How to Take Advantage of the The 4th Industrial Revolution

The 4th Industrial Revolution

The technical advancements of the last 3 or 4 decades have brought society an explosion of gadgets and different types of software and hardware that continuously shape the way people live their lives. The business world hasn’t escaped these changes. Nowadays, in a hyper-connected social environment, robots and people share the same workplace and HR has a lot of things to reassess. Machines depend upon regular updates and maintenance services, people still need to be paid and attracting the best possible talent to the company is still a priority.

The 4th Industrial Revolution is still in full swing with emerging technologies such as: autonomous cars, virtual reality (VR), 3D printing and the most intriguing of all, artificial intelligence (AI). Professor Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, has stated that technology is still an industry that is going through continuous changes and developments and has the unique potential of connecting people from all around the world and, at the same time, enhance the efficiency of organisations worldwide. The developments we are all experiencing are not occurring within one industry or discipline, but actually all of them, changing and challenging us as humans to better understand ourselves.

Due to the Industrial Revolution 4.0, the work environment has become faster than ever before. With the introduction of robots in the workplace, employees are facing more frequent training and retraining programmes in order to be brought up to speed with the technology that revolves around the robots.

As mentioned above, HR will have to change and update their processes in order to handle all the challenges that occur with all the developments that are taking place at the moment.

Agile organisational structure

The structure of the company must reflect the way in which the organisation is willing to do business. Structure should represent the foundation from which managers build their teams and offering them all the necessary data and resources in achieving their goals. Traditional models of structure are becoming obsolete and change is incremental to positive outcomes. These old structures do not offer any kind of flexibility or clearance desired to make fast decisions thus inhibiting change altogether.

The Flexible Workforce

Companies nowadays wish to have employees on their roster that have numerous abilities and can easily manage change. Managers are recommended to break the usual stigma and stop thinking in terms such as positions or jobs, but more towards capabilities. The entire recruitment process should be focused on discovering adaptability and eagerness to change in their candidates.

Continuous Learning and Assessment

Companies cannot expect transformations to just happen within their organisations. Training programmes are becoming increasingly popular and for a good reason. Employees have the chance to further develop their skills and also learn new ones. Furthermore, thanks to technology, tracking improvements can be easily done in order to confirm individual development.

The World Economic Forum has stated that “By 2020, more than one-third of workers will need skills they don’t now have. While necessary talents can vary, 36% of business jobs will require “complex problem solving” as a core skill”. To put things into perspective, young adults nowadays cannot recall a time when they did not have internet or a smartphone. Growing up in a society where communication and interaction is basically instant, they are well informed in regards to emerging technologies and how it can make their lives easier than previous generations.

This young generation is fully aware of the necessity of proper education in order to have a strong foundation from which they can build strong professional careers and succeed in the continuously evolving workforce. They do not shy away from emerging technologies; they embrace everything that is new in a very positive and optimistic way. A survey conducted by Infosys on 1,000 16 to 25 year-olds from industrialised and developing countries, has uncovered the fact that 70% of those surveyed are more than willing of learning a whole new set of skills in order to land a job if mandatory.

Young people do not get flustered by rapid change. They welcome any challenge that comes their way and are more than happy to acquire skills that they may be of good use in their personal lives as well. Also, over 50% of young adults have stated their preference for working within medium-sized companies where they believe they could experience proper training.

In any given era in history, young people have always proven that they embrace change. The current generation is no different and is more than willing to continuously learn and be flexible in their demands as long as the companies they work for keep their end of the bargain; coming up with innovative ways for their employees to apprehend knowledge, experience and skills that will drive them and the business forward.

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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 Sources:

https://www.asug.com/news/transform-hr-to-meet-the-needs-of-the-fourth-industrial-revolution

https://www.cornerstoneondemand.co.uk/blog/what-does-%25E2%2580%2598fourth-industrial-revolution%25E2%2580%2599-mean-hr#.WRHB0FWGPIU

http://www.hrzone.com/community/blogs/infosys/talent-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution

How Will Technology Shape HR in the Future

In our present times, there is an increasingly high interest for investment in HR technology. According to a study done by CB Insights, in 2016, there have been over $1.96 billion invested in start-ups that exclusively dealt with HR tech. Workplaces around the world are continuously changing due to technology. The tech revolving around HR is there to automate and streamline practices in order for the department and company to become the definition of efficiency, high performance and cost-effectiveness.

