Thursday, December 20, 2012

6 Things In For 2012, Out For 2013.

I predict that 2012/2013 will be seen as the death of an old paradigm in human resources and the beginning of the new paradigm: The New Employee Economy. As with most major shifts, this won’t happen overnight (and many will think it didn't happen at all) but it will. While there are many changes that will happen, here is my list of 6 Things that were (still) in during 2012, but will be on their way out in 2013:

Things that are out
Things that will be in and all the other monstrous big job boards and sourcing behemoths who can’t see the change coming
Hire Rabbit and all the other furry creatures who are leading the way to a more clever way to map resources to jobs

Labor Acceptance of things being the way they are.
Labor Activism to lead the change for a more open market for resource exchange. We don’t need jobs; we need places to ply our trades. If we can’t find them, we’ll start our own company!

ATS Systems and all the complexity they have built in to manage a job force that doesn't want to work that way.

Virtual Resourcing where employees can decide each morning where they want to work.
Background Screening and all the fear based, overly conservative, “who done it” mentality
Culture Fit and the idea that screening people into the right job is more critical to success than screening people out.

Social Media which is a lot of fun but has nothing to do with your job performance. Leave Facebook posts alone. What the heck, we all like to get a little crazy after work sometime.
Professional Media and the multiple environments that let you speak for yourself. There will be even more growth of places where professionals interact, share ideas and grow their value by growing their network.

Management Driven Product Design: Closed door meetings where managers discuss customer needs, commission lengthy studies and decide what is best for the customer.
Crowd Source Driven Product Design where people decide what they want and let you know by the way they are using it.

This New Employee Economy is going to be characterized by a less hierarchical mindset and a more open flow of resources. Sounds like fun.

See you in 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'm Dreaming of a Lean Start Up Christmas

OK, I have been buried up to (and over) my head for the last couple of months getting our new product ready for development. I finally looked up from my desk and realized it was almost Christmas and I am way behind. Since we have been following the basic principles of the Lean Start Up I have visions of MVP’s dancing through my head, so what choice do I have but to try and see if I can accelerate my “Presents To Market” strategy this Christmas. So here is how I am applying the Lean Start Up to Christmas this year:

Test My Fundamental Hypothesis: Giving is better than receiving.

To test this hypothesis I quickly headed down to the local stores and bought 4 presents: 2 for me and 2 for my friend. So far I really like my two presents.Hum, make a note, hypothesis may be faulty.

Develop My MVP (in this case, it means Minimum Viable Present):

I have designed a strategy that allows me to buy some lumber, some bolts, nails, paint and a few decorative glue-on pieces. I am going to give one each to my two sons and observe what they do with them. Once I see what it is they really want, I’ll give them a gift card.

Assess My Leap Of Faith Assumption: That my wife will let me play with the iPad I am giving her (otherwise – why give it to her!)

I am worried about this key assumption. If I give it to her and she doesn't let me play with it, my whole plan for the week is ruined. I wonder if I should just keep it for myself.

Pivot or Persevere: If my Xmas plans seem to be failing, can I quickly adjust?

I have looked at the possibilities of a mid-course correction. They are limited. I suppose if the presents fail, I could offer to cook (and clean) all the holiday meals.

Now with a solid plan in place, I can confidently go forward with my holidays!

Best wishes to all for a great holiday season!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Can HR Thrive in “Generation Flux”

In Robert Safian’s words, “Generation Flux" is a term he coined several months ago, in a Fast Company cover story that explained "how the velocity of change in our economy has made chaos the defining feature of modern business.” He mentions examples of Apple, Facebook, and Amazon as fast risers and Research in Motion, Blockbuster, and MySpace and rapid fallers. He goes on to say that “accepted models for success are proving vulnerable, and pressure is building on giants like GE and Nokia, as their historic advantages of scale and efficiency run up against the benefits of agility and quick course corrections. Meanwhile, the bonds between employer and employee, and between brands and their customers, are more tenuous than ever.”

In a more recent article from Fast Company entitled  How To Lead In a Time of Chaos, Safian describes “Fluxers” as people who thrive best in these rapidly changing environments. He says it is “a psychographic, not a demographic--you can be any age and be GenFlux. Their characteristics are clear: an embrace of adaptability and flexibility; an openness to learning from anywhere; decisiveness tempered by the knowledge that business life today can shift radically every three months or so.”

Yet most of HR’s structures and processes support predictability, consistency; everything and everyone the same. In traditional human resources we are concerned about the legal and regulatory implications of everything from calling the Christmas Party the Holiday Party to worrying that job descriptions are written for every single position. How do you have a job description for a true GenFlux position? Do we understand that employees won't stand for traditional models in the future? And that traditional models won't support the company mission any more?

Will HR be able to change as rapidly as the world is changing around them, or will HR be this generation's elevator operator (that guy in the 1900’s that became irrelevant when changes in technology made it so anybody could operate an elevator)?

What are your thoughts? How will HR change to support this new employee economy?

One final quote from that same Fast Company article to leave you with:

  • “We’re in a new era, and that better get you excited. Being scared by change doesn't help” says Troy Carter, CEO of Atom Factory 

May the Change Be With You.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Will you Find Your Next Hire Using Social Evidence

Do really talented people spend time on the internet? There is evidence that they do. So if these really smart people are out there leaving an electronic footprint – can you use it to find them when you need them? Can this information be used to find contractors, consultants and your next great new-hire?

Linked In is betting you can

So is Facebook and……

That is the idea behind Social Evidence based recruiting.

Jamey Jeff the co-founder of Remarkable Hire wrote in a blog post entitled What is Social Evidence? How it will change the way you recruit online that there are 3 simple steps to sourcing talent using Social Evidence:
  1. Find out where the talent you are seeking “hangs out” online.
  2. Learn how those destinations give you insight into candidates’ level of expertise (the “currency” of Social Evidence)
  3. Engage appropriately

If it were only that easy.

This concept intersects with the concept of BigData and how big data may help in recruiting. There is more and more information being accumulated from our daily internet traffic. How can we reasonably, legally, economically (and with respect for privacy) go after that data to help aid the process of matching great resources to great jobs?

To solve this puzzle, we as technologists in human resources, have to develop the methods and tools that will allow recruiters and candidates to participate in this process. For it to be really successful, it will have to be a seamless process that allows existing social and professional network activities to be mined. But it will also have to allow for people to actively engage in social media activities that are kept private. Solving this dilemma, and the dilemma of “who owns the data” (a topic for a future blog) is key to really opening up social evidence to everyday recruiting.

There are a number of hurdles to overcome before this is an everyday process; but it is coming.
So will you find your next hire using social evidence? Probably not just yet. But the answer may well be very different 12 months from now and will certainly be radically different 5 years from now.

Hang on – sourcing in the future ain't going to look like Grandma's headhunter.