Employee Career Mapping

How to Help Your Employees Advance in Their Careers

by Jenna Fatum

Does your employee career mapping need a makeover? Let’s cover the basics. People are naturally driven to develop and progress throughout their careers. It is key to provide clear paths of mobility and opportunities for development to keep employees inclined to reach peak performance and expand the business.

Most commonly, career mapping has an upward trajectory but that is not always the case. A horizontal career lattice is ideal for employees that are itching for change without the desire to continue in the same direction. This gives people variety to choose a path that makes sense for them and decreases the likeliness to consider outside options of employment. Variety also helps people feel empowered to make a decision of how they get to where they want to go on their journey throughout their career. 

Why is employee career mapping important?

A common contribution to employee dissatisfaction that could ultimately lead to dusting off the old resume can be attributed to the inability to advance throughout a career. Nonetheless, there are many contributing factors as to why employees seek new opportunities. Among the top reasons we are largely seeing that people have the desire for new challenges and are experiencing a lack of advancement opportunities. Additionally, equipping the workforce with avenues of development opportunities and mobility strengthens the potential for career satisfaction and longevity within an organization. It makes sense that people want to stay working for an organization that invests resources and time to help employees develop and succeed in their roles. 

Stellar employees are eager to learn new skills and achieve the next level of their careers. Employers would be doing a disservice by not prioritizing varied avenues of career progression for all to adopt. From a business perspective, a few benefits include keeping employees engaged, motivated, and contributing to the greater goals of the company. The value of a career can be measured throughout the journey, whereas a one-stop destination is a job.  

Not sure where to start?

If your organization currently has a strategy in place, take a moment to collect feedback from the workforce about the success of the program and seek an understanding of ways it can be improved. If there is not an existing career mapping plan in place, start with the basics.

  • Start with the objectives and identify the goals of the position at each level.
  • Uncover individualistic goals both short-term and long-term.
  • Partner with employees to build a customized career progression plan that aligns with their goals and the objectives of the position.
  • Follow that up with the implementation stage, which should properly provide clear benchmarks and guidance.
  • Lastly, reflect and revamp as needed.  

Career mapping looks different for every company and there is not one plan that reigns. Remember that people may redefine their career goals and redirect their careers in alignment. It’s important that leaders hold frequent communication with their teams to understand where people are at if goals have changed, and how they can best support people to achieve the next level in their career.

Hire for Hope can help your organization map out careers for its employees. Reach out to chat with one of our talent optimization experts!

Keeping Peace on Your Leadership Team

How to Keep Conflict to a Minimum and Build Trusting Relationships

by Kayla Ezinga

Sometimes, it can be hard to fathom that you spend 40-plus hours a week with the same group of people. Whether you tend to stick to yourself at work or if you love building friendships with your coworkers, everyone will agree that having a good relationship with your coworkers is important. Many things go into building a good relationship such as communication, understanding, and listening. A good relationship shows when adversity hits. When Complications arise, keeping peace on a leadership team is the most important thing you can do. Having peace between your leaders creates a better environment for the rest of your employees and helps to build each leader up rather than it feel like a competition. The following are our best tips to keeping peace on a leadership team. 

 

1. Try to understand where everyone is coming from

When employees are explaining their personal problems to you, it’s very important to understand where they are coming from. For instance, if an employee has been burned by a manager in the past, they’re going to want to protect themselves. Another example would be if a leader is trying to please everyone, they might be stretching themselves too thin.

 

2. Keep your composure

When discussing issues with a group of people, it is very important for the top leader to stay calm. If the leader gets upset or starts yelling, it can cause inflation in everyone else’s emotions. Keeping your cool can help a discussion go smoothly.

 

3. Communicate clearly and often

When employees know that there is a decision that is being made that might affect them or their job, it can be very anxiety inducing to have to wait around and know nothing. By communicating clearly and often, you can build trust and relationships with employees.

 

4. Consider every option

Even if you think you know the right decision right away, it’s important to consider every option. By considering every option, you can predict what might play out by choosing path A over path B, or even going with path C which you had not even thought about yourself.

 

5. Explain your final decision

There’s nothing worse than having something affect you and not understanding how it was decided. After making big decisions, you must explain how you came to that answer. This gives all employees the opportunity to understand your thought process and understand why you decided what you did.

 

6. Get outside help

Sometimes, it takes a team of talent experts to come in and help you identify pain points and solutions for your team. It’s okay to ask for help. Hire for Hope launched a whole talent optimization division where, among other talent and management challenges, we help companies with this very problem.

