Visit HRO Today on Facebook

Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Understand and Engage Millennials

By Jennie Hollmann, Ph.D.
Caliper Corporation

Despite their popular depiction, Millennials are not a new species of people assembled from fiber-optic cable and acting in unison. But there is one key constant among those born after 1980: they tend to have shorter workplace tenures than their predecessors. So, I sought out to consider why this phenomenon occurs and how businesses can keep oft-misunderstood Millennials engaged and in the fold longer.

1. Don’t Treat Millennials Like Clones
Millennials are quite different from one another. Thus, one-size-fits-all strategies will misfire. To truly find out how someone is “hardwired,” look to personality. The universal language of personality acts as a gateway into an individual’s work style and problem-solving methods, and it goes beyond the superficial notion that one’s generation—an arbitrary construct—dictates how you behave.

Yes, some respond better to coddling coaches, but others want a no-nonsense boss. Using a personality assessment allows human resources professional to home in on workplace motivations and put people in situations that lead to success.

With a personality assessment such as the Caliper Profile, you can see who is an independent go-getter and who is a deferential accommodator. Once you know these things, you can start piecing together a personalized plan that speaks to an individual, not a group of people.

2. Freedom Is More Valuable Than Money

While we know that Millennials aren’t a monolithic species, its members do have some overarching beliefs that would be wise to consider.

Overwhelmingly, freedom trumps money for Millennials. We don't live in an idyllic post-commerce society, but the personal sovereignty to spend time the way one wishes is a legitimate currency to the youngest generation in the workforce. And if owning larger homes and having fatter wallets than one’s parents is not in the cards for Millennials, aspirations shift from ownership to experience.

In a 2014 Universum and HEAD Foundation survey, “Millennials: Understanding a Misunderstood Generation,” North American millennials overwhelmingly chose spending time with family as their priority, followed by growing and learning new things. Being wealthy ranked dead last.

For Millennials, a job is a passport to a fulfilling life, and they want the freedom to explore. Feeling boxed-in by fixed work hours is deflating to them, and anything that flips the script is welcome.
Not everyone functions identically, so learn your worker’s individual tendencies. For so long, strict adherence to a 9-5 schedule has been seen as the key to unlocking productivity. Wrong.

Maybe your employees can be more productive telecommuting. Others could benefit from a 90-minute coffee-shop pit stop to recharge and catch up on emails. Some will need time to tend to their children, and others would appreciate the ability to hit up the gym and the laundromat at lunch.

3. Foster Collaboration Through an Open Floor Plan

Even if you have to reimagine your workspace, it should be a place in which Millennials want to gather, since in roughly five years they will become the most well-represented group in your office. Ask yourself: Is my work environment a wellspring of creativity and collaboration? Millennials are open to a flatter corporate hierarchy, which typically corresponds with a more open floor plan.

Open floorplans, says Forbes contributor Neil Howe, are “well-suited for a group-oriented generation that values the opportunity to socialize, work in teams, and get help from co-workers. Their mobile style of working also means that they don’t equate space with worth and are eager for more egalitarian spaces that encourage everyone to contribute.”

Remember: a 21-year-old digital native can tweet at the Pope or FaceTime with someone on the other side of the globe. Millennials have grown up in a boundary-less, digital landscape, and your workspace should offer the same type of unfettered access to which they are accustomed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

3 Steps to Battle Employee Disengagement

By: Rajeev Behera, CEO of Reflektive

Employee engagement is one of the hottest topics today in people management, yet little is being done to improve it. According to the oft-cited Gallup poll, only 32 percent of employees were engaged in their jobs in the last year. Disengaged employees aren’t just a nuisance; they wreak havoc on the bottom line by bringing productivity down across your entire organization. What’s worse, their indifference can rub off on customers and hurt your brand significantly over time.

Engagement comes in many varieties. There will always be employees who are disengaged for personal reasons, but most employee disengagement stems from poor management. It’s also true that most employees that leave their jobs do so because of their managers. To increase employee engagement and combat boredom they may be feeling, employers should start by looking at the likely cause: poor management.

