If you search online for L&D roles you might be shocked to see how few organisations are grasping the changes in learning. Perhaps you’re already on the path to making changes in your L&D function, but need a bit of inspiration?
We’ve put together a few tips and an example L&D job spec to get you going!
Let’s start by summarising the key shifts in L&D:
- A much closer link with other Centres of Expertise particularly Talent Management & Hiring rather than a ‘Learning & Development Team’ out on its own
- A starting point that ‘Everyone’ is talent and gets the same opportunities – no elite programs!
- At the point of need learning suited to personal preferences e.g. digital solutions, books, videos, webinars, toolkits, coaching/mentoring
- A ‘Community’ approach to Leadership Development i.e. virtual discussions/learning, short clinics, nudges, toolkits, recommended resources, sharing expertise, etc..
- Learning is owned by the employee – responsibility to learn, budget for choosing their own learning, keeping their own records (e.g. on LinkedIn)
- Making use of your own talented people – peer-to-peer learning, shadowing, informal mentoring etc.
- Not a one size fits all approach. Everyone is unique so avoid creating competency frameworks and defined career paths
- When it comes to Learning Tech don’t over complicate by building it yourself as it makes it much harder to be agile. Off the shelf is best and even better use your normal comms channel to push content (MS Teams, Slack, FB Workplace)
- Use of pulse surveys for better insight from your people about how they learn, what they need and what is working
- The L&D team have a ‘hands-off’ approach and focus on creating the environment for learning to happen, not to control or manage it. We love Spotify’s approach of being more like gardeners in a greenhouse.
You know what needs to happen and now you need someone to make it happen! Here is an example Job Spec.
Job Description – Head of Learning & Development
We strive to create an environment where our people can learn every day, have the opportunity to grow and develop and play to their strengths.
Leading and inspiring a team, you will play a key role in driving and building our culture of lifelong learning and development so that we can give all our people a great career experience, but also develop the skills and capabilities we need as a business.
Outcomes for the role:
- Experiments with solutions that are purposefully not courses. Digital resources & learning interventions that move at the speed of business to solve our people’s work challenges in real-time.
- Works closely with our HR Business Partners to define business priorities and designs solutions that are joined up with the overall employee experience we want to create for our people
- Creates a social learning platform that can be used to provide our people with learning resources and a community where they can share and feedback
- Develops the skills and capabilities of our managers including toolkits to help them have regular career conversations with their team
- Designs initiatives that encourage our people to take ownership of their own careers and learning, while providing them with a range of different options, resources, and experiences
- Works with HRBP’s and managers to ensure we create as many career-defining experiences for all our people e.g. peer to peer learning, mentoring, job shadowing, projects etc.
- Uses data and insight to help us understand what our people need and how we are doing.
- Leads the development and implementation of our approach to Performance Management using the very latest trends
- Develops Diversity and Inclusion learning interventions to raise awareness and encourage open and honest conversations
- Delivers an effective onboarding approach to ensure our people are having a great experience and are up to speed as soon as possible
The person we’re looking for
- A progressive, non-bureaucratic approach to HR
- Knowledge of the latest Talent and Learning trends but in practical terms – not just a theory
- Someone who’s digitally savvy
- Enjoys delivering as part of a team!
- An excellent relationship builder and communicator, with the ability to move between listening to, guiding and coaching others at all levels
- Has the ability to make quick, sound decisions and work in an agile way
- Common sense – always spot opportunities to simplify and improve processes to drive better results
- Product marketing, communication and facilitation skills to make change happen.
In this 5 minute video, we look at the most popular options for HR team structures and outline three key features of new HR team design.
With the race for top talent growing by the minute, every organisation is rethinking their approach to how they currently attract prospective employees. You can use the multiple touch points in the candidate journey to help you create an outstanding candidate experience.
1. Welcome them with a smashing careers page- If their first visit to your careers page doesn’t ‘wow’ them, then it’s unlikely they’ll go through with applying for a role. Put your careers page to work with eye-catching design, useful resources, employee stories and what benefits you have to offer. Here’s a great example from the team at Booking.com.
