Prayer Answered!

It is an absolute honour to speak at #SHRM19. A few months ago, I put it out there, on the streets of twitter that I wanted to start speaking again, I said I would warm up by MC’ing and then maybe in two years speak at SHRM. That everything has happened they way I asked, in less than 6 months, is proof that God listens to, and answers our prayers. I am a grateful🙏🏽

From playing mokou (dodgeball) on the dusty streets of Maseru, to jumping on an international stage, to tell my story, in my own voice is honestly not too shabby! I dedicate this entire moment to my late father, who loved me unconditionally, and encouraged me to always keep my head up…I stand on very broad shoulders. Please join me, in Las Vegas this June!

Employee Value Proposition and Employer Branding go hand in hand like Cookies and Cream

Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and Employer Branding (EB) are to the human resources department what marketing is to the organization. Through our EB efforts, we manage to position ourselves against our competitors in the marketplace by communicating the salient features of our employer value proposition offering to prospective candidates.

Traditionally, candidates applied for a job by sending their CV in response to an advertisement. These days, attracting talent has become a lot harder than that, as candidates need to understand who we are as an organisation, and what we can offer to them as a career and not just a job. The need is no longer about just getting a pay check at the end of the month, but more about culture fit and growth.

Research shows that candidates want to see more creative stuff, pictures, they want to see what life would be like at our organization through compelling story telling. Organizations need to be in tune with social media trends, and constantly review analytics to understand talent needs and wants. 

The purpose is to assist our talent acquisition process to improve quality of hires, reduce costs by finding candidates directly and vice versa, to communicate our culture, values, EVP and to give a real impression of what life would be like working with us.

So, while our EB is directed to the external market, EVP is what we offer employees, and as such, what we claim to have and do well in the marketplace, must match what is experienced by our people internally. The best way to endorse our EVP through EB is by creating brand ambassadors, and providing them with a toolkit on how to roll out our content strategy.

Finding the Perfect Candidate | The Assessment Phase

This is the third step in the Talent Acquisition Architecture that I am writing about. In my last blog, we discussed how to go into the market place to attract the right talent into the right role, where and how to position our adverts. The Assessment Phase is where we have received a shortlist of candidate, and have decided which ones we would like to progress into the next step, by meeting them, be it in person or connecting with them via any digital platforms that we use.

We have so much respect for our hiring managers, most of them are highly qualified and experts in their fields. However, I learnt that when it comes to interviewing, line managers are not as well versed as we thought. I have sat in interviews with managers who ask questions that are not relevant to the role, questions that do not assist them with understanding whether the candidate is suitable for the role or not, some questions were also not allowed, in that in as much they were something that they wanted to know, they could be viewed as discriminatory. To my shock, hiring managers would casually ask meaningless question’s like “Are you married? Do you have any children, if yes how many? Are you a thief? Do you drink alcohol? How old are you?”

This then brought me to the realization that, most of these hiring managers had no idea what to do and what to ask in interviews to get a better understanding of the candidate. In most instances, the questions that were asked were biased, and based on what they wanted the candidate to be, which in most instances is to be like them.

Thankfully most of these managers listened to and accepted the feedback that I provided. In fact most of them respected me as an Human Resources practitioner more when I gave them open and honest pointers. They agreed to being more prepared, by putting together at least three technical questions that would assist them in rating each interviewee fairly.

To mitigate risk, and any repercussions from candidates who could approach the Labour Court, claiming that they were declined an opportunity by being asked a discriminatory question. My recommendation to interviewing, is then to have a questionnaire where the technical input comes from anyone on the panel who represents the business, and the competency based part from the recruiter, to measure organizational and culture fit. The key thing to remember is that, we not only hire into a role, but into a team and culture. So, in assessing the candidate, we need to consider all the factors.

The best plan has been to:

  • Design an interview questionnaire with both technical and competency questions that are relevant to the role
  • To have more than one interview, to include other stake holders in the process, a final interview with the team where the role sit
  • To deliberate with all panelists, consolidate all the information and feed to the decision maker to assist them in choosing
  • If possible, add psychometric assessments to this phase, not to disqualify anyone, but for developmental purposes

What I really like about this phase, is that it provides us with a lot of information about the prospective hire, their current situation as well as their career aspirations. This then means that we can better understand how they want to be managed/led. This is crucial because talent management starts at the talent acquisition phase!

As I write this, I am keen on pursuing SHRM’s Talent Acquisition Specialty Credential, as well as learning all about Motivation-Based Interviewing (MBI) as prescribed by Carol Quinn. When I complete these two goals, I will certainly update this specific article, to let you know what I think.

