Charles Van Heerden's Blog (18)

Achieving Organizational Alignment – Getting all employees to move in the right direction

Achieving organizational alignment is a strategic HR activity that can deliver significant benefits to an organization. Alignment is more than ideal state. It is imperative to ensure the organization is successful in getting all employees to move into the same direction, to achieve the vision of the organization.

Alignment is one of the power words in an organizational change consultant’s toolkit. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t use or refer to alignment.

Some years ago, I…


Added by Charles Van Heerden on August 14, 2011 at 5:00am — No Comments

It’s time to change your recruitment ads to be “gender smart”

Many organisations in Australia, particularly listed companies, are focusing on gender equity at board and executive levels. A gender balanced organisation is not just an outcome by achieving gender ratios, as there is also a need for a process to develop a more strategic approach.

Recent research by Roy Morgan Research highlighted specific gender differences for buyers of packaged…


Added by Charles Van Heerden on July 8, 2011 at 3:30am — 9 Comments

HR and Social Media - Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Social Media has become an integral part of the way we live and work. It is hard to imagine that it is only twenty years since the Internet was created. According to Nielsen research, social network traffic grew by 43% from June 2009 to June 2010. Social network activity now dwarfs online games, email and search as the number one activity. Every single day more people are also now turning to their social networks, as the preferred way to find jobs.

Managers need to realise that social…


Added by Charles Van Heerden on March 31, 2011 at 7:15pm — 4 Comments

Finding Top Talent by using Social Media Strategically

Companies will be able to attract top talent more effectively by leveraging social media using four key strategies. Though many companies are keen to explore social media, there is an underlying wariness as policies are trying to control the flow of information. This article provides an overview of social media and the potential application to… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on July 22, 2010 at 2:19am — No Comments

Why are you wasting your time with reference checking?

The poor cousin of the recruitment process is the obligatory reference check. Too often it is nothing more than a perfunctory procedure to conclude an exhausting number of interviews.

Most reference checks are the outcome of a telephone conversation, as most recruiters will attach little weight to any written references. Many companies have policies prohibiting managers from providing written references,…


Added by Charles Van Heerden on July 5, 2010 at 9:30pm — 6 Comments

Surfing the jobs wave

The last few days in Australia has highlighted a strong surge in jobs as the economic recovery is on track. The stimulus package was intended to keep people working.The results were a surprise to the markets as there was an expected lag effect.

The headlines on Friday 11 December:

- Jobs surge as recovery gathers pace (Australian Financial Review)

- CEOs warn on jobs squeeze (The Australian)

- Sting in jobs cheer (Business Daily Herald… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on December 14, 2009 at 1:26am — No Comments

The Trusted Recruiter

In his well-known book, The Trusted Advisor, David Maister explored the paradigm of that very important business relationship, using the professional services paradigm as a basis. His book covered some key components of trust (the trust equation), the process of creating trust (including the most common trust-breaking mistakes and this post includes a good example).

Trust is not a soft or an ambiguous concept – and it should not be. Some years ago I attended a one-week leadership… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on December 10, 2009 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

The Recruiting Matrix

Recruiting is all about relationships. It is all about building enduring relationships with companies and with applicants. But often there is an unhealthy focus on filling the vacancy.

A major part of the reason is the recruitment sales model, which is sadly broken. Most recruiters are focused to get vacancies, then to get candidates, and then to close the deal. During this transactional approach, there is insufficient focus on developing meaningful relationships. And because of the… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on November 30, 2009 at 3:27am — 5 Comments

The Many Choices of HR

Last week, a final year MBA student wanted me to coach him, as he was keen to move into HR, in itself a little unusual career choice. In talking to his university career manager, he was an excellent student with a passion for HR. Now HR is not always seen as the preferred choice for ambitious, talented and commercially orientated graduates, which is his profile.

At times, I am still amazed and also a little disappointed, when I read the criticism by HR people of HR and it’s value to… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on November 10, 2009 at 12:30am — 9 Comments

Scouting for top talent - picking a winner

Next week Tuesday (November 3) is Melbourne Cup Day. Also known as “The race that stops a nation”, it is also a public holiday for those fortunate enough to live in Melbourne.