The biggest challenges for HR stem from recruiting and hiring, thus, applications have come to life in order to save the employer and employee’s lives.

Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

In today’s competitive job market, around 75% of CV’s are being screened out. Furthermore, the HR department loses numerous hours on resumes from unqualified people. Losing so much precious time represents one of the biggest challenges for HR. This is one area where technology may solve the problem. Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the front foot in regards to developing specific HR tech. Recruiting and AI fit perfectly together due to the simple fact that AI demands huge amounts of data and multi-national companies have resumes by the millions in their databases. Going through such a large database is exhausting for a person, but with the help of AI the process of screening can be done rapidly and offer a compelling list of candidates based on job requirements by means of simply grading them from best to worst. By using AI for the screening process, you might save the company up to 75% of screening costs.

Schedule and outreach automation

The interest in automating the recruiting process is continuously rising. On average, it takes 41 days for a company to fill in an available role in their ranks. On LinkedIn, there is a reported 11% rise in the volume of hirings this year; however, only 26% of recruiters have a positive headcount. Discovering top talent in today’s world is hard enough and recruiters require automation to intelligently pick their candidates.

Automation can be helpful in many ways. Recruiters can automate their calendars and email to send requests to candidates that have been identified as good matches through the use of the AI screening tool, so recruiters don’t have to deal with B-list candidates.

Training and Testing through Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality simulates the environment surrounding us which can be controlled through our body movements. In a survey organised by Universum, employees working at various companies believe that in the next 10 years VR will become an integral part of their workplace. VR will be of tremendous help with testing and training. Recruiters can use this technology in order to assess a candidate’s skills and abilities.

In a survey conducted by Korn Ferry, it has been discovered that 39% of employers deal with high employee turnover rates in the first year due to mismatch. VR could be massive for the HR industry, because it could help reduce turnover by providing candidates with a realistic view of what the job actually consists of and get to understand the company culture as well. The medical industry could greatly benefit from VR. Onboarding and training could be completed by residents in the trauma and emergency sections of the hospital, where the stakes are always high.

Productivity and Engagement through Wearables

As mentioned in a previous article, one of the biggest HR trends from 2017 is employee engagement. In order to nurture it in employees, employers have started tracking their behaviours so that they can interact and communicate better at work. For example, at Microsoft, there are digital employee badges that monitor employees’ movements, who they spend their time with at and many more. This type of tech collects data which is processed and then given to employers in order to understand their coworkers and how they communicate, how to better optimise the office space and manage the dynamics of the team. This could potentially lead to a better organisation and collaboration within the company.

There are also rumours that in the not so distant future, wearable technology could lead to insights in emotions and personality during screening or interviewing.

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:
https://blog.hrtechweekly.com/

 

Salary Talk – dangerous but necessary?

 

Talking about salaries with your coworkers is always a difficult and sensitive issue at the workplace and can potentially lead to problems with your employer. Although it’s not illegal to discuss wages around the office, it is something that is frowned upon. Of course, there will be situations when salary will have to be discussed and when that happens, it must be handled with great care so it doesn’t come back to haunt you.

How to Talk about Salary

If you really wish to discuss this topic with your coworkers, approach this conversation with caution. At first, it would be wise if you talked with your ‘work buddies’. Every person involved should avoid mentioning the discussion to anyone else. A safe way to bring up this subject is to discuss about people who have left the company in the past, or have moved to another department. It might be a bad idea altogether because of the discussions that could spiral afterwards.

Why you shouldn’t talk about wages

There is always the possibility to find out that your coworkers are earning more than you and from then on, jealousy and resentfulness are just around the corner. If the situation is in reverse, than your coworkers may start resenting you and you may as well be phased out from common break times or from social events after work. Besides the resentment, morale and teamwork in the workplace may suffer terribly. This could lead to potential problems with your manager, especially if he or she specifically asked you not to initiate such conversations. Although you cannot get fired over this, your job may become troublesome to perform. It’s always good to focus on what you can do by yourself to boost your salary; getting involved in more projects where you feel your contribution may be decisive. Initiative comes a long way.