Boredom occurs when employees don't have enough work, don't have enough challenging work, or don't feel connected to a greater mission. Here are three tips to help your company increase engagement and reduce boredom for a more productive workforce:

1. Manage with clear objectives  Employees feel disengaged when they believe their work is disconnected from the business’ greater mission. By setting clear and realistic goals for each employee, from the top down or the bottom up, that employee will see how her contributions are tied to the overall success of the business. It’s extremely important to never let your employees feel like their work is meaningless. Even if they are working on a small piece of a much greater puzzle, ensure they know how their contributions are impactful for the common good of the business.

2. Move to real-time – Outdated models of performance management rely on once-a-year performance reviews, which can be detrimental to employee engagement. Not only are these reviews time-consuming administrative nightmares,  but they often are also extremely inaccurate and cause your employees to focus more on their own job security than on their contributions. By encouraging real-time feedback in the moment instead of once a year, employees can improve when that improvement is most relevant and needed.

3. Prioritize development and career planning – Employees lose engagement and become bored when they feel they are not being developed. An employee who doesn’t see a path to advancement quickly becomes disengaged. It’s also easy to put development to the wayside when projects are piling up. Create a culture of development by requiring your managers to set clear developmental goals with each employee and track progress towards those goals. These objectives should be specific, such as become a better public speaker or learn a new programming language, instead of general, like “become a manager” or “be promoted to VP.” Break down the skills needed for these larger advancements and help your employees advance in their careers. By doing this, your employees will feel more engaged and ultimately will contribute more to your business.

Employee disengagement is a systematic problem that should not be ignored. By ensuring you have a culture of feedback and employee development, you can combat disengagement and ensure your employees are contributing their very best.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Women Earn Less Starting at Age 32, New Visier Study Finds

A new US study,  Visier Insights™: Gender Equity, released this week introduced a new term to the lexicon of gender equity: the Manager Divide.

The study, which is based on an analysis of over 165,000 employee records from over 30 large US enterprises, found that the gender wage gap begins to widen at age 32. Up until this age, female workers earn 90 percent the wages of their male counterparts, but this percentage decreases to just 82 percent by age 40. At the same time, the data shows that women are underrepresented in managerial positions from this age onwards—a finding known as the manager divide.

Why does this disparity occur during this particular time?

Between the critical career advancement ages of 25 to 40 there is a notable and steady decline in the percent of women in the workforce -- meaning women are leaving the workforce at a higher rate than men during these years. This trend correlates to the childcare years: most women in the US who have children give birth to them between the ages of 25 and 34. With most children entering school (and, therefore, requiring less childcare) at age 5, women who have children are most likely to experience increased childcare demands up until the age of 39. These demands impact their careers.

Although significant progress has been made in employers proactively pursuing policies of equal pay for equal positions, this alone will not close the gap: gender equity is a complex and systemic issue that requires action on many fronts.

The study finds that eliminating the manager divide, which coincides with the years in which women typically have children, would cut the gender wage gap by nearly one-third. Furthermore, eliminating the manager divide and ensuring gender pay equity in manager positions would reduce the gender wage gap by almost one-half for workers over age 32.

There are a number of important steps employers can take to promoting the end of the manager divide and accelerate the closing of the gender wage gap:

● Implement the "Rooney Rule": for every manager position you have open to fill, consider “at least one woman and one underrepresented minority” in your slate of candidates.

● Implement blind screening, removing names (or other gender identifiers) from resumes when selecting candidates for interviews.

● Increase measurement and awareness of gender equity in the rollout or implementation of HR policies, including compensation policies.

Additionally, all of us—regardless of our role in our companies or communities—can work to eradicate the gender wage gap by:

Supporting meaningful, paid parental leave that is equal for both men and women.

Ensuring that it is socially acceptable for both men and women to take time off to care for their children.

Supporting programs that increase the availability of quality, affordable childcare for all parents.

