How to Fix 5 Common Talent Management Mistakes

June 28th, 2017 Comments off
Common Talent Management Mistakes

Talent management today is no easy task at a small business. While may have fewer employees to keep track of, there’s still a lot to handle – from workforce planning to recruiting and hiring to onboarding to development to benefits management, and everything in between. With so much on your plate, even the most seasoned HR professionals can make mistakes. Take a look at some of the most common talent management mistakes and the steps you can take to fix them.

Mistake #1: Your Recruiting Process Is Too Long

If your application process is too long, it could be costing you quality candidates: 60 percent of job seekers have started – but not finished – filling out an online application because it was too long, according to CareerBuilder research. How long is “too long”? The majority of job seekers (62 percent) feel the application process should take 20 minutes at the most, and 29 percent even believe it should take no more than 10 minutes. Look at your own application process and see where there might be ways to streamline the process. (If you post your jobs to CareerBuilder, one quick solution is using CareerBuilder Apply, which enables candidates to apply quickly to a posting on the spot.) Once you start bringing candidates in for interviews, know what you are looking for and make sure everyone involved in the hiring process is on board so you can make a decision as quickly as possible. The entire process should last no more than three to four weeks; otherwise, you risk losing your top candidates to competitors.

Mistake #2: You Don’t Have Career Paths for Your Employees

One of the limitations of working at a small business is that opportunities to move up can be few and far between. But that doesn’t mean you can’t carve out meaningful career paths for your employees; after all, not every career path has to follow a conventional route. Work with your employees to understand their career aspirations and map out a plan to help them develop and grow. This may take some creativity. Look for areas within the company that may be opening up or growing. Give employees time to work on pet projects (which they can tie back to the business). Encourage them to come up with new business ideas or products that enable them to showcase their skills and build on their strengths.

Mistake #3: You’re Not Putting Any Effort Into Retention

Perhaps you’ve gotten the hiring process down and have made some quality hires. But are you doing anything to ensure those hires stick around? While it’s important to hire great people, it’s just as crucial to put the same – if not more – energy into retaining them. While it may not seem like you have a problem with turnover, you may be missing the warning signs. Don’t wait until employees start walking out the door to tackle turnover. Utilize employee engagement surveys or conduct stay interviews to understand what keeps your employees engaged and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Mistake #4: You Don’t Always Run Background Checks

More than half of small business employers have found a mistake on a resume, according to CareerBuilder research. Consistent background checking on candidates can minimize hiring mistakes by verifying a candidate’s resume claims. Not only do consistent background checks minimize hiring mistakes by verifying candidates’ resume claims, they also improve workplace safety and minimize negligent hiring claims.

Mistake #5: You Do Everything Manually

Do you ever find yourself wishing you had more hours in the day? Are you keeping track of everything on Excel spreadsheets? Has a huge part of your job become inputting data and filing papers? It doesn’t have to be like this. Human capital management technology has become a necessity in today’s workplace – even for small businesses. Not only can automating HR processes – from onboarding and benefits enrollment to background screening – save you time and money, it can eliminate costly human errors. The less time you spend on administrative tasks, the more time you can spend on other projects.

Take talent management to the next level. Check out the Highly Successful Habits of Small Business Managers.

9 Competitive Benefits for Small Businesses

June 14th, 2017 Comments off
Competitive Benefits

You can’t always offer the competitive salaries that bigger companies can; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t compensate with benefits. Investing in employee benefits can provide a huge return. There are plenty of low-cost benefits you can offer employees that will keep them healthy, happy and engaged in their work, which will benefit your business in the long-term. Not only that, the better the benefits, the more you will be able to attract top talent. Below are just some of the many benefits to consider.

Health care. Deciding on the right health care plan for your small business can be complicated; however, most employees want and expect a health plan as part of their benefits package. Therefore, offering health insurance, even if it’s not required for your small business, can be a competitive differentiator in a tight labor market. For help figuring out how to navigate the laws and regulation that apply to your business under various health plans, check out the Department of Labor’s Health Benefits Advisor interactive website, Health Care and Health Care Reform page and An Employer’s Guide to Group Health Continuation Coverage Under COBRA.

Flex time. Giving employees more flexibility with their work schedules can help them achieve a better work-life balance. Giving employees the resources necessary to create a healthy work-life balance can result in higher levels of job satisfaction, productivity and retention, among other advantages.

Corporate discounts. Gone are the days when only large companies could get corporate discounts for products and services. Companies like PerkSpot, Fond and Corporate Perks help small businesses provide discounts for employees on everything from gym memberships to dining and entertainment to travel services.

Casual Fridays: In a 2015 CareerBuilder survey, the ability to wear jeans to work was among the top five most-wanted perks among employees. Even allowing employees to wear jeans or more casual attire on Fridays can have numerous benefits. Not only can it boost morale, but some believe it can increase creativity and productivity among employees as well.

Free food: Providing free office snacks (or lunch) can be a huge competitive advantage when it comes to attracting top talent. Not only is free food at the office a desirable office perk (catered lunches ranked among the top three most-wanted office perks in the same CareerBuilder study), research has linked it to higher levels of happiness at work, which can lead to higher levels of productivity and retention. But don’t think any snack will do. Healthy snacks (fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, yogurt, etc.) are better to keep employees focused and energized (prevent those 2 pm sugar crashes).

Pet-friendly offices: This is another benefit that will cost you next to nothing but could reap huge rewards in terms of higher productivity and retention. Not only does letting employees bring their cats or dogs to work relieve them of the stress of finding a dog-sitter, having animals around can also decrease stress levels among all employees.

Unlimited vacation: Offering unlimited vacation time to employees certainly comes with risks. What if employees abuse the policy? But more and more companies are offering this option as a way to retain top employees and attract in-demand talent. Not only are employees responsible with the freedom, but they tend to work harder before and after their absences. Moreover, trusting employees with this freedom can promote feelings of loyalty and boost morale.

Volunteering days off: More companies are supporting employees’ philanthropic efforts by providing time off to volunteer. Others are organizing company-wide volunteer days, which is almost as good for your business as it is for the community. Not to mention that being a socially responsible company is an attractive feature for millennial workers who want to make a difference.

Game rooms. Game rooms may seem like a productivity-killing distraction, but they might do just the opposite. Not only can they provide a much-needed break from the daily grind, enabling employees to go back to their desk revitalized and ready to work, but they also promote cross-team interactions, which makes for better collaboration.

Looking for more ways to keep employees happy? Check out 6 Ways to Stop Employee Turnover In Its Tracks


Why Your Small Business Needs an EVP and 5 Steps to Build It

June 7th, 2017 Comments off
Employee EVP


If someone were to ask you right now, “What is your EVP?” Would you be able to answer them right away? Or would you have to stop and think about it? Or would you have no idea what they were talking about?

An EVP is short for “employee value proposition.” It’s the set of offerings a company promises its employees in return for contributing their time and talent. What do your employees love about working for your company? What makes working for your company unlike working anywhere else? What benefits – both tangible (health insurance, quarterly bonuses) and intangible (a good work-life balance, autonomy) – do you offer your employees? What does working for your company represent to the outside world? These are all questions that help shape your EVP.

Why you need to define your employee value proposition. Your EVP is critical to attracting the candidates you need and communicating what makes your company a great place to work. It helps you stand apart from other businesses competing for talent and helps strengthen your employment brand. The process of defining your EVP will help you:

  • Re-engage current employees. In order to understand your current EVP and shape it, you have to first talk to your current employees and understand what they value. Enabling them to be a part of this process will not only help you understand their needs, it will empower them knowing that they are making an impact.
  • Refine your recruitment marketing message. Understanding what people love about working for your organization and what makes your company unique will inform the way you communicate with potential candidates moving forward.
  • Attract the right candidates. Sure, you want to attract top talent, but you also want to attract the talent who fit your culture. The more clearly you define and communicate your EVP, the more potential candidates will be able to identify if they are a good cultural fit.
  • Strengthen your business as a whole. According to a study by Towers Watson, companies that deliver a unique EVP — one that integrates total rewards and aligns with the business strategy — are five times more likely to report highly engaged employees and twice as likely to report higher financial performance than their peers.


Here are 5 steps to creating your employee value proposition.

Step 1: Look at the data. If you have any workforce data you’ve collected through the years – such as employee engagement surveys, performance or 360 reviews or exit interviews – start there. This type of data can provide insight into your employees’ level of satisfaction, their opinion of the company and any areas that may be a need improvement.

Step 2: Ask your employees. Who better to help you understand what you offer employees than your employees themselves? Whether through surveys, one-on-one meetings, roundtable discussions or focus groups, solicit honest feedback from your current employees to get a better understanding of your EVP. Some questions to ask include:

  • What made you want to work here?
  • What compels you to stay?
  • Which benefits do you use the most?
  • Which benefits do you wish we offered that we don’t?
  • What would you change about working here?
  • Would you recommend working here to others? Why or why not?

Step 3: Create alignment. Does what you think your EVP is (or want it to be) align with what your employees say it is? And does that match what’s important to your ideal candidate? If the answer to either or both of these questions is no, you need to re-assess the situation and figure out what needs to change in order for the perception (what you want your EVP to be) to match the reality (what your EVP actually is).

Step 4: Craft your message. Now it’s time to define your employee value proposition. Write it down. Put it in your employee handbook. Include it on the “About Us” section of your website. Your EVP is part of your employment brand. You should be able to articulate your EVP clearly and with confidence. Anyone visiting your career site or social media pages, getting email communication from your organization or otherwise interacting with your company should easily be able to find and understand what you offer employees that no one else does.

Step 5: Deliver on your promise. It’s not enough to simply create an EVP. You need to follow through on it and ensure you’re living it. Conduct regular surveys with employees to test the effectiveness of your it. Train your managers to understand the EVP and what they need to do to carry it out. (According to the same Towers Watson study mentioned earlier, the most effective companies “train their managers to help articulate the EVP and embed it in their culture.”)

Are you providing value to your employees? Check out What Employees Love About Working for Small Businesses

81% of Candidates Want Continuous Communication Throughout Hiring Process

May 29th, 2017 Comments off

They say when you get someone’s number you should play it cool and wait a few days to call them. Whether that’s true in dating or not, it’s definitely bad advice for employers looking to hire. According to CareerBuilder’s recent Candidate Experience Study, seeming over-eager is the last thing employers need to worry about: 81 percent of job seekers say employers communicating continuous status updates would greatly improve their overall experience.


What Does This Mean For You?

The biggest frustration for job seekers is a lack of response from employers (cited by 52 percent of all job seekers). Even if you can’t provide constant updates, 83 percent of candidates say having a clear timeline of the hiring process would greatly improve their experience.


Job seekers want to know where they stand. Improving how you communicate with them throughout the hiring process can have a huge impact on the candidate experience – which, in turn, will help you attract even better candidates to your company.


Read the full Candidate Experience Study to learn more.

4 Tips for Measuring Employee Productivity

May 17th, 2017 Comments off
Measuring Employee Productivity

At small businesses, there is always a lot to do, so it’s not hard to stay busy. But are your employees staying productive? You invest a lot in your employees, so you want to ensure they are investing a lot in you as well. So how you are you measuring the return on that investment? Below are some tips to measure the productivity of your small business employees and ways to ensure they meet their potential.

  1. Map out goals. While you may have a clear understanding of your business’ short- and long-term goals, they may not be clear to your employees. Communicate these goals clearly to your employees and then work with them to create individual performance goals that tie directly to the business’ goals. Employees who see how their work contributes to company goals are more engaged and, therefore, more productive than those who don’t see that connection, research shows.
  2. Measure tasks completed, not hours logged. Sure, employees are logging 40-50 hours a week, but are they being productive? As CareerBuilder research has shown, time spent at the office isn’t necessarily time spent working (meanwhile, nearly half of employees do work outside of normal office hours). While it’s tempting to want to track employees’ activity online and when, how often and how long they take breaks, this may not be the best measure of productivity. Not all employees work the same way. While some workers like to work on multiple projects at once or take frequent, short breaks, others prefer to work in longer blocks and knock projects out one at a time. Others may find they work best during off hours or remotely. If you’re only tracking hours logged, you may be missing more important metrics, such as deadlines met, projects completed, or results achieved.Divide work into projects with deadlines according to how long the task should take. Ask employees for their input on how long certain tasks may take and why, and have them log their time spent on projects. Asking employees to log hours will likely be met with some resistance – after all, it may feel as if you do not trust them or are simply adding one more step to their to-do list. Explain to them that logging hours on projects will enable you to get a better understanding of how long it takes to complete certain projects and help you set deadlines moving forward. It will also ensure you are not overloading them with too much work.
  3. Check in often. Ask for daily or weekly status updates to keep tabs on what projects employees are working on, how much progress they are making and if they are running into any challenges. These can be in the form of group emails or in-person, “team huddles.” Share this information with the whole team. While no one wants to add another meeting to their agenda or another item to their to do lists, these status updates not only keep your staff accountable to one another, they will give everyone on the team a better understanding of who’s working on what and where there might be opportunities to collaborate.
  4. Take advantage of free software. While employees can use spreadsheets to track productivity, there are plenty of free or low-cost software options to quickly track and manage productivity. Some to try include iDoneThis, a program that sends email reminders for employees to list their daily accomplishments, which are then compiled a daily digest of the whole team’s accomplishments. With 15Five, employees take 15 minutes each week to answer questions regarding their work, which managers then review and provide feedback on. With programs like Basecamp, Trello and Asana, employees can add their tasks for the day/week/month, check them off as they’re completed and share them with others.


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Increase Team Performance Through Recruitment and Bonuses

May 10th, 2017 Comments off
Team performance

Teamwork is extremely prevalent, especially in the services sector, a growing part of the economy. How can we spur top performance from our teams?

Social Service Activities Spark Team Players

First thing’s first, start with hiring the right people. Researchers studied candidates’ willingness to contribute to the team effort rather than waiting for others to do the work. Candidates who listed on their resumes activities like working with the elderly or the disabled were significantly more likely to be team players. By contrast, candidates who participated in sports teams or student organizations were no more likely to be team players than the average candidate.

Team Incentives Lead to Increased Profit

On top of hiring the right people, you can enhance team performance by setting the right incentives. In a large German bakery chain, team bonuses were introduced for bakeries that reached their sales targets. These bonuses motivated bakery employees to increase the number of customers they served, and therefore increase sales. Each dollar spent on the team bonus increased sales by $3.80 and profits by $2.10.

Team Performance Bonuses Work Better for Busy Teams

Which bakeries enhanced their sales the most in response to a team bonus? The researchers found that the effect of the team bonus was largest in larger cities. In an area with many customers, bakery employees were able to increase sales by speeding up the service during busy times. Team bonus pay is more likely to be effective when employees have work that they could accomplish if they were quicker and more efficient as a team.

Get Tips for Attracting and Keeping Top Employees

Ioana Marinescu is an assistant professor in economics at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on understanding labor markets. She has been collaborating on data and research projects with CareerBuilder and she is especially interested in how to get the right people to work in the right jobs. You can follow her on twitter @mioana and check out her research on her website, marinescu.eu.


How to Succeed as a One-Person HR Team

May 10th, 2017 Comments off
One-person HR Team

While running a one-person HR team certainly has its challenges – from having to juggle multiple tasks at once to ensuring compliance with various rules and regulations – it also has its advantages as well. For one thing, as a one-man (or woman) show, you do not need to worry about adhering to traditional HR departmental structure and can create your own system that works for you. There is also less red tape to cut through when trying to implement new policies or try new software. But even the most independent-minded and organized HR pros need help every once in a while. Below are some tips to help you thrive as an HR team of one.

Create a plan. They say failing to plan is planning to fail, so start by creating a plan with what you want to accomplish and when. Make a calendar to keep tabs on important dates such as EEO1 filing, benefit enrollment periods, form I-9 expiration dates and other important deadlines. Then make a list of short- and long-term goals. Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can create a list of steps needed to reach these goals. Maintaining a list of goals, due dates and steps to accomplish these goals will help your HR team of one stay on track – even when unexpected issues arise (and they always do).

Find a trusted legal counselor or consultant. As an HR team of one, you have to ensure safe, secure and legal employment practices at all times. Having an attorney on hand whom you can trust can save you time researching issues and provide much-needed expertise as well as an outside perspective on such issues. Many HR teams have legal counsel on retainer to help with matters such as administrative investigations and audits, documentation preparation and review, wage compliance and employee/independent contractor classification.

Stay informed. As a one-person HR department, it is your job to stay ahead of the latest news affecting HR. Subscribe to industry newsletters for articles, tools and tips to help you solve HR issues and plan for the future. Sign up for free webinars and look for networking events where you can connect with fellow HR experts, who can provide advice and input. If you have room in your budget, sign up for an industry conference (such as HR Tech or SHRM) for further learning and networking opportunities.

Use social media to your advantage. Today, social media plays a big role in recruitment and employee engagement. Companies use social media for everything from researching job candidates to advertising job postings and attracting job applicants. (Get tips on social media recruiting for small businesses here.) Social media can also help you learn about important HR trends and get insider advice when you follow influential HR bloggers.

Get to know the staff one on one. It’s essential to get to know the management team and staff as deeply as possible. Schedule meetings with each division head and anyone else involved in the process of hiring, firing and performance management. While the meetings do not need to be formal, make sure you have an agenda for each meeting in order to stay focused and ensure you get the most out of each meeting. Learn about the organizational goals and how you can help meet those goals. Regular communication with management will help you stay ahead of upcoming business changes that will affect employees and help you plan accordingly.

Embrace technology. Investing in HR technology might be the smartest move you make as an HR team of one. The right HR technology can reduce time spent on administrative tasks by up to 50 percent and save up to 40 percent on administrative tasks. Not only does it save you time on tasks such as running payroll, enrolling employees in benefits, generating management reports and running background checks, technology also helps to minimize human error. While implementing HR technology requires an investment of both time and money, in the long run, it will save you both, helping you become more efficient and avoid costly hiring mistakes.


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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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Is the Growing Skills Gap Causing Nurse Burnout?

May 4th, 2017 Comments off
Emotional stress of young doctor

The burgeoning skills gap in our nation is probably something you’ve heard a lot about. Employers across all industries are struggling to find the right talent to fill their open positions. Nursing, the backbone of U.S. health care, is not immune to this growing talent shortage – 56 percent of health care employers say they currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates, seven percentage points higher than any other industry surveyed.

Meanwhile, the number of nursing jobs is increasing at an accelerated rate. CareerBuilder’s analysis of the labor market shows the number of nursing jobs (RN and LPN) in the U.S. grew 6 percent from 2012 to 2016 to 3.5 million, and is expected to grow another 7 percent from 3.6 million in 2017 to 3.9 million in 2021.

Employers looking everywhere for the right talent
As nursing jobs increase, employers are struggling to find qualified talent to fill job vacancies. CareerBuilder research looked at the number of unique (or de-duplicated) nursing job postings in Q1 2017 and compared that to the total number of job postings for nurses – meaning how many times those unique job postings were posted on other sites – to find a stat called the posting intensity ratio. The higher the posting intensity ratio, the more effort employers are putting toward hiring.

In Q1 2017, the average number of unique job postings for registered nurses was 178,586, but the total number of job postings for registered nurses in that timeframe was 1,749,900 – a ratio of 10:1. That means every unique job listing for registered nurses was posted an average of ten times on different sites, signaling a highly competitive hiring environment where employers are using multiple touch points to try to reach potential job candidates.

Talent shortage may lead to burnout
This skills gap is leaving nurses currently on staff with larger workloads and longer hours. Day-to-day demands and high pressure situations have 7 in 10 nurses saying they feel burnt out in their current job, and 54 percent of nurses rating their stress level at work as high.

The effects of stress are real – nurses report feeling tired all the time (50 percent), experiencing sleepless nights (35 percent), weight gain (33 percent), high anxiety (32 percent), aches and pains (32 percent) and depression (19 percent).

Seventy-eight percent of nurses say their company does not offer classes or programs to help employees manage stress.

How you can combat nurse burnout and fill your skills gap

  • Build relationships with nurses in the community. In order to recruit nurses, merely posting jobs no longer cuts it. Employers need to build relationships with nurses in their communities. Creating a network of nursing talent will help you build your pipeline of candidates.
  • Recognize nurse burn out, and provide the right tools. Burned out nurses are causing harm not only to themselves – long-term high levels of stress can be a major detriment to one’s health – but they can also be putting their patients at risk. Make sure your nurses are getting the support they need by offering a flexible work environment, encouraging exercise, establishing an open door policy and offering mental health tools.
  • Focus on continued education. Talk to nurses about career ladders, and encourage them to take classes in areas they’d like to grow. Establish a mentorship program and encourage team members to seek each other out for advice. Encourage team bonding and the formation of solid, trusting relationships– colleagues are an important source of support at work.

For more advice on filling your nursing skills gap, check out these blog posts:


Just 17% of Employers Say Graduates Are Unprepared to Work

May 1st, 2017 Comments off

The central reason many people go to college or university is to better prepare themselves to work in their chosen field. However, in recent years some employers have argued that college graduates are not adequately prepared to enter the workforce.


CareerBuilder’s annual survey on college graduate hiring shows that such concerns may be becoming less prevalent. According the survey, just 17 percent of employers said they don’t think educational institutions adequately prepared graduates – a drop from 24 percent last year.


What this means for you

Employers who are more satisfied with the quality of candidates they’re finding in more recent graduating classes are going to be more competitive in bringing them onboard. If you’re company is looking to hiring recent graduates, you may need to sweeten the deal in order to stay competitive.


However, if you’re still not quite happy with the candidates in this latest pool of college graduates, it may be worth taking a closer look at why and finding ways to help candidates improve. Organizing on the job training programs at your company around the biggest weaknesses you see in recent graduates can help you create the perfect candidates rather than wait for them.

Hiring This Year’s College Graduates? Be Prepared to Pay

April 27th, 2017 Comments off
hiring college graduates

College graduation ceremonies are about to begin around the U.S.—a celebration of four years of hard work. This also means droves of new talent will enter the job market.

Since the recession, much of the news for new graduates has been unsettling, with sporadic periods where the market improves. But this year’s graduates should be happy to learn that hiring is expected to go up this year, according to new CareerBuilder research. According to the data, 74 percent of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up from 67 percent last year and the highest outlook since 2007. Half plan to offer recent college graduates higher pay (compared to 37 percent last year), and 39 percent of employers hiring recent college graduates will pay a starting salary of $50,000 or more (compared to 27 percent last year).

The increased interest in hiring recent college grads, and the indication that more companies are looking to increase compensation, should provide some optimism to soon-to-be graduates. But that doesn’t mean they’re exactly what employers are looking for.

While they’re eager to hire the best and brightest, some employers are concerned that new college grads may not be ready for the workforce. Seventeen percent do not feel academic institutions are adequately preparing students for roles needed within their organizations, a decrease from 24 percent last year. When asked where academic institutions fall short, these employers cited the following concerns:

  • Too much emphasis on book learning instead of real-world learning: 44 percent
  • I need workers with a blend of technical skills and those skills gained from liberal arts: 38 percent
  • Entry-level roles within my organization are more complex today: 23 percent
  • Technology is changing too quickly for an academic environment to keep up: 17 percent
  • Not enough focus on internships: 17 percent
  • Not enough students are graduating with the degrees my company needs: 12 percent


When asked to name which skills they think recent college graduates lack for the workplace, most of these employers cited interpersonal or people skills (50 percent) or problem-solving skills (45 percent). Other skills these employers stated include:

  • Teamwork: 39 percent
  • Oral communication: 39 percent
  • Leadership: 38 percent
  • Written communication: 35 percent
  • Creative thinking: 34 percent
  • Project management: 26 percent
  • Research and analysis: 17 percent
  • Computer and technical: 17 percent
  • Math: 14 percent


3 Ways to Get Your New Grad Up to Speed
For many college graduates, transitioning from graduation to their first real job is nerve-racking. Why? Because it may be uncharted territory. How do you take your new hire from the classroom to the boardroom? Try these three tactics:

Help build teamwork skills: Plan some office ice-breakers, team lunches, or happy hours to help workers get to know each other and build relationships. When people are more at ease, they’ll feel more comfortable exchanging ideas.

Teach employees how to work across generations: Create a reverse mentoring program at your company. This is a great way to show your younger hires that their opinions and experiences are valuable to their co-workers—and vice versa.

Create an open environment: Encourage your new hire to ask questions. Let him or her know that you’re available and there to help. Make that clear by setting up time to talk every day for the first few weeks.

Learn how to build a successful campus recruiting program.

6 Ways to Stop Employee Turnover in Its Tracks

April 26th, 2017 Comments off
stop employee turnover

At small businesses, employee turnover is no small deal. Staff sizes are already small, so when one person leaves, it makes an impact on both productivity and morale. As you take the time (and money) to hire and train someone new, the rest of the employees are left must pick up the slack. Instead of waiting for employees to quit, stop employee turnover before it starts. Below are the major reasons employees leave their jobs – and what you can do to prevent them.

  1. No opportunities for advancement. One of the major reasons employees leave their jobs is that they do not see any chance to advance at their current companies. This is especially common at small businesses, where opportunities for upward mobility are few and far between. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help employees create a satisfying career path that meets their goals. (Get more tips for creating a career path for your small business.)
  2. They have no work-life balance. Not only does helping employees achieve a healthy work-life balance help them, it’s good for business. Ask your employees what you can do to ease their schedules and see if you can arrange to let them work from home a few times a month or create more flexible schedules. (Learn more ways to help employees achieve work-life balance.)
  3. They are burned out. Employee burnout is all too common in workplaces where workers are constantly challenged to “do more with less.” When push comes to shove, employees may start to look elsewhere for a less stressful environment. If you think this is the case at your company, there are steps you can take to lighten their workload, reduce stress and prevent burnout, such as helping them prioritize projects and manage their time or bringing in some temporary help.
  4. They don’t get along with their bosses. An estimated 50 percent of workers have left a job “to get away from a bad manager,” according to Gallup research. But what defines a bad manager? In a separate CareerBuilder study, workers who showed the least satisfaction with their bosses said they needed improvement in the following areas: communication style, attitude toward employees, equal treatment of employees and recognition of employees’ good work. Make sure your managers are providing your employees the support they need. Survey your employees to find out where management could improve and take the necessary measures to to fix these areas.
  5. They don’t get along with their co-workers. Just as important as getting along with your boss is getting along with your employees. Research shows a direct link between job satisfaction and how well people get along with their colleagues. Unfortunately, not all companies get along “like family.” Learn the signs of a toxic work culture and, if you recognize them, take steps to eliminate the problem.  
  6. They want more pay. This is a tough area for small businesses, where they cannot always pay as much as bigger companies. If you can’t afford to offer your employees a raise, you may be able to offer perks that can help them save money and help fill the compensation gap. These include transportation and tuition reimbursement, telecommuting options and extra PTO. (For more ideas, check out What to Offer Your Employees When You Can’t Offer a Raise.)

With small businesses, where the HR “team” is often a one-person operation, managing your workforce is no easy task. Consider looking into human capital management software, which can help small businesses automate workplace tasks, making it easier to manage everything from employee benefits, to the onboarding process to background checks. This way, your HR teams are less burdened with paperwork and better able to tend to employees’ needs on a human level, which can have a direct impact on employee satisfaction and retention.

Want to find out how your employees really feel about their jobs? Ask them. Check out The Best Questions for Your Employee Engagement Survey.


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


68% Of Employers Can’t Fill Open Positions

April 24th, 2017 Comments off
qualified candidates

It’s hard to find good help. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, the old adage may just be true. Nearly 68 percent of U.S. employers who said they were increasing their number of full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter of 2017 currently have open positions they can’t fill. The problem isn’t just a lack of candidates – it’s a lack of qualified talent.

The growing skills gap is a concern to 67 percent of employers. More than half of those surveyed say it has negatively impacted their business due to extended job vacancies, with a sizable proportion of employers pointing to productivity issues, an increase in voluntary turnover and revenue loss. HR managers report that extended job vacancies cost more than $800,000 annually.

What Does This Mean For You?

If you are unable to find the right talent outside your company, consider focusing your efforts internally instead. Investing in the talent you already have can fill employment gaps and keep your company running smoothly.

Here are a few ways to get started:

Take stock of your company culture. Companies with great cultures experience less turnover. Plus, happy employees are more likely to act as brand advocates and attract the right people to your company. If your employees aren’t happy, consider making changes to improve overall morale.

Reskill employees. Just because an employee currently works in marketing doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be great for sales. Get to know your employees’ individual strengths and weaknesses and consider reskilling those with the potential to move laterally through the organization.

Find other ways to tackle the skills gap issue.



Recruiting Techniques to Increase Team Performance

April 21st, 2017 Comments off
team performance

When you are hiring someone, you are probably mostly focusing on how well they are likely to perform on the job. However, if you are hiring people who will be working in teams (i.e., most people!), you should also consider how much they will contribute to team performance.

In a prior blog post using the NBA as a case study, I have shown that good team players are under-compensated. Here, I want to discuss how team performance influences individual employees: Ultimately, what is the value of a high-performing team?

Performance of New Recruits Increases
If you have put together a high-performing team, will that stimulate new team members to perform better? Will peer effects work to improve performance? A study published in the prestigious journal Science that examined over 34 distinct studies of peer effects found that on average, when peers are 10 percent more productive, each worker is about 1 percent more productive. It is worthwhile to create highly productive teams because this productivity will spill over to new recruits. Over time, recruiting high-performing people will increase the performance of the whole team.

Cooperative Teams Perform Better
The study also found that the positive effect of peers on performance is diminished by competition. In teams where there is a lot of rivalry, the positive effect of team performance on each worker is diminished. When people see each other as rivals, they are less likely to learn from each other or cooperate. On the other hand, in the presence of group pay incentives, positive peer effects were even larger. When the whole team stands to gain from individual efforts, workers are more likely to increase each other’s performance.