2. Jazz up your job post- When you begin to read a job advert, does it fill you with excitement? Well, that rarely seems to be the case! Candidates spend an average of 14 seconds looking at a job description before deciding whether to apply. If you want to create a compelling advert, then consider re-wording your job descriptions to showcase the personality of your company.
3. Be transparent – How often do we provide our candidates with all the information they need right at the get go? Almost never! Prioritise transparency at every stage to establish trust and help build relationships right from the start. For example, publish the expected salary or salary range like Glitch so a candidate can understand whether a job will be financially viable for them or provide a step-by-step guide on your careers site like Procter & Gamble with details of different types of assessments they may need to complete, how long it will take and how soon they’re likely to hear back from the recruiting team.
4. Simplify your application process – On average candidates spend 3-4 hours on submitting one job application! No one these days has the patience for lengthy application processes so work on making yours more simple. Consider how Userlane simplified and humanised their hiring process by constructing their applications like conversations though the use of Typeform.
5. Acknowledge receipt of applications – This sounds like such a simple thing to do and yet a majority of organisations rarely do it. If you consider the time and effort a candidate has put into applying for a role with you, then it’s imperative to take the time to send an acknowledgement. And as that can be automated nowadays, there’s even less reason to not be doing it!
6. Use technology to improve the user experience – Use tools that will help you automate routine tasks – saving you time and improving the user experience for your candidates. For example, PwC started using technology that sends a calendar to candidates showing the times interviewers are available for a virtual interview. Once candidates schedule their time on that same calendar, PwC’s software sends them information and tips for the interview.
7. Shake up your selection process – Rethink your selection process so you can begin to look beyond educational qualifications, years of experience and sector-specific skills. For example, consider presenting candidates with ‘real life scenarios’ to test their skills like McKinsey & Company.
8. Ask for feedback – To show the candidate that their experience and opinion matters, ask for feedback at the end of the process. Nothing long or complicated, just one or two questions that will give you useful data to help you make any necessary changes to your process. For example, Citrix uses the Net Promoter Score metric to measure candidate experience after an onsite interview via an email containing a single question.
9. Build the working relationships and skills of your hiring managers and recruiters – There’s nothing worse than spending all that effort to create a wonderful candidate journey if the people involved in the process aren’t supported to lead the change. Help your hiring managers and recruiters build a healthy working relationship and provide them with resources and training to upskill them so they are better prepared.
10. Give feedback – LinkedIn research shows that 94% of candidates want to hear feedback after an interview – and they’re four times more likely to consider a future opportunity with your company if offered constructive feedback. Send a gentle nudge to your hiring manager reminding them to provide honest and constructive feedback the next time they are interviewing someone.
Final top tip…. Constantly build and update your talent pool- There is no reason to wait for a vacancy to arrive before you start your hunt for the ideal candidate. Spend time consistently building your talent pipeline and build relationships with them so they are ready to join you when the need arises.
Join the Disruptive HR Club, a global online network for training, practical tips.and all the very latest trends in HR.
Organisations across the world are sitting up and taking notice of what steps they can take towards creating an inclusive culture where everyone can do the best work of their lives. We’ve put together a few tips and an example of a Head of Diversity job spec to help you get started.
Let’s start by summarising the new approaches to Diversity & Inclusion:
- Inclusive organisations are using data and insights about people’s differences to help them customise their approaches to communications, engagement, development and leadership, etc to ensure their particular needs, wants and preferences are accommodated.
- Companies are rejecting the big diversity programmes in favour of getting to the small behavioural nudges which add up to a real cultural change. Whilst this approach may not make as much noise as a big initiative, it has a much more sustained impact and can help leaders engage much more easily.
- Organisations are starting to invest more in helping people to have conversations which enable greater understanding, increase empathy and provide a safe environment to explore how it might be different.
- We’re seeing some really innovative practices that make it easier for leaders to do the right and different thing. For example, several companies are using the technique known as ‘reframing’ to help overcome our natural biases. If an idea or belief is presented in a new way or ‘reframed’, then it can help us shift our behaviour in response to it. Another example involves using technology to help eliminate bias.
Here is an example Job Spec for a Head of Diversity
Job spec – Head of Diversity
A tremendous opportunity to play a part in developing the diversity, inclusion, and engagement roadmap that allows everyone at (name your company) to achieve their full potential and grow without boundaries.
