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AI
Published on
June 26, 2024

Article: Three areas where HR Can Use the New ChatGPT-4o to Improve the Workplace (Swedish)

Would you like to get started with the new ChatGPT-4o? Read our colleague's latest article in HR-Svepet!
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Line Thomson
Founder & senior People Partner
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Would you like to know how the new ChatGPT-4 can revolutionize HR work?

This week, our colleague wrote an inspiring post for HR-Svepet, highlighting the use cases for this new AI technology. From what we've heard, it was well-received, and we've received several questions about how we use AI in our work. The answer is: every day. Additionally, we will be hosting several workshops for companies this fall, where we will share strategies and methods for integrating AI into their workplaces. Does your company want to get started with ChatGPT but don't know how? Contact us, and we can discuss the setup and how we can tailor the content to fit your workplace.

You can find the full article here.
Want even more inspiration on how to use ChatGPT-4? Read the article where you get five tips on how to use ChatGPT in your daily life.

Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast" - a business mantra that dominated fast-growing companies for the last decade, but why? What does it mean?

Within the world of business and fast-moving companies, there is one mantra that rings true for all of them “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Mark Fields, the former CEO of Ford, realized in 2006 already that culture is more important than strategy. His reasoning revolved around the customer and the fact that the modern organization should be agile and adaptive to the ever-changing needs and desires of its customer. This does not mean that Fields believed strategy to be unimportant, but it means that it does not matter how good your business strategy is, it will fail without a company culture that encourages and empowers your people to implement it (read more here). In other words, according to another great thinker; “Power to the People!” (John Lennon, 1971).


Freedom and Autonomy


Although it is strange to find CEOs and political peace activists to be of the same opinion, there is a truth in what they believe. But what does this mean in reality? According to me, that means that, over time, we have got more freedom and autonomy to make decisions, in our personal and professional lives – which is for the better. Globalization and the internet have opened a window of choice and opportunity. This has naturally only been enhanced by free market forces in our everyday personal lives, but also in our professional lives. The entrance of a new, generally higher educated, workforce in the market and the flattening out of traditional hierarchies within organizations over time, has propelled the advance of professional positions with more decision-making power. A company used to have one or a few bosses who called all the shots. Rigid hierarchical systems made for narrow and isolated decision-making processes, causing all kinds of problems from obvious biases, tunnel vision, and even blatant arrogance or naivety. More and more decisions are being made outside the board rooms and C-level suites.


Just think about the number of vacancies that have included some sort of requirement related to decision-making, e.g.: “excellent decision-making skills”, “ability to make sound and effective decisions”, “proven track record of effective decision-making”, and “excellent problem-solving skills”. All these requirements show some form of autonomy and decision-making power that is included in the position. More evidence can be found in the tech industry which is often a frontrunner for economic and societal trends nowadays. Within the software industry, we see a lot of these similar ideas and terms. Terms like “hive-mind decision-making” and “mob programming” indicate a similar trend and a better understanding of democratic decision-making.


Culture, Decision-making & Empowerment


So, you might wonder, how are culture and decision-making related? Simple. Empowerment is the bridge between culture and decision-making. Once you empower your employees to make their own decisions, they will need some sort of guide to lean back on. A guide that will help them to make decisions related to setting goals, making priorities, scheduling, time management etcetera. In other words, they need a sort of guiding set of principles that help them motivate and prioritize decisions. Do you feel where I am going with this? Exactly, they need a culture that helps them in their everyday work life. A good culture means that people can take more decentralized decisions. They are not reliant on leaders to show them how to act, prioritize or behave in relation to their work. This means that your organization becomes more agile and resilient as leaders can be busy or absent. Less dependency also means that it is easier for your organization to exchange actors if need be. Think about your company as a sports team. It is easy to exchange players from your team if the overarching system works and if the team spirit is good. Individual players know what to do (overarching structure) and how to do it (team spirit).


