HCI Blog

Archive from July 2014

When coaching programs begin to fail

Leadership development was identified as a main concern by two thirds of 500 executives interviewed.
30% of US companies admit that they failed to explore their international business opportunities to the fullest due to a lack of leaders with the right capabilities.

Four reasons attributed to why leadership-development programs fail to deliver:

1. Overlooking context

  • Training programs tend to believe that “one size fits all” independent of company culture or strategy.
  • The focus of training programs must be flexible and adaptable to the needs of the company, taking into consideration their current strategy and goals instead of making companies adapt to the training programs.
  • Focusing means selecting two or three competencies which can make a significant difference once worked on.
  • A clear path must be established on the competencies worked on: a “from – to” path must be clearly drawn.


2. Decoupling reflection from real work

  • Leadership programs usually detach the leader from their work environment, usually inserting them into a “classroom” like environment.
  • Typically, adults retain 10% of what they see in a classroom or lecture versus two thirds of learning through a “hands on” approach.
  • By doing on-the-job training, leaders can balance their demands between urgent projects and leadership development


3. Underestimating Mindsets

  • In order to cause change, generating discomfort is inevitable once addressing root causes as to why a leader acts in a given way.
  • Training programs usually avoid exploring individual beliefs and mindsets of leaders and instead choose to promote empowerment and delegation; successful adoption of this is unlikely.
  • Just as a coach would view an athlete’s muscle pain as a proper response to training, leaders who are stretching themselves should also feel some discomfort as they struggle to reach new levels of leadership performance.

4. Failing to measure results

  • When businesses fail to track and measure changes in leadership performance over time, they increase the odds that improvement initiatives won’t be taken seriously.
  • Too often, any evaluation of leadership development begins and ends with participant feedback; the danger here is that trainers learn to game the system and deliver a syllabus that is more pleasing than challenging to participants.


SOURCE: McKinsey & Company

Tips on how to recruit passive candidates

A passive candidate is a candidate who is not necessarily actively seeking a placement and is already employed. They are willing to listen to proposals, yet are selective.

Passive candidates comprise 84% of the potential workforce. Here’s how to reach this type of candidate!

1. Mine your applicant tracking system

  • Search your applicant database back to one year and cross-reference with their personal data in social networks and people search engines. Today, they might have the necessary skills and be a good fit for you placement.

2. Start blogging

  • Create a blog to write about industry topics, not the company itself. With a blog, aim to become an authority through the generation of relevant content which will be shared online, becoming visible to passive candidates.

3. Be good to your employees, and they will spread the word.

  • Make employees cause a positive impact over potential passive candidates. Current employees should also be aware that the company is hiring so that the news can be spread through their community.

4. Inquire about specific talents, not job seekers

  • Once inquiring about a person who is seeking for a job to a referrer, ask for someone with a specific set of abilities rather than for someone who is simply seeking a different placement opportunity.

5. Study and listen to candidates real motivators

  • Many times, money isn’t the central motivator. Achieving a balance between personal life and work is important to passive job seekers.

6. Keep presenting opportunities and let the response guide you

  • Passive candidates have the ball in their court, making it difficult to know exactly what they seek. Present them with opportunities and read their reaction and responses guide you.

7. Invite people to events

  • Suggest to passive candidates possible networking events and meetings so that you can get to know him in an environment which offers less pressure.

8. Present yourself as a subject matter expert, not a recruiter.

  • Do not treat passive candidates as passive candidates. Presenting yourself as an expert rather than recruiter will build a more informal relationship, causing the passive candidate not to feel as an applicant.

9. Build a candidate referral network with other recruiters

  • Mutually exchanging candidate referrals with other managers will increase the odds of finding the best candidate possible.

10. Engage passives in a non-public talent community

  • Many times, candidates remain passive because they don’t want their employer to know they are searching. Closed social networks are a good choice to search for candidates without them exposing themselves publicly.

11. Monitor online discussions for industry relevant conversations

  • Keep an eye out for online groups which candidates may be a part of. This chatter might give you leads of candidates who are searching for a new placement. Approach them as an advisor rather than a recruiter.

12. Approach recruiting like dating

  • Approach recruiting in a softer way. Let the candidate know you are interested in connecting with him and get them to like you.