Your retention strategy is more important than your attraction strategy!

People are leaving your organisation, or gearing up to, because;

  • better opportunities are being offered to them,
  • they are unhappy with the commute / business travel requirements,
  • your business lacks purpose and cause,
  • they don’t respect their boss!

FACT!

People want to;

  • be paid well,
  • have a reasonable commute and business travel regime,
  • work for a business and leaders they can be proud of,
  • have a boss that is fair and supports them!

These are the proven top four. Now sit back, clear your mind and think of everything else that you personally covet, and if they don’t fit into the above you are thinking of the five and onwards that are extremely important but in general are not top of the leader board.

So if you can;

  • pay commensurate to the effort someone gives you,
  • consider and react to the challenges people have commuting and travelling for business,
  • clearly articulate and communicate what you stand for as a business and aim to achieve,
  • ensure everyone treats everyone else fairly and equitably…

…you will have a better than average retention rate!

Better still you will have some amazing;

  • employer brand messaging,
  • EVP components,
  • ratings on Glassdoor and Indeed,
  • positive brand virility across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • brand advocates recommending brilliant people to work for you.

CAUTION!

It doesn’t work the other way round, hence your retention strategy being more important than your attraction strategy!!!!!

You can spend all the money in the world on;

  • strategic workforce planning,
  • marketing your business and jobs,
  • state of the art digital, recruitment and HR technology,
  • the world’s leading attraction channels,
  • an award winning social media presence,
  • the slickest recruitment process,
  • an outstanding onboarding experience…

…BUT if the actual employment experience doesn’t live up to your front end attraction experience and what you sell to candidates, you will get found out!

At best you can expect sub-optimal productivity from new hires until they leave.

At worst you can expect new hires to leave immediately, thus wasting all the time, effort and resource attracting them in the first place!

I’m concerned about the amount of people confirming retention issues to me when we have arguably one of the biggest changes in the labour market looming in the form of whatever Brexit brings us.

A diminishing labour pool due to reduced immigration, and growth, yes growth, after Brexit day, because let’s be honest the Government and Bank of England will jump in with fiscal stimulus if things start to go South; means increased competition for less available talent.

You must retain your most important asset, and develop your most important asset, which will in turn help you attract more of your most important asset, and put your business in a much better position than most in the run up to, and aftermath of, 29th March 2019!

The majority response I have had from my last post “Is your Resourcing / Talent Strategy Brexit proofed”? was from people suggesting employers will leave things too late (just like GDPR two said) so let’s please prove them wrong.

If you need any help with any of this, you know where I am, but remember time is running out and there is only one me! Thank goodness I hear some cry!

All the best.

Colin.

colin.minto@bigideatalent.com
+44 (0)7887 480142
www.linkedin.com/in/colinminto

Is your Resourcing / Talent Strategy Brexit proofed?

It’s coming and will be upon us faster than you think. As things stand, the UK will depart the European Union on 29 March 2019. That’s just 10 months, and allowing for Bank Holidays, it means approximately 200 business days to assess if your talent acquisition, optimisation and retention effort will stand up to whatever Brexit throws at us, and evolve it if it won’t!

With many businesses already reporting recruitment challenges due to reduced immigration, no crystal ball to confirm whether or not the UK will fall or stand tall after Brexit and increasing reports of retention issues amongst millennial, diverse and established employee groups; smart leaders are acting fast to sure things up.

If you are not already excellent at demand planning, best people attraction, the selection process, equipping hires for success, managing employee experience and retaining employee commitment;  the basis for, and pillars of, the Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle Model, you might want to take action quickly to be optimal by Brexit day!

Why quickly? Auditing your existing end to end resourcing, talent optimisation and retention solutions and processes against the Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle Model, to identify which of the three components of excellence in each pillar are optimum, in need of evolution or at worst missing, takes 20 business days.

So let’s say a month. You will need at least three months (and that’s pushing it) to implement the recommendations from the audit. Let’s assume this is the case and if you leave it to the last minute to complete the audit, this means January, February and March 2019. So there are only really seven months left to get your audit in! Take into account August and December are predominantly lean months for project progress, and you are left with just five months, starting from June 2018 (Friday next week is the 1st) to get your audit in!