Increased Compensation Keeps Teams Together
A high-performing team is not just the sum of individual performance. Instead, employees stimulate each other to perform better. Therefore, in order to keep the team together and avoid employee attrition, it can make sense to increase everyone’s pay. Many employers pay an employee more when they are part of a high-performing team – especially in workplaces where employees can easily observe each other’s performance. So, to continue reaping the benefits of a high performing team, consider increasing compensation. This will both attract better employees and keep the high-performing team together.

Find Out How to Source Candidates with Salary and Skills Data

Ioana Marinescu is an assistant professor in economics at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on understanding labor markets. She has been collaborating on data and research projects with CareerBuilder and she is especially interested in how to get the right people to work in the right jobs. You can follow her on twitter @mioana and check out her research on her website, marinescu.eu.

Hiring Immigrant Workers: 3 Things to Know

April 20th, 2017 Comments off
hiring immigrants

There may be some negativity toward immigrants among segments of the population, but the same doesn’t ring true for employers. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, a third of employers (33 percent) say they plan to hire immigrant workers in 2017, with 16 percent planning to do so in the second quarter.

The types of functional positions non-U.S. born workers are being recruited to fill varies from industry to industry. Among employers who are hiring immigrant workers this year, this includes:

  • Technical (42 percent)
  • Administrative (31 percent)
  • Manual labor (31 percent)
  • Sales (30 percent)
  • Creative (29 percent)
  • Financial (25 percent)
  • Managerial (23 percent)


Of employers who hire immigrant workers, the vast majority (80 percent) say that they pay the same to both U.S. born workers and immigrants working in the same roles.

As the data shows, employers are recognizing that immigrant workers can be an asset to a business. However, if you are interested in hiring foreign workers then you need to know how to do so legally so that the employment relationship can continue, the employee can avoid deportation and you can avoid the legal consequences for illegally employing a foreign worker.

Make sure you verify every employee’s employment eligibility: When hiring any employee, you are required to verify that he or she is legally eligible to work in the U.S. To do so, you need to file an Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9) within three days of hiring the employee. The I-9 form provides the procedure for verifying an employee’s eligibility to work, including examples of the types of documents required an employee must present for verification. While employers are barred from hiring employees without legal status, they are also prohibited from discriminating against job applicants or employees based on national origin or citizenship status.

Will the worker need a visa? Make sure you decide on the right immigration program to use: There are numerous visa programs available and you will need to decide which one is appropriate for the types of international employees you want to hire. Do you plan on your new employees becoming permanent residents or will you only hire them temporarily? What job function will they be fulfilling? Are you looking to hire someone from a country with which the US has a treaty, or elsewhere? These are all considerations you must take in choosing a business immigration program.

Work with the department of labor: Before moving forward with the visa process with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you will have to obtain a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). These certifications are in place so that the DOL can verify that the admittance of your foreign employees to the U.S. will not harm job opportunities, wages or working conditions for U.S. workers. There are various certifications employers must obtain depending on the type of business immigration program they are using.

Improving regulatory compliance is just one benefit of using a background check provider. Learn three more.

4 Recruitment Metrics Every Small Business Needs

April 19th, 2017 Comments off
recruitment metrics

Small business owners who leave recruitment metrics to the “big guys” may be missing out on important information that could improve efficiency and minimize hiring mistakes. Don’t become overwhelmed by all the possible metrics to track. Instead, focus your limited time and resources on ones that will yield data you can use to make better decisions. Here are some of the most valuable to small businesses:

Every small business leader wants a good retention rate. Finding and training new employees is costly, and vacant positions affect productivity. Turnover is an area for which both quantitative and qualitative information is crucial. Keep track of all employees by position and length of service.

If new hire turnover rates are problematic, it may mean you need to place greater emphasis on cultural fit when hiring or develop a stronger onboarding program. Anyone who leaves your small business should be given an exit survey, which will help you spot departure trends such as salary concerns or difficulty working with a particular colleague.

Applications completed
Figuring out how many people started an application to your small business versus the number who actually submitted can show if your process has a problem. Perhaps potential talent gets discouraged by too many input fields or a career site that doesn’t run well on mobile devices. Improving the candidate experience may lead to a better, larger pool.

Offer ratios
While small business owners often interview quite a few people for a position because they want to find the “perfect” match, a lengthy process takes up valuable time and effort. Keep tabs on how often you bring in someone but fail to extend a job offer. You may need to work on attracting better matches through a more targeted job description and recruiting campaign, or you may need to redefine your own expectations.

Also, take a look at your rates for another wasteful scenario — how many offers you extend versus the number of candidates who accept employment at your small business. Alarming numbers may signal a need to revise compensation or to work on finding better cultural fits. Pinpoint trends by collecting reasons behind their decision to decline.

Best sources

Finally, small business leaders always want to get the most bang for their buck. Monitoring which recruitment sources are yielding the best results enables better allocation of resources. Gathering such information is as easy as making a spread sheet. List where each hire came from (such as an employee referral, specific job board, social media channel, or internship), and rate the quality of that hire on a 1-10 scale. Over time, patterns will emerge as to which recruitment methods are the most fruitful for your small business.

Ready to go one step further? Check out Why and How Small Businesses Can Use HR Technology

Overall Salaries Up 2.9% Over Past 4 Years

April 17th, 2017 Comments off
Talent Factor April 17

While wages and salaries across all industries nationally increased by 2.9 percent between 2011 and 2016, that growth was far from uniform.

According to CareerBuilder’s 2017 Salary Guide, many sectors greatly outpaced the national growth rate. Wages and salaries in the information sector grew by 13.3 percent — more than any other sector — followed by real estate rental and leasing (8.1 percent) and crop and animal production (7 percent).


What Does This Mean for You?

The single, most persuasive incentive to job seekers is pay. So if you want to attract the best talent, your best bet is to offer a competitive salary. In order to do this, it’s important not only to benchmark against your competitors, but also against industries seeking workers with similar skills. Salary trends can reveal untapped talent pools – or even looming threats.

To learn more about today’s most dominant salary trends, download CareerBuilder’s 2017 Salary Guide.

The Workforce’s Billion Dollar Problem: Unskilled Workers

April 13th, 2017 Comments off
skills gap

We’ve all heard of the skills gap by now: Companies have lots of open positions but can’t find enough workers with the skills they need. But did you know these unfilled positions come at a high cost? According to a new CareerBuilder survey, nearly 60 percent of U.S. employers (56 percent) have job openings that stay vacant for 12 weeks or longer. The average cost HR managers say they incur for having extended job vacancies is more than $800,000 annually.

According to the survey, 68 percent of employers who said they were increasing their number of full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter (Jan.1-March 31, 2017) currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates. This is consistent across company sizes with larger companies – which tend to have more job openings in general:

  • 1-50 employees: 49 percent
  • 51-250 employees: 74 percent
  • 251-500 employees: 72 percent
  • 501+ employees: 71 percent


More Than Money is Being Lost

Two in 3 employers (67 percent) say they are concerned about the growing skills gap, and with good reason. More than half (55 percent) say they have seen a negative impact on their business due to extended job vacancies with a sizable proportion of these employers pointing to productivity issues, an increase in voluntary turnover and revenue loss:

  • Productivity loss: 45 percent
  • Higher employee turnover: 40 percent
  • Lower morale: 39 percent
  • Lower quality work: 37 percent
  • Inability to grow business: 29 percent
  • Revenue loss: 26 percent


What You Can Do

Bridging the skills gap can have an exponentially positive impact on workers, businesses and the greater community. The most sustainable and thriving communities are those with good jobs. That’s why businesses should take an active role in cultivating the talents of today’s and tomorrow’s generations of workers – and these three steps can make an impact.

Start early: The skills gap in the U.S. is in large part an information gap — many young people are unaware of jobs that are in high-demand, pay well and are aligned with what they’re passionate about. Businesses need to do a better job of informing students of fast-growing fields, so they can discover career options that not only provide job security, but pay well. Get in front of students at an early age.

To this end, CareerBuilder and our economists at Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) created Find Your Calling, a free website to help students discover career and education options based on data from more than 100 employment resources. Visitors on the website start with a simple, interactive personality test for careers. The student is then presented with careers that match their interests with details ranging from job growth projections, salary ranges and businesses that are hiring to college programs they can apply to today.

Create the perfect candidate: Businesses should also invest in reskilling the current workforce to create the perfect hire, instead of waiting for one to come along. The good news is half of U.S. companies are already taking action. Fifty-four percent said they have trained workers who have no experience in their industry or field and hired them. Forty-six percent of employers have hired a low-skill worker and trained him/her for a higher-skill job within the last two years.

To help with this, last year Capella Learning Solutions and CareerBuilder launched an initiative called RightSkill, which enables workers to upskill and reskill for in-demand jobs within 60 days or less. The program, which is currently free for candidates, teaches competencies online based on real-time data and guidance from employers.

Join forces with educators: Partnerships between universities, corporate training organizations and corporations isn’t new. Companies like IBM have been teaming up with universities since the early days of computer science education more than 70 years ago. But, as the debate over the skills gap accelerates, collaborations between educational facilities and businesses should become more sophisticated and evolve to meet shifting economic, marketplace and educational needs. As the next-generation partnerships are anointed, you can help guide the formation of curriculum so the workforce of the future can keep up with rapid technological changes.

Find out how to use workforce analytics to build your talent strategy

4 Essential Soft Skills for Small Business

April 12th, 2017 Comments off
Soft skills - manager click on button to purchase soft skills training.

Hard skills undoubtedly play a vital part in an employee’s success at a small business. From troubleshooting tech problems to keeping financial records, these competencies enable workers to perform specific job-related duties essential to small business operations.

But a recent CareerBuilder survey showed that the vast majority of employers (77 percent) believe that an employee’s soft skills (less tangible skills associated with one’s personality and ability to relate to others) are just as important as hard skills. In fact, 16 percent of employers said soft skills are more important than hard skills when evaluating candidates for a job.

In order to form a team of employees with outstanding soft skills, you must first determine which soft skills are most vital to your small business. Prized attributes vary by workplace, but four of the most desirable at a small business oftentimes include:


When staff size is limited, every employee’s actions count. Small business owners need workers they can rely on to meet deadlines, deliver quality work, prioritize tasks and act in the best interests of the company. In the CareerBuilder survey, dependability and work ethic tied for the top spot when employers listed the soft skills they look for when hiring.


Members of a small business team must juggle many roles. People who can adapt to the company’s ever-changing needs and aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zones are invaluable to a small business.


Innovators push small businesses to think outside the box to operate effectively, stay competitive and reach new heights. And because lack of resources tends to be a problem for most small businesses, what company couldn’t use a creative problem-solver who can do more with less?

Positive attitude

In tight quarters, one bad apple quickly spoils the bunch. But workers who can embrace change, remain confident and lift spirits keep themselves and others motivated. Research shows that, of new hires who failed within 18 months, 89 percent of the time it was due to attitudinal reasons (only due to lack of skill 11 percent of the time).

Soft skills, however, can be difficult to measure objectively and even more difficult to spot in potential employees. But small business owners can take the following steps to build a team with the attributes they desire:

  1. Interview with care. Place as much emphasis on evaluating candidates’ soft skills as you would their hard skills. Ask about times the candidate had to overcome a challenge, work with a team, or learn something new. Inquire about time-management strategies. Then, call references to see what they have to say about the potential hire’s attitude and actions.
  2. Teach soft skills. Is someone on your small business staff a to-do list wizard? Assign that person to mentor colleagues less adept at prioritizing and organizing. Or perhaps everyone on the team could benefit from viewing a webinar on expanding creativity or reading a book on increasing positivity.
  3. Set goals. Work with each individual to determine which soft skills could use improvement. Create an action plan, and set a time-frame for evaluation of progress. When members of your small business team know which attributes you require of employees, they’ll work on developing these soft skills just as they would hard ones.


Set your employees up for success. Check out How to Develop Your Small Business Employees Into Leaders.


Want a Great Onboarding Experience? Understand Your Audience

April 11th, 2017 Comments off
onboarding experience

The world is full of HR buzzwords. Onboarding is one of them.

The fact that onboarding is a buzzword in HR doesn’t mean it’s without importance or merit. It simply means that it’s hard to do, but we understand the importance. That means that a lot of people talk about it, but few do it well.

To get a real game plan together related to onboarding, you need to understand multiple angles – including the difference between transactional and transformative onboarding, generational differences related to onboarding expectations and how to use your ongoing employee onboarding process to your advantage in recruiting.

Tired of your onboarding feeling like a buzzword? Great – let’s map out how to make your onboarding experience relevant to your company without having to hire another full-time employee to handle it.

Transactional vs. Transformative Onboarding

See what I did there? I added some more buzzwords! Transformative is a big word when it comes to onboarding, but it simply means that you’re doing more than handling transactions when getting new talent started with your company.

Most companies sit employees down, cover policy, benefits, payroll and get 109 forms signed in three hours and call it onboarding. This transactional side is important, but if that’s all you do you’ll never realize the full potential of onboarding.

The goal of any new hire onboarding process should be to minimize the amount of time spent on boring topics and doing paperwork. Get as efficient as you can with those items (use technology) and then move to things that can strengthen the bond new employees feel with your company.

Examples of transformative onboarding include the following:

  • Bringing in focused guest speakers to talk about your culture.
  • Linking new employees with guides/sherpas/mentors that will meet with them consistently in their first 90 days to provide encouragement/support.
  • Starting the goal-setting process of what each new hire wants to accomplish in their first 90/180 days with your company. Including the new hire’s manager in this is a great way to link onboarding with your broader talent strategy.


You’ve got your own examples for what “transformative” onboarding looks like. As long as you’re doing something besides popping a phone-book size of paperwork down in front of the new employee, you’re probably on the right track.

Generational Differences in Onboarding Expectations

As with anything talent-related, generational differences should be considered as you are building your onboarding platform at your company. Here’s what you need to know about generations as it relates to onboarding:

  • BoomersScared of their vulnerability based on their age. Sure, they may be easier to please because they’re happy to have found a job, and unless you truly run them off, they’re probably going to stick. But that’s not the path to engage this group. For best onboarding and subsequent engagement results, make sure boomers see role models their age doing interesting work and being valued as a part of your onboarding sessions (think guest speakers), and consider optional follow-up sessions on understanding benefits (because health care is top of mind for this group).
  • Millennials/ZHopeful that you don’t absolutely suck as an employer, but actively scanning for signs that you do suck. This group is most likely to make a quick change if their BS meter goes off and their needs aren’t met. For best results, you need to automate the transactional (signing paperwork) part of your onboarding process (they won’t respect you if you’re analog) and consider having follow up sessions that are delivered on demand. Those two things will go a long way with this segment (as will goal setting and mentoring programs), but you won’t maximize your street cred with this group without talking about corporate social responsibility. Knowing your company cares about something other than itself is huge toward this group sticking with you when the path becomes rough at work.
  • Gen X This group has no rights, and thus, no expectations. I kid – this is the group I’m part of. Managing to the tastes of Boomers and Millennials/Z will effectively paint the corners of what’s important to this group. Gen X has uploaded a lot of the tech habits of Millennials/Z, but is just old enough to feel some Boomer pain/fear as well. Do what you do to cater to the other generations, throw in a few clips from “Seinfeld” and you’ll manage the needs of Gen X effectively.


Cater to expectations of generations in this way, and you’ll automatically arrive at the 90th percentile of all onboarding programs.

Using Onboarding Programs as a Recruiting Advantage

Remember the Circle of Life in “The Lion King”? Of course you do. While I’d love to talk about Simba and company, I reference the song to make a simple point. If you ramp up your onboarding game, you’ve got to think like a marketer and play back what you’re doing to get new employees up to speed as part of your recruitment marketing efforts – think career site, social channels and more.

Think about the onboarding experience as a marketer, and you’ll realize the benefits are circular (thus my Lion King reference). Promoting what’s going on in onboarding shows future candidates you’re better than most, and there’s a vanity retention play for new employees – it feels great to them to be featured. It’s a big circle – of benefits to your brand.

Whatever you do, the first step is the most important. Make your onboarding more than transactions. Once you do that, you’ll see that you can provide tremendous value in your onboarding programs that impacts engagement, performance and retention – the reason you’re thinking about onboarding in the first place.

How to Use Technology During the Onboarding Process

Kris Dunn is the CHRO at Kinetix and founder of HR Capitalist and Fistful of Talent.
Who am I? That’s an easy question – I’m a VP of HR type who has led HR practices in Fortune 500s and venture capital-held startups. I work for a living, and believe that the key to great business results is to get great people, then do cool stuff to maximize their motivation, performance and effectiveness once you have them in the door. As it turns out, that’s my simple definition of talent management. I believe that all forms of HR administration should be squeezed down to the smallest amount of time possible, giving you more time to do stuff that matters. I’m also among the most transparent HR pros you can find, and here’s why. I care so much about the art of HR that I’ve started two blogs (www.hrcapitalist.com and www.fistfuloftalent.com) with the goal of building a community I could learn from. I’ve been putting my thoughts down every business day for over 7 years. 

45% of U.S. Employers Plan on Hiring Full-Time, Permanent Employees in the Second Quarter

April 10th, 2017 Comments off
talent network

It takes time for an economy to recover after a recession. But when the tides do turn, increased hiring is one of the first signs that an economy is getting back on track. And according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, the hiring outlook for the second quarter is the best it’s been in a decade.

Forty-five percent of U.S. employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the second quarter—up from 34 percent last year. This represents the highest percentage for the quarter dating back to 2007 when just 29 percent of employers planned to hire.

What Does This Mean for You?
With so many employers looking for talented candidates, the talent market will become competitive. Building a strong talent network will help you find and retain top talent.

Talent networks are automated platforms that enable job seekers to upload their information—name, contact information, work history, etc.—into your company’s database to be notified of new job opportunities. This helps you build a pipeline of viable candidates who are ready—and qualified—to step into open positions.

But remember, with a talent network, candidate experience is key. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and visually appealing. If it’s not, job seekers will be less likely to join.


Q2 2017: The Best Job Market in a Decade

April 7th, 2017 Comments off
Q2 hiring forecast

The U.S. economy has been adding a healthy number of jobs in recent months, and according to the latest jobs forecast, that trend will continue. Forty-five percent of U.S. employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the second quarter – a significant jump from 34 percent last year and the highest percentage for the quarter dating back to 2007.

Here are some other key takeaways from the forecast to consider for your recruitment strategy:

Temporary Hiring Up

Temporary hiring is also expected to experience a double-digit boost year-over-year with nearly half of employers (49 percent) planning to add temporary or contract workers over the next three months. Today’s employers are increasingly turning to temporary hiring when structuring their workforce, as it affords them the ability to remain flexible and agile in their staffing needs and therefore scale up their businesses with ease. They oftentimes look to temporary hiring as a vehicle to be able to test drive candidates to better determine which ones are best suited for permanent placement.

Q1 Saw Positive Growth

Employers were already feeling a greater sense of confidence in the beginning of this year. Forty-six percent of employers reported that they increased their number of full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter, outperforming the same period in 2016 by 9 percentage points. Eight percent decreased headcount in Q1 2017, a slight change from 9 percent last year.

Hiring Strongest in the West

Are you fighting for talent in your area? Comparing regions, the West houses the largest percentages of employers expecting to add full-time, permanent employees (48 percent) and temporary or contract employees (54 percent) in the second quarter. The South and Northeast are following closely behind while the Midwest continues to trail other regions by a larger margin – though the Midwest is showing notable improvement compared to last year.

Companies Closely Monitoring New Administration

According to Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, the momentum of the first quarter is expected to continue over the next few months. “Companies say they are paying close attention to policies introduced by the new administration to assess the potential impact on businesses, but the hiring outlook is optimistic.”

Organizations Must Find Ways to Stay Competitive

As competition for talent continues to heat up, make sure you prioritize employees’ career development as a low-cost way to keep them around. Lack of career opportunities is a top reason employees say they leave an organization, so making this investment is pivotal. And although it’s certainly a retention tactic, it’s also a recruitment one. Job seekers from entry-level to executive are more concerned with opportunities for learning and development than any other aspect of a prospective job. This makes sense, since continuous learning is key when crafting a sustainable career.

View the Infographic: 2017 Hiring By the Numbers

The Ideal State for Great Employee Onboarding

April 6th, 2017 Comments off
ideal onboarding process

I don’t have an exact number, but I think I’ve probably onboarded close to 10,000 employees in my HR and talent acquisition career. Now, I didn’t always own the entire onboarding process but I played a role in all of those hires!

So, I like to think of myself as an onboarding expert. It’s a big responsibility, as onboarding is such a critical aspect of successful employee tenure. A horrible onboarding experience may drive new employees to look for another job by lunch time, but an awesome onboarding experience will make those same employees want to get out and recruit your next great hire!

It seems like most organizations are constantly tinkering with their onboarding processes, most likely because we feel like we can always make the orientation process for new hires better. I think for me there is never a “perfect” onboarding process, but I definitely think there is an ideal state for which you to strive to achieve in onboarding.

  1. Onboarding has to start before the first day of work. If your new employee shows up for their first day and no onboarding has taken place, you’ve failed that new employee.
  2. Administrative work for the new employee is absent on day one. That means you need to get all that administrative work out of the way before day one. There are a few ways to accomplish this but the best way is to utilize technology and have at least a portion of your onboarding completed online.
  3. Your new employees should know exactly what will be expected of them before they show up to work on day one, and hopefully much longer than that. When I went to work in HR at Applebee’s I was delivered a 90-day calendar completely filled in on what I would be working on and where I would be at each day. Of course, this is exceptional, but it’s not too much to ask that we deliver each new employee at least day one and probably week one.
  4. Give them a “wow” moment. A wow moment is not something that is the same for each employee, so this takes a bit of work. For one employee maybe it’s just taking them to lunch, for another maybe it’s sending flowers to their spouse and thanking them for allowing your team to “borrow” them each day. Maybe it’s decorating their office in their favorite team’s colors and banners. A wow moment on day one is really awesome!
  5. Onboarding can’t end after day one, or even week one. What’s the ideal length? I don’t know, that depends on your organization and the position someone was hired for. What I do know is that if you have a position with higher new hire turnover, you need to increase your onboarding time for those positions!


Onboarding is really hard to do well if you’re only using manual processes. Employee onboarding software allows you to do most of the administrative and scheduling of onboarding, which will then give you and your team the capacity to do all the extra things that make onboarding special for new employees.

Onboarding might be the most overlooked aspect of new hire turnover, and it’s something we in HR and talent acquisition completely control! By planning ahead, creating a good new hire experience and using technology to streamline processes, you can get closer to that ideal state of onboarding.

Find out more benefits of using technology in your onboarding process.

Tim Sackett, SPHR is the President of HRU Technical Resources a leading IT and Engineering Staffing firm headquartered in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of combined Executive HR and Talent Acquisition experience, working for Fortune 500 companies in healthcare, retail, dining and technology. Tim is a highly sought after national speaker on leadership, talent acquisition and HR execution. He also is a prolific writer in the HR and Talent space, writing for Fistful of Talent and his blog The Tim Sackett Project. Tim is married to a hall of fame wife. They have three sons and one dog. He is a lifelong workplace advocate for Diet Mt. Dew fountain machines and hugs.

8 Questions and Complaints You Hear When Onboarding a New Hire

April 5th, 2017 Comments off
new hire onboarding

You know the importance of having a good onboarding experience. A structured, technology-driven onboarding process can not only make your job easier, but it can have a big impact on the perception a new hire has of your company.

Having said all that, you may have the best onboarding process in the biz, but that doesn’t mean you might not occasionally get some, er, interesting questions and complaints from new hires.

Here are eight gifs to describe what you wish you could say – or do – in response to those questions you may get when onboarding a new hire:

1. My office is so small, what’s the process for getting a new one?


2. OMG there’s so much free food, I may never have to bring in a lunch!

share food

3. I thought my first paycheck would be bigger.


4. Oops, I forgot I was supposed to fill out my paperwork before I started.


5. Are there good restaurants around here?


6. Where can I pick up my personal packages?


7. Oh you were serious about me bringing in my IDs?


8. I didn’t know I only have 31 days to complete my benefits.


Learn How to Use Technology During the Onboarding Process

Over a Third of Workers Unsure How Much to Save for Retirement

April 3rd, 2017 Comments off
retirement survey

For many U.S. workers, retirement conjures up images of sunshine and travel. When it comes to planning for this chapter in life, however, many workers fall short. Over a third of workers ages 60 and older (34 percent) say they aren’t sure how much they’ll need to save in order to retire, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Also, employees aren’t always using the tools employers give them to start their savings: More than 1 in 4 workers age 55 and older (26 percent) do not participate in a 401(k), IRA or other retirement plan.

What Does This Mean for You?

Planning for retirement can be stressful for workers. Employers can help ease this stress by providing their employees guidance in this area. There are a variety of ways you can help your employees plan for a financially secure retirement, such as financial education and coaching to make sure employees know how much they need to save. Many employers simplify and automate the process of enrolling in retirement financial plans, to make it as easy as possible for employees to start saving. Many also give a company match to employees, to encourage them to save right away. It’s important to ensure your employees feel empowered with the tools they need to plan for their future.

Answers to 3 Common Affordable Care Act Questions

March 29th, 2017 Comments off

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a complex law that crosses several lines of business including finance, tax, legal, IT, benefits and HR. Since no one person is an expert in all six areas, it’s natural that questions will arise when it’s time to do your government mandated reporting.

To help ease that process, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked ACA questions:

  1. Who is Required to Report?

You are required to report if you are an applicable large employer (ALE). An ALE is a company with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), or a small employer that offers self-insured plans. Both groups are required to report IRS-required data annually beginning in 2016.

Your ALE status for the upcoming year is determined by current-year employee information. Full-time and full-time equivalent employees must be included in the calculation.

  1. Is My Participation Mandatory?

If you have 50 or more employees, you must complete Forms 1095-C and 1094-C.

If you have fewer than 50 employees, there are a few scenarios to consider, depending on your insurance status:

  • Self-insured: You must complete Forms 1095-B and 1094-B
  • Fully-insured: Your insurance carrier is responsible for filing on your behalf
  • No insurance: No reporting is required


No matter what, don’t forget to file Form 1095-C. It provides the IRS with information about employer-offered health plans. The 1095-C sends the IRS the information it needs to ensure that employers offering coverage are providing the minimum essential coverage that is affordable as required under the ACA.

  1. Will I Be Graded on a Curve?

There are no grades. You either pass or fail – and failure comes at a high cost. Penalties range from $250 to $3 million for each file return that’s missing, incorrect or incomplete. That includes employee copies.

You can be penalized for the following:

  • Failure to file returns
  • Failure to provide a copy to employees
  • Failure to include required information
  • Including incorrect information


Learn the benefits of using an ACA Compliance Partner

9 Steps to Improve Communication at Your Small Business

March 29th, 2017 Comments off
improve small business communication

Communication is one of the most essential business skills out there – but not all companies are great at communicating with employees. And that can breed distrust and effectively kill morale. One of the great things about running a small business is the ability to share news easily and efficiently. And with a smaller manager-to-employee relationship, it is easier to give employees individual time and attention. Take advantage of these elements. Here are some tips to improve internal communication at your small business.

  1. Hire with purpose. When hiring, look for candidates with good communication skills. This may be easier said than done. To evaluate a candidate’s communication skills, ask behavioral interview questions such as, “Tell me about a time you had a misunderstanding with a co-worker and how you resolved it.” By looking at past behavior, you can get a glimpse into how a prospective employee may act similarly in the future.
  2. Offer training. Not everyone is skilled at communication, and even those who are could use a brush up on their communication skills from time to time. Have an outside consultant come in and do a one-day workshop with your employees or find a local training program to send them to. Investing in training will not only turn them into better communicators, it will make them more loyal employees once they see that you are invested in their success.
  1. Check in once a day. According to recent Gallup research, employees who have the highest engagement levels at their company typically have some form of daily communication with their managers. Try to check in with your employees once a day, whether it’s face-to-face, over the phone or via email.
  1. Adopt an open-door policy. Having an open-door policy at your company encourage honest, open communication by letting employees come to you at any time with any challenges, concerns or ideas. Not only does this spur productive communication, it also enables you to keep a pulse on any potential problems and address them before they escalate.
  1. Schedule team-building activities. Team-building activities can improve the way individuals work with one another and communicate to solve problems. Not only are they great opportunities to learn, team-building exercises can be fun, acting as a much-needed break from the everyday grind. As a result, you’ll see higher morale and increased productivity, in addition to better communication overall.
  1. Send out regular email communication. Once a month, send out a newsletter (this could fall under the responsibility of one of your employees) to update employees on any company news and plans for what’s to come. This is also a great opportunity to share company wins and recognize individual employees for exceptional work. It’s also a great time to remind employees that they can always come to you or their managers with any questions or concerns.
  1. Be responsive. When employees do come to you with questions or concerns, make sure you respond to them as soon as possible (at least within 24 hours). If you take to long to respond – or don’t respond at all – it sends the message that you don’t truly care about them as employees and will start to look elsewhere for an employer who does.
  1. Hold ‘town forum’ meetings. Once a quarter, get the company together in a relaxed, open ‘town forum’ setting to update employees on the state of the company, discuss future plans, address challenges and celebrate company wins. During these meetings, encourage employees to ask questions, and take the time to address those questions thoughtfully and with candor.
  1. Err on the side of over communication. Leaders tend to overestimate how much they communicate with employees. (And even when they don’t, it is far better to over-communicate than under-communicate.) More often than not, however, employees feel as if they are not getting enough information. Feeling as if they are being kept in the dark can lead to distrust, which can take a toll on morale and affect productivity.

Take communication to the next level. Check out How to Be Candid at Work Without Being Disrespectful.

43% of Employers Have Made a Bad Hire Due to Lack of (Or Insufficient) Background Check

March 27th, 2017 Comments off
background check bad hire

If your mother says she loves you, check it out. This saying—popularized by the City News Bureau—is intended to remind journalists that a sense of familiarity with a source doesn’t excuse you from verifying the facts.

