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In order to improve an organization’s effectiveness one must understand the role of organizational behavior within the workforce. It is important to understand how an organization’s behavior impacts key business drivers such as profitability, motivation and higher retention rates.
What is Organizational Behavior?
Organizational behavior is the study of human behavior within organizations. If people are an organizations most important asset then understanding how humans behave in organizations will lead to insights that can improve productivity, job satisfaction, employee relations, and more. Organizational behavior focuses on the impact that individuals, groups, and structures have on behavior within organizations. Below are just a few of the components that need to be taken into account:
- The job itself. What kind or type of job is an employee doing, and what is the design of that job? How does the job fit in with other job’s employees are working on? Knowing the type of job an employee is working on can help determine how the employee will react with that job.
- The nature of the work. This goes along with the job because if the nature of work is compatible with the employee then it is more likely that the work will get done well and in a timely manner.
- Turnover. If a person is compatible with the work environment and likes their job, they will be more likely to stay and be high performers at the company. Organization’s rarely take a hard look at the cost associated with turnover. Therefore, cost savings associated with improving the recruiting, selection, on-boarding, and training processes are often ignored.
- Productivity. If an employee is productive, they tend to be more motivated and more likely to enjoy the work that they are doing. This is a win-win for the organization and the employee!
Organizational Behavior Challenges and Opportunities
With everything in life, there are challenges and opportunities, and organizational behavior is no exception.
- Economic pressures impact both individuals and organizations. Employees may have to fight to keep their job. This may encourage the employee to be more productive throughout the day and strive to do excellent work. Competitive pressures are tough in the business world. In a highly competitive society, every organization wants to be recognized as the best.
- Workplace diversity is prevalent. Employees from all over the globe are applying for positions. Diversity is a good thing and can become a competitive advantage that inspires innovation. But it also creates individual and organization acceptance and appreciation challenges.
Ultimately, it is up to the employees in an organization to work with one another and to recognize the differences and skills that each other have. This is crucial within a workforce and a great reason as to why organizational behavior is an important tool to be aware about and understand.
–Annalise Bandel, Student, Loyola University
This is something that may seem tedious and not very valuable, especially to a busy small business owner who is trying to juggle every task imaginable. However, if done correctly, this can help get the right person on the bus and clarify expectations.
What is a Job Description?
A job description is a clear language tool describing the purpose, functions, skills, abilities and work conditions relative to a position within an organization. It provides a common frame of reference for managers and employees throughout the scope of the employment life cycle including recruiting, training, job performance reviews, compensation evaluations, career development, and even termination.
How to Develop a Job Description?
A job description should be a living document that has key milestones in its life cycle including its creation, frequent reviews, revisions as changes requires, and termination when the role no longer exists. Whether you are starting from scratch or revising a previously created version, the critical element is to have a clear understanding of what the role does. This type of information can be gathered from a combination of tools such as job observations, interviews, questionnaires, and other research tools such as salary surveys or occupational handbooks.
What Should be in a Job Description?
While not mandated by any state or federal law, a job description is commonly used as a tool to support employment decisions during legal proceedings. To be effective for this intended purpose the following pieces of information should be included:
- Job Title
- EEO Job Classification
- Job Status
- Reporting Structure (who reports to it, who it reports to)
- Essential Duties and Tasks
- Time Spent Performing Tasks
- Education & Experience
- Skills and Abilities
- Quality and Quantity Standards
- Working Conditions
- Physical and Mental Requirements
Beyond the Job Description
Once a description has been written, it is recommended that multiple levels within the organization review and sign as validation that the job description is complete and accurate. Parties to involve include the top operating official, supervisor, and the job incumbent. Finally, the final version should be reviewed at least annually and modifications made as needed.
Constructing a job description should be done with thought and care. While well-written job descriptions can be a useful tool for managers and employees, versions missing critical information can become an unwanted risk.
