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Archive for the ‘General’ Category
A new term we are using to describe the transformation of reference checking. I will be describing this in more details at Taleo World with Cargill. The presentation, Social Assessment: The New Pathway to Quality of Hire, will describe how Cargill has been transforming the inefficient and ineffective telephone reference checking process into an innovative method, often called Reference Check 2.0 or Social Assessment. Borrowing from the collective intelligence – proven decision science, as demonstrated by Google, Yelp or TripAdvisor, this presentation applies that science to talent assessment for better results and reduced costs.
See the full press release here.
According to a McKinsey research on research and development drivers of success: “Talent is the most important driver of their productivity and shows the highest level of correlation. Interestingly, talent management is also the practice that has the highest opportunity for improvement.”
Full article here.
Heather Huhman at U.S.News & World Report wrote a piece on tools that are likely to complement if not replace the resume.
Checkster made the list as the way to confirm strengths and weaknesses.
“Checkster’s Talent Checkup is an online system to request constructive, confidential feedback on your work performance from the peers and colleagues who know you and your talents best. Unlike CVCertify, Talent Checkup isn’t used only when you have a job description in front of you. Rather, it helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses at any time through your connections. With this information in hand, you can better craft your resume’s Professional Profile section.”
You can read the full article here.
See how Reference Check 2.0 leverages collective intelligence to emerge as a new standard for recruiting assessments in the comments John Younger, CEO of RPO Accolo made here.
“… the 360-degree review has been an accepted tool… but thanks to technological advances that have made it cheaper and more readily available for new-hire reviews of line workers, such tools may soon become even more popular.”
….Yves Lermusi, CEO of Checkster, a San Francisco based talent management firm that offers 360 degree new hire tools, says “there is no reason” the tool couldn’t be used to determine fit for all levels of hiring.
Read the full story here.
Great article from HR Test on how to discover what candidates have done before:
To answer this issue, you have several options, including:
1a) Asking them to describe what they’ve done–the so-called “behavioral interviewing” technique. Research shows that these types of questions generally contribute a significant amount of validity to the process. But they’re not perfect by any means, particularly with people with bad memories about themselves. And keep in mind at that point you’re taking their word for it.
1b) Asking them for examples of what they’ve done. Best used as a follow-up to a claim, but tricky in any situation where there’s even a remote possibility that someone else did it or did most of it (so practically everything outside of the person being videotaped).
1c) Asking others (e.g., co-workers, supervisors) what the candidate’s done. Probably the most promising but most difficult data to accurately capture. Hypothetically if the person has any job history at all they’ve left a trail of accomplishments and failures, as well as a reliable pattern of responding to situations. This is the promise of reference checks that so often is either squandered (”I don’t have time”) or stymied (”They just gave me name, title, and employment dates”). Don’t use these excuses, investigate.
Full posting here.
Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to change in its state of motion. We often see this phenomena demonstrated in human behavior when it comes to the traditional reference check process.
The staff at Checkster was pleased to see the below article, as it reinforces what we have been saying about reference checks. If done poorly, reference checks are a waste of time. When done well, they are THE most important assessment method.
See the article from Charles Van Heerden:
“The poor cousin of the recruitment process is the obligatory reference check. Too often it is nothing more than a perfunctory procedure to conclude an exhausting number of interviews.
Most reference checks are the outcome of a telephone conversation, as most recruiters will attach little weight to any written references. Many companies have policies prohibiting managers from providing written references, in light of potential litigation. Often the risks of providing references are overstated, resulting in limited information being provided, due to concerns about negligent referral or defamation. Privacy laws govern the contacting of referees and keeping of information. Though recruiters adopt a code of professional practice, the risk of hiring managers using their informal network to get anecdotal half-truths remains problematic.
A reference check is not a fishing expedition or idle gossip, but a structured and important part of the hiring process. Research has indicated that reference checks have about half the validity of structured interviews.
The declining value of reference checking is because it is badly done, rather than being of little value. The big challenge for recruiters is to develop a new and better way of conducting reference checks with a higher validity so that they can be more useful.
A Strategic Approach to Reference Checking
There are three very deliberate and strategic actions that recruiters can adopt to achieve significantly better results from reference checking. Having successfully implemented this approach in a number of companies, have also resulted in better retention of top talent.