While a healthy sense of skepticism helps reporters ensure that stories are true, it’s also applicable to employers looking to hire new candidates: Just because someone impresses you in an interview doesn’t mean you shouldn’t double-check their story.

That’s why background checks are so important.

Unfortunately, according to a new CareerBuilder survey, there is a great deal of confusion regarding background checks—for both employers and the candidates they are considering.

Forty-three percent of employers have made a bad hire because they either didn’t conduct a background check or didn’t receive good information about a candidate. Employees are also at a disadvantage—46 percent said they don’t know what information employers are looking for when conducting background checks.

What Does This Mean For You?

Background checks are always necessary and shouldn’t just be conducted on a case-by-case basis. Background checks verify a candidate’s story and ensure they are qualified for the position. Given that one bad hire can cost a company $17,000, this is an expensive mistake to make.

But before you decide on a background check provider, do some research. Inaccurate information can not only cost you a potentially great employee, there could be legal ramifications as well. One in seven employers have faced litigation for not hiring someone because of information that was found in a background check. Make sure your provider complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which governs how background checks must be conducted.

 Do you believe these four myths about background checks?

Conducting A Background Check: 4 Things You Need to Know

March 23rd, 2017 Comments off
background checks

Hiring new employees can be like walking a tightrope. It is important to find the right candidate with the qualifications and integrity to do the job, but in today’s hiring climate it’s not enough to accept candidates at face value. For employers, a background check is a reliable way of verifying claims made by job seekers during the hiring process.

Still, job seekers are often confused about what a background check entails. Some think of it simply as a criminal history check. In reality, a background check is much more than that. It’s the process by which you find your best candidate by looking at, yes, criminal records, but also education and employment history, references, etc. Each is a very important piece of the puzzle. After all, the average cost of one bad hire is nearly $17,000.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey that outlines myths around background checks, not all companies or workers know the screening process – or may underestimate the importance of doing screenings. Below are four common myths employers think are facts and realities that show the truth.

Myth 1: Background checks aren’t always necessary.
Reality: Eighteen percent of employers said they made a bad hire because they didn’t conduct a background check. Given the cost of a bad hire, this can be an expensive misstep.

Myth 2: All background check systems are created equal.
Reality: Twenty-nine percent of employers made a bad hire because they received bad information about the candidate. Fifteen percent of employers have run into litigation for not hiring someone because of what was found in a background check. Make sure your provider keeps up with compliance standards, is National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Accredited, and ensures the candidate is informed and supported.

Myth 3: My background check system provides a good candidate experience.
Reality: Sixty-five percent of employers have never tested out their system themselves to see what the candidate experience is like. Not only is it crucial for employers to experience the process first hand, it’s important to seek direct feedback from candidates.

Myth 4: Background checks typically take one to two weeks.
Reality: The longer the background check, the higher the risk of losing the candidate because you couldn’t verify information fast enough and they moved on to another employer. Typically, background checks should return in less than five business days, but on average checks take 24 – 72 business hours to complete.

Why Should You Run Background Checks On Job Applicants?
First and foremost, you should run background checks to help keep your employees and your business safe. But it doesn’t stop there. Background checks are a critical way to safeguard the many facets of your business that need to be protected.

Here are five reasons background checks should be part of your pre-hire process:

  1. To provide a safe workplace for employees and customers
  2. To hire the most qualified people who will help to grow your business
  3. To minimize exposure from employee liability by practicing due diligence in the hiring process
  4. To encourage honesty in the application and interview process
  5. To eliminate uncertainty in the hiring process


Are you in the market for a background check provider but overwhelmed by the choices out there? Are you even sure you know how to identify a good background check provider? Check out this guide.

7 of the Best Online Learning Classes for Small Business Workers

March 22nd, 2017 Comments off
Beautiful smiling female student using online education service. Young woman looking in laptop display watching training course and listening it with headphones. Modern study technology concept

For a small business, providing employees with opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge with continuing education classes and training is invaluable. Not only do employees bring what they’ve learned to their own roles, which benefits the business overall, they also tend to be more satisfied in their jobs and more loyal to their companies. Unfortunately, small businesses do not have unlimited funding to put toward employee education and training. Fortunately, that’s no longer a problem, thanks to the variety of free (or almost free) online learning classes available for individuals of every level to take advantage of. Consider the following:

Udemy: Udemy offers self-paced courses in almost every discipline you could think of – from development to business to creative writing. Some are free while most are reasonably priced – and the site often has price-slashing sales. Sample classes include: Digital Art 101: From Beginner to Pro, The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 and Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

freeCodeCamp: Calling itself “an open source community that helps you learn to code,” freeCodeCamp is one of many code-teaching websites that offer free classes for anyone who wants to learn this increasingly in-demand skill. Users have access to free, interactive courses and tutorials, can get real-time help from experts via chat and can meet other coders nearby, among other benefits. Sample topics include HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3 and GitHub.

HubSpot Academy: HubSpot Academy offers a free inbound marketing certification for marketing pros, entrepreneurs or anyone looking to grow their business through inbound marketing. Course topics include SEO, blogging, email marketing, social media, and reporting and analytics.

edX: Founded by Harvard University and MIT, edX’s mission is to “increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere.” edX offers over 950 free courses, across various disciplines, from its over 90 partners, including UC Berkley, Dartmouth, and Notre Dame. There’s even a MicroMasters program, with courses designed to accelerate your Master’s degree. Sample courses include: Artificial Intelligence, Marketing Analytics: Data Tools and Techniques, Professional Android App Development and Advanced Leadership for Engineers.

Coursera: Like edX, Coursera partners with top universities – Johns Hopkins, Stanford and Duke, to name a few – to offer free classes “taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions” to anyone, from anywhere, in almost any field of interest. Courses start as low as $29 and include Data Analysis and Presentation Skills, Economics of Money and Banking, and Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills.

LearnVest: An estimated 37 percent of employees at small businesses live paycheck to paycheck, and 67 percent are in debt. So even if you’re not in the financial services industry, LearnVest’s library of on-demand and live-streaming courses can turn your employees into better financial planners. LeanVest covers everything from budgeting and home buying to smart investing and retirement. Remember, the less they worry about their own money matters, the more present they can be at their job.

Duolingo: If you’re looking to expand your business overseas, Duolingo is worth looking into. Duolingo utilizes gamification to teach users a second language (or third or fourth) in a way that’s “fun and addictive,” according to its website. And by downloading Duolongo’s Android and iOS apps, users can easily learn while on a lunch break or on the go. Courses include German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Greek.

Want more employee training resources? Check out Inexpensive Ways to Fund Employee Training and Education


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How Onboarding Technology Impacts First Impressions

March 21st, 2017 Comments off
onboarding technology

We’ve heard it said many times—you only have one chance to make a first impression.

We typically think of first impressions in relation to people. But, first impressions of places and experiences can leave lasting impressions as well. You can probably still remember the impact of your first day at a new school. Or, maybe you remember the last time you walked into a restaurant and were treated rudely by the host. First impressions can be powerful, and they often set the tone for an experience, either positively or negatively.

This is true at work, too. If your goal is to create an engaging, positive work experience for your employees, it’s critical that it starts with a positive first impression.

An effective new hire onboarding process includes a lot of moving parts, including:

  • Welcoming and socialization
  • New hire forms
  • New hire orientation
  • Workstation and resources
  • Expectation setting


These tasks are too often accomplished in a haphazard fashion with some combination of boring presentations, stacks of paperwork and a dash of wishful thinking. This just isn’t cutting it. To make a positive first impression in today’s workplace, there’s one ingredient that has become vital: technology.

Even for smaller organizations, using onboarding software solutions to automate is critical. Here’s why:

  • New hires expect the experience to be automated. We shop, play and connect online. We’ve come to expect that everything that can be automated, should be. When it’s not, it creates a lesser experience. Consider how you would perceive a restaurant or retail store that does not accept credit cards as a form of payment. At the very least, the experience is less convenient. At worst, it makes you want to avoid that establishment. You can’t afford to have your new, excited employee feel this way about your onboarding experience.
  • Millennials demand technology. As of 2015, Millennials are the largest generation in our workforce—making up more than 35 percent of employees. They are also the future, so we have to design our experiences to satisfy their expectations – or face the consequences. According to a recent Forbes piece, “Millennials demand self-service, algorithmically, and crowdsourced customer service options.” They want the technology to enable and assist them as they work through the process on their own terms. The piece also noted that “Millennial customers expect your company’s technology to simply work—so you’d better make sure that it does.” Not only do they expect technology, but they expect advanced technology that works for them.
  • Consistency of experience is key. The process of finding a job has migrated almost entirely to technology. Job seekers experience an array of technology tools as they navigate their way to a new position. They experience company websites, social media pages, job boards, applicant tracking systems, assessments and forms to complete online. The experience, even at small organizations, is technology enabled from beginning to end. So, imagine how odd and disconcerting it would be to step into a non-technology enabled experience upon making the transition from “recruit” to “employee.” It would probably feel a bit like a bait and switch. Not a great first impression.
  • We don’t have the time. Our plates are already full, whether we work as managers or in HR (or both). Even when we recognize the importance of the onboarding experience, it’s easy to drop the ball on new hire onboarding simply due to competing priorities. This is too important not to use the available onboarding software solutions to ensure our new employees get started on the right foot. A bad first impression may dampen the excitement of the new hire or even send them running for the hills with buyer’s remorse. Technology is not only a more efficient way to approach onboarding, it’s also more reliable.


Creating a great onboarding first impression is about exceeding your new hire’s expectations. This requires that you create an experience with all of the necessary human touches built upon a solid foundation of technology tools and resources.

The days of paperwork and boring, new-hire presentations are gone. It’s time to catch up.

See a tool that can create an efficient and effective onboarding process.

38 Percent of Employers Have Increased Educational Requirements

March 20th, 2017 Comments off
educational requirements

Have you been thinking about increasing the educational requirements needed for jobs at your company?

If your answer is yes, you’re joined by over a third of today’s employers. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 38 percent of hiring managers have increased educational requirements over the last five years. Thirty-three percent are hiring more workers with master’s degrees for positions that had been primarily held by those with four-year degrees, and 41 percent are hiring employees with college degrees for positions that had been primarily held by those with high-school degrees.

Why Raise Requirements?
Of the 2,605 hiring and human resource managers surveyed, those who increased educational requirements have noticed a positive effect across the board, in many critical areas:

  • Higher quality work: 61 percent
  • Productivity: 51 percent
  • Communication: 45 percent
  • Innovation/idea generation: 41 percent
  • Employee retention: 33 percent
  • Revenue: 26 percent
  • Customer loyalty: 24 percent


What Does This Mean For You?
Unsure about whether you should help your workforce reach these increased education requirements? About half of employers (51 percent) plan to provide more online, competency-based learning opportunities to their employees in 2017. Forty-one percent of employers are sending current employees back to school to get advanced degrees – with 14 percent fully funding the degree, and 22 percent funding it partially.

Investing in your employees’ education means investing in your business. Providing training to upskill current employees and helping employees go back to school to get their degree or certification can help improve your company’s bottom line.

Learn about inexpensive ways to fund employee training and education here.

What You Should Know About Human Capital Management Software

March 17th, 2017 Comments off
human capital management

If you work in HR or recruitment, you’ve liked heard the phrase “human capital management” but you might not have a clear picture of what it means for your organization and your people. After all, buzzwords gets tossed around all the time but they don’t always translate into a meaningful difference for anyone. Human capital management, however, is something to pay attention to because it can benefit everyone from recruiters to employees to candidates.

Human capital management (HCM) requires you to change the way you view your employees. Instead of seeing them as talent that is used to achieve a single company goal, HCM views employees as assets whose current value can be measured and whose future value can be enhanced through investment.

It looks at what an employee can be groomed to achieve throughout their lifecycle at your company, not just the open role they can fill now. HCM also takes into account every aspect of managing an employee and looks to streamline those processes to make your organization as efficient and productive as possible.

Here are four key considerations to remember about HCM when introducing the concept and the technology at your company:

1. It Streamlines Your Workflow.

You can integrate the fundamentals of HCM into your business, but you’ll get the most benefit from technology that addresses your needs. HCM software —which is often cloud based—increases automation for many tasks spanning recruiting, onboarding, benefits administration and enrollment and wellness program management. Instead of viewing talent development as a separate entity, human capital management includes it as part of the total employee experience along with payroll, workforce management, leave management and benefits.

In order to achieve this goal, human resources must maintain an open line of communication with operations and finance. No department acts alone. The more departments can easily communicate with one another, the less confusion there is.

2. Productivity and Efficiency Increase.

If you choose the right HCM software, it streamlines and automates many of the day-to-day recordkeeping processes and allows you to stay in compliance with industry and government regulations. For example, linking time and attendance to benefits administration makes it simpler for your organization to comply with current Affordable Care Act requirements, including the mandate to offer health insurance to all full-time and full-time equivalent employees. This saves time, money and confusion. When you reduce the risk of errors, teams spend more time doing their jobs and less time tracking down information or fixing errors.

Furthermore, tracking an employee’s total productivity in this way allows you to set short- and long-term goals and measure their progress.

3. You Get a Bird’s Eye View of Your Processes.

By linking all facets of employee management on one platform, you’re able to oversee the entire recruitment, hiring and management processes at once. This big-picture perspective—paired with the fact that all the information is stored in one place—will help you make strategic business decisions going forward. It’s easier to consider how decisions affect each department rather than viewing them as silos.

4. Employees and Candidates Get a Consistent Experience.

As an employer, you’re always trying to increase engagement—both with potential candidates and current employees. Curating the right experience is key to achieving both of these goals. HCM software, at its best, allows users to stay on the same platform during the entire employee lifecycle—from recruitment through onboarding and benefits administration. This improves their ease of use, which ultimately increases their likelihood to continue using the technology.

Learn more about CareerBuilder’s HCM solutions.

The Benefits of Using Technology in Your Onboarding Process

March 15th, 2017 Comments off
onboarding process

One of the most common (yet avoidable) failure points in the HR lifecycle is in the onboarding of new hires (or sometimes, internal company transfers). When done well, employee onboarding is thoughtful and repeatable – all new hires have a similar process and current employees are well aware of the process. When onboarding is not done well, new hires report feeling adrift and unclear on their individual, team or company purpose, their workflow or their role definition.

Ideally, the onboarding process happens over a series of weeks or months, not hours or days, allowing for numerous touch points and the opportunity to both unearth and answer urgent questions. A structured program over time also improves the likelihood new hires learn and appreciate the company goals, values, norms and processes – as well as what they’ll need to be successful in their role.

All too often, companies spend time, energy and money to build an “ideal” onboarding process, complete with checklists and company swag, yet those perfectly laid plans aren’t implemented, or the momentum is stalled when there’s a change in the champion of the onboarding process. In the end, new hires often don’t gain the required clarity, because new onboarding stewards may be more keenly interested in certain elements over others. This leads to the dilution of planned onboarding efforts.

How Onboarding Software Can Help

Many companies are leveraging technology solutions to ensure that all key actions are defined, assigned and completed for each new hire – providing clarity and consistency across the organization. These technology solutions elegantly interface with applicant tracking systems and other HRIS software, requiring minimal data entry. What’s more, HR maintains a clear line of sight into the proper onboarding of the company’s new recruits. Many solutions also offer ways to capture new hires’ first impressions, allowing early intervention if warranted.

The advantages to leveraging onboarding technologies include:

  • Improved clarity about the organization.
  • Accelerated networking and social interaction across the organization.
  • Instant tracking status and insight into required follow up.
  • Strengthened efficacy of onboarding initiatives.
  • An increase in new hire employee engagement and the likelihood new hires will thrive in the organization.


Finding the Right Onboarding Software

When it comes to finding the right technology solutions for your employee onboarding, you should consider the following:

  • Clarity on the problem you’re looking to solve. Is it improving onboarding? Having a centralized place to know what’s being done and by whom? A reporting mechanism?
  • Elements of your onboarding strategy. Is it straightforward or matrixed? How many people will need access to understand current status?
  • The “owner” of onboarding. Is it the new manager or is it centralized in HR?
  • Hiring projections. How many people will be going through the process?
  • Your need for qualitative vs. quantitative data.
  • Integration requirements with other HRIS software.


Investments to improve a simplified technology solution to track and manage onboarding for new hires can go a long way toward improving their employee experience and deepening their commitment to your organization.

Learn how technology can drive employee engagement.

Catherine Malloy Cummings is a breakthrough human resources strategist known for her ability to transform HR teams into champions of revenue and agents of business growth. When she’s not consulting, you’ll find her speaking and writing on aligning the HR function to your corporate performance and profitability.

3 Ways Salary Transparency Could Benefit Your Small Business

March 15th, 2017 Comments off
salary transparency

For generations, asking the question “How much do you make?” has been a surefire way to bring a conversation to an uncomfortable pause. Whether for fear of judgment or simply because of cultural conditioning, Americans typically shy away from revealing their salaries and peg someone who inquires as rude. Today, however, salary transparency is becoming more common, as many view it as crucial to issues such as fair pay and career decision-making.

More and more businesses are getting in on the trend, as well. But does salary transparency make sense for your small business? Here are reasons to consider salary transparency and what you need to know.

Salary transparency can aid recruiting efforts.

Savvy job seekers want to see what they stand to earn at your small business. Thanks to the growing number of web-based sources of salary data makes finding out increasingly possible. Millennials, who are accustomed to information being at their fingertips, especially seem drawn to companies that are open about compensation. Likewise, accessible salary information oftentimes increases the number of female applicants, perhaps because they feel greater confidence that they’ll get a fair shake.

A few companies have gone so far as to post what individual employees make to their corporate websites. While such “radical transparency” sounds scary, some small businesses have reported extraordinary results in terms of number and quality of applicants. Experts reason that this may be due to elimination of guesswork. Potential candidates can judge whether the figures fit in with their current and long-term expectations. And better matches from the start increase retention odds for your small business.

Employee satisfaction may increase.

Workers commonly overestimate what others at their office earn. This misconception can lead to higher levels of job dissatisfaction. Salary transparency sets the record straight. If your small business uses a salary formula, sharing it can be especially helpful. Employees will see how factors such as seniority, education and performance affect pay. They’ll have a clearer understanding of the reasoning behind their current salary and a solid idea of how to increase it moving forward. In fact, research has shown that switching from pay secrecy to transparency can boost productivity.

Openness contributes to an atmosphere of trust.

Finally, if your small business prides itself on honest communication, salary revelations can seem natural. A team that sees commitment to fair compensation feels more appreciated and loyal. And with a common base to reference, conversations about salary can become more objective. The large raise a co-worker hired during an economic downturn receives to catch up with current standards will probably be viewed as warranted, not contentious. Trust that your small business employees want to make your workplace as great as it can be, and they likely won’t let you down.

Want more salary advice? Check out What to Offer Your Employees When You Can’t Offer a Raise

5 Things to Remember When Utilizing Data in Health Care Hiring

March 14th, 2017 Comments off
health care hiring

The health care industry is experiencing phenomenal growth, and with growth comes a demand for more talent. According to the 2017 CareerBuilder Health Care Talent Brief, 38 percent of health care industry professionals expect job demand to continue to outpace overall supply.

“Competition to fill these spots is fierce, especially in small, rural markets,” says Bobbi Hicks, President of Akeso Talent Engagement. The correct use of data in your hiring strategy can provide an advantage without incurring the high costs of a recruitment service.

1. Invest in tools that pull real-time data.

“Decision makers respond to facts and data. That said, it’s important to invest in tools that can provide you with a real-time snapshot of the market that you support,” Hicks says. “We regularly use paid recruiting tools like job boards, Supply & Demand, compensation portals, and social media sites to scope out our competitors and better predict salary ranges and time to fill.”

2. Pull compensation data more often.

Most health care companies pull compensation data once or twice a year. That’s not nearly enough, says Hicks. Pay rates change frequently due to high competition. Your staff likely picks up extra shifts at competing hospitals, so they know firsthand what the competitor is offering.

“You don’t want to risk training your leaders for another facility, because you didn’t compensate them correctly on the front end,” says Hicks.

Stay ahead of the curve by pulling compensation data quarterly.

3. Utilize Supply & Demand data to address the talent deficit.

“If you’re not utilizing Supply & Demand data, then you should be,” says Hicks. By tracking the number of nurses and therapists coming onto the market, you can locate where the talent deficit is, project how substantial it will be, and adjust your hiring strategy accordingly.

4. Include “NOT” statements in Boolean searches.

Boolean search is a helpful way to source candidates faster, but most researchers only utilize “and” and “or” statements. Including “not” statements allows you to exclude terms and narrow results. For example, “pharmaceutical and not sales” would yield candidates who have “pharmaceutical” in their resume, but exclude those with “sales.”

5. Don’t forget about culture.

Competitive compensation and large sign-on bonuses only go so far when attracting and retaining talented employees. You should strive to create a positive culture that values both the employee and patient experience.

“A $15,000 sign-on bonus puts up a red flag,” says Hicks. “Whenever I see that I think: ‘What’s going on over there that makes such a sizable bonus necessary to attract employees?’”

Proper onboarding — and off-boarding — can go a long way toward improving the employee experience and retaining top talent. Many times employees will leave to develop their skill sets elsewhere, but return seeking more senior positions. Ending the working relationship in a professional manner increases the likelihood that a talented employee will come back.

Put insight into action: Learn more about how to use data in health care hiring right now.

The Benefits of an Affordable Care Act Compliance Partner

March 14th, 2017 Comments off
ACA Compliance

Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance is a huge priority for your company. Unfortunately, ACA administration is only one of your many responsibilities and challenges. On top of finding and organizing your benefits data, tracking your employees, determining your responsibility as an employer and the eligibility of your employees, and filling out all those forms – not to mention ensuring accuracy and completion with every single form – you are somehow expected to prepare the coming year’s recruiting strategy and manage all of your employers’ needs.

What’s more, keeping up with ever-changing regulations is a time-consuming (and stressful) effort in and of itself. With everything else going on, ACA reporting might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Good news: You don’t have to go through this process all by yourself. Consider getting an ACA compliance partner.

How an Automated Software Solution Can Help

An automated software solution for ACA reporting will ensure that you’re meeting all requirements accurately and efficiently. With an ACA expert on your side, you can feel more confident in your reporting, less burdened by organized data and forms, and better able to focus on the rest of your responsibilities.

The right technology can reduce the weight of health care administration and empower you to reach ACA compliance from the convenience of a user-friendly dashboard. The ACA requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide affordable health coverage meeting the minimum standards. Therefore, your reporting software should allow you to quickly and accurately determine the number and eligibility status of your company’s employees. The platform should also integrate with payroll and generate all the employee data needed for completing all W-2 and IRS forms.

Imagine if the ACA reporting season were no longer worrisome and laborious, but straightforward and effortless. The right technology solution can make this transformation happen. Instead of trying to manually keep all of the information up to date and accessible, consider working with an ACA compliance partner to automate and simplify your process, so you can focus on other important matters for your company.

Learn how our ACA Dashboard solution can take the task of ACA reporting off your shoulders.

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.


How to Close the Skills Gap in the Manufacturing Industry

March 13th, 2017 Comments off
manufacturing skills gap

We all know examples of employers who have recruiting difficulties – you may be experiencing such difficulties yourself. To find out how prevalent these recruitment difficulties are, economists have surveyed a representative sample of manufacturing establishments. They asked plant managers to answer questions about recruitment and the skills they are seeking in a worker.

A Quarter of Manufacturing Establishments Have Hiring Difficulties

On average, establishments were able to fill positions within one and a half months. Therefore, one sign of hiring difficulties is having an unfilled vacancy for three months or more. Twenty-four percent of establishments had at least one vacancy unfilled for three months or more.

Requiring Advanced Levels of Math and Reading Skills Predicts Hiring Difficulties

As one could expect, requiring higher levels of skills can make it harder to hire. Establishments that require advanced math and reading skills increase their chance of having a vacancy that goes unfilled for three months or more by 10 percent. Surprisingly, requiring advanced computer skills does not lead to greater recruitment difficulties.

Requiring Unique Skills Also Predicts Hiring Difficulties

Some manufacturing plants require unique skills that other plants in the area do not require. These plants have an 8 percent higher chance of seeing an unfilled vacancy for three months or more.

How to Identify Workers with the Right Skills

In order to find qualified workers, hiring managers or recruiters could use CareerBuilder Search. The database uses semantic search to apply related terms – including skills, keywords and job titles – to each term searched. Using this search technology allows users to uncover talent with unique skills that traditional keyword searches may miss. Also, employers can hire workers with similar skills and train them to learn the unique skills demanded by the plant. Hiring managers should also consider relocation packages to make it easier for people with the right skills to move to their area.

Learn how to find quality candidates faster with CareerBuilder Search

Ioana Marinescu is an assistant professor in economics at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on understanding labor markets. She has been collaborating on data and research projects with CareerBuilder and she is especially interested in how to get the right people to work in the right jobs. You can follow her on twitter @mioana and check out her research on her website, marinescu.eu.

1 in 4 Workers Does Not Get Enough Sleep Each Night

March 13th, 2017 Comments off
Sleeping and productivity

Employers, beware: The switch to Daylight Saving Time may result in more yawning in the office and a potential dip in productivity. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 1 in 4 workers (26 percent) feel he or she does not get enough sleep each night. Ironically, nearly half of all workers (47 percent) say thinking about work keeps them up at night.

Further, only 17 percent of all workers get at least eight hours of sleep a night — which can have a negative impact on productivity, among other factors.

Sleep-deprivation doesn’t just hurt workers – it hurts the bottom line, too. For instance, 3 in 5 workers (60 percent) say lack of sleep has had an impact on their work in some way.

What Does This Mean For You?

Over the past few years, successful organizations have finally started to view sleep deprivation for what it is: a productivity killer and employee health issue. As a result, they’re actively pursuing ways to gently encourage their workers in the right direction.

Here are ways you can improve employees’ sleep quality:

  • Create a company program: Invite sleep experts to visit the office to counsel employees about their habits. Offer stipends for sleep treatments, as part of your wellness program. Stress-reducing treatments, such as fitness memberships and massages, can also help employees become more relaxed at work.
  • Control use of mobile devices at home: Using mobile devices can have detrimental effects on sleep quality. Instead of letting employees bring their company-owned mobile devices home, consider limiting its use to the office only.
  • Create brighter workspaces: Natural lighting helps employees sleep better at night, therefore making them more productive during the day.


Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruiting tips and trends, right to your inbox.

Why an Applicant Tracking System Should Be Your Next HR Technology Purchase

March 9th, 2017 Comments off
Applicant tracking system

Recruiting the right talent for your organization is no easy task. It requires juggling a lot of moving parts—including managing job boards, career sites and resume databases. It takes time and can create gaps that cause you to miss out on top candidates.

An applicant tracking system (ATS) can help simplify the process because it enables the electronic handling of all your company’s recruitment needs in a single platform. With an ATS, you can organize, collect and store candidate- and job-related data and track and monitor candidates through all stages of the hiring process.

Here are five reasons why you should invest in an ATS:

  1. Manage processes in one place.

Using multiple tools to manage the different steps of the recruitment process can be frustrating and time-consuming. An applicant tracking system can handle all of your recruitment needs from source to hire in one single platform. In addition, eliminating the need to log in to different systems saves time and allows your recruiters to make quality hires more easily.

  1. Increase efficiency.

An ATS can combine talent pools into a single, searchable database, allowing you to access past applicants, talent network members and resume database members with one search. The use of semantic search technology ensures that you’re only getting the most relevant candidates.

Some ATS solutions also include job distribution to automatically post the position to your preferred job boards, in case your current talent pool isn’t satisfying your needs, saving time and increasing ROI.

  1. Collect real-time data.

Recruitment strategy decisions require real-time data. In addition to producing reports on your internal processes, an ATS can deliver labor market and source tracking data. Labor market data helps determine how easy or difficult it will be to source candidates. Source tracking identifies where applications are coming from, so you can strategize accordingly.

  1. Build a talent pipeline.

Building a pipeline of talent for future positions is essential to any effective recruitment strategy. An ATS that includes candidate-optimized career sites with built-in talent networks helps you acquire and engage your pipeline. Candidates are instantly subscribed to receive email alerts of new opportunities at your company.

  1. Ensure compliance with government regulations.

An ATS can help you minimize and correct compliance issues—especially in regards to employment discrimination claims. Standardized job postings, interview questions, pre-selected reasons not to move forward with a candidate and self-assessment reports help ensure that you meet the standards set forth by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Equal Opportunity Employment (EEO) for all employers with 100 or more workers.

Not sure how to find the right technology partner? Check out our Recruitment Software Purchasing Guide.


72% of Employers Expect Talent Acquisition Roles Will be Automated by 2027

March 6th, 2017 Comments off
2 in 5 Workers Have Had an Office Romance

While it may be tempting to assume that automation only effects manual labor intensive jobs, that’s not exactly the case. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 72 percent of employers believe that within the next 10 years, some roles within talent acquisition and human capital management will have gone completely automated.

Automation is already available within the HR space for a wide variety of essential functions. Yet even of employers who have begun to automate some processes through HR technology, most have only scratched the surface.

The most commonly automated functions are employee messaging and setting up benefits and payroll. That’s a good start, but there are a lot more ways automation could save you time and money, many of which are underutilized. For example, only 37 percent of employers who have embraced automation use it to help with archiving candidates, and just 21 percent use it to promote continuous candidate engagement – just to name a few.


What Does This Mean For You?

Talent acquisition and human capital management are essential parts of any organization – and new automating technologies make them easier and more cost-efficient. Employers who have automated parts of their talent acquisition and management processes are overwhelmingly pleased with the results: 93 percent say the switch has saved them time and increased efficiency, and 67 percent say they’ve saved money and resources.

Automation isn’t going to steal your job – it’s going to make it easier. The sooner you begin to implement automating technologies, the more time and money you’ll be able to save.

Want to learn more about how HR technology is making your job easier? Check out the 20 Most Important Types of HR Technology.

It’s Not Too Late: Sign Up to Host #FindYourCallingDay Event

March 2nd, 2017 Comments off
#FindYourCallingDay event

When thinking about their future, students look to parents, teachers and advisers for guidance and inspiration.

