7 in 10 Nurses Feel Burned Out at Work

May 8th, 2017 Comments off

Just in time for National Nurses Week, CareerBuilder released a study on the state of nurses in the workforce, particularly as it pertains to job satisfaction. According to the study, 70 percent of nurses say they feel burned out, and 54 percent report high stress levels. When asked what was causing the burnout, 50 percent of nurses reported feeling tired all the time, 35 percent cited sleepless nights, and 33 percent reported weight gain. High anxiety and depression were also contributing factors.

But nurses aren’t the only ones struggling in the workplace. Nursing jobs, which have grown 6 percent since 2012, are expected to grow 7 percent over the next five years, and employers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand. According to the study, 56 percent of health care employers currently have open positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates.

What Does This Mean For You?

When it comes to alleviating burnout, employers do not offer much support. Seventy-eight percent of nurses say their employers don’t offer classes or programs to help employees manage stress. Putting programs in place to help employees manage stress, however, could be a wise business decision.

High stress levels among workers have been linked to lower productivity, higher turnover, increased absenteeism and more on-the-job mistakes – all of which can have a negative effect on the business.

Stop burnout before it starts. Make sure you are checking in with your employees on a regular basis to ensure they are getting the support they need to perform their jobs, manage their workloads and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Get more details from the study here.

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5 Ways Talent Networks Enhance Your Recruiting Strategy

April 25th, 2017 Comments off
talent networks

How many times have you been browsing Amazon and put something in your cart, only to abandon it before you actually make the decision to buy? Job seekers do the same thing when it comes to applying for jobs. Many will go to a company’s career site because they are interested in the company, but not quite ready to apply. So what do you do to keep interested job seekers from leaving your career site – and out of the possibility of future employment — forever?

Two words: Talent network. A talent network is a database of job candidates who have shown an interest in your company. If candidates are not ready to apply — or even if they are — they can join your talent network to receive ongoing communication (via email or text) that enables them to learn more about your company, job openings and other career-related information. By enabling high potential candidates to join your talent network without the pressure to apply, you keep them from slipping through the cracks and keep them engaged for the future.

But that only scratches the surface regarding the benefits of talent networks. Talent networks help you:

  1. Capture candidates before they drop off. It’s rare that a candidate finds a job he or she likes and completes the (often long) application process right away. It’s even rarer for a job seeker to continuously check back on a company’s career site to see if any relevant positions have opened up. Therefore, giving candidates the option to join a talent network in just a few simple clicks can keep them engaged and interested for the long haul.
  2. Save time recruiting. Talent networks enable you to build a pool of interested candidates so that when you have a position to fill – today, tomorrow or even a year from now – you don’t have to create a job ad, post it and wait for applications to trickle in. You can simply go directly to your talent network and source from there.
  3. Save on recruiting costs. With a talent network, you can save money that would normally go toward advertising and recruitment marketing because you’ve already done the groundwork to get candidates interested in your opportunities. And because you can get to work recruiting right away (as mentioned above), you’ll save on costs associated with time-to-hire, such as lost productivity.
  4. Improve the candidate experience. Talent networks do not just benefit companies – candidates reap benefits, too. Not only are they the first to find out about new positions that are relevant to their skills and interests, they also save time going back to your career site and searching for job openings, because the jobs come directly to them – via email or text. Also, talent networks are all about engaging candidates and keeping the lines of communication open, creating a more personal experience that candidates rarely get from companies today.
  5. Get a better quality of hire. Candidates in your talent network are individuals who are truly interested in your company and excited about working there, so they are engaged before they even start. They also take the time to learn about your company, understand the culture and decide for themselves if they would be a good fit. Because hires from your talent network tend to have a deeper knowledge of your company, there is no “buyer’s remorse” once they have joined the company.


Ready to experience the benefits of a talent network? Check out Talentstream Engage: Fill Your Candidate Pool Quickly with Engage as Your Career Site


What Is a Background Check Service?

March 14th, 2017 Comments off
background check service

Hiring a new employee is always a nerve-wracking undertaking — and for good reason. According to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey, 75 percent of employers have hired the wrong person. In addition to costing businesses in terms of lost productivity, lower morale and a compromised quality of work, bad hires cost employers an estimated $17,000 on average. That’s where background check services come in.

According to the same survey, 37 percent of employers who made a bad hire said it was because the employee lied about his or her qualifications. Background check services can minimize such mistakes. They help identify if and when a candidate is being honest about his or her qualifications.

But there’s more to employee background check services than verifying resume claims. Background check services include criminal background checks, employment history verification and a variety of other services to help you hire with confidence, protect your business and protect your current workforce.

Here are four benefits of using background check services:

  1. They minimize hiring mistakes. Background check services look into a candidate’s educational background (degree obtained, schools attended, etc.), employment history (place of employment, years employed, title, etc.), references listed, and any professional licenses he or she claims to have obtained. If a candidate is misrepresenting him- or herself, a background check service will bring any misrepresentations or false claims to light. This can help employers avoid hiring someone who is potentially unqualified for the job (in addition to being untrustworthy).
  2. They improve regulatory compliance. When hiring, employers must adhere to several state and federal guidelines to ensure fair hiring practices. If a company fails to comply with any of these regulations, it could result in steep fines or legal action. A quality background check service provider can help ensure you meet all the necessary compliance requirements.
  3. They improve workplace safety and security. Drug testing, criminal background checks, credit checks and sex offender searches help employers identify any incidents in a candidate’s history that could indicate a potential “bad seed.” Investing time and money in thorough background checks could reduce workplace theft, accidents and violence, thereby creating a safer working environment for your employee.
  4. They decrease negligent hiring risks. Because criminal background checks and drug testing help minimize workplace violence incidents, they also minimize negligent hiring risks. If, for example, an employee is attacked by a co-worker, the victim may file a negligent hiring claim, arguing that the employer knew or should have known there was something in the employee’s background to indicate a dangerous or untrustworthy character. In addition to facing legal action, companies often see damage to their reputations as well. A quality background check service could prevent such a (costly) situation from arising.


Make your next hire with confidence. Check out How to Find the Right Background Check Provider.


2 in 5 Workers Have Dated a Colleague

February 13th, 2017 Comments off
2 in 5 Workers Have Had an Office Romance

If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you work with. That seems to be the attitude more working Americans are taking these days. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 41 percent of American workers have had an office romance. The number is up from 37 percent who said the same last year and the highest it has been since 2007.

Of these workplace romances, 29 percent have been with a higher up – including the person’s boss –  and 19 percent have involved a co-worker who was married at the time.

And though romantic relationships between workers may be more common, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are accepted: 38 percent of workers who have had an office romance had to keep the relationship a secret.

What Does This Mean For You?

There’s good reason many employers are leery of office romances. If they go bad, it can take a toll on performance and morale. In fact, 5 percent of workers who have had office romances left their job when the relationship went sour. Banning office romances is unlikely to stop employees – and may only encourage them to sneak around; instead, consider creating an office romance policy to clarify the expectations around such relationships, should they occur. Make it clear that employees should keep their personal relationships from interfering with their jobs and to maintain professional behavior at all times.

Get more details from the study here.

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7 of the Biggest Hiring Time Wasters and How to Get Rid of Them

February 1st, 2017 Comments off
time waster

When it comes to hiring today, employers need to move quickly. In-demand candidates are not going to stick around before they are snapped up by competitors. So how can you trim the fat and speed up your hiring process without being hasty? Try eliminating these common time wasters from your hiring process.

Time Waster #1: Not Taking Advantage of Social Media

Social media is a fast and easy (and free) way to advertise your job opportunities, communicate with candidates, educate them about your company and build awareness about your corporate culture. The more job seekers understand about your company and what you are looking for, the more likely they are to weed themselves out (if they are not a good match), and the less time you will spend sorting through irrelevant resumes.

There’s also a reason 60 percent of employers now use social media to screen job candidates, according to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey: Social media helps employers gain insight into candidates’ personalities, interests and accomplishments that they might not get from a resume. Oftentimes, they can use social media to verify information job candidates have provided on their resumes, or get a feel for whether or not the candidate is a good match for the position.

Time Waster #2: Crazy Job Titles

Advertising for a “Sales Rock Star” or “Software Ninja” may seem like a way to stand out from other companies, but candidates aren’t searching for these titles. Optimize your job titles for search, and save the fun, creative stuff for the description itself. The right keywords will also serve to optimize your job posting for search engines like Google.

Time Waster #3: Vague Job Descriptions

Writing comprehensive job descriptions can be a bit time-consuming; however, the more time you invest writing out thorough, specific job descriptions, the more time you will save later on. The more specific you are about the scope of the job, the responsibilities and the skills and experience required for it, the more likely candidates are to weed themselves out; thus, you won’t find yourself swimming in a sea of resumes from unqualified applicants.

In addition to specifying the necessary qualifications needed from applicants, try to include keywords to make your job descriptions more SEO-friendly. This will increase the likelihood your job descriptions will show up in organic searches – and in front of the right people.

Time Waster #4: Third-Round Interviews and Beyond

Sure, if you’re hiring for an executive position, it makes sense to do multiple rounds of interviews; however, putting candidates for entry- or mid-level positions through third-, fourth- or even fifth-round interviews is oftentimes just an excuse to delay making a hiring decision. Not only is this a waste of time – both yours and theirs – you may lose the candidate to a competitor in the lengthy process. If, however, you have so many interviews so the candidate can meet different members of the team, consider a well-planned group interview to save time (and unnecessary frustration).

Time Waster #5: Brainteaser Questions

Employers like to ask brainteaser questions to assess candidates’ creativity and ability to think on their feet; however, many companies – including Google – have eliminated this practice in recent years, as they have found they are poor predictors of actual job performance. “Employees don’t experience this particular type of pressure on the job,” writes The New Yorker’s Maria Konnikova. Instead, she suggests two research-backed practices:

  1. A standardized interview process, which means asking every candidate the same questions in the same order. “This produces a more objective measure of how each candidate fares, and it can reduce the influence of thin-slice judgment, which can alter the way each interview is conducted.”
  2. Focusing on behavioral interview questions that examine both past and future behaviors. “The ubiquitous interview question ‘Describe a situation where you did well on X or failed on Y’ is an example of a past behavioral measure; asking a programmer to describe how she would solve a particular programming task would be a future measure.”

Time Waster #6: Personal References

While professional references – people who have worked with the candidate previously – can help you gain insight into a candidate’s skills, abilities and work ethic, personal references – friends, family members or acquaintances – won’t provide such insight. Save time by asking specifically for work or (if the candidate is a recent graduate) educational references, and then make sure you ask the right questions to get the most out of reference checks. 

Time Waster #7: Using Outdated Technology (or No Technology At All)

Talent acquisition technology has become a necessity in today’s competitive recruitment landscape – no matter how good your recruiting team may be. After all, “Your recruiters can only do so much – you need technology in place that can automatically facilitate communication with and re-engage candidates when your recruiters aren’t able to,” writes Tim Sackett in “6 Ways to Maximize Your Recruitment Spend.”

The right tools can help you save time on everything from posting and distributing jobs, to searching resumes and managing candidates to re-engaging with candidates. Take some time to evaluate your own recruitment technology. Where is it falling short of meeting your needs? Ask your recruiters what their biggest challenges are and what recruitment tools will help them do their job better? (Not sure where to start? Consider Tim Sackett’s list of must-have talent acquisition technology.)

Don’t just look internally, either. Consider the candidate experience. Is your career site hard to navigate and in need of an update? Is the online application process clunky? The more you streamline the application process and make it easier on candidates, the faster you can bring them into your organization – before you lose them to competitors.

Want more hiring advice? Check out Hiring Tips from Famous CEOs


1 in 2 Employers Know About a Candidate Within First 5 Minutes

January 16th, 2017 Comments off
1 in 2 Employers Know About a Candidate Within First 5 Minutes

There’s a reason hiring managers place so much emphasis on in-person job interviews. A candidate can seem “great on paper,” but it’s that in-person meeting that reveals much more about their potential as an employee. And for many hiring managers, that revelation comes much sooner than one might expect.

According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, just over half of hiring managers (51 percent) know within the first five minutes of an interview if a candidate is a good fit for a position.

The survey looked at the biggest body language mistakes candidates make during the job interview – failing to make eye contact and failing to smile topped the list – as well as behaviors that instantly disqualify candidates from consideration. When asked to name their “instant deal-breakers,” 66 percent of hiring managers said they no longer consider a candidate they catch lying about something during the interview. Nearly the same number (64 percent) said “answering a cellphone or texting during the interview,” and 59 percent said “appearing arrogant or entitled.”

What Does This Mean For You?

When a candidate fails to meet your expectations, it’s not only disappointing – it’s a waste of time. In order to minimize this risk, do what you can to help set candidates up for success. Contact them prior to the interview letting them know what they need to prepare – from what they should bring and how they should dress to what the structure of the interview will look like. You might even give them some interview tips and suggest they bring questions for you. Remember that interview mistakes are often the result of nerves. The more prepared candidates feel, the less nervous they will be, and the more you can focus on their skills and ability to handle the role in question.