 

Keeping peace on a leadership team is not easy. However, with some hard work and lots of consideration, you could be a professional. By following the steps listed above, you can keep conflict to a minimum and build up trusting, worthwhile relationships with your leadership team and every employee in your company.

 

 

Innovating Your #1 Asset: Talent

How to Encourage Innovation & Retain Top Talent

by Nicole Degi

We know that talent in the workforce is a company’s number #1 asset but how do we innovate talent within the organization? Encouraging innovation keeps employees happy and engaged and helps with employee retention rates. Innovation gives you a competitive advantage in the market by investing time and effort into the company which will also give you an advantage over your competitors.

To innovate talent within your company we suggest starting with creating a talent strategy to achieve the goals that you have set for the business. Think about if the policies and best practices you have outlined for the company promote innovation. Below are a few things you can do to promote innovation:

First, we suggest taking a deeper look into your company culture. Do you value collaboration, continued learning, empowerment, autonomy, diversity and inclusion? If so, you are off to a great start on innovating talent! If not, we suggest collaboration being a suitable place to start. Are people working together to achieve the overall goal and mission of the organization? If not, then think does my team know what our goals are? Do we have a clearly defined mission outlined? Being transparent in communication is another thing that tends to build a strong collaborative culture and allow the talent within your team to bring in different perspectives and ideas to the table.

Another thing that promotes innovation is by creating a space for employees to grow and reach their maximum potential. Give your team the autonomy to contribute to the long-term growth of the organization. You can do this by establishing an environment that encourages and empowers ideas on long-term strategy. Include employees in strategic planning meetings and let them understand the one-year, five-year and ten-year plans.

Recognize and reward ideas and accomplishments. This could be as simple as a high-five in a meeting or a post on social media, but rewarding employees for bringing in a fresh new set of ideas and perspectives goes a long way. It keeps employees feeling empowered and driven to be a part of the overall growth strategy.

It is important to remember that innovation is about people. Embrace innovation throughout every aspect of the corporate culture. If you embody an atmosphere that offers the best and brightest ideas, then you will continue to retain and attract top talent and will be known as a company that is constantly growing and evolving.

How to Delegate Effectively

Delegation in Management

by Lauren Fenech

You know that feeling of, “This is my project. I need to do it, so that it’s done correctly!”? Then comes four other projects that are all high priority. You have a qualified team that you hired; it’s time to put the trust in your team and delegate some tasks. 

Why Delegate?

As a leader, you shouldn’t be doing everything yourself. When you delegate, not only are you empowering your team, but you’re also helping the team develop new skills, gain experience, and prepare them for the future. Delegating isn’t just passing off work to someone else. It’s making your workload manageable. 

What to delegate?

Choose the tasks that are small, but really add up over time. Choose the tasks that are time-consuming but can help a team member grow. Choose the tasks that are easily teachable. Last, but not least, choose that tasks that you are, quite frankly, terrible at. If there is someone more equipped to do the work in a timely fashion and do it well, that would be a wise task to delegate.  

How to choose the right person for the job. 

At Hire for Hope, we utilize Predictive Index within our own internal processes and to help clients optimize their talent and recruit the best fit for the role. This tool measures behavioral drives and cognitive abilities. We use this to help our clients place candidates in positions that they are naturally hardwired for. The tool can show us how two teammates can work more effectively together, what an employee’s individual preferences are and understand the needs of a specific role, project, or business strategy. 

When you know your employees’ natural hardwiring, this can help you delegate tasks. 

After you choose the best person for the job, make sure you set them up for success. Explain why you’re delegating, why you chose them, provide instructions, resources, and training, and be available for feedback. 

If you delegate well, you’re providing your team with professional development, empowering your team to grow, and giving your team a clear sign that you trust and respect their abilities. Employees who feel they are trusted will give a higher level of commitment to their work and their organization. 

It’s a win-win.

How to Do More With Less People

What does do more with less people in the workforce really mean?

by Nicole Degi

What does doing more with less people in the workforce really mean? It means efficiency, it means utilizing our resources, it means reducing waste, it means constantly reinventing ourselves to grow and think more efficiently. This is something everyone can do it just requires sorting your priorities and thinking creatively. 

