Monday, February 20, 2017

Employer Branding: Perception VS Reality

Once upon a time, there was an HR department at a company interested in the trend on employer branding. Like most of them, they were talking about how to attract the best talent and become a great workplace, how to have a good perception among colleagues and potential employees…

Then one day, they decided to hire Employer Brand Specialists and compose a team to make the company one of the best workplaces. They made interviews with candidates and hired one of them; convinced the C-level to get the budget necessary to invest in employer branding.

Based on the assumptions about candidates (target group), they carried out some projects to increase the employer brand perception. Surely, they became one of the best workplaces, attracted the best talent and the HAPPY END…

Do you think that there is something weird in that story?

I think that I’m not the only one who thinks that it is really weird. So, let’s rewind and take it step by step.

But firstly, let’s not forget the fact that employer brand perception among candidates must not be different from the one among employees.

Step one: You forgot to send a response to candidates?
What happened to all of the candidates the company interviewed during the hiring process of “Employer Branding Specialists”? Did they receive a response in a timely manner without needing to contact the company a couple of times to receive an answer? If an HR department dedicated to increase “Employer brand” perception doesn’t do it, who will?
Furthermore, it would be hard to change perception among all these people and their friends (you know the power of word of mouth)!

Step two: You Base On Assumptions?
Who is / are your target group?
You hire among high-school graduates or postgraduates?
Do you consider university rankings?
Do you prefer new graduates or experienced candidates?

You need to answer these questions and more; then you need to conduct a survey among your target group(s) to better understand their expectations from companies.

Step three: You copy-paste a practice you have seen at another company? 
There are lots of companies who do very good jobs on employer branding. But does it mean that a good project with wonderful results will also result the same way at your company; considering company culture, employee profile, etc? There must be an intersection between company culture, employees’ perception and candidate expectations; so that you can base your projects…   

Step four: Once established, had good results and stop then? 
We, human beings are very forgetful, merciless and always want more. This is what HR specialists face every day. When an employee has a good salary increase, he forgets about it in 6 months and starts to complain about salary. When he / she participates at trainings, he/she says that there are lots of work and no time for training; but when you don’t offer trainings they say that “there is no training to improve ourselves”. Anyway, the list continues like that.

Here is the link to our subject: As a result of successful employer branding strategy and implementation, you may have an increase among best workplaces rankings. However, if you don’t continue your practices and develop them, what you do will start to be considered as “normal”. Then you will face a decrease among rankings and among candidates’ & employees' perception. So you have to develop projects for better practices.

Step five: What about daily routines? 
Beside all these steps, one important thing to remember is here. While working on big projects, you mustn’t forget the daily routines that may affect the employer brand because these ones really affect it. When you focus very much on how to develop the ongoing processes / projects, you always forget to start with small steps that can easily change the perceptions.

When increased employer branding perception meets reality, your company can become one of the best places to work for! Here is the HAPPY END!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

International Awards Map of HR in Turkey!

All HR departments have the same objective independently of region, country, sector… Attracting and retaining the talent for supporting business goals.

For achieving this objective, HR departments focus on two main points:
-          1st: Attracting the talent
-          2nd: Developing processes and practices that will boost employee performance and engagement

International awards are good ways to show HR’s success in these fields. Thus, management, employees and candidates will trust more to HR department and its practices. And also the HR department will be noticed in the sector and consulted for benchmark.

There are lots of institutions / organizations that give awards on HR field. However, it is certain that most prestigious ones are ATD, SHRM and CIPD. Brandon Hall is also a significant one. 

Let’s see the approach of these institutions to giving awards and evaluate the awards received by companies in Turkey. 

For A Quick Start

Since 2007, companies from Turkey received 135 awards from ATD, Brandon Hall, CIPD and SHRM. The categories of awards received are shown below. 

1.       ATD Awards

 ATD gives two different awards:

a.       ATD Best Award: For recognizing organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of talent development. There are no categories at this award. Since 2003, every year approximately 30 companies win this award from all over the world.

