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May 2012

Performance vs. Potential: Brat Pack Movies and bswift

Performance vs. Potential – it’s the only way to look at who’s a star and who’s a scrub in your organization.  You can also use it for lots of other purposes, namely comparing the relative merits of Brat Pack movies starring Molly Ringwald.  With a little James Spader thrown in for good measure.

You’re not following me?  I was up yesterday at the bswift Annual Conference in Chicago, where I spoke about The 9 Faces of HR – a primer on how to morph the performance/potential grid to evaluate HR teams and HR candidates you’re thinking about hiring.

Here’s one of my slides – Using Performance vs Potential to evaluate Brat Pack movies:

Brat Pack

Breakfast Club – c’mon.  Performance is measured by box office and critical acclaim, potential measured by whether you want to watch it with your kids when they get old enough.  Breakfast Club wins that hands down.  I’ll let you rant in the comments whether I’ve got Pretty in Pink and 16 Candles in the wrong spot.  But St. Elmo’s Fire?  That was one hyped up movie, but let’s face it – no one is waiting until their son or daughter turns 16 so they can watch that piece of crap with them and bond.

But I digress – had the time to take in most of the bSwift conference (check them out, pretty cool brand and some great people) and it was a unique opportunity to get back into what’s going on with Healthcare, Wellness, etc.  Top line of what I learned:

-Like the guy in Jaws, “You’re going to need a bigger boat”:  If ObamaCare goes through, you better have someone to help you figure it out.  Period.

-We've got some OPTIMISTIC people related to the GOP winning back everything in November.

-People are still actively trying to find ways to make their workforce healthier.  Wellness is very much in play.

-Companies aren’t afraid to go to the “stick” instead of the “carrot” when it comes to you finding your motivation to get with the program.

-A $25 per month penalty for not getting your screenings complete is interesting – seems like I could buy a lot of behavioral action (if not change) for that amount – itemized on your paystub, of course.

-If Financial worries are one of the biggest causes of stress among your workforce, why not include a financial education/counseling play in your wellness program?

And the biggest thing I learned: I won’t do another speaking gig without mandating that I come out to the theme from St. Elmo’s Fire.  It just seems like the over-the-top, "we’re going to rule this planet once we figure out who we are", totally Gen-X thing to do.

That’s right Gen Y – we once thought we were special too.  Keep thinking that, it's cute.  Here's some lyrics from the song your GenX boss is humming today after she reads this post:

"Growin' up
You don't see the writin' on the wall
Passin' by
Movin' straight ahead you knew it all
But maybe sometime if you feel the pain
You'll find you're all alone
Everything has changed

Play the game
You know you can't quit until it's won
Soldier on
Only you can do what must be done
You know in some way
You're a lot like me
You're just a prisoner
And you're tryin' to break free..."

Wow.  Really?


How to Tell Whether Your Relocation Package or your Closing Skills Suck...

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Allied Van Lines, proud sponsor of the “2012 Workforce Mobility Survey”, designed to capture the voice of HR on topics related to workforce mobility. Allied has more than 75 years of experience in corporate, household and international relocation.)

I know - it's tough out there on an HR pro when you're trying to close candidates who require relocation. CoffeeclosersI just had an executive candidate accept a job - after a mind-numbing 2-3 weeks where we blocked and tackled every relocation detail known to man - only to have her pull out when she decided she couldn't move.  #$##!!!

It's hard on an executive recruiter/HR pro out there.  Was the problem the relocation package or my closing skills?   Most of the time, I'd tell you it's the relocation package, not my skills.  And you'd have to accept that, knowing how tough it is to relo people with homes under water, etc.  It's not me, it's the market, right?

But now, thanks to the Workforce Mobility Survey (click here) sponsored by Allied, we've got some actual data rather than my opinion.  

There are a lot of details about recruiting efforts with relocation as a backdrop over at the site.  Here's what jumped out at me as helpful in determining whether your problem closing remote candidates is you or your relocation package:

First, a baseline on what companies (read: your competition) spend on relocation:

"An average relocation package costs $21,033. (Figure 16) While smaller companies, in general, provide less valuable packages – averaging $10,971 – there are exceptions. Some small companies offer highly competitive packages. When a company – big or small – really wants a candidate, it can level the playing field by meeting the competition’s offer, even if that requires a gold-plated relocation package, the survey suggests.

