Are we screening millennials out of the job market?

I need a job
In an opinion piece in the Seattle Times on June 19th, a young millennial, Raffi Wineburg, wrote a great editorial “Lip service useless for millennials.” As he pointed out, unemployment for 16 to 24 year olds is running 15%.  After investing in college, many young adults are coming out to no jobs available. These new additions to our workforce have talents to be leveraged if only we could put them on our radar and explore what they might have to offer. Instead so much of the conversation seems to be focused on what’s wrong with millennials. This is absolutely the wrong conversation. We should be instead seeking them out based on their inherent talents and asking how they can contribute in a meaningful way. If all organizations shifted their screening practices, we could make a major dent in the unemployment numbers of millennials.

Each new generation brings with it the seeds of social change and innovation. We as leaders should be trying to figure out any way possible to get these new folks into our organizations. They have grown up in complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. They have grown up in a totally networked world. They do not have the hangups that older generations have. They need to be brought into the interview process not screened out. What really sets the current new generation apart from past generations? They demand to be treated with respect. The old “just do what I say, I am the boss” approach is certainly not respectful, and is a sure fire way to get rid of millennials. But that assumes that you have been willing to hire millennials in the first place. If they are being screened out of the process for lack of experience, the screening process must be changed to screen on talent not resume. If they are being screened out because management does not want to create respectful management processes, I suggest that management must change. So many of our managers were trained to manage in a world that no longer exists. Get with the program would be my recommendation.

Changing manager behaviors to be respectful is a tall order, however, changing the screening process is actually quite an easy change. We are talking about looking for early talent. Some companies like SAP, actively recruit for early talent. They have set up process and goals to seek out and hire early talent. What they found was that the resume screening process that they had used and that most organizations use actively screens out early talent. They made the change to screen on talent before ever looking at the resume. To make this shift they selected Predictive Index (PI) as their assessment of choice to screen for talent. They generate a job profile for each position, this functionality is built into the PI solution, then every applicant takes a PI assessment. They have 70,000 employees BTW. The applicants PI is matched with the job profile to select first on talent. They then look at resume and decisions to select those who they will interview. The bottom line, if the applicant has an inherent talent match with the job profile, they are in the game. With the typical resume screening process, they would never make it out of the screening software and if they did, they would be discarded.

So if we are to take hiring millennials seriously, we need to consider changing our selection process to start with talent screening first. Hidden benefits are a much more efficient and effective process needing fewer people. And what you do get out of it? Employees who inherently can do the work they are hired to do and will excel in doing so. A win win all around.

If you would like to learn more about this process, workforce analytics, and people big data and how it can transform an organization, please contact John Inman at john@johninmandialogue.com or at 425-954-7256.

Resume screening discriminates against early talent

result of resume screening

Does your organization take non-discrimination seriously? Really? Or is it just another compliance issue to contend with? If you do take it seriously and I have no reason to believe that you do not, how do you reconcile screening applicants based on resumes with your intent to be non-discriminatory? That  is a question worth exploring.

Not only does resume screening actively discriminate against early talent, an increasingly important segment of the talent pool, it also discriminates against other non-standard applicants such as those in job transition (another form of early talent) or those who have been unemployed for an extended period of time.

How do your applicants get noticed for their talents, not just what is written on resumes  based on an ever more complex set of rules to comply with for submitting a resume. Quite honestly it is daunting to almost impossible to get noticed with resume screening unless the applicant has exactly the background as documented on the resume that the hiring manager is looking for.

In the June 2014  issue of HR magazine on page 18, there is a very short snapshot of what HR managers are looking for when an applicant submits a resume. This is one of the major reasons that I have started my own business BTW. To start with, keep in mind that close to 80% of resumes are inaccurate. So all of this required content and the decisions that are based on that content are based on mostly inaccurate information. No wonder that 80% of those selected either under perform or outright fail.

The snap shot indicates that it takes less than five minutes to decide if a candidate moves to the next interview stage. I think that may be generous. That assumes that the resume gets past the screening software in the first place which is a big if. 93% of HR mangers said that inaccuracies have a negative impact on decisions to offer interviews. Before we move on, let’s consider what that means. Have you ever tried to get all of your online content to be consistent so that Google does not ignore your business? Try it some time. I just went through that ordeal as I started my business. Probably 20 to 30 hours scouring through everything that I have ever posted about my contact information, my tag lines, my bio, my locations, my products, my services, and it goes on and on. Then setting up SEO for my web site to be in absolute sync with all of the other online information. Most of you have an IT department and a marketing department to do that for you, but a job applicant? Seriously, they have to figure out all of that themselves. If the data does not match, HR says it is inaccurate. The dates on jobs do not match exactly. How about descriptions of roles and duties? How about gaps in employment that the applicant is embarrassed about and tries to cover up? What if online data does not match what is on the resume? What is inaccurate, the resume or the online data? This is a virtually impossible screen to overcome. Is screening against inaccuracies just another way to whittle down a huge digital pile of resumes? Another way to discriminate? I wonder.