Although the award is given since 2003, first awards Turkey received date 2010. Since then, 9 companies received this award from Turkey:

Yapı Kredi Bankası, Global Bilgi
Garanti Bank
Denizbank, Migros
Türkiye İş Bankası, Teknosa
TEB, Turkcell, Yapı Kredi

In 2016, there not any winners from Turkey.

b.      ATD Excellence in Practice Awards: For recognizing results achieved through the use of practices and solutions from the entire scope of workplace learning and talent development. This award is given since 2000.

There are 10 categories at this award and a practice can be entered for consideration in two categories.  Approximately 30 companies win award and 30 companies are honored with citation.

Although ATD Excellence in Practice Awards are given since 2000, first awards companies from Turkey received date 2007. Since then, 12 companies from Turkey received 30 awards (11 awards, 18 honorable mentions and citations).

“Award” Winners:

Global Bilgi
Turkcell, Türkiye İş Bankası & Dilek Sağlık & Sistema & Nar
Yapı Kredi bankası
Eczacıbaşı,Teknosa, TEB, Tük Telekom, Vestel

“Honorable Mention” & Citation Owners:

Turkcell, Finansbank & MCT, Yapı Kredi
Migros, Tukcell - Ufukkoç Strateji ve Yetkinlik Gelişimi
Coca Cola İçecek, Eczacıbaşı, Finansbank, Teknosa, Yapı Kredi
Eczacıbaşı, Teknosa, Türk Telekom

The number of award / honorable mention and citation winner companies from Turkey seems to increase regularly.

2.       HRM Impact Award
SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management): Together with SIOP (The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology), SHRM gives HRM Impact Award since 2013.

Their aim is to promote human resource management practices that contribute to the success of today’s global work organizations, making them better places in which to work.
With a belief that the way to improve practice is to publicize the best available evidence regarding the usefulness and impact of successfully implemented innovative HRM initiatives…

Every year maximum 3-4 companies are awarded by HRM Impact Awards. This makes the award more prestigious than the others. There are no categories. Every applicant is evaluated through financial, people and scientific impact of practice. 

QNB Finansbank from Turkey was awarded with “Honorable Mention” in 2016. There is no other company from Turkey who was awarded by HRM Impact Awards.

QNB Finansbank

3.       CIPD Awards:

CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) gives two different awards.

a.       CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards (RMA): RMA provide reward and recognition for excellence and professionalism in recruitment marketing and talent management. This award is given since 1980.

There are 20 categories. For each category, shortlist is announced and the winner is selected within the finalists. There is also “Grand Prix” for overall winner.

Finansbank was one of the finalists in 2014 under the category “Best In-house Recruitment Team”. There are no other finalists or award winners from Turkey.


Award Web Site:

b.      CIPD People Management Awards: PMA provide reward and recognition for excellence and professionalism in increasing engagement and performance since 2010 (there is no mention to the first PMA award on website; but the first award I saw dated 2009).

There are 19 categories. For each category, shortlist is announced and the winner is selected within the finalists. There is also “Grand Prix” for overall winner.

There are no companies from Turkey who were shortlisted or awarded by PMA.

Award Web Site:

4.       Brandon Hall Excellence Awards

Brandon Hall Excellence Awards are given since 1994. The award recognizes the best organizations that have successfully deployed programs, strategies, modalities, processes, systems, and tools that have achieved measurable results.

There are 7 categories and more than 80 sub-categories at this award. More than 600 companies win gold/silver/bronze award in a year.

Although Brandon Hall Excellence Awards are given since 1994, first awards companies from Turkey received date 2011. Since then, 34 companies from Turkey received 92 awards.

