Tag Archives: HR

Performance Feedback II – The Sender

As promised in my previous post on Performance Feedback, I’m  back with a piece of advice for the sender.

Here are some things that you, the manager (sender), could consider in order to encourage a constructive attitude from the receiver:

  1. Firstly, be sure that the standards are clearly understood by the receiver. (You should have done that during the previous performance review when you set the requirements). You won’t get anywhere if you don’t refer to the same things.
  2. The performance feedback should be continuous, specific and able to obtain an active response.
    1. Continuous feedback – You don’t need to get at the annual performance review in order to provide feedback. Keep in mind that the worst feedback is no feedback.
    2. Specific – be specific, bring examples and arguments and suggest alternatives. After receiving a feedback that person should know what exactly he/she should start/stop/keep doing (active response).
  3. Focus your feedback on results and competencies; don’t direct it at the person in front of you. If you fail in doing this, the receiver takes it personally and the natural reaction is to get defensive. (Is useless to mention that words such as “guilt”, “fault” and the general  ”I am right, you are wrong.”  attitude must be avoided at all costs.)
  4. Walk the talk – if you promised something, do it. If you weren’t able to do it, take responsibility for that, explain and evaluate the consequences. (e.g.: you promised to budget an assistant for her/him, but the budget was reviewed. You can’t expect  him/her to provide the same results as if he/she had that resource).
  5. Accept the fact that results are not entirely under his/her control (lack of resources provided by the company, market decrease etc). Take the context into consideration when providing feedback. If you do this, you can avoid both coming off as absurd and generating a defensive reaction.  The question you should ask yourself is:”Given the context, what could‘ve been done better?”

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Performance Feedback – I

I found here a funny analogy with performance feedback:

Question: What’s the difference between performance feedback and a root canal?

Answer: Anesthesia

During performance reviews, I’ve noticed two dominant reactions when receiving negative feedback:

  • Constructive – The receiver listens to the sender’s arguments (if the case, also bringing counter arguments) and he/she provides alternative scenarios, in order to ensure a complete understanding of the issue (if I were to do this differently, than the results would be better). To sum up, the focus is on improvement (finding the path from the current situation to the desired one).
  • Defensive – the receiver brings excuses for his/her failures, finding external factors to blame without taking any personal responsibility. The focus is now not on what he/she can do better but on what others should do in order for him to provide better results. Basically, you play a round of the blame game.

Premise: feedback, as a communication process involves two parties: the sender and the receiver.

Not only is it in the interest of both parties for the reaction to be a constructive one, but it also is in their power to achieve it.

To this effect I will focus on the role of each side in future posts.

LE.: Performance Feedback II – The Sender

LE 2: Performance Feedback III – The Receiver


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What is HR about?

At the beginning of my career I was so naive that I answered the question “Why HR?” with “Because I want to work with people”. Fortunately, I met a real HR professional who told me: “If you want to have a career in HR, consider it being about business, not about people. So, do you really want to work in HR?”

I said “Yes, I do”. Therefore, I had to gain an overview of the business and I put myself in the executives’ shoes, thinking “If I were him/her, what would I expect from HR?”

I still have much to learn about HR, but I think that seeing it from a business perspective helps me.

A useful piece of advice on ”How HR can earn a seat at the table with the Big Dogs

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Twitter & your personal brand

I found a presentation on “20 Ways to Tweet: For Companies, Corporations, and Small Business” and I think the advice provided can be successfully applied in personal branding (except for two slides, one referring to recruitment and the other to giveaways and discounts).

I assumed that you already had your personal brand defined.

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Internal Executive Search

I have recently read a very interesting article on „The Benefits of Internal Executive Search and Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Make the Move

I wonder whether any Romanian company took this option into consideration.

If I had to “sell” this idea to a local company and I had to choose only 7 of the arguments listed in the article, I’d choose the ones quoted bellow:

The increase in “face time” between talent acquisition and the executive committee further increases the function’s ability to sell the vision of the organization and sustain operations when budgets get tight.

Recruiting for executives requires you to “sell” a large number of influential executives inside and outside your industry on the value of your firm. When you use external executive search, relationships “belong” to and are retained by the external search firm. However, if your own recruiters build these relationships and sell your firm effectively, it’s possible that a significant number of those candidates not hired will hold a more positive image of your firm, and as a result may consider becoming a customer or strategic partner with your firm. The benchmarking and candidate assessment work that is now done by your own recruiters might also yield competitive intelligence that can be used to benefit your firm. The dollar value of this benchmark information and potential sales and partnership opportunities need to be added to the positive ROI of an internal function.

Losing candidates you never see. External recruiters create an initial list of qualified candidates that you never see, and they do 100% of the “selling” to those on that initial list. Because you’re not involved in any aspect of this initial selling, you can never know whether you are losing great candidates because these external recruiters are doing a bad job selling.

“Bidding” for candidates is expensive. It’s only natural that large executive search firms “shop” top candidates to many different clients. This exposure to many potential clients allows their top candidates to be bid on, like highly valuable auction goods. This competitive process gives their candidates an opportunity to accept a much higher monetary offer, which simultaneously increases the search firm’s income. This means you will pay significantly more for candidates who are externally bid on. In contrast, passive candidates you directly source might only be interested in your firm, and may be up to 25% cheaper than high-demand executive-search candidates.

Avoid restrictions on candidate availability. Search firms often have agreements not to recruit from their clients. This might seem to be a benefit on the surface, but it also means that large executive search firms with many clients in an industry will have a smaller candidate pool to offer you because they can’t include employees from their current clients. Even though these individuals might be willing to change firms, you’ll never know it because no one will tell you about these restrictions.

Cost of recruiting. Some executive recruiting fees have been reduced during the recession but are still markedly higher than corporate recruiting cost per hire. If you hire a retained search firm, you pay even if they fail to fulfill the search. If you hire a contingent firm, you may pay more indirectly, in the time wasted by your managers sorting through mediocre resumes that contingent recruiters might send them in the hopes that one will “stick.”

New clients may occasionally get a preference. Firms that are desperate for attracting new clients may steer their very best candidates toward those clients with whom they hope to sign new contracts. If you’re a long-term client, you have to include that risk as part of the equation.

LE: new post by the same author: An Action Plan for Moving Executive Search Inside Corporations


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