Some will say this might not be the case because UK will have a transition period. Some will say they have tasked someone internally to focus on this already and an experienced and totally independent third party pair of eyes is an unnecessary cost. Some will say this is Brexit scaremongering. That’s fine, I personally wouldn’t take the risk and if I was back in a Group Head of Resourcing role, I would have audited straight after the referendum.

I’ve been round the block a few times, looking at resourcing from every direction, outside and inside of some of the largest companies in the world, and I have every scar imaginable. So to those that do say any of these things, I wish them good luck.

To everyone else out there, that may not have started optimising their resourcing and talent strategy ahead of Brexit, I am taking just five bookings to run audits on a first come first serve basis. I’ve highlighted why it can only be five above, so that’s five audits for five smart leaders before the Brexit button is pressed and whatever awaits us plays out.

If you want to be one of the five and ensure your resourcing and talent strategy is optimised and Brexit proofed, please contact me ASAP. Unfortunately, once I’m booked, I’m booked!

All the very best.

Colin.

How I would have approached GDPR

I’m fascinated by the GDPR debate, where some are suggesting recruitment and HR functions need to assume full responsibility and become experts, and others are suggesting there’s too much hype surrounding the subject.

So I wanted to share how I would have approached it if I was still the Group Head of Resourcing and HR Systems for the world’s second largest private employer, just in case it supports the conversation.

As soon as I had learned about GDPR legislation I would have walked out of my office, turned right, walked approximately 30 paces into Group Legal, knocked on the door of the Group Legal Counsel responsible for global data protection legislation for the entire organisation, and I would have asked her for her timescales for being able to brief me on what I needed to know and learn about it, and evolve and change across my areas of responsibility.

She would probably then tell me that she was still in the process of assessing the impact and specific risk to the organisation as a whole, which when finished would trigger the production of a bespoke set of aligned guidelines and critical activities for the organisation, backed up by one to one support from Group Legal to help manage any implications and changes across all functions.

I would have then gone back to my team, briefed them, then carried on delivering the things I was ultimately responsible for. Over the following months I would have continued to take my lead from her, the guardian and expert of best practice data protection legislation from within my organisation.

Granted, yes, I would have needed a healthy level of understanding of GDPR, which would have grown over time, driven by Group Legal, but I wouldn’t have needed to be educated and trained to the level of a person with ultimate responsibility, unless of course I had ultimate responsibility.

It’s everyone responsibility to know about GPPR and support the implementation of the correct systems and procedures, but it’s probably just one person’s responsibility to own it, and if that’s not you, then I would leave it to them to guide and educate you!

All the very best.

Colin.

Thrilled to become a KidsOut Ambassador

Since setting up Big Idea Talent I have supported KidsOut.

I’m working in partnership with some of my Associates and Wave Recruitment Marketing (all pro bono) to build out a career centre esq solution for them to attract and recruit committee members to run KidsOut Question of Sport events and fundraising evenings.

I was absolutely thrilled and delighted to be invited to become a KidsOut Ambassador this week. One of my greatest personal achievements given the cause it represents.

It’s an amazing organisation and is run expertly by Gordon, his team and the amazing volunteers. The passion everyone puts in to keeping costs to an absolute minimum so the kids it supports get the maximum benefit is incredible.

If you want to do good and have some capacity, please contact me to discuss. KidsOut changes lives for kids and it will change yours too, believe me.

All the best.

Colin.

Have you got nice and shiny but sub-optimal? I’ll tell you for £3.10

formula-one-car-lawnmower

On Thursday I reviewed 24 major employer corporate website, career centre and ATS environments to build an invite list for a product launch I’m doing in late November.

Most of them looked quite good aesthetically, but 22 were unfortunately sub-optimal in terms of basic architecture to enable good search engine accessibility. Two were maybe average. This of course means less ‘effectively free’ job seeker traffic and the requirement for greater investment in acquiring job seeker traffic from search engines, job channels and job boards, and everything that goes alongside this, such as; multi-posting technology, resource burden etc!

I’m still struggling to understand why in 2016, this is the case? Why are corporates settling for ‘nice and shiny’ and ‘looks good’, but not realising what they have is not structured to perform one of the main functions which is to attract visitors!

