HR Tech Replay: “The expert’s vision” by Arnauld Mitre, co-founder of Coorpacademy

Rédaction Blog

3 years ago


HR Tech Show 16/10: How can successful offboarding help a company’s employer brand?

-Alexia : Hello Arnauld. So, is this your last column?

Hi Alexia. Yes indeed… But I’m not sad: to prepare my topic, I read a lot of articles on offboarding, i.e. the support given to employees when they leave, and I understood that this stage should be played down! So everything is going well!

What’s more, with Julie, your producer, as I’m sure you’re concerned about your “employer brand”, I feel that you’ve organised a great farewell party, bringing together all the guests from the last 6 weeks, Quentin and Arnaud, your Minute Geek columnists, and so on… Did you collect a lot of money for my fund?

-Alexia : But Arnauld, none of that… I’d like to remind you that you’re our partner and also a businessman, not a BFM Business employee!

Ah ? OK… You’re right… I think I got carried away reading all those articles on the proper management of departures…

Because it’s true that if the offboarding process is well formalised in the company, everything should go like clockwork: handing over of files, internal announcement, departure review, etc., etc…

It is easy to understand why the departure must go well: the former employee must remain an ambassador for the company he or she is leaving. And we all know the ravages of a bad review on the internet.

It’s true, Alexia, we all have an example of a hotel where, despite the 100 positive reviews we’ve just read, all we have to do is come across the one that says “the bathroom was dirty”, and we think “ah yes, but maybe not, so in fact…”.

-Alexia: Yes, that’s for sure. That must speak to a lot of people!

Well, Alexia, it’s the same thing in the recruitment world! Are you familiar with the Glassdoor website?

-Alexia: Yes of course!

So it’s an anonymous rating site for companies by employees, past and present. And it’s not to be taken lightly! The site claims to have 50 million unique visitors each month who come to view reviews of over 800,000 companies worldwide. Company reviews, interview stories, salary information. The site even allows you to compare two companies. Useful if you are hesitating between two job offers.

On paper, the promise of this type of site is tempting: to offer candidates a more realistic representation of a company than that conveyed by its corporate site.

Obviously, as with customer review sites, this also raises many questions: the representativeness of the reviews (aren’t it often the disgruntled who are most likely to post reviews?), the veracity of the reviews (some companies encourage their employees who are still in post to give their reviews), the business model (these sites earn their living by charging companies for services).

When questioned, candidates themselves say they are a bit dubious (according to a study found on the CAIRN portal).

Nevertheless! According to Glassdoor data, 2 thirds of candidates read at least 5 reviews before making up their mind about the company they are considering joining!

So, to avoid damaging your employer brand, you have no choice but to leave well enough alone. Hence the importance of a good departure management process!

-Alexia: You don’t seem very convinced Arnauld…

Of course I am!

The web has given a tremendous power to all users, to be able to give their opinion and potentially share it with the rest of the world. In many areas, this has rebalanced the balance of power between the business world (hotels or restaurants as well as employers) and the user world (customers as well as employees or candidates).

It is a great power and as Spiderman said, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

So be careful never to abuse it…


HR Tech Show 09/10: The need to work on your emotional intelligence in the age of artificial intelligence

Alexia, today it’s not really a column that I’m proposing to you: we’re more in the field of news, of scoop!

-Alexia: Really?

Yes! Breaking News: To measure a person’s intelligence, it’s not enough to measure their intelligence quotient, their IQ, you also have to take into account their emotional intelligence, i.e. our capacity to recognise, understand and analyse our emotions, but also to deal with the emotions of others!

-Alexia: Well yes, but Arnauld, everyone knows that, it’s even the theme of today’s programme!

Yes, you’re right, Alexia, I know I’m pushing an open door…

And yet, several surprising things struck me during the preparation of this column.

The first is that the notion of EQ, emotional quotient, is very recent. About thirty years ago. Whereas the notion of IQ dates back well over a century.

In the business world, this means that for decades, the major criterion for evaluating an employee’s performance was considered to be his or her IQ, and that emotions (ours and those of others) had no place in the office.

The second is that many companies have not yet grasped the importance of emotional intelligence. According to a recent study by Capgemini, only 40% of them test the EQ of candidates when hiring, and less than 1 in 5 companies train all their employees in the development of emotional intelligence.

-Alexia: ah yes, that’s low.

Yes, it’s not much. Especially if you subscribe to the thesis of Daniel Goleman, doctor in psychology and pioneer in the field, who states that two thirds of a company’s results are due to the emotional skills of its managers.