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2 in 5 Recruiters Have Missed Out on Qualified Candidates

December 19th, 2016 Comments off
54% of Employers Plan to Give Employees Holiday Bonuses in 2016

In today’s competitive talent market, recruiters are under pressure to deliver the most qualified candidates in the shortest amount of time. But such demands can – and do – lead to hasty decision-making, as new research from CareerBuilder indicates.

In a recent CareerBuilder survey asking employers to name the biggest mistakes recruiters make when sourcing for an open position, 41 percent cited “skimming through resumes too quickly and missing qualified candidates.”

Other common mistakes included: failing to look at candidates in their own database; assuming that one search with a particular source would show all the relevant candidates; running searches that are too generic; and only looking at candidates who posted resumes in the last 30 days.

What this means for you

In a labor market where recruiters might be bombarded with hundreds of resumes for a single position, it’s not hard to understand how such mistakes could happen. Fortunately, there’s a solution. The right sourcing technology can help recruiters cut down the time and labor necessary to review each and every resume that comes your way.

Sourcing technology is just one type of talent acquisition software available now designed to reduce the time and money spent on recruiting (not to mention the mistakes). If you’re considering adding or upgrading your own recruitment technology but don’t know where to start, consider this list by Tim Sackett, talent advisor for CareerBuilder, which can guide you to find the right recruitment technology for you.

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Career Pathing for High-Potential Employees

November 30th, 2016 Comments off
Businessman chooses the right path.  Vector illustration Eps10. Success, career

When you think about ways to increase engagement and boost retention among high-performing individuals, you likely think about raising those employees’ pay, giving them more vacation time or offering more benefits. Though it may not be the first option you consider, however, career pathing could be one of your strongest engagement and retention tools available.

What is Career Pathing?

Career pathing is the process by which managers help employees chart the course of their careers within the organization. Career pathing helps employees envision their career trajectory and understand the steps necessary to move forward in the organization and reach their professional goals.

Career pathing is especially important with high-performing individuals who want to see their efforts pay off, which will help them stay motivated and engaged in their work. Helping high-performing employees create a career path not only helps them reach their potential, it also benefits the entire organization. Consider the following:

Organizational Benefits of Career Pathing

  • It gives you a competitive edge when recruiting. Employees want to work at a company that is willing to invest in their future, and where there is potential to grow. If career pathing is a priority at your company, candidates will take notice and keep your company top of mind when considering their options.
  • It increases morale and productivity. When employees know they have something to work toward – that their work will pay off – they are more motivated, more engaged in their work and, as a result, more productive.
  • It fosters employee loyalty and lowers turnover. When you create opportunities for your employees, they are more likely to stick around to see those opportunities through.

3 Steps to Developing a Career Path with Employees

Like any worthwhile business venture, creating a career path with your employees is often easier said than done. There are many variables to consider – as you want to ensure the career path aligns with your business’ needs – and each career path must be customized to the individual, based on his or her individual strengths and goals. Follow these steps to create a career path for your high-performing employees.

  • Discuss the employee’s career goals. Understanding your employees’ career goals is the first integral step to helping them plan a career path. It will also enable you to align their goals with that of the company’s and explore opportunities to develop these goals within the organization.
  • Put the plan in writing. Career pathing can mean a lot of moving parts, so putting everything down in writing will not only help you and your employees keep track of what needs to be accomplished, it will also help keep you both accountable to sticking to that path. Once you have something in writing, revisit this document once a quarter to check-in, gauge progress, address any concerns or obstacles and make any adjustments needed.
  • Provide the resources necessary to succeed. Help your employees pursue their career paths with the tools they need to move onward and upward. This might mean setting them up with a mentor, letting them shadow other employees or cross-train. Also, be transparent: Make sure they know about other opportunities within the company and feel free to pursue those. Make room in the budget for employees to take classes, get certifications, attend conferences or join professional associations. Consider creating an internal learning and development program. Do what it takes to help your employees thrive – your business will benefit as a result.

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More Than 1 in 2 Workers Holiday Shop on the Clock

November 28th, 2016 Comments off
73% of Employers Willing to Negotiate Salary But 55% of Workers Don't Even Ask

For many workers, it’s hard to pass up a good Cyber Monday deal – even if it might interfere with work. According to CareerBuilder’s latest survey, more than half of workers (53 percent) say they spend at least some work time holiday shopping – up 3 percent from last year.

Not only are more workers online shopping at the office, they’re devoting more time to it. Of those who holiday shop at work, 43 percent spend an hour or more doing it – up from 42 percent from last year.

Employers aren’t taking this behavior lying down, however. More than half of employers (54 percent) say their organization blocks employees from accessing certain websites from work; however, employees are finding ways around this: Nearly half of employees (49 percent) use their personal mobile devices to shop –  up from 42 percent last year and 27 percent in 2014. Still, 11 percent of employers have fired an employee for holiday shopping at work.

What does this mean for you?

Despite your best attempts to block certain websites, monitor employees’ online behavior or ban personal shopping at work altogether, you may never be able to stop all of your employees from taking care of personal errands on the job. But giving employees the freedom to shop online – as long as it doesn’t interfere with their work – can actually be a boost to productivity. For one thing, it shows employees that you trust them, which is good for morale. It’s also been shown that taking breaks throughout the day to surf the internet can make employees more productive, because it gives them a chance to rest and re-energize.

So rather than trying to control employees’ behavior, try to manage it instead. Be candid with your employees, and let them know you understand it’s a busy time of year – both personally and professionally. Ask that they limit their personal business to lunch breaks, or consider letting them work remotely or have more flexible schedules, helping them foster a better work-life balance.

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Recruiting via Text Message: The Future of Candidate Communication

November 23rd, 2016 Comments off

In an increasingly competitive market for talent, recruiters are always looking for new ways to stand out and connect with the candidates. With TextRecruit, a mobile recruiting platform that helps recruiters connect with candidates via text message, CEO Erik Kostelnik hopes to offer just that. In addition to getting high open and response rates, TextRecruit offers real-time analytics and ensures compliance and security in all interactions. Industry leaders like Cracker Barrel, VMware and Liberty Mutual have already made TextRecruit a part of their recruitment strategies, and earlier this year, the company was named “B2B Startup of the Year” at the American Business Awards. Kostelnik recently sat down with CareerBuilder to discuss how the idea for TextRecruit came about, how candidate communication is evolving and how a partnership with CareerBuilder’s Talentstream Engage product came to be.

What drove you to found TextRecruit?
I had a hypothesis in 2013 that all professional profiles and data were going to become commoditized, and that the most valuable assets to companies would be communication, data intelligence and predictive analytics. Texting was the only form of business communication the recruiter was using that was not centralized and owned by the company. The recruiters were using their personal phones, which is a big compliance and security issues for enterprise organizations. So we found five customers who were using texting to recruit, and we knew they needed a system of record and structure. We approached them, pre-sold them on this idea and build the product from there.

A few recruitment industry experts have called texting “the next big thing in recruiting.” Would you agree with that assessment?
I would say communication is changing. There are more text messages being sent on a daily basis than calls and emails combined. Texting will be the preferred communication tool for certain points of the hiring and onboarding process. While there are some things you just can’t do with text – such as sending interview materials or onboarding info – any communication tool that gets you 100 percent open rate and 37 percent response rate (in 12 minutes on average) is going to be exciting for any business process. We have the largest data source of two-way communication for recruiting and HR functions in less than 160 characters, so we believe the next big thing is adding intelligence to our system and having conversations with millions of candidates at the same time via the TextRecruit platform.

We’ve seen that candidates are responsive to receiving text messages from recruiters – with a rate of 37 percent What needs to be done to make that response rate higher?
We need to continue educating the market on the best practices and helping with templating and policies on how to best use texting.

What are some common misconceptions or concerns around texting to recruit – from both recruiters and job seekers?
I think there is a misconception that texting is not professional. The fact that we have an unsubscribe rate in our platform of less than .01 percent disproves that notion. The message simply needs to be personalized and correctly targeted in order for you to get the most out of the message. Using TextRecruit’s best practices and templates is going to make your organization more effective when leveraging this new communication strategy. There are also misconceptions that only millennials and Gen Z are texting. Texting has been around for over 30 years, however, and there are more texts sent out daily than calls and emails combined. Also, now that millennials are in their 30’s, people should be interested in how the new generations are communicating and using that to their advantage.

Do you have any success stories from customers you would like to share? Once customer, Liberty Mutual, has seen an enormous impact from using TextRecruit. At least 20 percent of the candidates they source today come from their texting campaigns.  As of today, we’ve identified over 20,000 customers that are in our target, and we attracted about 200 of them in the last 14 months.

How did the partnership with CB’s Talentstream Engage product come about?
I started my career in HR technology with Careerbuilder, and owe a lot to my managers there for teaching me the industry and how to manage people. I know the CareerBuilder world well and Talentstream Engage is a perfect fit for engagement via text message.  With the integration, shared clients will be able to engage their potential candidates and talent network members via TextRecruit in their ATS, members in their Talentstream Engage and their HCM. It’s going to be an exciting opportunity.

Learn more about TextRecruit and its integration with Talentstream Engage.

About Erik: Erik Kostelnik is the CEO and Founder of TextRecruit. Erik is a proven technology entrepreneur, advisor and sales leader who has built and managed multiple technology companies that have led to hyper revenue growth, major capital investments and acquisition.

Ask This, Not That to Avoid Inappropriate Interview Questions

November 8th, 2016 Comments off
Candidate's interview experience

Almost everyone has experienced that mind-blowing moment when something you always thought to be true turned out to be false – like learning that all Froot Loops taste the same or that the Bearenstein Bears were actually the Bearenstain Bears. For some hiring managers, that “aha!” moment could come with major consequences.

A 2015 CareerBuilder survey found that 1 in 5 hiring managers has asked a question in a job interview only to find out later that it was illegal to ask. While it’s understandable how these mistakes are made – for one thing, very few hiring managers receive formal interview training, and the lines between what is OK to ask and what isn’t aren’t always clear – it only takes one error to land an employer in some very hot water.

While you may already know that asking candidates about their national origin, citizenship, age, marital status, disabilities, arrest record, military discharges or personal information is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sometimes a seemingly harmless interview question could be construed as inappropriate, or even illegal.

Below is a guideline to avoiding 10 potentially dangerous interview questions – while still getting the information you’re looking for.

  1. Ask this: Are you legally authorized to work in the United States? Not that: Are you a U.S. citizen? Or Where were your parents born? Questions about national origin or ancestry are prohibited as they have no relevance to the job at hand or work status. The exception to this rule, of course, is if the position specifically requires one to be a U.S. citizen (and it should state so in the job posting).
  2. Ask this: Are you willing to relocate? Not that: Where do you live? Asking candidates where they live could be interpreted as a way to discriminate based on their location and is therefore illegal. Asking them if they are willing to relocate, however, is OK.
  3. Ask this: Are you able to perform the specific duties of this position? Not that: Do you have any disabilities? or Have you had any recent or past illnesses and operations? You may want to know about a candidate’s ability to handle certain responsibilities or perform certain jobs, but asking about disabilities or illnesses of any sort is not the way to find out (legally, at least).
  4. Ask this: Are you a member of any professional or trade groups that are relevant to our industry? Not that: Do you belong to any clubs or social organizations? You might simply be trying to learn about a candidate’s interests and activities outside of work, but a general question about organizational membership could tap into a candidate’s political and religious affiliations or other personal matters.
  5. Ask this: Have you ever been convicted of “x” [something that is substantially related to the job]? Not that: Have you ever been arrested? Questions about arrests or pending charges for jobs that are NOT substantially related to the particular job are off-limits.
  6. Ask this: What are your long-term career goals? Not that: When do you plan to retire? While you may have concerns about hiring an older worker who will retire in a few years, you can’t dismiss an applicant for this reason.
  7. Ask this: Are you available to work overtime on occasion? Can you travel? Not that: Do you have children? or Can you get a babysitter on short notice for overtime or travel? You might be concerned that family obligations will get in the way of work, but you can’t ask or make assumptions about family situations.
  8. Ask this: Are you available to work within our required schedule? Not that: What is your religious affiliation? or What religious holidays do you observe? Again, you might simply be trying to discern a candidate’s availability, but leave religion out of it.
  9. Ask this: Are you over the age of 18? Not that: How old are you? or When did you graduate from college? If you know a candidate’s age, you could find yourself facing discrimination charges at some point. Your only concern should be as to whether the candidate is legally old enough to work for your organization.
  10. Ask this: Is additional information, such as a different name or nickname necessary in order to check job references? Not that: Is this your maiden name? or Do you prefer to be called “Ms.,” “Miss,” or “Mrs.?” Avoid any question that alludes to a woman’s marital status – as well as anything that could be construed as a question referring to national origin or ancestry (e.g. “Your name is interesting. What nationality is it?”). 

When in doubt, keep it work-related. The best way to ensure you are staying compliant is to phrase questions so they directly relate to specific occupational qualifications.


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More Than 1 in 3 Workers Have Faked Illness to Get Out of Work

October 24th, 2016 Comments off
Job Search Costs 1 in 5 Workers Money — Provide a Good Candidate Experience

As flu season approaches, more employees may be calling in sick. But how many of those illnesses are actually just a case of the Mondays? According to CareerBuilder’s latest survey, of workers have called in to work sick when they were feeling just fine over the past year.