The strong case for a competent culture to create a resilient and adaptive organization does not exclude the fact that a good strategy is needed to achieve the goals of the business. That is also not the original point that Fields made. His point was that, if you must prioritize your time, your first priority should be your culture and your second priority should be your strategy. A company with a bad strategy but good culture might succeed because empowered individuals can overcome the lack of structure through their individual decisions. But a company with a good strategy and bad culture will almost definitely fail as the unempowered employees will or cannot implement the strategy in practice. That is the key difference. That is why culture eats strategy for breakfast if you want to create a sustainable business.  


Read more about how culture eats strategy for breakfast and how we can use culture as an organizational tool here.  


Line Thomson
January 12, 2023
New dates added! At Peops Relations, we are proud to present our spring event calendar, packed with opportunities to grow, network, and develop! Whether you're looking to sharpen your skills, network with colleagues in the industry, or discover the latest trends, we have something for you. Check out our calendar and plan your spring with us!

We are releasing a new update with more dates for our spring events. Register as soon as possible, as spaces can quickly fill up.

Inspiration After Work (24 April)

Line Thomson (Peops Relations) and Cecilia Hållner (People Value) will host an interactive round-table discussion on current HR topics. Our speakers will introduce the topic and then moderate the discussions. The goal is for you to take away new insights that you can utilize at your workplace.

Registration is made through this link - or via email to Calle@peopsrelations.se

Attracting Competence (22 May)

Our view of work is continuously changing, which also means that our view on rewards is constantly changing. If you want to find out what is important and how people want to be rewarded for their work, then you should not miss this seminar!

Peops Relations Celebrates 5 Years! Join us as we celebrate five successful years together! We´ll invite you personally to this event, stay tuned!

All events will be held at the Rådhuset in Uppsala. Hope to see you there!

Calle Engström
March 15, 2024
What Work Samples are and why you should use them in recruitment processes

Research has time and time again shown that the best way to asses a candidate is through multiple assessment methods. A combination of different forms of assessment methods with will give you the highest probability of hiring the right candidate. Some forms of assessment methods are quite straight forward, such as structured interviews, behavioural interviews, and personality assessments, but there are others which are a bit harder to understand.

One that consistently shows up in research as being one of the best predicators of whether or not somebody fits the job is a knowledge exam or ability test or "work sample". A work sample is quite simply an example of your skills in a work-related environment. In this blog, we will dig in a bit deeper in work samples, their advantages and disadvantages.

Two types of work samples

In general, there are two types of work samples. The first type focusses on the developmental potential of candidates and in how far they are fit to learn the job at hand. This type of test is often part of the recruitment process for a traineeship or apprenticeship, after which the hired candidate first goes through a trial period where he/she learns the job at hand. Here you can think of examples such as military fitness tests, where potential cadets get tested for their physical and mental condition, or even an auditioning for a role within the music or theatre industry. In both cases potential candidates are not being tested for their current experience or skill but are mostly assessed for their potential to develop.

The second type is a more general work sample and are focussed on testing the prior experience and skillset of the candidate for the job at hand. These are more common and widespread throughout companies. Examples include, a coding work sample for a software engineering job, a use case regarding market expansion for a business development role, a logical puzzle for an analyst position, the list of different roles and work samples can go on and on.

Although the distinction is interesting, it is often so that the two categories are intertwined in the same process: both the present skillset and prior experience as well as the development potential are addressed.

Advantages

Assessing Skills

The first and foremost advantage of work samples is that the result gives an indication on how well a candidate would perform at the job. This is one of the most crucial assessments within a recruitment process. It has been proven that this work samples are crucial to assess whether a candidate possesses the right skills or the ability to train for the right skills. According to Robertson and Downs (1989), and Roth, Bobko and McFarland (2005), work samples increase the accuracy by which recruitment processes can predict whether somebody is fit for the job or fit for learning the job. This alone should be enough of an argument to start using work samples, but there are more arguments which make the case for work samples.