Why is this? Because our emotions are intimately linked to our ability to think and make decisions.

So without awareness and management of our emotions and those of others, we risk making bad choices.

Let’s take a concrete example. Many managers may find themselves confronted with feelings of fear: fear of not delivering results, fear of disappointing their superiors or fear of giving feedback to an employee who may threaten to leave the company. If we don’t know how to control this feeling, this fear can lead to immobility (it’s better to do nothing than to do something wrong), to avoidance (I’d rather not offend him, I need him too much), or to excessive pressure on a team (my stress becomes your stress because we have to meet our objectives!).

-Alexia: So what should we do?

Well, the good news is that unlike IQ, which is relatively static, EQ can change. It is no coincidence that the World Economic Forum has included in its list of 10 soft skills that every employee will need by 2025 many elements related to emotional intelligence: resilience, stress management, flexibility, but also leadership or social influence… Training platforms offering catalogues to work on these soft skills, such as ours, but there are of course other examples, contribute to increasing the competence of all employees on these subjects.

In short, in the age of Artificial Intelligence, we need to work on our Emotional Intelligence!

But we can dream of a world where children are taught to work on their emotional intelligence right from school. Many experiments conducted in the United States and Europe show that children obtain better results, free themselves from their anxieties and approach life more serenely.

Because, Alexia, it’s not necessarily those who had the best results at school who were the most successful professionally, is it?

-Alexia: That’s right, we all have a few examples in mind…

In the world of work, is EQ more important than IQ?

Probably, since in most jobs we work with other human beings…

And remembering this can’t hurt, even if it’s not a scoop…


HR Tech show of 02/10: Is commitment at the heart of knowledge transmission?

-Alexia: So Arnauld, has the topic of Story Learning inspired you this week?

Well, Alexia, you’re not thinking straight. I’ll even tell you a little story:

Once upon a time, in the wonderful land of knowledge, there was a beautiful princess who loved to learn. Unfortunately, her teachers were so boring that she often took a nose dive. When she woke up, like a curse cast on her, she had systematically forgotten everything.

One day, after a particularly boring lesson, she fell asleep for good: she was called…

-Alexia: Sleeping Beauty?


100 years passed.

A prince, who was passing by, had the idea to teach her what he knew by presenting it as a novel.

She woke up, having retained and understood everything as if by magic!

They lived happily ever after and had many children…

… And posted pictures of their happiness on Instagram regularly, but that’s another subject…

Did you like it?

-Alexia: yes, but why are you telling me this?

Well, Alexia, what I have tried to do through this little tale is to engage you in my story. And why? Because engagement is at the heart of the transmission of knowledge.

So, in truth, it’s not really new. I would even say that it is in our genes! In fact, most animals learn through play, because play stimulates and encourages the anchoring of knowledge. In the end, it was only man who once imagined that teaching should be serious and grave.

Be careful, I say “serious AND severe”, and therein lies the misunderstanding! Because you can say serious things without being severe (as we try to demonstrate every week, don’t we?)

-Alexia: Absolutely!

What the animals do through these games is what we should all dream of: learning without even realising it, like Mr Jourdain who writes prose without knowing it (a little cultural reference while we are at it… ;))

The good news is that for several years now, we have been seeing a lot of initiatives that go in this direction, even in the world of continuing education, i.e. in companies, which are undeniably the realm of seriousness and gravity!

I am thinking, for example, of the English company Video Arts, founded almost 50 years ago by John Cleese, a former Monty Python, which produces training videos with a very English sense of humour in which good managerial behaviour is demonstrated, but through the absurd. Their cult training is called “Meetings, Bloody meetings”.

-Alexia: quite a programme indeed!

Another example: Duolingo, a mobile application for learning languages through games, has 300 million users worldwide and offers, in addition to the 38 languages available, to teach you more exotic languages, such as “Klingon”, the fictional language of Star Trek!

On our training platform, we have been offering our users courses on general culture for the past two years, which we designed with Trivial Pursuit, where you have to win, module after module, all the colours of the pie chart, just like in the real game.

To go further, in a few weeks we’re launching a series with Cluedo, where to help Colonel Mustard solve the enigma of Mr Boddy’s death, users will have to mobilise their negotiation, active listening and empathy skills… Serious skills, used without even realising it, as if we were playing a board game!

-Alexia: Is this what we call gamification?

Yes and no. The word “gamification” implies taking something serious and trying to make it fun. This is often not the case.

If we dream that users will one day talk about our training content as they do at the coffee machine when talking about the latest series, it is better to do the opposite: start with the codes of entertainment, of the game, and add some seriousness.