We are looking for a passionate individual to design and deliver our Diversity strategy and to help us evolve our inclusive culture.
Outcomes for the role:
- Collaborates closely with the wider HR team, business leaders and other internal champions to influence and propel diversity efforts while driving leadership accountability from the top
- Breaks down the walls of communication, gets people together and facilitates important conversations around backgrounds, experiences and perspectives
- Applies research and data analytics to understand how things currently work within the business and drives the changes needed to attract, hire, motivate and retain our diverse and talented employees
- Experiments with D&I solutions apart from big change programmes
- Works closely with the HR team to develop training to educate employees and managers on how to recognise and respond to any form of bias within the organisation
- Works alongside Talent Acquisition to diversify talent pipelines and develop an insights-driven and strategic global plan for diversity recruitment.
- Works closely with Internal comms to develop a communications framework that is inclusive for all
The person we’re looking for:
- Has excellent communication and negotiation skills to communicate complex and potentially emotionally laden D&I topics in a clear and inspiring way across various audiences
- Is an excellent networker to effectively engage with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
- Has an understanding of how to influence and drive changes in behaviour. Could be you know about behaviourial economics or neuro-science – and you know how to put these approaches into practice
- Has excellent analytical skills to analyse and interpret data and drive actions based on it
- Is passionate about Diversity & Inclusion with knowledge of the latest trends and best practices in Diversity & Inclusion
- Takes a coaching and collaborative approach to working with others
- Enjoys delivering as part of a team
- Has the ability to make quick, sound decisions based on knowledge and judgment
For more training and practical ideas on D&I check out The Disruptive HR Club
Whilst traditional interviews are still the most common approach in selection, we all have questioned whether they tell us enough about whether someone can actually do the job and that worry that we might be missing out on candidates who are not great at interviews but would be perfect for the job.
We’re seeing a growing trend of job auditions. As you would expect, job auditions are an opportunity to see candidates perform on the job tasks. Depending on the role, it could be a technical test, role-play scenarios or exercises that mimic what they would be required to do on the job.
Here are some examples we love:
- Citadel use Talent Auditions to find their future data scientists. The virtual ‘Datathon’ is a competition with cash prizes designed around teams of prospective candidates solving real data challenges
- Automatic have what they call ‘tryouts’ where candidates are paid to do real work projects that can last between 3 to 8 weeks
- McKinsey give their candidates real client scenarios they’d be faced with in the job
- Mogul ask candidates to spend a trial day working rather than a final interview
When you’re designing your audition assignment, aim to make it an accurate representation of the type of work your new hire will be doing on a regular basis.
Here are a few examples of auditions you could use when interviewing for HR roles:
HR Business Partner
The business area you will be working with has just had their latest pulse survey results and it has flagged that career development is a problem. Give us a few ideas about how you might tackle it?
What you’re looking for?
You’re looking for how they would look for deeper insight into what people want from career development, coach leaders to have career conversations, ideas about how they might ditch internal processes to encourage more movement, introduce new light touch products e.g. Talent Discussions (not the 9 box grid), informal mentoring (not a policy), job shadowing etc.
We want to get rid of our traditional annual appraisal so one of your outcomes for this role will be “To design with the HR team/business a fresh approach to traditional appraisals.” Prepare a short presentation (2 or 3 slides max) to share a few ideas with us about what a new approach might look like, how we might develop leaders, and how you would move it forward”.
What you’re looking for?
That they are on top of the latest trends in PM i.e. employee-owned, team performance, light touch, coaching not assessment, innovative ways to help leaders do it better, and how they would co-design the product with HR/stakeholders.
Data & Insights Manager
Here is the data from a recent pulse survey we ran about hybrid working. Can you turn it into a one-page slide that would be shared with our senior leadership team on what the data is telling us?
What you’re looking for?
Data analytic skills but also able to break data down to show insights so that people understand and have an emotional connection with the story the data is telling.
One of our priorities is to work on our candidate experience. Take a look at our careers website and the experience you have had as an applicant and give us some feedback on what action we should take.
What you’re looking for
That they understand the importance of candidate experience, employment brand and they have plenty of fresh thinking ideas about what you could do differently – simplifying process, language, etc.