When asked why they lied about being sick, 28 percent said they just didn’t feel like going in to work, and 27 percent took the day off to attend a doctor’s appointment. Another 24 percent did it simply to relax, 18 percent wanted to catch up on sleep, and 11 percent took the day off to run personal errands.

What this means for you

While you would like to think all of your employees are 100 percent honest with you all of the time, that is simply not reality. Before you start requiring every employee to bring a signed note from the doctor to prove they actually were sick, however, take a moment to consider their motivation. Several employees who called in sick when they were well did so for reasons relating to work/life balance.

With that in mind, it may be time to re-evaluate your PTO (paid time off) policy and see if it is truly meeting your employees’ needs. Or maybe you could consider letting your employees work from home once a week — which will give them time back in their day to run personal errands, attend doctor’s appointments or catch up on sleep.

Giving employees the support they need to maintain a healthy work/life balance not only benefits them – it benefits your business, too. After all, companies that foster a healthy work/life balance see higher levels of employee satisfaction, morale and productivity. As a result, retention rates improve, and so does the bottom line.

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Clearing the Air About ATS Implementation

October 19th, 2016 Comments off

For any company, purchasing new software is no small affair. Rather than simply flipping an “on” switch, companies must go through a weeks-long implementation process to learn the software, ensure it is working properly, and meet expectations. We spoke with Brett Kashanitz, Vice President of Engagement & Service at CareerBuilder and an expert in the recruitment technology space, to clear up some burning questions about the implementation process, shed light on the challenges clients run into and discuss CareerBuilder’s own unique approach to implementation.

It seems like the implementation process is a major pain point for a lot of businesses. Why do you think that is? 

I think the main part is that clients don’t know what to expect. Implementation is about more than just the technology; it’s about improving the way a company works. It’s about getting the right training and education around it. It’s about having the right change management. It’s about ongoing measurement. Clients do not always realize how many factors are involved in implementation. At CareerBuilder, we’ve modified our procedures in order to make the process of implementation a little bit more amenable to clients by providing them additional tools to use internally to manage change management. We have developed our own model of change management – which we call AADAM – which focuses not just on doing what’s necessary to fulfill on our client’s current project with us, but also helping them take that next step within their own organization as well.

Could you explain more about the AADAM approach?

We developed AADAM as a resource to go along with a client’s implementation plan in order to make sure clients know exactly what needs to be done internally to be successful in their own implementation. It’s also a way to ensure we’re helping with client needs every step of the way with engaging in the products they have purchased. CareerBuilder has amazing implementation teams that will ensure the clients’ products are set up to meet their needs. With the AADAM model of change management, we are giving them the tools that we will reinforce during implementation and that will set them up for strong adoption of the tools within their companies. The first step in any software acquisition is to take the time to announce the purchase (the first step of the AADAM model) and bring together the resources that will be impacted by and benefit from the tool. The next step in the AADAM model is helping to align impact with the company’s or team’s goals, bridging the gap of why the purchase was made and helping to build understanding that the effort won’t be wasted. The next step is developing a plan to train resources and roll out the new process, which will lead to higher adoption for the product and ensure that the organization is engaged in its usage. The final step of the plan is measuring the impact and sharing the success associated with the project, which safeguards long-term benefits for the organization moving forward.

So what are some of the biggest obstacles to a successful implementation?

One of the biggest obstacles that clients run into is lack of agreement around processes internally and lack of understanding why purchases are made. Many times, especially when it comes to HR-related software, purchasing decisions are made at a senior or C-suite level, but implemented by the people who will be using the systems. This can result in an unclear understanding of the business reasons for why things are purchased and the intended outcome. So ensuring internal resources are aligned and providing tools to help clients to make sure goals are aligned is definitely key to successful implementation.

What kinds of questions should a customer ask before signing with a software vendor?

The number one thing a client needs to be asking is what is included and what is an additional charge. A lot of software companies don’t do their own implementations. They make the purchaser or the client go out and find a third-party vendor to do it. Or they charge the client an exorbitant amount of money to do it. For us, there are no additional fees for support or implementation. That’s built into the product cost.  Oftentimes, clients will find additional charges for things like data feeds, exports and configuration that they didn’t know about before purchasing. If clients don’t ask enough questions about what is included in that overall price, they can easily make a purchasing decision they regret later.  Most important of all is to understand, ‘What will my user experience be like after this implementation is completed?’ The value is not just from the tool itself but the experience the users will have and what it provides to the company in return.

What differentiates CareerBuilder’s implementation process from other vendors?

One of our biggest differentiators (and this is based on feedback we’ve gotten from clients) is the amount of training, development and resources we put toward implementation. We create a roadmap that works best for our clients, then we help train them and walk them through the testing, the tools and the resources we provide.   Another differentiator is our focus on a long-term partnership with clients. In order to do that, we have to think about, ‘How do we drive the business in a way that is most meaningful and helps the clients utilize the tool and make an impact on their business?’ We understand that if clients don’t see an immediate impact from those products, it can cloud their long-term view, and they will go back to their old ways and not use the products at all.   We’ve also gotten a lot of positive feedback on the consultative approach we take. A lot of our customers have never implemented software before because they needed someone to coach them and help them, and many vendors don’t offer that assistance. We’ve gotten positive feedback for the ‘heavy lifting’ that we do.

What kind of support should a client expect from their vendor after an ATS implementation? 

With an ATS implementation, having regular touch points and check-ins is critical, because any time you change your ATS, you are basically asking a whole team to stop what they are doing and learn a whole new process and a whole new way to do business. There is always going to be a challenge in upskilling and training and redeveloping the team, so those first couple of months following implementation are the critical adoption points. During that time, the team is not just discovering the system; they are learning how to do things best in their system.

What’s one takeaway you want potential software buyers to understand?  

One of the important things to understand about making a purchasing decision is taking into consideration the longevity of the partnership that you can have with the organization you’re purchasing from. For instance, what is the history of that organization? What is their focus from a partnership standpoint? The three things we focus on at CareerBuilder are, number one, the stability of our platforms; number two, the accessibility of our resources; and number three, having the best overall customer experience that we can possibly give them. As a client, you want to look for a partner who can service you in many different areas – from the accessibility of the different products, to the reliability of the products once you purchase them, to the knowledge that this partner is going to be there for you as you continue to grow and develop.

Brett Kashanitz has over 10 years of experience helping clients optimize their recruitment process and leverage talent to positively impact their organization. As vice president of Engagement & Service at CareerBuilder, Brett creates change through strategic process improvement engagements, mentorship and training activities within the Global Operations organization, whose mission is to focus on delivery of superior service while deploying new technology and strategic, quality-based process improvement initiatives.

Learn more about the how’s and why’s of ATS implementation with CareerBuilder’s free guide to understanding ATS implementation. Download it today!

3 Things You Should Know From the September 2016 Jobs Report

October 7th, 2016 Comments off
3 Things You Should Know From the August 2016 Jobs Report


As election season heats up, the U.S. labor market continues to be a hot topic for both presidential candidates. But how much of what they say is actually true? Let’s take a look at the most recent jobs report to get an idea of where the economy really stands today.

Here’s the News You Can Use From Today’s Release:

  1. Job creation was lower than expected. While the U.S. created 156,000 jobs in September, and while economists had predicted higher gains of 176,000 jobs, this is no reason to panic.


According to The New York Times:

“As an election season marked by fears about jobs and wages enters the final stretch, the American economy looks more resilient than some campaign rhetoric might suggest.”

According to Business Insider:

“The increase in nonfarm payrolls was lower than expected. But it remained strong enough to indicate that the job market is still robust, with employers unable to find all the skilled workers they want to hire.”

According to MSNBC:

“Over the last 12 months, the overall economy has created 2.44 million new jobs, which is a pretty healthy number. What’s more, September was the 72nd consecutive month of positive job growth, which is the longest on record.”


  1. Labor force participation is up. The labor participation rate ticked up from 62.8 percent to 62.9 percent. What’s the significance of this number?


According to CNS News:

“At a recent news conference, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the labor force participation rate has increased on balance since late last year, which ’shows a substantial number of people are being attracted into the labor market.’”

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“Workforce participation peaked in 2000 and is expected to decline further in the coming years due to demographic and other forces. But the measure picked up over the past year, a sign the tightening labor market is drawing would-be workers off the sidelines. That’s helped pin the unemployment rate in place despite continued employment gains.”


  1. Wages increased, too. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $25.79 in September, while average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $21.68.


According to CNN Money:

“Pay checks are improving at a faster pace for Americans too. Wages grew 2.6% in September compared to a year ago. That’s not stellar wage growth, which is usually above 3%. But it’s better than the 2% growth — or less — seen for years during the recovery.”

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“After years of wage growth stuck around 2%, pay raises began to move higher in 2015 and into this year—outpacing the long-sluggish pace of price inflation.”

Looking at the overall economy over the past 12 months, the U.S. has created a healthy 2.44 million new jobs. What’s more: September was the 72nd consecutive month of positive job growth — the longest on record. We’re not out of the woods yet, however: The New York Times notes that “despite robust hiring in late 2015 and during much of 2016, notable pockets of economic weakness remain, more than seven years after the start of the current recovery.”

Don’t miss the jobs report buzz! Follow us on Twitter @CBforEmployers and live tweet with us starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on the first Friday of every month as part of #JobsFriday.

Did you miss the June, July and August jobs report breakdowns? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.

U.S. Adding 7M Jobs by 2021, But Which Ones Will Grow the Most?

September 26th, 2016 Comments off

The U.S. is expected to grow 5 percent over the next five years, adding more than 7 million jobs by 2021, according to a recent study from CareerBuilder and Emsi.

As may be expected, however, some jobs will grow at a much faster rate than the average, while others will decline. Middle-wage jobs in particular (jobs that pay $13.84 – $21.13 per hour) will see slower growth than high- and low-wage jobs – at 3 percent overall.

Looking at some of the fastest-growing high-wage jobs (jobs that pay at least $21.14 per hour), software developers and computer systems analysts are both projected to grow 12 percent by 2021; among middle-wage jobs, medical assistants and customer service representatives are among the fastest-growing jobs (at 11 percent and 6 percent, respectively); meanwhile, home health aides are outpacing the rest of low-wage jobs (jobs that pay $13.83 or less) with 19 percent growth.

The study also outlines occupations in all categories that will see declines over the next five years, including postal service mail carriers, real estate agents, printing press operators, travel agents, door-to-door sales workers and sewing machine operators.

What Does This Mean For You?

As you consider the future of your business and the direction in which it is growing, understanding which jobs will see more demand and higher competition for talent – and, consequently, which jobs will see less – will help you as you create your recruitment strategy.

Get more details from the study here.

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5 of the Best Recruiting Insights from Marketing Guru Seth Godin

September 13th, 2016 Comments off

There may not be a Michael Jordan of recruiting, but Seth Godin, a bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur, comes pretty close. Though his expertise is in marketing — Godin is a frequent keynote speaker and prolific blogger — much of Godin’s insight and advice apply to the recruiting industry as well. After all, what is recruiting if not another form of marketing? Where marketers work to attract customers and increase brand awareness, recruiters work to attract candidates and increase employment brand awareness.

Given these similarities, employers, recruiters and other talent acquisition professionals could learn a lot from marketers when it comes to creating their talent strategies. To start, consider the following marketing insights and pieces of advice from Godin that speak particularly well to the recruitment industry.

“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”

Thanks to social media tools and increasingly sophisticated recruitment technology, there are so many new ways to market your opportunities. Of course, taking advantage of these tools and techniques means change, and change is always either scary or difficult — or both. In an increasingly competitive market for talent, however, sticking with the status quo will no longer suffice. Recruiters and other talent acquisition professionals need to step outside of their comfort zones and ask themselves, “What can we do that’s different?” and be willing to try something new. Because you may not be willing to embrace new technology, but your competitors certainly are.

“Marketing is telling a story about your value that resonates enough with people that they want to give you money.”

What’s your employee value proposition? More importantly, are you communicating this clearly to candidates? While you’re not asking for candidates’ money (hopefully), you are asking them to invest in your company. So what are you offering them? What will they get out of working with your company? The more clearly you are able to communicate your value as an employer — through social media, on your career site, in job postings — the easier it will be to “sell” your story and get candidates excited about working for you.

“It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back.”

Treating customers well is the ultimate competitive advantage. Not only are consumers more loyal to brands they feel care about them as people — not just customers — they are more likely to talk about their experiences with friends and on social media. Likewise, candidates who have a positive experience with your company during the recruitment process are more likely to re-apply, do business with that company and tell others about the experience. Simply put: When you treat your candidates well, they tend to return the favor.

“Be in the business not of getting customers, but of writing a novel, telling a story, connecting with people that want to be connected to.”

Be honest about who you are as a company and what your culture is. Survey employees, candidates and key stakeholders to identify your employment brand for what it is, instead of what you think it is. Once you can tell the story of your company in an honest and authentic way, candidates who are a good fit will find their way to you (and those who aren’t will weed themselves out).

“Creating value through interaction is far more important than solving a consumer’s problem in thirty seconds.”