Ensuring it is socially acceptable for both mothers and fathers to make use of flexible working time arrangements to care for children.

Developing and supporting long-term programs—starting in grade school and continuing throughout high school and college and into the work years—aimed at removing the gender bias and social taboos associated with career choices: while it might take 10 or 20 years for these particular efforts to pay off, they are a key part of the solution for eradicating the gender wage gap.

Monday, June 27, 2016

What References Have to Say About Job Candidates

Dedication, Dependability and Team Orientation are Top Strengths of Job Candidates According to their References

By Dr. Cynthia A. Hedricks, Chief Analytics Officer, SkillSurvey

Virtually every best practice guide or blog with a focus on reference-checking and job interviewing includes the advice that you should ask a job candidate about their areas of strengths and the areas where they could improve. These have become commonly asked questions because it is always interesting to learn how well a candidate knows himself or herself and whether these perceptions align with what others say about him or her in their reference check.

Strangely enough, there haven't been many studies done on the content provided by references or on the impact of this information on hiring decisions and subsequent success on the job. SkillSurvey has decided to fill that knowledge gap. At SkillSurvey, we believe references’ comments can be among the most informative and critical parts of the candidate feedback report. Now, thanks to a vast database of reference comments, and the use of text analytics software, we have been able to initiate the industry’s most extensive text analysis to date of reference feedback on job candidates.

SkillSurvey’s analytics team looked at verbatim comments provided by references during confidential reference checks—a sample that included 44,941 words or short phrases that were provided by references. The team identified these top work-related areas of improvement and strengths:

Top Strengths:

  • Commitment/Dedication
  • Dependable/Meets Deadlines
  • Team Orientation
  • Attention to Detail/Accuracy
  • Attitude/Energy              

Top Areas of Improvement:

  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Time Management and Prioritizing

To conduct this study, the analytics team used stratified, random sampling to select 3,200 candidates who were reference-checked on one of 16 job-specific, representative surveys. These 16 surveys spanned a variety of job roles such as customer service representative, registered nurse, software developer, store manager, and engineer, to name a few. Four references (two managers and two coworkers) per candidate were randomly chosen for analysis, yielding feedback from 12,800 references (3,200 candidates x four references each). You can see more details on our research here.

The insights provided by references align well with the applied or soft skills deficits of candidates in a report recently published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

We look forward to continuing our research in the future and to investigate the relationships between the results of the text analytics and outcome variables such as hiring decisions, job performance and turnover, as well as a study of the differences in quantity and type of feedback provided by managers vs. coworkers. We have already proven that quantitative reference feedback (behavior ratings and response rates) are significantly related to work outcomes. Our ultimate goal is to integrate the quantitative and qualitative feedback provided by the references, thus enabling companies to make even better hiring decisions.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Don’t Get Left Behind: Why Digital Video Technology is Taking Over Recruitment

By Lindsay Stanton, Chief Client Officer, Digi-Me

When searching for top talent in today’s candidate-driven market, you want your clients to stand out from your competitors, and you want to impress job seekers. To achieve this, you have to keep up-to-date on trends. The latest technology can help maximize your sourcing efficiency and effectiveness.

How do you stay relevant in today’s digital world and reduce cost per hire? By incorporating digital video technology as part of your recruitment strategy.

Today’s talent acquisition professionals are becoming a lot more like marketers. Human resources and marketing departments are working closely together, more than ever before, to streamline brand messaging.

Marketers are using video as part of their marketing strategy. Why? Because they are getting a better ROI.

Click-through rates increase 200-300 percent when incorporated in an email. Conversion can increase by 80 percent when including video on a landing page. And, 64 percent of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a product video.

If marketers are seeing such success with video, what could happen if you incorporated a digital job description in your recruitment efforts?

Today’s job seekers are social, and they are going to look for new opportunities on social media. In fact, 73 percent of Millennials reported landing their most recent job by finding it on social media according to the Aberdeen Group. LinkedIn is reporting a continued increase in earnings from Talent Solutions with a revenue increase of 41 percent year-over-year to $558 million.

