Asking Questions at the HR Water Cooler

Investigating the HR news for the week ending June 23rd, 2013:

How do you hire the best candidates?

Asking questions is the first step to solving most problems. When it comes to hiring, asking and listening will help you determine which candidate is the best fit. In an article on best hiring practices this week for Inc., Jeff Haden requests that we ask these three behaviour-related questions:

  • What do you know about our business and industry? 
  • How did you come to learn that what we do is important to our clients?
  • What is your favorite aspect of our business, and why?

Use open-ended questions like this to get a better understanding of an interviewee’s real investment in working for your company.

Why don’t dads take paternity leave?

More and more businesses are offering paternity leave for new dads. But in many places, dads are still only taking a week or two off, even when they’re eligible for much more. There’s still an undeserved stigma against dedicated parents, who can be interpreted as distracted or less committed to their work.

The Wall Street Journal this week talks about the benefits of longer paternity leave, and how it improves childcare in the early months. A greater balance between father/mother parental-leave also increases the likelihood that mom will return to her previous employer after maternity leave, instead of hunkering down at home for the next few years.

How can loyalty positively affect the psychology of your business?

In a book review on Forbes, Dan Woods reflects on the process of introducing gamification into the workplace to improve morale. Having a more engaged workforce, which is invested in the product and business, allows employees to optimize everything.

Motivated staff want the business to move forward, especially when compared to their unmotivated colleagues. So keeping them satisfied and happy at work is vital.

Is HR an outdated function?

The realm of Human Resource Management is ever-evolving. The idea of it being an administrative office full of cabinets and file folders of paper work is no longer relevant. Business Insider looks at how the role of HR has changed over the decades.

Why is being a good judge of people so tricky?

This week the Harvard Business Review touched on a very difficult task for most hiring managers: being a good judge of people. Many of the questions we should ask potential applicants don’t necessarily focus on their responses, but instead on how they answer them.

Being an effective communicator is important for any employee, but many recruiters don’t understand how essential listening is for that role. “You want people who are self-confident and not afraid to express their views, but if the talk-to-listen ratio is anything north of 60%, you want to ask why,” says Anthony K. Tjan.

Being able to face obstacles without being defensive is also important. You need an employee that can solve problems rather than dwell on their impact.

Need help with summer hiring? Check out a recent article by our co-founder and CEO Joseph Fung, register for free email updates, or take a look at last week’s HR Water Cooler.

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