It’s the equivalent of having a Formula One racing car with a lawnmower engine, a fully digitally connected house with a dial up connection, brogues in a 10K race!

There genuinely are some fundamental basics missing here, which you don’t tend to see within the comparable commercial websites of the world’s leading brands. We can do better than this, which will lead to better outcomes for employers and job seekers.

I have talked openly about HR working closer with Marketing for years and the need for digital marketing talent and expertise to sit within HR as well as Marketing / Comms, but is it happening?

I have also put a stake in the ground with customers to encourage them to think about jobs as products and candidates as consumers – Jobs are Products and Candidates are Consumers

These two logical advancements will make a demonstrable difference!

So here’s an offer. A one hour diagnostic for £3.10. That’s the cost of a large Decaffeinated Mocha in Costa, or equivalent reputable coffee house. Let’s meet up somewhere with good Wi-Fi and/or 4G and quickly run through your digital ecosystem. That’s all it will take to highlight a series of potential evolutions, oh and by the way, the coffee is actually on me!

colin.minto@bigideatalent.com / +44 (0)7887 480142

All the best.

Colin.

Where’s all the mental wellbeing?

mental-health-scrabble

Since ‘opening up’ about my own mental health challenges I have had some amazing meetings and conversations about mental health, diversity and wellbeing in the workplace.

Interestingly, I naively thought that not a lot was being done to raise the subject of mental health in the workplace specifically, so I set about wanting to change that.

It turns out however, it is one of the hottest topics out there at the moment. I kid you not, everyone is talking about it, and there are quite literally hundreds, if not thousands of initiatives running simultaneously!

So why didn’t I know this? Why did an HR professional who has 30+ years experience of mental health, 25+ years business experience, spoken at countless HR and Resourcing conferences and got a pretty cool sized network, not know there was a tonne of initiatives and stuff out there already?

I found out about it all because I got interested in the space (for obvious reasons) and started asking questions about it! I went on the look-out for it, it didn’t find me; someone these initiatives are designed to target and reach out to!

I suppose I also spent my whole career hiding my mental health experience for fear of potential discrimination, so maybe I was just naturally blind to it all.

Anyhoooo, if mental health awareness raising hasn’t been tremendously overt in recent years, due to it, and the conversation, existing internally and within closed groups, that my friends is a changing!

I will be running a conference, it’s my calling, but there are many others already in my diary plus all kinds of meetings and events. So this is getting sorted, but what about other ways of getting the mental health and wellbeing message out there.

Are companies using their approach to wellbeing in their employer brand, EVP, job descriptions and job adverts? I hope so, because when you advertise a product to consumers you market/sell the characteristics, features, benefits and overall experience that ownership of that product brings. Jobs are products and candidates are consumers in my opinion, (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/jobs-products-candidates-consumers-colin-minto?trk=mp-author-card) and consumers are people in this instance.

People want to feel safe, comfortable, valued, excited, rewarded, happy and many other things in the workplace, and I can’t see or think of any other messaging that speaks to this more than a company’s commitment to the wellbeing of its employees.

So take a look at your latest job adverts, job descriptions, content on your career site etc. and see just how much wellbeing confirmation and celebration you can find! Maybe there’s room for more, given it’s what people want to see……

As always, happy to chat about mental health awareness and end to end digital attraction and resourcing strategy on +44 (0)7887 480142 and colin.minto@bigideatalent.com.

All the best.

Colin.

People are the jigsaw pieces of productivity in business!

people-jigsaw-2

Assume everyone in your business is equal in terms of the overall contribution they make, regardless of the role they perform!

Assume 100% productivity in business equals 100% business objectives achievement and 100% shareholder/stakeholder expectations met!

Divide 100% by the number of employees you should have working for your business, e.g. what you would confirm as full establishment. Effectively the completed jigsaw puzzle!

The answer is the percentage contribution that each individual employee makes in a given time period! For example 100% divided by 1,000 employees equals 0.1%.

Now you can do some interesting things and make some equally interesting assumptions.

Delete the individual % contribution for each person you are short from full establishment! This immediately shows how important it is to run as close to full establishment as possible at all times. Also visualise that incomplete jigsaw puzzle! Recruitment freeze anyone? Taking too long to hire by being reactive rather than strategic and proactive anyone? Without the right people in the right places your business could already be sub-optimal!

