5 Common Work Conflict Scenarios for Talent Management Leaders

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When we do not get what we want or fail to reach a goal, we often blame others. It is easy. It removes our own responsibility, and it feels better than looking at our own actions. Sometimes it really isn’t our fault, but more often than anyone would like to admit, it is.

5 Common Work Conflict Scenarios

With that in mind, I have compiled a list of things we often hear (or say) in the workplace or our personal life, that stem from misunderstanding how information travels and how communication works. These points are especially relevant for recruiters and HR professionals because the nature of the work is very social, with many work relationships inside and outside the organization:

  • “We agreed on something, but the other person did something completely different!” How many times were you certain you covered the ground with a client, a customer, a colleague, or even a friend, only to be eventually disappointed that the outcome isn’t quite what you had in mind? You are talking and collaborating, It is only natural to assume: “of course we are on the same page!” The harsh reality is that both of you THINK that is the case, but very often you will take something different from the conversation. When you keep that in mind it is easier to avoid that thing from happening to begin with, or fix it without hurting someone else.
  • “I’m pulling all the weight and doing all the hard work here.” You are not always aware of other people’s efforts. We have all the information about our hard work, but much less than that about others’. Yet we are very quick to make assumptions regarding other people’s work ethics. This is true for both our personal and professional life. Creating and maintaining meaningful relationships means accepting this small fact of life.
  • “It’s hard to get my job done when other teams hide information.” Don’t assume information is withheld from you on purpose. The other team may have thought the information to be irrelevant or passed on the information to one of your teammates. In many instances, lack of communication between teams stems from too little team cohesion. Before blaming other teams for being excluded, check with your teammates if they received the information.  DNA-7 is currently conducting a study surrounding work conflict.
  •  “They should have known it’s the wrong thing to do. Everyone knows it.” Not everyone has the knowledge you do. When you see someone doing something wrong or about to make a bad decision, usually the best course of action is to see if they are aware of the regulation or the existing knowledge on the subject. The “hammer to the head” solution is swift and makes the point, but you have to keep in mind most people will lose the respect and trust they have in you if you act like that.
  • “Decisions are flying over my head, even though they are mine to make.” In the words of Frank Underwood: You are entitled to nothing. Your job description might land you responsibility over certain processes. That does not mean others are happy with it. If you don’t play nice with other people, share the information you have, and help further the project, your colleagues will try to bypass you to avoid the potholes you create. If this happens, blaming others will only make things worse. Find a way to get yourself once again involved. Create your own entitlement and don’t rely on titles.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but among the most common blames when it comes to work conflicts we place on others instead of looking at ourselves. Solving these issues is easy, but in some situations, requires letting go of our ego and admit the faults might be of our own making, or in a lot of cases – not anyone’s fault at all. If we can do that, navigating the sea of information and knowledge our organizations or social structures have to offer – instantly becomes much easier.

Recruiting Trends for 2015

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Businessman character has difficulties with career

Every year the job market changes, and 2015 is no different. Employers trying to stay current with the latest trends need to be aware of how the market has changed and what that means for their hiring practices. The job market has picked up again in 2015, meaning that people are starting to job hop again, which creates a more competitive landscape for employers seeking to attract and retain top talent. While staying on top of these changes and remaining competitive can be time consuming, ultimately paying close attention to differences both large and subtle is the difference between a great recruiting year or losing out to your competitors on the best talent. With this in mind we held conversations with our partners and looked into our own data to help determine what some of the big trends in recruiting for 2015 will be.

3 Recruiting Trends that will affect your hiring

Now that you’re starting into the year and beginning to address your hiring strategies, it’s time to consider what trends will affect your recruiting efforts for 2015. Here are a few of the trends to expect based off our research:


Job seekers, especially Millennials, are expecting more transparency from their employers. They want employers to be more honest about salary and bonus structures and also seek honesty as a key trait in their leaders. With social media making it easy to connect to current or past employees to find out more about what goes on behind-the-scenes, it may be that employers will have little choice but to comply with that demand. Also take transparency into account when dealing with social issues with millennials. In a recent survey, 89% of millennials expressed a strong likelihood that they would buy from a company that supported solutions to social issues, and 63% wanted their employers to contribute to social or ethical causes they felt were important. Millennials wear their ideals on their sleeve and in order to attract them, don’t be shy about standing for something and letting it be known.