Let us dive a little deeper into ways that you can do more with fewer people in your organization: 

  1. Be clear about the goals and objectives of the company and your role. Understand how you can contribute to the overall company growth strategy. Think about what is going to move the organization forward? This is where you should be spending your time. 
  2. Measure metrics and have weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual performance reviews to go over the metrics with employees. Being transparent with the team on metrics keeps people focused on the tasks and job duties at hand.
  3. Know where you are focusing your time and efforts. We suggest doing this by tracking your workload on a calendar or journal. This will help you understand that you are making the most use out of your time. 
  4. Understand the difference between your job responsibilities and projects. You will have daily tasks, goals, and responsibilities for your role, but they will differ from projects. You should have a goal to finish ongoing projects and set aside time on your calendar to get these done.
  5. Be action-focused. Prioritizing your energy on the actions that add value to the organization.
  6. Embrace technology. Technology helps you work more efficiently, faster & smarter.
  7. Take care of the employees that are being challenged to do more with less people. Doing more with less people can cause burnout. Keep the lines of communication open with employees to understand their workload, offer breaks when necessary and make sure employees are taken care of. 

Doing more with less people is becoming the new norm but it does not have to be scary or overwhelming. When you are challenged to do more with less preparing a strategic approach to priorities and clearly outlining the objectives to all employees will help the overall growth of the organization.

How to Develop the Next Generation of Leaders

Great Leaders Help Transform the Next Generation Into Leaders

by Jenna Fatum

At some point in our careers, it’s likely that we have or will work alongside a colleague in a leadership position that does not quite have the leadership acumen necessary to continue to create leaders. It’s been said that anyone can be promoted into a leadership position, but not everyone can be a great leader. Great leaders help transform the next generation into leaders, directly impacting the future of the organization. The following list represents tips to consider implementing as part of your business strategy:

Start by hiring the right people.

Hiring the best individuals for each position will likely create a company culture aligned with the goals of the company. The right people will thrive in a work environment where others are equally bought in.

Create transparent career mapping.

Transparent goals at each level will help set employees up for success. Leverage career mapping as a concrete way to identify employee development and success and to identify room for improvements. Transparent career mapping promotes healthy competition and can uncover employees that are achieving next-level milestones.

Provide learning and development opportunities.

Administer trainings centered around leadership development for employees at all stages of the employee journey. Equip leaders to understand different learning styles to help them support their teams and coach underperformers based on individual needs. 

Coach employees.

Utilize the already great leaders within your organization to coach teams and elevate those working alongside of them.

Ask for feedback.

Gain insight from employees to better understand areas they need support as they grow throughout their careers as future leaders of the organization.

Create change.

Revamp or develop a plan that aligns with the goals of your company. Equip your teams with the necessary business and people intelligence to become the next best generation of leaders.

 

Notice that the first step in developing the next best generation of leaders in the workplace starts with hiring the right people. Our goal at Hire for Hope is to help place the best fit individuals in an organization for long-term success and we would love to partner with you if you find this is a need within your organization!  Let us know how we can help!

How to Guarantee a Candidate Will Perform

Strategies to Ensure You’re Picking the Best Hire

by Ashley Ward

When looking at candidates for a new job, there is a common question. It’s a question many high-level professionals ask and have been asking for years. This question is, “How can I guarantee this candidate will perform?” At Hire For Hope, we have the answer for you.

In order to guarantee a candidate will perform, you have to look at the candidate as a whole. This is our exact strategy when looking at candidates. When we say the whole person, this means the head, the heart, and the briefcase that the candidate carries. But what does that mean?

The Head

The head is built up of a few different things. All of these things come from a measurement, meaning there is no gray area, they cannot be argued, they are reliable, validated, and tested. Measuring what is in a candidate’s head consists of cognitive tests, their education, skill assessments, and certifications that the candidate has. Understanding what is in a candidate’s head can give you an advantage when hiring. For instance, a candidate that has a degree in accounting might be better suited for a project accountant role rather than a candidate who has a degree in general business management. At Hire for Hope, we use The Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment to take a deeper look at what is in a candidate’s head. This assessment helps us understand how well a candidate will be able to adapt to quickly changing information.

The Heart

Understanding what is in a candidate’s heart is a larger advantage than many people seem to realize. Again, this comes from measurement or direct observation, there’s no gray area, it can’t be argued, and it’s validated, tested, and reliable. The best way to look at what a candidate has in their heart is to administer personality or temperament assessments, look at their behaviors and end values, consider what kind of culture fit this candidate would be and compare the candidate to competency models.

Once again, at Hire for Hope, we use the Behavioral Assessment from The Predictive Index. With a total of 17 profiles, we can evaluate if a candidate has the type of heart that is needed for the position. The behavioral assessment also helps us understand what motivates a candidate. It measures the top four behavioral drives that are associated with success in the workplace. It is specifically designed for equitability and inclusivity. For instance, when comparing two candidates for a job that requires a lot of collaborative work. Using the results on the behavioral assessment can show how which candidate is naturally inclined to be more collaborative, helping you make a more informed decision.

