January 24, 2014
Inside This Issue
Human Resource Articles of Interest:
Background Screening

"Either you shape the future or the future shapes you"
- John W. Teets

Message from the Editor

"How to Hire a Great Employee Every Time " By: Andrea Allen


    The success of your business is in the hands of your employees. An employee takes actions on behalf of your business every day. Every new employee you decide to hire can either raise �the bar� of your organization as a whole allowing you to grow and prosper; or they can lower it and slow the organization�s growth down. When hiring a new employee, companies need to know what they are looking for before starting the interview process. For example, the department that does the hiring could generate a list of skills that they would like to see the applicant have in order to be a successful candidate for their company. Knowing the behaviors that will enable him or her to not only succeed, but to excel at the position you are hiring for is extremely important. The hiring process should prove to you without a doubt that the potential candidate obtains everything you are looking for. Multiple perspectives also exposes the candidates to the other people they would interact most with. Most major companies utilize little or no business process when it comes to hiring. Those that may have processes in place tend to override them based on emotions or the urgency to hire. Let MBI help you distinguish between the applicants you feel really good about and the ones who are going to help your company become more successful.


Out with the Old, In with the New Management Model


Business strategist Gary Hamel has a few qualms with the current management system in place at companies large and small. He claims companies have poured too much time and effort into restructuring and refining operating systems, while neglecting to re-envision management models. He states that "More recently, a lot of companies have been completely rethinking their business models, largely thanks to the impact of the web and have spent a lot of effort reinventing their operating models dealing with supply chains, logistics, customer support, etc.�

"What leaders and managers have spent very little time doing is thinking about how they reengineer the management model � the way they create strategy, allocate resources, hire, promote, evaluate and so on, yet I think that�s where the real limits to performance lie.

... If you look at what has made Silicon Valley Silicon Valley and what now is powering these new crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, it's the notion that every idea should be able to compete on an equal footing and on its own merits for experimental capital. Silicon Valley is this almost completely meritocratic marketplace for ideas. "Like who the hell was Mark Zuckerberg. Right? Why does he get funded? Because he has an amazing idea! He wasn't EVP or SVP. He wasn't a large division. He was an amazing entrepreneur. "And what's important is that in Silicon Valley and now even more so with these crowdfunding sites, there are multiple sources of experimental capital. There's no single person who has the power to say "no" and kill an idea. "In most large organizations, if you have an idea, there's only one place to go for funding; it's up the chain of command. If you don't get funding from your boss or your boss' boss, the idea dies. It's just stupid. That's the way the Soviet Union worked, right?

"That�s a fundamental flaw in the resource allocation process in most companies.

Harvard Business Review Becomes an HR Journal


CEOs must finally be starting to care about talent when the Harvard Business Review publishes a package of profiles of three companies, and their very different paths to maximizing talent. You will be surprised, shocked and awed. For years, the author has cynically declared the quote "Our people are our most important asset" -- to be a lie! However, his cynicism on this subject is starting to crack, due to a cultural occurrence: The current Harvard Business Review running three stories about HR, talent, company culture and leaders.

All three company profiles are worth a look.

Most people will be interested in the article "How Netflix Reinvented HR". It focuses on the CEO believing that a company of 100 people or more can have employees who are all "A" players. And consider Netflix's attitude when an "A" player's job grows beyond her skills. Retrain her after years of loyal service? And Netflix's decision to abolish formal vacation allotments and travel-expense limits.

Next is the profile of design firm IDEO, which doesn't take employee collaboration, what it calls "IDEO's Culture of Helping," for granted. Instead, this profile recognizes: "Individuals in social groups experience conflicting impulses: As potential helpers, they may also be inclined to compete. As potential help seekers, they may also take pride in going it alone, or be dis-trustful of those whose assistance they could use. On both sides, help requires a commitment of time for uncertain returns and can seem like more trouble than it's worth. Most importantly, at IDEO, financial incent-ives don't play a big role in promoting the culture of help.

The third profile is about the Wall Street firm BlackRock in "Building a Game-Changing Talent Strategy." This is the only article that talks about standard HR-speak of aligning employee goals with corporate goals and the necessity of getting "top executive team" commitment to talent management. The article's main insight is the revelation that the company has The Block, an online chat room and collaboration hub, plus other types of communications to foster dialogue.



Legislation Introduced to Prohibit Employers From Requiring Credit Report Disclosure

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced the Equal Employment for All Act with several other Senators. The legislation would prohibit employers from requiring potential employees to disclose their credit history as part of the job application process. It was previously thought that credit history may provide insight into an individual's character, but research has shown that an individual's credit rating has little to no correlation with his or her ability to be successful in the workplace. "A bad credit rating is far more often the result of unexpected medical costs, unemployment, economic downturns, or other bad breaks than it is a reflection on an individual's character or abilities," Senator Warren said. "Families have not fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, and too many Americans are still searching for jobs. This is about basic fairness -- let people compete on the merits, not on whether they already have enough money to pay all their bills."

A study from the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year suggested that errors in credit reports are common and, in many cases, have been difficult to correct. "It makes no sense to make it harder for people to get jobs because of a system of credit reporting that has no correlation with job performance and that can be riddled with inaccuracies," Warren said.

Senator Warren's bill is based on H.R. 645, which was introduced by Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-9) in 2011.

Drugs in Workplace Understated Crisis

When former drug czar and retired U.S. Army Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey promoted drug-free-workplace programs, employers often said they supported giving job applicants drug tests because this practice slashed recruiting, training, health care utilization and turnover costs, since chronic alcoholics and drug addicts simply did not apply. When McCaffrey told management to stay out of the room and asked employees what they thought, all he heard about was worker safety. The issue of drugs in the workplace is an understated crisis that results in $200 billion in lost productivity annually, in large part because an estimated 20 million Americans need treatment but don't get it, said McCaffrey, who was the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from 1996 to 2001. Substance abuse has big implications for employer productivity, workplace safety and stability, the economy, crime and turnover. Emphasizing that help is available, McCaffrey said HR professionals should play a key role in promoting a drug-free workplace. When it comes to drugs in the workplace, McCaffrey recommends that employers: Do pre-employment drug screening, but don't stop there-consider follow-up tests; Have a well-developed employee assistance program (EAP); Don't ignore the problem; and Don't fire the person. It may seem the easiest thing to do, but "you're losing a productive human being who actually has a disease model that we can deal with.

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