Weekly News Update
Why Hiring for Personality is as essential as Experience HRNews, 2019
We are increasingly seeing clients hiring for personality as well as experience. When searching for candidates for a job role, it can be very easy to only focus on the qualifications and experience they state on their CV and not take into account their personality and how they may fit into your company. After all, there is logic in the idea that hiring someone who has done the job type previously, means they will be more successful.
Why are an increasing number of companies hiring for personality?
Skills can be learned
An applicant’s skills and knowledge of the field are almost always considered more important than personality in a potential hire. The problem with solely relying on what a candidate states on their CV, is not only are the skills provided a true reflection, but that it does not convey a candidate’s personality or attitude towards a working environment. Whilst knowledge and skills can be acquired and experience gained, someone’s personality is who they already are and does not change. Once settled in a job, most people have the capability to learn the required skills very quickly, but hiring someone with a bad personality or attitude to work is a hard thing to overturn.
A successful team can make all the difference
Few jobs are done where an individual works totally alone. Most roles require working together with others from time to time so if a candidate prefers to work independently this may lead to some problems if they don’t showcase a personality of a team player. Successful business thrives on relationships, and so if the relationships inside your business do not work, then no amount of experience inside the firm will set things right.
Whilst building teams of people with the exact same type of personality is not ideal, it is beneficial to try to create a team of complementary personalities that will work well together. The person you want to fill this position should have a personality that will fit in well with the team you already have in place.
Cultural fit to the business is essential
A particular working environment will not suit all types of people. Employees will be happier and more productive in a setting that suits them. For example, someone who shows a tendency to be shy or lacking in confidence is less likely to be comfortable in roles that involves a large amount of team work, whereas a more confident and sociable person would thrive in this type of environment.
A new employee who is smart, motivated, and willing to learn will be enthusiastic and able to figure out how things work, which has to preferable to an experienced person who can do the job, but has no real interest in contributing to your company.
Lisa Robbin, HR Director at Starbucks has recently quoted that at Starbucks they hire on “attitude rather than experience or qualifications. The character and skills we look for (aside from a passion for great coffee!) include being a great team player and a caring person as well as good communication and customer service skills.”
Hiring for personality with personality profiling
Identifying personal characteristics and values of a candidate can be challenging. Sometimes the first chance of meeting them will be at the interview stage and because understanding someone’s personality from a CV is difficult, it is likely that you may have already turned away ideal candidates that could fit your business better than those with experience.
Research has shown that including personality profiling tests in your recruitment process will increase your chance of employing candidates suited to your organisation, who will not only thrive, but will also remain with you over the long-term.
Skillsarena offer personality profiling as a tool in the recruitment process with the aim of helping you to look beyond candidate experience to see their personality and work potential and be confident in hiring for personality.
How tech can help with flexible working Techradar, 2019
Despite London’s reputation as a technology hub, there is vast variance in the type and speed of connectivity available even within the capital. This discrepancy has historically skewed the playing field in favor of larger and more established businesses – those with the resources to dedicate a team to install, maintain and update their offices’ digital infrastructure.
Traditionally, this set SMEs at a relative disadvantage to compete at the pace of larger firms supercharged by high-quality tech. However, there are several ways SMEs can consider their approach to adopting new technologies:
1. Digital infrastructure, services and support
One consideration for SMEs looking to get ahead is to turn to a flexible office provider with a focus on digital infrastructure for support. By occupying an office space that has a robust package of digital infrastructure, services and support, businesses do not need to deal with connectivity issues on their own.
Instead, by drawing on the expertise of an office space’s pre-established and dedicated IT team, problems can be solved in the background, meaning that businesses can focus on what is most important to them. This will be particularly useful for start-ups in the process of making the move from a make-shift HQ to a more formalised office space.
In the UK, keeping an eye out for WiredScore ratings is a must for businesses wanting reassurance around their office space’s connectivity. WiredScore recognises buildings dedicated to high-speed internet that is reliable, resilient and secure – to futureproof businesses’ operations.
Their independent certification credentials have reviewed some of the UK’s most prominent buildings, including The Shard and the BBC’s Broadcasting House. They also certify flexible office spaces across the UK that offer gold-standard connectivity to their customers.
2. Cyber defence
Investing in software that limits risk should be of highest priority, as cyber-attacks become not only more prolific but more sophisticated. Start-ups should look for platforms that allow users to detect and identify cyber-security threats in real-time. In addition to identification, the chosen platform should suggest practical solutions too.
Approximately 80% of data traffic in certain flexible office spaces runs through Wi-Fi platforms, rather than hardware connections. This is why it’s important that entrepreneurs looking for secure connectivity choose an office provider that offers more than just one basic layer of security.
Look instead for a space that offers a separate and unique Wi-Fi login for each business under its roof (for both long-term and co-working tenants). By taking such measures, your online and local network information will be much more difficult to infiltrate.
In addition, it’s important your office provider offers regular contact with cyber-security expertise. Some flexible workspaces will supply their customers access to cyber-defence services that educate users on which risks their company might be open to and how these can be mitigated.
Cyber Essentials, for instance, is an impressive government-backed scheme that helps identify fundamental security controls that organisations should have in place for protection.
At some point in the not-too-distant future, customers will decide to start using mobile data instead of Wi-Fi, due to the improved speed and capacity offered by 5G. Office providers should be prepared to accommodate the shift as often 5G signal struggles to get through ordinary building materials – existing infrastructure built to accommodate 4G is not enough. It’s important that businesses can alter a building’s infrastructure to support smooth 5G mobile coverage.