(a) 360 Reference Checking
Extrapolating the benefits from 360 feedback systems, recruiters need to adopt a wider and more comprehensive approach by including:
Executives (one over one); Direct Manager; Peers; Direct reports; Clients and customers.
It is not sufficient to conduct only a minimum of two reference checks, which seems to be the general practice in many companies.”
continue reading here.
“Checkster merits your attention. Crowdsourced reference checking will be the way that things get done four or five years from now. Easier, faster better, cheaper, smarter.”
“Four years into the process, Yves Lermusi is a smooth spokesman for his gift to reference checking, Checkster. After graduating from Taleo (where he was on the ground floor and built much of their research business), Lermusi starting fermenting the idea that was to become Checkster. After 18 months in product development and 30 months of trench level selling , it looks like Yves just might have changed the way that things get done.”
Read the full review here.
You may have seen a recently published list of the most productive companies. If your CEO is pressuring you for not being on it, Checkster offers a way for you to respond.
Productivity is the benchmark of well run companies. In theory, the better you are at it, the better your margin should be. That is why we invest in innovative technologies and new processes, which make the business faster, cheaper and often better. The typical examples are the evolution in written communication, from the letter to the fax to the email. Each step made organizations more productive. But as technologies become widely used, the competition shifts to the people side. As Lance Armstrong put it, it is not about the bike anymore, it is more about the people, the team or what is sometimes referred to as talent or human capital. That is why at Checkster, we focus on getting the right people on the bike, leveraging Web 2.0 technologies to assess and produce what we call a reference check 2.0 process. We consider HR to be the magic bullet at many companies, and it should be the killer app of any organization, pre and post hire. The core question is then, how do you know you are doing the best in hiring and people management?
How do you know if your organization is one of the best in its field? How do you know you are the most productive? This is where the study of the most productive companies comes in handy. Their way of looking at it: Revenue per FTE (full time equivalent). Although its simplicity may look attractive, it is also its shortcoming.
Today, many organizations have a significant portion of employees that are “off the books.” They are typically referred to as contingent workers. These are not accounted for as FTE. This can create artificial winners and make best performers look like laggards. We did such analysis in the past, and when you compare not only FTE, but total cost of labor (FTE+ contingent workers), you have a different story.
For instance, we looked at 2 healthcare providers (see box). Once you compare the revenue per employee, organization #2 proves to be the best performer. However, if you look at revenue divided by the total labor spent (total cost of labor), organization #1 appears to be the best performer and by an 11% lead. We strongly believe that the revenue per FTE is a fake measure of productivity. It is often used to fool unsophisticated Wall Street analysts and should certainly not be used as a basis for any decisions when comparing your performance to a competitor without looking at the contingent workers mix. People are often your competitive edge, but making sure you are measuring the right thing is paramount, otherwise you could start to fix something that is not broken.
In short, if your CEO is asking you why you are not on the list of the most productive companies, now you know how to respond. It is certainly more voodoo science than decision science.
Reference Check 2.0: How Digital Social Networking is Transforming the Selection Process – Radio InterviewMonday, April 5th, 2010
I did recently a radio interview with Peter Clayton on my book Reference Check 2.0.
Listen to the full interview here.
“The interesting thing is that typically when we speak today about social networking strategy … 99% of the time, what it means it’s a sourcing social networking strategy. … What we’re saying here is that social networking has more than one usage … it’s also enabling to assess the quality of those people.”
“If you use the traditional method (manual reference checking) and don’t spend the time to do it very well, I would say stop doing it or migrate to a 2.0 version, to the Reference Check 2.0 version. Because the way it’s done today it’s literally a waste of time. The test really for your listeners that are head of talent acquisition departments is to ask the question: “when is the last time that you disregarded or didn’t hire someone because of a bad reference check?”
At Checkster we follow the labor trends closely, one good movie summary done by a vendor:
Have you ever asked yourself how many candidates are telling the truth during an interview?