That’s why we’re asking for your help during Find Your Calling Month, a special time when students across the U.S. come together and use the Find Your Calling assessment to discover careers they love and plan the necessary education.

Host a #FindYourCallingDay Event
Here’s how you can help: Host a #FindYourCallingDay event any day this month at your place of business, your children’s school or another similar location.

During the one- to two-hour event, you’ll speak with students about the importance of discovering the careers they love through programs like Find Your Calling. Then, you’ll invite students to take the Find Your Calling questionnaire, explore relevant careers and identify schools with programs that align with their interests.

Read about how one host made an impact during his #FindYourCallingDay event

Sound Complicated? It’s Not!
Hosting a #FindYourCallingDay gathering is super easy – we promise. Once you sign up, you’ll receive a link to a free training webinar, along with all of the promotional materials you’ll need to prep for, promote and execute a successful event.

Learn more or simply sign up now to host a #FindYourCallingDay event in your area.

6 Ways the Best Small Business Managers Set Themselves Apart

March 1st, 2017 Comments off
best managers

The heights a small business can reach depend largely on the competency of management. But what distinguishes an unsuccessful manager from a successful one? Check out these habits of effective small business managers:

  1. They create and promote a vision. A small business leader with a clearly defined mission sets the stage for accomplishing goals. An overall plan keeps everyone on track because tasks can be looked at in the context of what they contribute to the “big picture.” Sharing the vision ups employee engagement by helping workers feel like a part of something great. Similarly, clarity about what your small business stands for builds a solid brand that attracts customers and potential talent alike.
  2. They organize and prioritize. Small business teams juggle an assortment of tasks on a daily basis. To get things done well and on schedule, managers need to possess excellent time-management They also must convey to their staff where to focus efforts, and they watch that workloads do not become too stressful for any individual.
  3. They lead by example. Managers who work hard, treat others with respect and exhibit positive energy set the tone for a thriving workplace. Company culture starts at the top, so smart small business owners assess their own actions and behaviors before looking at anyone else’s.
  4. They encourage others to take ownership. Successful small business managers work diligently to hire people they can trust to perform well. With this capable support system in place, leaders needn’t feel like they must constantly monitor activities or do everything themselves. Some of the best train their employees to be solution-oriented. For instance, when a staff member brings up a problem or complaint, these bosses ask that possible suggestions to fix or remedy it be presented too.
  5. They know when to seek help. Good small business leaders realize that outside assistance can be vital to growth. This might involve hiring experts to implement a tech upgrade or turning to network connections for advice on hiring strategies. In today’s ever-changing global marketplace, reaching out can be the difference between a small business evolving with the times or stagnating.
  6. They communicate. The most successful small business managers put a premium on communication because they see it as the key to building relationships. They solicit input from customers, vendors and employees in order to judge what is working and what needs improvement. They know that listening doesn’t simply mean keeping quiet while others talk, and they truly aim to comprehend and assess what is being said in order to respond accordingly. Lastly, they realize the importance of timely, thoughtful feedback. Constructive conversation prevents minor problems from becoming larger ones, and appreciative praise lets others know exactly what they are doing correctly to make the small business a better place.


Take your management skills to the next level. Check out How to Build Trust with Your Employees.

GM Leader Shares Semantic Search Secrets to Up Your Talent Sourcing Game

February 28th, 2017 Comments off
GM Exec Shares Semantic Search Secrets to Up Your Talent Sourcing Game

A critical part of a winning recruitment strategy is being able to proactively source the right candidates at the right time. Do you or your team use semantic search or resume parsing techniques today as part of your talent sourcing efforts, or are you planning to in the near future? What should you know about and expect from semantic search efforts?

Get semantic search secrets from a pro. We asked Will Maurer, global sourcing manager at General Motors, for his insights.

CB: What is your perception of semantic search within recruiting today?

WM: I have observed a major increase in the implementation of semantic search technology within our industry. Of course it was initially greeted with a number of questions and a certain level of skepticism. As I grew to understand the methodology behind semantic search it really started to make sense.

For years, recruiting and sourcing professionals have relied on complex Boolean searches in order to extract information from databases and the open web. It only makes sense that at some point technological advancement would intervene and make this process simpler for the user.

While I think a lot of folks still have questions around the methodology, there is little doubt that semantic search can be a big time saver. This becomes increasingly important in a corporate recruiting function, where people are balancing a number of responsibilities and may not have the time to generate a number of complex search strings.

CB: Where do you see semantic search impacting recruitment in the future?

WM: I see semantic search ultimately being a large time saver as well as a useful tool for those folks who may not be well versed in traditional search syntax.

Search strings, as we traditionally know them, can be cumbersome to someone breaking into the industry and anyone who has limited knowledge of the various facets of the skill set that they are trying to recruit for.

In this way, I see semantic search as a way to alleviate issues and ultimately get talent acquisition professionals to the types of the candidates that they’re looking for faster.

CB: How do you see semantic search and Boolean interacting?

WM: The interaction between semantic search and Boolean is an interesting topic to me, and it’s [a subject] I’ve heard a number of people take different stances on.

For me, personally, there is room for both in a proper sourcing strategy.

The fact that semantic search can identify a large number of the relevant keywords surrounding a concept or notion simplifies the process for a lot of people. Some would argue that you no longer have to do exhaustive research identifying alternate keywords and all of the different ways potential candidates can express similar ideas on their resume. While that can be valuable, I think there is always a place for Boolean in a precise and “deep dive” search.

I appreciate the fact that semantic search can help formulate searches by making certain assumptions for me, but I also believe that it’s not safe to assume. At times variations on keywords or concepts that are brought in by semantic search are not actually what I’m looking for. With that said, I do believe that as semantic search continues to evolve, the ability to manipulate the search and truly hone in will increase and may eliminate the need for traditional Boolean.

Simplify your resume search and find candidates faster with CareerBuilder Search.

83% of Women Over 25 are Postponing Family to Focus on Career

February 27th, 2017 Comments off
2 in 5 Workers Have Had an Office Romance

Can you truly have it all – a successful career and a family? For many women the answer may be yes, but with a caveat. They are concentrating first on building successful careers before starting their families.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 83 percent of women over the age of 25 who plan to have children are postponing starting a family to focus on their careers. This is compared to 79 percent of men who say the same.

Wanting to earn and save enough money to provide for their families was the top reason given by both women and men who plan to have children (50 percent and 53 percent, respectively), followed by the desire to become more established and get ahead in their careers (28 percent and 33 percent, respectively).

Fifteen percent of women who plan to have children say they are waiting until at least age 35 to start a family, while 63 percent are waiting until at least age 30.

What Does This Mean For You?

Women and men may be more comfortable starting families if they know they have the support of their employers. That’s why companies with paid leave policies for new mothers and fathers are highly attractive to workers in this competitive job market. While paid maternity and paternity leave may not be an option for every company, having an inclusive, flexible work culture can still go a long way toward helping employees achieve success both professionally and personally.

Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruiting tips and trends, right to your inbox.

Family-Owned Business? Tips for Success

February 24th, 2017 Comments off
family-owned business

Working alongside family members to create a thriving small business can make success even sweeter. The long hours seem less grueling with people you care about by your side, and contributing to a common goal adds new depth to your interpersonal bonds.

But before adopting Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” as your small business’s anthem, realize that such an arrangement also provides a unique set of challenges that must be addressed. Here are some common issues family-owned small businesses face and ideas for overcoming them.

Put everything in writing

Who needs a piece of paper when you’re dealing with family, right? Wrong! Spelling things out from the start prevents misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and fights because the written documents serve as a point of reference. Details your small business needs to hammer out include:

  • What are each person’s specific tasks and responsibilities?
  • How will decisions be made?
  • What is the chain of command?
  • How will compensation be determined now and in the future?
  • How will unexpected events such as additional costs and overtime be handled?
  • What are the company’s long-term goals and its succession plan?

Treat people fairly

When it comes to managing family members, small business leaders often fall prey to extremes. They may fail to hold their relatives to the same high standards as other employees, or they may push too hard and be overly critical. Either scenario sets the stage for resentment and discord.

Awareness of this tendency and thoughtful, periodic evaluation can help. Review the job description as for any employee, set benchmarks, and offer positive and negative feedback as merited. Aim for objectivity over emotion, and refrain from dragging personal beefs or family baggage into the discussion.

Prioritize communication

While frequent, prompt communication should be a priority at any small company, it is especially vital at a family business. Undiscussed problems run the risk of causing damage both in and out of the office. Create an atmosphere in which every team member – family or not – is encouraged to speak up. Such openness increases morale and prevents “little” tensions from blowing up.

Leave work at the office

Finally, don’t let your small business get in the way of enjoying time with loved ones outside the workplace. Constantly “talking shop” takes away from nurturing other aspects of your relationship. Try a no-business-at-the-dinner-table rule, cheer on a beloved baseball team together, or simply catch a movie that makes you both laugh. And don’t forget to give each other space. Pursuing individual interests will provide new stories to tell around the water cooler back at the office.

Is work interfering with personal life? Check out 7 Ways to Help Employees Achieve Work-Life Balance.

5 Reasons You Should Consider HR Automation

February 23rd, 2017 Comments off
HR automation

When is the last time that you’ve had to manually calculate your organization’s payroll? Or had to manage employee time cards? It’s probably been a while, thanks to HR automation tools. These products have empowered HR professionals to spend less time on the tactical details of their jobs and to concentrate on more strategic elements. A new survey from CareerBuilder shows that 72 percent of employers expect that some roles within talent acquisition and human capital management will become completely automated within the next 10 years. 

Now that we have the basics down, it’s time to crank the effectiveness of HR automation to the next level. But the rate at which companies with 250-plus employees are adopting automation varies considerably. Although more are turning to technology to address time-consuming, labor-intensive talent acquisition and management tasks – that are susceptible to human error – the study shows a significant proportion continue to rely on manual processes. One-third of employers (34 percent) don’t use technology automation for recruiting candidates, 44 percent don’t automate onboarding and 60 percent don’t automate human capital management activities for employees.

Why Now Is The Time to Adopt HR Automation

Employers who have automated a part of their talent acquisition and management processes have seen a lot of improvements as a result. Some of the most common include:

  • Saved time and increased efficiency (93 percent): An HR manager who wastes time looking through time-log spreadsheets, files or emails might end up doing nothing else but that. The more the time consumed, the lesser the productivity. Automating the process increases the productivity rate of the HR team and also makes the work hassle-free.
  • Improved the candidate experience (71 percent): Communicating clearly and consistently with applicants throughout the recruiting lifecycle reduces candidate frustration. Applicant tracking software makes it easy to communicate electronically, and candidates also feel empowered because they can log in and check their own application status. Further, if applicants call HR with questions, all the relevant information is available in one place for the HR team.
  • Reduced errors (69 percent): Automating your strategy enables you to standardize records management. At the same time, it removes the potential for human error that plagues so many HR offices. A paper-based system can be a big risk – there might not be back up and, if misplaced or lost in a fire or burglary, for example, some information may not be recoverable.
  • Saved money and resources (67 percent): Automation saves time, and therefore money, leaving your business free to spend that cash on things that really matter.
  • Improved the employee experience (60 percent): Every employee has different requirements. Some travel and have to apply for travel requests and submit expense reports. Others may contact the HR constantly to update their personal and professional information. As an organization grows there will be more and more employees that require HR assistance. Automated HR systems let employees manage all these activities themselves. This way the employee is empowered and the HR burden is reduced tremendously.


To help companies find, hire and manage the talent they need, CareerBuilder has extended its product offering beyond recruitment and background screening. Moving into post-hire solutions, CareerBuilder offers everything from benefits administration and onboarding to performance management compliance and wellness.

For more information, visit hiring.careerbuilder.com.

February 22nd, 2017 Comments off

Welcome to Parallel HR weekly video where our Sr. Talent Acquisition Consultant, Sara Ryndfleisz gives some tips about the new LinkedIn layout and why it is important to keep it updated.

How to Ensure Successful HR Technology Adoption

February 22nd, 2017 Comments off
HR technology adoption

The HR technology marketplace is currently experiencing a boom. Valued at over $14 billion, it has reinvented itself to include mobile apps, analytics and video along with cloud-based software and platforms. And while it’s easy to get caught up in all the latest bells and whistles, it’s important to remember that even the most impressive technology is worthless unless employees actually use it.

To that end, here are five strategies to ensure successful HR technology adoption at your company.

  1. Communicate. Employees won’t get on board with a technology change unless they understand both why it is happening and how they will ultimately benefit. Define a timeline for the change and present firm deliverables, such as the amount of time they will now save on a task because of the new technology. And do it early. Let everyone know about the change the moment it becomes a serious consideration.
  2. Get C-suite buy-in. Employees look to their leadership for direction. Having top-level employees vocalize their support for a new technology instills confidence. Make sure your C-suite is ready and willing to discuss the usage and benefits of the system as well. Opening a dialogue helps employees feel more invested in the change.
  3. Choose your provider wisely. While it’s important to choose a provider that offers the technology options you need, you should also consider those who provide “customer success” services to their clients. This service provides you with a point of contact at the technology provider to ensure that your employees are learning and using the technology correctly.
  4. Offer continued training. It’s not enough to offer a single training session or webinar and expect your employees to understand a new technology. After implementation, it is a good idea to have a team of trainers accessible for at least three months to help work out the bugs and ensure that everyone is comfortable and competent with the new system. It’s also a good idea to consider having “office hours” that allow employees to ask questions in a more casual setting.
  5. Set clear goals. Complete proficiency is too lofty of a goal when first launching a new technology. Break the learning process down into steps so that employees feel a sense of accomplishment and avoid the frustration of not mastering a new HR technology immediately.


Are you researching different types of HR Technology? Learn How to Choose the Right Recruitment Software.

How to Assess Potential Employees Using Pre-Employment Tests

February 22nd, 2017 Comments off
pre-employment tests to assess potential employees

When staff size is small, each individual makes a huge impact. Anything that helps a leader choose better employees can pay off with greater productivity, increased morale and decreased turnover rates. While no magic formula exists that guarantees which candidates will fit best at your small business, a variety of assessments can assist with hiring decisions.

Some small business owners write off pre-employment tests as too costly or time-consuming, but such thoughts need to be weighed against the resources wasted on training the “wrong” person and starting the recruitment process over again. Here are some different types of screenings and techniques to consider when evaluating talent for your small business.

(Before administering any testing related to hiring employees, be sure they are legal and non-discriminatory according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.)

Background checks

If you’re not conducting background checks on every new hire, you could be putting your business at risk. More than 1 in 2 small business employers (54 percent) have caught a lie on a candidate’s resume. Background checks can reveal red flags such as a criminal record or misrepresenting educational attainment. Even just knowing background checks will be made promotes applicant honesty.

Some small business employers try to handle checks on their own through do-it-yourself sites, but experts warn that information obtained in this manner is often inaccurate and limited. Turning to a company accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) can be a better, and oftentimes less costly, option. Professionals know the various screens available and can pinpoint which ones will yield information valuable to your particular needs.

Personality tests

About 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies rely on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or similar personality inventories to build more effective teams. But since web-based psychometric tests are becoming less expensive and more convenient, small businesses increasingly are turning to them too. Some, such as the 16PF (Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire), even ask about reactions to certain situations on the job.

Things that small business owners may be interested in finding out from personality tests include:

  • How a candidate’s traits line up with those desirable for the position.
  • Strength at interpersonal relationships (a must for a small staff working in tight quarters).
  • Likelihood of leaving for other opportunities.
  • What motivates this particular person.
  • Abundance or lack of attributes that support the company’s values and mission.


Skill assessments

These “show what you know” tests help limit hiring bias and allow candidates to back up their resume claims. Think about which competencies are most important to the role at hand, and look for assessments that measure those abilities. Consider consulting a company that specializes in pre-employment testing. Whether you’re interested in leadership, data entry, or customer service, chances are a premade assessment exists.

Test drives

Perhaps the ultimate way to judge how a person might perform for your small business is a trial run. This could involve bringing someone on temporarily with the option to hire after a specified time period, or you might treat candidates as consultants and pay them to complete a project on their own. These arrangements allow both sides to judge fit before entering into a permanent arrangement. And while such a set-up involves time and money, the investment can be returned many times over by cutting down on turnover and finding someone who truly will benefit your small business.

Ready to hire? Learn how to create a great new hire experience.

9 Steps to Creating an Amazing First Week for Your New Hire

February 20th, 2017 Comments off
create a great first week for your new hire

You’ve found someone with the talent and passion to truly make an impact on your small business. Now, do everything you can to help your new hire feel welcome and important. Use these nine tips to create an effective, unforgettable first week that will set the tone for a prosperous tenure at your small business.

No. 1: Get bureaucracy out of the way. The most memorable thing about the first day shouldn’t be an endless stream of forms. Send whatever paperwork you can ahead of time to fill out at home. (Your new hire will appreciate not being put on the spot for an emergency contact.) Include an employee handbook, too.

No. 2: Send welcome emails. Provide your small business team with background on their newest colleague and the person’s start date. Then, encourage them to send individual introductory messages. Knowing something about others before stepping foot in the office will up the newbie’s comfort level and provide icebreaking material.

No. 3: Check in. Call the day or so before the start date to express excitement and answer any last-minute questions. Providing info on parking, building security, ID to bring and exactly where to go can ease those first-morning jitters. And let your new hires know they needn’t brown bag that first day; you’ll be providing lunch for the office in celebration of their arrival.

No. 4: Prepare a space. Don’t leave your enthusiastic new team members feeling like an uninvited guest. A ready-to-go station with working tech, passwords set up, and ample supplies shows you’re anticipating all the contributions they will make to your small business. For a nice touch, add company swag and a gift card to the neighboring coffee shop.

No. 5: Give the grand tour. Besides learning practical things like the location of the copier, walking around the facilities provides a taste of all the activities going on at your busy small business. To build a sense of purpose, emphasize how your new hire’s role fits into this larger picture.

No. 6: Assign a mentor. Joining a close-knit staff can be a bit intimidating at first. Appointing a friendly team member to act as a “buddy” may ease some of those feelings of being the outsider. This person also serves as a resource to answer those “dumb” (but oftentimes important) questions news hires hesitate to ask the boss.

No. 7: Start training. Don’t let willing hands sit idle when your small business has so many things to do. Patient, detailed instruction and manageable assignments from the get-go allow new hires to get their feet wet and build confidence.

No. 8: Lay out an agenda. Keep your new hire from wondering when you’ll get to the “good” stuff discussed during the interviews by constructing a framework during the first week. Not only will this build anticipation for upcoming assignments and learning opportunities, it shows that you have long-term plans for this person to make a difference to the small business.

No. 9: Review the week. Finally, a one-on-one after a few days gives you and your new employee the opportunity to give timely feedback. Knowing his or her concerns and answering questions demonstrates that you care and want the individual to succeed. Likewise, praising great things you noticed encourages the behavior to continue, and identifying potential problems stops bad habits from forming. Considerate communication early on sets the tone that your small business is built on honesty and trust, not mindreading.

Ready to go further? Check out 5 Ways to Set Your Small Business Employees Up for Success

Forget Skills. Hire for Attitude First

February 17th, 2017 Comments off
Hire employees for attitude and train for skills.

If you have an opening at your small business but nobody to fill it, you’re not alone. According to recent CareerBuilder research, 40 percent of small business employers currently have positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates.

Waiting for the right talent to come along can be frustrating and slow down productivity. Instead, it might be time to adopt a “hire for attitude, train for skills” philosophy. Here’s how it works, what your small business stands to gain, and some guidelines to follow.

The reasoning

Placing attitude at the forefront of hiring decisions does more than expand the candidate pool. It can be a good long-term strategy for your small business. The tasks required of your staff will evolve over time due to technological advancements, market changes and company growth. The skill sets you prize today may become obsolete or unimportant down the line. Options then become training current team members in new techniques or returning to the recruitment process once again.

This isn’t to say that aptitude lacks importance. Someone who never went to medical school should not be expected to suddenly learn neurosurgery. But by looking at applicants with basic competencies who possess traits in line with your small business’s mission and culture, you may discover someone worth training to fill the vacancy.

Evaluating candidates for attitude over skill

So how can you identify which people with skill gaps might be worth training? While there’s no magic formula, keep an eye out for evidence of these things:

Progression: A person who has steadily moved up in her field likely has impressed past bosses with his or her achievements and work ethic. Their comfort entrusting the candidate with increasing responsibility bodes well for you being able to do the same.

Transferable skills: The abilities you desire may be there on a resume, just in a different context. An outstanding communicator or a top-notch proofreader doesn’t lose his or her talents moving to a different industry; the candidates simply needs to be taught how to apply them in new ways.

Penchant for learning: New certifications, additional courses, specialized training — what self-improvement measures has the applicant taken since earning her degree? People with a commitment to lifelong learning tend to be more “trainable.”

Passion: Give a second glance to those who display genuine enthusiasm for your small business and its mission. Interviewees brimming with ideas or asking thoughtful questions may be delighted to partake in whatever training you deem necessary for the position.

And when you’re thinking about who might be worth grooming into the position, pay particularly close attention to employee referrals. Your workers have a keen sense of what it takes to be successful at your small business. People they’ve identified as a potentially good fit culturally may be mere steps away from being the answer to your unfilled-position dilemma.

Ready to start interviewing? Check out 5 Must-Ask Interview Questions for Small Business Job Candidates

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3 Levels of Recruiting Metrics for Low Volume and Small Business Hiring

February 17th, 2017 Comments off
Recruiting metrics

Almost every single thing you’ll read on recruiting metrics is designed for large organizations and high volume hiring. It makes sense – the more you hire, the more digging into metrics can help fine-tune your process and gain greater efficiencies. On the other hand, in low volume hiring, each hire has significantly more impact, individually, to the organization.

The hard part of designing HR metrics for small companies is the data sample is small, thus, you have a greater chance of making bad decisions based on what the data is telling you. What!? That doesn’t seem to make sense! In large data sets, the outliers get blended in. In small data sets, the outliers can make a significant impact. Here is an example:

10,000 hires a year. Average days to fill is 32.45. One hire that is 634 days to fill, won’t move this number much at all. This one hire will move the average to 32.51, barely noticeable.

100 hires a year. Average days to fill is 32.45. One hire at 634 days to fill will move the average to 38.40. That one hire just blew your entire metric average!

This is the difficulty of small and medium sized organizations when designing meaningful recruiting metrics.

I think there are three different levels of small business recruiting metrics that make a difference:

  1. Funnel metrics
  2. Source metrics
  3. Retention metrics

Funnel Metrics:

Funnel metrics include all those recruiting activities you do to get to your final hire:

  • How many applicants did you get for the position?
  • How many of those applicants were qualified?
  • How many applicants were screened and passed on to the hiring manager?
  • How many of those applicants made it to the interview stage?
  • How many offers were made?


In most small business organizations, the recruiting function is shared, not dedicated, so measuring these metrics helps you understand the amount of work that was done, and needs to be done in the future, to fill a position.

Let’s say you have aggressive growth plans over the next year and you need to fill 10 of the same position. Your funnel metrics will give you a fairly close indication of how many candidates you need to attract, how many screens you need to perform, etc., until you reach your ultimate hiring goal. You can then go back to your executive team and give them clear direction on how long it will take to fill the positions they need to hire to help you grow!

Source Metrics: 

Source of hire in small business organizations is significantly important because every dollar spent in getting qualified applicants is hard to get. You just can’t throw $8,000 at one online source and hope to hire someone, because $8,000 might be your entire budget! Ironically, I find most small business organizations don’t even measure the source of hire and then cost per source of hire.

In a limited budget situation, you must know what your best sources of hire are and how much they cost per hire. Measuring this will open a lot of eyes in your organization and truly help you zero in on those tools that are a must-have for you to use, and usually some tools you’ll cut from your budget all together!

Retention Metrics: 

Retention? What the heck does retention have to do with talent attraction and recruiting!? Everything! For every single employee you keep, it’s one less employee you have to recruit and replace. Thus, retention might be the most important recruiting metric for SMB organizations.

So, measuring retention is easy. The retention I’m talking about is a little different. I recommend a couple of different retention metrics based on the type of organization and culture you have. First, retention by department/hiring manager is a great one. What you’ll find is as an organization you rarely have organizational retention problems, but you’ll pinpoint hiring managers who are causing most of your problems. Also, Top 90 percent (or whichever number works for your organization) retention is critical in small organizations. This metric measures the retention of your best and brightest employees, and doesn’t count against a hiring manager when there is turnover of low performing employees.

This gives you insight into what talent pools you should be keeping an eye on for backfills to increase the talent within your organization.

Check Out 3 Recruiting Metrics That Don’t Mean Much – And Why

Tim Sackett, SPHR is the President of HRU Technical Resources a leading IT and Engineering Staffing firm headquartered in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of combined Executive HR and Talent Acquisition experience, working for Fortune 500 companies in healthcare, retail, dining and technology. Tim is a highly sought after national speaker on leadership, talent acquisition and HR execution. He also is a prolific writer in the HR and Talent space, writing for Fistful of Talent and his blog The Tim Sackett Project. Tim is married to a hall of fame wife. They have three sons and one dog. He is a lifelong workplace advocate for Diet Mt. Dew fountain machines and hugs.

How to Ensure Gender Diversity: Lessons From High-Tech Firms

February 16th, 2017 Comments off
Gender diversity

A lot of job growth is coming from small- and medium-sized firms. How do these companies fill their jobs and ensure gender diversity in the process? Are women less likely to be hired in top jobs? My fellow economists Roberto Fernandez and Santiago Campero have looked at 441 small-and medium-sized high-tech firms that use the same applicant tracking system. Thanks to their data, the researchers were able to look at the applicant pool, who got interviewed, and who got hired.

The Good News: Unbiased Interview Process
Did high-tech firms discriminate against women when inviting candidates for an interview? They did not, and this was true for both external and internal job applicants. Even more remarkably, there was no discrimination against women in top jobs either: Female applicants had as much of a chance of being interviewed as male applicants for executive-level jobs.

Less Good News: Some Gender Disparity in Hiring
Even though they had cleared the interview hurdle, women were less likely to be offered the job. Overall, because of their difficulty in converting interviews into offers, women had only 86 percent as large a probability as men to be offered a job conditional on applying. Importantly, though, this gender discrepancy was NOT more pronounced in higher-level jobs, so it did not contribute to the glass ceiling.

Lesson: Encourage More Applicant Diversity
Researchers then asked: What would help most to crush the glass ceiling? Stopping interviewers’ potential bias against women or increasing the diversity of the applicant pool? They found that decreasing the potential bias among interviewers would not improve the situation. Indeed, 46 percent of entry-level job candidates are female, and only 28 percent of executive-level job candidates are female. This means that, even if interviewers were unbiased, they would be about half as likely to pick a woman for an executive-level job than for an entry level job. Instead, to ensure gender diversity, it may be useful to encourage more women to apply to high-level jobs. Because 73 percent of hires in these companies come from external sources, efforts to locate good potential candidates are especially useful.

Find out how to find the right candidates faster with CareerBuilder Search

Ioana Marinescu is an assistant professor in economics at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on understanding labor markets. She has been collaborating on data and research projects with CareerBuilder and she is especially interested in how to get the right people to work in the right jobs. You can follow her on twitter @mioana and check out her research on her website, marinescu.eu.

What Does an Acquisition Mean for Your Employees?

February 15th, 2017 Comments off
Top view of businesspeople shaking hands after sealing a deal. High angle view of casual businesswomen shaking hands after concluding business agreement.

Upon learning that the small business at which they work has been acquired, employees are bound to have a variety of feelings and questions. While they might be excited over the possible opportunities this action may produce, they likely also worry about the effect it will have on them personally.

As the small business’s owner, you may be thrust into the role of middleman. Having grown close to your staff, you undoubtedly have their interests in mind. But new ownership oftentimes spells changes you no longer control. Dealing with the situation is going to be challenging, but these strategies can help ease the transition:

Discourage the rumor mill

In the absence of clear information, employees will turn wherever they can for details about the acquisition. But pieced-together tidbits gathered from network connections and other sources tend to be filled with errors and speculation. Ensure your small business employees that they needn’t go that route because you will keep them in the loop as much as possible.

Prepare for questions

Frequent, truthful communication will help with morale and productivity during the transition. Top on the list of concerns will be job security. Your small business employees want to know if they’re in danger of elimination, pay or benefit cuts, or relocation. Secondly, they will be thinking about how the acquisition affects office life, such as changes to roles, responsibilities, leadership, mission, and company culture.

Answer what you can, and admit that some things won’t be settled until down the line. For instance, you may be able to ensure that anyone laid off will be entitled to a severance package, but you may not know the number or type of positions being cut (if any).

Promote interaction and open-mindedness

A natural reaction from your small business staff may be to distrust or shun the “outsiders” invading the office. Being distant, however, is not going to make the transition easier on anyone, so encourage your team to get to know their new colleagues and leaders. Your team may discover the newcomers have exciting ideas or better ways of doing things. Likewise, learning what has made your office a great place to work in the past will help shape company culture moving forward.

Stress the positive

Finally, remember that people generally fear change. Because of this uneasiness, they tend to focus on the potential negatives of disrupting the status quo. Remind your small business employees of their past successes. Then, help them to see the benefits of the acquisition. Perhaps projects will have more funding or employees won’t have to juggle as many roles. This new chapter might be more than good news for the small business; it might be a substantial chance for talented individuals to take their skills and innovation to new heights.

Has your small business undergone an acquisition? Share your tips with me on Twitter at @CBpetej

How to Embrace the Top 4 Workforce Trends

February 13th, 2017 Comments off
Business concept photo.Businessman working investment project modern office.Touching pad contemporary laptop. Worldwide connection technology,stock exchanges graphics interface.

Examining the biggest workforce trends emerging in 2017 can help leaders make better decisions for their small businesses. Consider how the following hot topics may affect your organization and what you can do to use them to your small business’s advantage.

