I have a fun post up on TLNT today called “Everything I Know About Business I Learned from Jerry Maguire.” They are running a fun series over there because there’s some special celebrity movie awards ceremony coming up. :-) I don’t pay attention to that stuff but it’s worth checking out the other great posts!
Once a Vice President level colleague shared with me their perception of Human Resources. And I quote, “There is nothing Human in Human Resources.” Now I am not sure what prompted this statement, but I can only imagine. Pause a moment. Think of a decision(s) that has been communicated to your organization that might lend itself to this question.
I am sharing this because it set off a series of questions I began to have about my chosen profession. What this colleague shared with me really hit a nerve. This is the core and root of what we do. We touch lives in all our actions in Human Resources. Somehow, I believe this has been lost in translation.
When I thought about one single word that defines Human Resources it is compassion. Compassion means displaying, showing or demonstrating human kindness. It means Being Human!! Let\’s face it, there is a reason the profession is titled Human Resources. Right?!
Everyday a Human Resources Professional goes to work and we deal with issues involving human beings. Yes, there is much more – operational issues, budgetary issues, strategy issues, product or project issues – but they all have a single common dominator or influence – the human factor.
I have come to learn many things about what we do in Human Resources and I believe it can be summarized as emotional and social intelligence.
I have learned that as you advance in your career your compassion grows with it. You must treat your business colleagues, partners, employees, management or vendors with respect and honesty knowing that at times you are forced to make difficult, tough decisions. When treating others with fairness and integrity, your leadership and professionalism will prevail. Maintain and treat with absolute honesty without attacking the person.
During my career I have had to make extremely difficult decisions knowing that I\’m not only affecting a single person but quite possibly a family or community. But what has set me apart professionally and personally is my keen ability to handle people with compassion while executing these decisions. This is why I love and am passionate about what I do. And this is why it is imperative and crucial that HR plays a strategic role in an organization.
As you advance in your career, whether it be in Human Resources or any other profession, your ‘soft skills\’ become that much more critical, visible and what is cascaded down and throughout the organization. Your emotional or social intelligence is what sets you apart as a true leader, a visionary, inspiring and guiding people rather than a manager managing functions or operations.
Let’s face it, most job postings suck. Learning how to write job postings isn’t difficult. Typically, job postings are MBA-speak nightmares that give little insight into the day-to-day goings on of a given role. Here are a few tips for creating engaging job posts that actually do their job of attracting great talent and weeding out those that are a poor fit.
How to write job postings (Create Obstacles)
Is it strange to begin a discussion on bringing people in with advice creating obstacles? Influence expert Robert Cialdini confirms a truth that savvy daters have leveraged since time immemorial, “playing hard to get works.” The simple truth is, people want what they can\’t (easily) have and as Groucho Marx put it, the teams we most want to be a part of would scarcely have us as members. So what does all of this mean for job postings? Creating reasonable barriers to entry has two important benefits, it weeds out the unmotivated and ill-fitting, and it increases the perceived cache of the role.
There are a number of ways to create barriers to entry that inform the hiring process. Request a cover letter addressing specific competencies, require a questionnaire comprised of questions that measure cultural fit, and vet potential hires using an organizational psychologist (ahem!!!), to name but a few ideas. Only candidates that pass these initial screenings will move on to in-person interviews, and you can bet that they will arrive with a sense of accomplishment and honor at being considered for employment. What’s more, this process allows you to measure motivation, communication skills, and cultural fit, all while increasing the perceived value of your organization.
How to write job postings (Advertise Culture)
The preponderance of job postings follow the same boring formula: ambiguous job title, bland description of duties, and a vague recounting of qualifications. Ideally, a candidate should be able to look at a job posting and work backwards to make inferences about organizational culture. Further, this culture should appeal greatly to some applicants and cause others to run for the hills, thereby saving you the time of interviewing those who are not well-positioned to succeed. You need to define corporate culture for candidates.
Appleton Learning, a client of mine, has recently taken to including a “Meet an Employee” section on all of their employment ads. These short vignettes provide a window into the personal and professional life of an Appleton team member, and all team members are given the opportunity to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame on a job posting. This change gives the posting an added dimension of personality and warmth that reflects Appleton\’s corporate values of personal development and almost familial support. It also sends the message that applicants will be appreciated holistically and allowed to shine once coming aboard. This specific approach is not indicated for all businesses and is likely too saccharine for some grizzled pragmatists. But inasmuch as grizzled pragmatists are a poor fit for this education startup, mission accomplished. And if all else fails, you need to know how to read a resume for culture fit.
