I went “All In” for SHRM17 and Now I’m Expanding My World for SHRM18.

I’ve been in HR for decades, but I’ve been truly active on Social Media for less than two years. SHRM18 will only be my second annual conference.

My first SHRM Annual Conference was in 2017 and the theme was “All In.” I took that theme to heart from the time I signed up for the conference. While attending, I wrote on a sticky note declaring my commitment to the HR profession and to myself about being “all in.” So did many of the other attendees, and you can see the result below.

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It was an eye opener! The experience vastly exceeded my expectations. I came alone and left with many new friends who share my passion for the profession. I didn’t realize until that time that many of the HR pros I met on Twitters were also bloggers. I knew some were, but, was still surprised that I knew so many! I learned how to have fun with HR folks. It wasn’t just about learning. It was also about connecting with the HR community, getting to know partners in technology, employee engagement, learning & development, marketing/promos, and meeting vendors that do business with HR folks.  The conference opened my eyes to the fun side of HR. I’ve never been to a party with a bunch of HR folks. Yes, HR pros like to party and have fun just like the rest – we’re people, too!

The SHRM17 conference has inspired me to launch “All in HR Services”. I chose “All In HR” as a constant reminder of that commitment. It’s the latest expression of my desire to showcase everything I know about the discipline, from administration to compliance to technology. A few months after the conference, I got inspired by the friends I’d met and started my HR Blog. I wasn’t seen as a competitor but as a fellow contributor. I tried not to miss #NextChat, a twitter chat on Wednesday sponsored by SHRM that fosters the exchange of HR ideas and the sharing of experiences related to HR topics. Before long I found myself tagged on other twitter chats with the same theme.

Fast forward to my birthday (January 2018). I was asked if I wanted to be one of the bloggers for SHRM18. I immediately said, Yes! I didn’t have to think about it because I was “All In”.

When the SHRM18 Bloggers Team were announced, I got even more excited when I noticed that many of them hail from my #HRTribe (We’re a bunch of HR pros out to show the world that there are great people in HR.

The SHRM18 theme is “Expand Your World”. What a great sequel to “All In”. A few days after the announcement, I’m already getting out of yet another comfort zone. It’s bad enough that I’m so poor at taking “selfies” now, I have to make a video announcement? Fortunately, I’m not one to back away from challenges. You can see that video here.

https://youtu.be/HWHC08WtDCw

The next 4 months will bring interviews with SHRM18 speakers and vendors. Expect a podcast and video interview with one of these individuals sometime next month.

If you haven’t been to SHRM Annual Conference, what a great way to expand your HR world. You never know how it could change you, your organization, and your local HR community. Learn, connect, and have fun! Come follow the #SHRM18 on all social media. Check out the SHRM18Bloggers Team here: https://blog.shrm.org/blog/shrm18-bloggers

Follow us on all Social Media, you never know where it will lead you. You can start expanding your world by joining #NextChat and following the #SHRM18Bloggers team on all Social Media channels as we take you on a journey all the way to SHRM18 in Chicago, Illinois. You never know how SHRM’s Annual Conference might help you evolved as an HR Professional.  Make the investment. I’m glad I did!

 

Predictive Analytics in HR: Do you have the data needed to back that up?

Some organizations have begun to use predictive analytics as part of their hiring process. I filled out questionnaires used for analytics while applying for HR Manager positions. Supposedly, there are no right or wrong answers. The employer just wants to know “how we are wired” to move on to the next phase.

An excerpt from one of these questionnaires appears below. Section one lists one hundred ten adjectives from which the applicant chooses to describe him/herself.  Section two presents the same list and asks that the applicant use them to describe how one should behave in their current work environment.

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Do you really know how your predictive analytics are supposed to work? It has a growing presence in talent acquisition but has never been proven effective in this context. We do know that these algorithms must draw from a wealth of data to reach any meaningful conclusion. Does your company have enough data to determine who will make a great hire?

I applied for two positions for which the hiring manager applied this methodology. A “thumbs up” from the predictive assessment was required to move on to the next step in the process. Despite claims of “It’s not pass or fail,” I never received a follow-up call after either test. When I asked for feedback, none was provided.

The test is pass or fail. Don’t believe otherwise.

You passed if you are called to the next phase. You failed if you aren’t.