Reflections on a challenger year!

I love the fact that I get an opportunity to reflect. 2018 was full of wonder. It was tough, but I learnt that I had to take it as it was. At times I felt like I was losing my mind.

There was so much expected of me this year, I was stretched beyond what I thought was my limit. I felt tired, at those times when it felt like I had nothing left in me, more was asked of me. It is in those moments that I gave more, when I had to get up and do what needed to be done…It was in those crucial moments when I found special strength.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I believe in a higher power. Whatever you may perceive God to be. My God, is worthy of all the praise that I have to give. Everything I am, I am because there is a higher purpose and calling in my life.

I leave 2018 full of gratitude, grateful for every moment that shaped who I am at this moment, because I know that all things, good and when I think they are bad, are all for my good!

Happy New Year folks!

Candidate Generation Phase

After considering the Marketing Mix in Talent Acquisition, the next step in the recruitment process is putting together a sourcing strategy, for each role. After meeting with the hiring manager to understand the exact needs of the role, as well as its nuances. After understanding their role fully, including their management style, we move to the Candidate Generate Phase – a well thought through strategy designed to ensure that we have a proper plan to attract candidates. Because no role is exactly like another, there may be similarities, each role then should have its own strategy.

This individualized plan should be co-designed with the hiring manager, and other key stakeholders in the hiring decision. I think it’s important to have their buy-in to the ‘how’ we are going to market to find the suitable candidate.

In this plan, we determine the channels we will use so that our effort reaches our intended target market. The plan also includes what the assessment phase should look like, how many interviews will be held, what technical questions need to be asked, which competencies are to be measured, which ones are the most important, and how we will rank these. We need find out here if psychometric assessments will be conducted. If yes, what kind.

The AIDA principle works really well when putting together a job advert, because you must get Attention first, then Interest, we need to highlight those attributes of the role that are appealing to get Desire, and then finally Action. My thing about advertising, is that we need to understand our target market, and where they are most likely to see the job post.

The Candidate Generation strategy then specifies upfront, exactly where our adverts will be placed. For example, when looking for specialist and senior skills I opt for LinkedIn, and for internships Twitter has been the best platform. When the advert is placed through the companies Applicant Tracking System, we can post internally to explore interest within the organization, and simultaneously place directly on our website for external candidates.

Here we also decide whether we will engage with recruitment agencies, or if we will try to fill the vacancy directly as a cost saving initiative. Most hiring managers have appreciated when I asked if we should add agencies to the search, they say that in most instances the recruiter has gone out and used agencies without their knowledge, and only found out about it when the bill came. They like the option of getting extra help when its urgent, or if they want to tap into the agency’s data base and network.

The beauty of a talent acquisition strategy is that it’s not only a wonderful tool to understand how we are going to search, it also acts as a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). When things don’t work out, we can go back to the plan to make adjustments. It also acts as a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between HR and the business.Mo new

The Marketing Mix in Talent Acquisition

Marketing 101 was all about the 4 P’s: Product, Price, Promotion and Place. I was fascinated to find out that there were additional 3 P’s in Services Marketing 201: People, Physical Evidence and Processes. The most important being the People, because without this specific “P” it isn’t easy to render a service.

We are service providers, through a well put together process, we enable organisations to reach their desired goals, by putting the right people into the right roles. When putting together Talent Acquisition Architecture, I never leave out the process, I am dogmatic about the first step which we call “The Pre-Consultation”. This is where the TA Practitioner/ Recruiter meets with the Hiring Manager to understand the nuances of the role, what the opportunity has to offer the candidate, what the person is expected to deliver in that role, we need to understand what it is they will do to be deemed successful. We need to know how the specific opportunity fits into the overall team structure. There are a lot of questions to ask, in order to fully understand what and who we are looking for. This is also a great opportunity to develop a relationship with the hiring manager.

No role is like any other role, each needs its own Talent Acquisition Strategy. A job description is essentially a template that has been designed to give us the basic (mostly technical) requirements of the role. It is nothing without the a meeting with the hiring manager, to get a proper break down. In my Pre-Consultations, I ask questions like:

o Why is this role available

o What made the last incumbent

o What are your top three must have’s

o What is your management style

Thankfully a lot of questions are available online, and one is able to select those that are relevant to the business they serve. With this consultative meeting, we are able to go into the market place to find the person that fits not just into the role, but the team and its respective culture. We as TA practitioners know nothing until we know how this new role fits into and contributes towards the overall strategy.

I like to think of every recruitment assignment as a project, like a project plan, I use the same process to put together the strategy. Process (Planning) is crucial!