Validation

The second argument for work samples is that it provides validation within the recruitment process. This is not only true for the company, that, of course, needs the validation whether a candidate is truly a good fit for the role, but also for the candidates themselves to get a better understanding of the role, responsibilities, tasks, and their own fit for the role. The work sample exemplifies the competence of the candidate for the company while it also clarifies some aspects of the role for the candidate.

Overcoming Bias

The third advantage of work samples is that the results can be assessed by other members of the team, overcoming subjective opinions or individual biases of the interviewers. The work sample can give an objective answer to one of the most important questions of whether the candidate has the necessary skills to work within the company. Read more about the six most common recruitment biases here.

Contributing to CSR and Inclusion

Corporate Social Responsibility is a quite encompassing field, but basically boils down to that companies should behave socially responsible with regards to people, society, and our environment. Recruitment is also a part of CSR and work samples can contribute to the sense that they are not biased towards ethnicity or gender. Therefore, work samples should be utilized by companies that aim to be an equal opportunity employer as these are a step closer to unbiased recruitment.

Quantifying Results

In recruitment it is difficult to measure how well one candidate would fit versus another. Quantifiable results therefore make it easier to choose with whom to proceed, but also to whom to decline. Quantifiable results allow for informed decisions rather than just trusting your instincts and basing your judgement on individual interviews. According to Gilliland (1995), applicants that receive work samples perceive them as a very fair part of the recruitment process. Therefore, feedback based upon work samples is also perceived as such.

Measuring Recruitment Process

The advantage of quantifiable results is also that it allows for measuring the performance of the different stages of your recruitment process. Again, these results are not based upon the individual impressions of the interviewers, and the results are therefore quite reliable. The results of the measurement can give an indication about the required standards for the role, if you are attracting the right candidates, and about how well your interviewers are filtering out candidates who are not fit for the role. For example, if most candidates easily pass the interviews, but seem to keep dropping off at the work sample, then this might say something about the required standards of the role which perhaps require adjustment or the quality of your interviewers who perhaps must be more attentive.

High Return On Investment

This argument is more applicable to more specific functions which require more specific skills than less specific functions requiring fewer specific skills. The idea is that, although it takes time, money and effort to develop these work samples, it produces clear data by which decisions can be made, saving more time, money and effort on multiple interviews, meetings and other methods which aim to achieve the same results. It is also important to highlight that work samples save you from hiring the wrong candidates, which could end up being the costliest mistake that you can make, in terms of time, money and effort.

Now let’s turn to the disadvantages of work samples, most of which I have briefly highlighted above.

Disadvantages

Time & Effort

The first disadvantage is quite obvious in that it takes time and effort into developing a proper work sample. Time and effort are often not a resource of abundance within a company, especially not when a new position opens up. Most departments would like to see their new employee up and running as soon as possible. Therefore, time and effort should both be minimal, and work sample require both time and effort to create and tailor according to your recruitment profile.

Cost

The argument that often follows behind time and effort is the argument of cost. This is not surprising as both time and effort cost money, in one way or another. Keeping costs low to create operational value should be one of the main objectives of a financial sustainable company. Still, here I would argue it is a matter of perspective. Hiring an employee is an investment. The better you have assessed who the right candidate is, the more sustainable your relationship will be with your future employee. So, whether we are talking time, effort, or money, we would argue that the benefits outweigh the costs, and, we, as Peops Relations, can make them cost-effective.

In conclusion

Work samples have grown out to be a necessary part of every recruitment process. Work samples give an indication on how skilled candidates are, validate the candidate’s competences as well as the candidate’s perception of the role, overcome biases, lead to more inclusive hiring, and have a high return on investment. There is really no good reason not to include work samples in your hiring process, they are vital for a successful process. The only reasons to not include work samples are time, effort and cost, however, we would argue that it is more expensive, and a waste of time and effort, to search aimlessly without any result, or even worse: to hire the wrong candidate. Read more about considerations of work samples here or get in touch with us if you need help setting up your own work samples and overcoming excessive expenses.  

Line Thomson
August 18, 2022

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