Workforce Trend #1: Evaluating the “candidate experience”

In an effort to attract top talent, companies are scrutinizing their hiring processes. Measures range from creating hassle-free applications and notifying job seekers about where they stand to leveling the playing field with bias-reducing, skill-based assessments.

Not only do such efforts increase the chances a candidate will say yes to your job offer, they can also have positive repercussions on the bottom line. According to a recent CareerBuilder study, the majority of candidates who have a bad experience are less likely to buy from a company with whom they’ve had a negative experience during the hiring process. On the other hand, 69 percent of candidates say they are more likely to buy from a company that provided a positive experience. Optimizing your career site to reduce navigation frustration or setting up an automated system to keep in touch with interested parties can pay big dividends for your small business.

Workforce Trend #2: Upping retention efforts

An equally popular buzz phrase this year is “employee experience.” With the average tenure for U.S. employees at 4.2 years, employers are eagerly trying to get workers to stay by figuring out what they want. Popular actions companies are taking include investing more in training, improving work spaces, and giving more rewards. Some are even helping with student debt.

Turnover can be particularly difficult for small businesses. Not only can it cost small businesses in terms of time and money involved in hiring and onboarding, it also has a direct impact on productivity. At a small business, however, it’s easier to gather individual input and tailor benefits to individual needs. Ask your employees which benefits they truly want – no sense wasting money on gym memberships when people would rather have tuition reimbursement. And involve your team members in decisions that shape the culture and environment into something that makes them want to stay.

Workforce Trend #3: Contemplating the value of annual reviews

Accenture, Deloitte, Microsoft, Adobe and Gap are some of the major corporations that already have made annual review changes ranging from fewer questions to complete elimination. Might it be time for your small business to follow suit?

Consider moving toward a coaching culture in which workers receive timely feedback and praise, regularly discuss skill development, and explore growth opportunities at your small business. You’ll raise engagement levels, fix employee mistakes before they become habits, and satisfy Millennials’ desire for instant information.

Workforce Trend #4: Welcoming flexibility

Finally, expect work-life balance to gain even more momentum as the 21st-century progresses. Technology has already allowed many employees to contribute remotely, and advances such as virtual reality and wearable gadgets will undoubtedly add to the trend. Likewise, workers increasingly view a good work-life balance as critical to health, stress reduction and overall satisfaction.

Promoting flexible work options can be a great way for small businesses to gain a recruiting/retention advantage over larger competitors. Establish your reputation now for both immediate and future payoff. Generation Z is beginning to trickle into the workforce and will see little reason why work can’t be performed anywhere at any time as long as it gets done.


Get more work-life balance tips. Check out 7 Ways to Help Employees Achieve Work-Life Balance


Categories: industry news Tags:

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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Hiring? Watch Out for These Red Flags

February 10th, 2017 Comments off
hiring red flags

When you’re a small business leader with a need to hire quickly, it can be hard to spot the red flags that could indicate a candidate might not be the right fit. Get to know some common red flags that can tell you to reconsider a candidate and dig deeper before moving ahead in the hiring process.

Lack of interest

Your small business needs passionate employees who routinely go the extra mile. Don’t expect a job seeker who isn’t doing his or her best to impress you before landing a position to suddenly transform upon being hired. Red flags that someone isn’t giving 100 percent might include:

  • Resume typos and errors
  • A generic cover letter not targeted to the position
  • Arriving late to the interview
  • Failing to ask questions about the company or posing ones which could have been answered with one look at your website

Job hopping

Granted, modern-day applicants tend to change companies more than workers in past decades. However, short spurts of employment also can indicate difficulty getting along with others, lack of loyalty, and indecision about true career goals. Thoroughly explore the issue, or risk quickly becoming the next brief entry on this person’s resume.


Some experts advise extra caution when reviewing functional resumes. Starting out with skills rather than a chronological work history can be a red flag that the candidate is trying to divert attention from a lack of experience or frequent employment gaps. Similarly, probe further when dates don’t jive or you’re unsure exactly what duties a person performed in a given role. Candidates with a solid track record are happy to discuss their specific responsibilities and achievements, while those trying to hide something prefer being vague.

Others aren’t impressed

Some candidates put on their best behavior for the person doing the hiring but act differently around those who seemingly “don’t matter.” Such an attitude can be disastrous to a close-knit staff, so seek input from your small business team before extending a job offer. Likewise, genuinely listen to what the applicant’s references have to say. Information contradicting what you’ve been led to believe or even a general lack of enthusiasm when talking about the job seeker in question should sound an alarm. And definitely take any negative results from a background check seriously, even if you really like the person.

Your gut says “no”

Finally, be sure to listen to the most important voice in the hiring conversation – your inner one. A person can look awesome on paper, say the right things in an interview, and still be wrong for your small business. Trust your instincts; in the long run, they’ll tend to be correct.

Bottom line: Hiring the wrong person can be costly at any company, but at a small business, it can prove devastating. Beyond individual productivity problems, “one bad apple” can quickly jeopardize the morale of the whole office and the future of your small business. Know the red flags before you hire.

Get more out of the interview: Check out 5 Must-Ask Interview Questions for Small Business Job Candidates

Why Small Businesses Need Diversity in Their Workforce

February 8th, 2017 Comments off
Diverse People Friendship Togetherness Connection Aerial View Concept

Small businesses do not always have to abide by the same “rules” as larger businesses when it comes to implementing diversity initiatives. Required or not, though, smart companies of any size should view a staff composed of employees from a variety of backgrounds as an asset. Consider the possible benefits diversity could add to your small business:

Improved innovation

Creativity and problem-solving abilities soar when people bring different perspectives to the table. The life experiences of a recent college graduate, for example, likely will be quite different than those of a seasoned professional. Each can offer a fresh way of looking at things, and this divergent thinking can be just what your small business needs to push itself to exciting heights.

Increased candidate pool

People want to work where they feel comfortable and appreciated. When your small business’s social media pages feature diversity in your workforce, it sends the message that your workplace is a welcoming environment. Even better if you display diversity among your management, which shows diverse candidates that they too could obtain leadership positions in the future.

Greater reach

Employees add more to your small business than just job-related skills. They bring in connections from their personal and professional circles, which can expand your small business’s customer base and exposure. Likewise, satisfied workers can be great employment brand ambassadors. As they tout your company on their own social media accounts, or speak highly of your workplace when dining with acquaintances, your small business lands on the radar of prospective talent. And if you go the extra mile by setting up an employee referral program, you stand to gain an assortment of interesting recommendations.

Boosted morale

When a veteran feels valued in a civilian workplace or an intellectually-challenged individual gets the chance to become self-sufficient through employment, they aren’t the only ones reaping the reward. Their positive attitude and ability to overcome obstacles oftentimes inspires fellow employees to work harder and complain less. Both in the office and out, people come to equate your small business with inclusion and caring.

A better bottom line

All these potential plusses of a diverse staff translate into something any small business owner can appreciate – monetary gain. In its annual Diversity Matters report, McKinsey & Company reported that “companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” It also showed that “companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”

When a small business views diversity as an opportunity for a range of talented individuals to work toward the same goals, great things are bound to happen!

Make your diversity initiatives go further. Check out 5 Ways to Set Your Small Business Employees Up for Success.

How to Use Technology to Drive Employee Engagement

February 7th, 2017 Comments off
employee engagement

It’s hard to find someone who will argue against the importance of employee engagement. An engaged employee feels a strong sense of connection with their work. And, when we feel that connection as an employee, we do better work. Anyone who’s worked at a job for longer than a couple months knows this to be true.

As a result, most leaders are working to crack the code on employee engagement as a way to increase performance. This conversation about engagement typically focuses on the dynamics of manager effectiveness, teamwork and trust in leadership. These relationships are critical to employee engagement.

But in our focus of the interpersonal dynamics that impact engagement, we sometimes overlook how the smart use of technology tools can also have a profound impact on an employee’s feeling of engagement.

In my study of Best Places to Work, one factor stood out as a distinct differentiator between the best workplaces and the rest: communication. The best places to work are relentless about communication as a means to create clarity and reduce uncertainty for their employees.

Technology has provided us with tremendous tools for communication throughout the employee experience. One area that is of particular importance is the new hire onboarding process. The experience for employees in the few weeks prior to and after joining your organization sets the tone for them. It’s a time of both great anticipation but also great uncertainty for employees. This makes communication critical.

Here are some ways you can use technology to ensure your employees start their career feeling connected and engaged.

  1. Use video to help employees understand how to get started successfully. Video is a wildly underutilized tool by employers. It’s become cheap and easy to create – most people have a decent video camera in their phones. Here are some ways you might consider using video before an employee starts:
  2. Eliminate as much paperwork as possible. We all know there will be some paperwork when we start a new job. But, there are few worse ways to make a first impression during onboarding than with a giant stack of paperwork. Use technology to give employees the flexibility and instruction to complete their paperwork when it works best for them. And, if you can eliminate or automate the form, do it. This way you can focus on more exciting things during the employee’s first day.
    • Send welcome messages from the new hire’s team introducing themselves and sharing interesting facts about themselves.
    • Create videos of employees sharing tips for new hires. You could prompt employees by asking them to share what they wish they’d been told as a new hire.
    • Record welcome messages from the CEO or other senior leaders that explain the organization’s values and history, core expectations of all employees, and other information that would help the employee feel connected to the bigger picture.
  1. Empower the employee to manage their own onboarding experience. Create checklists and task lists for employees that include expected completion dates. This both clarifies expectations for the employee as to what their first few weeks or months will involve and empowers them by allowing them some control over how these tasks get completed.


Using technology tools to supplement the onboarding process is a powerful way to get your new employees off on the right foot by removing as much uncertainty from the process as possible.

Jason Lauritsen is a keynote speaker, author and advisor. He is an employee engagement and workplace culture expert who will challenge you to think differently. A former corporate Human Resources executive, Jason has dedicated his career to helping leaders build organizations that are good for both people and profits. Most recently, he led the research team for Quantum Workplace’s Best Places to Work program where he has studied the employee experience at thousands of companies to understand what the best workplaces in the world do differently than the rest. Jason is the co-author of the book, Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships. Connect with Jason at www.JasonLauritsen.com

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The Pros and Cons of Performance Reviews

February 6th, 2017 Comments off
performance reviews

Does your small business conduct annual performance reviews because of their helpfulness or because doing so is a standard business practice? If the latter, it may be time to join the ranks of Accenture, Microsoft, and other companies both large and small that are rethinking or even eliminating performance reviews. Consider the following issues when determining what role (if any) they should play at your small business.


Employees thrive on feedback. It instills a sense of confidence that they are doing their jobs correctly and makes them aware of what they need to change in order to perform better. Annual reviews ensure that busy small business leaders sit down at least once a year to offer constructive criticism to all workers in a comprehensive, structured manner.

But managers who already provide feedback on a regular basis may deem performance reviews unnecessary. Small businesses need to address problems as they arise, not allow them to continue until an appointed time. Failure to offer immediate feedback lulls workers into complacency – if the boss hasn’t said anything, I must be performing fine, right? When everything comes out at the review, an employee can feel sideswiped and resentful.


Performance evaluations offer a great chance to gush over exceptional employees. Hearing positive comments boosts morale, and a written document rating abilities and detailing accomplishments serves as both a source of pride and a welcome addition to one’s career file.

As with constructive feedback, however, many small business leaders prefer concentrating on timely praise. Employees know exactly which actions are being applauded, and they realize management consistently notices their efforts.

Forum for future

Small business owners can become so wrapped up in what needs to be done today that they fail to discuss critical long-term issues. Having a central season for one-on-one discussions of salary increases, career development and personal goals keeps employees from getting frustrated about when these things will be addressed.

Grouping these areas with a performance review, however, has possible pitfalls. Workers may be so focused on compensation that they aren’t particularly attentive to other things said. Likewise, some employees may fail to bring up important issues or make truthful self-assessments out of fear that their raise or promotion might be jeopardized.


Finally, the hectic pace of a small business may leave little time for an owner to reflect on his or her team. Performance reviews provide the chance to gain a thorough impression of each member and their role in the company’s success. Trends may emerge that highlight valuable food for thought going forward.

Remember, though, that the subjective nature of “scoring” poses potential problems. Unless they’ve been jotting notes throughout the year, evaluators tend to put a disproportionate weight on recent events. Employees anxious to get top marks may keep problems to themselves or become competitive with co-workers, which does little to promote the “we’re all in this together” mindset small businesses desire.

Learn how to give better performance feedback. Check out The Art of Giving Employee Feedback.


Provo, Utah Has Highest Share of Millennial Workers at 35%

February 6th, 2017 Comments off
Provo, Utah Has Highest Share of Millennial Workers at 35%

A new CareerBuilder study based on data from Emsi, CareerBuilder’s labor market analysis arm, explores the generational shifts and employment trends for the 100 most populous U.S. cities. It tracks how certain demographics — in particular, workers ages 22 to 34 as well as those ages 55 and older — have shifted from 2001 to 2016.

North Port, Fla. tops the list of the city aging the fastest since 2001, with a 1.5 percent change in share of workers ages 55-plus from 2001 to 2016. It also has the largest overall share of workers ages 55-plus (25.8 percent). Madison, Wisc. is the city growing the youngest the fastest since 2001, with a 3.1 percent change in share of workers ages 22-34. Provo, Utah has the highest overall share of millennial workers — 35.4 percent of its workforce was aged 22-34 in 2016.

What Does This Mean For You?

According to Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation:

Whether they are motivated by financial reasons or personal choice, people are staying in the workforce longer. At some point those workers and their intellectual capital will retire, so a city with a workforce that is aging at a faster rate needs to ensure it is attracting an adequate supply of new talent to fill the gap and fuel economic growth. While big cities have broad appeal, younger generations are also gravitating toward second tier markets with diverse economies, a strong technology presence and affordable cost of living.

Understanding some of these complex generational trends in top cities around the country is crucial to your recruitment strategy. Instead of relying on a post-and-pray approach for your open positions, you can proactively utilize data and analytics to evaluate the constantly shifting changing demographics and adjust your search for top talent accordingly.

Take a look at CareerBuilder’s interactive map to learn more.

Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruiting tips and trends, right to your inbox.

Help Narrow the Skills Gap: Host a #FindYourCallingDay This March

February 3rd, 2017 Comments off

Companies are struggling to find workers to fill in-demand positions. Students are struggling to determine their best career options. How can both employers and students work together to narrow the skills gap while helping the future generation find meaningful careers?

The answer is through the second annual Find Your Calling Month created by CareerBuilder and Emsi, a special month when students across the U.S. come together and use the Find Your Calling assessment to discover careers they love and plan the necessary education.

How Do I Get Involved?

In order for Find Your Calling Month to be a success, we are asking you to host a #FindYourCallingDay event in March at your place of business, your children’s school, or another similar location.

During the one- to two- hour event, you’ll speak with students about the importance of discovering the careers they love through programs like Find Your Calling. Then, you’ll invite students to take the Find Your Calling questionnaire, explore relevant careers and identify schools with programs that align with their interests.

What Do I Do Next?

Learn more or simply sign up now to host a #FindYourCallingDay event in your area. We’ll supply you with everything you need to execute the event, from presentations to fliers to videos.

With your help, we can change the futures of our future generation.

The Workforce is Aging – In Some Places More Quickly Than Others

February 2nd, 2017 Comments off
Flat design map of the United States made up of a crowd of people icons.

The most valuable resource for any organization is its people – and just like any other resource, the availability of new talent is crucial to long-term success. And with the Baby Boom generation nearing or entering retirement, keeping an eye on the relative age of local workforces is more important than ever.

In a new study, CareerBuilder explored employment trends for the 100 most populous U.S. cities and compiled a list of the top fastest-aging cities. The list is based on the percentage of a given city’s workforce made up of workers ages 55+ and how much that percentage – or “share” – has grown since 2001.

For a clearer picture of the changing age of the workforce, CareerBuilder translated this list into an interactive map, which visualizes two key statistics. For each city, the darker the red, the larger the share of 55+ workers, and the bigger the circle, the greater increase in share of older workers over the past 15 years.

Fastest-aging cities

North Port, FL

  • Share of workers ages 55+ in 2016: 25.8 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 55+ (2001 to 2016): 1.5 percent

Oklahoma City, OK

  • Share of workers ages 55+ in 2016: 21 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 55+ (2001 to 2016): 1.5 percent

Virginia Beach, NC

  • Share of workers ages 55+ in 2016: 19.5 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 55+ (2001 to 2016): 1.3 percent

Sacramento, CA

  • Share of workers ages 55+ in 2016: 21.7 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 55+ (2001 to 2016): 1.3 percent

Spokane, WA

  • Share of workers ages 55+ in 2016: 21.7 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 55+ (2001 to 2016): 1.3 percent


Of course, while overall the workforce is aging, there are some cities where an influx of younger workers has reversed that trend. These are the cities where the share of workers ages 22 to 34 has increased since 2001:

Increasingly youthful cities

Madison, WI

  • Share of workers ages 22-34 in 2016: 30.3 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 22-34 (2001 to 2016): 3.1 percent

El Paso, TX

  • Share of workers ages 22-34 in 2016: 32.3 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 22-34 (2001 to 2016): 2.1 percent

Colorado Springs, CO

  • Share of workers ages 22-34 in 2016: 31.6 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 22-34 (2001 to 2016): 2 percent

Allentown, PA

  • Share of workers ages 22-34 in 2016: 26.2 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 22-34 (2001 to 2016): 1.7 percent

Austin, TX

  • Share of workers ages 22-34 in 2016: 32.3 percent
  • Change in share of workers ages 22-34 (2001 to 2016): 1.6 percent

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


Why You Should Reward Your Team Players

January 31st, 2017 Comments off
Reward team players

Are some of your employees adding more value to the team? Are you paying attention? Or are you only focusing on individual performance? Research on toxic workers shows that good team players are extremely valuable and avoiding toxic hires is key.

Once you have hired some good team players, you should reward them. Alas, many employers do not reward team players enough. A great example is from professional basketball. My fellow economics researchers Petere Arcidiacono, Josh Kinsler and Joseph Price have looked at the data to find out who the best individual players are, and who contributes the most to team success. What can we conclude from their work?

An excellent team player adds 60 percent more value to the team than a selfish player. When looking at basketball, researchers have crunched the data to figure out how much each player is contributing to team success. Each player obviously contributes their own direct talent, which is what a purely selfish player would contribute. But an excellent team player further adds 60 percent additional value to the team, by making strategic passes to teammates for example. Suppose you add two excellent team players: This is like adding more than three people to the team.

The best individual contributors are not always the best team players. The beauty of measuring both individual and team contributions is that we can rat out the selfish players. And researchers indeed find out that some players, while excellent on their own, do not contribute so much to the team. Among top players, Carmelo Anthony is not a good team player relative to Chris Andersen.

Compensation mostly ignores team contribution. Finally, researchers looked at how basketball players were paid. Was their team contribution acknowledged? Surprisingly, great team players don’t get paid much more than similarly talented selfish players. Professional basketball does not reward team players. Incentive matters, so it is likely that everyone’s efforts for the team would be enhanced if team players were better compensated.

Don’t make the same mistake as the NBA: Reward your team players!

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What Are the 20 Most Important Types of HR Technology?

January 30th, 2017 Comments off
HR Technology

Human resources technology refers to all of the software used to track, manage, pay, understand, find, inform, remember and deliver benefits to the people in an organization. As you might guess, the more people in the operation, the more complicated the HR software. For example, larger organizations have people problems that are unimaginable in small businesses.

There are between 70 and 100 discrete types of HR technology in total. This article will act as a cheat sheet to the 20 most important types of HR software.

Core HR Technology

Core HR includes all of the tools required to do the basics.

  • Payroll. There are often many bits of software combined to make the payroll system. It includes all of the elements and data required to make payday happen. Executive bonuses and sales compensation are the primary complicators of the payroll process.
  • Time and attendance. Time clocks, attendance and time keeping are the foundation of this area, which often includes scheduling.
  • Workforce management (WM). WM includes keeping track of time off, vacation schedules and the allocation of people to shifts. In highly technical environments (e.g., aerospace or nuclear), a specific set of skills may be required to have a shift.
  • Benefits administration (BA). The core challenge is making sure that benefits are effectively and equitably distributed. BA complexity grows when organizations decide to become self-insuring. Pension management falls under this category. When medical information is included, some of the data is governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Human resources information system (HRIS). The HRIS is the central repository for information about employees. Usually, the data is assembled in profiles that can include a skills inventory and personal contact information. The HRIS is often referred to as the “system of record”. The HRIS can serve as an employee directory.
  • Org charting. The more complex the organization, the more time is spent figuring out how to explain who works for whom. A good org chart helps everyone understand who goes together. Great org charting software is indispensable when the operation is required to adjust due to layoffs or changing business conditions.
  • Data and analytics (D&A). The depth and array of data in the HR department (and the company) make it useful to have tools specifically designed to illuminate the performance of both the HR department and the people in the company. Usually, installing a D&A toolkit requires solving a series of data integration problems. The project is often undertaken because the benefits extend well beyond simple data integration. It takes a clear data strategy to be able to effectively understand how the organization operates.
  • Employee communications (EC). In the old days, EC was as simple as publishing the employee newsletter and getting the benefits brochures right. Today’s EC function includes engagement surveys, email campaigns, feedback loops, recognition software and collaboration systems.

Talent Management Technology (TM)

The contemporary TM function is responsible for employees, from acquisition through disposition. Where Core HR technology focuses on administrative details (like inventory management), the TM function is focused on the match between employees and the actual work. TM identifies staffing requirements and is responsible for the development of employees.

  • Talent acquisition (TA). TA is the sum total of the technology required to identify, recruit and onboard a new employee.
    • Applicant tracking system (ATS). This is the heart of the recruiting operation. Most recruiting workflow is wrapped around the ATS. A good ATS ends up being a tool for tracking regulatory compliance on hiring issues. It usually contains a searchable resume database and the elements of hiring.
    • Sourcing (recruitment marketing). Sourcing is the discovery of potential employees. This area grows faster than any other aspect of HR technology. It includes over 35 discrete functions that range from job postings to email campaigns to database tools.
    • Pre-hire assessment and screening (A&S). Pre-hire processes range widely depending on industry, region and level of employment. Drug testing, background checks, polygraphs, personality tests and reference checks all have levels of automation and data flows. The data can be kept in either the HRIS or the ATS depending on the software.
    • Onboarding. Onboarding software is used to standardize the completion of regulatory forms, the allocation of software and passwords and, sometimes, to enhance the new employee’s move to productivity.
  • Performance Management (PM). PM technology is used to track goals and assess employee performance. These tools used to be executed on an annual cycle. Today, the PM world is being re-evaluated. Some very large companies have stopped using traditional PM tools.
  • Succession Planning (SP). SP software tracks and manages the decisions associated with the management of replacements. It contains the promotion plan and the executive succession plan. The idea is to understand what will happen in unforeseen circumstances as well as who the most promotable leaders are.
  • Compensation (Comp). Comp software houses market-based compensation studies, job descriptions and (sometimes) competency libraries. Comp management software is used to assure that the company is adhering to its compensation philosophy and offering wages that are competitive.
  • Learning and Development (L&D). The L&D (or training) department is responsible for the acquisition, development, design, delivery and recordkeeping of company training. The software used to do this is called a learning management system (LMS). This is often the largest function in the HR department. Technology changes are making this a dynamic part of HR.
  • Workforce Planning (WP). WP is the long-range strategic look at the company’s need for various kinds of people. It is a reality check on strategic plans. One aspect of WP is trying to understand how to help the workforce develop to meet those future requirements.
Now that you know HR technology basics, check out “Boolean Search Secrets to Make You More Effective

John Sumser is the founder, principal author and editor-in-chief of the HRExaminer Online Magazine. John explores the people, technology, ideas and careers of senior leaders in human resources and human capital. John is also principal of Two Color Hat where he routinely advises human resources, recruiting departments and talent management teams with product analysis, market segmentation, positioning, strategy and branding guidance. 

3 Best Practices to Build Your Employment Brand 

January 30th, 2017 Comments off
Business brand strategy concept background.

For small business owners wishing to improve their employment brand, figuring out what distinguishes their company as a great place to work is only the first step. Getting the word out must be a priority. Use these tips to help build your small business’s employment brand and entice prospective talent.

Go all out online

Modern job seekers scrutinize the Internet for information on companies of interest, so be sure they have awesome things to discover about your small business. Keep your message consistent across platforms to establish identity, and aim to really show viewers what you’re all about through each of the following:

Colorful pictures, slice-of-office-life videos, personality-rich profiles of team members, and entertaining blog posts encourage candidates to get excited about your workplace and envision their own career there.

In addition to continuing to provide engaging, welcoming content, focus on personal connection. Respond to comments and questions in a timely manner, which will demonstrate attentiveness and set the stage for continued dialogue.

  • Personal profile

As a small business owner, you are the face of the company. Expect people to check you out, and seize that opportunity to further promote your employment brand. Turn the summary section of your LinkedIn profile, for instance, into a place to express your lifelong obsession with innovation or to tout the importance you place on work-life balance.

  • Job postings

Wherever their placement, job listings should go beyond simply what you want for the position at hand. View them as opportunities to promote your corporate culture, mission and workplace perks.

Build relationships

Think beyond the need to fill current vacancies. Establishing an employment brand involves acquiring a pool of connections. Follow up with people who expressed interest in your small business at a job fair. Guest lecture for a college class, and ask the professor to introduce you to outstanding students. Consider developing an internship program. Engrain your small business in both your industry and community. 

Involve your employees

Who better to sing the praises of working at your small business than the people actually there? Send your most enthusiastic off to serve as employment brand ambassadors at collegiate recruiting events and trade shows. And be sure to enlist your team in social media efforts. Not only are their personal networks likely to be much larger than the number of corporate followers, users tend to trust and pay attention to messages received from those they know. Regularly remind workers that their posts, blog comments, and employee reviews on sites such as Glassdoor are appreciated because they help grow the company’s employment brand. Worried what they say may not be flattering? Ask that workplace concerns be brought to your attention rather than vented. You’ll gain insight about what areas need improvement and further establish yourself as a caring employer.

Learn more about the importance of building your employment brand. Check out 5 Big Reasons to Build Your Small Business Employment Brand. 


4 in 10 Employers Have Fired an Employee for Being Late

January 30th, 2017 Comments off
workplace flexibility

Thanks to technology, long gone are the days when employees needed to physically be in the office in order to communicate with co-workers or complete tasks. As a result, many companies now allow for more flexibility when it comes to working remotely and logging hours.

In fact, a new CareerBuilder survey found that nearly 2 in 3 employers (64 percent) and employees (64 percent) believe the concept of “working 9 to 5” is an antiquated practice. Yet, more than half of employers (53 percent) still expect employees to be on time every day, and 4 in 10 (41 percent) have fired someone for being late.

What Does This Mean For You?

It is important to be clear on your policies when it comes to timeliness – and tardiness. If your company believes in allowing for more flexible schedules, you should outline specifically what that means so employees don’t misunderstand or take advantage of the increased flexibility. If your company enforces strict start and end times to the day, be transparent with these policies and equip managers with messaging to ensure they are communicating these guidelines appropriately.

Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruiting tips and trends, right to your inbox.

How to Innovate as a Small Business

January 27th, 2017 Comments off
Idea Bulb Concept Drawing Working on Blackboard

Small businesses that consider innovation the realm of big guys such as Google and Apple may be jeopardizing their own growth potential. Small companies may lack some of the resources of their larger counterparts, but they also do not have the red tape. Intriguing concepts needn’t pass through several departments and decision makers, so they can be executed rapidly. And without multiple product lines competing for attention and money, small businesses can throw their efforts full throttle into pursuing an innovative idea.

Whether you’re looking to transform into the type of cutting edge small business that attracts buyout and partnership offers from wealthier firms or you simply want to enrich your reputation and customer base, innovation is critical. Here are ways to increase creativity and develop a culture of innovation at your small business:

Establish an innovative environment

Make it clear from day one that you see all team members as innovators by including terms such as “creative problem solving” and “ability to think outside the box” in every job description. Then, provide plenty of opportunities for your small business employees to share their ideas for better products or ways of doing things. Periodically turn staff meetings into brainstorming sessions where people can feed off of one another. Put up a suggestion box. Host an innovation day on which you challenge your team to come up with novel solutions to a problem. Take an occasional field trip as a group to break routine and get creativity flowing.


Learning about the company beyond their own role not only builds competent employees, it encourages innovation. A fresh set of eyes may see operations in novel ways, and inquiries as to why things are done in a certain manner can lead to thoughtful reflection. Plus, insight the “student” gains can shift how he approaches things once back at his own desk.

Discourage complacency

A staff that consistently (but respectfully) challenges the status quo opens the door to innovation. Let your team know you applaud such questioning and that nothing is off limits. In addition to encouraging them to think of how to make or do something better, urge them to solicit ideas from clients. The needs, wants, and suggestions of those with first-hand experience can be great starting points for innovation.

Appreciate effort

Finally, acknowledge that many ideas will be duds – and that’s perfectly OK. If enough thoughts are put out on the table – even if they are unconventional, not fully developed, or seemingly impossible – eventually something great will emerge. Praise team members exhibiting commitment to innovation and the bravery to share. A small business environment dedicated to the notion that the next great idea can come from any person at any time will foster excitement rather than judgment.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business advice and resources page.

Temporary Hiring Trends in 2017 and Beyond

January 26th, 2017 Comments off
Temporary Hiring Trends in 2017 and Beyond

The new year has ushered in a renewed focus on the nearly 3 million-strong temporary workforce continuing on a growth trajectory as a result of the increasingly competitive talent market and shifting labor force.

According to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast, the demand for temporary labor is projected to remain strong as employers strive for greater flexibility in their staffing needs. More than half of employers (51 percent) have divulged their plans to hire temporary/contract workers in 2017, an increase from 47 percent last year. Moreover, nearly 2 in 3 (63 percent) intend to transition some temporary/contract workers into permanent roles this year, up from 58 percent last year.