Mobile Hiring 

More job seekers are looking at online ads on their smartphones and tablets. These mobile devices can be used on the go, but work best with mobile-friendly websites. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you may be missing some opportunities to connect with valuable talent. Take the time to talk to your tech department and develop a strategy to transition your website and your career section to be mobile friendly. By getting the jump on this now you’ll be ready to outperform your competitors as customers and job seekers move more and more to mobile as their preferred medium to connect to the internet.

Tougher to Retain

Since it is much easier to submit many resumes at once online, and the job market has loosened, employers are starting to have difficulty retaining their employees who seek greener pastures. Attention should be paid to retention more and more, especially as the Baby Boomers retire and the candidate pool starts to shrink. Engage your current employees often and provide them with feedback and opportunities to learn and grow. Millennials especially value this type of feedback and enjoy seeking out opportunities to grow and learn. Your company may not have the budget or resources to have daily free lunches or a game room, but that’s not always what counts the most. Professional support and one-on-one guidance doesn’t cost much and goes a long way towards keeping employees happy and engaged.

Hiring practices will always change and evolve with time. No one has a crystal ball to see the future, but many changes in the landscape can be easily dealt with by an HR manager who takes the time to pay attention to not only what’s happening outside the company, but with it’s current employees as well. Any company that takes the time to keep the future in mind while also being attentive to their current needs will fare well when competing to hire and retain their talent.

Communication Flow 101

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Network hexagonal color technology communication background

Shall We Talk About It?

Proper communication flow is always the first step to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the organization (and specifically for you, recruiters). Whether it is daily and routine operations, strategic decisions, or change management – there is much to gain by better flow of information. I have stressed that before and I will again – proper communication flow with candidates, new hires, and hiring managers can go a long way to improve candidate engagement, recruitment process satisfaction, and successful hires.

The reality is that most of us don’t object to the idea of communication and information sharing, but we barely have the time, resources, and often the will to communicate more than the minimum we are required to in order to get our job done. The good news is that it is not needed that everyone in the organization communicate with their colleagues – in fact that would be rather chaotic. Instead, there is a fine line between too little and too much communication

The Flow of Information Matrix

Before we look for the best case scenario, let’s first try to understand what communication inside an organizations is. We can look at it in a simple matrix:

I am making the distinction between hierarchy and work relationships because normally, work relationships are able to carry far more information than hierarchy relationships. While it is important to build healthy relationships between managers and their staff, the ability to create healthy relationships with your peers is far more beneficial to you and to the organization (think for a moment about the limitations of vertical communication and the endless possibilities of horizontal communication).

As for communication between and within teams – that is an easier distinction to make. Work relationships between teams are hard to maintain, but their existence significantly improves the agility and redundancy in organizations and teams, therefore making it less exposed for negative effects of unexpected external and internal events.

Keep Workplace Cohesion at Bay, Spiral Out to Other Team

So what’s proper communication? How well do I need to be connected and communicate to truly be more efficient at what I do?

A recent study suggests that too little and too much workplace cohesion hurts performance. Whether you work in a team with other recruiters or other HR functions (training, learning, business partners, etc.), communicating properly inside the team can go a long way in solving problems, or at the very least – be aware of them. However, when your team becomes a friends’ club and you spend too much time socializing internally, you certainly have less time to socialize with people outside the team and generally have less time to do actual work.

As for communication with other teams (and in this case, mostly with hiring managers) – from my experience, you can never go wrong with more communication here. It is not an easy thing to create and maintain, takes many resources, but brings you and your team far greater value than you can imagine. Some of the greatest feedback for you and your peers hides there.

When you want to create better communication and collaboration with someone outside your team, you must be mindful that until you establish it, you are “wasting” their time. So how can we build it anyway?

