How would you weigh an elephant without using a scale?

One sure-fire way to cherry-pick the juiciest applicants in any field is to prune the bush of potentials with the razor-sharp shears of a mind-bending riddle or trick question. The tradition of using logic puzzles in interviews has been taken to the extreme in companies such as Google, Hewlett-Packard, and Amazon.  However, we have to question the logic of this - candidates will surely search Google for advice on solving Google interview questions, won't they?

Apparently though, Google does encourage it's interviewers to ask more open-ended questions of its candidates, weeding out the inappropriate people by making assertions on their character and strategic thinking by analysing their answers.  Seems that Google interview questions have gotten out onto the web after all (Note to reader: here is a Google search result for this query
A recruitment agency in the UK carried out a survey of their candidates and found that "two out of three candidates welcome obscure lines of questioning as part of the job interview process." Even if questions seem unrelated to the job that a candidate is interviewing for, it may give them the opportunity to showcase their abstract thinking or personality, differentiating them from other candidates with similar profiles. Imagine you enter an interview situation at a major corporate and the HR manager who is interviewing you says: "Just entertain me for 5 minutes, I'm not going to talk".  Sounds like a great way to get through the day for the HR manager, but does it work?  What if a highly skilled candidate is shy or simply boring?

Employing James Bond

Most people look at Mr Bond and see smouldering good looks, fearless, steely-eyed determination and impressive spy skills, but we see a great employee.

Considering that Bond is technically employed by the Government, let's review: his insubordination would probably not 'fly' with the local municipality; ministers would not be able to tolerate his freelancing, and treasury would have to devote much of the national budget to cleaning up his messes. So, why is he still the darling of MI6? Loyalty for one.  In Casino Royale he almost retired for good but we knew it couldn't be true.  His work is in his blood, his DNA even.  He was born to be a spy and would never be happy doing anything else.
He's not afraid of the competition.  Mr Bond has rivals that threaten to take over the world.  Not to be outdone or intimidated by his evil counterparts, Bond stays the course and puts full focus on his career goals.

Technology is vital to retaining top talent

When your employees see their digital personal brands as having more longevity than their jobs with you, or when their personal brand online is larger and more influential than your own, do you feel threatened?

There are three categories of brand awareness that each business has online.  The first falls under the brand name.  So, for example, FNB as a brand is recognised on Twitter as @FNBSA.  However, if they had additional accounts for some of their individual products, these would fall under the second category of brand awareness.   Say for example, if FNB were to start a Twitter account for their new exclusive home loans (in case you missed it, FNB now only offers mortgages to FNB current account holders),  it would probably be called something like @FNBHomeLoans.

Still utilizing this example, the third category would be the employees of FNB who have accounts on social profiles under their own individual names but they also refer to their professional involvement with the FNB company brand or products.  The most obvious example is Michael Jordaan, known as @MichaelJordaan on Twitter.  Although he doesn’t mention that he is the CEO in his Twitter bio, it is common knowledge, plus he has listed the FNB website under his bio, so FNB is referenced in his account.  For the record, he also tweets about the organisation. This is co-branding.

When your employees co-brand with you online

If you’re looking for ways to improve your employee acquisition and retention strategy then you might want to consider upping your game in terms of your video strategy. "Your Video Strategy May Hold the Key to Hiring Top Talent" is an article that was recently published by CIO Magazine and written by Sharon Florentine, in which surprising statistics concerning how much vested interest employees have in their company’s technological proposition were revealed.  

The article is based on the 2013 Cisco Global Young Executives’ Video Attitudes Survey which was conducted by Redshift Research and sponsored by Cisco. Exactly 1315 executive track employees from the US, UK and Europe were involved in the survey, and an incredible 87 percent of this group indicated that they prefer to work for a company which prioritised considerable investment in business-class video. Participants also confirmed that they would choose an employer with a preferable video strategy rather than one which offered a higher salary.

While this may seem like a rather unusual preference, particularly when weighed against greater income, the article discusses the fact that business-class video is considerably different from consumer video solutions like those offered by YouTube or Facebook. Indeed, business-class video solutions provide employees with a highly reliable, secure and lifelike platform from which to market themselves. And participants in the survey clearly wished to work for an employer which has the intention of generating employee growth by utilising leading technologies.

Diversity could improve your bottom line

We have created this infographic drawn from a research review on why we ought to desire greater diversity in business.  Over a 10 year period, publicly listed companies that maintained diversity, as measured by DiversityInc, outperformed the NASDAQ by 28%.

In South Africa, businesses are compelled by law to be diverse.  Research now shows that this practice is beneficial in more ways than one.  

Have you discovered benefits to diversity in your organisation? Share with us you views on the topic.