The soul-sucking part of this assembly line process lies in the fact that there is no way to know where you went wrong. You are selecting adjectives with no situational context. Does it really make sense to exclude a candidate because of vacuous word selection? If someone did this manually, they would be considered a crackpot, but because the actual logic is hidden within an automatically executed algorithm, the result is treated as gospel. This is not logical, or rational, or in keeping with any expert understanding of computer science. It is nothing but snake oil software.

Depending on our age, our culture, upbringings, education, and experience, the way we answer these surveys will vary. When implementing this type of strategy do you really know what you’re looking for as a recruiter or as an organization? Do you know what kind of mental-wiring you’re looking for?

I am at a point in my life and my career that I picked the same words for Section 1 & 2. If I was younger and new to the workforce my answers will be different. If this was supposed to be no right or wrong answers, nor is it pass or fail, what is the point of this process? Why spend the money on this assessment if you’re only trying to detect how a person is wired? Wouldn’t this be at some point a discriminatory/prejudicial process that may impact people based on age, gender, ethnicity, and disability since how we answer may predict these things?  Not knowing which section is given more weight and how we are scored, how do we improve or meet the implicit expectations?

I met a couple of data scientists who use predictive analytics in a variety of business domains. One works for a health insurance company, and I can see how datasets available to insurers could drive useful analytical outcomes. Unfortunately, they also took on the task of extending these methods for use in talent acquisition. Neither has ever actually worked in the recruiting field! We need to stop letting non-HR people define the essential decision-making processes we use to do our jobs! Would you let someone with no HR expertise walk up to your desk, rifle through your files, and start ordering around? Let’s wake up to the fact that this is exactly what’s being done, being blinded by those who package the clueless interference in a piece of software and label it “analytics.”

I’m not a fan of any personality assessments. I don’t think they are useful indicators of who we are as professionals or indicative of what we bring to the table. If anyone out there has rigorous studies they can quote to contrary, I’ll gladly listen to them, but I’m not holding my breath. The business world has a long and infamous history of rabidly seizing upon trendy practices without a shred of evidence that attests to their effectiveness.

I’m also not a fan of hiring for cultural fit, because what constitutes cultural fit should and will evolve over time. A static, inflexible notion of cultural fit is a surefire way to achieve organizational sclerosis. If we want to assess our candidates, let’s assess the skills they bring to the table After all, isn’t our current concern about skills gap, and not some nebulous black-box notion of “how we are wired?”

Predictive analytics is the practice of extracting information from existing data sets in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends. Predictive analytics does not tell you what will happen in the future (wabopedia.com).

The Data: “Lack of good data is the most common barrier to organizations seeking to employ predictive analytics” (hbr.org).

To make predictions about what kind of employees we should employ, we need these kinds of data points:

  • Characteristics and accomplishments of current employees
  • Characteristics and accomplishment of past employees.
  • Reasons employees stayed
  • Reasons employees left

If you lack this kind of data, along with some means to feed it into the analytical model, then the analytical model is useless. If you’re a small-medium company or a start-up, it’s particularly likely that this is the case.

The reason predictive analytics work in domains such as sales is the wealth of data available to the model. The same goes for healthcare.

The same just can’t be said of talent acquisition. Period. Even worse, applying these algorithms may lead to bias and perhaps discrimination, if the outcome includes disproportionate impact on protective groups. If you can’t open the black box, how do we know there’s not a bigot inside? The software vendors pushing this snake oil provide nothing but vacuous hand-waving when they assure us this isn’t the case. This is why many HR pros who are also practicing attorneys don’t like assessments that fail to actually measure person’s ability to do the job.

Your Predictive Analytic Model Sucks!

As I mentioned earlier on, I have taken the predictive analytics tests twice. This was in the Summer of 2017. Both of those employers have since re-posted those jobs on multiple occasions. I never reapplied because they haven’t changed their requirements. I got a call from an external recruiter yesterday and she thought that I was a perfect candidate for their client based on my resume. When she told me who the client was, I laughed and told her that I’d already been disqualified without an interview. I let her know that I appreciate her thinking of me and wished her luck!