  1. Coffee corner conversations – everyone is looking for a light conversation during their coffee break. This is where innovation happens. Not a coffee drinker? Better look at this article.
  2. Find areas of matching expertise and personal interests – you will find this makes breaking the ice much easier. You can use Twitter or Facebook to ignite the conversation and take it from there.
  3. Compliment and offer constructive criticism (when asked!) – there are two great ways for making people not want to communicate and collaborate with you – offering advices when no one asked for it and always offering negative feedback. Don’t be that guy/gal.

Sharing information is not easy. Never is. It is resource consuming and sometimes requires you juggle a political or bureaucratic hell. Luckily, it is well worth it. What you learn and the information you share enables you to do your work better, makes sure you are always up-to-date, and makes it very hard to surprise you. All in turn end up saving you time rather sooner than later.

MaximusLife Launches Mobile Platform at #SXSWi Focused on Wearable Market

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Your life Your goals plus 1

MaximusLife, a crowd funded people-based technology company with roots in HR technology, today announced the launch of MaximusLife “My Greatest Life” on mobile. The platform is the first people-focused platform that empowers individuals to create Mobile/SMART goals for life, work and fun. The platform makes users goals SMART and then connects them with the user’s social network, their wearable devices and lifestyle apps, and even allows users to “put their heart into it” by pledging their success to good causes.

“People who set goals are more successful, they live better lives and they engage, initiate and inspire good in the world around them. It’s time technology helped further this lifestyle and make it fun,” said MaximusLife CEO Brady Bruner. Bruner went further to say, “MaximusLife on Mobile allows users to connect their growing love of wearable’s with the equally exciting rise of modern fundraising for social good and do it all for personal growth-hard to beat that with pen and paper on New Years.

Our focus is clearly on growing the individual and in our corporate conversations we like to say companies don’t have an “engagement problem”, they have a “connecting” problem. We then go onto show all the research and evidence pointing to the fact that people are much more than their work (meaningful or not) and employers need to connect with the “whole person” by knowing and empowering their broader life goals. This simple act impacts employee engagement, wellness and the whole culture of the company.”

The MaximusLife “My Greatest Life” platform gives users the ability to allow members to use any mobile device to join 30, 60 or 90 day quests challenges. MaximusLife’s technology allows users to invite their community via social networks into each challenge. Connections can quickly view personal progress at a glance on dashboards. Additionally, users can receive retail discounts as rewards and pledge personal success to a good cause.

MaximusLife mobile platform aligns well with corporate wellness programs, performance and training initiatives and employee focused development and engagement programs.

The platform is launching with hand picked partners that align well with the mission of MaximusLife. Bruner commented, “Misfit and Roma are world-class brands, run by world-changers on mission to inspire people to get-up and move towards good. They’ve inspired us and we are excited to partner with them because of what they stand for. We’ll continue to bring on partners and expand integration to more wearables and apps as we get further into the year. We are purposely taking it slow on the partner front.”

The launch of MaximusLife is the first platform of it’s kind to put the focus on the individual user with the mission of giving anyone with a mobile device the ability to engage, initiate and inspire good with their everyday life goals. The company, admittedly challenging HR technology to think outside the box, hopes corporations will jump into the rewards side and offer employees incentives to live and work with fun, visual, wearable and SMART goals in a community/team setting. The platform also opens the door for corporations looking to match charitable giving to good causes.

The company was selected to Forever Funding on Indieogogo and is opening access to contributors first and then to the public. Anyone attending SXSW can attend the Launch party on March 14th to get MaximusLife gear, free access, and give-aways from Launch partners Roma Boots and Misfit.

About MaximusLife:

Founded in 2014, MaximusLife went global after launching pre-sales on Indiegogo. The platform is the first goal-based platform of its kind in the crossing lifestyle, fitness and productivity categories with connections to modern ways of giving back. The platform caters to a mission of inspiring and growing individuals in 100% of life. Recognized in Fall 2014 as a leader in “Technology for People” at Techmanity, MaximusLife strives to get the millions of people investing in their greatest life the tools they need to further the daily good to inspire us all. The proprietary MaximusLife Quest Builder transforms everyday goals in Health & Fitness, Leisure/Just for Fun, Personal Greatness and Work into a unified metric/point system, which allows a growing network of retailers, employers, celebrity sponsors and charitable partners a real and tangible way to engage people for good. Join the movement toward your greatest life at www.MaximusLife.com