Recruitment isn’t always just about driving applications. It’s about building relationships with candidates. While it’s great if a candidate comes to your career site and applies to a job right away, what about those candidates who are interested in your company, but aren’t the right fit right now? They could be great candidates down the line, so you need to keep them from slipping away by keeping them engaged in the recruitment process. Invite them to join your talent network so you can re-engage them over time. Create a positive candidate experience so they will not only want to apply to future opportunities, but they will also tell others about it, which will strengthen your employment brand.

Want more expert advice? Get CareerBuilder’s recruitment tips and advice delivered to your inbox.

9 Incredible Employee Perks That Really Exist

August 31st, 2016 Comments off
Low angle view of group of cheerful business friends having fun while behaving childish in the office. They are competing on a chair, toy car and push scooter.

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but try telling that to the employees at Airbnb, Facebook and Google, where gourmet meals come with the territory. Free gourmet meals may seem like an over-the-top employee perk to some, but that’s tame compared to what other companies offer. From free booze to on-site massages, the following perks put free coffee and casual Fridays to shame. Check out nine more of the most incredible employee perks that actually exist in today’s workplace.

Happy hour — at any hour

Drinking on the job isn’t only allowed at some companies, it’s encouraged – in moderation, of course. Whether it’s holding “Whiskey Fridays,” providing beer vending machines on site, or simply giving employees 24/7 access to fully stocked bars, companies of all sizes and industries — including Dropbox, Arnold Worldwide and Eli Lilly and Co. — are using alcohol as an incentive to work long hours and come into the office (as opposed to telecommuting). Not only do employees appreciate the chance to kick back with a cold one during the day, employers have found that letting employees socialize over beer results in team-bonding and spurs new ideas.

Nap time

Ever fallen asleep on the job (or come close to it)? Arianna Huffington understands. The president of The Huffington Post might be the most outspoken advocate for napping at work. She’s not alone, however: Google, Zappos, Uber and PwC are also among the growing list of companies that accommodate employees who want to catch up on their zzz’s during the workday. (And many employees do: According to a recent CareerBuilder study, 61 percent of workers feel they don’t get enough sleep.) Not only does this perk benefit employees, it also helps the bottom line: companies lose an estimated $86.9 billion worth of productivity due to lack of sleep.

High times

Denver-based Flowhub, which provides software for the cannabis industry, lets employees consume marijuana at work. While employees can’t smoke in the building, they can bring in cannabis-infused edibles, sodas and juices. Two nearby startups, High There! and MassRoots, also allow employees to use pot at work. According to CNNMoney, employees are trusted not to over-do it on consumption, and most use happens later in the day or during brainstorming sessions. (While several other companies allow employees to do weed at work — both for recreation and medical purposes — they decline to publicize it for fear of damaging relationships with potential investors.)

Not long ago, Facebook and Apple made headlines when they announced they would start offering egg-freezing benefits as a way to attract recruit female employees. Recently, music streaming service company Spotify began offering egg freezing and fertility assistance as well.

Gender reassignment

Seven years ago, only 49 major U.S. employers offered transgender-inclusive health care benefits. Today, that number is more than 500. Apple, Chevron, General Mills, Dow Chemical, American Airlines, Kellogg and Sprint are among the companies that have expanded their health insurance policies in recent years to cover some of the costs of gender reassignment surgeries. Other types of coverage may include mental health counseling, hormone therapy, medical visits and other treatments related to gender transition or sex reassignment.

Paid sabbaticals

Paid sabbaticals aren’t just for college professors any more. At financial advisory company Deloitte, employees can choose from a partially paid three- to six-month sabbaticals to pursue personal or professional growth opportunities or an unpaid one-month leave to go and do whatever they want. Genentech employees who have worked for the company for six years get a six week paid sabbatical, while The Boston Consulting Group offer eight weeks for employees who have been with the company five years. The Container Store, REI and Baker Donelson are just a few more on the growing list of companies offering this remarkable benefit.

Concierge services
Who couldn’t use a personal assistant these days? At some companies, employees get the next best thing. SC Johnson & Son, Accenture, Hyatt Hotels and Nordstrom are just a few of the companies that provide concierge services to save employees time and help them juggle work and personal lives. Services vary by company, but range from dry cleaning to travel planning.

On-site massages

Companies like Activision Blizzard, Cisco Systems, Scripps Health and PwC have two things in common: All offer employees on-site massages, and all made Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list this year. Coincidence? Several companies offer on-site massages as a way to reward employees and help them recharge after a long workday. And while a massage may seem like a frivolous perk, companies see it as an investment in employees’ health, helping to relieve stress and back pain (which can come from long periods of sitting at a desk) – and the bottom line. Healthier workers are, after all, happier workers and more productive workers.


Allowing employees to bring their pets to work not only frees them of the burden of finding pet-sitters and dog-walkers (and the guilt of leaving them home alone), it also adds an element of fun to the office. It may come as no surprise that companies like Nestle Purina PetCare, Rover.com and Petplan have pet-friendly offices (after all, animals are their business), but companies of all industries and sizes — including Eventbrite, Procore Technologies, Glassdoor and Payscape — say yes to pets at the office.

These are just a few of the ways employers are getting creative in order to stand out from their competitors and attract and retain in-demand talent. What are you offering employees and candidates to stay competitive? Tell us about your incredible employee perks at @CBforEmployers


3 in 4 Workers Live Paycheck to Paycheck

August 29th, 2016 Comments off

The unemployment rate may be at a low 4.9 percent, with millions of workers back to work since the height of the recession, but Americans’ financial struggles are far from behind them. According to new research from CareerBuilder, 75 percent of American workers live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. While 38 percent of all workers only live paycheck to paycheck “sometimes,” 23 percent say they always live paycheck to paycheck, and 15 percent said they usually do. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that the majority of workers (68 percent) say they are in debt, with more than half (55 percent) saying they feel their debt will never go away.

What Does This Mean For You?

As an employer, your employees’ money problems can become your problem as well. Workers may become so distracted by their financial struggles that their quality of work decreases. Financial struggles can take a hit on employees’ morale, productivity and ability to concentrate.

It’s worth your time and effort to help employees manage their finances and ease some of their financial worries – by doing things such as matching 401(k) contributions, hosing financial planning seminars, or providing discounts to local goods and services.


Never miss a thing: Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruitment tips in your inbox.

1 in 5 CEOs Say Biggest Recruitment Tech Challenge Due to Multiple Hiring Sources

August 15th, 2016 Comments off
wage growth

For the month of August, we’re taking over Talent Factor to look more closely at CareerBuilder’s recent acquisitions — and how they’re making a big impact on your business in 2016 and beyond.

Did you know? The average company uses over 15 different tools to source and manage candidates, according to internal CareerBuilder research. But is all of this technology doing more harm than good?

In a separate CareerBuilder survey, 22 percent of CEOs said their biggest recruitment technology challenge is that they cannot coordinate across the many sources they use for hiring. Rather than making the process of sourcing and managing candidates easier, these multiple tools — each with their own metrics and data sets — only make the process more time-consuming and complicated.

In its ongoing mission to make life easier for recruiters and decrease the time needed to fill jobs, CareerBuilder and its technologists from Broadbean created Talentstream Recruit. Part of the new Talentstream Sourcing Platform, Talentstream Recruit combines all the tools recruiters use — from source to hire — into one intuitive software solution that can seamlessly integrate with other technology partners.

That means recruiters can view and search candidates, run reports, measure performance, manage job postings, engage with candidates, and more — all from one easy-to-manage dashboard platform.

Doing more with less

In today’s competitive labor market, recruiters can’t afford to waste time logging into and navigating multiple applicant tracking systems, resume databases and professional networking sites. They need a talent management system that not only simplifies the candidate search process, but also integrates with their current system.

By containing all of your talent acquisition and management tools in one simple platform, Talentstream Recruit streamlines the entire recruitment process and creates an uninterrupted workflow to help you make the right hires faster. Plus, it can seamlessly integrate with your existing recruiting tools.

Talentstream Recruit is the intuitive applicant tracking system top companies rely on to effectively attract quality talent and operate internal recruitment processes. Learn more about what Talentstream Engage can do for your business. 

3 in 5 Workers Say ‘Working 9 to 5’ Is an Outdated Concept

July 25th, 2016 Comments off
1 in 6 Employers Plan to Hire More Recruiters in Next 6 Months

Is it time for American businesses to rethink how they define “normal” business hours? According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, the majority of U.S. workers (59 percent) say the traditional 9-to-5 work day is a thing of the past.

Thanks to technology that enables employees to check in from anywhere – at any time – the work day has become much more fluid for many. Nearly half of American workers (49 percent) finish their day’s work outside of normal office hours, according to the survey, and almost the same proportion (45 percent) continue to check work emails once they’ve left the office.

What Does This Mean For You?

There’s a fine line between having the ability to check in at all hours and feeling unable to disconnect from the office. The constant connection to work may make employees feel implicit pressure to always be “on call,” which can impinge on their work/life balance and cause undue stress. Make sure your employees know that, while they may sometimes be expected to be available outside of traditional business hours, they are entitled to their time off and encourage them to “unplug” every once in a while.

Want more insights from the study? Check out “9-to-5 Workday is Extinct, According to Most Workers.”

Can Changing Your Routine Change the Way You Work?

July 8th, 2016 Comments off
Man Hand drawing Old Way or New Way concept with marker on visual screen. Stock Image

Roughly a year ago, a few CareerBuilder employees embarked on various workplace challenges to see what would happen when they stopped being polite and started being real  changed up their usual routines and tried something new for a week. Would messing with the status quo affect their workplace productivity, mood or overall success? Would anything change at all? Would everything change? These are their stories.

Challenge 1: A Night Owl Tries Morning Workouts

On a normal day, writer Matt Tarpey has to set four different alarms to make sure he gets up in time for work. So when he vowed to get up every morning for a week to work out before work, he had no idea if he would be able to pull it off.

The verdict: Prior to the challenge, Matt was well aware of the supposed benefits of morning workouts – from increased energy to a better mood – but after putting it to the test himself, what Matt mostly felt was…tired. “Perhaps a week isn’t long enough for a habit to really take hold,” Matt pondered at the time. “Perhaps it would have gone better if I hadn’t gone five days in a row right off the bat…but one thing is for certain – I’m definitely not going to keep working out in the mornings before work. At least not every day.” I recently caught up with Matt to see if he’s changed his tune in the last year. Here’s what he had to say.

Other than waking up early, what was the hardest thing for you with the challenge? I wish I had come up with a better system to chart my progress during the week. I should have scheduled more mental check-ins throughout each day to get a more accurate picture of what was happening to my mind.

Was there anything you liked about the challenge? On the days I rode my bike to work I really looked forward to riding home rather than cramming into a crowded train car. My normal commute is entirely subway, so that extra little bit of sun on the way to and from the office was always a nice change of pace.

Did you at least enjoy having your nights free? It was nice to have exercise already out of the way every evening. Early in the week I went out with friends a few times and caught up on some reading. It also gave me one less excuse to work on some personal projects I had been letting simmer on the back burner for a while.

Would you do this challenge again? If so, what would you do differently? There’s a good chance I’ll come to regret saying this, but I would be open to trying this challenge again. One big change I’d want to make is in scheduling. If I were to try getting into morning workouts like this again, I would want to spread it out over two weeks and give myself a couple of mornings off. I’m still doubtful that it would create any lasting change in my sleeping or exercise habits, but I’m still a little curious. At the very least it might be funny to see me try to function on extremely low sleep.

Did completing this challenge inspire you to challenge yourself in other ways? I have been waking up earlier on weekends than I used to. I can’t say for certain whether this challenge played a part in that change, but it’s certainly possible.

Have you worked out in the morning at all since the challenge ended? Not even once.

Challenge 2: Getting Rosetta Stoned

In preparation for an upcoming trip to Paris, social media strategist Greg Miller attempted to channel his inner Gerard Depardieu by learning to speak French – in just a week.

The verdict: After a short-lived fling with Rosetta Stone, Greg found an app called Duolingo, which made learning much easier and more. A week later, he was already 8 percent fluent in French, which he decided was good enough to get him around Paris just like a lazy American. So is Greg still living la vie en rose about his chances of becoming fluent in French? Here’s what he had to say:

Other than your trip to Paris, were there other reasons you chose to learn French? It definitely started by planning to go to Paris, but I have always wanted to learn more languages. Like most American kids I learned Spanish when I was too young to appreciate it. Now I am jealous of multi-lingual people, and strive to learn any language I can to make myself more adaptable in any situation. Since my role at CareerBuilder is global, I have tried to pick up as much as I can in a few different languages. I have found that people are much friendlier and willing to listen if they see that I am trying to relate to them by saying a few words in their language, especially the French.

Did you continue trying to learn French once the challenge was over? I did for a while. I have let it go lately mostly because I am busy, but since I have very little chance to practice it, I may move on to something else.

What was the hardest part of the challenge? Sticking with it, by far. Before the challenge, I was learning a little every week, but trying to do it every day began to feel like a chore really quick. I had a hard time staying motivated.

Was there anything about the challenge you particularly enjoyed? I did enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that Duolingo created.  I kind of felt cool being able to say that I was a certain percentage fluent in a language via LinkedIn.

