Top hr Articles of 2015—from talent acquisition to company culture

Eyeglasses sitting on a folded newspaper

5 mins, 15 secs read time


To succeed as HR professionals, we must be constantly aware of the status of our industry—the trends, the data, the outside influences—so that we can stay in the know and change up our game plan as necessary. This is crucial if we want to be able to attract (and keep!) top talent in a competitive market.

With this in mind, we're pleased to share with you a 2015 compilation of 10 of the most-read articles from around the web that we've featured in our weekly newsletter, offering a unique and timely perspective on talent acquisition, company culture, and everything in between. We invite you to grab a coffee, a comfy pillow, and perhaps some reading glasses, too, and peruse these articles to learn how you should be thinking about (and perhaps adjusting) your own recruiting and HR practices in the new year:

1. Building the Workplace We Want, Slack Staff

The Official Slack Blog “Several People Are Typing,” January 12, 2015

Key takeaway: Great companies are very deliberate about creating a great product, but they need to be just as deliberate about fostering a great company culture. Both require much thought, dedication, and consistent re-examination and honing.

Thought-provoking quote: “…culture is the manifestation of what your company values. What you reward, who you hire, how work is done, how decisions are made—all of these things are representations of the things you value and the culture you’ve wittingly or unwittingly created.”

2. Designing the Hiring Process: Uncovering the Collective Wisdom of Design Leaders About Their Hiring Processes, Michael Owens

Medium, January 22, 2015

Key takeaway: During the hiring process, you should evaluate design candidates based on two groups: all designers and design managers. All designers should be assessed on their communication and problem-solving skills, their inherent passion, and their willingness to take ownership, while design managers should be assessed on their ability and desire to guide other designers and promote a collaborative environment.

Thought-provoking quote: "Many design managers have years of experience refining their design chops, but very few have had the opportunity to refine their management skills."

3. The Next Frontier in Talent Acquisition Is Marketing, Michael Hennessy

ERE Media, February 18, 2015

Key takeaway: The recruiting landscape is changing. Companies that wish to compete for top talent must now strengthen the marketing angle of their recruiting efforts, particularly when it comes to establishing and communicating a strong, authentic employer brand story.

Thought-provoking quote: “In order to create branded campaigns and effectively nurture longer-term relationships with the right talent, new skills need to enter the recruiting and talent acquisition department…branding, messaging, demand generation, content marketing, email marketing, lead nurturing, and social media.”

4. 11 Interesting Hiring Statistics You Should Know, Peter Economy

Inc., May 5, 2015

Key takeaway: Statistics show that job seekers today are considering more than just salary and compensation; they’re also studying a company’s brand, culture, and values and assessing whether they match their own.

Thought-provoking quote: “69 percent of job seekers would not take a job with a company that has a bad reputation—even if unemployed.”

5. The Ultimate Talent Acquisition Performance Scorecard, Rob McIntosh

ERE Media, June 10, 2015

Key takeaway: To measure the monthly performance of your talent acquisition efforts, create a scorecard with four quadrants:

  • The primary KPIs that talent acquisition (and/or the business) is being measured against
  • The specific challenges that are preventing you from meeting your KPIs
  • The major initiatives that are tied to your fiscal year plan and your status on delivering them
  • The opportunities and plans you have to address the aforementioned challenges

Thought-provoking quote: Business executives are busy people and they want to understand at a glance what is going on. They don’t like looking through an Excel spread sheet with 20 tabs of data, or wading through a 10-page PowerPoint presentation to get to the point. Make the scorecard a one-pager and concise whenever possible.”

6. People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO, Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, and Dennis Carey

HBR, July/August 2015

Key takeaway: CHROs are just as critical to a business’ success as are other chief positions in the company. Through their leadership, talent is built and assigned, shaping the future—and success—of the organization.

Thought-provoking quote: “Businesses don’t create value; people do.”

7. Use the ROI of Great Hires to Break Free from Outdated Hiring Habits, Lou Adler

Inc., July 2, 2015

Key takeaway: Companies focus too heavily on the cost of hiring rather than on making the ROI-justified changes needed to improve quality of hire.

Thought-provoking quote: “If people were considered a capital investment rather than an expense, the CEO and CFO would have demanded better systems long ago.”

8. Want to Hire Great People? Stop Asking Stupid Interview Questions!, Liz Ryan

LinkedIn Pulse, August 5, 2015

Key takeaway: All too often, interviews are treated as one-sided question-and-answer sessions that have the candidate in the hot seat. Good interviews, on the other hand, function as two-way conversations, where the candidate has a chance to learn as much about you and the company as you get to learn about them.

Thought-provoking quote: “You have to be just as willing to sell people on your company as you are willing to let them sell you on themselves.”

9. Why Women Aren’t Applying to Your Jobs, Erin Engstrom

Glassdoor for Employers, September 4, 2015

Key takeaway: A gender-balanced atmosphere makes for an all-around stronger organization. To attract more women to come work at your company, focus on the wording of your job posts, the public perception of your employer brand, and the level of family leave benefits you provide.

Thought-provoking quote: Fostering a culture of gender diversity isn’t just good for women, though—it’s good for men, and it’s good for business.”

10. Why Diversity and Inclusion Will Be a Top Priority for 2016, Josh Bersin

LinkedIn Pulse, December 6, 2015

Key takeaway: A recently completed two-year research study has shown that the highest performing companies are all focused on building an inclusive talent system.

Thought-provoking quote: "Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business statistically outperform their peers."

Modern Recruiter Roundup