Our recruiting methods are getting stale. We aren’t getting great results and it seems to be taking our recruiters more time to find qualified candidates. We rely on all the usual and time-tested methods to recruit, including traditional print ads and online job boards. It seems that the more options we have to post résumés, though, the harder it is to find standout candidates — people who genuinely jump off a résumé and say ‘Hire me.’ Makes me wonder if we are missing somewhere. Am I just venting or might we have a real problem with our recruiting strategy?
—Stuffy in Here, vice president of recruiting, services company, Union, New Jersey
How do we teach our leaders to be assertive decision-makers with their people without coming across as abrupt? It's a fine line to walk and we want to put in place some training and/or guidelines as a primer.
—High-Wire Act, manager, health care, Middletown, Connecticut
Is there any logical grouping or hierarchical order to the factors that impact talent management? For example, gaps include: A) imprecise career paths, B) engagement, C) skills development, D) subjective performance assessments, etc. Are there rules about which is foundational and which is built on the foundation?
—More than Theory, training and development leader, telecommunications, Quebec
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