Did doing the challenge inspire you to test yourself in other ways? It definitely made me think about my professional and life goals.  I think I have accomplished a lot in my career so far, and I have reached a point where I need to create even bigger goals for myself. I haven’t figured out what all of those are yet, but I think that experience will stick with me and drive me to keep pushing.

Challenge 3: Guess Who’s Cooking for Dinner?

It’s not that senior writer Deanna Hartley can’t cook (she makes a mean out-of-the-box mac and cheese), it’s just that her busy schedule left her little time or energy to plan a Rachel Ray-worthy meal every night (that is, unless she was willing to give up her weeknight TV addiction first). So when it came time for her challenge, the choice was obvious: cook dinner every weeknight for a week.

The verdict: There were definitely a few hiccups along the way—marital disagreements over the menu, a botched Peapod order, etc. – but in the end, Deanna pulled through and completed the challenge. She even found she sort of enjoyed cooking…just not as much as a good “Dancing with the Stars” finale.

Will she be giving Rachel Ray a run for her money any time soon? Here’s what I found out:

Was there anything about the challenge you liked? I enjoyed attempting to take on something outside of my comfort zone and to challenge myself to keep going after the initial one-week period. You know that saying “I like to have written”? I guess I like to have cooked because it was very satisfying to sit down at the dinner table each night, exhausted as I was. And my husband helped out with the dishes, so that was a win.

What was the hardest part of the challenge? I hadn’t anticipated the prep portion/meal planning being the hardest part, but it was. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated and once I had nailed down the plan down to the last detail, it became a bit easier. It was also challenging to try to accommodate two very different diets and tastes while trying to keep it to a minimum number of dishes. I also paid so much attention to the entrees while planning that I totally forgot about side dishes, so I had to go back and re-think some of my original plans.

Did anything stick with you? Did anything surprise you about the challenge – good or bad? It definitely taught me to be flexible – not only in terms of compromising on certain meals, but also to have back-up plans because something will always go wrong. In this case, my Peapod delivery was a few hours later than I had anticipated, so I had to figure out a different meal to make that day with the ingredients I already had handy (it was between that or starting to cook at 9 and I chose the former).

Have you tried to cook anything since? I do actually enjoy cooking over the weekend when I have some downtime and there isn’t pressure to get everything done by a certain time. But since then, I haven’t ever cooked on a weeknight.

Did doing this challenge inspire you to challenge yourself in other ways? I guess it showed me that even if I despised doing something, I could still stick with it if I set a goal for myself.

Challenge 4: Taking the ‘Comfort’ Out of ‘Comfort Zone’

For his challenge, editorial manager Anthony Balderrama chose a “beer flight for the soul,” opting to embark on five smaller challenges – as opposed to one big one – throughout the week that would force him outside of his comfort zone. Day one: dressing in business attire; day two: hugging people (don’t tell HR); day three: drinking coffee; day four: foregoing social media; day five: no listening to music.

The verdict: If a week of pushing his boundaries taught him anything, it’s this: “I can do these things and survive. I can also fall down a flight of stairs and survive. It doesn’t mean I should ever do either on purpose.”

When I caught up with Anthony to find out if he had any residual PTSD, here’s what he had to say:

What did you hate most about the challenge?  Waking up every day and thinking, “Ugh, I have to do something else terrible today.” I felt a bit like Sisyphus rolling the boulder where I’d get through one day and feel accomplished and then remember I had to start all over again.

Did wearing a suit (or your version of it) make you feel more professional or productive at all? It really didn’t have an effect on my actual work. More than anything I spent more time explaining to people why I was “so dressed up” than anything else.

Did you feel you got a lot more done not being on social media? Do you check social media less now? Initially I didn’t do much extra work because I was repeatedly going to check my phone or my social accounts—and had to stop myself. After a couple hours of that, I was able to focus more on work. By the end of the day I didn’t miss social all that much. I did feel very out of touch with current events since I’m used to constantly getting news from Twitter. Since the project I have occasionally forced myself to avoid social media for at least a couple hours at a time just to remind myself I can do it. I should probably do it more, really.

What was the supposed benefit of giving up music for a day? Were you more distracted without noise around you? Because I listen to music all the time (at home, commuting, at work) I thought maybe I was letting it distract me from work—similar to my theory about social media. That’s definitely not the case. I really do get distracted when there’s nearby noise. Everything from people talking to office doors opening and closing. Plus, when I would try to edit articles or write, I had a hard time focusing. Of all the challenges, that’s the one that left me feeling defeated at the end of the day.

Was there anything you liked about the challenge? Aside from the joy it brought my co-workers as I suffered on a daily basis, I did like testing my limits. It was satisfying to think that these little mental crutches aren’t necessary for me to do my job well or get through the day. I also hate repetition, so I enjoyed the simplicity of just doing something new, which isn’t always easy when you work in a 9-5/cubicle job.

Did doing the challenge inspire you to challenge yourself in other ways? When there’s some small annoyance I have to do—like go to a dinner party where I hardly know people or if I leave my headphones at the office over the weekend—I do find myself randomly thinking, “Don’t be a baby—you can do this. You drank coffee and hugged people—that’s about as bad as it can get.” I realize it’s a pretty low threshold of suffering in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a quick way to get myself to shut up and stop whining.

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5 Must-Ask Interview Questions for Small Business Job Candidates

June 27th, 2016 Comments off
Young businessman in eyeglasses talking to colleague at coffee break

Small business owners do not have room on their staffs for bad hires. Each employee plays a crucial part in productivity, morale and company growth. Thus, when it comes to the job interview, smart leaders put effort into evaluating both a candidate’s background and his potential for thriving in a small business environment. The following interview questions can provide valuable insight for small business employers:

“Describe how you dealt with a workplace situation in which you were asked to perform a task outside of your comfort zone.”

Small business employees need to be ready to wear many hats, some of which might be unfamiliar. A person who approaches new challenges with optimism and logic can make a great addition to your team. Likewise, when you ask this interview question, listen for evidence of seeking help. Good small business employees make use of every resource at their disposal and place doing a good job above their ego.

“Tell me about a conflict you had with a manager, co-worker, or customer and provide specifics on how you resolved it.”

Your objective in asking this interview question shouldn’t be to find saintly (and probably dishonest) candidates who have never encountered a person they didn’t like. Rather, focus on getting a sense of how well someone deals with people. When a tight-knit staff works long hours in a confined workspace, problems need to be addressed swiftly and maturely to avoid becoming major distractions. Likewise, your small business depends on maintaining positive relationships with all customers; you literally cannot afford to have staff members who burn bridges.

“Do you believe in life on other planets?”

Bet you didn’t see this interview question coming coming – and neither will your interviewees. An out-of-the-ordinary question encourages creativity and offers a glimpse into one’s personality. It also helps judge reasoning skills, ability to think on one’s feet, and composure when thrown for a loop – all worthy traits for a small business staff member to possess.

According to CareerBuilder research, other unusual questions hiring managers have asked job candidates include:

  • How would you wrangle a herd of cats?
  • What superpower would you like to have?
  • If you were stranded on an island, which two items would you like to have with you?
  • If you did not have to work, what would you do?

If you were trapped in a blender, what would you do to get out?

“Why are you looking for a new position?”

Hiring and training new employees takes time and money – two things small businesses already find scarce. Thus, selecting a great match the first time around can save valuable resources down the line. This interview question will give you an idea of why a candidate wants to leave his or her current job. As a result, you can determine if the same issues might pose a problem at your company and clue you in on what retention strategies might work best should you decide to hire.

“What do you feel I need to know that we haven’t discussed?”

Posing this question in the last stage of the interview gives the candidate an opportunity to talk about skills or experiences that didn’t get covered. It also can be a friendly way of inviting an applicant to bring up any previously unmentioned factors that might be significant to extending or accepting an offer. Either way, it will give you peace of mind that you allowed ample opportunity for the prospective employee to contribute to the discussion and shine.

Want more small business hiring advice and resources? Learn about the essential elements of a standout recruitment strategy. You can also sign up to get the Small Business Recruitment-in-a-Box toolkit, compliments of CareerBuilder.

Up to 3 Hours Each Workday Lost to Smartphones, Other Distractions

June 27th, 2016 Comments off
Candidates Use 16 Different Resources During Job Search

They may be at work, but that doesn’t mean employees are actually working. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, more than 1 in 5 employers estimate their employees are only productive for five hours of the day, thanks in large part to distractions such as smart phones, the Internet, and other co-workers. Of these distractions, mobile phones and texting habits present the biggest obstacle to productivity. When asked to name the biggest productivity killers in the office, employers cited the following:

  • Cell phones/texting: 55 percent
  • The internet: 41 percent
  • Gossip: 39 percent
  • Social media: 37 percent
  • Co-workers dropping by: 27 percent
  • Smoke or snack breaks: 27 percent
  • Email: 26 percent
  • Meetings 24 percent
  • Noisy co-workers: 20 percent

What Does This Mean For You?

While you can’t control what workers do — and attempting to ban cell phone usage, the internet and social media may force employees to look elsewhere for less rigid employers — you can manage it. Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder, suggests addressing the issue head on. “Have an open dialogue with employees about tech distractions,” she says. “Acknowledge their existence and discuss challenges/solutions to keeping productivity up.”

Want more insights from the study? Check out “What Are Workers Wasting Time On? Top 10 Employee Productivity Killers”

It Takes Money to Make Money – $3,300 Per Year, To Be Exact

June 23rd, 2016 Comments off
Stockholm, Sweden - Aplir 3, 2014: Waiting commuters next to almost stationary subway train. SL station "T-centralen" in Stockholm,

For U.S. workers, getting paid has a price. A new survey from CareerBuilder sheds light on just how much money workers spend getting to and from work. According to the survey, U.S. workers spend an average of roughly $276 per month – for a grand total of $3,300 per year – on activities related to the simple act of getting to work.

More than 3,000 workers participated in the study, taking into account regular expenses such as gas, daycare, lunches out and clothing.

Daily expenses: Where do workers spend their money?

The daily commute: Not surprisingly, the vast majority of workers (84 percent) drive to work every day. Nearly half of these workers (47 percent) say they spend between $10 and $25 a week on gas, while more than a third (37 percent) spend $25 or more.

While public transportation may be better for the environment, it can still be hard on workers’ wallets. For the 7 percent of workers who take public transportation, fares cost nearly half of them $25 or more.

Daycare: Some of that gas money goes toward dropping the kids off at daycare, which comes at its own hefty price. Of the 29 percent of working parents who send their children to daycare, more than a third (36 percent) spend $500 or more on daycare each month.

Pet care: They’re certainly not as expensive as kids, but pets don’t come cheap, either. Of the 58 percent of workers who have pets, roughly a third spend $10 to $25 on pet care each week, though more than half spend less than $10.

Lunch: Roughly 1 in 4 workers do not bring their lunches to work. Of those, more than a third (37 percent) spend between $25 and $50 a week on lunch, and 1 in 10 say they spend $50 or more.

Coffee: For 1 in 2 workers, a regular caffeine fix is essential to their work routine. While the majority of these workers keep these costs down to less than $10, 1 in 4 say they spend anywhere from $10 to $25 on coffee per week.

Work attire: Looking professional comes at a cost. Nearly half of workers (47 percent) say they spend $250 or more per year on work-appropriate clothing, shoes and accessories while a quarter (24 percent) spend $500 or more, and more than 1 in 10 (13 percent) spend $750 or more.

Cutting down the cost of going to work

Knowing where your expenses go can help you plan your budget more effectively and find areas where you can cut back and save, says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources of Careerbuilder. If you want to cut back on the cost of going to work, start by making a list of your daily, weekly and monthly expenses.

“The cost of work is often what the rest of your budget is centered around. Knowing how much it amounts to can help you trim costs and make different lifestyle choices if need be.”

While things like gas and daycare are necessary, fixed expenses that employees can’t control, others can be adjusted for savings over the long term. For example, start bringing in lunch and reduce those daily Starbucks runs; see if there’s an opportunity to work from home a few times a month to save on gas; and shop for work attire on sale or at discount clothing stores, such as Marshalls or Nordstrom Rack.

Tweet at @CBforEmployers: What are your biggest daily costs when it comes to getting to and from work? How do you cut down on daily expenses?

Workers Reveal the Most Unusual Boss Requests in New Survey

May 26th, 2016 Comments off
CB Survey Bosses

If ever you find yourself doubting your competence as a manager and need a pick me up, just say to yourself, “At least I’ve never asked an employee to shave my back,” which isn’t something everyone in the world can say, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.

More than 3,000 full-time workers participated in the survey, wherein they were asked to name the most unusual request they’ve ever gotten from a boss. Answers included:

  • Boss asked employee NOT to help his ex-wife move
  • Boss asked employee to take her grandmother to the doctor
  • Boss asked employee to feed the birds in his backyard
  • Boss asked employee to get a dead raccoon out of his truck
  • Boss asked employee to breakup with his girlfriend for him
  • Boss asked employee to taste a dog treat
  • Boss asked employee to take his cell phone to get serviced after he dropped it in the toilet
  • Boss asked employee to help organize her high school reunion
  • Boss asked employee to help cut her out of her pants
  • Boss asked employee to shave his back

While these are (hopefully) the most extreme examples of unusual work requests, more than 1 in 5 workers (21 percent) have had a boss ask them to do things unrelated to their jobs.