Five percent of the survey respondents rated their relocation packages as “excellent” or “gold-plated,” and another 46 percent rate them as “good.” Even among smaller companies (those with less than 100 employees), 4 percent provide “excellent” or “gold-plated” packages. According to the survey, “gold-plated” packages average $65,333 in value."

Companies that spend the following amounts on a per hire basis consider themselves either "best in class", "somewhat successful" or the often cited "unsuccessful."

"Best in Class recruitment programs spend more per hire, on average $12,737 (not including relocation costs), as compared to $10,504 and $4,750 by “somewhat successful” and “unsuccessful” programs, respectively.

As a result, they secure their candidates of choice 77 percent of the time, as compared to 66 percent and 59 percent for “somewhat successful” and “unsuccessful programs.”

And as you might expect with those cost per hire numbers, the "best in class" crowd isn't afraid to spend above the average for a relocation:

"Best in class relocation programs cost considerably more, on average, $33,193 per package, as compared to $18,730 and $13,167 for “somewhat successful” and “unsuccessful” programs, respectively.

One more piece of data before I play analyst on what it all means.  The following chart from the Workforce Mobility Survey Site shows the relocation components that best in class, somewhat successful and unsuccessful in recruitment companies have as part of their relo packages:

Relo chart

You can't close remote candidates - is it your relo package's fault or are you a terrible closer?

That depends - there's a lot of data flowing above and most of the participants are from larger companies, but I'll offer up some street smart analysis as follows:

If you aren't offering a relo package with the following three components - Temp Living, a Lump Sum Payment and Physical Move - you're wasting your time trying to relocate professional grade candidates.

Think about that for a second - let's say you offer up a 10K physical move (don't nitpick the number, just work with me), 4 months of temp living (12K) and a lump sum to cover incidentals (10-15K).  That adds up to 32-35K, and you're at the average for best in class companies.  To me, that's the entry point in being competitive regardless of your size in recruiting and closing candidates who require relocation assistance.  If you can't offer that, you probably shouldn't be wasting your time.  Add on some low cost bells and whistles from the chart above (info on schools, a relo consult, paid time to get settled, etc.), and you've got a competitve package.

Which would mean the problem might be you.  I'm just saying.  Good data at the survey site, click here to see more... Use it to drive conversation about what's required to compete at your company.

If you would like to learn more about Allied Van Lines, please check out their website or blog. And if you would like to get more information from the Workforce Mobility Survey, you can click here. It’s definitely worth checking out.

BIG DATA AND HR: Why HR Needs a Little More "Rainman"

Big Data and HR.  Get ready, because it's the next buzzword/buzzphrase.....

What does HR having access to Big Data mean?  Take a glimpse at the following snippet from a post from John Sumser:

"The first amazing thing is that Equifax has a series of bits an pieces of credit behavioral data for Rainman virtually every person who has a file in the Talx system. While the FCRA prohibits using credit data in very significant ways (including the fact that it always has to be anonymized except under very specific circumstances). So Equifax can’t simply sell businesses credit data about their clients.

But, they can sell the aggregate data.

For instance, Talx uses the data to help customers understand the leverage they have in a variety of settings. Talx can tell you the total indebtedness of your workforce. They can give you averages and data on subsets. One emerging service offers insight into student loan debt as a way of identifying retention leverage. Another project shows employers the car loan volume in the workforce creating the opportunity for the company to cut a money saving deal with a financial institution for lower car loan rates. (a nice, inexpensive new benefit)...

And suddenly, the power of having access to aggregrate data/averages related to your workforce starts to make a bit of sense.  Thanks John.  

If Your Interviewer Won't Stop Talking, You're Gold...

At a Starbucks today on the road.  Listening to a manager interview a barista candidate.

The candidate hasn't had to say a word in 20 minutes.  No joke.

Love Starbucks.  Good people.  Word of advice to all the candidates out there:

If your interviewer won't stop talking, you are gold.  Let them talk.

I know, it runs counter to what you think.  You think you need to get your talking points in.  The bottom line?  If the interviewer talks 90% of the time and you spend 10% of the time concurring, you're going to be a finalist.  That interviewer is going to go off his gut after the interview and say, "That felt great.  I really like her."

Of course you felt like it really went great, Bob.  You got to listen to yourself for 45 minutes.  Nice.  You are so money.  Ballers ball, after all.

So if you want the job, let them talk.  If you want to determine whether you're a fit for the job?  That's a whole other post.

I wish I could take video of this - but I can't do that to my guy...

Good luck out there candidates.  It's a jungle for sure.