Videos attract job seekers on social media. Did you know that 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook per day? Why not carve out time to watch a video to learn more about a potential job opportunity?

Digital videos should be easy to share on social media with a social share function, giving recruiters the power to make their videos go viral.  Candidates will act as a third party validator of your content by sharing your job videos through out their network of contacts. We actually see throughout Digi-Me’s client base that 70 percent of views and applications arrive through social sharing!

Who do you want to share your opportunities? How about your greatest brand advocates--your employees?

According to a recent blog article by Clear Company, “statistics show that one out of every five referrals gets hired.” The blog article also stated referrals have longer tenure and are happier at the companies they are recruited to, being that “46 percent stay over one year, 45 percent over two years and 47 percent over three years.” Sixty-seven percent of recruiters and employers reported the overall recruiting process took less time. Fifty-one percent of recruiters and employers reported that it is was more cost-effective and less expensive to recruit a referral.

Needless to say, referrals have a great value as an added source for your recruitment efforts and they can be easily attracted by digital video.

Video conveys a message about your client’s job positions and their company culture that text alone cannot. It shows and tells a story about the people behind the job, processes, philosophies, awards, etc. in under one minute. In this digital age, attention spans seem to be shortening as we are all bombarded with media and ads. Video is short, simple, and effective.

On average,  candidates spend five times longer on websites with videos instead of just text, and 80 percent of candidate traffic comes from Google searches. Why is that second statistic relevant?  Because Google ranks video job content 53 times higher than text-based job content!

Regardless of where you choose to post a digital job video, the best thing about today’s digital technology is that you have the ability to track your efforts. Including who is applying, where, and at what time. You have the necessary, detailed information to know where you are getting the best traction. When you know how to hone your efforts, you are not only more effective with your time, but you can also formulate a strategy that will reduce your cost per hire.

Don’t fall behind when recruiting top talent. Digital video technology is key to today’s successful recruitment strategy.

Lindsay Stanton is chief client officer for Digi-Me, a video technology company for talent acquisition that helps organizations add new dimension to their job and employment brand messaging.  In her time at Digi-Me, Lindsay has facilitated relationships with 19 partners, including the largest recruitment advertising agencies, global recruitment process outsourcers, and staffing firms. These partnerships magnify the organization’s reach into the Global Fortune 1000, providing an effective and innovative solution to the largest global employers, including USG Corporation and Kiewit.

A subject matter expert on the use of video technology as a recruitment tool, Lindsay works closely with industry leaders, creating new and better ways to connect jobs and job-seekers.  She has been a featured speaker at SHRM as well as a featured leader in the recruitment space through ERE, HRO Today, and major media outlets, including,, and CCTV.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

HRO Today Forum APAC Photos

Below are photos from the HRO Today Forum APAC, which took place June 15-16, 2016.

This forum, with the theme of "The Talent Cloud – The Convergence of HR and Technology," was all about delegate interaction. Attendees were able to take part in interactive learning sessions led by the industry’s thought leaders. The attendees networked, developed relationships for career improvement, and left the forum having made new contacts that will help them take their HR outsourcing solutions to the next level.

Check our more photos in the next issue of HRO Today! To send your own photos or content to us, email or Tweet us at @BelindaSharr and @DebbieBolla, or @HROToday.

The State of the Gig Economy

By Steve Wolfe, Executive Vice President of Operations and Administration at Addison Group

The end of the 2009 recession and increased economic growth have brought about many changes in the workplace. One of these changes is an influx of contract workers in the workforce, who make up what is known as the gig economy. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of temporary employees has increased by more than 65 percent since the end of 2009. While this isn’t a new practice, hiring managers are increasingly looking toward ‘gig workers’ as an alternative to hiring full-time employees in certain situations.