Bosses behaving badly – or are they?
Despite these findings, the majority of bosses aren’t terrible. In fact, if they had to give them a letter grade, 62 percent of employees would give their bosses an “A” or “B” for performance.

Only 10 percent would give their bosses a “D,” and a mere 6 percent would fail them.

But while most workers think highly of their current bosses, plenty have had less-than-positive experiences with supervisors in the past: According to the survey, 38 percent of workers have left a job because of a boss.

West is best when it comes to bosses
One of the more interesting findings of the survey is that 32 percent of employees in the West give their bosses an “A” – a full 9 percentage points higher than those who said the same in the Northeast.

There seems to be a correlation between the grades bosses get and the amount of hands-on supervision they provide: 31 percent of workers in the West say they interact with their boss only once per week or less. This is 4 percentage points higher than the South (27 percent) and 7 percentage points higher than the Midwest and Northeast (24 percent).

But fewer interactions don’t necessarily mean less support. Employees in the West feel their bosses provide better guidance and feedback – 69 percent in the West compared to 59 percent in the Northeast.

These workers are also less critical of their managers: 33 percent of employees in the Northeast believe their boss should not be in a leadership role; however, only 23 percent of workers in the West feel this way.

When asked to comment on the findings, Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, had this to say:

“We are starting to see a slight shift of favor towards management styles that are seen as a little more hands-off, which employees view as trust from their bosses. Everyone craves respect, and it seems like bosses in certain regions have figured out the perfect balance to keep subordinates happy.”

Do these findings surprise you? What grade would your employees would give you?

Celebrate National Nurses Week with a Free Guide from CareerBuilder

May 6th, 2016 Comments off
Medical team

Today marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which runs May 6 through May 12, and celebrates the hardworking women and men and women who help improve the health and wellness of millions of people every day. Given the integral role they play in ensuring patients receive quality health care, it should come as no surprise that nurses are one of the most in-demand jobs today.

In fact, in a 2015 CareerBuilder survey, 46 percent of health care employers said the role they struggled to fill above all others was that of qualified registered nurses.

As our own way of recognizing National Nurses Week, CareerBuilder created a guide that highlights the best places to find qualified nursing talent. The data is based on research from Emsi, a CareerBuilder company that analyzes labor market data from over 100 sources — and the findings may surprise you.

For example, would you be able to identify the top colleges graduating registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees? Think you can predict which cities will add the most registered nurses over the next five years?

Download the free guide from CareerBuilder to find out.


3 Essential Elements of a Standout Recruitment Strategy

April 27th, 2016 Comments off
A young business manager walking ahead of his colleagues - Leadership

Want to know how to really get in front of candidates, attract them to your company and entice them to apply? Put yourself in their shoes.

In other words, if you want to understand your candidates, consider what they go through when applying to jobs with your company. Is the application process lengthy and complex? Is your career site easy to navigate? Do candidates hear back when they put in an application – or does it go into that infamous “black hole”?

Believe it or not, the way job candidates interact with your company during the application and recruitment process can impact their view of you as a desirable place to work. After all, how you treat them as job candidates is, in their view, a peek into how you will treat them as employees.

So how do you create a candidate experience that sets you apart and makes candidates want to apply? Start with these elements:

  • Your career site: Use your career site to educate job seekers about your company and the work environment, advertise your jobs and link to your application process. Make sure it is easy to navigate, functioning and optimized for multiple devices – from laptops to tablets to smart phones – as more and more candidates are searching for jobs from their mobile devices.
  • Your application process: Research shows that many candidates abandon the application process if it’s too complex, too long or not functioning properly (e.g. links are broken). Test your application process yourself to see how candidates experience and if there is room for improvement.
  • Your engagement: Are you responding to every applicant? Do you keep candidates up to date on where they are in the application process? Do you have a talent network applicants can join to keep abreast of future openings? Communicating is key to keeping quality candidates engaged and interested in your opportunities. The more you build and nurture your talent pipeline now, the less work you will have to do recruiting candidates in the future, because you will already have a pool of interested, qualified candidates from which to source.


Want more information on how you can speed up your recruitment process – without sacrificing quality?
Sign up to get CareerBuilder’s free Small Business Recruitment-in-a-Box toolkit delivered right to you.

Hiring Forecast for New Graduates Highest in Nearly a Decade

April 21st, 2016 Comments off
back of graduates during commencement

Graduation season is upon us, and while Ryan Seacrest and James Franco are imparting wisdom on America’s future, employers nationwide are preparing to welcome a new generation of workers to their organizations.

According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 67 percent of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up from 65 percent last year and the highest outlook since 2007. More than a third (37 percent) will offer higher pay than last year, and 28 percent will pay $50,000 or more.

Are New Grads Ready for the Workforce?
At the same time, employers are expressing doubt over whether new grads are ready for the workforce. According to the survey, 24 percent of employers don’t feel academic institutions are adequately preparing students for roles needed within their organizations.

When asked where academic institutions fall short, these employers cited the following concerns:

  • Too much emphasis on book learning instead of real-world learning: 47 percent
  • I need workers with a blend of technical skills and those skills gained from liberal arts: 39 percent
  • Entry-level roles within my organization are more complex today: 25 percent
  • Not enough focus on internships: 13 percent
  • Technology is changing too quickly for an academic environment to keep up: 13 percent
  • Not enough students are graduating with the degrees my company needs: 11 percent

New grads’ soft skills – or lack thereof – pose the most concern for employers. When asked to name which skills they think recent college graduates lack for the workplace, most of these employers cited interpersonal or people skills (52 percent) or problem-solving skills (48 percent). Other skills included:

  • Leadership: 42 percent
  • Teamwork: 39 percent
  • Written communication: 37 percent
  • Oral communication: 37 percent
  • Creative thinking: 35 percent

Salary Expectations for Recent Grads
Perhaps in hopes to attract the best and brightest, more than a third of employers who plan to hire recent college graduates this year (37 percent) will offer higher starting salaries than they did last year.

Expected starting salaries for recent graduates break down as follows:

  •         Under $30,000: 25 percent
  •         $30,000 to less than $40,000: 28 percent
  •         $40,000 to less than $50,000: 20 percent
  •         $50,000 and higher: 27 percent

Not only are they being more generous with their salary offers, they are also being more flexible: The majority of employers (67 percent) say they are willing to negotiate salary offers for recent college graduates.

See more results from CareerBuilder’s College Job Forecast.

1 in 4 Workers Plan to Change Jobs This Year, Latest Job Forecast Finds

March 31st, 2016 Comments off
career concept, business background, man looking at office buildings

CareerBuilder released its most recent job forecast today, which found that 25 percent of workers plan to change jobs this year. Good timing, too: 34 percent of employers are planning to hire full-time, permanent employees over the next three months. Even more — 37 percent — plan to hire temporary or contract workers.

The outlook isn’t just good news for those who want to change jobs, but also for college students on the cusp of graduation as well as those who want to re-enter the workforce. According to Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of “The Talent Equation.”

Overall, U.S. job growth has been consistent despite volatility in the stock market and weaker performances in global economies. The vast majority of companies are either maintaining their headcount or adding new employees at various skill levels.

CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 3,000 full-time employees nationwide for its latest forecast, which also looked at past hiring trends. According to the forecast, hiring in the first three months of 2016 outperformed the same period in 2015, with 37 percent of employers hiring full-time, permanent employees – up from 35 percent last year. 

Permanent Hiring in Q2 Expected to Outperform Last Year

Looking ahead, 34 percent of employers plan to add full-time, permanent staff in the second quarter, up from 32 percent last year. Seven percent expect to decrease staff, down slightly from 8 percent last year. Fifty-five percent anticipate no change while 5 percent are undecided.

The industries expected to match or exceed the national average in permanent hiring include health care, financial services, leisure and hospitality, and information technology.

Temporary Hiring Still Going Strong

Temporary employment is expected to remain strong, with 37 percent of employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers this coming quarter, on par with 2015. And in many cases, a “temporary” status may in fact be temporary: 33 percent of employers plan to bring temporary or contract workers on full time.

Hiring By Company Size

It isn’t just large organizations that are adding staff at a faster rate than last year, either. Hiring plans for small- and medium-sized businesses are also up, while plans to reduce headcount are not:

  • Small businesses (50 or fewer employees) – 24 percent plan to increase the number of full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 23 percent last year; those reducing headcount remained at 4 percent
  • Medium businesses (250 or fewer employees) – 29 percent plan to increase the number of full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 27 percent last year; those reducing headcount remained at 6 percent
  • Large businesses (more than 500 employees) – 41 percent plan to increase the number of full-time, permanent staff in Q2, up from 38 percent last year; those reducing headcount decreased from 9 percent last year to 8 percent.


Salaries Also On the Upswing

Headcount isn’t the only thing increasing this quarter. Perhaps in an effort to attract increasingly in-demand talent, employers are bumping staff salaries this quarter: 25 percent of employers expect to boost salaries by at least 5 percent, and 44 percent anticipate an increase of up to 4 percent. Only 2 percent expect a decrease, while 4 percent are undecided.

Want to stay ahead of the latest hiring trends? Download CareerBuilder’s free Recruitment Strategy Guide.

Say This, Not That: Communicating Better with Hiring Managers

March 25th, 2016 Comments off

The recruiter/hiring manager relationship: It’s complicated. You need each other, you want to do right by each other — but you don’t understand each other. And this breakdown in communication is what leads to feelings of frustration on both sides, drives a wedge between the two of you and, ultimately, brings you further from your ultimate (shared) goal: matching the right candidates with the right jobs.

When it comes to improving your relationship with hiring managers, it might take a little legwork on your part. (Or as Gandhi might say, be the change you want to see in your hiring manager partnership.) Use the following tips to bridge those communication gaps between you and your hiring managers, and build stronger partnerships as a result.

Say This: “Here’s what the data says.”
Not That: “You’re expectations are unrealistic.”
It’s not that hiring managers are trying to be unreasonable in their expectations. They just aren’t always aware of the external factors thwarting your ability to bring in qualified candidates – particularly for hard-to-fill positions. Use labor market data to set realistic expectations with hiring managers. Supply and demand data, for example, could show them which positions are particularly hard to fill and may mean longer time-to-fill or an adjustment of their strategy. Meanwhile, compensation data will help them understand the most competitive compensation rates so they can either adjust their salary offers or their requirements.

Say This: “Do you have a few minutes to talk over the phone?”
Not That: “I need more details.”
Need more details about a position or confused about what the hiring manager is looking for in terms of candidates? Pick up the phone and ask specific questions. A five-minute phone call is all it takes to learn more about the position – and avoid endless back and forth on email. Even better? Sit down and have a conversation in person. The more time and effort you invest upfront to understand the position, the more time (and frustration) you’ll save later.

Say This: “What are some specific ways I can do better?”
Not That: “We good?”
You’re not a mind-reader, but sometimes it feels as if hiring managers expect you to be when it comes to fulfilling their needs. Take the time to check in with your hiring manager regularly and ask if there’s anything you can do to improve. Though you may not like their feedback initially, opening the door to a candid conversation will ultimately strengthen your relationship and make you a more efficient team.

Say This: “You have until [time] on [date] to respond.”
Not That: “Please respond.”
Like many of us these days, hiring managers are often too busy to respond immediately to every phone call or email that comes their way; however, it’s important they understand that when it comes to recruiting, urgency is key. When presenting hiring managers with in-demand candidates, be clear that they need to act quickly or risk losing said candidates. Give them a solid deadline to respond, after which, you will start submitting the candidate to other clients.

Get five tips to make hiring managers fall in love with you (or at least like you a little more) with our free guide, “5 Steps to Make Hiring Managers Fall in Love With You.”

Fill out the form below to get the guide:

3 of the Best Takeaways From the 2016 SIA Executive Forum

March 3rd, 2016 Comments off
SIA Best Takeaways

“We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of our past. We want to make all new mistakes.” Barry Asin half-joked in his opening presentation at the 2016 Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum, held last week in Phoenix. Because this year marked the 25th anniversary of SIA, much of the conversation was around how the staffing industry has evolved over the last 25 years, and what the next 25 years will bring.

If you didn’t make it to this year’s conference, not to worry: Here are three of the most memorable takeaways from this year’s conference keynotes.

The Robots are Coming

The emergence of automation and artificial intelligence was a popular theme at this year’s forum. It’s undeniable that technology has had an impact on the staffing industry, but as technology gets more sophisticated and automation replaces jobs, what does that mean for the future of recruiting? Should we be fighting technology or running with it? It’s a topic Barry Asin addresses in his opening session, “Where We Came From, Where Are We Going?” Asin notes that while artificial intelligence will likely replace many jobs, it will also create them, opening up opportunities for staffing firms. Moving forward, he predicts, the recruiter’s role will evolve into that of a consultant or advisor, while the actual act of finding the candidate will be automated.

In his keynote, “The Rise of the Machines: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work,” Neil Jacobstein, co-chair and director of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the Singularity University, NASA Research Park, went into more depth about how the rise of artificial intelligence will affect the staffing industry.