When you should discuss salaries

Apart from the obvious risks mentioned above, there are a few scenarios which are worth exploring when talking about wages. If you discover you are being underpaid in comparison to your colleagues, it’s a good thing you find out early on. This will offer you the possibility to analyse the range of salaries amongst the office and you could negotiate a better pay further down the line with your manager. There is a slight chance that all your coworkers, including yourself, are being underpaid. Thankfully, there are websites (Payscale.com) where people can compare the average salaries for similar positions in various companies. If everyone’s pay is under the market average, you may work together to find a solution in which all of you can get a fair wage. You should always take into account the fact that every person’s circumstances are different, so your approach should be well thought out.

What managers can do

Discussing pay with your employees can prove to be difficult. Conversations with your staff can bring up various emotions, most of them negative such as: jealousy, greed and sometimes even hate. Employees are likely unaware that pay is different due to factors like education, training, negotiating skills and, of course, experience. In order to avoid back talks around the office, that may as well affect company morale, here are a few strategies managers could deploy so that employees feel their work is treated with respect:

  • Decent salaries – Have a look at the company’s finances and, if possible, have the salaries at a competitive level in the marketplace.
  • Encourage official workplace discussions – People need to feel safe and comfortable if they are to approach the HR department with enquiries or considerations regarding pay or workplace conditions.
  • Future potential – It’s important for managers to have constant conversations with their employees, everything ranging from salary range to professional development. Advise and guide them towards adding more skills, trainings and certifications to their existing palette. Additions that would lead to a promotion and automatically a pay raise.
  • Internal surveys – It is always good to get a read on the workplace atmosphere. You can discover the level of morale, engagement and how to solve these issues as well. It also gives a chance for employees to have their voice heard on various themes regarding the company.

Companies should know by now that their employees represent the backbone of their organisation. Trust and appraisal can keep problems at bay even before they get the chance to escalate. With the help of the HR department, issues such as this should resolve themselves quite easily.

Great People Inside can help you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. The GR8 360° tool is excellent at developing managerial competencies, skills and behaviours. When using this assessment, you will find over 50 dimensions that come along with suggestions for future improvement and development. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

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Sources:

http://work.chron.com/can-tell-coworkers-salary-7204.html

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/dangers-discussing-pay-coworkers

 

Why is freelancing so popular these days?

 

Freelancing is becoming a more and more common practice in this day and age because of the simple fact people get to ditch the routinely 9 to 5 schedule. In a study conducted by the HR service Paychex, the freelancer market has shown rapid growth. This surge in the freelancing market couldn’t have been foreseen back in 80s or 90s. To put things into perspective, between 2000 and 2014 the freelancer workforce has grown by 500% according to the same report from Paychex. This type of work environment has become possible due to the rise of startups, millennials and their pursuit for a more flexible work schedule. The economic recession and the continuous development of technology have also been key for this shift to occur.

At the moment, there are around 53 million freelancers working in the United States. Out of them all, 14.3 million are people who have full-time jobs, but also perform freelancer tasks when time allows it – they are also known as “moonlighters”. Another 9.3 million people do freelancing in combination with part-time jobs. The remaining people are working as full-time freelancers going from project to project. By 2020, it is estimated that over 40% of the workforce available in America will be pursuing independent work.

Given these numbers and the growing desire for more control over their own schedules, there now are co-working spaces specifically designed for freelancers. It is a well-known fact that working from home can become uncomfortable and maybe just a little bit depressing. In the U.S. this issue is beginning to be tackled, especially in large cities. For example, WeWork has become one of the most popular providers of common workspace for freelancers and has also started expanding outside the United States. They have concentrated on creating the best working atmosphere for everyone around, competing with the best startups. They provide independent workers with things such as fresh fruit, arcade games and even beer on tap. Why wouldn’t anyone want to be a freelancer these days?

Although some people may consider freelancing as a way of avoiding the real working world, businesses actually thrive on finding specific talent for particular projects and needs and with the advantage of a smaller fee. Instead of going through the hassle of interviewing and recruiting someone new (and all that comes with it), companies can now find consultants for each and every project they have. And more often than not, that person has more time to deal with arising issues when that happens.