Where Are Temp Jobs Growing?

According to a CareerBuilder nationwide survey of employers looking at temporary hiring in 2017, industries that are trending above the national average — which is 51 percent — include:
• IT (75 percent)
• Manufacturing (59 percent)
• Large health care organizations (56 percent)

If you extend that out to a three-year projection — from 2017 to 2020 — 199,639 new jobs are expected to be added in the temporary help services industry, which amounts to a solid 7 percent growth, according to Emsi data.

Here’s a sampling of some of the fastest-growing temp jobs over the next three years (2017-2020).

Occupation Temp Jobs (2017) Temp Jobs (2020) % Change (2017 – 2020) Median Hourly Earnings
Software developers, Applications 18,157 19,443 %7 $47.68
RNs 41,419 43,752 %6 $33.83
Accountants and auditors 10,353 11,077 %7 $32.40
HR specialists 48,076 51,054 %6 $28.45
Machinists 19,621 21,569 %10 $19.63

Furthermore, the duration of temporary assignments is also expanding.

According to a Harris poll conducted for CareerBuilder, when employers were asked on average how much longer temporary/contract assignments were at their firm compared to pre-recession,

      • 17 percent said six months or longer
      • 27 percent said three months or longer
      • 55 percent said one month or longer
How It Impacts You

Today’s employers are increasingly turning to temporary hiring when structuring their workforce, as it affords them the ability to remain flexible and agile in their staffing needs and therefore scale up their businesses with ease. They oftentimes look to temporary hiring as a vehicle to be able to test drive candidates to better determine which ones are best suited for permanent placement.

As the demand for temporary and contract jobs across all industries, company sizes and geographies continues to expand for the foreseeable future, so does the need for staffing and recruiting services to support it. You can capitalize on this opportunity by creating a pipeline of recruiters who will be ready to hit the ground running and help your clients expand their businesses.

CareerBuilder, in partnership with the American Staffing Association and Capella Learning Solutions, has launched the RightSkill recruiter program aimed at creating a new supply of job-ready, entry-level recruiters for the staffing and recruiting industry.

Learn more about RightSkill and how you can secure a pipeline of job-ready recruiters.

Kyle Braun is the president of the staffing and recruiting group at CareerBuilder. A thought leader in the staffing space, Kyle is a regular speaker at major industry events providing exclusive research and advising staffing firms on the latest news and trends shaping the industry.

This Year’s Most Bizarre Excuses for Being Late to Work

January 26th, 2017 Comments off
Retro alarm clock on wooden table

We’ve all been there. That time your alarm mysteriously didn’t go off, you couldn’t find your keys and the train was late. But, there’s another breed of latecomers out there — those who don’t seem the least bit bothered by clocking in late for work.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, when asked how often they come in late to work, more than 1 in 4 workers (29 percent) admitted they do it at least once a month — up from 25 percent last year — and 16 percent say it’s a weekly occurrence for them — up 3 percentage points since last year.

Most of the time when people are late, the excuses are pretty common. But other times, the story gets stranger — which can make it harder to believe. When asked about the most outrageous excuses employees have given them for being late, employers shared the following:

  • I forgot it wasn’t the weekend.
  • I put petroleum jelly in my eyes.
  • I had to watch a soccer game that was being played in Europe.
  • I thought Flag Day was a legal holiday.
  • My pet turtle needed to visit the exotic animal clinic.
  • The wind blew the deck off my house.
  • I overslept because my kids changed all the clocks in the house.
  • I was cornered by a moose.
  • My mother locked me in the closet.
  • The pizza I ordered was late being delivered, and I had to be home to accept/pay for it.
  • The sunrise was so beautiful that I had to stop and take it in.
  • My mother-in-law wouldn’t stop talking.
  • My dad offered to make me a grilled cheese sandwich, and I couldn’t say no.


What Are the Rules?

Some jobs require adherence to a specific schedule in order to maintain quality service levels and precise hours of operation. Other jobs can be successfully performed with very flexible hours. Nearly 2 in 3 employers (64 percent) and employees (64 percent) believe the concept of “working 9 to 5” is an antiquated practice, but more than half of employers (53 percent) expect employees to be on time every day, and 4 in 10 (41 percent) have fired someone for being late.


What Can You Do About It?

While coming in late once in a while may be unavoidable, chronic tardiness must be dealt with professionally and firmly. Here are three steps to make sure the issue is confronted before it gets out of hand:

  1. Call your employee into a one-on-one meeting.
  2. Discuss any factors causing your employee’s tardiness.
  3. Write up a list of escalating consequences for tardiness


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Five Great Podcasts for Small Business Leaders

January 25th, 2017 Comments off
Bangkok, Thailand - Dec 9, 2015 : iphone 6 and earpods on wood table, iphone 6 is developed by apple Inc.

As small business leaders, it is important to always keep learning. Podcasts are a great way to expose yourself to different ideas, different ways of thinking and learn from others in your industry — all while you’re on the go. The following podcasts provide great lessons for small business leaders. You’ll hear from others who have been where you are – or have made it where you want to be – and walk away with great advice and insight that will help you both personally and professionally.

1 Simple Thing

If you are like most small business owners whose to-do lists never seem to get shorter, this is the podcast for you. Five days a week, host Dave Kirby interviews experts who offer advice in one specific area of life – from marriage and family to mental health. Each podcast episode challenges listeners to make one small change to “make your life your life better, your business better, or your world better.”

Business Insanity

Host Barry Moltz is a small business expert, best-selling author and nationally recognized speaker. In this podcast, he discusses “the craziness of small business.” He speaks with fellow small business owners and experts to discuss their experiences and advice for dealing with the “exciting, interesting and totally unpredictable” world of small business. Find out the secrets behind Starbucks’ people-first philosophy, what you need to hire the right people and how to zombie-proof your business.

Office Hours

While host and best-selling business writer Daniel Pink hasn’t posted a new podcast episode since 2014, you can still get access to archived episodes here. The lessons from interviews with best-selling authors and renowned thought leaders – including Malcolm Gladwell, Gretchen Rubin and Marcus Buckingham – are every bit as relevant today as they were when first recorded.

Beyond the To-Do List

If fear of failure keeps you up at night, this is the podcast for you. Podcast host Erik Fisher interviews people who’ve struggled with success and endured both personal and professional setbacks. They share what they’ve learned from their mistakes and the strategies they employ to find success and maintain productivity.


StartUp is kind of like This American Life for small business owners. StartUp brings you through what it’s like to start a small business – as it’s happening. The first season of the podcast is host (and former This American Life producer) Alex Blumberg’s own personal account of the ups and downs he experiences as he tries to get his new podcast company, Gimlet, off the ground. The result is as entertaining as it is eye-opening, insightful and educational.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.



3 Recruiting Metrics That Don’t Mean Much – And Why

January 25th, 2017 Comments off
recruiting metrics

Let’s start off by all agreeing that it doesn’t matter when you start measuring. It doesn’t have to be in January. It doesn’t have to be on a Monday. It doesn’t have to be at the beginning of the month. Just start thinking about recruiting metrics.

The most important thing, regardless of when you start, is that you have a benchmark. If you don’t have a benchmark, just start anyway and make your benchmark. We were “X” in the last 30 days, so let’s see how we do in the next 30 days. Too often we get hung up on when to start, and if we don’t start on that date we should wait. Most people like clean starts and stops, but it’s really only a self-imposed prison.

It’s one of the biggest pitfalls I see in recruiting department metrics. “Well, we don’t know how many requisitions a recruiter should have, so let’s not measure that.” OK, but if you just started measuring that, you would know eventually. Not knowing what data you should have is never an excuse for not beginning to measure.

Recruiting departments (and HR departments) are classic in building CYA recruiting metrics – or the things that we measure to show we are doing the job we were hired to do so they don’t outsource our function. Every other part of your organization actually gathers data and measures things that will help the organization get better, not justify why you hired them.

Here’s a list of great CYA recruitment metrics – that actually don’t mean much:

  1. Time to Fill – You know this is the single most used recruitment metric on the planet, and for about 98 percent of organizations it’s totally a worthless metric! Time-to-fill is meaningless as a metric on its own. Who cares that you filled a software engineer job in 59 days instead of 61 days? No one! Now, if you show me that the decrease of two days saved the organization $X dollars, or made us $X dollars, now I’m listening. Or, if you show me that to reach our growth goals, based on the days it will take us to fill the positions, we will need to hire “X” number of additional recruiters or we will never meet those goals, I’m listening. But you don’t do that.
  2. Quality of Hire – This is a recruiting metric that really isn’t a recruiting metric. It’s a hiring manager metric, and it’s a metric that you can’t really measure until the individual that the hiring manager selected is fully productive, or determined that they’ll never be fully productive. What you should really do is rename this metric, “Quality of our hiring process,” because that’s what most organizations are actually measuring. “OK, the candidate that was selected 30 days ago was a crappy performer, so something went wrong with our process.” Could have been the pre-hire assessment, the awful ability of the hiring manager to select great talent, etc. What it is not is a measure of the quality of the hire. See the subjectiveness of this? That makes it a great CYA metric!
  3. Hiring Manager Satisfaction Hiring manager satisfaction might be the single least effective metric on the planet. Hiring managers love the recruiting department when they find them great people to hire, and they think the recruiting department is trash when it takes more than 48 hours for them to find candidates. The hiring manager sits on a resume for three weeks, then decides she wants to interview and is pissed at you when you tell them the candidate is no longer available. Does this metric really help your recruiting department get better? But, it’s another very subjective metric that’s easily manipulated when needed. I’ve seen satisfaction surveys written in a way that hiring managers could only give the recruiting department good grades, even when they were getting almost nothing from them!


So, I know what you are going to ask. What recruiting metrics should you be using? I think there are three levels of recruiting metrics, and next month, in this exact spot, I’ll give you the recruitment metrics you should be using right now to improve recruiting in your organization!

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


How to Make Brainstorming Meetings More Productive

January 23rd, 2017 Comments off
Brainstorming Brainstorm Business People Design Planning


Small businesses thrive on innovation, and bringing your team together for brainstorming sessions can be a great way to generate new ideas. If not properly executed, however, these collaborative gatherings have the potential to be a waste of time – about the last thing you can afford when everyone at your small business already is juggling many projects. Here are some tips for getting the most out of brainstorming meetings.

Determine the purpose

Just as a student panics when faced with a blank piece of paper, so too can a small business worker whose only instruction is to come up with a fresh idea. Instead, try asking a question such as “How can we improve customer service?” or “What tweak would you most like to make to one of our existing products?” Focusing encourages substantive exploration of a single issue rather than a hodgepodge of random thoughts.

Set some limitations

Tossing around ideas without restraint or editing is a hallmark of brainstorming – to a degree. As the creative juices get flowing, start introducing potential obstacles. Encourage staff members to up their problem-solving ability to work around time, money, and other limitations common to small businesses.

Get everyone involved

Some people enjoy the energy of brainstorming as a group. They love expressing their own ideas and building on what colleagues suggest. Others may be shy or not sure how to jump in among their more vocal peers. Success comes from tapping into the collective brainpower, so look for ways in which everyone can contribute. Consider allowing time for individual reflection on the topic before opening up the floor; reserved team members may relish this chance to collect their thoughts before being expected to speak. Another option is first brainstorming in groups of two, then presenting the most promising ideas to the whole team for further exploration. Having a partner can build confidence by diffusing the spotlight.

Create a supportive environment

Nothing kills someone from contributing more than hurtful comments from a manager or colleague. A brainstorming session needs to be a safe place where people are expected to be civil and supportive. Develop a zero-tolerance policy for making fun of ideas or labeling something as “stupid.” Every idea is a step in the process of building a better small business and should be respected.

Follow up

Finally, realize that your small business team will not take future brainstorming sessions seriously if nothing ever comes from them. Prevent discouragement by acting as much as possible on promising ideas. Look into points raised. Revisit the topic and report progress at a staff meeting. Your employees will come to see brainstorming as a productive activity rather than as a managerial whim that keeps them away from their “real” work.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.


66% of Employers Plan to Offer Higher Salaries

January 23rd, 2017 Comments off
1 in 2 Employers Know About a Candidate Within First 5 Minutes

Competition for talent remains tough, and according to CareerBuilder’s 2017 Job Forecast, many employers are resorting to offering higher pay to attract the skilled workers they need.

Two thirds (66 percent) of employers say they’ll increase the starting salaries for new workers this year – nearly half of them (30 percent of all employers) will bump starting offers by 5 percent or more.

What Does This Mean for You?

Simply put, if you’re hoping to hire skilled workers in the coming 12 months, you may need to reconsider how much you’re offering. Make sure that what you consider a fair salary is up to date. Do some research on your competitors and other employers in your area that may be looking to pull from the same labor pool as you to get a sense of what else is out there for the candidates you’re trying to attract.

If increasing salaries isn’t an option for your firm, don’t forget to highlight your company’s culture and other perks and benefits. Salary plays a big part in a candidate’s decision, but it’s far from the only factor they’ll consider.

How to Keep Employee Boredom at Bay

January 20th, 2017 Comments off
Group of young business people in smart casual wear looking bored while sitting together at the table and looking away


Face it:  Even the most “fun” small businesses have roles or responsibilities that aren’t very exciting (or even downright tedious). While these tasks need to get done, watch out for employee boredom. Boredom kills morale, lowers productivity and increases the odds of workers leaving your small business for employment elsewhere.

Great employees who are bored often don’t reveal their feelings because they don’t want to come off as whiners. Thus, you may need to take the lead in figuring out if boredom is an issue at your small business. Some signs can be spotted easily, such as yawning, negative body language and distractibility. Others may be subtler – such as spending extra time on social media, making frequent trips to the water cooler, arriving late and leaving early, or making silly mistakes due to lack of focus.

If in doubt about boredom problems, try asking your employees directly or through engagement surveys. The team will appreciate your concern, and they may have great ideas on how to liven up things at your small business. Here are some additional strategies that can help bust boredom:


Mary Poppins was on to something when she sang, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and – SNAP – the job’s a game!” Turn an envelope-stuffing session into a race. Agree as a staff on the 10 most boring (but necessary) tasks at the office and award a prize to the person who tallies up the most time spent on them over the course of a week. Allow music, chore swaps or bringing work outdoors — whatever you deem feasible that gets people motivated.

Limit the pain

Spread out boring activities over various days and people. Psyching up to do something dull for an hour is easier than facing the prospect of an entire boring morning. Likewise, distributing monotonous tasks whenever possible helps to keep things fair and fresh. And watch the timing, too. Studies show that boredom hits hardest around mid-afternoon, so especially work on involving team members in stimulating projects during this time.

Increase responsibility

Boredom oftentimes is the result of being insufficiently challenged. Set the bar higher to inspire performance. Encourage individuals to propose new projects they find rewarding or stimulating. Excitement over this pet activity can make less thrilling aspects of their job more palatable. Similarly, expand their knowledge base through training. Learning promotes engagement, and your small business benefits from having multi-talented workers.

Express gratitude

Everyone’s efforts are critical to a small business’s success. Showing staff members how their work — even on mundane tasks — contributes to the company’s overall mission can instill pride and a desire to perform well. Sincere appreciation never gets old.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.


Recruiting Through RightSkill: Q&A with President and CEO of Clinical Resources

January 20th, 2017 Comments off
RightSkill Q&A

Jennifer Scully understands the importance of having a strong recruiting team. As President and CEO of Atlanta-based executive staffing firm Clinical Resources, her company is charged with placing professionals in long-term care, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, hospitals and health care systems, nationwide.

Since their time and resources are dedicated to helping fill their clients’ talent gaps, when it came to filling their own recruiting vacancies, they needed some outside help. That is why Scully turned to RightSkill, a partnership between CareerBuilder and Capella Learning Solutions, that expands the talent pool by finding, developing, assessing and delivering job-ready candidates. Scully specifically utilized the RightSkill Recruiter Program, developed in collaboration with the American Staffing Association, to find entry-level recruiter candidates.

“They are taking some of the [candidate sourcing] off of us, which is huge, since my team needs to use their time to fill our clients’ needs,” Scully says. “We are focusing on what’s most important – placing nurses. I take it very seriously when we are unable to fill a position because it may impact people’s lives.”

We chatted with Scully to learn more about her experience with RightSkill and the importance of programs like these in helping to narrow the skills gap.

CB: Given the growing skills gap in the U.S., how important do you think it is for companies to invest in re-skilling and up-skilling workers?
I don’t think you can even describe how critical it is. There is a huge skills gap between potential and available candidates and what we need as an employer.

What we are finding is there is a void in good written, verbal and nonverbal communication skills; computer skills; as well as knowing how to work in a corporate environment, whether it is professional presentation skills, punctuality, attention to detail, commitment, growth, working as a team, being more efficient, or cultivating new ideas.

All of those skills are really important in a productive team, so it is critical that employers invest in our people, not only with role modeling, but also through the systems we operationalize.

CB: What drew you to RightSkill? What made you want to hire candidates from this program?
JS: We always struggle to find good recruiters and staffing coordinators, and we are not alone with this challenge. I think the fact that CareerBuilder has recognized what their customers need – that their biggest need right now is for internal talent to service their clients – the fact that they have recognized this … is remarkable! [The RightSkill program] is very intuitive on the part of CareerBuilder and Capella Learning Solutions; I think it shows how progressive they are, how proactive they are, and how they really partner with their clients in so many ways. They truly look at their clients and say, ‘What can we do to help you?’ That to me is really outstanding – I tell everyone about it.

Once we heard about the program, we decided to engage. They have done a great job in submitting candidates to us. We have already hired two candidates from the program, and they are doing well!

They also do a good job at the initial screening. The best part of working with the folks at RightSkill is that they’ve been very open and responsive to suggestions on how to do things differently and better.  They are also meticulous in their follow up.

They have the candidates complete the program before they present them to us. We are open to hiring people that have never worked in staffing and recruiting. The program they go through really entices them to see that it is a career – it is not a job – and it really gives them a flavor of what that career can look like and how their own skills and attributes can be replicated into a career in staffing and recruiting.

So, for example, they may have a background in customer service, call centers, hospitality or retail, and they may be realizing for the first time that they have skills in their toolbox right now that can be transferred into a successful career in the recruiting and staffing industry – and that is what the RightSkill program does for them.

CB: How would you describe the performance of RightSkill workers on the job?
Both of them so far are doing really well. I think they came with job-ready interests, excitement and understanding that they would have a career, not a job. I think the fact that RightSkill introduces them to the expectations of the positions so they know going into it what is required and expected is a key to their success.

CB: When you see a candidate take the initiative to go through a program like RightSkill, what does that tell you about the person?
Anybody who is willing to invest in going through the program on their own time and taking the test – that tells me they have initiative and drive. That is admirable to me – I am looking for people with initiative, and taking the program shows me they have it.

CB: What do you like best about the RightSkill program? What surprised you?
What I like the best about the program is that it really helps people recognize and consider a career in the staffing and recruiting world … people are introduced to great options. There are thousands of talented individuals in this space and yet there are great opportunities for those who take the initiative and do better tomorrow than they are today.

CB: Describe the feeling you have as an employer when you can give someone a good job that enables them to provide for themselves and their families.
You know you are making a difference. They join us, work with a great team, have fun, and we watch them grow. Their personal lives improve and you see it happening. It plain feels good!

CB: Would you recommend RightSkill to other businesses? Why?
I frequently recommend RightSkill to others. At industry conferences, the common thread everyone is challenged with is finding and keeping high-performing recruiters. Every company would use it; I just know they would!

Jennifer Scully is President and CEO of Clinical Resources, LLC, a JCAHO Accredited health care staffing company and executive search firm, specializing in the senior care market. Operating nationwide, Clinical Resources places experienced nurses and health care professionals in permanent and interim positions in LTACH’s, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities and affiliate organizations. Scully launched Clinical Resources in 2007 to address the critical shortage of nurses and other health care professionals through a unique talent management approach to meet the need for qualified personnel in health care settings nationwide. She is committed to recognizing and supporting nurses and the nursing profession through her efforts to encourage “back to work” opportunities for nurses and other health care professionals. Clinical Resources’ many achievements include receiving the Best of Talent and Best of Client Award in 2016 and 2017, two years in a row, an INC 500/5000 Fastest Growing Privately Held U.S. company for seven consecutive years as well as a SIA Fastest Growing Healthcare Staffing Firm for two years.

Learn more about the RightSkill program now.  
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How Small Businesses Can Recruit and Hire Like Facebook

January 18th, 2017 Comments off
Kiev, Ukraine - August 10, 2015: Facebook like logos for e-business, web sites, mobile applications, banners, printed on paper and placed in the sand against the sea Social network facebook sign.

You may not employ 15,000+ workers, but the people you bring aboard are just as critical to your small business’s success as those professionals are to Facebook’s future. Take cues from the social media giant by making these strategies part of your recruiting and hiring strategy:

Build an employment brand

Facebook has become synonymous with “great place to work.” With sky-high employee satisfaction ratings and an abundance of perks (including an impressive array of free food), unsolicited applications regularly pour into the company. Such interest cuts down on recruitment costs and enables quicker filling as positions become available. Following Facebook’s lead may yield the same situation for your small business. Get your name and mission out there, emphasize your company’s corporate culture (a strong Careers page with worker testimonials is a great start), and certainly treat your current employees right so they’ll sing your praises.

Involve your team

Speaking of your workers, remember that employee referrals consistently rank among the most valuable leads. One of Facebook’s tactics for building a database of potential talent is called “Ninja Hunts.” These informal meetings gather a group of employees together to examine their contacts and point out highly-qualified individuals who may make good future employees. Consider conducting similar sessions from time to time at your small business (and maybe even offering a monetary incentive if a recommended candidate gets hired).

Look beyond the resume

Perhaps because CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t hold a college degree, Facebook tends to place less stock in educational degrees and professional backgrounds and more on proof of ability. Internet-based technical contests such as The Facebook Hacker Cup allow hidden gems the opportunity to shine. Look for similar ways candidates can demonstrate their potential worth to your small business. Ask applicants to submit work samples or solve a relevant problem. Create realistic sample tests in line with skills needed for the position at hand. Such actions help remove hiring bias and allow the cream to rise to the top.

Seek team players

Group dynamics are important at any company, but they can make or break a small business where quarters are tight and dependence on one another is high. Ask candidates to talk about their experiences on teams. Look for responses where “we” is used instead of just “I.” Inquire about contributions to the team when talking to references. Bring in a few current employees during the interview process for a mock project or problem-solving session. Facebook oftentimes does this when hiring designers to gauge how a candidate interacts and communicates.

Prioritize onboarding

Finally, don’t let your recruiting efforts go for naught. Positive experiences early on increase the likelihood of new hires sticking around. Facebook’s six-week boot camp gets newcomers jazzed about the company’s vision and operations as well as their own ability to contribute. Implement similar measures at your small business to build competency and foster connections. A welcome lunch, an assigned mentor, a ready-to-go workstation, and activities beyond filling out paperwork can make a strong initial impression.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.


How to Stop Bias From Getting in the Way of Your Hiring Process

January 16th, 2017 Comments off
Businessman showing stop sign

Despite a leader’s best intentions, unconscious biases can creep in when hiring and influence decisions for the worse. Small businesses in particular can’t afford to let biases get in the way. They must fill their limited number of positions with the best talent available and avoid making potentially devastating hiring mistakes.

Strengthen the hiring process at your small business with these bias-reducing measures:

Structure job interviews

Before seeing anyone, determine key competencies needed for the position at hand. Then, design job interview questions to reveal these abilities. Asking every applicant the same thing in the same order levels the playing field and discourages inadvertently introducing non-relevant subjects that could lead to bias (or a costly discrimination lawsuit for your small business).

This method also lends itself well to using a scorecard. After a candidate responds to each predetermined question, the interviewer immediately jots a rating on a five-point scale (waiting can lead to forgetting or recasting certain individuals’ answers in a better or worse light). The final tally offers a quantifiable basis for comparison.

Create objective measures

Realistic sample tests can be great predictors of how candidates will perform if hired, and they provide applicants equal chances to shine. Choose tasks in line with the actual job, such as editing a document, writing code, or responding to a customer complaint. Keep identities secret until everyone’s work is evaluated in order to judge solely on merit.

Want to gather a non-biased pool from the start? Make submitting work samples or solving a relevant problem part of the application process for your small business. Look at this material before reading a cover letter or resume. You’ll gain a perception of talent that isn’t clouded by info such as age or where the person went to school.

Enlist input from others

Members of your small business staff can be good at determining the cultural fit of aspiring hires. They also can point out potential errors in your judgment, such as selective perception. Extra eyes and ears may pick up on things you missed, offer different interpretations of candidate responses, or raise awareness of factors you may be ignoring.

Likewise, gather information from other sources. Conduct background checks on all applicants. Contact their references and truly listen. Be open to re-evaluating your opinions based on what you learn.

Explore your possible biases

Lastly, realize that bias takes many forms. In addition to developing opinions based on gender, race, sexuality, age and appearance, people oftentimes draw conclusions from factors such as alma mater, career path chosen, and even similarity to oneself. Harvard’s free online Implicit Association Tests can aid small business owners interested in uncovering thoughts they may be unconsciously hiding. Use this self-awareness to check hiring behavior and select people most likely to help your small business thrive.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.


Categories: industry news Tags: ,

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.

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

5 Onboarding Tips For Remote Employees

January 13th, 2017 Comments off
5 Tips to Onboard Remote Employees Successfully

Onboarding employees is one of the most crucial tasks you can undertake as an employer. The first 90 days are crucial to increasing retention rates. Now that you’ve hired the best candidate, it’s time to not only get them set up logistically, but also to make them feel like an integral part of your organization. That’s a challenge — and perhaps even more so for employees who will be working remotely.

Equip yourself with these five tips to ensure that you’re setting your new employee up for long-term success.

1. Make sure paperwork and technology is ready to go before the start date. Oftentimes, the majority of a new employee’s first day is consumed with trivial technology roadblocks—obtaining a laptop, getting it set up, getting various programs installed, etc. Do yourself a favor and get them set up with IT and any other paperwork they need to dive right in on the first day. By preparing ahead of time, you can mitigate the time spent on administrative and logistical setup so you can focus on what really matters.

2. Communicate expectations. For instance, if you expect them to be online and available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., make sure you communicate that up front. It will help employees working remotely to better plan out their days, especially if they need to invest in a work station at home or a co-working space or find a quiet café where they can work from. If you aren’t a stickler for set hours and just care about the end result, then it doesn’t matter what hours they work as long as they have a deadline to turn in their work. Either way, expectations should be set at the outset to avoid assumptions and miscommunication. Keep the lines of communication open at all times.

3. Set clear and concise goals. There’s nothing worse than an employee logging in on Day 1 and not having an idea of what to do or what the big picture of the role is. To prevent this from happening, consider providing them with a written list of objectives, responsibilities and specific goals so they have a clear picture of how you will judge their performance and measure success. Setting goals, milestones and/or benchmarks can go a long way toward helping new employees understand what’s expected of them from a performance perspective.

4. Find ways to make them feel part of the team. Encouraging teamwork and collaboration can be more challenging with remote employees, but do what you can to make new employees feel like they fit in and build (virtual) relationships with the rest of the team. See if they can come into the office — even if it’s just for a day or two during the onboarding process — to meet the rest of the team. The occasional team outing can also boost team spirit and help build camaraderie. Additionally, make sure the new employee knows who to reach out to if questions arise or they need additional help.

5. Offer training and development. Employees entering your organization will need to be ramped up fairly quickly so they can hit the ground running. For remote employees who are not able to make it into the office during onboarding, make sure you have in place virtual training and/or workshops to get them up to speed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Whether it’s looping them in on HR protocols or ramping them up on the tools/technology your organization uses, having it readily available and on-demand is crucial.

Do you manage remote workers? What is your biggest challenge? Do you have a tip for other employers? Tweet your response and tag @CBforEmployers.

The Difference Between Leading and Managing

January 13th, 2017 Comments off
Businessman looking at a line between a to b painted on a wall

Though the terms “leadership” and “management” are often used interchangeably, not all managers are leaders and not all leaders are managers. Knowing the difference between leading and managing can give your small business the vision and structure it needs to succeed. Here’s how to figure out if you’re a leader, a manager or both.


Propelling a small business to new heights is often a leader’s primary concern. Leaders develop an image of what the company could become and devote much of their time to innovation, expansion and improvement. They embrace change and see risk as necessary for progress.

Because of this great enthusiasm for turning possibilities into realities, leaders rally others into action. They bring out the best in staff members by making each individual feel critical to the central mission of the small business. Some may liken a leader to a coach who inspires employees to expand their talents and help the team reach extraordinary levels of accomplishment.


Creating a vision is one thing, but putting it into action is quite another. Managers “keep it real” and excel at execution. They think about what needs to be done to accomplish goals and may be exceptionally good at sticking to budgets, organizing resources, delegating responsibilities, and staying on track.

Compared to leaders, managers oftentimes focus more on day-to-day operations than on a small business’s long-term strategy. They are aware of the big picture, but they also realize the importance of details, nuts and bolts, and even mundane tasks. Team members depend on managers to help them figure out who, what, where, when, and how so that work gets completed.

The need for both

Undoubtedly, leading and managing can overlap. In fact, small business owners often must do both out of necessity. Resources simply may not exist to hire someone else to carry out plans and supervise daily operations. However, if overseeing execution is not one of your strong points, finding a qualified manager should be high on the to-do list. Not only might this help your small business run more efficiently, it frees up your time to focus on entrepreneurship, networking, and other activities that can help the company grow.

For those great at ensuring the business runs like a well-oiled machine but reluctant to shake up the status quo, hiring charismatic forward-thinkers may be a solution. Also, remember that while leading may seem to come naturally to some people, it is a skill that anyone who wants to can improve. Watch pertinent TED talks. Read books on the subject. Find a mentor to model and offer advice. You soon may find your confidence and leadership abilities soaring.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business advice and resources page.