Here is the answer from a serious study*, as 17,368 applications were analyzed across many different job categories (general management, economic and political analysis, public relations, etc.) with an innovative but strong way to detect the fake. Also, it is important to note that “candidates were warned that their responses could be verified and that any attempts to falsify information could be used as a basis for not employing them.” Thus, it was not a laboratory experiment. The researchers divided the applicants into three groups, which we have taken the freedom to name:
In short, a third of the people you will see will pretend to have done many more things than they actually have. The only solution: check for yourself, i.e. to connect with ex-colleagues. This is typically called reference checking, but to check references the traditional way, you need time. The only viable, scalable solution: Reference Check 2.0.
* Study from study from Julia Levashina, Frederick P. Morgeson, and Michael A. Campion.
Listen to the interview here: Interview
A recent article by Les Rosen, explains it well, while also endorsing Checkster’s approach.
They are several ways to look at it, the summary of this article: “Internet based references can be utilized by an employer to whittle down the field of candidates and to help an employer decide whom to hire. Background checks occur after an employer has made a tentative decision, and needs to determine whether there is any reason NOT to hire an applicant. ”
See my latest article on ERE:
Message to Candidates: Cheating Works … Sometimes!
How many applicants fake test results and assessments?
Does cheating work? Is it worthwhile?
What can you, the employer, do about it?
Sometimes I would speak with people and they would say that reference checking was the best way to screen candidates, but not anymore. Fear of legal action and low compliance from participants reap poor results. Therefore, their judgment is based on reference checks performed that led to poor results, so they are convinced about their stance.
I would challenge this position and say that indeed poorly executed reference checks are a waste of time, but the Reference Check 2.0, as we call it at Checkster, is as good if not better than structured interviews. In order to prove it this, let’s look at this body of evidence.
- Harvard Business Review article on the assessment of best practices in which the authors said, “Poor practice: Conducting inadequate (or no) reference checks. Best practice: Conducting detailed reference checks.” I also recommend listening to their 14 min podcast here, where at minute 9:11 and 12:40 they explain the aforementioned point.
-Leading books on recruiting methods such as Topgrading, a well known and respected method for recruiting, is fundamentally based on two core methods: the interview process and a proper reference check. Lou Adler’s “Hire with your head” Performance based hiring said it simply: “Here’s a basic rule about reference checking: that’s not 100 percent true, but you should follow it (perform it) 100 percent of the time.”
- If you question HR practitioners and want to get more validation from business people, watch Marissa Mayer, V.P. of Search Product and User Experience at Google here in an interview and at minute 42:10 answer this question: “When you are hiring new people [at Google], is there an X factor that you are looking for?“ She replies: “ We did a regression test on what was the best predictor of performance with the interview score, the references, their background,… and we basically found that their background and references are the best predictors…”. Watch for yourself here.
- If you are in a startup watch this one.
You may find this to be all nice and good, but may simply not have the time to do it. I would challenge your view and say that you simply can’t afford not to do it. With the Reference check 2.0 you can perform a very powerful online version of the reference check by taking only 2 minutes of your time. Listen to the feedback of some of our users here. In short, reference checking went through a disillusion period for many when they had to find new ways to get to the truth. Now with the help of social networking and online automation, there is no way not to perform it anymore.
Have you ever asked yourself the following questions:
• How good is my new hire?
• Did I promote the right person?
• Am I good in this new job?
If you are a manager or a recruiter, or more importantly, a member of a new team, then you want and need to know if you are good at what you do.
In business jargon, we call this the quality of hire.
Yet, the core question is: how can you know?
A report conducted by the Newman group posed this question to about 500 staffing professionals, the answers to which resulted in the chart below.
We believe that one metric is missing: the probability of re-hiring an individual. That metric is essentially a net promoting measurement tool for an individual. Think about it for a second: this simple metric (probability of re-hiring) contains it all. If someone is a great contributing team member, you will hire him/her again, if not you will not, with all grading in between. This is what we use at Checkster for our 360 and automated reference checking system. We recommend you add it as a measuring tool to assess your quality of hire, like some of our customers are doing.
See the full article Here.
We are pleased to announce a recognition we received last week at the ONREC show.
“Onrec, the only global Online Recruitment Magazine, follows worldwide innovations in the recruiting space. After extensive review of all innovative technologies across the world, we are proud to recognize Checkster as a Game Changing Recruiting Technology,” said RD Whitney, CEO of ONREC.
Full press release here.