It is important for people to understand that the freelancing world isn’t about “temporary” work. These people are highly experienced, professional and very engaged with the tasks they have to perform. All they want is more flexibility and most of time they get what they want.

There are also platforms that connect freelance workers with multinational organisations or even small local businesses. A primary example of this type of business is Upwork, a company which manages to connect 3.6 million organisations with over 9 million freelancers from all around the world (180 countries to be more precise). This platform allows large corporations to hire people when the need for a full-time employer isn’t justified and the need for cost control is very important. Small businesses profit from this service as well, especially when they require help with their finances, marketing strategy or even a product launch.

The industry of freelancing is highly evolved, given the fact that there are websites where you can hire people to do your daily menial tasks such as: house repairs, cleaning and running errands of any kind. TaskRabbit is known to offer people this type of service. Amazon is also in this area of business helping people with moving, cleaning, shopping and repairs.

But as with anything in this world, there must also be a downside. Although there are numerous platforms for people to find a job or get help in various activities, due to the increased number of such platforms and the obvious competition that ensues, many of the jobs available do not reach the living wage, which can be difficult for many people.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

Entrepreneur.com

Fastcompany.com

huffingtonpost.com

 

Skill Gap: Why is it still a Major Concern (Part 2)

This article is part of a series. For part 1 click here.

There is a steady decline in the U.S. system’s possibility of nurturing these midlevel skills, due to the fact that automation is cutting down the need for low-skilled workers. Luckily, there are local initiatives which are trying to address the respective skill gap in their areas.

A good example on how to narrow the skill gap is represented by internships specifically tailored to college graduates in order to meet the more evolving needs of today’s employers. Some university programs include the so-called “cooperative degree programs” also known as co-ops. This type of approach will allow both employers and future graduates to assess the market and their specific place in the world of work. Employers have the chance to evaluate skills such as: employee attitude and work ethic, but also offering their training to their temporary recruits, specifically tailored to the organisation’s needs. These co-ops and internships help students earn their necessary credit in order to graduate, earn proper work experience, and best of all getting them to apply classroom studies in the real business world.

For over 20 years, there has been a shortage of “transferable” workplace skills, and although there have been many initiatives in terms of laws, guidelines and goals, not many problems have been resolved.

These “transferable” workplace skills have represented a real problem for the private sector for the past 20 years. HR managers have stopped putting too much emphasis on skills such as reading literacy and computational aptitude. In today’s workplace, soft skills are dominating the office needs, and they are as follows: interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge, time management, ethics, teamwork, personal organisation, interpersonal communication, problem solving, anger management and reasoning.

At a global scale, Millennials display unique attributes that conflict with society and the idea of work as it currently stands. This group of people have spent their entire or nearly entire life connected to technology, rapid accessibility of information and a permanent connection with family and friends. Straight from birth, Millennials have been told they are special and they were rewarded nearly instantaneously for even the smallest of accomplishments.

Millennials are much better equipped to handle active learning that can teach them metacognitive skills. Such operating systems are being beta-tested as we speak, in order to assure the teaching of a higher-order and analytical skills. In the United States, the successful applications of e-learning for workplace training are expected to be introduced into the K-12 curricula where they are foreseen to shrink the metacognitive skill gap in public schools. Games and simulations offer a great basis for education and training, with at least 45% of Millennials being active learners.

In approximately 10 years, companies everywhere will move all types of employee training programs towards the online. Nowadays, distance education done through e-learning is just a stepping stone towards a new structure of education.

The level of information a worker can acquire at the workplace takes half the time compared to the classical classroom delivery, thus retention can be increased by 30% and the cost of training can be reduced by 40%. There will be a quick and positive ROI because employee efficiency is substantially increased.

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Skill Gap: Why is it still a Major Concern (Part 1)

Although the latest economic recession has ended a few years ago, the rate of unemployment in the United States is still high. This still remains a problem, even though employers are in a continuous struggle to fill certain job posts, most of them in the area of middle-skills jobs: nursing, computer technology, high-skill manufacturing, etc. These vacancies require education at a postsecondary level and in some special cases, even college math degrees or courses. At the moment in the States, 69 million people are involved in middle-skills jobs, which represent about 48% of the workforce. The skill gap is obvious.

