Hiring in the Age of Technology from the HR Water Cooler

Filtering through the HR news for the week ending June 7th, 2013:

Nice Enough

For new graduates, the competition to find a dream job straight out of college is fierce. Many seek the perfect role while they get by via a retail or entry-level position in the meantime. This week Fast Company discussed the importance of balancing a great cover letter and resume with “soft skills.”

With the increasing focus on company culture, for many businesses it makes sense to hire someone based on personality fit, then provide more in-depth training to fill in specific skill gaps. Volunteer or internship experiences, along with the ability to relate to the interviewer, are often larger indicators of fit than what is listed in bullet points on a candidate profile.

Gen Y and how?

“Millennials are the future of the work force,” says an article in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. An adaptive nature and thirst for development does indeed bring a lot to the table.

But there’s heavy competition for top talent: Flexibility, opportunities to grow within the company, and the ability to create a healthy work-life balance are expectations millennials will have if you want to attract, engage, and retain them.

“Girly” is good

Intrinsic self-motivation is the name of the game. If that’s what you’re looking for in your team, look for individuals with leadership characteristics. Leigh Buchanan this week touches on 7 “feminine” qualities that each leader needs in her article for Inc..

Empathy, vulnerability, humility, inclusiveness, generosity, balance and patience all help managers to get the best work out of their staff. Behaviors that open communications between employees help to improve productivity and prevent roadblocks.

Why aren't I like that?

When hiring is an activity isolated to the HR department, new additions may not always meet other employees’ expectations for the role. Forbes suggests getting the whole team involved in the hiring process. This entrusts current staff with determining what a good co-worker looks like, and even encourages a little bit of self-evaluation. A more compatible team means a better-aligned workplace.

Is staff retention a thing of the past?

With a fluctuating interconnected world, how can we expect employees to settle down? Loyalty is already a bit of an archaic concept; is retention next on the chopping block?

An article in the Harvard Business Review considers encouraging entrepreneurial employees to be creative. Like everything else, this has both benefits and drawbacks: it may help advance the company, but could also foster a culture of independence and empower strong staff to move on and start their own business. But then, is that really a drawback?

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