Savvy flexible office providers will already be conducting mobile-signal surveys to identify any ‘dead spots’ or gaps in coverage in their buildings – for instance, where signal cannot penetrate building materials or due to poor external signal. This would allow them to know where coverage issues are likely to be when 5G is introduced. While this approach is still in early stages, my hope is that it will become common practice with architects and developers, so that new offices across the UK provide the optimum connectivity that is now a basic demand of businesses.
Smaller businesses now have the opportunity to outstrip larger companies if they take seriously these three approaches to workplace connectivity, ultimately allowing their businesses to thrive.
Deloitte’s Plan for Fighting Employee Burnout: Let AI Take Over the Dreaded HR and IT Tasks MSN, 2019
We've all had those days where getting the simplest thing fixed, or even a basic question answered, takes hours. It might be anything from a mysterious glitch in your desktop computer, to a query about what's covered by your employer's health insurance plan. Whatever your dilemma, resolving it takes a seemingly endless exchange of emails and voicemails that not only distracts you from your real work, but wrecks your mood, too.
If it seems like you're slogging through more of those frustrating days lately than ever before, you're not imagining it. As work keeps getting more complex, fast-paced, and demanding, time vampires have a maddening way of multiplying. Unsurprisingly, a new study from A.I.-powered workflow-management firm Service Now says that about half of employees worldwide "struggle to get answers to basic questions" from HR or the IT help desk.
Kristine Dery calls them "speed bumps"—the inefficiencies baked into companies' day-to-day operations that drag down productivity and, ultimately, profits. A research scientist who studies employee experience at the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research (CISR), Dery thinks these obstacles wreak havoc on employee experience (EX). "If you can't do your job efficiently, it's difficult or impossible to be happy in it, or get any satisfaction from it," she says. "So companies now are continually seeking out speed bumps they can eliminate."
That's a smart move, especially in the current labor market where hiring and retaining talent is most employers' biggest challenge. Excessive speed bumps, on top of already ferocious workloads, are a major cause of burnout. And a whopping 96% of managers in a new study from staffing company Robert Half say they're seeing signs of workplace combustion in their employees.
That, in turn, seems to be scaring off the would-be candidates companies want most. More than two-thirds (69%) of job seekers in a different report, from collaboration-platform software firm Hibob, are turning down even high-paying roles if their online due diligence reveals that employers' overall EX is lousy, and especially if current staffers seem exhausted or are headed that way.
It's no wonder, then, that companies of all sizes—from huge global consulting and tech giants to tiny A.I. startups—are charging into the business of A.I.-assisted EX management. It's an enormous potential market. This year's annual Human Capital Trends report from Deloitte notes that, while 84% of organizations rate employee experience as important, only 22% think they're "excellent" at it.
Deloitte first itself introduced an A.I.-supported system called ConnectMe in 2016. It's designed to improve EX in two ways. First, ConnectMe's algorithms draw on vast amounts of in-house data, and then it uses chatbots to deliver fast, frictionless answers and solutions to just about any imaginable speed bump an employee might encounter.
One reason it's so much quicker than interminable rounds of phone tag: People can get the help they need directly from the chatbots "without interacting with another human being," says Bill Docherty, a Deloitte managing director and ConnectMe's general manager. Even so, if for some reason the chatbot can't quite handle a problem, "a human manager will intercede," Docherty adds. "Sometimes, the system can identify what's wrong, but it's still people who decide what to do about it."
Deloitte's system can be customized for individual employees' situations, providing essential information at each step of someone's overseas transfer or re-entry to the U.S., for example, or offering timely support and resources related to another worker's upcoming maternity leave. What Docherty calls "hyper-personalization" is especially appealing, he says, to Millennials and digital-native Gen Zers who've never lived in a one-size-fits-all world and aren't about to start now.
The second way ConnectMe aims to make EX better is that it takes over the repetitive, boring parts of any given job, so that people can spend most of their time and talents on more complex, interesting work that demands a human touch.
As managing director in charge of personal wealth planning at Deloitte, Brian McMahon oversees the long-term financial health of about 600 of the company's partners, principals, and other senior executives. The routine data-gathering, data entry, and number-crunching his team has been doing the old-fashioned way (including "chasing down data on things like salary history and names of insurance beneficiaries from different departments all over the company," he says) will be handled by ConnectMe beginning this fall.
McMahon can't wait. Having all the data and analytics he needs at his fingertips will "eliminate mundane, mind-numbing tasks."
"We'll be able to spend a lot more time meeting one-on-one with our clients, so we can better understand each person's financial goals, worries, and needs," he says. "That's the fun part." That face-time, and the understanding that comes with it, is also the one thing that only humans can do, since it calls for the kind of empathy, EQ, and imagination that A.I. (so far) lacks.
Dery at MIT observes that humans are essential to improving EX in other ways, too, no matter what kinds of A.I. tools and systems companies put in place. She sees a shift in what managers do toward, first, thoroughly understanding the new technology and, second, making sure that everyone who reports to them is on board with it.
"Managers will need to spend more of their time teaching and coaching, to help people develop new habits and new ways of working in a digital world," she says. "In many companies, that's a very different role than they've had before."
It's also, she adds, "much more effective at creating a better employee experience than making huge investments in A.I. alone."