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics doesn’t do estimates on vacancies based on skill category, but if we were to combine the data from the government on education and the training requirements needed, it can be discovered that almost 25 million, or 47%, of new jobs that will appear from 2010 to 2020 will be in the category of middle-skills.

CEO’s and HR leaders need to figure out which method of training people will help their organisations fill those vacancies, thus mending the wage stagnation that has engulfed the country and limiting the gap between households with high and low income.

Given the current work climate, companies should take charge and develop programs in which workers can be capable of filling the skill gap. To be realistic, such a thing can happen on a global scale only if companies cooperate with each other, with educational institutions, with unions at both regional and national level.

Businesses rarely disclose any information regarding their expenses on training programs, and when they wish to cut costs, their first target is represented by HR investments. Nowadays, many organisations shy away from training investments because they fear that their competitors won’t make the same investments and they will also steal their workers. In order to minimise this risk, combined investment is recommended. Such collaborative work has been put into effect in a number of countries such as the U.S., UK, Australia and Sweden, with great success.


Read also: Top 7 HR Trends for 2017


Things have greatly shifted since we’ve entered the 21st century. For the majority of the 20th century, people had two ways in which they acquired their skills and prosperity. The first one is, obviously, on the job. Organisations promoted people from within, and it enabled their employees to develop towards higher-level occupations. Unions were invested into negotiating specific career ladders that were directly connected to seniority and skills, and also accompanied employers at an industry or occupational level in order to host various training programs and apprenticeships. Having such a system in place guaranteed a constant flow of talent, very well equipped with skills of the highest level.

A second approach to acquiring skills was represented by college. The American dream has always represented an ideal for any fellow American. Young people across the U.S. were told that in order to achieve the highest peaks of the American dream was to follow the rules and study hard in a field that best suited their talents and interests. However, problems always arise. People with degrees in liberal arts have seen a significant drop in job opportunities. The numbers speak for themselves: only 15% of college graduates have majored in math, science, engineering and technology. This percentage has been a constant for over 2 decades although demand has grown exponentially.

This article is part of a series. For part 2 click here.

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Top 7 HR Trends for 2017

A great many things will be changing in the HR world this year and they all revolve around one thing: the digital world. Although technology has been and will continuously change the world of work , the vast majority of changes will occur in the way we lead and oversee our companies’ operations. All of the HR trends that will be mentioned below involve ideas on how to “be digital” not just “act digital”.

Nowadays, the world of business is shifting from a “top-down hierarchical model” towards a “network of teams” where people are working in new and dynamic ways to solve problems. Businesses are now centred on the customers, everything around us moves at a very fast pace, thus creating the need for new ways of thinking and doing HR.

Prediction 1: Going further down into the Digital Era: As anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave for the past 20 years may have noticed, these are definitely the digital times. With the number of mobile phones forecasted to reach 4.77 bilion in 2017 and most of the jobs relying on computers to get work done, this year will lay even more emphasis on technology than before. Every employer will have to keep up with this trend, unless he wants to be left behind by  competitors that are willing to innovate with every given opportunity.

Prediction 2: Organisational Design Will Be Challenged Everywhere

Given the fact that, in today’s world, markets are ever-changing and new digital products and services are being developed daily, the conventional approaches do not apply anymore. Since the rapid evolution of the internet and cloud services, the level of entry within a market has been reduced considerably. It is practically impossible to withhold “your market” just because you are a large corporation – a small start-up could reinvent the whole industry right in front of your eyes, and afterwards you are left trailing them for years to come.

Prediction 3: Multigenerational workforce management skills will be required: This year, leaders and managers will have to face a new challenge due to the fact that millennials become increasingly active in the world of work, while, at the other side of the spectrum, many Baby Boomers refuse to retire at the traditional age. This requires new skills from the people in managing roles, since these two generations are as different as chalk and cheese and they have contrasting needs, goals and wishes.

Prediction 4: Culture and Engagement Will Remain Top Priorities

Although these topics might seem recurring, culture and engagement are some of the top priorities for HR managers everywhere. The cultural related issues will become increasingly more difficult to solve. This issue grows in importance. The latest research from Deloitte suggests that Millennials choose their employer based on their respective organisation’s “purpose”. In their latest High-Impact Leadership research, Deloitte discovered that organisations with a strong leadership culture are nine times better at finding and developing leaders than those companies who lack a consistent leadership culture.