Before writing or updating your organization’s job descriptions join us on August 16, 2011 for Skywalk Group’s Defining Expectations in the Workplace webinar. Our topic of discussion in August will be all about job descriptions. We will be discussing why your workforce needs them, the process of designing and drafting them, and how to avoid job descriptions becoming your enemy. This webinar is offered at no cost and will be led by Skywalk Group’s HR expert, Donita Sanderson. Participants are encouraged to share best practices and ask questions of the facilitator and participants. Space is limited to the first fifteen registered participants.
For many HR professionals, November through January is typically the busiest time of the year. True to Skywalk Group’s drive to meet the customer’s need, we are keeping this blog article to a 5-minute read or less. Below are a few quick tips to improve the selection process for identifying winning talent for your organization. But don’t forget! During the month of November, participants who register for the December 1st Hiring Winning Talent Public Workshop will receive a complimentary job analysis and complete behavioral interview guide to get their hiring process moving in the right direction.
Start with a Good Profile
Start with a good job description, including specifications about the knowledge, skills and abilities, and any personal characteristics the candidate will need to possess before they start. A good profile is the basis for identifying qualified and quality candidates in the application and interview process. The more detailed the profile, the better chance you have of walking away from the process with winning talent.
Don’t Rely on the Interview Alone
An interview is a natural part of the selection process. It’s human nature to want to meet and ask questions to a potential candidate, but relying on the interview alone can be misleading. A selection process should be built around several weighted factors, including screening tools such as professional references, aptitude tests, and background screens.
Typically the interview is seen to be the time for the employer to evaluate the interviewee. The interviewee’s need to observe the organization and its people and culture is often overlooked, however. Failing to provide an honest perspective of the company and the opportunity under consideration can lead to early dissatisfaction and even turnover from a new employee. Provide candidates with a realistic perspective of what to expect before accepting an offer through job previews and opportunities to speak with current employees.
Has the recruiting and selection process overwhelmed your organization’s staffing resources? The Skywalk Group Recruiting Team would like to become a part of your team, providing expert recruiting techniques to source and identify winning talent for your organization. to learn more.
We will be spending our blogging time this month on recruiting–covering topics such as resume screening, interviewing trends, making employment offers, and more. Katie Sackett, Skywalk Group Recruiter, has collaborated with some of her fellow recruiting team members to identify and share some of the most important criteria our team utilizes when screening resumes. During the month of November, participants who register for the December 1st Hiring Winning Talent Public Workshop will receive a complimentary job analysis and complete behavioral interview guide to get their hiring process moving in the right direction. Also, if you feel like your organization is “new hire challenged”, participate in our New Hire Research Project.
One of my favorite parts of my job at Skywalk Group is recruiting for new positions. It is challenging and fun trying to identify the best candidates for our client’s organizations in terms of experience, knowledge and “fit.” But before we bring anyone in for interviews, we have dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of resumes to sort through. As a result, it is important to utilize some good screening tools and processes that make the process as efficient and effective as possible.
Resume Database Management
As recruiting experts, we utilize a resume database to efficiently process and search resumes for open positions. Many companies have transitioned to some version of resume database management in order to improve the candidate screening process. Our resume database management tool allows us to do the following things in an efficient manner:
- Search for key words, job titles, and more. Manually sifting through resumes can be a tedious, time consuming task. With advanced search features, we are able to immediately identify all potential candidates for a position in a matter of minutes.
- Reach out to candidates. Again, once we have identified a list of potentially qualified candidates, we can email them to determine if any of them are interested in learning additional details about the open positions.
- Track correspondence and interactions with candidates. Probably one of the best features from the recruiter’s perspective is that all candidate history is housed within our database. If a candidate had an outstanding interview with a different recruiter but were maybe not a perfect fit for a previous position, that candidate may get moved to the top of the list for a different position that they are more qualified for.
Outside of the Database
The internet and social networking sites have opened up a world of candidate screening tools that previously were not available. Here are just a few of the tips and techniques that our recruiting team uses regularly:
- “Google” the candidates. This is an easy way to see what kind of information is available on any particular candidate.
- Review Linkedin profiles. Linkedin is a professsional networking site. This is a great tool for not only verifying information on a candidate’s resume but also finding additional candidates.
- Search other social networking sites. Unfortunately, in today’s world, privacy is difficult to come by. This creates a challenge for candidates but can be a great asset to recruiters.
