DDI and Monster recently released the results of their 2006-2007 "Selection Forecast", which consists of survey results from staffing directors (628), hiring managers (1,250) and job seekers (3,725) in five global regions. They also conducted 31 one-on-one interviews with job seekers to "flesh out the results."
This report has been discussed elsewhere, but what interests me isn't so much the forecast for "competition for talent", which we seem to get conflicting reports about on a daily basis, but some other nuggets in the report...
#1: Recruiting methods: Staffing directors reported relying heavily on the organization's career website and large online job boards. Yes, lots of folks get jobs this way. But is this the most effective source? And how's that career website, anyway?
#2: What job seekers want: There were some serious mismatches between what job seekers reported wanting (beyond salary/benefits) and what hiring managers and staffing directors think they want:
A good manager/boss: 75% of job seekers want this, and 69% of hiring managers thought they did--but only 57% of staffing directors did. Could this hint at HR placing insufficient importance on selection for line supervisors?
An organization you can be proud to work for: 74% of job seekers want this, but only 58% of hiring managers and 55% of staffing directors thought they did.
A creative/fun workplace culture: 67% of job seekers want this, but only 50% of hiring managers and 43% of staffing directors thought they did.
A compatible work group/team: Desired by 67% of job seekers but identified by only 50% of hiring managers and 37% of staffing directors.
Looking at these responses, it appears (at least in this sample) that management and HR are seriously underestimating the importance of organizational factors to job seekers. This of course will vary by organization, by job type, and by other factors such as demographics. Speaking of demographics...
#3: Age and job search: Younger job seekers placed increased importance on a fun culture and work friends, whereas older job seekers placed more value on advancement and developing organizational pride. This is consistent with other surveys.
#4: Satisfaction with selection practices: Fewer than 50% of staffing directors and hiring managers were highly satisfied with their hiring practices. "Efficiency" was rated particularly low. I'm guessing these are pretty typical results, but good benchmarks nonetheless.
#5: HR is lacking creativity--or resources: Fewer than half of all staffing directors had used each form of assessment listed in the survey. Resumes? Check. Interviews? Check. Other types? Not so much.
#6: Think carefully about interviewers: Two-thirds of job seekers said the interviewer influences their acceptance intentions. Are you just pulling in whoever is available?
#7: Do it again: Candidates pick up on interviewer behavior--intentional or not. A particularly offensive interviewer behavior was "Acting like has no time to talk to me" (70% of respondents). Don't forget how important perceptions of the selection process are.
#8: The grass is always greener: Nearly a third of job seekers had been in their jobs less than six months but were prowling for a new one. So no, your organization isn't alone. But what are you doing to retain people? Which brings us to...
#9: The reason they left may not be what you think: Honest exit interview feedback can be hard to get, but chew on this:
Did not feel efforts were appreciated: Ranked #3 in reason for turnover by job seekers--but #7 and #6 by staffing directors and hiring managers, respectively.
Treated unfairly: Ranked #4 by job seekers--unfortunately ranked #14 and #10.5 by staffing directors and hiring managers, respectively.
What about errors the other way? Managers and HR thought "external factors" (a spouse moving, going back to school, etc.) were pretty darn important--ranking them #1 and #2, respectively. But job seekers didn't, ranking it #10.5.
This is low hanging fruit. Recognition doesn't have to cost a thing; neither does taking steps to treat people fairly. A few minutes of your time, maybe, but how does that compare to the time, money, and effort involved in replacing someone?