While there are inevitably risks involved with using artificial intelligence, Jacobstein noted, we can’t deny the benefits of it – improved efficiency, higher accuracy, lower costs, product and service innovation, as well as faster actions and decisions, to name a few. The best way to prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead are to work to ensure the technology is implemented responsibly and humanely – and to arm ourselves with “a dozen different ways to re-establish control” should anything go wrong.

Focus on Strengths, Work Around Weaknesses

“All performance ratings are bogus.”

This is what best-selling author Marcus Buckingham proclaimed during his keynote, confirming what most of us already thought but were too afraid to say. Human beings are the worst judges of other human beings, he argued, because all ratings systems are subjective. Instead of performance reviews, he said, do what the best leaders do and have frequent strengths-based check-ins with employees about their near-term future work. These check-ins do not even have to take a full 10 minutes and only need to consist of two questions: “What are your priorities this week?” and “How can I help?”

Buckingham also addressed a common misconception among leaders: That it is better to work on fixing your employees’ weaknesses than to work on developing their strengths. Not only does research show that the opposite is true, but workers are also more passionate and productive when they are in a job that enables them to use their strengths on a regular basis (or as he puts it: “We want to be on a team where someone recognizes us as a knight, not a rook.”). None of this is to say you should ignore your employees’ weaknesses, but focus most of your energy on the areas where they will grow most (their strengths) and give them opportunities to use those strengths.

Be Present to Be Effective

In his keynote, “Becoming an Effective and Productive Leader,” Jeremie Kubicek shared insights from his book, “5 Gears: How to be Present and Productive When There is Never Enough Time.” The philosophy behind his book is that every one of us, at one time or another, is in one of five “gears” (or modes, as he also calls them): Focus mode; task mode; social mode; connect mode; and recharge mode. And while there’s a time and a place for each gear, we as humans don’t always get the timing right. “Some of you are in the wrong gear at the wrong time,” Kubicek says, “and it’s undermining your authority,” Kubicek says.

For instance, when you’re in focus mode, you’re “in the zone:” hyper-focused and hyper-productive, which is great – but not all the time. People who are constantly in focus mode (also sometimes known as workaholics) have a hard time stepping back from work and being fully present when those around them need them to be. They feel they’ll lose momentum if they do.

But there are two problems with staying in focus mode: One, it leads to crashing. “If your phone crashes, it’s good for nothing,” Kubicek points out. The same concept applies to humans. If you’re crashing, you can’t be of service to anyone, and you can’t be an effective leader.

The second problem is that if you’re too focused on work to build relationships, you will be less effective as a leader and, ultimately, less productive as a team. Kubicek, a former workaholic himself, speaks from experience. ““I was so busy, I was disconnecting, and I wasn’t being effective,” he says. “Once I started connecting with my team, we started getting more done.


For more highlights from the 2016 Executive Forum, check out Overcoming the Biggest Staffing Challenges of Today: Lessons from the 2016 SIA Executive Forum – and keep an eye out for even more recaps from the conference right here.

Overcoming the Biggest Staffing Challenges of Today

March 1st, 2016 Comments off

“If we can get better at data and technology, we can get better at our jobs,” said Eric Gilpin, President of CareerBuilder’s Staffing and Recruiting Group, at the Staffing Industry Analysts 2016 Executive Forum in Phoenix. Gilpin was hosting a session titled, “Prioritizing Your Recruitment Challenges: Knowing What to Fix First,” during which he discussed the biggest challenges the staffing industry is facing right now, and what we should focus on as we look ahead.

Gilpin opened the session with some findings from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Job Forecast, which will inevitably have an impact on the industry. Among the findings:

  • 36 percent of employers are increasing full-time, permanent headcount this year, while 10% plan to decrease staff levels.
  • Of the 47 percent of employers adding temporary/contract workers in 2016, 58% plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into permanent roles.
  • 83 percent of employers plan to increase compensation for existing employees; 66% will offer higher starting salaries to new hires.

Other trends affecting the industry are the rise of minimum wage (11 states have raised the minimum wage this year so far, with more to follow), boomerang employees (a recent study found 76 percent of companies prefer to rehire former employees over new candidates), and the emerging use of the smart phone as a recruitment and workforce management tool.

The Staffing Industry’s Top Challenges

Citing the results of another recent CareerBuilder survey, Gilpin said staffing firms’ top two challenges this year are finding qualified talent to meet their clients’ needs, and finding new ways to source more efficiently and effectively.

The good news is, thanks to increasingly sophisticated technology and the vast amount of workforce data available, we can meet these challenges head on. Yet, 33 percent of staffing employees aren’t comfortable using recruitment technology and software. How do we fix that?

In a panel discussion with three staffing firm CEOs, Gilpin discussed the benefits of using technology and data:

Become Indispensable to Clients: Armed with industry knowledge and insight, you will become a consultant for clients. That’s what happened to Dan Campbell, CEO of Hire Dynamics, who uses data to help clients make informed hiring and salary decisions. Data has helped him build trust with clients and establish his firm as a valuable and informed resource.

Keep Up with the Joneses: “You have to think differently about how candidates and clients leverage technology and social media,” said Leo Sheridan, CEO of Advanced Group, during the session’s panel discussion. As a staffing firm, if you’re not paying attention to how your clients and candidates use technology to communicate and gather information, you’re going to miss out on opportunities and get left behind.

Set Expectations: One of the biggest challenges the industry faces right now is a shortage of talent with the skills clients are looking for; however, clients aren’t always aware of this talent gap. Realizing this, Jeff Harris, CEO of Ettain Group, used supply and demand data to show his clients the trends that are happening right now, set more realistic expectations and adjust their strategies to meet their hiring goals. “We’re using technology to empower clients and help them be data experts,” Harris said.

Empower Your Internal Staff: When it comes to getting your employees comfortable with using technology and analytics, Campbell said the key was over-communication. The more you stress the importance of using technology and make it a part of the everyday process, the more comfortable employees will become using it. He added one more tip, “Communicate when there are success stories.” Celebrate the “wins” with technology and use real-life examples to show employees how technology can make them more efficient and better at their jobs.

Differentiate Your Firm: “As a staffing firm, utilizing data is a way to differentiate yourself, because such a large percentage of internal hiring managers do not do so,” Gilpin says. Yet, a full third of staffing employees are not comfortable using recruitment software or technology. Therefore, it is not only imperative that staffing firm employees have access to the best tools you can provide, but also that they are comfortable using these tools – and using them to their greatest advantage.

“Imagine a day you can create a rec for a job, put it out on the Internet, and it automatically matches the right candidates with the right skills and emails them and connects them to you. That day will happen,” Gilpin said of recruitment technology’s increasing sophistication. While we’re not there yet, we’re close. Those who adapt now, however, will be better positioned to benefit from this technology as it evolves – and set themselves up for success well into the future.

Want to learn more about the 2016 staffing trends and how they affect you? Download CareerBuilder’s Q1 2016 CareerBuilder Staffing & Recruiting Guidebook for exclusive industry research and expert recommendations for overcoming your biggest staffing challenges.

6 TED Talks Every Working Woman Needs to See

February 24th, 2016 Comments off

How is it that we can put a man on the moon, grow human organs from stem cells and make a “Full House” reboot happen, but we still can’t pay women as much as men? Women may have more rights and opportunities than they did since the “Mad Men” era, but true gender equality is still missing in many of today’s workplaces.

For anyone feeling hopeless about this lack of progress, the following TED Talks are for you. While focused on the unique struggles women face in the workplace, they also provide solutions and hope for a better, equality-focused future (for both genders).

Sheryl Sandberg: So we leaned in… now what?

In her follow-up to the talk that inspired the entire Lean In movement, “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders“, Facebook COO Sandberg sits down with journalist Pat Mitchell to discuss her fears going into the now-famous talk, the reactions to — and success stories that have emerged from — her bestselling book, the opportunities that have opened up for women in the last several years, and the challenges that remain.

Elizabeth Nyamayaro: An invitation to men who want a better world for women

After struggling with the feeling of inequality throughout her childhood in Zimbabwe, Nyamayaro decided to pursue a career that would enable her to “lift other people up.” Now an employee at the UN, Nyamayaro recently helped launch HeForShe, an initiative that encourages men and women to come together to fight for shared equality. In a presentation reminiscent of another TED Talk, “Why gender equality is good for everyone – men included,” Nyamayaro discusses the positive impact HeForShe has had on both individuals (male and female) and entire communities. By the end, you’ll truly understand and believe in Nyamayaro’s own philosophy that “what we share is much more powerful than what divides us.”

Dame Stephanie Shirley: Why do ambitious women have flat heads?

“You can always tell ambitious women by the shape of our heads. They’re flat on top from being patted patronizingly,” Shirley jokes in her moving talk. The founder of an all-women software company in the 1960s, Shirley broke barriers and opened opportunities for women and other minorities. Her talk runs the gamut from funny to heartbreaking and everything in between. Throughout it all, she weaves a narrative of what it’s like to start and run a business amid personal and professional chaos, and the lessons she’s learned on the way.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: Women entrepreneurs, example not exception

In the U.S. alone, women-owned business will have created five and a half million new jobs between 2011 and 2018. Despite this, however, women are still often seen as a liability in the financial world, and it’s preventing them from reaching their full potential. “Those in small business can’t get the capital they need to expand, and those in micro-business can’t grow out of them.” And those who do break out of these barriers are seen as exceptions to the rule. In this talk, Lemmon discusses the importance of thinking bigger and not only investing in, but celebrating successful women – and thinking of them as examples to emulate, rather than exceptions to the rule.

Liz Donnelly: Drawing upon humor for change

At some point during her career as a cartoonist for the New Yorker, Liza Donnelly realized she could use her cartoons to do more than just make people laugh: She could inspire change. Now, in her frank and funny talk, Donnelly discusses the unwritten, often unclear and always changing rules of behavior our culture imposes on women – and how humor has the power to change these rules. Donnelly then challenges her audience to use humor to call out these rules and inspire change for good.

Madeleine Albright: On being a woman and a diplomat

You could probably watch Albright read the phone book (do those still exist?) aloud and still emerge a smarter, more enlightened person. Luckily, the former U.S. Secretary of State/living legend does so much more than that in this Q&A with Pat Mitchell, discussing the state of politics and feminism with charm, intelligence and humor. Albright provides insight into why so-called women’s issues are far from being just about women, and why we need to place a greater importance on them.


The Daily Grindr: Just How Common is Romance in the Workplace?

February 11th, 2016 Comments off
Boss catches colleagues kissing

If there’s anything TV shows like “Cheers,” “Mad Men” and “The Office” have taught us, it’s that nothing adds excitement to the workplace like a little romantic interlude. Perhaps that’s why so many workers have tried the same thing in real life.

A new study shows that life truly does imitate art when it comes to romance in the workplace. Nearly 2 in 5 workers (37 percent) have dated a co-worker, according to CareerBuilder’s annual Valentine’s Day survey. Of those relationships, 1 in 3 have led to marriage – much like “The Office”’s Jim and Pam.

Life’s imitation of art doesn’t end there, either. In a move reminiscent of Don and Megan from “Mad Men,” 23 percent of workers who have had an office romance dated someone in a higher position than them, with women more likely than men to have done so. And much like another romance between Sterling Cooper’s Roger and Joan, 17 percent of office affairs involved at least one person who was married at the time.

Much like scripted relationships, many real-life romances come to tragic ends. Five percent of workers who have had an office romance had to leave their job after a relationship took a nosedive.

Keeping Their Love Locked Down
Adding to the drama of rendezvousing at the office, 33 percent had to keep their relationship a secret from their co-workers – though not always successfully. More than one 1 in 4 workers who have had an office romance have run into co-workers while out with their office sweetheart, and 17 percent owned up to it.

Happily Ever After Hours
Among those who have had an office romance, more than 1 in 10 say their trysts began late night on the job (12 percent). The next most popular place for romance to blossom were after-work happy hours, followed by chance meetings outside of work, and over lunch. Nine percent of workers who have had an office romance claim they fell for their workplace loves at first sight.

Nothing to See Here, Folks
Then, of course, there are the Hollywood-worthy workplace relationships hold a closer resemblance to that of Liz and Jack from “30 Rock” or Mulder and Scully from “The X-Files”: Nearly 1 in 10 (8 percent) employees say they have a platonic “office spouse.”

Workplace Romances and HR: It’s Complicated
While office romances can be a slippery slope, only a minority of workers in office relationships have felt the need to keep their coupledom a secret, which may be a sign that most companies are tolerant of workplace romances – assuming employees are able to maintain professionalism. Still, many employers have employees sign “love contracts” to protect their organizations against sexual harassment claims or other legal action should relationships go south. If you fear negative results from workers mixing business with pleasure at your own organization, you may want to consider creating a similar document or making sure you have a policy in place to handle these situations.

Totally Legit or Nah? The Most WTF Late-to-Work Excuses Heard This Year

January 28th, 2016 Comments off
conceptual image of an alarm clock showing that you are too late

Most managers understand that, sometimes, unforeseen sh*t happens on the way to work – your child woke up sick, the train is delayed, the Starbucks barista got your order wrong, etc. – and you can’t always make it into the office at 8 a.m. sharp. Hey, it happens. (And, really, who can be expected to function that early without a tall, non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk – NOT almond milk, which you were very specific about?)