Imagine that the individual % contribution per employee is linked to them being the very best person for the role they are performing. Now imagine a sub-optimal resourcing strategy, EVP, remuneration policy or poor learning and development programme, or having great people but in the wrong roles…….. whatever essentially could affect the quality, motivation, commitment or output of your workers.

A subject that many of you know is close to my heart is diversity. We all know that difference is great for an organisation, so as we are visualising jigsaws, how much difference is in yours? Does a lack of diversity and too much of the same impact on individual % contribution?

It stands to reason that the individual % contribution of each worker could be reduced by a fraction, or worse, if you haven’t got some or any of the above right! Breaking down each person into a target % contribution is now a real eye opener.

How close are you then away from 100% productivity in business? How incomplete, or samey, is your jigsaw puzzle? What do you need to do to put things right?

Let’s take the resourcing strategy and function as an example. Surely ones resourcing strategy and service delivery model should be designed to fully support the achievement of the business plan, which in turn is designed to achieve 100% productivity in business.

But we hear and see so many examples of businesses not investing in workforce planning, or simply racing ahead with a career centre, digital media, employer brand, organisation design or technology project (for example), without potentially establishing what the ongoing resourcing needs and objectives are. Without a robust strategy aligned to the people and business plan!

We hear and see examples of businesses not having standard job descriptions, processes, attraction messaging, EVP, interview formats, onboarding……..… the list is endless.

Why is this? Is it because resourcing is talked about as being the most important thing in business because people are the most important asset, but in reality other things are prioritised and resourcing is under invested in?

Maybe. So let’s go back to people being the jigsaw pieces of productivity. If you want to achieve 100% productivity in business, consistently year on year, as a consequence of being truly strategic and inclusive, the solution is as clear as day and quite straightforward!

Invest in an optimum end to end resourcing strategy and function to ensure you have the right people, in the right places, in the right volumes, at the right time, for the right price!

Anything else is sub-optimal and puts pressure on achieving 100% productivity in business and your stakeholders/shareholders won’t like that!

Big Idea Talent - Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle

Oh and you won’t ever finish that jigsaw!

If you would like to spend a bit of time running through the six pillar talent lifecycle model, which is one way of achieving resourcing excellence, I’m on +44 (0)7887 480142 and colin.minto@bigideatalent.com

All the best.

Colin.

Jobs are products and candidates are consumers!

man-in-a-box

I have been in sales and marketing all my working life. I even count the year on the delicatessen at Tesco in Broadbridge Heath (other supermarket chains and locations are available) as a sales role, trying to get people to buy that extra bit of cheese, ham or quiche!

Like many I fell into recruitment; for me in 1997, and I always considered job opportunities as the product we were marketing on behalf of our clients to a consumer group known as job seekers. Our job was to market, then sell, each opportunity to relevant audiences with the view to getting the very best to transact and apply. Then obviously match make with the customer.

The extra dimension of course, is the ability to then be selective as to which consumer can have the product, e.g. offer/give them the job.

I naively thought this was a mainstream understanding throughout my recruitment, online recruitment, recruitment trade association and technology vendor days, but realised when I finally turned from poacher into gamekeeper by going client side with G4S in 2009, that I was in a massive minority, in fact, I was pretty much on my own in terms of thinking this way inside a big corporate.

It represented a great opportunity for me because I started using a unique frame of reference internally. I set about building and implementing an equally unique job advertising and candidate experience platform, to market G4S’s jobs as products and give job seekers a range of benefits and valuable experiences on top of being able to transact with jobs.

The alternative frame of reference was, and still is, extremely powerful. Many talk about HR technology not being the favourite topic of HR. I get that and understand that detailed techy speak sometimes bamboozles some, so by being able to compare jobs to products, candidates to consumers and applying to transacting, you speak in a language that everyone understands.

Bit of a generalisation here, but I would hope that pretty much everyone in business knows what a brand is and that it sits predominantly with marketing. HR has developed the employer brand, so it’s obvious that HR needs to work closely with its colleagues in marketing and bring in traditional and digital marketing expertise to optimise and capitalise on the employer brand opportunity!

The EVP could be described as the key features of the product or service and the post-sales support provided. Job descriptions are the product descriptions, etc. etc. etc.