Turkcell, Garanti Bank
Türk Telekom, Denizbank, Enerjisa, Garanti Bank, Avea
Migros, Denizbank, Avea, Türkiye İş Bankası
Denizbank, Turkcell, Horizon Hızlı Tüketim, Koç Holding, Enerjisa, Eczacıbaşı Holding
TEB, Turkcell Global Bilgi (Sağlık Bahçesi, Patika, Bilge Adam ile birlikte), Eczacıbaşı Holding, Acıbadem, Vodafone, Vestel, Tofaş, Albaraka Türk, Garanti Bank, Carrefoursa, Doğa Okulları, Cigna Finans, Teknosa, Bilim İlaç, Defacto, Omsan Lojistik
Türk Telekom, Yapı Kredi, Türk Asset, Turkcell, Doğuş Holding, İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi, Yıldız Holding, Eczacıbaşı İlaç Pazarlama, Türkiye Finans, Boyner, Domino’s Pizza, Eczacıbaşı Holding, Enerjisa, Defacto

In 2007, only one company from Turkey won an award. Howeever in 2016, the number of award winner from Turkey was 31! 

When all the information above is considered together;
-          It seems that companies started to attach more importance to employee experience especially since 2010s and develop practices / programs for employees; received awards with them.
-          Most of the awards were received for “Learning & development programmes”. Companies might have invested more on learning & development programmes than any other field.  
-          Receiving an international award has become important and such a trend in Turkey in the last 4 years. It has mostly become prestigious in HR environment to receive them.
-          Banking and telecommunications are the top sectors attaching great importance to these awards. 
-          ATD and Brandon Hall give lots of awards each year and companies in Turkey are especially interested in these awards.

*There are lots of other international awards HR departments in Turkey received such as Stevie, HR Excellence Awards, etc. However, considering that ATD, SHRM, CIPD and Brandon Hall are the most important ones, this article focuses only on them. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Transformation of Predictions in HR since 2015

Every year Bersin By Deloitte publishes “Predictions” that will impact HR and talent.  

This article shows the predictions for 2015, 2016 and 2017, including similarities and changes over time.

As will be seen below, the most common point in the last 3 reports is the increase in importance of engagement. It means companies realize that employees are the most important capital they have to reach the target.    

Furthermore, in 2015 “integrated talent management” was a hot topic (the approach that recruitment, career management, performance management, succession planning, L&D and all other fields of HR need to work in an integrated way as an end to end process.) However, in 2017 topics like the future of work, organizational design, culture and feedback, and design thinking in HR seem more important. Change in performance management, feed-back design will be seen more also in 2017.

The scheme showing the top priorities in HR according to Bersin By Deloitte’s prediction reports.

Engagement and Culture
Engagement is the number two issue on the minds of HR leaders (preceded only by leadership).
Today, it has become the center of all major talent, leadership and HR strategies.
Engagement and Culture
Real-time feedback, culture assessment tools, and other ways to capture and measure employee feedback will become a major new discipline within HR and business. (pulse survey, feedback app, social recognition tools)
Engagement and Culture
As a whole, the entire workforce (from Boomers to Millennials) is becoming more demanding than ever— pushing the topic of culture to ever higher levels of priority.
Performance Management
In 2015, organizations should look to make it more simple, transparent, and developmental in nature.
Performance Management
We have entered a new era of “management thinking”—one which takes us to a new set of principles about how we lead and empower people, and how we set goals and evaluate performance.
Performance Management
The change in performance management (moving from an annual to continuous model) will be supported by a new breed of performance management software vendors.
Simplifying Workforce
Employees in almost all roles are “overwhelmed” by the ever-increasing flood of technology, messages, and tasks at work. Simplifying is important. (flexible working, open Office, free food, small teams, simplifying work environment etc
Talent Management
A new generation of performance management, recruitment, learning, wellness, and employee feedback systems will arrive, supporting new models and tools for people management.
Redesign of performance management process, typically moving from top-down rating and ranking to a feedback-centric, developmental, often rating-less model.
Organizational Design
Organization design, including structure, roles, talent mobility, and the role of leadership, must become flexible and adaptive—changing many elements of HR.
(Break functional groups into teams—teams that are smaller, flatter, and more empowered—and leaders should focus on hands-on leadership, not leadership from behind a desk)
Corporate Learning
2015 is a transformational year for L&D; organizations should redesign their “learning architecture,” and bring formal, informal, and the exploding world of external content into an integrated digital learning experience for employees.
Despite the growth in digital content, face-to-face learning is back. As organizations become more global, we need to meet each other to learn and share.
Corporate Learning
Learning teams will focus more on “experience” and less on “program design,” and end-to-end design thinking will spread throughout L&D; curation and knowledge-sharing will grow.
Learning & Development
The corporate L&D market is undergoing one of its most disruptive times in the last 15 years.
Talent Acquisition
In 2015, organizations must embrace network recruiting, and focus on brand, candidate relationship management, referral recruiting, the data science of recruiting, and leveraging external networks.
Digital HR will change the way we think about HR programs, service delivery, and how we curate and design the employee experience. (mobile app for employees)
This new digital focus for HR is not simply about technology; it changes the way we serve and support employees.
HR needs to do digital and be digital in everything
Talent Mobility
Companies that embrace mobility, and all it entails, create strong leadership, capability, and employee engagement.