So here is what I am supposed to do as an applicant. I am supposed to know what HR wants so that I can provide it. So what does HR want? Here is what that short little snap shot says and there is far more, just consider what you might be looking for.

  • Must provide recent 8-10 years of relevant job experience? Good luck if you are in transition or are early talent with this one.
  • 66% wanted chronological resumes that start with the most current. If you have been out of work for a year, isn’t that going to look interesting.
  • 43% wanted the resume to be bulleted? So what do the others want? No bullets?
  • 43% want the resume tailored to the specific industry. I am an OD guy. So does that mean that if my experience is in tech I cannot work in medical? BTW that is what I have been directly told. OD work in a non-medical industry is not useful in the medical industry. I guess people are not the same kind of people there.
  • 57% say to neither emphasize nor hide employment gaps. Does that mean that 43% want the resume to be falsified? How is that going to work with the 93% who say that inaccuracies have an negative impact on the applicant?

So here is my plea to you. Please consider screening applicants, both internal and external, based on inherent genetic behavioral and cognitive talent. Genetics accounts for 50% of an applicants success. The first question must be is the applicant suited for the work that is required? Each type of work has a genetic signature, a clear profile of the talent that is needed to succeed in the role. There are no good or bad talents, only poor matches or good matches between a persons talent and the talent profile for the role they are in. And it turns out that screening all applicants is not only easy but inexpensive.

Do we need to discover the best fits for talent early in peoples careers rather than 20 years later? Do we need to discover talent and then build resumes, not screen on resumes only to discover that the talent did not match the talent profile of the position? If we do this, maybe we can truly act on overcoming discrimination of quality applicants in all phases of their lives. We will no longer discriminate against those who are diamonds in the rough and will, with a small amount of resume building, become stars.

If you are interested in exploring this topic further, contact John Inman at john@johninmandialogue.com or call at 425-954-7256.

4 Guidelines to Building a Business Case for Workforce Analytics

This blog post is a repost of a PI Worldwide newsletter article that I felt should be shared.

Today’s leadership teams recognize the value of data to solve business challenges and gain a competitive advantage. However, creating the necessary support and sponsorship can be an obstacle to establishing a data-driven culture. As more business leaders look to secure funding for their workforce analytics initiatives, success hinges on their ability to make an effective business case. A May 2014 MIT Sloan Management research studyreports that investments in analytics have steadily increased since 2009 by an annual average growth rate of 8.5%. Further industry research suggests that organizations making these investments are two times more likely to improve their recruiting efforts and leadership pipelines, and are three times more likely to realize cost reductions and efficiency gains2.

Here are four guidelines to follow when building a business case for talent analytics3:

Define the business issue and determine your key stakeholders. In addition to understanding (and prioritizing) specific problem(s) that need to be solved, you must determine the individuals who will be impacted and involved in the process. Ask questions like: Who owns the issue we need to solve? Who would help champion this program? Who might challenge this program? Start by speaking with internal business leaders, line managers and other executives as you also conduct industry and market research.

Build a compelling solution. Detail the key components of your chosen solution and how it will be implemented. Consider dependencies like time, people and other projects. Key questions to pose include: Where will the solution be used? How will we roll out a multi-phase process? Should we combine the solution with another related initiative?

Quantify solution costs. Detail the hard and opportunity cost drivers of the solution—from the people expenses (e.g. headcount, training, hiring) to process costs (e.g. assessment costs, technology, overhead, etc.). Partner with key stakeholders to guide and validate cost assumptions.

Determine key metrics and define what success looks like. To make a concept meaningful, you need to make it measurable. Determine how you will quantify the benefits of the program/solution in terms of bottom line impact or other drivers that will resonate with your key audiences.

