Bonuses, Assessments, and Jerks, Oh My! Takeaways from Day 2 of HROToday Forum

The second day of the HROToday forum in Philadelphia was packed with content, great speakers and fun interactions.  There were 16 sessions (all plenary sessions) and almost 30 different speakers.  The sessions were lively, short and full of variety.

My top 3 takeaways from the day were:

1.  You can change hiring manager behavior in the recruiting processes, but it is most likely to stick if you tie it to their bonuses.  Greg Karr, Executive VP at Seven Step RPO discussed how they use data and analytics to improve the recruitment process for their clients.  For one specific client, they broke down the process to look for bottlenecks and discovered that hiring managers were taking too long to review and respond to resumes and interview requests from the recruiters (I know, this is not shocking to anyone).  Instead of just begging the hiring managers to react more quickly, their client had executive buy-in to tie hiring manager response times in the recruiting process to their annual bonuses.  Guess what improved greatly in a short period of time???  I’m a believer in “what gets measured, gets done,” but I’m an evangelist for “what gets bonused, gets done” and this example illustrates that point.

2.  If you want to improve your quality of candidate and thus your quality of hire, you should seriously consider using assessments in your hiring process.  Evelyn Orr from Korn Ferry Institute shared data that FutureStep clients who use their “fit” assessment as a part of the hiring process are 6.1 times more likely to identify candidates who are the best fit for the role and organization than flipping a coin.  She shared this state after she discussed that 50% of hiring managers and 50% of new hires “aren’t sure” they made the right decision.  So, instead of flipping a coin, let’s start using some science in our hiring.

3.  Jerk bosses are the real problem.  I’m pretty sure we already knew this.  There have been studies around for years that state employees don’t leave their company, they leave their boss.  Beverly Kaye, founder of Career Systems International, gave an intriguing and funny talk about her upcoming book on how “stay interviews” have a positive impact on retention.  She highlighted that jerk bosses (her words, not mine, but I like the term) are a true problem.  What I still can’t understand, and would like to chat with Beverly about, is why companies continue to tolerate individuals in supervisory/management roles who are horrible people managers?  I completely agree that stay interviews are very powerful, but if jerk bosses conduct them, I’m pretty sure they will have a negative impact.

There was so much more to gain from today’s session and I was really glad I was there as a part of the Blog Squad.  The most fun part of the day was when Dr. Bob Nelson had us all get up and meet new people in the room as if they were a long lost friend we haven’t seen in 20 years.  I think I might have frightened a few of the men in my path with my enthusiasm, but I took Bob’s point to heart — if we approach others with a positive attitude and high energy, it will rub off.

About Kara Yarnot

Kara founded Meritage Talent Solutions to provide tailored talent acquisition solutions to employers and employment services companies. Kara has over 17 years of leadership experience in talent acquisition and recruiting for several FORTUNE® 500 organizations, including Boeing, Intel, and SAIC.

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