If we offer people a process for “facilitated talent mobility,” then we can keep high performers, people are constantly being developed and challenged, the company thrives on a strong internal culture, and overall engagement increases.
Diversity and Inclusion
Inclusion and diversity will become an integral part of talent, HR, and business strategies at all levels. Companies not focused on this area will rush to catch up and learn.
After nearly two years of research, our findings point out conclusively that the highest-performing companies embed “inclusion” into talent practices everywhere in their organizations.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity, inclusion, and the removal of unconscious bias will become CEO-level issues in 2017.
Building a global leadership pipeline requires a continuous focus on leadership at all levels. The leadership gap is wider than ever. In 2015, we must reinvest in the assessment and development of leaders to drive engagement, retention, and performance.
Companies will continue to struggle with leadership development; leaders will advance young leaders faster, push new leadership models, and spend more money on end-to-end leadership programs. Mentoring and multigenerational support programs will grow and proliferate.
While HR practices tell us to promote leaders who are “ready,” in today’s rapidly changing companies we need to actively build leaders “through leadership experiences”— and let people lead sooner.
In 2017, a focus on “digital leadership” and rethinking the leadership pipeline will be critical to addressing this perennial problem.
Young people shold better be pushed into leadership roles, supported so they can grow and improve
Talent Analytics
Now is the time for talent analytics. Off-the-shelf tools, a growing network of experts, and high-return case studies are making integrated talent analytics a “must do” for organizations in 2015.
People Analytics
People analytics will start to enter the mainstream of HR; many jobs will open up and new sources of data will start to feed the analytics team.
Several cloud-based analytics vendors are now offering outsourced “retention prediction” tools and sentiment analysis tools.
Real-time feedback, pulse surveys, text and narrative analytics, and network analytics tools will become mainstream in 2017.
HR Technology
Integrated talent and HR technology is now easier to find than ever. In 2015, organizations should budget and put in place a plan to replace and upgrade systems—to build an engaging “system of engagement” for managers and employees.
Employee Experience People Data
Organizations will continue to replace core HR systems with integrated cloud technology, but it will be expensive, time-consuming, and may not deliver on all of the talent management tools we need.
Employee Experience
The concept of “total employee experience,” focused on design thinking and the simplification of work, will become a major focus in HR.
The disciplines of design thinking, experience design, and digital app design will start to go mainstream within HR. Most HR teams will stop designing “programs” and start designing “experiences.”
HR Team
With all of the changes taking place in business and technology, HR professionals should develop themselves, stay current on tools and our profession, and learn to become treasured consultants.
A focus on employee wellbeing, productivity, and health will become an integral part of HR’s mission in 2017.
The strategy for 2017 is to move HR from the “personnel department” to a new role as the “consultant in human performance.”

Although there are very important points at this scheme that companies need to integrate to their approaches, in reality it doesn’t work that fast. Most of the companies even weren’t adapted to “integrated talent management” that has still been talking since the beginning of 2010s.
However if we are talking about “strategic HR” or taking place at C-suite, then we need to be more pro-active, focus more on understanding needs of the business and how to better serve for achieving company’s targets.

Also, in Turkey, most of the companies are very far from catching these trends. Employer brand management, real-time feedback, personalized performance management, people analytics, diversity and inclusion, simplifying workforce are brand new topics that a few large companies focus on.

What about the situation in your country? Will you catch these predictions in 2017?