Our March ‘24 Newsletter: Chock Full of Talent News

By Linda Brenner | March 25, 2024

In case you missed it, here's our March '24 newsletter . . . talent insights that have a long shelf life.

Quote of the Month: 
"I don’t like to lose — at anything — yet I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks."
– Serena Williams

4 Great Questions to Ask HR Leader Candidates, and the Answers to Look For
HR, Talent and TA professionals are generally very good at being interviewed. But that skill doesn’t correlate with talent management, recruiting or leadership competency. Your skills as an interviewer are key to getting beyond showmanship and personality in order to assess true business acumen, talent knowledge and the ability to make data-based decisions. Here are some tough but fair questions to ask your finalists and, more importantly, the right answers to look for. 

ChatGPT Makes Recruiter Screening Interviews More Important Than Ever
A recent study of 1,000 job applicants found that 18% used ChatGPT to assist in their job search. This included using the AI tool to help create resumes, assist with the application process, research the company, etc. This shouldn't surprise anyone but it should signal the need for recruiters to amp up their screening interview game. What does "amp it up" mean? Screening interviews should be job-specific, structured, documented and scored to ensure that candidates referred on to hiring managers are the real deal - and not only ChatGPT-qualified. TA leaders, in turn, should be spot-checking the quality of their team's screening interviews – and tracking quality of hire (meaning, how long do new hires stay and how well do they perform).

When and How to Use AI: A Practical Guide from HBR
"AI moves quickly, but organizations change much more slowly. What works in a lab may be wrong for your company right now . . . without (asking) the right questions, you’ll be starting your journey in the wrong place."
This article clearly addresses how to approach AI and is particularly relevant for HR and Talent leaders. Rather than focusing solely on generative AI, the authors recommend first clarifying the problem and then considering a step-by-step approach to identifying the best solution. If certain elements don't exist, AI can cause more harm than good. In fact, simple rules-based automation or system configuration might solve the problem quicker, more cheaply and with less risk.

University of Florida Eliminates All DEI Positions
A recent state ban on the use of public funds for diversity, equity and inclusion programs, activities and policies in the public college system resulted in UF closing the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer and eliminating all positions, appointments and DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors. While some celebrated (Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Ohio called DEI efforts a "a long-growing cancer" while Ron DeSantis, FL governor, tweeted: "DEI is toxic and has no place in our public universities. I'm glad that Florida was the first state to eliminate DEI and I hope more states follow suit."), others urged student athletes and others to reconsider attending Florida schools, while students, staff and faculty protested the series of events.

Not a Surprise: RTO Mandates Drive Away Women, High Performers
A Gartner survey of 2,080 knowledge worker employees from May through June 2023 found the intent to stay among average employees was 8% lower with strict RTO mandates. Among high-performing employees, millennials and women, their intent to stay ranged from 11% - 16% lower with these RTO mandates. A Gartner study lead: “Mandated on-site requirements can carry very steep costs for talent attraction and retention. This is especially true for high-performers, women and millennials."

The Tech Talent Hubs in North America: CBRE '23 Study
Despite the perception some have that these cities are vast hellscapes, the top five tech talent hubs in 2023 were SF, Seattle, NYC, DC and Toronto. A big headline in this study: the rise of Canadian cities in the tech talent landscape. For details, including comprehensive data on salaries, diversity and city-specific stats, reference the full CBRE report here. This is great input to your workforce planning efforts.

WSJ: The M.B.A.s Who Can’t Find Jobs
This article may be behind a pay wall.
For some elite business school grads, the labor market has swung in the opposite direction from where it was when they started. Some are struggling to find work months after completing their business degree. This article includes data (reported by the schools) that all of the top-ranked MBA programs have seen an increase of those unemployed for 3 months or more post-graduation. What's driving this? Hiring decreases in the tech industry, "rightsizing" of organizations post-pandemic, companies less flexible about remote work, etc. 

It’s Time to Revisit 360° Feedback
It might not seem sexy, but 360° Feedback, when conducted effectively, has proven time and time again to improve performance and career development results. In fact, research shows companies that use 360 Feedback have significantly stronger financial results than those that don’t. Our longtime friends and colleagues at 3D Group are experts in the study, design, implementation and evaluation of 360° Feedback programs. Since 2002, they’ve published a study detailing best practices and key design decisions such as survey content, report features, development support, and the future of 360 Feedback with AI and other emerging technologies. And they just opened their new 360 benchmarking study. Complete the survey and get valuable benchmark data:

  • What is involved in participating? Complete a 12-minute survey about your 360 Feedback process – only for organizations with an active program.
  • Who should participate? Talent or HR leaders who are responsible for the design or administration of a 360 Feedback program.
  • What do you get in return? Study participants will receive a copy of the previous edition, an advance copy of the latest findings, and an invitation to a participants-only preview event.

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Linda Brenner

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