Prediction 5: Focus on “Human Performance” and Wellbeing Will Become a Critical Part of HR, Talent, and Leadership

This may come as a shock to you but the overall engagement levels of today are no better than they were ten years ago. Taking into consideration the data obtained from Glassdoor, it has revealed that there is almost absolutely no improvement in employee ratings of their organisations during the past seven years. Approximately 40% of them think that “it is impossible to maintain a fast-growing career and a sound family life” given the “work-martyr” effect in organisations worldwide.

The idea for 2017 is simple – move HR from “personnel department” to a brand new role such as: “consultant in human performance”. There are numerous reasons why people are being held back from being productive at work and these range from: standing at a desk, defective office arrangements and management practices. There is a huge potential for HR in 2017 – to get rid of creating more and more programs that focus on “making work-life better”.

Prediction 6: Talent Recruitment

With all the technology available nowadays, including social networks, wearables and smartphones, talent is more easily accessible and has possibilities to choose form. 76% of full-time workers are either open to the idea of a new job or are actively looking for one, while 48% of employers are struggling to find the right people for their vacancies due to the skill gap. Given this situation, there will be a great emphasis on employee experience due to the fact that organisations are forced to focus more on their corporate culture and values if they wish to retain their best talent.

Prediction 7: There will be a huge focus on overcoming Algorithm Aversion

We have talked in a recent article about the advantages of relying on algorithms, rather than on the biased human instinct, but most HR seniors still face major difficulties when it comes to fully entrusting a computer. This struggle is understandable since the digital revolution happened basically overnight, but in order to take HR to the next level, managers ought to overcome their algorithm aversion and use the much more reliable, computer based, people analytics.

Great People Inside provides through the Next Generation People Intelligence Platform the best solutions and technology needed to find the right talent, the best fit for the job and for your organization. Easy to use and intuitive, the GR8PI Platform acknowledges all the latest trends and foreseeable employment issues in order for your company to thrive in the digital era.

 

 

Sources:

Bersin by Deloitte 2017 predictions

https://workplacetrends.com/candidate-experience-study/

https://workplacetrends.com/the-active-job-seeker-dilemma-study/

http://www.humanresourcestoday.com/2017/trends/?open-article-id=6004358&article-title=top-10-human-capital-trends-for-2017&blog-domain=predictiveindex.com&blog-title=the-predictive-index

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2016/11/01/workplace-trends-2017/#162b91063457

http://hrtrendinstitute.com/2016/11/23/hr_trends_2017/

 

How to attract and retain great salespeople

In the age of the customer, the consumers have gained significantly more knowledge and control over the sales process than any time in history – they have a huge variety of options available, they are digitally active and they are less dependent upon the sales representatives, and their expectations match up their investment. While the customers’ habits and behaviours have changed, the universal sales strategies have remained basically the same.

In a recent research study done by Cranfield Management School, it has been revealed that 90% of the people working in sales are facing major difficulties in making an effective pitch. That is why good sales reps represent a competitive advantage for every business, if they have them.

Also in regard to people in sales, David Thorp, the director of research and professional development at the Chartered Institute of Marketing had this to say: “First-rate salespeople are focused and can target potential customers effectively. They understand which customers have the money, authority and need to buy from them.” He continued stating that “They also build strong relationship with customers, which is key to customer retention. It is worth investing the time and the money in getting good staff, as they will be able to add much more to an organisation’s bottom line than poor sales staff, which can be a liability.”

The selection you make regarding sales people will determine the success of your organisation. If you are willing to invest time in the selection process, this will solve half of the sales job. Competent sales reps know how to highlight the numerous benefits of your product or service. These people are skilled in detecting possible prospects and quick in surmounting any objections that may come along the way. Sales professionals are able to sell effectively in the most adverse situations and even in the world of cut-throat competition. What makes them so efficient is the fact that they possess an internal drive towards achievement, a fantastic sense of seriousness to sort everything out and accomplish their goals, even when the external factors are detrimental to their cause.

