I was at an HR executive forum not long ago. Great group, smart folks, lively conversation. Over lunch we discussed HRIS systems, payroll woes and other typical HR fodder discussed in between bites of grilled chicken or whatever.
I brought up casually that my team was using Skype to conduct prescreen interviews. Boom-went-the-dynamite. Within seconds the table of happy practitioners turned into a table of legal pundits discussing the horrible woes I could endure if my Skype interviewing went terribly wrong. By the end of the conversation I thought perhaps Skype was really a conduit to channeling the devil rather than just an engaging tool to talk and see someone while interviewing.
It reminded me of my first “real” HR job in 2001. This was before the days of ATS’s when all of our resumes came via fax or mail. I remember getting a resume in the mail where someone attached their headshot. Like an acting headshot. My whole HR department was in awe of the stupidity and ignorance of this person vain enough to send a picture. Didn’t he know he was shooting himself in the foot? No HR pro wants to admit to “seeing” the persons face during initial screens? Too risky. Little did we know that this candidate was really ahead of the times.
As I continued talking to my HR lunch group about the virtues of virtual interviewing, at first I felt a little disappointed. It seemed new HR was still living in a place of fear. Not to judge; HR folks have to deal with scary stuff. However, dealing with scary stuff and living in a place of fear are two different things. Perhaps even more than disappointed I felt bad for my HR peers. Living in a place of fear is just rough.
So I shared with the lunch group the three guidelines my HR team lives by. These guidelines help define HRs role, help my “customers”, and keep me from being afraid.
- Always Present Options: Many roads can lead to a solve. Your job is to find those roads. Find as many roads as you can to get your employees to the outcomes they want. HR gets in trouble when they only present one option to fix a problem, and that option is usually the one HR (not the employee) wants. Bad.
- Assess Risk: Assessing Risk is a big part of any HR job. Eliminating risk is not. HR usually lives in the world of worst case scenario which has created a police state. It is not HRs job to scare the hell out of employees for fear of a worst case scenario. Let you employees know what a worst case scenario could be…BUT you must follow up by assessing the true chances of that scenario coming true. It’s usually a very low percentage.
- Find Ways to Say YES. People hate it when their boss, parents, friends, priests, husbands and wives tell them no. Times that by a thousand when HR tells them no. If you present options and assess (not eliminate) risk, finding ways to say yes becomes a lot easier.
It seemed to help them, so I hope it helps you.