The Briefcase

What’s in a candidate’s briefcase is what has always been looked at when comparing candidates. Their briefcases are built up of skills and experience. Looking at past job experience as a candidate has and how skills learned in those roles will be translated over into the open position can obviously be helpful when comparing candidates. Again, these are things that have no grey area and cannot be argued.

 

Alright, so you’ve gathered the 360-degree view of your candidate. What now? The best way to guarantee a candidate will perform is to use a scorecard. Entering everything that you’ve learned about the candidate, giving it a weight and then a subsequent score will give you a crystal-clear vision of whether a candidate will perform or not. Understanding the rubric can protect you from an unqualified candidate and help you to hire total rock stars. Using this process will also lead to enhanced diversity, equity, and inclusion in your hiring practices. Looking at just the facts of a candidate removes bias.

Using our methods, we can guarantee that the candidate we find for you will perform. These practices have been tried and tested and are backed by science. If you would like to learn more about our process or would like to consult on an open role within your company, feel free to contact us.

What Is Psychological Safety in the Workplace?

How to Foster Psychological Safety at Work

by Amanda Sloan

In recent months and years, more and more of our attention and focus has been placed on the idea of creating and maintaining safety. We may disagree on the specific measures implemented for the establishment of safety (whether it be gun control, health mandates, or even traffic laws), but we can all agree there is value in safeguarding our bodies. On the other hand, how often do we consider our psychological safety? This topic may not resonate with you personally, and perhaps that is a signal that you are psychologically safe in your work environment, but ensuring that benefit also applies to everyone on your team is critical for your organization.

What is psychological safety?

Psychological safety is a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking. Team members have the ability to show one’s whole self without fear of negative consequences. Psychologically safe teams promote acceptance and respect. This does not mean that everyone is nice all the time. It simply means that you embrace conflict and speak your mind, knowing that your team has your back and you have theirs.

Effects On Our Work

When we don’t feel psychologically safe, we often become defensive. This not only reduces the effectiveness of performance reviews but also the amount of feedback given by peers and leaders. We procrastinate and have a difficult time focusing. This results in less productivity and a lower quality of work. We also become timid and risk-averse (reluctant to change, less willing to learn, and avoid sharing ideas and asking questions). We might even demonstrate passive-aggressive behavior that sends mixed messages, confuses and frustrates people, and damages relationships.

“You don’t procrastinate to avoid work. You do it to avoid negative emotions. The task you are avoiding isn’t always the one you hate. Sometimes it’s the one you fear.” – Adam M. Grant

 

Warning Signs

If your team conceals mistakes and weaknesses, chances are members worry about negative consequences. When people hesitate to ask for help or feedback, it could be because they fear rejection or judgment. Teams that feel psychologically unsafe often avoid social interactions, do not speak up during meetings and ignore important but controversial topics. Frequent surprises also occur because people are not sharing information. Behaviors that work against psychological safety include bullying, demeaning, and shaming. Unpredictable leadership behaviors, micromanagement, favoritism, uncertainty around goals or expectations, and lack of transparency (not sharing the “why” in decisions) can also have detrimental effects on your team.

“A lack of transparency results in a distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” – The Dalai Lama

 

How to Create Psychological Safety

So, what steps can you take to ensure your team is psychologically safe? Be thoughtful about interactions with team members. Be present, engaged, and cautious with facial expressions and body language. Listen to others’ ideas. Ask questions and don’t reject anything right away. Regularly check in with your team to see how they are progressing and show that you care. Ask for input and feedback; encourage questions. Avoid canceling meetings when possible. Make mistakes and bad ideas acceptable; tell stories of when you did something wrong. Recognize good efforts and show your appreciation in authentic ways. Model healthy behaviors, treat everyone the same (no favoritism!), and avoid micromanaging. Leaders also need to be transparent. Not every decision requires an explanation, of course, but sharing the “why” around change can build trust and encourage buy-in.

In psychologically safe environments, problems are brought to light, employees ask for help, collaboration and social interaction occur, and performance discussions become more productive. Employees are engaged and loyalty is established. They are also confident in their abilities and more likely to offer support to those around them. In simple terms, psychologically safe environments are essential for talent development and employee retention in any organization.

What Is Succession Planning?

Succession Planning: What it is and why it’s so critical for your organization.

by Tasia Allison

Succession planning is a plan, process, or strategy to replace critical internal roles as the employees in the roles either advance or move on. The best approach to do this well is to identify critical roles in your organization and potential (future) fits well ahead of the time you need them. From there, a detailed plan is put in place to get your identified employee up to speed and retain them for your future need.