This Year’s 12 Most Outrageous Job Interview Mistakes

January 12th, 2017 Comments off
interview mistakes

What is the most unusual thing a candidate has done in a job interview this year? Invite you to dinner? Bring toys to the interview? CareerBuilder released its annual survey of the most outrageous interview mistakes candidates have made, according to more than 2,600 hiring managers and HR professionals nationwide.

This year’s list includes:

  • Candidate asked to step away to call his wife to ask her if the starting salary was enough before he agreed to continue with the interview.
  • Candidate asked where the nearest bar was located.
  • Candidate brought his childhood toys to the interview.
  • Candidate ate a pizza he brought with him (and didn’t offer to share).
  • Candidate asked interviewer why her aura didn’t like the candidate.
  • Candidate invited interviewer to dinner afterwards.
  • Candidate stated that if the interviewer wanted to get to heaven, she would hire him.
  • Candidate ate crumbs off the table.
  • Candidate said her hair was perfect when asked why she should become part of the team.
  • Candidate sang to a song on the radio playing overhead.
  • Candidate bragged about the fact that they were in the local newspaper for allegedly stealing a treadmill from an older woman’s house.
  • Candidate put on and took off her sunglasses repeatedly.


In addition to the most unusual blunders, employers were also asked about the most common and detrimental mistakes candidates have made during an interview. Here are five instant deal breakers, according to employers:

  1. Candidate is caught lying about something: 66 percent
  2. Candidate answers a cellphone or text during the interview: 64 percent
  3. Candidate appears arrogant or entitled: 59 percent
  4. Candidate dresses inappropriately: 49 percent
  5. Candidate appears to have a lack of accountability: 48 percent


But it’s not always what you say – sometimes it’s what you do. When asked to identify the biggest body language mistakes job seekers make during an interview, hiring managers named the following:

  1. Failing to make eye contact: 67 percent
  2. Failing to smile: 39 percent
  3. Playing with something on the table: 34 percent
  4. Fidgeting too much in their seats: 32 percent
  5. Crossing their arms over their chests: 32 percent
  6. Having bad posture: 31 percent
  7. Playing with their hair or touching their faces: 28 percent
  8. Having a weak handshake: 22 percent
  9. Using too many hand gestures: 13 percent
  10. Having a handshake that was too strong: 9 percent


Interviews give both the employer and interviewee insight into what it will be like to work together. The above interview mistakes may be extreme examples of job seeker missteps, but hiring managers also make similar mistakes that drive away excellent candidates. Before an interview, be sure to familiarize yourself with a candidate’s resume and background, be prepared with a list of targeted and general questions, and be strategic in the interview style you choose.

Tweet at @CBforEmployers: What are the biggest interview mistakes you’ve witnessed a candidate make? Was he or she able to recover? How did you react?
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Creating a Career Path for Small Business Employees

January 11th, 2017 Comments off
Taking decisions for the future man standing with three direction arrow choices, left, right or move forward

While many people love working for small businesses for the ability to be part of a close-knit team, perform a multitude of tasks, and know your efforts are integral to company success. The ability to move up in a small business, however, can be hard, as there isn’t always a place to go. Small business owners who fail to address this reality risk losing talented workers.

While a traditional upward ladder may not be possible, plenty of possibilities exist to forge satisfying career paths at small businesses. Help your employees envision their future with your company using these tips:

Talk about goals

A limited-size staff allows a manager to know his or her employees well. Regularly ask individuals about their aspirations. They’ll appreciate your interest, and you’ll gain insight as to what measures may help with retention. Write thoughts out so both of you can reference and monitor plans and create a career path from there.

Part of the ongoing conversation also should center on your small business’s goals. Sharing a vision reminds workers that exciting new opportunities may arise down the line. Figure out positions you anticipate fulfilling in the future, and begin to determine how current staff might grow into those roles. This action not only supports employee engagement, it sets up your small business to have promising internal talent as the company expands.

Redefine advancement

Not every career path means a straight climb from one level to the next. People who choose to work at a small business often do so because they love the chance to wear many different hats. Increasingly involve top performers in different aspects of the company. They’ll learn additional skills, take on more responsibility and thrive on new challenges.

Encourage role crafting

Lastly, show your small business staff how the lack of a clear career path for promotion can be to their advantage. Without formal “rules,” ambition and interest can be greater determinants for advancement than specific educational attainment or years of experience. Likewise, neither management nor employees must be bound by preset job descriptions. Instead, everyone can really consider how an individual can best contribute to the company.

As employees come to you with ideas on how to form their career path at your small business, support their efforts with concrete measures. Budget time for them to work on pet projects. Pay for memberships to professional associations. Invest in specialized training. Your commitment to their development builds loyalty as well as a multi-talented staff capable of taking your small business to new heights.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business advice and resources page

Boolean Search Secrets to Make You More Effective

January 11th, 2017 Comments off
Boolean Search Secrets to Make You More Effective

If you’ve been in the HR space as long as I have, you know the hardest part of recruiting used to be knowing how to find the people you wanted to hire. Recruiters often played the role of detectives who used ruses and telephone networking techniques to lead them to the candidates they wanted to interact with. The technology is different today but the basics of HR are still the same.

How Recruiters’ Jobs Have Evolved

Until the mid-1990’s, Boolean logic — the foundation of Boolean search — was the exclusive province of librarians, lawyers and software developers. As the World Wide Web emerged, Boolean search came of age as one of the primary tools of recruiters around the world. Boolean search involves using specific logic and special ‘operators’ to dig deeper into search engines like Google.

Today recruiters have access to an abundance of information about prospective employees using the leading search engines. Finding what they’re looking for involves being able to be specific enough.

Tips and Tricks You Can Start Using Now

Boolean operators can be used to narrow, expand or refine the results of a search query:

• OR means that the search results should include either of two terms. i.e.,
MBA OR Masters of Business Administration
The search results will include either of the two terms but not necessarily both. You can make long strings of OR to make sure that a large range of terms are included.
• AND means that the search results should include both terms. i.e.,
Java AND C++
All search results will include both terms.
• NOT means that the following term should be excluded from search results. i.e.,
Java NOT C++
The search results will include the first term and will exclude results that contain the second term.

In addition to these core operators, Boolean includes powerful modifiers

• Quotation Marks “__“ mean that the search engine should treat the words inside of the quotation makes as a single search term. The search query “baseball player” returns documents with those two words together. Without the quotes, the search results contain documents with those words anywhere, not necessarily next to each other
• Parentheses (_____) are especially useful with long strings of OR queries. i.e.,
(Java OR C++ OR Ruby OR JavaScript)
• Asterisk * (or Wildcard) allows the search to contain the stem of a word. The search develop* would return results with any of the following words: develops, developer, developers, development, developments, developing

Connecting With Candidates Using Search

When this all began, more than 20 years ago, using search to solve problems was a novelty. Back then, the notion of Boolean search referred to the use of terms like OR, AND or NOT to increase the effectiveness of a query. In the intervening years, all search engines have added advanced search capabilities that include a variety of terms and symbols to expand the effectiveness of the user.

Each database that you use to discover candidates will have some advanced search capabilities. They might include:

• Date ranges so that you can search only documents that emerged in the last month, last year or in a specific time frame.
• Document types so that you can specify PDF, doc, docx, xls or ppt for example. Search results will only contain these types of files.
• Specific domains: This modifier forces the search to only look at a specific domain. This is useful to search competitor websites.

Developing strong skills in search techniques makes the difference in the quality of recruiting results. The more a recruiter can unearth results from easily available sources, the more valuable he or she is to the organization. Boolean search techniques matter because they provide a competitive differentiation.

Are you doing what it takes to stand out from the competition?

Want to become a pro in the fundamentals of Boolean search? Check out our guide to learn how sourcing masters use Boolean to tap into talent across the web. 

9 New Toolkits With Salary and Skills Data to Focus Recruiting Efforts

January 9th, 2017 Comments off
candidate search

Whether you’re a recruiting novice or a seasoned sourcing pro, starting a new candidate search can be overwhelming. You want to be targeted with your search, yet you don’t always have the time or resources to spend on pulling data or perfecting your sourcing techniques. But if you go into a search unprepared, you may end up spinning your wheels – and taking a long time to fill the position.

So, how can you better focus your recruiting efforts? By starting your candidate search with a few key insights and shortcuts:

  • Average earnings data: It’s not enough to just know what your company has historically offered in terms of compensation for the open position. By having median earnings data for the specific occupation as well as other similar occupations, you’ll get a better sense of what your competitors are paying and how your compensation compares.
  • Top skills: What are the hard and soft skills to look for in a candidate for your open jobs? Having a list of desired skills on-hand while sourcing candidates will help you more easily narrow down your pool of prospects.
  • Boolean search basics: If you want to quickly and effectively source candidates for your open positions, you need to know how to perform a Boolean search.

New Industry-Specific Hiring Toolkits Available Now

Here is the good news: CareerBuilder has done a lot of this legwork for you. We have created nine industry-specific hiring toolkits filled with key earnings and skills data and Boolean shortcuts to save you time and help you hire the best talent more effectively. You’ll find toolkits for the following industries: sales, retail, light industrial, IT, insurance, hospitality, health care, engineering and transportation.

Download your industry-specific toolkit today

2 in 5 Employers Plan to Hire Full-time, Permanent Employees in 2017

January 9th, 2017 Comments off
2 in 5 Employers Plan to Hire Full-time, Permanent Employees in 2017

The hiring outlook for 2017 is the best the U.S. has seen in a decade, according to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast.

As many as 2 in 5 employers (40 percent) say they will hire full-time, permanent employees this year, while 3 in 10 intend to hire part-time, permanent staff. Additionally, half of all employers say they plan to bring temporary or contract workers on board within the same time period.

What Does This Mean For You?

According to Matt Ferguson, CareerBuilder’s CEO and co-author of The Talent Equation:

Three in four employers reported that they are in a better financial position than they were a year ago, which is instilling more confidence in adding people to their payrolls. Following a divisive election season, employers are entering the New Year with a watchful, yet optimistic approach. One of the key challenges for employers will be bridging the talent gaps within their own organizations by either offering better wages or by helping to reskill and upskill workers.

Are you taking necessary steps to bridge the talent gap at your organization? For starters, focus on being competitive with wages. As many as 2 in 3 employers said they intend to increase salaries when extending initial job offers — nearly a third of them said it would increase by 5 percent or more.

Also, while you don’t necessarily have to overlook experience or “settle” for a less-than-perfect candidate, try to keep an open mind to training and developing workers who do not already have the breadth of skills your open positions require.

Learn more about CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast by downloading the full report.

Tweet at @CBforEmployers: Are you looking for a new job in 2017? Which of these trends do you find most useful to know going into your job search?

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How to Tell Your Employees No

January 2nd, 2017 Comments off
Hand writing Time To Say NO concept with red marker on transparent wipe board

As a small business leader, you must make decisions in the best interest of the company. This sometimes means having to say “no” to ideas or requests from your employees. Because you depend on your team so much and likely have grown close to them, being the bearer of such news can be tough. You no doubt want your staff to be happy and to remain enthusiastic about their employment, but small businesses simply do not always have the resources or budget to accommodate every desire.

So how can a small business owner turn down employees without losing loyalty? Try these tips:

Provide a straight-forward response

Sugarcoating will not ease the sting, so get to the point when delivering your decision (such as “It’s beyond our current budget” or “We don’t have the manpower to implement”). Employees appreciate a direct answer that includes an honest explanation about how you arrived at your conclusion.


Respect the person’s right to feel disappointed and even to vent a little. Phrases such as “I understand your frustration” acknowledge the emotional aspect of the situation. However, avoid melodrama and apologies. Everyone needs to view tough decisions as a fact of life at small businesses, not as a personal affront.

Stay consistent

Sticking to policies you’ve established for your small business gives everyone a point of reference and reduces charges of favoritism. Denying a vacation request, for instance, becomes much easier when you can simply cite the employee handbook’s paragraph on taking time off around the holidays.

Find an alternative

Instead of completely nixing an idea, might tweaking it be possible? Footing the bill for an out-of-state conference may be beyond your small business’s professional development budget, but perhaps a one-day seminar at a place within driving distance could be an acceptable compromise. Establishing parameters can decrease the number of instances in which you need to say no.

Revisit the issue later

As a small business grows, circumstances change. Let your IT guy know that you’ll be happy to reconsider his upgrade suggestions in six months if mid-year reports show a sufficient profit. While temporary shelving shouldn’t be used as a way of putting off an inevitable rejection or promoting false hope, it can be valuable when someone at your small business genuinely has a valid request that merits further exploration.

Show gratitude

Lastly, consider yourself immensely fortunate to have employees who think about ways to make your small business better. While you may not be able to use all of their suggestions, be sure to thank them for their efforts. Encourage them to keep generating proposals, and assure them that when the fit is right, you’ll offer a resounding “yes.”

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.


49% of Workers Resolve to Save More

January 2nd, 2017 Comments off
recruitment technology challenges

For many, the start of a new year is an opportunity to reassess our lives and make plans to improve. And while some workers are resolving to find a new job in 2017, that’s not the only popular job-related New Years resolution this year.

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 49 percent of workers say they’re planning to save more money in the coming year, 38 percent hope to reduce their stress, and 30 percent have their eyes set on a raise or promotion.


What does this mean for you?

Twenty-two percent of workers say they’re planning on finding a new job in 2017. For employers hoping to improve retention over the coming year, understanding why workers stay or leave is crucial.

While there are plenty of surface-level changes that employers can make to entice workers to stay, the most effective is often simply to help their employees meet their personal goals. Provide classes or other resources to help workers manage their personal finances. Create perks or policies aimed at reducing stress among employees. Sit down with employees to talk about their career path and ambitions. Job satisfaction is often linked to feeling valued – helping them achieve their goals is a great way to show them you care.

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

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Small Business

December 30th, 2016 Comments off
New Year 2017 Idea Concept on Chalkboard Background

It’s that time again when people think about what they want to quit doing, start doing, or do better in the next 12 months. As a small business owner, developing such resolutions for your company can help 2017 be your best year ever. Here’s a look at a few to consider:

Get your staff involved in growing your business

Share your vision for the company’s future with team members. They’ll get excited about the part they can play in helping your small business to thrive. Point out ways everyone can contribute, such as networking more and sharing company activities on social media. Send your most outgoing brand ambassadors to industry conferences, job fairs, trade shows, and the like to talk about your awesome small business and why they like working there. And if your employee referral system is weak or nonexistent, resolve to create a strong one. This recruiting method has a proven record of generating a high quality applicant pool.

Solidify onboarding procedures

Vow to cut down on costly turnover by developing a thorough, consistent onboarding process for new hires. Positive experiences early on at a job can impact the decision to stay, so create a formal plan to assist new hires in feeling welcome among your close-knit staff. Minimizing paperwork, creating a checklist of materials to have ready on someone’s first day, and assigning an office “buddy” can go a long way toward helping a new employee become engaged and productive.

Check yourself out online

If you don’t know what potential customers and employees are learning online about your small business, it’s time to find out. Do a Google search and see what comes up. Read reviews of both your products or services and of how past and present employees rate your workplace. Recreate a job seeker’s experience by getting out your smart phone or tablet and actually looking at what appears when you try to apply for a position with your small business. If you become frustrated or confused, so will others. And if you haven’t updated your website in some time, resolve to jazz it up. Prospective talent loves to see examples of company culture, so consider adding a blog, videos of office events, or profiles of team members.

Make the difficult moves

Finally, if you spent 2016 shying away from some of the uncomfortable tasks that come with being a small business leader, promise to take charge in the new year. Stop agonizing and just terminate that morale-zapping employee who hasn’t heeded your warnings. Hand out those employee satisfaction surveys, even if you fear they may come back with things you don’t want to hear. Deliver negative feedback when necessary instead of hoping problems will go away on their own. When you commit to facing the music, your small business stands a much better chance of reaching the top of the charts.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business advice and resources page.

How to Take a Proactive Approach to Employee Retention

December 28th, 2016 Comments off
employee retention

Ben Brooks, CEO of PILOT

That faint knock on your office door or that ominous 15-minute “catch up” meeting scheduled on your calendar by one of your star performers. Then comes the news you’ve feared and have been avoiding; they’re resigning. You remain calm on the outside, but inside you panic. Experienced managers have seen this horror film many times, and it usually results in the manager trying to convince or even beg the departing employee to stay. This is both likely a bad idea and symptomatic of a lager people management and employee retention issue.

If you do convince them to stay (likely by offering more money) you’ll be setting up an unfortunate power dynamic. You may have (temporarily) succeeded at preventing them from leaving, but you’ve likely only bought yourself limited time. During this time your colleague will likely have sub-par performance, knowing they were never really appreciated since you only acted once they said they were quitting. Plus, you’ll signal (yes, everyone does talk) to other staff that quitting is how you get a raise and attention. All bad dynamics to create.

Here’s what you must admit: Your best people will eventually leave. If they are great they have lots of options beyond your organization (even if not visible to you), so you need to act as if they are surrounded by opportunities to leave. Second, the labor market is rapidly shifting, both due to changes in talent development strategies at firms (moving from build to buy) and generational preferences. This means that switching companies fairly frequently, once shunned, is now viewed as advancing one’s career without much stigma.

So what do you do instead?

  1. Upgrade them: In short, be proactive and eliminate reasons for your best people to quit. Start by upgrading their job without asking them. Isn’t it a rush when an airline or hotel gives you an upgrade? Give your employees that same sense of importance and delight by engaging them one-on-one to let them know they are appreciated. Reinforce your commitment that they love working for you. Do this by asking about their unmet needs and identifying what barriers they have to doing great work for you. Most importantly, take what you hear and do something about it.
  1. Treat them like customers: Most successful companies do a good job of treating their customers with respect, making them feel appreciated and engaging them in an empathetic manner. Guess what? The same best practices you use with customers work great with your employees. Remember the golden rule – how would you want to be treated if the roles were reversed? Take on their perspective and have empathy when you make decisions and communicate. Show them they’re appreciated by surprising and delighting them, perhaps with an unexpected team outing, a nice gift or even bringing in food. Additionally, invest in their development and growth both with your time – setting clear expectations, giving meaningful feedback, and thoughtfully assigning work that will help them grow, and your resources – by sending them to conferences, on business trips and to trainings.


“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” rings true when it comes to employee retention. Being proactive is simply smart business. We all know how painful and costly it can be to lose good people. Yet most companies fail to manage talent attrition as a major risk, as they would cybersecurity or changes in their supply chains. When you know something is a risk to your company, in particular if it is likely, has material impact, and can be mitigated, you do something about it. Your best people leaving should be no different.

As a bonus, when you do prevent attrition risk you get the upside of increased engagement and productivity, literally like being allocated additional headcount to get more work done. Plus, it is far easier to raise expectations of staff and hold them accountable when you have a significant goodwill “deposit” from showing them you care and being thoughtful.

As you start to think about what being a great manager in 2017 looks like, I strongly encourage you to take on the satisfaction and retention of your best employees as a top priority.

Ben Brooks is the Founder & CEO of PILOT, the NYC-based tech startup focused on helping managers retain their best people. Leveraging on-demand and engaging technology, PILOT mimics working with an executive career coach by fusing process and content together into an action-oriented and insightful digital experience. PILOT’s newest invention is called “The Brand Crafter,” an interactive workshop designed to help define and expand your professional brand. Learn more at www.pilot.coach, say hello at hello@pilot.coach, or tweet Ben at @benbrooksny.

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

How to Build a Great Corporate Culture

December 28th, 2016 Comments off
Company Culture concept on blackboard

Having a great corporate culture can be a differentiator for small businesses when it comes to attracting and retaining spectacular employees. But awesome environments don’t just happen — nor can they be forced. So how do you build one that entices job seekers and keeps employees engaged? Here are some tips for creating a corporate culture that brings out the best in your small business team.

Define your company

A strong corporate culture starts with defining your brand. A small business that knows what it wants to be has an easier time finding employees who can support that mission. Identify your core values, and include those ideals in everything you do. Whether you’re out to deliver exceptional customer service or shake up your industry through innovation, everyone on your team should know the company’s top priorities. Develop a mantra – a succinct reminder of your intentions – as a point of reference and pride (as in Apple’s “Think Different”). And draw your staff into your vision even further by sharing with them your dreams for the company’s future.


Teams thrive when each member feels valued and heard. Give your small business employees plenty of opportunities to voice opinions and engage in problem solving. Likewise, provide thoughtful, timely feedback to create a can-do, results-oriented environment. And since transparency can limit gossip and foster trust, keep everyone as up-to-date on issues as possible.

Lead by example

Simply put, practice what you preach. Who is going to believe you truly prize an all-hands-on-deck mentality if you’re nowhere to be found during crunch time? Leaders set the tone for corporate culture, so be certain you’re sending the right message.

Hire wisely

Make attitude as important to your corporate culture as aptitude when hiring at your small business. The people on your limited-size staff depend heavily on one another, so a poor match could quickly and critically impact the entire culture. Consider adopting a hiring process in which current team members meet with potential hires and offer their input before you make a final decision.

Make fun and appreciation a habit

Building a small business often requires putting in substantial hours, working outside of one’s comfort zone, and rising up to tackle unexpected challenges. Consistently acknowledging your team’s contributions through words and actions demonstrates your awareness of all they do. A thank-you note to someone who goes above and beyond or a surprise staff luncheon after meeting an important goal builds positive feelings. Likewise, encourage people to interact with one another in enjoyable ways, such as group outings, holiday or birthday celebrations, and fun contests. With a small staff, you have the advantage of being able to target your efforts — they’ll be happy to let you know if a ping-pong table or a cappuccino station is a worthy workplace addition. While no two corporate cultures will be exactly the same, the best ones share a common objective – being a place where employees genuinely want to work.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.


Are Your Employees Planning to Leave in 2017?

December 27th, 2016 Comments off
Person silhouette standing in 2017 on the hill at sunset

Now may not be the time to get too attached to workers. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, more than 1 in 5 workers (22 percent) are planning to change jobs in 2017. Among younger workers, the numbers are even higher. More than a third of workers ages 18 to 34 (35 percent) expect to change jobs in the next year.

Employee retention is critical to the long-term health and success of your business. So what can you do to make workers stay?

When asked what extra perks would make them more willing to join or stay with a company, the most popular choices workers pointed to include:

  • Half-day Fridays: 40 percent
  • On-site fitness center: 27 percent
  • The ability to wear jeans: 23 percent
  • Daily catered lunches: 22 percent
  • Employee’s own office: 22 percent

While you may not be able to offer everything on the above list, below are a few strategies you can use to retain your talent in 2017 and beyond:

Provide a competitive benefits package. You’re competing for clients and for employees. Flex schedules, health insurance and specialty insurance (such as disability and life) make a difference when it comes to attracting and keeping employees.

Create an open and honest work environment. Give feedback on work performed and be willing to listen, really listen, to the concerns of your employees.

Get employees’ input: If you want to keep your best and brightest people, involve them in the decision-making process. Not only will it serve to provide different perspectives that can lead to smarter decisions, it will also boost morale,

Provide productivity tools: Ensuring your employees have access to the tools and information they need helps ensure they can do their job more productively.

Recognize and reward good work: Monetary bonuses are always nice, but recognition of a job well done goes a long way to creating good will and loyalty. The most powerful recognition is specific. For example, “good job” is acceptable, but “good job on the rebrand project” is much better.


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Back to the Future: HR and Talent Acquisition Technology On the Horizon

December 27th, 2016 Comments off
HR and TA Technology

In 2016 I demoed over 100 different HR and TA technologies. I started doing this three years ago with a goal to demo one new piece of HR and TA technology per week – 52 demos a year. My goal was personal development as I thought I was pretty naive when it came to HR technology as a whole.

Now, I’m full blown HR tech geek and I love it! I love the interaction of technology and people, being that what we do is such a people-oriented business. Technology is great, but when you add in people, it can get crazy!

Those companies that are building the latest and greatest HR and TA technology on the market truly get this complex relationship and the new stuff that is coming just blows me away. As I look out into the future of HR and TA technology, here are some of the trends that I’m most excited about:

  • Video, Video, Video. It’s no secret at this point that we all, especially the younger generation, consume massive amounts of video! On our phones, on a plane, on a train, on a boat and on a goat, we are a world that lives in video. The video trend in HR and TA I’m most excited about is Video Job Descriptions. No longer the lame, boring text-based job descriptions that have been around since dirt. You can now have an employee doing the exact job you’re hiring for – or a hiring manager – tell the applicant via video exactly what the job is and why it’s awesome.
  • Artificial Intelligence (A.I). Right now this is mostly really smart chat bots. I’m hoping eventually I’ll get my Will Smith iRobot to fire employees for me, but until then I’ll make do with great tech that’s on the market. We are to the point where A.I. can actually take a candidate from pre-apply all the way to the first in-person interview without ever being touched or communicated to via a real human on your team. That’s super exciting!
  • Recruitment Marketing. Customer relationship management technology within the talent acquisition space continues to evolve and improve at a tremendous speed. The CRM technology on the market will soon be able to tell you when a great candidate is even thinking about maybe beginning to look for a job, when they stopped by to look at your career site, where they went after looking at you, and how you should go about getting them to come back and finally apply. It’s scary Big Brother stuff, and it’s so cool! Just know if you’re at work and you are looking for a job, everyone is now watching you.
  • Employee Experience. It took a few years, but we finally remembered that our employees are important. Sure, candidate experience is still important, but let’s not forget those we already have! To that end, there is awesome technology helping us communicate better with our employees and collaborate better as teams. Also, I love the fact that I think we’ve finally reached the tipping point of organizations understanding that once a year employee reviews have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Our employees expect and deserve constant, ongoing feedback on their performance, or they’ll leave to find it somewhere else.


I get that the trends and technology are moving at an incredible rate of speed. The changes we are seeing on an annual basis within HR and TA now would have taken three-five years to take hold just a decade ago. Make a goal to yourself in 2017. You don’t have to be crazy like me, but do yourself a favor and demo one new technology each month. That’s one hour per month, twelve hours for the year, for your own development. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make!

CareerBuilder’s CHRO and CTO discuss what they see as some of the biggest 2017 HR trends

The Importance of Networking for Small Business Leaders

December 26th, 2016 Comments off
Two cheerful business people drinking champagne and talking while other people communicating in the background

Looking for an inexpensive, efficient way to increase awareness of your small business? Upping networking efforts could be the answer. While this activity might not be anyone’s favorite, its importance cannot be denied. Word-of-mouth builds your brand among business peers, potential clients, prospective employees, and the community at large. Additionally, developing a network of professionals to reach out to for advice and support can be a lifesaver for a small business owner when confronted with new challenges.

Ready to take advantage of all the possibilities a stronger network can offer? Use these tips to get started:

Get out there

Professional association gatherings, industry conferences, Chamber of Commerce events – plenty of opportunities exist to meet others and tell them about your small business. Visibility creates recognition and encourages trust. People like to do business with someone they know, so face-time can have huge returns.

Some of the best networking develops outside of the “corporate” sphere, so be ready to explain to anyone and everyone what your small business is all about. Chat with fellow parents prior to a PTA meeting. Converse with other golfers waiting for their tee time. Lend a hand to running a charity event in your neighborhood. The common purpose will help conversation flow naturally.

Social networking should be part of your strategy too, though experts generally recommend that it supplement in-person efforts rather than be a sole method. Use LinkedIn to learn more about people you meet, including who is in their circle and any mutual connections. Contribute thoughtfully to groups or chat boards — adding value comes off better than a hard sell. As you get to know members, work on bonding offline.

Follow up

Meeting people plants seeds, but to be truly fruitful, relationships must be nourished. Business cards gathered cannot collect dust. Take the lead by asking to join your new acquaintance’s LinkedIn network, picking up the phone to further discuss an issue of mutual interest, or sending an email expressing pleasure about having met. Keep people in your network top of mind; they’ll appreciate genuine efforts to help them out and be likely to reciprocate.

Enlist your staff

Finally, view networking not only as your responsibility but as something all members of your small business staff need to do. You may even want to stress from the get-go how vital you consider networking by including it in the job description for each and every employee.

Since skills such as breaking the ice or asking for referrals may not come naturally to everyone (including you), consider working on these abilities as a staff through role-playing exercises or bringing in an expert to offer pointers. Knowing what to do and say develops confidence, which in turn increases the odds of reaching out to others. As further motivation, implement a bonus system, such as a monetary reward for attracting a new customer or for accumulating a certain number of leads.

And for more ideas on how to strengthen your team’s networking efforts, discuss the issue with other small business leaders in your own network. They’ll likely be happy to share what has worked for them!


Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.

34% of Employers Cite Manually Posting Jobs to Sites as Top Recruitment Technology Challenge

December 26th, 2016 Comments off
recruitment technology challenges

When you have a job opening, you want to get it in front of as many potential candidates as possible, through as many different mediums as possible. Yet the process of posting jobs to various job boards and social media channels is time-consuming and takes up precious resources that could be better allocated toward engaging with candidates.

In fact, according to CareerBuilder research, 34 percent of employers say having to manually post jobs to several sites is one of the biggest challenges their organization is facing in terms of its recruitment technology. What’s more, 15 percent say their recruitment technology is outdated or limited in what it can do, and 14 percent say their technology isn’t efficient, and it takes too long to find and engage candidates.

What does this mean for you?

Time is valuable, so consider investing in recruitment technology that can give you time back in your day by posting jobs for you. Broadbean Job Distribution is an easy-to-use tool which distributes your open positions to relevant job sites and social media channels. Using a tool like this ensures you’re posting jobs more efficiently while also getting in front of candidates wherever they may be searching for jobs.

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Tips for Hiring Older Workers

December 23rd, 2016 Comments off
Bubble speech with cut out phrase "we are hiring"  in the paper.

They bring knowledge, loyalty, professionalism, and great communication skills to the table. But even as small business employers realize the benefits of hiring older workers for their organization, individuals past age 50 who want to go back to work may still feel that they don’t have good chances of landing a decent job. Prove them wrong — and give your small business a boost at the same time — by focusing your hiring efforts and targeting workers from this group with these tips:

Advertise to their needs

Priorities often change over the course of a lifetime. While younger workers may be looking for positions focused on mobility and promotion, older ones frequently put an emphasis on social interaction and mental stimulation. Grab the attention of these job seekers by promoting the family-like atmosphere of your small business staff and the constant need to tackle new challenges to help the company grow.