- Good, old fashioned reference checks. You may be surprised to know that professional reference checks are still one of our favorite candidate screening tools. Reference checks help our team get a personal view of the candidate and answer any outstanding questions that may have arisen through other candidate screening techniques.
Finding good job candidates and screening resumes isn’t necessarily difficult. The reality is that it takes time, knowledge, and expertise to do the job well. Skywalk Group’s Recruiting Team can assist you in your hiring process.to learn more about how
An organization’s mission explains its existence to the marketplace and communicates what its customers, vendors, employees and community can expect from the organization. From a strategic perspective, HR’s role is to ensure these collective groups truly experience and understand the organization’s mission. HR serves this role in three broad but critical areas.
Within a mission statement are clues to the company values. HR’s role is to establish, communicate and reinforce these values throughout the organization through the policies and practices that manage its human capital. For example, if an organization’s mission is to provide superior customer service, how it staffs, trains, manages, develops and compensates its employees needs to reinforce this philosophy.
Bringing (and Keeping) the Right People on Board
Without the right people in the right roles, a company will struggle to do the very thing it set out to do. When HR approaches staffing from a strategic perspective it ensures the mission can be met. Strategic staffing includes identifying the roles most critical to accomplishing the mission, defining the skills employees must have to accomplish the defined objectives, and bringing on board the right talent to accomplish the mission. HR also plays a critical role in designing the total compensation strategy to attract and retain the right people.
Preparing for the Future
HR serves an important role in preparing the workforce to meet current and future challenges. Often this translates into organizational development activities such as training and career development initiatives to address the human capital needs of today and prepare the workforce for the future. It also includes performance management strategies that ensure the right work is being done and employees are informed on how their performance compares to company needs.
While HR may not sell, make, or deliver the product or service that makes the organization money, its role is no less “mission critical.” An HR professional’s responsibility is to understand the mission and translate it into human capital management practices that align with it.
Finding the right person to join your company takes more than an interview and a call to extend an offer. Behind the scene of a successful hire is a well-executed hiring process.
Elizabeth Trcka, Partner and Recruiting expert for Skywalk Group, led this month’s HR Training and Round Table. Her presentation, “How to Hire the Right Employee” focused on the essential components of a success recruiting strategy.
Three Steps to a Successful Recruiting Strategy
The Position Profile:
The first, and often overlooked, step is to build a position profile. Many stop at a list of duties and educational requirements. As Elizabeth pointed out, hiring the right employee goes beyond the job description to a more comprehensive understanding of the skills, credentials, and competencies your next employee must have in order to succeed. The more thorough your understanding, the better chance the hiring team will have of selecting the person who will ultimately thrive in the position and the company.
Participants were given a hands-on demonstration of the Job Analysis Consulting Tool (JACT), a tool developed by the Skywalk Group to identify the competency level and job behaviors necessary for a particular position. Completion of the JACT results in a set of statements that describe the behavioral characteristics critical to the position in question. These statements are then translated into behavioral-based interview questions designed to target the identified competency levels for either an individual contributor or manager level position.
Once the position is defined and has received approval to be filled, the next step in the recruiting strategy is to source candidates. Based on 2009 survey data from CareerXroads, employee referrals are still the most popular external referral source (26.7%), followed by career sites (22.3%) and job boards such as CareerBuilder or Monster (22.3%). However, sourcing from professional social media sites, like Linkedin or Twitter, is becoming increasingly popular.
Your candidate screening methods should create a pool of candidates who present the baseline technical and professional experience. Although every interview process can differ slightly, recruiters will often narrow the field with an initial phone screen to gage the candidate’s interest and fit for the position. The top two or three candidates are then invited to an on-site interview(s), to gather in-depth analysis of the candidate’s knowledge, technical skills, and experience. Companies may have candidates complete selection tools, such as personality, cognitive, or job skills tests, as a part of the hiring process.
Reference and Background Checks:
Once the perfect candidate is identified, professional references are checked and an offer is extended. The offer may be contingent on additional testing, such as a drug screen, criminal background checks, and/or physical examination.