and worth commenting on for recruiting and HR professionals. One study I came across included a shocking statistic about American workers and their vacation habits and another outlined the positive impacts of taking time off to recharge the batteries. As we will see there seems to be a significant disconnect regarding the value of taking breaks in our workplaces between workers and researchers who study productivity patterns.

First, for the statistic that immediately stunned me. According to an article on Market Watch, research done by the U.S. Travel Association, documented that, “More than half (55%) of Americans didn’t take all of their vacation days in 2015, up from 42% in 2013…” Essentially, millions of Americans are giving their vacation days back to their employer. The article went on to to report that:

The average worker took 16.2 days of vacation [in 2015], down from 20 days in 1993, resulting in $61.4 billion in forfeited benefits. These workers gave up 658 million unused vacation days and 222 million of those days cannot be rolled over or exchanged for money. Over 5,600 full-time workers were surveyed, including 1,184 managers for the study.

Furthermore, 61% of Americans work while they’re on vacation – with 1 in 4 reported being contacted by a colleague about a work related matter while taking time off. This begs the question how many Americans truly ‘unplug’ when they are on vacation (for those that take them in the first place)?

What’s more, according to the researchers looking at career trends for Glassdoor the primary reason people don’t take vacation time, they are offered, is “Fear.” Therefore, the breakdown went as follows for the top reasons why vacation time was left on the table:

  • 28% of workers say they fear getting behind while they are on vacation
  • 17% say they fear losing the job if they take vacations 
  • 19% don’t take all of their days off in hopes that it will give them an edge for a promotion
  • 13% are competitive and want to outperform colleagues

Another important nugget, in the Glassdoor survey, was that in the post-recession world (after 2008) workers are often shouldering heavier workloads and, therefore, afraid of not meeting goals if they take regular vacations.

It might be easy to assume that taking less vacations means we are more productive and it’s “good” for business – but this assumption may be dead wrong according to recent studies.

Evidence Mounting that No Vacations Short Changes Productivity

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Taking Proper Time Off Can Aid in Overall Productivity & Creativity

According to an excellent article in Entrepreneur, in 2016, a recent study at Virginia Commonwealth University argued that it is imperative that employees and small business persons take time off to re-charge the batteries. Entrepreneurs are often celebrated for wearing multiple hats and logging incredibly long hours, but working without letup is a bad habit that can jeopardize business, health and the life you’re working toward – according to some experts. One such researcher stated,

There is a lot of research that says we have a limited pool of cognitive resources…When you are constantly draining your resources, you are not being as productive as you can be. If you get depleted, we see performance decline. You’re able to persist less and have trouble solving tasks.

This is clearly counter-intuitive to how many entrepreneurs and workers perceive the benefits of being a workaholic in America. Most assume that the hardest working will survive and “rest” or “relaxation” is considered something the ‘less motivated’ partake in. According to one strategic coach in reality everyone will eventually hit the wall and end up being less productive, creative, and able to problem solve if breaks (big and small) aren’t routinely taken. As the researchers note, “Since almost all of us are doing mental work these days, managing cognitive resources is not a nice thing to be able to do; it’s essential.” This is isn’t about business or worker management, it’s about the physiology of the brain and body.

The bottom line is burning up mental resources without replenishing them leads to stress, burnout and poor performance (not to mention making it hard to concentrate and/or make good decisions).

Researchers are finding that extended vacations – at least 2 weeks in length are extremely important to completely ‘unplug’ and ‘re-charge’. Also, taking more frequent short breaks each day of work can be incredibly beneficial for the employees and the business.

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Taking off a Full 2 Weeks is Optimal

A few  ways to avoid burnout and boost creativity and productivity include:

  1. Daily breaks (walking meetings, lunch with a friend or working out)
  2. Unplugged weekend activities such as hiking or driving with family and friends
  3. Home activities such as cooking (to help relieve stress)
  4. Exercising during lunch
  5. Truly leaving work at work when on vacations 

As recruiters, hiring managers, and HR professionals this is a topic that deserves a much more robust discussion – as it relates to your work life and those that you are helping to place.

There is so much more to say on this fascinating topic, but suffice to say in 2017 we should all do some self-reflection on our workloads and ensure that ample breaks are being taken to truly optimize our productivity and creativity.

Do you have any anecdotal evidence that getting ‘recharged’ has helped you be more productive, creative, and a better problem solver?


Source: Half of American Workers Aren’t Taking a Full Vacation – Is Anyone Benefiting? – Crelate