Who can forget the amazing three years of consecutive wins by Makybe Diva (2003 – 2005), or master trainer Bart Cummings with eleven cup winners?

As I only moved to Australia seven years ago, after a decade living in New Zealand, it has been… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on October 28, 2009 at 5:39pm — 1 Comment

Are you a Gold Recruiter?

Recruiting is a highly competitive sport. All external recruiters reach for the top, hoping to become finally recognized as a Gold Recruiter.

Recruiting is probably not much of a team sport, based on my observations from a corporate HR desk. Perhaps it is a function of the general reward system, with commissions linked to placement. Perform well and you get paid well.

The competition suggests there are a lot of recruiters. Entry levels are relatively low. This is evident… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on October 16, 2009 at 4:26am — 4 Comments

The Magic of Recruiting by Splitting a Role

Fast-tracking the recruitment process, without taking the time to fully understand all the role requirements, can often distract recruiters. This dilemma was again highlighted to me recently, after a coffee meeting with a recruiter friend, who was asked to fill a difficult role.

Companies may often struggle to fill a role without being able to attract the right candidates. Sometimes, this could be a strong signal for the role to be redesigned.

A lot of my early HR… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on October 6, 2009 at 10:00pm — No Comments

The Life Cycle of Roles - Not All Roles Are Created Equal

Life is just not fair. There are some roles that get the best out of a person, and then there are roles that were designed to make your life feel at times like hell on earth. It was only recently that I discovered that there is a life cycle for roles, similar as for a company.

The best roles are those with a great company and with a great boss. However, not all roles are created equal. In two of my roles I only stayed for one year, but started looking around after one month, as I… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on September 28, 2009 at 2:13am — 2 Comments

Recruiting for the Future

There are two types of companies – those that are growing and those that are slowly dying. This was a key lesson that I learnt some years ago from one of my mentors.

Trying to pick out a winner is not always easy, as some companies are suffering from the "boiling frog" syndrome, and it requires an alignment of the stars to get your selection perfect.

When we recruit for key roles, it is also vital to ensure we appoint candidates that have the potential for further personal… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on September 16, 2009 at 3:59am — 2 Comments

Talent Sourcing should not be a mystery

Often recruiters would send you a good CV, or a thoughtful applicant would send you their CV, thus creating the challenge of figuring out where to place them. It is hard enough to identify and assess current good talent in any business, as well as to elegantly manage the expectations of high-performers and managers’ staffing needs.

Talent management is the balancing act of ensuring you have the right people at the right time in the right roles with the right… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on September 9, 2009 at 6:40pm — 4 Comments

Generic recruitment - why so many ads look the same!

Far too many position descriptions are complicating the recruitment process, rather than helping recruiters to recruit the right person. Good recruitment always starts by having a crystal clear understanding of what the role is (and not is). This is also fundamental for any advertisement, as role clarity is the key for finding the right person.

As I indicated in a previous blog, having a well-written role competency profile is critical - not a flowery or generic description of tasks… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on August 30, 2009 at 5:06am — 5 Comments

Recruitment is a non-rational process

Science has overtaken recruitment, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as most people still rely heavily on interviews as the key process for appointing applicants into a vacant role.

However, the process is fundamentally flawed as it is NOT about appointing the best person. From start to finish the process is designed to eliminate the unsuitable applicants until finally, like Survivor, there is only one successful person, to take the ultimate prize.

Why would you not… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on August 23, 2009 at 11:57pm — 1 Comment

How long is your shortlist?

“What do you mean there is only one person on the shortlist?” Bob exclaimed as I discussed with him the recruitment process for the Environmental Engineer. Despite the tight labor market and war for talent, managers still expect and demand to see between three and five applicants on the shortlist.

One of the flaws in recruitment is that most managers tend to recruit on the basis of finding the best person for the role. Taking this flawed approach to the next level, they will… Continue

Added by Charles Van Heerden on August 19, 2009 at 9:51am — 4 Comments


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