We can then talk about entertaining: entertainment + learning.

And if everyone gets on board, learning throughout our lives will become, with a wave of a magic wand, a real fairy tale…


HR Tech Show of 25/09: HR predictive tools: Big data or Big brother?

The dream, Alexia, the dream! Predictive HR tools now allow us to recruit the best performers, detect the highest potential and offer them personalised career paths, or even predict the resignations of key employees.

A dream, I tell you!

But I have a doubt: would I be sitting in front of you right now if you had used this type of tool to select your columnists?

-Alexia: Who knows! I don’t know…

Anyway, Big Brother has just been appointed HRD.

As a company director, I know that recruitment and career management are among the most difficult exercises in the life of a company.

So the prospect offered by its Big Data-based tools is very promising.

Successful examples can be cited, such as the “My Itinerary” application set up by Orange a little over ten years ago, which enables each employee to visualise possible career paths, open positions and training courses that he or she can follow based on the skills that he or she currently possesses.

Still on the subject of training, on the platform that we offer to our clients, the behaviour of all users is stored anonymously and then processed in order to feed the course recommendations that we make to each person connected, to try to best match their needs for skill enhancement.

In terms of recruitment, a study by the very serious Harvard Business Review shows that by using algorithms, the employees hired perform 25% better on average than when a human makes the decision. Why is this? Because our brains are excellent when it comes to collecting the data needed to make a decision, but pretty bad when it comes to weighing up the pros and cons between several hypotheses.

We can also cite the case of those companies that analyse the weak signals sent, sometimes in spite of themselves, by employees (travel time, remuneration, number of projects managed or absenteeism) to anticipate and possibly avoid departures.

-Alexia: So why so much reluctance?

Well, Alexia, it’s the word “predictive” that raises questions. Because everyone knows that predicting the future is very difficult, if not impossible: Nostradamus and Paco Rabanne have paid the price…

I am thinking, for example, of my favourite streaming platform which, in the “recommended for you” section, only offers me cartoons since I had the misfortune to watch Winnie the Pooh with my children from my profile.

Or that recent day when an online merchant started suggesting that I buy a banknote counter, probably thinking that I had just started trafficking in some way…

These two examples are of course not serious, I just don’t click and everything is forgotten.

But when it comes to applying Big Data to the upstream selection of candidates’ files, for example, you have to be well aware of the limits that such a system can present.

For example, Alexia, do you believe that a person’s future job can be determined in advance?

-Alexia: So from a technological, technical point of view, no, I don’t think so. I think that we can still change our minds at the last moment, have an epiphany!

That would mean that our individual desires and motivations are so secondary that they don’t count in our professional decision-making.

Not easy to admit, is it?

Even Google has backtracked on the use of Big Data in recruitment, admitting that after analysing tens of thousands of resumes, combing through interviews, and looking at the performance of recruits, they found no correlation…

Predictive systems work well when the past looks like the future, i.e. in environments with little change.

But recent history has shown us that our repositories can completely change in a few months, days or even hours.

So, yes, HR Big Data! Of course it is!

But only if you have the choice to click. Or not…


HR Tech Show of 18/09: Onboarding, why do first impressions play such a determining role?

Alexia, you arrived not so long ago on BFM Business, would you say that you had a good onboarding?

– Alexia: I was lucky enough to have a great producer, Julie Cohen, whom I salute, and yes, she was superb with me anyway, so very good onboarding.

Well, you’re lucky, because a lot of employees who joined their new company during the chaotic period we’ve just been through have found it rather difficult: 100% digital, to make a place for yourself in a new environment, it has its limits!

Especially as first impressions of the new company, even in ‘normal’ times, play a determining role in the future.

Did you know, Alexia, that according to a 2018 study, 1 in 5 employees leave their company within the first 3 months, and 4% even leave on the first day?

– Alexia: I didn’t expect that much!

So the first few days are key!

So how do you make a good impression when you are a company and you welcome a new employee?

Probably, to start with, by realising that you need an onboarding process… Don’t laugh, a study by Mercuri Urval shows that ⅔ of companies don’t have one. Or didn’t have one…

Because the good news is that the health crisis has forced companies to look into the subject (how do you welcome someone in the middle of a lockdown?) and therefore to speed up the digitalisation of the onboarding process.

The bad news? It sometimes boiled down to: meetings with colleagues via Zoom/Teams/Meet, e-aperos on Zoom/Teams/Meet, weekly plenary sessions on Zoom/Teams/Meet… Not easy to develop a sense of belonging to a group in these conditions!