In essence the front end piece of the recruitment process is pure marketing (predominantly digital these days), which flows into the sales process, which I describe as the matchmaking role recruiters play to excite the best people to consider the role then close out the interest between all parties. Once the sale is complete, the whole deal moves into the onboarding and core HR process; you could compare these to the product/service delivery and ongoing account management phases!

So what I’m saying is the world has gone digital (no shock there) and consumers generally are doing things on smaller and more functional devices in their day to day lives. Digital marketeers are taking over the world and dictate what we see and purchase via a myriad of media and technologies.

So let’s turn back to HR technology! Career sites, job advertising sites, CRM’s, applicant tracking systems, onboarding platforms, core HR solutions etc. Over at marketing HQ they have similar technologies, although they might use them in different ways or places in the cycle. Corporate websites, commercial websites, product/service advertising sites, CRM’s etc. In reality how dissimilar are the processes and technologies used in both functions. Not really actually, yet the technologies are sold by very different vendors!

There is some great HR technology out there, but there is also some outstanding marketing technology out there as well. If there was a race between marketing and HR to promote a product/service or a job respectively, I’m afraid I would still back marketing because of their experience, expertise, processes and the technology and platforms at their disposal. Good news though, more and more digital marketers are entering the resourcing space, mainly in the employer brand and digital attraction (including social) space. But in my opinion there are not enough and we need to start expanding our thinking to alternative technologies.

So is HR and Resourcing keeping pace? Only you can answer that but if you need some help understanding where you are in the curve, or maximising the opportunity further, try weaving in the alternative frame of reference internally; jobs are products and candidates are consumers. See how you would compete against a digital marketing approach! Career site, SEO, traffic driving, user experience…………

For example, you would be hard pressed to find a competent marketing orientated business with a sub optimised corporate and commercial website promoting its products and services, and facilitating transactions between consumers and the products or services they provide. You will however, easily find career sites where the job content is completely invisible to major search engines such as Google and Bing, because of the poor connectivity between it and the ATS – Are Your Jobs Invisible to Google!

Feel free to call or email me as I would be happy to drop in and chat. As well as providing specialist digital resourcing and HR technology consultancy, I’m beavering away with a marketing technology partner, finessing our launch marketing campaign and launch event for an exciting ‘new entrant’ HR/experience solution, which some will see as a little disruptive but when the dust settles everyone will recognise it bridges a gap and integrates, rather than competes with the great stuff that is already out there.

All the best.

Colin – +44(0)7887 480142 – colin.minto@bigideatalent.com

Are your jobs invisible to Google (other search engines are available)?

Lately I have spoken to many potential clients about talent attraction, and the unfortunate situation they face because their current career centre and technology solution is effectively blocking Google (and other major search engines) from seeing their jobs!

This invariably leads to demonstrating the reality and confirming the consequences, namely; reduced ‘natural’ traffic from job seekers searching for specific roles, and a necessity to invest more than needed to attract candidates from search engines, job channels and other media (paid for traffic)!

CareerBuilder confirmed that 70%+ of candidates start their job search on Google in their 2015 Candidate Behaviour Research. In addition people in general are getting much more granular with their job search, including; very specific job titles, locations and company names.

Other commentators have said that candidates naturally want to find jobs with named companies ahead of job sites, and companies would prefer people to find, then research, them on their own site (previous home stadium article here by yours truly in 2011!).

To cut a very long and technical story short, Google visits your site (sends spiders or crawlers hence the jazzy image up top) and takes what it finds back to a database at a server farm, and it’s this database that is searched when you search on Google, not the trillions of web pages live on the web itself! So you can see how important it is for Google and others to be able to find your jobs on your own corporate website environment.

are-you-a-brick-wall-to-google-or-an-open-door

Most companies have career pages and a link to search their jobs. It’s where these jobs live that constitutes the first problem for most. If they are searchable on the company website and domain (the important bit here), and the individual page for each job is an extension of that company domain, they pass the first test!

For example, if the company is called ‘Great Company Plc’ they may have the domain www.greatcompany.com. Their career centre may link from the homepage and be called www.greatcompany.com/careers. And a specific analyst job in London may have a page name/URL of www.greatcompany.com/careers/analyst-london-jobid. Something along these lines!

