I have three interrelated questions on succession planning. Our 300-person company is coming late to the succession-management game and needs to know the best way to ramp things up quickly. Should we start at the top with our executives, or is it more important to work from the ground up, beginning with key non-executive leadership slots? And how much analysis of our regional talent market should be included in our in-house assessments? As a small company we don't really have a formal board of directors to guide our process. Is that the first thing we should do?
—Unsuccessful Succession, co-founder, services business, Amherst, Massachusetts
How can we think more broadly about the link between our employees and providing rewards and recognition?
—Giving the Gift, publishing, Chicago
Being in health care, we are finding it difficult to adequately determine the number of staff needed at any given time. We need to develop a forecast for staffing ratios for our busiest shifts. What sort of data should we be examining to accurately predict dynamic demand?
— Guesstimates Won't Work, training and appraisal assistant, health care, Beirut
We are ramping up hiring at multiple plants across the U.S. How could I determine market benchmarks for time to hire, turnover and cost per hire at these individual plants? Should we seek out average figures or are there better metrics we could use to make sure we recruit and hire competitively?
—Market Forecaster, consumer goods manufacturing, Atlanta
We want to create actionable performance reviews beyond the once-a-year activity. Our aim is to gather insight on how people interact as individual contributors within teams. Our big challenge is we have a large geographically distributed workforce of technically skilled contributors that frequently need to collaborate on projects. How can we begin gathering meaningful performance data on individuals and how they contribute to a team?
—Useful Metrics Please, Software/Services, Bethesda, Maryland
Are there best practices or techniques for using social resumes and mobile recruiting tools when sourcing candidates? I'm looking for guidelines on making sure we see each résumé without it becoming a time management issue. Our goal is the same: Find the best available talent, but our team is primarily trained to recruit the old-fashioned way.
—Old School, recruitment services practice manager, manufacturing, Anniston, Alabama
Our privately held company recently went public. How are human resource practices different from a privately held company to one that is publicly traded? Is there a checklist for us?
—Not Used to Public Scrutiny, Naples, Florida, financial services
We have some highly qualified candidates who we want to bring on as interns. How can we help them transition into our organization?
— We Might be Hiring
We are considering outsourcing our entire staffing process to an outside vendor. How do we assess the advantages and disadvantages of this?
—Weighing the Pros and Cons, HRD specialist, government, Washington, D.C.
How do we evaluate whether coaching can be quantified with lowering our turnover and boosting our overall engagement?
—Metrics-minded OD specialist, hospitality, San Diego