3 Employment Interview Questions #Employment Ethics

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796As an interviewer, it’s important to get a good sense of an entry level job candidate’s employment ethic from other things than a long work history. Discovering the work ethic of a potential hire is as simple as lining up a few questions that will provide insight into their character. Here are just a few such questions:

1. Would you be willing to miss a deadline if it meant compromising quality?

This employment interview question allows the interviewer to see what type of experience a candidate has with high pressure situations and their reactions to them. It also will tell them if they can think on their feet or be more content taking shortcuts that might not be ethical. Keep in mind you’ll be interviewing recent graduates, so they may not know how to answer this question properly and be hesitant. Don’t hold reluctance against them, but rather pay attention to what they say and how they say it.

2. Do you have an example of a time when you went above and beyond your call of duty on-the-job?

This gives the interviewer insight into whether a job candidate has a strong inner motivation to work hard or whether they’re just showing up to get a paycheck. It will also show what type of initiative they have and their style for getting things done. If the candidate doesn’t have a lot of on the job experience, consider asking them about their experience in clubs or on projects where they had to go a step further in order to ensure success. Adjust this employment interview question as you see fit based off the candidates resume before they sit down to hone in on a particular job or experience you’d want them to elaborate on.

3. If your supervisor asked you to do something illegal, what would you do?

This is a tricky employment interview question that will gather a lot of data on what types of unethical behavior a candidate might not see as unethical or whether they’re willing to be ethical under pressure. It might also lead into a prior situation in the past that they dealt with and how it was handled. You can also bring up a specific instance of something that straddles the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior and ask them what they would do in that situation. One of the big upsides of this question is that it allows you to ask to see how the candidate thinks on their feet and responds to a situation where employment ethic considerations may come into play.

Having Trouble Thinking Up Your Own Questions?

If you don’t have the time to work out interesting situational questions that can stir a conversation, don’t be afraid to simply test for the response with canned work ethics testing software. There is a higher cost and degree of effort involved, but it will provide pre-employment screening that will be automatically graded once the candidate finishes taking the test. It can also help to spot those that give a good answer only because they’ve learned to be deceptive, which while rare can happen during interviews. When conducting your interviews don’t forget these tips to make sure you appropriately screen for candidates that may not stand up to your companies ethical standards.

Think HR Technology is Broken? #hrtech

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iStock_000021058804SmallHR Tech Can’t Solve Your Recruitment Ailments

I want to start with stating the obvious – neither recruitment nor HR technologies are “broken.” There are quite a few HR influencers and vendors out in the market which are dedicating many resources into telling you how your current processes and technologies are broken. I don’t blame them, they have their own agenda, and even if their argument is valid in a certain scope, the situation is not as bleak as they describe.

Between HR professionals, HR technology, and the rest of the world – a lot can go wrong. And it does. However, for the most part, candidates are getting hired and the world is still turning. As with every complex process, we can always aspire be more effective and efficient at what we do. Nowadays, whenever something does not work properly, we immediately look for a technological solution. The promise of tools that can streamline our entire hiring process and foster collaboration between candidates, hiring managers, and recruiters, is captivating, but often makes us forget the real reasons behind our challenges.

Good user interface and user experience can go a long way in helping you do your job more efficiently, but at the end of the day, the technology you have is only as good as the people using it. That is always a problem with collaborative technology – your ability to control it and utilize it to its fullest is limited to the technology’s integration with organizational processes and the level of engagement of your colleagues.

Even organizations which integrated top-notch technology and have learned to utilize it perfectly, the recruitment process is far from ideal. Once we accept technology is not the end-all solution for our recruitment ailments, we can start discussing a few very practical and low-tech solutions that can easily help us tackle some of the challenges we face daily. In my previous entry I stated the importance of communication between recruitment and other functions in the organization. This can’t be stressed enough because that lack of communication is the main grief hiring managers have with recruiters.