More often than not however, the jobs are hosted (they reside) elsewhere, perhaps on their ATS or career site hosting platform; e.g. www.theatspartner.com/greatcompany/analyst-london-jobid. The jobs are not then attributed to the company because they are somewhere else.

In simplistic terms, if you click from your website to either the job search function or the jobs themselves, and the bit after www. in the browser changes away from your company name, you may have a problem Houston!

Don’t forget, Google’s job is to give searchers the most relevant and credible results to satisfy their searching activity. It won’t take a punt!

Also, some companies do host their jobs on their own site and domain but the URL’s are unfriendly; e.g. www.greatcompany.com/careers/jobid/hundreds-of-random-characters-that-make-no-sense-at-all, which is a big red flag to Google, with some being completely ignored!

Google also puts a great emphasis on mobile content now so even if you are doing it well on fixed web, if you don’t have a comparable mobile site Google will again mark you down, even for searches on a PC and laptop!

There’s a lot more detail and science to this but let’s look at solutions.

This is solvable in a number of ways, but invariably involves bringing corporate website and recruitment technology partners together to deliver an alternative and best solution based on the technologies involved. Alternatively a new technology arrangement can be considered! I have done both many times globally, so can help you with this.

The benefits of attracting natural traffic to your own website (home stadium) are huge. Reduced cost is a great one for the FD! But for me, your career centre is the front door to your brand and story. Surely you want that story to be told from start to finish by your own people, using your own messaging on your own site!

Yes the story telling effectively starts on Google, but pretty much everything does these days, so let’s at least ensure you are the next destination for the most valuable thing in your business. People!

As always, I am more than happy to meet and chat through in detail. I’m on +44(0)7887 480142 and colin.minto@bigideatalent.com www.bigideatalent.com

All the best.

Colin.

Let’s all be Wally’s!

wally

As you can imagine I have had countless meetings and discussions with people about mental health challenges in the workplace since ‘opening up’, and I always end up quoting something from the first Crocodile Dundee movie. I must add it always gets a laugh then an instant ‘penny drop’ realisation moment!

It’s obvious now why this quote resonated and has stuck with me but it carries with it some tremendous learning. Stay with me people I am being serious!!!

Here is the transcript from the movie after the subject of Shrinks came up at a party Sue and Mick were at:

Sue Charlton: People go to a psychiatrist to talk about their problems. She just needed to unload them. You know, bring them out in the open.

Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee: Hasn’t she got any mates?

Sue Charlton: You’re right. I guess we could all use more mates. I suppose you don’t have any shrinks at Walkabout Creek.

Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee: No back there if you got a problem you tell Wally. And he tells everyone in town, brings it out in the open, no more problem.

The penny drops as soon as I finish the last line.  “Yes”, people say and naturally realise that if more people talk ‘openly’ about mental health, it will become less of an issue to talk about mental health. Simple but effective.

It’s so obvious but you can understand why it’s harder to ‘open up’.

Firstly, it’s still a big taboo subject and many people that have experienced, or are currently experiencing, mental health challenges fear the potential recriminations of telling their story, or asking for support.

In addition, mental health challenges are classified as a hidden disability. Underline the word ‘hidden’. Many people keep their challenges hidden and they are not generally visible to the naked eye, unlike most other diversity areas, so the result is naturally a propensity to focus on the more overt subjects.

So let’s all be Wally’s. Let’s all start talking about mental health. I’m not suggesting everyone ‘opens up’, because it is a big decision to do so and not something that should be rushed into (believe me), although the more that do, the more visible the conversation will be!

So let’s talk about our knowledge of mental health, how our businesses embrace and harness difference, the positives that exists as a consequence of mental health illnesses, yes positives including; alternative ways of thinking, critical risk identification and advanced problem solving, and let’s just be more open about how we feel and how things that happen in daily life make us feel.

Let’s all be Wally’s and bring stuff out in the open and make them ‘no more problem’!

All the best.

Colin.

p.s. If you need a starting point, why not join the Mental Health in Business LinkedIn Networking Group!

p.p.s If you want to talk about performing a diagnostic on your business I’m on +44 (0)7887 480142 and colin.minto@bigideatalent.com