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Calling all the (HR) Heroes

Friday, October 5, 2007   

Quickly, for the uninitiated: Superstars, Heroes and Performers (SHP) are the three main categories used to match an employment opportunity to the type of person that would be most suited to the particular hiring circumstance.  

For the record, SHP is rudimentary, but in my twenty plus years of front-line experience, understanding it represents the basis of all successful hiring activity (yes, often in conjunction with more technical profiling)  - with NOT understanding SHP being the most common cause of  hiring mistakes. 

The concept is simple to understand by people at every level in the organisation, but is the factor most commonly overlooked by employers.  (I don't use this blog for commercial purposes, but for goodness sake, if you're not doing this already get yourself on one of my hiring practice workshops!)

So, why are 'Hero' behaviours needed to tackle the issue of hiring practice?   

This is probably best explained with a few recent experiences.  Take one of the leading car manufacturers for example.   Both the HR and recruitment managers are, without doubt, top-of-their-game 'Superstars' who could walk into just about any comparable role at a major organisation.   Their response to my report on improving hiring performance was, however, indicative of why there's a hiring crisis....

"You're right, but presenting this report to the board will upset too many people"


The essence of the initial report was this:

  • Role profiles supplied by managers too vague to interest top candidates
  • No essence of personal 'opportunity' beyond joining the brand
  • Strategy ignores up-to-the-minute competitor hiring activity per skills-set
  • Automated system de-personalises hiring process and not engaging applicants
  • Supply chain too restrictive
  • Feedback from line managers too slow and unspecific

Between us we toned the report down and managed to achieve some gains on feedback time which, as they were introduced as a recommendation rather than a KPI, soon drifted back to the previously unsatisfactory levels.

As everyone reading this who is involved at the sharp end of hiring will know, the above issues are common place.  Compare this response, then, with that of an HR manager in a similar-sized organisation when addressing the policy makers...

"You have reported that productivity in R&D is down some 35% due to the lack of key people.  The only way to improve this is for us to take on board these recommendations and stop doing what we've always done whilst expecting a different result"

Whilst the first company is right back where it started, because this HR 'Hero' faced the potential wrath of the policy makers and told it like it is, the improvement results this company have achieved on the back of taking action on the recommendations have been outstanding.

As the people referred to in the first example rightly know, I fully empathise with those who find themselves in a political situation where they feel that they can not point out the facts for fear of jeopardising their career prospects.  However, everyone faces a choice of being part of the problem or the solution.

Nobody expects you to put your career on the line, but there are things that can be done (beyond getting me in front of them!) to get 'the boss' on board.   If you relate to the matters referred to in this campaign, at the very least you can follow the example of many who contact me and ....

... point colleagues and managers in the direction of posts and cases on this website saying "This is what happens here"


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© Copyright 2007  - please credit where shared or reproduced.


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