How to write job postings (Get Behavioral)
Raise your hand if you have poor attention to detail, don\’t “play well with others”, and lack initiative. Stupid questions, right? Your applicants think so too. That being the case, why are we including vague aspirational qualities with “Sunday School answers” that do not improve the predictive power of our selection process? Everything you hope to determine lives behaviorally in your applicants in a way that is measurable. It is your job to determine what it looks like in the professional lives of those you recruit.
Take initiative for example; no job applicant in their right mind is going to admit to lacking drive. So, what does drive look like for your purposes? Is drive a history of organizational ascension? Is drive a track record of measurable innovation? Determine the specific, measurable evidences of the attributes you seek and exclude those who do not stack up. Do not ask about things that are better experienced! Talking about drive does not measure drive, it measures ability to talk. As you look for ways to construct job postings that are measurable behaviorally, you will improve your ability to avoid slick con-(wo)men who talk a good game but have little actual substance. Learn more about SmartRecruiters, the tool I use for recruiting and applicant tracking.
Today’s guest post is by my new buddy and all-around great guy Dr. Daniel Crosby (@incblot on Twitter). Feel free to check out his business where he does performance consulting.
Today\’s guest post comes from Benjamin McCall. He runs ReThinkHR.org (subscribe to the RSS) and specializes in OD, T&D and business strategy. You can follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenjaminMcCall. He’s a fantastic guy with a lot of great ideas. He also contributed a piece to the HR Ninja series a while back, and I’m glad he decided to let me share this post!
‘The’ toughest interview question… Is the one you have not prepared for or have never answered!
I could also say that the toughest interview question would be all of them. Continue reading
In honor of Father’s Day, I was invited by a friend to write a short tribute to my dad, Brian Eubanks. Please head over to check it out along with a few others who share about their own experiences. You’ll also see where my rugged good looks come from. ;-)
By the way, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about my parents, either.
To all the dads out there, I hope you have a great one. I’m going to be a dad very soon as well, so I’ve paid attention more this year than any in the past.
Today we’re rocking a guest post by Nancy Slotnick. I saw recently that she was successful in passing the GPHR exam, and I knew that she’d be a great resource to pull in for a guest post. Plus, she doesn’t have her own blog, so any chance I can get her to do some writing is a win for everyone. :-)
If you like this post feel free to subscribe or check into the GPHR study guide. It’s GPHR specific, and the testing tips are definitely helpful for the GPHR certification exam. I also have dozens of free resources listed on the PHR/SPHR/GPHR page!
Why did you decide to get your GPHR certification?
I have thought about sitting for the GPHR since taking the SPHR approximately a year before retiring from the Army. At that time, I was already considering several different options for employment in Human Resources following retirement from the Army, including the possibility of joining the consulting business that my husband had started several years before. I had spent my 25 year military career in Human Resources and had already decided that I wanted to stay in the profession.
My decisions to pursue my MBA with a focus in Strategic Human Resources as well as to prepare and sit for the SPHR were intended to fill perceived gaps between military HR and civilian HR practice. At the time, I decided not to sit for the GPHR for two primary reasons. I did not anticipate doing international work and I did not believe that I had the necessary experience. At the time, I completely (and incorrectly) discounted the international nature of much of my military service as being applicable to the GPHR. Continue reading
Today we have a guest post from Steve Browne, an HR pro who I’ve recently come into contact with and have already developed a respect for. I recently joined his HR Net group, and after you hear what he has to say, you might want to do the same. Hit him up in the comments if you’d like to know more about the group. In this post, he’s sharing his thoughts on HR’s isolation and how we need to be getting out there. Enjoy!
Human Resources is one of the most fulfilling, challenging, uplifting and… lonely professions. You see, almost any position within a company has a place they can go to and vent (HR) or complain about employees (HR) or grouse about Senior Management (HR). Where can HR go?
Often it’s to a bar. I mean really! Since we are the bartenders (with no copyright infringement to Sharlyn Lauby) in our own organizations listening to every story of woe and sense of frustration from our employees about other employees, we’re just missing the long wooden bar and the stools. (That would be a cool office for HR though!)
People are tough. However, that’s why most great HR professionals are in HR! They truly are “people” people. So, where can they go?
The great voices in HR that are flooding the waves of Social Media forums such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter are sending out great messages… But, more often than not, it’s to each other and their great thoughts never reach practitioners.
Why? Continue reading