1 Kiron, Kirk Prentice, Boucher Ferguson. “The Analytics Mandate,” MIT Sloan Management Review. May 2014
2 Bersin by Deloitte. WhatWorks Brief. September 2013
3 Bersin by Deloitte. 2014

Download the PI Worldwide case study to learn how a National Healthcare Company Leverages Workforce Analytics to Build Strong Teams 

For more information contact John Inman at john@johninmandialogue.com and at 425-954-7256

Do you measure the results of your sales training?

Over 30 years ago I had the opportunity to experience Counselor Selling, pioneered by Larry Wilson. I still have the materials for the 40 hour course. Through hard work and application of consultative sales principles in that course, I transformed my career in sales. As a 30 year student of consultative sales and having participated in numerous consultative sales programs, I am very excited to now represent a sales development solution from PI Worldwide that scientifically combines a behavioral assessment and a consultative sales assessment with an outstanding course on consultative sales. The combination of assessments and workshops provides a powerful solution that will transform the performance of your sales team.

Scientific Selling PI Worldwide

This approach to the field of consultative selling was introduced to PI Worldwide by Nancy Martini in her ground breaking book “Scientific Selling: Creating High-Performance Sales Teams Through Applied Psychology and Testing”. I highly recommend this book if you would like to fully understand the power of this solution. Nancy is now the CEO of PI Worldwide and has provided this extraordinary program to those of us who represent PI Worldwide in the market.

How does our approach differ and why should you pay attention? We are not just offering a sales training, we provide the PI assessment to hire the right people into sales jobs who have the genetics that match the requirements of the sales position. Once the right person is hired, you no longer are trying to train people who are not suited for the job. With a genetic fit, you can focus on skill development of a person who can and will perform in the job. The next step is a consultative skill assessment, the Sales Skill Assessment Tool (SSAT). This assessment will assess where each current or new sales person is against 5 core consultative sales skills. This will give you a baseline of current skill level before the team members participate in the Customer-Focused Sales workshop. After the workshop, each team member is reassessed against those sames five skill sets to gauge learning. Where there are gaps, team members can be coached and developed to gain the skills necessary to be leaders in your field. And you will have the confidence in knowing that you will be investing time and energy in people who are genetically suited to do the very important work of sales.

Here are brief descriptions of each piece of this performance solution set.

The Predictive Index® System is a powerful set of management tools that help you make science-based decisions about the people and teams who work to drive your organization’s success. Delivering valuable insights into workplace behaviors and skills, the PI® system transfers the knowledge of our systems to you, allowing you to predict fits and gaps, pinpoint coaching, and develop future leaders. A PI Worldwide® solution.

The Predictive Index Management Workshop™ transfers PI® knowledge to managers at all levels of your organization. Like no other course, the PI® Workshop gives you invaluable insight into yourself and the power to predict how others will perform. Learn to develop people-smart management skills, decipher leadership styles and how to promote an environment of productivity and cohesion by adopting and applying PI® data throughout your organization. A PI Worldwide® solution.

The Sales Skills Assessment Tool™ (SSAT) uses scientific methodology to obtain skill data about a person’s sales skills. Consisting of 25 targeted, scenario-based questions that assess the critical skills essential to successful consultative selling, managers are equipped with a detailed and accurate quantification of selling ability, allowing you to tailor your training initiative to exacting degrees. A PI Worldwide® solution.

Customer Focused Selling™ Workshop is a unique training course based upon statistical assessment that provides all the core competencies needed for effective consultative selling. This highly interactive two-day workshop will be specified to your team’s specific development needs. The ability to target training to needed areas of improvement produces motivation for individuals to perform at their full potential. A PI Worldwide® solution.

If you are involved in selecting and developing sales people or if you are responsible for the performance of a sales organization, this is a solution that you must explore.

Contact John Inman today to learn how these solutions can help you accelerate performance in your organization! john@johninmandialogue.com 425-954-7256

If I were funding a startup, I would require this solution…

The failure rate for startups is high. It is not only about the idea, it is about the team assembled to take the startup forward. Whether selecting, developing, or severing a team member, the wrong decision can be costly for a small enterprise. A wrong decision in hiring key players can spell the success or failure of an enterprise. Although large organization processes tend to be out of reach for a startup or small business, this is not so for our solutions. We specialize in helping get the right people in the right positions at all levels and then helping them accelerate performance. And this is done using tools that have been validated for nearly 60 years.

John Inman Dialogue has introduced a new solution for startups and small businesses that can substantially improve the success of placing the right people into the right jobs. The profit and startup success implications are compelling.

For details, explore the following introduction to this powerful solution. Note that this solution is designed to be easily scaled to any size organization:

Accelerate the Performance of your Startup