This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

June 8, 2005

Depressing Results

The Conference Board recently released a study entitled Measuring More Than Efficiency: The New Role of Human Capital Metrics. The results of the study were certainly depressing. Only 22% of the 104 human resource executives that responded believe their staffing units are able to identify strategic talent pools.

If one generalizes that discovery, it means that four-out-of-five recruiters are shooting in the dark when sourcing the top talent organizations need to compete. The implications for staffing quality are unnerving. But the plot thickens...

An astonishing proportion of employment specialists, the people who do the initial screen at companies, is not adequately trained to distinguish between the most appropriate applicants and those who present a pretty picture. They have difficulty seeing through the smoke screen of a well-prepared resume and a pleasant smile.

The next problem arises when an applicant is sent to a hiring manager for an interview. How many of these people, so important to the selection process, have been sufficiently trained in evaluative interviewing? Our research indicates that dangerously few have been exposed to the concept and techniques of behavioral interviewing.

Most recruiters are doing their best to find high caliber talent, within the constraints imposed by their own organizations. Unfortunately, most human resource organizations have insufficient headcount and inadequate budgets, making it difficult to assure recruiting success. Without recruiters bringing in the right candidates, the in-house employment staff, department heads, and hiring managers are severely limited in their ability to build the best staffing mix.

Factor in the shortage of qualified candidates to identify and pursue, and the situation becomes even more complicated. Build in intense competition and the sense of urgency that comes with a critical position being open too long, and you have a recipe for disaster. These conditions push employers to hire the wrong candidates just to get warm bodies in place. Unless they are lucky, these employers may be hiring the wrong people...inappropriate hires who may be there for a long time.

In these fast-moving and challenging times, hiring the right people is a strategic imperative. This is no time to take chances.

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