As mentioned above, the selection process is very tedious, but extremely important. This means that even if you find a good sales rep that doesn’t mean you found the most suitable candidate for your organisation. When selecting, there are two key aspectsthat you must take into account, besides the person’s capability to sell:

  1. Is that person compatible with the company’s culture? – If the candidate and the rest of your team do not get along, then it’s crystal clear you do not wish to hire that person. As soon as your sales numbers grow, this will involve support from the other departments in your company. If the departments despise sales, it is absolutely certain you won’t get the profit you expect due to the fact that the sales department won’t receive the help it needs.
  2. Does the candidate understand what exactly are you selling? – If a sales rep doesn’t understand what your organisation is selling, how can you expect them to sell anything? Although they may get lucky a few times, you must be certain that they acknowledge what the company is selling.

In order to get an idea of what a good salesperson is, I recommend you start evaluating every encounter you have as a customer. What are those people doing that makes you feel comfortable about doing business with them? Learning to detect good sales reps represents the first step and it is of upmost importance.

Thoroughly Evaluate your Sales Team

Although sales are an area where results speak for themselves, you must also evaluate the process through which your team does make the sale – it is obviousthat if they don’t have good results, something in their sales process is not working accordingly.

In order to solve this problem, evaluate how your team implements every sales process from start to finish. Afterwards, you can properly assess where they are struggling, why, and help them through coaching. It will greatly benefit them by developing their skills to overcome each step necessary them develop their skills for each step necessary.

Use a Sales assessment for your team

For a proper assessment of your sales force, you need to weigh in your current staff, but also candidates you wish to hire. If you do this in an effective manner, you will know for certain that every sales rep you bring in will possess all the necessary personality attributes to perform at a top level and have high sales results.

One of best ways, if not the best way, to evaluate your staff and candidates is to use assessments such as: GR8 Sales, GR8 Teams and GR8 Engagement. The questions and issues raised by these evaluations will help you determine if the candidates have at least one of these traits:

  • Building Client Relationships
  • Sales Process Management
  • Understanding clients’ needs
  • Enthusiasm
  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Perseverance

If the candidates you evaluate score high in at least one of these traits, that means he is a driven individual and there is a great amount of opportunity for success as a “hunter” representative of your sales department. Afterwards, you can have another interview with him in order to be sure that person fits to your organisational culture, thus making an informed decision about a future employee.

How to Improve your Sales Team Results

Offer them as much constructive feedback as possible. You cannot expect your team to improve if they are unaware of the mistakes they are making. This is the reason why it is imperative to have regular meetings with them to offer them support and advice on how they are performing.

When you offer your thoughts on their progress make sure you include both the positive and the negative feedback. In order for your team to improve, they must realise that besides their strengths they also have weaknesses. Nonetheless, keep in mind that negative feedback is for one-on-one meetings only. If you criticise a salesperson in front of his colleagues, he may start resenting you, start working poorly and have a low level of engagement. If this takes place one too many times, high employee turnover is right around the corner, and it can cost your organisation a large sum of money.

Present your team with the best tools and resources for them to thrive

After you evaluate and assess your sales team, by now, you should have a clear idea regarding the areas they are struggling at that moment. Given the fact you have this information, search for the right tools and resources your team requires in order to help them surmount the deficiencies they are encountering.

Let’s say one of your employees is experiencing problems with productivity because he cannot allocate the necessary time for sales calls. For him to overcome this problem, you can research for the right type of scheduling programme to best fit your team’s needs. However, there are situations where your whole team can struggle with productivity. In this scenario, you may have to analyse their working process and establish which tasks can be automated. Implement the automation, leaving your team with more time to sell and less time on unrelated tasks.

The examples I have presented you are just a few ideas of how you can improve your team’s performance, but be aware of the fact that each sales team and person is unique and have their own particular needs. So as to pinpoint the exact problems faced by your team, remember to communicate with them constantly and assist them in finding the best solutions for the best sales results.

Assessing the salespeople, developing them and aligning the sales strategies should become a top priority for the organisations willing to thrive in the customer’s age. Great People Inside helps you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

 

 

 

Sources:

www.marketingdonut.com.uk

www.entrepreneur.com

www.nasp.com

www.salesdrive.info

www.quicksprout.com

Overcoming the Recruitment Biases

Do you or anyone you know have a sixth sense when it comes to recruitment? Is that “sense” completely unbiased and effective? If you answered “yes”, then you are definitely lying to yourselves.