In fact, it happens a lot. According to CareerBuilder’s annual survey on late-to-work excuses, 1 in 4 workers come in late to work at least once a month, and 14 percent do it every week. While the most common culprits for arriving late are traffic, missed alarms, bad weather, lack of sleep or trying to corral the kids, every once in a while, something so epic happens that it seems too improbable to be believed.

Take, for example, these strange-but-are-they-possibly-true? excuses employees actually gave for being late to work, according to the hiring managers surveyed in CareerBuilder’s annual study:

  • “I thought of quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.”
  • “My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.”
  • “I was detained by Homeland Security.”
  • “I had to chase my cows back into the field.”
  • “A black bear entered my carport and decided to take a nap on the hood of my car.”
  • “My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work.”
  • “There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing.”
  • “There was a store grand opening and I wanted to get the opening day sales.”
  • “I had to finish watching “My Name is Earl.’”
  • “All of my clothes were stolen.”
  • “I was confused by the time change and unsure if it was ‘spring forward’ or ‘fall back.’”
  • “A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right.”

As hard to believe as some of these excuses may be, they say truth is stranger than fiction, so who’s to say if these people are making it up? The survey did not reveal whether or not the employees were trying to deceive their managers, but it did shine some light on the reasons employees may feel compelled to lie: Forty-one percent of employers have fired someone for being late.

The majority of managers, however, are pretty forgiving when it comes to tardiness. One third of employers surveyed say they have no problem with the occasional late arrival, as long as it doesn’t become a pattern, and 16 percent say they don’t really care about punctuality at all so long as employees still get their work done. It certainly helps that most late-arriving employees (62 percent) say they will stay later to make up for it.

Tell us: Have you ever caught an employee lying about why they were late? What’s the strangest late-to-work excuse you’ve ever heard? Tell us in the comments section below or tweet @CBforEmployers

1 in 5 Workers Plan to Leave Their Jobs for Younger, Prettier Jobs This Year

December 29th, 2015 Comments off
2016, silhouette of a woman standing in the sun, blue sky

Goodbye, 2015. It’s time to start fresh and resolve to do all the things we failed to do over the past year: Lose weight, quit smoking, say the correct name at the end of the Miss Universe pageant, etc.

For many Americans, “Get a new job” is on top of that list of resolutions. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 21 percent of workers plan to leave their current employers in 2016, a 5-point increase since last year. That number almost doubles (39 percent) when looking solely at workers ages 18 to 34 – which is even more significant when you realize only 23 percent said the same last year.

As if it’s not enough of a blow to learn your employees are looking for new jobs behind your back, more than a third of them (34 percent) are doing so while at work.

Why the Urgency?
One of the reasons workers are feeling the lure of another job could be increased confidence in light of a stronger hiring environment. After all, hiring this past quarter was projected to be its most robust since 2006, according to another CareerBuilder survey, with 34 percent of employers planning to hire full-time, permanent staff between October and December.

The fact that workers are looking for new opportunities doesn’t necessarily mean they are dissatisfied in their jobs, however. According to Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, they may just be ready for a change or in need of a new challenge.

“It’s critical to keep up with your employees’ needs and continue to challenge them with work they feel is meaningful,” Haefner said.

Holding On to Top Talent
If you’re worried about retaining workers in the coming year, there’s hope. The survey also offered insight into how employers could improve their employees’ work life and as a result, entice workers to stay. When asked if they could choose extra perks to make their workplace more satisfying, workers cited the following benefits:

  • Half-day Fridays: 38 percent
  • On-site fitness center: 23 percent
  • Daily catered lunches: 22 percent
  • Massages: 18 percent
  • Being allowed to wear jeans: 16 percent

While it may not be possible to offer daily catered lunches or massages on the reg, the lesson here is to listen to your employees. Are you checking in regularly to understand your workers’ wants and needs? Do you have an open door policy that makes it easy for employees to voice their concerns? Are you implementing change where it’s needed? Consider making a resolution to pay more attention to your employees this year. You may be surprised by what you learn. 

What Workers Are Looking For

If, on the other hand, your New Year’s resolution is to attract and hire more workers this year, the survey also asked workers what they want in a new job. While it’s easy to assume it takes a big paycheck to lure top talent, the following factors were considered more important than salary for workers considering a new position.

  • Job stability: 65 percent
  • Affordable benefits: 59 percent
  • Location: 56 percent
  • Good boss: 51 percent
  • Good work culture: 46 percent

Keep these benefits in mind when posting jobs or discussing new opportunities with potential employees.

  • Stress, for instance, your company’s strong culture and what makes it unique.
  • Be sure to highlight your benefits and why employees love working there.
  • If there are opportunities for career advancement and long-term potential, mention that as well.

The hiring environment can be competitive, so it’s important to know your strengths as a company when trying to attract in-demand candidates.

For 7 in 10 Workers, Higher Temperatures Mean Lower Productivity

December 21st, 2015 Comments off
Half of U.S. Workers Will Spend Work Time Holiday Shopping

If you’re tempted to keep the office thermostat low in effort to save money in the winter or save on air conditioning in the summer, consider what it could be costing you in lost productivity. New research from CareerBuilder indicates that office temperature can have an impact on worker productivity.

According to the survey of 3,321 workers nationwide, 53 percent of employees said sitting in an office that is too cold has a negative impact on their productivity, and 71 percent said the same for a workplace that is too warm.

Debates over what constitutes “too hot” or “too cold” have also been a source of workplace conflict: 20 percent of workers say they have fought with a co-worker over the office temperature.

As an employer, you want to create circumstances that enable employees to work at their optimum performance level – and that includes providing a comfortable working environment.

Listen to your employees’ needs and work with them to ensure an environment that allows for optimal performance. Try coming to a compromise on a temperature on which everyone can agree. Consider providing special provisions for some employees, such as those who sit under a vent, such as space heaters or cooling fans (but make sure you set safety rules first). Finally, check to make sure your building’s windows are correctly sealed to keep warm air in during the winter and block heat in the summertime.

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1 in 5 Workers Will Spend Thanksgiving With Colleagues This Year

November 24th, 2015 Comments off
Fruits, berries and laptop on the autumn background

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day set aside to spend with family, and for more and more Americans, that includes their work family. According to CareerBuilder’s annual Thanksgiving survey, 20 percent of workers say they will celebrate the holiday with co-workers this year – either at or outside of the office – up only slightly from 19 percent of workers who did so last year.

Why? Well perhaps, like Steve Martin in the greatest holiday movie of all time, they miss their flight home for the holiday. Or maybe, like 1 percent of Americans, they actually prefer their co-workers’ company to their family’s (understandable in some cases).

Then there’s the off chance they work for Martha Stewart and can’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy molasses-and-cider glazed turkey with rye-and-black-walnut stuffing, followed by deep-dish dried-apple and cranberry pie atop a festive Thanksgiving doily table runner.

Also a possibility: They’re stuck with them. According to the survey, 22 percent of workers will have to work on Thanksgiving, an increase from both last year and 2013 (16 percent and 14 percent, respectively).

But even though 91 percent of workers would rather spend the day with family, given the choice, 8 percent of workers say they would make like Kelly Taylor picking between Dylan and Brandon and choose neither.

The survey also provided a closer look at the workers planning to celebrate with co-workers, breaking the results down by age groups, industries and geographic regions.

  • While relatively steady across employee age groups, celebrating Thanksgiving with colleagues is most popular among workers ages 25-34 (26 percent say they will), followed by workers ages 35-44 (22 percent of workers say they will).
  • Broken down by industry, more than 1 in 4 health care workers (28 percent) plan to celebrate the holiday together, followed by sales (23 percent). Interestingly, only 13 percent of leisure/hospitality workers say they will see their colleagues on Thanksgiving, down from 24 percent last year. (Perhaps there was some drama there?)
  • Looking at regions of the country, the South sees the highest percentage of workers breaking bread together, with over a quarter (27 percent) of workers planning to spend the holiday together, followed by 18 percent in the West, 16 percent in the Midwest, and 14 percent of workers in the Northeast.


Four Ways to Maintain Employee Morale During the Busy Holiday Season

Even if they do not have to work on Thanksgiving Day itself, the stretch between November and December can be a stressful time for everyone, and it can take a toll on employee morale and productivity. Help your employees get through the holiday season with the following tips.

  • Let them flex. When possible, let employees choose their work hours during the holiday season, trade shifts with other employees or give them the option to take another holiday off if they’re working on Thanksgiving.
  • Make little gestures a big deal. Small, frequent tokens of appreciation – from a $5 Starbucks card to a handwritten thank-you note to coupons for local services – can go a long way toward showing employees that you appreciate their hard work and brighten their day.
  • The fastest way to an employee’s heart. Never underestimate the power of free food to boost moods and lift spirits. According a recent survey by Seamless, 60 percent of employees say having food at the office makes them feel more “valued and appreciated,” and nearly half (46 percent) said food perks would increase their satisfaction with their employer. To boost morale during the busy holiday season, consider treating employees to free lunch or dinner when days get long, providing gift cards to local restaurants or throwing a holiday potluck.
  • Make them say, “Aaaah.” The holidays are undoubtedly a stressful time, and in turn can take a toll on employees’ physical health. Consider inviting a massage therapist or yoga instructor to the office to help employees de-stress and rejuvenate. Or reward them for their hard work with a gift card to a local spa.

More Employers Are Hiring Veterans, But Is It Making an Impact?

November 10th, 2015 Comments off
More Employers Are Hiring Veterans, But Is It Making an Impact?

Break out your American flag pins (or, if you’re Brooke Shields circa 1980, your American flag-themed halter top): Veterans Day is tomorrow.

While many companies honor military veterans with complimentary haircuts, coffee or Build-Your-Own Grand Slams on Veterans Day, and others offer discounts on products and services throughout the year, there’s another way more and more companies choose to recognize former members of the military: by hiring them.

According to the CareerBuilder Veterans Day Job Forecast, more employers are stepping up their efforts to recruit military veterans and their spouses these days. A reported 38 percent of employers plan to actively recruit veterans over the next year, up from 33 percent of employers who said the same in 2014 and 27 percent in 2013.

Another encouraging finding? Forty-seven percent of employers have hired a veteran in the last year, up from 44 percent who did the same in 2014.

The survey’s findings are consistent with the decreasing unemployment rate for veterans, which was 5.3 percent in 2014 – the lowest level since 2008, according to the BLS.

Hiring Is Up, But Is It Enough?

While it’s encouraging to see more employers making a concerted effort to hire veterans, other findings suggest employers aren’t placing veteran talent in positions that enable them to fulfill their potential. Nearly a third of employed veterans (31 percent) say they are underemployed or in a low-paying job, up from 23 percent last year.

The key to better hiring could lie in better communication – from both parties. According to Rosemary Haefner, chief human resource officer at CareerBuilder, the reason veterans are landing in jobs below their skill and desired salary levels could be that employers don’t fully understand the skills these veterans had in the military.

Veterans may have to present themselves in a different way [during the hiring and recruitment process], but once hired, employers should work to ensure they have the skills they need to be successful and in challenging, rewarding roles in their civilian careers.”

Why Hire Veterans?

Given their background and training, members of the armed forces bring a host of unique strengths and skill sets to the organizations for which they work. In a 2014 CareerBuilder study, employers named the qualities they value most in their veteran employees, with the ability to work as part of a team and a disciplined approach to work topping the list. The ability to perform under pressure, leadership skills, problem solving skills and an “attitude of perseverance” were also cited as highly valuable skills.

Tips for Hiring Veterans

Want to recruit more military veterans, but don’t know where to start? Take a cue from the companies who made Military Times’ Best for Vets: Employers 2015 list and implement the following practices in your recruitment strategy:

  • Create a group dedicated to recruiting veterans. Not only does Lockheed Martin have a team dedicated to recruiting veterans; all of the recruiters on the team are also veterans themselves. Their shared experience enables them to “speak the language” of military candidates and provide a better understanding of what it’s like to work for the company as a veteran.
  • Help them with the apply process. Lockheed Martin’s military career site has a military skills translator that enables veterans to determine how their skills fit into those the company is looking for. Meanwhile, Verizon encourages interested candidates to contact a military recruiter. The company provides background information on each of its recruiters, with links to the recruiter’s personal Twitter account and Linkedin profile (so candidates can easily reach out to recruiters).
  • Don’t stop at hiring. In addition to actively recruiting veterans, about 89 percent of companies on the list do military-related service projects, which not only reinforces their commitment to helping members of the military, but also helps them better understand this community, network with other military servicemen and women, and bring awareness to their employment brand.
  • Provide a sense of community. Nearly 8 in 10 companies on the list have at least one employee group for military-connected people. Giving employees a sense of community and connectedness to the company can also build loyalty among employees and enhance morale.
  • Consider transferrable skills. Be open to considering candidates who may not possess 100 percent of the qualifications and requirements your job posting specifies. Nearly 3 in 4 employers who made the list accept military experience in place of certain civilian certifications.


Want more information about hiring veterans? Check out CareerBuilder’s military hiring guide.