The Client is Always Right and that Client is the Hiring Manager

I’m speaking with many executives and hiring managers and they all share one thing – they want to communicate better with you. They need you and your best judgment. Communication helps them deliver better job descriptions and requirements, and in turn, helps you find a suitable talent more easily. Of course, the better you know the hiring manager personally, the easier it is for you to make a successful hire (try to think why employee referral works better than most other hiring techniques).

Hiring managers must be an integral part of the hiring process from the get go. They need to see the candidates, talk with them, and estimate their cultural and social fit to their team. In the candidate’s eyes, recruiters are the barrier between them and the job they want, but the involvement of a hiring manager gives a feeling of involvement and engagement and increases your chances of landing the talent you want in a competitive market.

Don’t Forget Social Media

From your perspective, other than your customers (hiring managers), another function you want to work closely with is the social media specialist, for employer branding. Depending on your budget, employer branding may be an inherently HR function, or one that requires collaboration with the marketing team. If employer branding is not something that you dedicate time to – you might want to reconsider. Countless articles stress its importance on sourcing and retaining good talent. Spending big bucks on an employer branding software is not necessarily something you need, but may be a wise investment if you wish to scale the branding process.

Recruiting Process is Complex, Communication Makes it Easier

Technology is there to enable more efficient performance. It cannot replace most of us. It will not create communication and teamwork where they don’t exist, even if it is called collaborative software or social media. The more complex the process is (and hiring is a very complex process), the more things can go wrong, and the more information and communication go a long way to overcome your daily challenges.

Caleb Fullhart Named as Newest Member of TalentCircles Executive Team #hrtech

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San Bruno, CA – TalentCircles© Inc., a leading talent community and candidate relationship management platform and technology, today announced the addition of Human Capital industry veteran, Caleb Fullhart, to its executive leadership team. Fullhart joins the company as the Senior Vice President of Best Practices and Professional Services, and will be responsible for developing and guiding the company’s product development and customer support efforts.

“As we continue to help shape the next generation of strategic talent acquisition, Caleb brings valuable expertise in the rapidly evolving Recruitment and Talent Acquisition market,” says Marylene Delbourg-Delphis, CEO and Co-Founder of TalentCircles. “With his unique understanding of the business needs and challenges of senior Talent Acquisition leaders, Caleb is a great fit for both our strategic plans and our company culture.”

Caleb is a Talent Acquisition veteran with over 15 years of experience and brings extensive recruitment leadership experience to TalentCircles. Prior to TalentCircles Caleb had his own recruitment and talent acquisition consulting firm working for companies like SAP, Bazaarvoice, and Accenture. He has led multinational recruitment teams, driven a wide set of technology implementations, built recruitment strategies for mass-hiring and designed effective diversity initiatives. He has worked with companies in various industries and verticals, being responsible for deployment, product configurations, best practices definition and technical assistance.

“I’m proud to join TalentCircles at such an exciting time. Talent Acquisition leaders have worked hard to make headway with strategic recruiting strategies, but continue to struggle to directly connect it to measurable business results,” said Fullhart. “TalentCircles is a unique solution which addresses the growing frustration organizations experience in building talent pipelines and driving tangible ROI for their recruiting efforts. I initially got to know TalentCircles as a customer and it’s a privilege to now be so closely associated with the amazing team that engineered the platform and expands on it everyday.”

“We are redefining how companies plan and build organizations in this new social and online candidate-centric job market,” adds Delbourg-Delphis. Caleb’s acumen as a recruiter and talent acquisition leader will help many professionals to seamlessly move from transactional and reactive recruiting approaches to simpler and more rewarding interactive and proactive methodologies.” 

About TalentCircles:  Silicon Valley-based TalentCircles transforms recruiting. Its comprehensive interactive talent engagement platform for desktops, smartphones and tablets enables organizations to create powerful talent pools. The goal is to improve the efficiency of recruiters, offer candidates positive exposure to your business, and reduce your hiring costs and time. The larger your talent pool… the better it is for you when you have the right array of features like semantic job matching, screening questionnaires, video interviewing to evaluate candidates for both aptitude and attitude or perform realistic job previews. TalentCircles is the ideal solution to proactively manage the needs of organizations of any size.

For additional information, contact Jessica Miller-Merrell: [email protected]

or call 888-280-0808. www.TalentCircles.com

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