Clearly, the employer is failing to realize that their predictive analytic model sucks! My husband who is a software enterprise architect thinks they got scammed into buying a technology that was full of promise but failed to deliver. If they admit to drinking snake oil it will reflect badly on those involved in the decision, so backing down isn’t an option.

I’m not claiming their model sucks because I didn’t get the job. I’m saying this because they’ve been trying to fill this position since the summer of 2017. They have hired multiple staffing agency to help them fill this position every time it gets reposted. There are a plenty of great HR managers in the Midlands. This is not about a skills gap.

When will the employers utilizing these products wake up to the fact that they’re cheating themselves out of great hires? By leaving the HR Manager post vacant, the company I applied to is leaving themselves vulnerable to compliance issues.

Meet your candidates.

Have the conversation.

Stop hiding behind junk software that reduces your workload by doing your work badly.

Photo Credit: media.licdn.com

#HR #TalentAcquisition #HRTech #PredictiveAnalytics

HR: What’s On Your Cup Today?

This post was originally posted as a LinkedIn article on February, 5, 2018.

To be honest, I don’t own any of these cups. If I have a cup for everything about HR, I’ll have a shelf-full of HR cups.

Let Me Drop Everything and Work on Your Problem Cup…

This may be a sarcasm for some, but when you work in management, especially HR, there will be plenty of times where we have to drop everything and work on people’s problems. Because, that is what we do! The #MeToo problems were the result of not dropping anything to work on their people’s problems.

HR Manager Because Freakin’ Miracle Worker Isn’t an Official Job Title Cup…

You don’t need to be a miracle worker to be an effective HR professional. You just need to learn to be efficient to allow for more time to deal with people. The organization is made up of people who deal with people internally and externally. That’s a lot of people! As HR Pro, it is our job to make sure that we help all these people throughout their employment life cycle.

HR Technologies

Leverage technologies to help you! HR technologies are great tools to help streamline processes, remove redundancy, gather data that we can crunch and analyze for whatever reports we want to create.

In my opinion, we are having issues with employee engagement and experience because we are allowing technology to remove the “people equation”. HR Technologies were never meant to replace people interactions. They were created to lessen the administrative tasks that were keeping us away from people, be it more time assessing candidates or assisting employees.

You can be Tech Savvy and People Savvy

I chose to work in HR because I get to help people and I get to help the organization grow. Somewhere along the way, I also found myself working on the many HR technologies we work on these days. I saw first-hand why they were needed and having learned HR from the ground up (I started as HR Assistant/Recruiting Coordinator), I knew how essential they were for my efficiency as well as productivity. It gave me time to help employees with their benefits, allowed me time to provide informational interview for students, and helped me tracked our candidates. This also allowed me to grow in HR as I had more time to attend seminars as well as finish my college education since I am not stuck in the office trying to complete tasks from one system to another. As I climbed up in ranks from one organization to another, working for various industries and sizes, I got the opportunity to implement and customized many of these technologies (ATS, HRIS, Payroll, HCM) from mainframe to now cloud based. Everything I know about these technologies were hands-on. The only thing I needed is my HR expertise to help me work side-by-side with the techies. Many of the Project Managers and Software Developers that I worked with had no understanding of HR Compliance. They have no understanding of benefits, payroll, etc. That wasn’t their expertise. What helped me be an effective Project Manager/Client Service Manager was I was able to communicate their needs and frustrations to our techies and helped our techies how to resolve the problems plaguing our clients.

Keep Calm and Focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Cup…

We are now getting into the whole AI realm. Depending on who you listen to, it’s targeting HR jobs. I’m not worried, not because I don’t believe in AI, but because I don’t believe AI can truly replace HR.

AI should be treated as another tool. I do believe that AI will help most of the problems we have in executing our job like Talent Management, Workplace Safety, and Total Rewards offering.  However, that will only be possible with the help of HR at the helm.

Like many of the HR technologies in many organizations these days, if HR is not involved in the implementation process, it will fail! AI will only be effective in Talent Management if we’re honest about removing any bias assessment in our processes.

AI will not replace the genuine and authentic human interactions. It’s called artificial for a reason. AI will not solve your employee engagement or experience if you continue to treat them less than people. Organizations will still employ people to build, maintain, and fix these machines. Therefore, organizations will continue to hire HR pros to deal with the human aspects of things as intended.

#SHRM #HRTribe #AI #HR