Addison Group's recent workplace survey examined the current employment landscape, honing in on the state of the gig economy. The survey explores how the growth in temporary staffing is viewed among hiring managers and the three generations that make up today’s workforce--Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Some of the most notable findings included:

Contract workers equate to money, time, and focus. The survey provided insight into why hiring managers are continuing to look to the talent pool of gig workers when filling jobs today. The three main reasons are: reducing the overhead associated with a full-time hire, a quick solution to under-staffing issues, and finding someone who can have a dedicated focus on pressing short-term projects.

The gig economy is here to stay. The survey found 94 percent of US employees with hiring responsibility are more willing to hire a temporary contractor today than they were five years ago. This was solidified further with data that found 46 percent of hiring managers have hired a contractor in the past year alone.

Senior-level contract workers are part of the gig economy. An overwhelming 88 percent of hiring managers have an increased willingness to hire senior contract candidates compared to five years ago.

Full-time employees feel comfortable reporting to contract workers. As many Millennial employees have worked alongside contract workers throughout the bulk of their careers, the gig economy is becoming more widely accepted in today’s workplace. Further, the survey found that a majority of employees across generations, Millennials (58 percent), Gen X (58 percent) and Baby Boomers (56 percent), felt positively about working under a temporary contractor.

Generational opinions differ on working for on-demand employment opportunities. The starkest discrepancy between generations was that 62 percent of Millennials and 59 percent of Gen X responded they were open to working as a contractor, yet only 44 percent of Baby Boomers agreed. Given that Baby Boomers grew up in work environments where employees almost never changed jobs throughout their career, it’s not surprising that temporary employment is typically not seen as a viable option.

The normalization of the gig economy marks a significant moment in workforce history. As the youngest generation is the most willing to work on a contract basis, there are serious implications for today’s workplaces. The on-demand opportunities will likely continue to increase over the next five-to-10 years as younger generations look for exposure to different opportunities across industries. This also impacts hiring managers because the future war for talent on both a full-time and contract basis will be equally as fierce. Companies must evolve to attract and accommodate the needs of employees. Additionally, finding a balance between contingent and full-time workers will be more critical than ever.

Visit to learn more about the survey findings.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Global Hiring Report

By Kip Wright

According to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, most employers across the globe plan to increase hiring over the next three months, though at a slightly slower pace than recent quarters. Hiring confidence is strongest in India, Japan, Taiwan, Guatemala, Romania and the United States for the third quarter, with the weakest hiring forecasts being reported in Brazil, Italy and Switzerland.

Of the nearly 59,000 employers interviewed globally, 40 of 43 countries and territories anticipate increasing their staffing levels in Q3 2016. Compared to Q2 2016, hiring prospects strengthen in 14 countries and territories, are unchanged in 7 and decline in 21. Compared with last year at this time, outlooks improve in 13 countries and territories, weaken in 24 and are unchanged in 5.

In the EMEA region, Romanian employers report the strongest third-quarter hiring plans, while the weakest outlooks are reported in Italy and Switzerland. For the first time in eight years, there are no negative national forecasts reported among countries in the EMEA region. The third-quarter survey also includes Portugal for the first time, with cautiously optimistic hiring forecasted in the next three months.

In the Asia Pacific region, job gains are expected in all eight countries and territories surveyed. For the fourth consecutive quarter, employers in India report the most optimistic regional and global hiring plans, while employers in China report the region’s weakest forecast.

In the Americas region, employers in Guatemala and the United States report the most optimistic third-quarter hiring plans. The only negative forecast for the region (and of all countries included in the survey) is reported by employers in Brazil.

Stronger employer hiring intentions in most regions is certainly a cause for optimism, though global growth is still below pre-recession levels. The political uncertainty in Europe and the United States means employers are hesitant to significantly add to their workforce, but they do continue to hire at modest levels, and many are still experiencing difficulty finding in-demand skills. Meanwhile, the economic slowdown in China still casts a shadow over its trading partners and an otherwise mostly stable economic situation.
To learn more and see detailed results for all 43 countries and territories surveyed, visit

Kip Wright is Senior Vice President of Manpower in North America.