-Alexia: So what is the right formula?

Well, as in many areas, the right answer is probably hybridisation, a clever mix of digital and physical. With the gradual return to the office, many things are becoming possible again. In our company, for example, we have just launched a board game for new employees, where each week they have to discover their job and the company culture in order to advance in their quest to become a real “coorper”, as our employees call themselves.

But there are some areas that lend themselves particularly well to digital, such as the training of newcomers. Of course, this does not mean replacing the direct transmission of knowledge by peers. But the digitalisation of business training, or training on products and services, has the advantage of structuring the discourse and thus avoiding the unintentional omission of certain elements that may seem too obvious to the most experienced employees.

This type of training also makes it possible to quickly make remote employees operational, for example in networks of shops or franchisees.

A final example of an induced benefit: these digital training courses can also bring employees who have been with the company for a long time and who sometimes no longer dare or cannot admit that they do not know everything up to speed.

Finally, a clear distinction must be made between the provision of knowledge about the business, a task that can be given to an employee who will be called, for example, the newcomer’s coach, and the transmission of the company culture, the whole informal part. This last function can be entrusted to another employee who can be called a Mentor or Buddy.

Because we must not forget that the grail of successful onboarding is not that the newcomer develops a FEELING of belonging, but rather a PIERCE of belonging.

And the nuance is important…


HR Tech Show of 11/09: Back to school in 2021, campuses continue their digital transition

“Classrooms are dead! Long live classrooms!” This little phrase may well sum up the paradox that university and secondary school campuses are facing today, just like most companies.

Indeed, after long months of forced distance learning, the majority of students want to return to the classroom, but beware of “not like before either”!

(And it’s exactly the same when we ask employees in companies: “we want to come back, but not all the time. we want to be flexible!)

This is where the puzzle begins: how to manage “Blended Learning”? That is, the combination of physical and distance learning. Because all whisky lovers know that it is not enough to mix blindly to obtain a good product!

At the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, where we have premises, an eminent professor told me, in view of this column, that the students cannot stand even a week of non-stop online classes. So they tried hybrid systems with one third of the students in class and two thirds by video conference. But as with meetings of this type in companies, it is difficult to manage: those in the room forget those who are at a distance and interactions between the teacher and the students become complicated.

Not to mention the “digital inequality” issues! It is enough to note our dismay when faced with an ADSL connection or when our mobile phone indicates that we are on 3G (??!!)

A good idea is undoubtedly, beyond the tools, to rethink the “traditional” teaching protocol, i.e. lessons in class and exercises at home.

In Lausanne, a small quarter of the teachers have opted for the flipped classroom: online lessons at home and face-to-face sessions dedicated to questions and practical work.

Students appreciate the “framed” autonomy offered to them as well as the changing role of the teacher who becomes a “companion” during classroom sessions.

A study has shown that this face-to-face practical work was crucial for understanding and anchoring knowledge: at the beginning of the practical session and after having followed the online courses, only 25% of the students in the study obtained the average in the knowledge test. At the end of the session with the teacher, 75% of them obtained the average on the same test.

The teacher’s support remains at the heart of the success of a flipped classroom: phew!

The question now is whether the results obtained by the students are better than those obtained with the traditional teaching protocol, and here the answer seems less obvious, with some studies showing that they are, and others showing that the results are the same. What is certain is that no study on the subject has shown a drop in results with the flipped classroom!

OK… Great…

But are there ways to go further? For example, can we imagine distance learning exams? Not only can we imagine it, but it already exists. In the Anglo-Saxon world, they are called “take home exams” or in French “tests non supervised”. This is a test given to students to take when they want to without supervision within a given time frame. It is usually open book. It is particularly applicable when students’ ability to apply knowledge to a specific situation, context or problem is to be assessed: a case study for example. In short, to cases where there is no ready-made answer.

Of course, there is the problem of “cheating”, in this case getting help from someone (because obviously copying texts is no longer possible with the widespread use of anti-plagiarism software). As a result, it is still necessary to alternate this type of examination with more traditional classroom examinations to validate the acquisition of skills.

But these exams, which are based on the empowerment of students by offering them autonomy and therefore flexibility, are increasingly used on campus: another good way of mixing on-campus and “virtual” moments.

We are all convinced that we will not go back to the old world. What students want is not so different from what we all want: the best of the campus of the past (social interactions) + the best of the campus of today (autonomy and flexibility offered by the tools) = the campus of tomorrow.

And, but really, that’s the equation of progress, isn’t it?

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