We need to influence a change in behaviour of leaders who are overly reliant on HR or a policy to provide the answers and instead we want to encourage them to use their own judgement. How might you tackle this?
What you’re looking for?
You’re looking for someone who is comfortable/excited by this idea and how they might tackle it e.g. for example moving to principles not policy, wider HR involvement, coaching leaders, learning sessions/clinics etc.
For more resources like this check out the Disruptive HR Club – the online network for HR who want to change outdated practices for good.
So much is demanded of HR and yet we continue to do things in quite traditional ways. We’ve summarised the four key skills that we in HR need for the future, in order to thrive in this disrupted world.
Insight is more than just numbers. This is about using a range of techniques to provide understanding about how people behave and why. For instance, using observation to watch how people do their jobs and using HR tools or focus groups and pulse surveys to understand what they need and want.
The HR person of the future will use this insight to understand and build the motivations, capabilities and impact of their leaders. For example, at Sky they encourage leaders to conduct self-assessments and build on this self-awareness to understand what their motivations are for being a leader in the first place and understanding what they might need to change about their approach.
The HR person of the future will also use this insight to develop employee persona to better understand their capabilities, how they feel and to identify their needs and wants. For example, at Heineken they ‘listen’ to how their employees are feeling through their monthly emotions questionnaire in which employees have to answer how they are feeling and try to explain what provokes those feelings. Information is processed in an agile way and, in less than 72 hours, the Board of Directors start working to provide the most adequate solutions.
Great facilitation skills in HR is about relying less on process and more about creating an environment where you can help change behaviour and build skills. Some of the ways in which you can do this are by using your facilitation skills to help leaders create a more inclusive culture, build their confidence to tackle difficult issues and help them have great conversations with their people.
For example, at Western Union they created clusters of senior managers and got them together one hour a month to “talk talent”. They discussed people moves and acted as a learning set to help them get better at career conversations.
We can build our influence in HR through a number of different ways, such as:
- Being passionate and knowledgeable about our business
- Being well networked and bringing outside intelligence in
- Being seen as someone who has bags of common sense
- Knowing our leaders’ motivations to change (Insight)
- Building compelling arguments – but also building great narratives
Bring in aspects of product design into HR to help ensure that your HR products are based on data and insight. Some of the ways in which you can do this is by building in user centred design, co-creating HR products with your leaders and employees, working in sprints, developing minimum viable products and designing an overall employee experience that aligns with your brand and business strategy.
For example, at the Co-op everything they do is based around the ‘colleague voice’ which gathers genuine insights about what their people want, how the new products will be used and how it will increase their productivity.
Take our free HR Diagnostic to find out how you shape up against the four key skills and get some practical tips on how to develop them. Interested in keeping up to date with similar content? Check out the Disruptive HR Club for more details.
The best job descriptions bring to life for the candidate what their day might look like, who they’ll work with, what they’ll accomplish and what the culture is like.
If you feel that your job descriptions are not reflecting your brand, we’ve put together some simple tips to help you give them a refresh.
1. Focus on outcomes
If you start with the question “What does success look like?” it stops you from listing all the things you think a candidate needs to get the job done. Consider moving to impact job descriptions that help candidates understand what you want them to achieve for instance in 3 months, 6 months and 12 months.
2. What’s unique about you?
There will be something special about your organisation that you can shout about in your job descriptions. It might be your relaxed culture, your approach to hybrid working, your family-friendly policies, or perhaps career development opportunities.
3. Be inclusive
Be careful about the language you use on your job descriptions – it could be putting off the best person for the job from applying! Consider using tech tools like Textio or Gender Decoder to help you get it right.
4. Bring out your marketing skills
Think of writing job descriptions as a marketing exercise rather than an HR process. Get creative about how you could bring the job to life using for example social media, video, interviews, graphics etc. You could even ask your marketing team to help!
5. Get your hiring managers involved
Introduce potential candidates to their future line manager as soon as possible in the process. Get your hiring managers to connect with candidates through video or audio embedded into the job description to help share insights into what success in the role looks like, what vision the department has and what aspects of the role are most enticing.
Join the Disruptive HR Club, a global online network to get training, practical support and keep updated with the latest trends in HR.