While it is, indeed, true that some people have much more success in recruitment then others,  this happens, most of the times, due to their abilities slowly developed over the course of time and multiple errors.

How do you make up your mind when confronted with a decision? Well, people tend to prefer one of the two following approaches:

One of these approaches is using the “gut feeling”, that has been proven to be successful for them over the years. The main problem with this approach is that it can never be reliable enough. No matter how many times it helped you make the right decision, it will still be just a game of dice next time you use it. And, on top of that, have you ever considered what exactly is this gut feeling and how does it work? Bruce Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group, defined it as “the subconscious integration of all experiences, conditioning, and knowledge of a lifetime, including the cultural and emotional biases of that lifetime.” This doesn’t sound very professional when it comes to recruitment, does it?

The second approach that people use when facing a decision is what they imagine to be the rational analysis. This approach consists of trying to methodically examine all the available information and data in order to reach a conclusion. This may sound as unbiased as it can get, but is it?

In most cases, even while HR managers and CEOs adopt and implement programs that they believe to be free of bias, they still fall short of addressing unconscious biases. Dr. Banaji, a social psychologist at Harvard University, explains that “discrimination is veiled, not explicit, but rather more implicit, unconscious, because we ourselves are unaware of it”.

In his book, Everyday Bias, noted diversity consultant Howard J. Ross points to many studies indicating that these sorts of blindspots are ubiquitous in our lives.  “Virtually every important decision we make in life is influenced by these biases, and the more they remain in the unconscious, the less likely we are to make the best decisions we are able to make.”

Some of these biases include:

Confirmation bias: The tendency for people to seek out information that conforms to their preexisting views, and ignore information that goes against their views. For example, when an interviewer forms a distinct opinion about a candidate based on a minute piece of information such as the college they attended, before the actual interview, he or she is succumbing to confirmation bias. Great candidates may not make it to the interview or be perceived as less competent than others because of these assumptions. Organizations may decrease their chances of hiring great candidates due to interviewing confirmation bias.

Ingroup bias: The tendency to favor members of your own group (or those that you have more in common with). This bias can result in making poor hiring decisions by choosing a candidate entirely based on subjective criteria such as shared interests, hobbies, education, age, professional background or even similarities of appearance or name.

Selective perception: The process of cherry picking the information that we do like to perceive, while ignoring the ones that would contradict our beliefs. This goes hand in hand with the ingroup bias. When we find a candidate that matches our initial preferences, we tend to notice only his or hers positive features, while unconsciously filtering out all the data that would contravene our viewpoint.

Status quo bias: The fact that we would almost every time prefer the familiar things – the ones that we are already comfortable with. This bias prevents diverse hiring by making us prone to selecting the same type of employees that we have chosen in the past.

All of these could interfere with our reasoning, so what can we do in order to overcome all of these biases and use an objective judgment when recruiting candidates?

Anonymizing candidate selection is definitely helpful, but it’s far from enough. Consider using one of these methods to ensure that your organization’s hiring process is bias-free:

One way would be what Dan Hill, an internationally recognized expert on reading emotions based on facial micro expressions and the CEO of Sensory Logic, told us about at the Great People Inside Conference: The New World of Work in Romania (you can see the whole video by clicking here). “People don’t think their feelings; they feel them. So at Sensory Logic we bypass self-reported, cognitively filtered input by going straight to how people most naturally reflect and communicate their emotions: the face.”

For 16 years now, they’ve been both the pioneer and the most careful commercial  practitioner of applying facial coding as a research tool to help clients lower risks and optimize marketing, products and other business solutions. Facial coding enables them to scientifically yet non-invasively capture, quantify and analyze the emotions shown.

Another great way to make the best decisions would be to use exclusively the assessment systems in order to narrow down the number of possible candidates to only a few before you involve any human judgment. Afterwards, you can make the final decision by consulting with the HR managers that you trust the most.

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

Mlodinow, L., “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior”

www.wepow.com

www.forbes.com

www.sensorylogic.com/