Do you really need a succession plan?

Absolutely, yes! For the entirety of my career, people are always coming and going, and people’s lives are always changing and without notice.

So, why do you need a succession plan?

Here are a few key reasons:

1. Talent Shortage. We do a significant number of C-suite positions and there are simply not enough candidates in the marketplace with experience. There’s a huge gap between middle management and executives that succession planning should be bridging.
2. Onboarding timelines are often long. Even if you immediately found a replacement for your critical role, how long will it take for them to learn the culture? The product? The customers? Get the team onboard? The minimum is usually six months up to 18 months.

3. Productivity. If you lose your top players, your performance always takes a hit while new players get up to speed.

4. Customer experience. This is especially critical if you’re service-oriented. Gaps in service or changes in customer service can cause customers to seek alternatives or competitors.

What does a well-executed succession plan look like when top talent leaves?

1. Backfill happens internally almost immediately.

2. Backfill is immediately productive and picks up right where the incumbent left off
3. Customer experience is positive, and customers are retained.

Here are some key elements to consider before putting together a strategy on succession planning.

  • Identify all your critical roles. Meaning, if they left, your business would suffer a detrimental impact. We recommend considering all your C-Suite or executive roles, sales roles with the highest revenue, and highly technical subject matter experts.
  • Develop an engagement and retention plan for each individual. Keeping them is always your first line of defense.
  • Identify internal or external employees for the succession of each role and communicate your organization’s intentions.
  • Create a plan for each successor to develop and train them to take over.
  • Develop engagement and retention plans for each successor. You’re investing too much to let someone poach them. Keep them engaged mentally, emotionally and financially.
  • Include your successor in everything. Customer visits, executive meetings, layoff discussions, bank visits, and more. There should be total transparency and fluidity between the incumbent and successor. If you’re leaving things “off limits”, that will be your first pain point in a transition.

Too overwhelmed to know where to start? Start with one role and go from there. Need more help? Reach out to a Talent Consultant at Hire for Hope to get started.

The Top 10 Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

Talent Leaders Suggest Asking Interviewees These Questions

by Lauren Fenech

You’ve worked with a recruiter to find some top talent. The candidates have been through the screening process, and now it’s time for you to get to know them. When working with Hire for Hope, we supply you with an interview guide through Predictive Index to help with this process, but we also wanted to share ten of the top questions to ask a candidate.

These aren’t in any specific order, and we wanted to include unique, hard, and strategic interview questions to ask your candidates.

1. Why are you looking to make a change right now?

Many of the candidates we work with are passive. Knowing what is motivating them to make a change can help understand their needs and if they are a good fit for this position. This question can also reveal if the candidate has respect for their incumbent employer and can show true colors of how they will treat your team, as well.

2. What are you most proud of in your professional life so far?

Not only will this tell us about the candidate’s accomplishments, but this is also (typically) going to include what they are passionate about when it comes to their professional career – two birds with one stone!

3. What motivates you to work?

Because your candidate took the behavioral assessment through the Predictive Index, you already know how they are hard wired, but by asking this question, it can start a valuable discussion. If the candidate answers with something surface level, they might not be the exceptional candidate you are looking for.

4. Can you describe your ideal workspace?

A simple question, but certainly relevant these days! Essentially, this will show you if their ideal work environment matches your current office environment.

5. Have you had any other interviews lately?

If you’re speaking to your candidate and you know they are “the one”, this will help you establish a timeline to act fast and extend the job offer. It’s also great to know what type of competition you’re going up against!

6. What are you seeking for compensation?

Find out what is important to your candidate. Are they happy with a lower salary if that means they get a work-from-home/hybrid schedule? Is vacation time important to them? Talk full package! At Hire for Hope, we have our candidates complete a compensation worksheet, so that our clients get a full snapshot of what their candidate is seeking.

7. How do you deal with tight deadlines?

The ideal answer would be to review a list of tasks, figure out what is most urgent, and move through the list. This question will show you if the candidate knows how to prioritize, delegate, or ask for help, when necessary.

8. Tell me about a time you messed up.

This is a great test of self-awareness. No one is perfect. This question shows whether a person takes ownership of their work or if they play the blame game.

9. What’s your leadership style?

Good management techniques are what mold and grow a company. Bring in a terrible leader, and you could really mess up the culture. Is this person open to feedback from their employees? We love to hear candidates talk about one-on-one sessions with their team members.

10. What would you accomplish if you were hired for this position?

This question will show you if the candidate knows the job and the company. Did they do the research and do they know the role?

 

Learn more about how Hire for Hope can help you with your executive recruiting needs.