Also, erase their fears of being labeled “overqualified” by creating job ads that show your small business puts a premium on experience. Try searching for “mature individuals with a track record of grace under pressure” or “seasoned professionals capable of wearing many hats because of their diverse career experiences.”

While salary will still be important to workers of any age, flexibility may be an even stronger lure for candidates over 50. Telecommuting, alternate hours, and other such options enable them to achieve a work-life balance conducive to pursuing various interests at this stage of life. Be sure to highlight if your small business offers such arrangements.

Seek them out

Like their younger counterparts, older job seekers often use social media and job boards to find new opportunities. Consider placing targeted ads that they will see. In posts and on your website, feature photos and profiles of older members of your small business team to help prospective candidates visualize themselves working for you.

Job fairs designed for older workers can be great places for you discover talent. Likewise, post your openings at local establishments (libraries, churches, community centers, etc.), develop relationships with senior organizations, or even consider contacting area school districts to let them know you’d love to connect with retired teachers.

Finally, don’t neglect the power of your own resources. Charities in which you’re involved may have a plethora of devoted volunteers who might be interested in paid work, too. People in your network informed of your diversity efforts may be happy to introduce you to older individuals they know. And employee referrals always have great potential, so encourage your team (especially the older members) to sing the praises of your small business to talented potential workers of any age.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.

3 Ways Your Staffing Firm Can Win in 2017

December 21st, 2016 Comments off
staffing firm competition

cj-rodriguez-headshotThe New Year is upon us, and with it come new challenges and opportunities for your staffing firm. To kick the year off right, here are three key takeaways from CareerBuilder’s Staffing Advantage Report to help you beat your staffing firm competition to new business and the best talent.

1. Focus on candidate relationships

Winning new business starts with your candidate relationships. Candidates are the true branding stakeholders for any staffing firm, and the experience you provide them will determine the retention and referral network built by them on your behalf. They will complement your current marketing initiatives and eventually act as your champions in the field. You can’t pay money for this type of marketing. It’s value with a voice – their voice – and it matters.

Firms that work on building stronger candidate relationships will continue to be ahead of the new business development curve without exception. Based on my experience, a firm loses approximately 15 percent of clients every year on average by “natural” attrition. I work with firms across the country and help them strategize ways to overcome this client deficit as they enter each year.

In a recent study our firm conducted, it was revealed that 51 percent of senior executives have never met their clients in person. This is simply not acceptable. You have to get involved, be involved and stay involved. If you don’t, you lose every time.

One of the biggest – but often missed – opportunities a firm has is performing consistent relationship reviews from top down, not just the “account.” This is very different from your typical account review and should be initiated by the firm, not the client. Taking the initiative here will set any firm apart from those who continue to operate based on antiquated processes because that’s the “way they’ve always done it.”

2. Make technology work for you

Technology today has changed the sales landscape with a “no return” concept. Today’s client is savvier than ever. They take time to research, investigate, communicate and make educated decisions based on the intel they gather. It is no longer acceptable for a firm to expect the client or candidate to seek them out based on a few sales slicks or a couple of blog posts.

Having a great website will help but you must give it legs. It has to have strong call-to-actions in the most simplistic format. I always say, “Don’t make the client think if they don’t have to.” Firms today must be willing to deliver quality content and communicate on the platform where their clientele lives – not the other way around.

In most cases, this means the same content delivered across a minimum of three to five platforms. You have to cut through the noise and deliver a solid, meaningful experience for your clients and candidates. Gone are the days of two to three page applications. It’s quick hit information on their platform that keeps your audience moving toward you, not toward your staffing firm competition.

3. Identify connections

I am a big proponent of using heat mapping concepts to assess overlaps where clients and candidates connect. If done correctly, this strategy also shares insight on gaps that exist based on current sales and recruitment efforts. You can ghost in several overlays of information that will tell an exciting story and reveal amazing opportunities for new client development or gaining stronger leverage in relationships.

As mentioned above, clients and candidates are savvier today and more interested in receiving quality content over quantity. A great blog that upholds an interactive community is another good way to engage and help educate the end user of staffing and recruitment services. Also, the use of heat mapping strategies (mentioned above) can help showcase a firm’s position over another in terms of candidate pool, market share and overall footprint.

By focusing on your relationship with candidates and using technology to build new avenues for connection, you can make 2017 the year your business becomes best in class – and beats the staffing firm competition.

CJ Rodriguez is a senior-level executive with over 15 years of entrepreneur and corporate experience. She specializes in building sustainable growth for nationally and globally recognized organizations in the areas of sales, recruiting, training and operations. For more insights from CJ, visit her website: http://www.evolvehealthcaresolutions.com

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How to Hire for Cultural Fit

December 21st, 2016 Comments off
WE WANT YOU! message on the card shown by a man

Though important in any workplace, cultural fit takes on added significance in a small business. With limited spots on your team, an out-of-place employee can have a quick, severe impact on morale and productivity. Spending time finding people who truly believe in your company’s mission and way of doing things can reduce turnover, lead to greater job satisfaction, and promote superior performance. Use these tips when hiring to discover great cultural matches for your small business:

Define your culture

Entrepreneurial spirit? Flexibility? Calmness under pressure? Ask yourself which traits you value most in current staff members and which qualities a newcomer should possess in order to mesh with your team’s existing vibe. A small business owner with a good grasp of what it takes to be a successful employee at this particular company can start looking for appropriate people to fill openings.

Publicize what you seek

You advertise for the nut-and-bolt skills essential for a given position, so why not specify the cultural qualifications too? All parties benefit when you provide a clear idea of what a successful candidate should expect, so offer details and a slice of real life. For example, is collaboration central to your small business? Highlight your open-office structure in the recruitment video, call for team players in your job ad, and post examples of staff members working together on your social media pages. People with a preference for individual contribution will get the message and not apply, saving you the time of weeding them out.

Test the waters

Interviews can provide a wealth of information about cultural fit. To avoid simply receiving appropriate but generic answers (such as “I’m a team player” or “I get along well with everyone”), ask candidates for opinions or to share actual examples. How does the person’s response to “describe a work culture or environment in which you would not be happy” or “tell me the kind of culture you thrive in” match up to your workplace? Can the individual recount in detail past experiences in which she demonstrated values essential to your company, such as going above and beyond for a customer or performing a task outside of her job description?

But don’t stop there. Introduce promising candidates to the whole team. With their first-hand knowledge of your small business, they can provide applicants with thoughtful answers about daily life and give you honest feedback as to how well a particular individual might fare. Conduct a group interview, arrange shadowing for a day, or foot the bill for a casual lunch. Cultural fit should not be an afterthought, so build evaluation of it into your standard hiring procedure.

7 Candidate Problems and How to Get Ahead of Them

December 20th, 2016 Comments off
Candidate problems

If you’re like most recruiters, you have more on your plate than you did a few years ago. So, while you know there are certain candidate-related issues that should receive your attention, you’re just not able to focus on them as much as you’d like. But if you ignore them, they could end up blindsiding you – and causing you to lose out on top talent.

Here are seven common candidate problems and how you can get ahead of them – before they get ahead of you.

Problem No. 1: Candidate ego is out of control

In today’s candidate-driven market, candidates believe it’s all about their needs, not yours. How do you respond in an environment like this?

Solution: Candidates may come to interviews with outlandish requests related to benefits, comp, paid time off, career pathing – you name it. How do you respond to these requests? By adapting to the ego and expectations of the candidate. Ask yourself if you can afford to be picky in this market – because if you ignore the candidate, you may lose out on great talent. If you don’t have a strategy to tackle this, find a way to answer their questions without giving them what they want. That way, you’ll give yourself time to come up with an answer that’s beneficial to both parties.

Problem No. 2: Candidates value transparency

There’s no doubt about it – we live in an era of transparency. Candidates want to know the good, the bad and the ugly about a company. They use social media sites to get real, honest reviews. They don’t just want to hear all of the positives of working at your company – they want to know what some of the challenges are, too.

Solution: As a recruiter, you must be prepared to have robust and honest conversations with candidates. They will Google this information anyway, so you might as well be transparent. It’s also important to remember that your employer brand is made up of both employees and ex-employees. Your brand is a reflection of how you treat those currently working at your company and those who leave – willingly or not. Ex-employees are the ones sharing their fond memories – or horror stories – so don’t forget about managing alumni relationships, too.

Problem No. 3: Candidates want actionable feedback

We often try to get through as many candidates as possible, but favoring quantity over quality prevents us from having valuable candidate conversations.

Solution: We must talk to fewer people and have better conversations. Get down to a number that’s manageable so you can actually communicate with every candidate who applies – whether or not they are right for the job. If they have a bad experience, it will leave a bad impression. You want to build up a solid talent network, which includes people who may have been rejected for one job but may end up being a fit for another. Don’t sour candidate experience by slacking on communication.

Problem No. 4: Candidates want brutal feedback

Candidates aren’t made out of porcelain. If they suck, they want to be told they suck. They want to know what else they need to do to help them get the job.

Solution: Be honest with your candidates. It goes back to transparency – candidates will appreciate constructive criticism. That’s how you’ll build loyalty and help your employer brand.

Problem No. 5: Candidates have a ‘What’s next?’ mentality

This is one of the relatively new candidate problems. Twenty years ago, you wouldn’t see this. But we are now in the business of career development.

Solution: You must be able to explain internal mobility – however that is defined within your organization. The most talented candidates will have many options, so they will expect to know what’s next for them. You’ll lose top talent if you aren’t good at promoting them from within. It’s a new way of looking at HR and recruitment – it’s not just about getting them in the door, it’s getting them to stay.

Problem No. 6: Candidates demand career development

If you don’t have a compelling career development story, how can they grow their skills? And why would they want to work for you?

Solution: CEOs often think if their candidates are trained, they’ll leave the company. Yet, don’t we want the best version of our employees while they’re at our company? That’s why investing in training and development is so important. During the hiring process, you must be able to delve into the specifics of a training and development plan so candidates know they’ll have a chance to broaden their skillset once they’re employed.

Problem No. 7: Candidates expect text messages

In this candidate-centric market, candidates expect you to meet them where they’re at. This means they want you to communicate with them in their preferred way – not yours.

Solution: Voicemails may be your preferred mode of communication with candidates, but if they aren’t voicemail-oriented, you’re going to lose them – just on medium alone. If you don’t care about their communication style, they’ll think you just don’t get it. Don’t force the communications pathway that you’re comfortable with, because it’s not necessarily what the candidate prefers. Show them that you’ll do what it takes to get them to take the job by focusing on what’s important to them – even if that means sending them a Facebook message or connecting via Skype.

Is it time to rethink candidate experience? Learn how to make better hires.

Team-Building Activities Perfect for Small Businesses

December 19th, 2016 Comments off
Team Unity Friends Meeting Partnership Concept

Hiring outstanding individuals for your small business does not automatically translate into having a strong team. For your company to thrive, people need to get along and work together cohesively. This sync doesn’t always come naturally, so some nurturing may be required. Team-building activities can help.

Now if the notion of trust falls and wilderness retreats makes you shutter, don’t despair. Plenty of other options exist for encouraging your group to bond. Here are a few that may prove perfect for your small business:

Uniting for a great cause creates feelings of pride, purpose, and togetherness. The activity provides instant common ground and promotes natural interaction. Conversation is bound to flow as people clean up a neighborhood park together or work side-by-side at a soup kitchen. Solicit ideas from staff members – the discussion itself will help employees learn about one another. And as an added bonus, performing charity work improves your small business’s image in the community and among potential recruits.

Taking a field trip
Remember the buzz in your fourth grade classroom as a day at the zoo drew nearer? Adults love routine-breaking excursions, too, so gather the troops for an outing. Once again, asking for suggestions can be a valuable experience in and of itself. Whether you end up bowling, touring a local brewery, or catching a new exhibit at an art museum, the change in environment will allow your small business employees to interact with one another in different ways.

Learning something new
Bring in an expert to teach your staff a certain skill. An improv instructor will get everyone laughing while cooperating as they discover how to feed off one another to make scenes work. An art teacher can promote group creativity and teamwork through designing a mural or other piece for workplace display.

Other educational ideas include starting a lunchtime book club, watching TED talks together and discussing afterwards, and holding shadowing days in which staff members teach one another about their specific company role. Look for professional development opportunities outside of the office too. Co-workers attending a conference or training session together likely will stay close to one another and interact while traveling, eating lunch or participating in activities.

For a natural way to bring people together, food takes the cake (sorry, couldn’t resist). A surprise pizza party or an afternoon ice cream social can help your small business team relax and converse. Or provide a budget for a themed monthly luncheon for which staff members work together to come up with a menu and decorations. Interaction with purpose eliminates the feeling of being “forced” to bond and should yield delicious results.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.

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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8 Last-Minute Holiday Gifts for Employees

December 16th, 2016 Comments off
gifts for employees

While many would agree this has been a looong year (#goodriddance2016), the holidays still crept up rather quickly. If you panicked when you saw that wrapped gift on your desk because you realized you have yet to purchase holiday presents, here’s a quick and dirty guide to some easy-to-buy – but also universally loved – holiday gifts for employees.

  1. Subscription box: Who doesn’t enjoy getting a gift in the mail every month? That’s what’s so great about subscription boxes – it’s the gift that keeps on giving. There is a subscription box for everything these days, from beauty supplies to pet toys. And the best part is you can purchase these online in a matter of minutes.
  2. Gift cards: While this might not be the most original idea, let’s be honest, most people would prefer to receive gift cards (over, say, a company-branded mug). The effort here is being thoughtful about the type of gift card each of your employees would appreciate based on their interests.
  3. Day or half day PTO: While every company has different policies about this, giving your team the gift of a “free” day or half day off of work is sure to surprise and delight them. You may want to request that they give you an advance heads up to ensure they aren’t all taking the same days off and you’ll have adequate support in the office.
  4. Wine: Not much explanation needed here. While you’re at it, throw in a cool bottle stopper or a cheese board to complete the gift.
  5. Travel accessories: Is most of your team heading out for the holidays? Make traveling a little easier by getting them some travel accessories, such as a fun luggage tag, a unique passport holder or a stylish neck pillow.
  6. Streaming stick: Show your employees you’re not a regular boss, you’re a cool boss, by giving them a streaming media player, such as the ones from Roku or Amazon Fire. Since more people have started moving away from standard cable and toward internet TV, this is sure to be a hit.
  7. Insulated bottle: While on the surface this may seem like one of the more boring gifts for employees, these days insulated bottles have become almost a fashion accessory. Consider the ones by S’well, for example, which come in a variety of cool designs.
  8. Grocery or restaurant delivery: You can’t go wrong with giving the gift of food delivery, but it’ll be especially appreciated during the winter months when going outside is avoided as much as possible. More and more of these grocery and restaurant delivery services are offering gift cards, so it should be pretty easy to find ones that deliver to your employees.


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Building a Succession Plan for Your Small Business

December 16th, 2016 Comments off
Hand Writing WHAT'S NEXT? with Marker on Whiteboard

It’s a question no small business owner likes to think about, but what would happen to your small business if you suddenly had to leave – whether due to illness, a family emergency or even death? Would someone else be able to step up to keep things afloat and continue your vision?

Or, here’s a nicer notion: You’d like to retire someday, right? Is the enterprise in which you’ve invested so much of your time and energy prepared to carry on without you at the helm?

Succession planning isn’t just for big companies. In fact, it may be even more essential for small businesses since there are fewer people to take over should you leave – whether planned or due to unforeseen circumstances.

Small business owners already have so much on their plates that succession planning can seem like a huge chore. But taking steps to tackle the issue can result in peace of mind for both you and the workers who depend on your small business for their livelihood. And along the way, you may develop valuable insight about your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Consider these tips to get started:

Evaluate successors

Think about individuals at your small business who might have the talent and drive to carry on what you started. As you identify possible candidates, talk to them about their long-term plans. Don’t make assumptions, though. Your child may want to pursue another career instead of taking over the family business, and your long-time employee may have no interest in managing others. If a suitable replacement isn’t on your radar, start prioritizing leadership potential when adding new hires.

Build skills

Test the waters and pave the way for a smooth future transition by increasingly giving your selected replacement more responsibility. Through greater involvement in activities and decisions, he or she will gain confidence and knowledge. Likewise, co-workers, clients and vendors will begin viewing this person as a leader.

But grooming efforts shouldn’t be limited only to that person. A strong staff can make any new manager’s job much easier. Cross-training and involving your team in as many aspects of operations as possible provides a solid foundation for carrying on business as usual whether you’re out sick or moving on to new ventures. A multi-functional staff also puts your small business in a better position should any team member quit or need a leave of absence.

Revise as necessary

The hope is that you’ll be able to implement an exit plan in stages on your predetermined timetable. However, the future can be hard to predict – especially for a growing small business. Periodically reexamine your succession strategy to assess its effectiveness in light of new circumstances and objectives.

And don’t be afraid to seek help, especially if transferring ownership as well as leadership. Advisors, lawyers, and accountants can steer you through the complexities of succession planning and ensure your small business’s legacy endures.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.

6 Ways to Maximize Your Recruitment Spend

December 14th, 2016 Comments off
Portrait thinking woman in glasses looking up with light idea bulb above head isolated on gray wall background

Do you know which recruitment resources are delivering the highest return on your investment? How do you know if you aren’t measuring your efforts? Even if you’re getting a lot of mileage out of your recruitment resources, there’s always room to take it further. Consider these six ways to make your recruitment resources go further and truly maximize your recruitment spend.

  1. Mine your database. Sourcing from your own candidate database or applicant tracking system (ATS) is the No. 1 way to maximize your recruitment spend. After all, the people in your database are candidates who have already expressed an interest in your company. In other words, they are already engaged, so you do not need to waste time “selling” your company to them. So, why aren’t you taking advantage of your ATS and using it all the time? If the answer is because your ATS is awful at search or reconnecting with those in your database, then it’s time to invest in new technology.
  2. Embrace a new form of advertising. Programmatic advertising is changing our world. If you’re not familiar, programmatic ad buying is basically using machines and data to purchase and place ads in real time. The major benefit of programmatic advertising is that it puts an end to “post and pray,” because it enables you to target your audience. And because the technology seeks out candidates and engages them until they apply, it does a lot of the work for you.
  3. Automate your referral program. Employee referral programs are usually a company’s No. 1 source of hire, yet companies barely put any money into their referral programs. If you want to get more referrals, invest more money in your referral program. Make it easy for employees to refer candidates through an online system and give them incentive to do so.
  4. Invest in the right talent acquisition technology. Look at your current talent acquisition technology. Are you getting as much value out of it as you could be? If you aren’t measuring it against your cost per hire, there’s no way to know the answer. Start measuring the results of your technology. Then ask your recruiters what technology they would quit over (if you got rid of it). If they truly need that technology, the numbers should prove this out.
  5. Hire and train “killer” recruiters. Most organizations don’t maximize their recruiting spend because they don’t have recruiters. Unfortunately, most corporate recruiters are “farmers,” when they really need to be “killers.” Meaning, they need to be proactive, act fast and go after their targets. This is another area where measurement is key. You need to measure your recruiters’ activity against results in order to see where their time is best spent. The way you pay will also make a huge difference in quality of work, whether you use an agency or do it in-house.
  6. Invest in CRM technology. Candidate Relationship Marketing (CRM) technology is a must-have in a modern day recruiting shop. 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. CRM technology (such as CareerBuilder’s Talentstream Engage) helps ensure there is always a supply of qualified, engaged candidates in your system – saving you time and helping your recruitment spend go further.


Want more expert advice? Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruitment tips in your inbox

About Tim Sackett: Tim Sackett, SPHR is the President of HRU Technical Resources a leading IT and Engineering Staffing firm headquartered in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of combined Executive HR and Talent Acquisition experience, working for Fortune 500 companies in healthcare, retail, dining and technology. Tim is a highly sought after national speaker on leadership, talent acquisition and HR execution. He also is a prolific writer in the HR and Talent space, writing for Fistful of Talent and his blog The Tim Sackett Project.

About Kyle Cleaver: Kyle Cleaver leads CareerBuilder’s global customer care organization. Focused on building and maintaining mutually beneficial client relationships, Kyle’s teams handles over 60,000 customers per month globally for software, media and data. In his role, he creates the overall vision for the client’s post sale experience including, but not limited to, implementation, account management, technical support and performance analytics.

Thinking of Hiring Interns for Your Small Business? Read This First

December 14th, 2016 Comments off

If you haven’t explored the idea of hiring interns at your small business, it might be time to start. Many college students prefer internships at small businesses rather than large ones because they feel they’ll receive more hands-on training and attention from mentors. While these workers of the future get their feet wet in the “real world,” you stand to gain benefits such as:

  • A stronger talent pipeline. Today’s awesome intern can be tomorrow’s valuable employee. With an intern, you’ll get to experience their work ethic, performance and cultural fit firsthand, enabling you to extend a job offer with confidence down the road. Likewise, interest in your small business and bonds with its employees grow during an internship, leading candidates to keep you top of mind after graduation. And since interns are bound to mention your small business to fellow students, you’ll attract even more attention.
  • Eager, educated help. Small businesses usually appreciate all the assistance they can get. An extra pair of enthusiastic hands can help lighten the load for your busy staff or free them up to perform more complex duties. Also, new people bring in fresh ideas and specialized skill sets that can energize the team.

Finding Great Talent

Just as you would when recruiting for a permanent position, create a job description for the intern you seek for your small business. This action helps you pinpoint which qualities are most desirable and what tasks you’d like the intern to accomplish. Also, a clear picture encourages candidates to self select, which saves you weeding time.

Contacting the career services office of educational institutions in your area or that interest you (perhaps even your own alma mater) often proves a convenient route to gathering a pool of worthy candidates. Other options include posting on internship-specific job sites, promoting your internship program via social media, and turning to your network for recommendations.


If you equate internships with free labor, be warned: The U.S. Department of Labor has a strict six-point test to determine whether an internship can be unpaid. Internships in the for-profit sector most often will be viewed as employment, which requires payment of minimum wage or higher.

But beyond legal considerations, offering compensation sets the stage for attracting a more qualified pool of candidates. Top performers likely are evaluating a variety of interesting possibilities, so payment keeps your small business competitive and shows that you value what they’ll be contributing. You’ll also gain greater diversity among applicants because financial necessity keeps a large number of students from even considering unpaid positions.

And besides the fairness of at least a modest wage for the work interns perform for your small business, think of payment as a long-term investment. Research shows companies that pay their interns have a significantly higher chance of retaining them as future employees.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.

The Pros and Cons of Open-Plan Offices

December 12th, 2016 Comments off
Elevated View Of Workers In Busy Modern Design Office

The workspace arrangement at your small business can have a major impact on office life. Many modern companies favor an “open-plan” environment of one large area of shared space that lacks distinct rooms. Though many believe open-plan offices promote productivity and collaboration, some believe they may do more damage than good. So before embracing this trend, take time to examine how such a design may help or hinder your company’s objectives. Here’s what to consider:

Open-plan offices promote the “we’re all in this together” mindset.

Literally working side by side without regard to hierarchy can set a tone that every employee is vital to your small business’s success. Millennials especially can be drawn to this concept of easy access to anyone regardless of position, so you may be able to use it as a selling point when recruiting.

Growth can be accommodated.

Small businesses that regularly add employees often find an open layout allows greater flexibility, minimizes construction costs and cuts down on moving around existing workers. New hires can be positioned near the people they need most to get them up to speed, and many supplies can be shared communally.

Spontaneous interaction may increase.

Proponents of open arrangements stress that this setup promotes collaboration. Great ideas can come out of impromptu conversations, and bringing colleagues in on discussions may be easier because they are quickly accessible rather than tucked away elsewhere.

Privacy can be compromised.

People sharing the same quarters often can’t help overhearing others talk, and computer screens and email messages may be viewed by those passing by. Small businesses that deal with sensitive information particularly need to be aware of this potential danger. Possible solutions can include restaurant-style privacy booths and closed-door rooms available as needed.

Productivity may suffer.

Despite a worker’s best efforts to focus, it can be difficult to tune out nearby conversations or not glance around to see what colleagues are doing. Some companies have responded by broadcasting “pink noise” from speakers to make human speech less discernable. Employees too have gotten creative — stacking books or positioning filing cabinets as make-shift distraction blockers and wearing headphones both to cover their ears and to discourage others from interrupting. Such measures, however, can be cumbersome and rather contrary to the theory behind open-plan offices.

It may not be good for your staff’s physical and mental health.

Research finds that companies with open-plan offices can expect employees to take 62 percent more sick leave. Shared resources and close, frequent interaction can cause a lone employee’s sniffles to quickly become the whole staff’s cold. But germs aren’t the only negative to consider in terms of health. Workers often report stress from continually operating in a communal space. When employees feel as if they are on display and unable to control their surroundings, it can contribute to problems such as anxiety and high blood pressure. For small businesses where job satisfaction ratings are low and turnover is high, an alternate office structure may be just what the doctor ordered.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.

54% of Employers Plan to Offer Holiday Bonuses in 2016

December 12th, 2016 Comments off
54% of Employers Plan to Give Employees Holiday Bonuses in 2016

Just in time for the holidays, employers are rewarding their employees in a number of ways. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 54 percent of employers plan to give employees holiday bonuses this year – the same as 2015 – but 15 percent say the bonus will be greater than last year.

In addition, 46 percent of employers plan to give their employees gifts this year – on par with last year, while 69 percent of employers say they will be throwing a holiday party for employees this year – up 3 percent from last year.

What Does This Mean For You?

More than half of your competitors are offering bonuses this holiday season, not to mention a percentage of them are raising the amount being offered. The competition to attract – but also retain – talent is as fierce as ever, and many companies are loosening the purse strings to show employees they matter in a variety of ways.

What are you doing to reward and retain your top talent? Will you be offering holiday bonuses? Are you going to discuss raises for the coming year? Holding on to your A-players is still as important as ever, so don’t let it take a back seat in terms of what your priorities are this year.

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The Future of HR: Trends to Watch For in 2017

December 9th, 2016 Comments off
HR Trends to Watch in 2017

As an HR professional, you need to have a pulse on the latest trends in the labor market so you can advise your leadership on talent needs to meet their business objectives. Google “HR trends” and you will find yourself scrolling through hundreds, if not thousands, of search results that tell the same old story year after year. That’s why we wanted to shake things up and do something different: Offer up the HR trends you’re going to see over the next year from the perspective of the C-suite.

As the chief human resources officer and chief technology officer at CareerBuilder, we have the opportunity to think about trends from a unique perspective — one that will help you understand your own leadership’s asks and objectives better. So let’s dive right in.

We’ve narrowed it down to five key HR trends we believe will shape the space in 2017.

1. Treating the candidate experience and hiring manager experience as consumer experience.

Candidate experience continues to be a significant factor. In certain markets and industries, job seekers can be selective about where they apply. That means any barriers we place between job seekers and employers will only drive job seekers to your competitors. Think about how you can treat candidates the same way you would cater to consumers. Candidates are increasingly adopting a consumer mentality and expect to “shop for” jobs. For instance, they want to be able to sort, filter and save jobs that they can circle back to at a time that’s convenient for them—just like a consumer using a shopping cart online.

There will also be an increased focus on enhancing the hiring manager experience and treating hiring managers as customers.

Recruiters are the key facilitators between candidates and hiring managers, and need to improve this experience for both sides. Why has the communication loop disintegrated among these two parties? It’s time to expand or reopen the lines of communication with both candidates as well as hiring managers to ensure a seamless talent acquisition process.

2. Bringing a sense of purpose and consistency to data across the board.

Collecting data is not new, but you need to ensure you are gathering and analyzing the correct data points. Take a step back and evaluate whether you are paying attention to metrics that matter. Instead of focusing on big data, focus on rich data — or data that is used to predict behavior. Ensure that you are measuring your identified KPIs across all areas of the business so there is some consistency. And once you have integrated data and analytics into your processes, don’t be afraid to run A/B tests and use the data to keep improving your processes.

3. Adopting a hybrid approach when it comes to HR structure.

HR structure tends to be cyclical. HR teams have moved from being centralized about a decade ago to being decentralized as of about five years ago, and back to being centralized in the present day. The right fit may be somewhere in the middle. A hybrid approach facilitates better partnerships between HR business partners, talent acquisitions teams and the business units they support. The result is a holistic view of the target talent needed, the most successful approaches to engage and retain top talent, and the ability to leverage internal talent across an organization well into the future.

4. Personalizing automated technology.

Ensuring you have effective touchpoints at every stage of the recruitment process will be key, as candidates are now aware that most communication is automated. Also, this trend of increased usage of automation for recruiting interactions is here to stay. According to CareerBuilder’s recent Automation Tech in Talent Acquisition and Management survey, more than two-thirds of organizations (69 percent) using technology-led recruitment automation say its use has increased in the past year. That same survey found 72 percent of professionals responsible for talent acquisition and management expect it to increase even more within the next year.

If you want to take it one step further and differentiate your company by giving candidates what they are looking for, consider including contact information for a real person. According to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study, 81 percent of job seekers would like the contact information of the person who posted the job before applying, while 7 in 10 (72 percent) said they want to talk to a recruiter or hiring manager.

Candidates feel that the entire process is becoming increasingly impersonal, and want you to bring the human touch back to recruiting. So start thinking like a marketer.

Do more with your social recruitment channels and figure out how to bring the value of your product — whether it’s working at your company, your culture, your benefits, etc. — to life for candidates. Don’t just use stock photos on your career site — give candidates a glimpse of what your real-life employees are like. Take a cue from Sweden’s tourism board, which publicizes a telephone number that’s answered daily by Swedes themselves who take turns as ambassadors of the country and offer callers advice on where to go and stay. Stop and think about that for a minute: You can just call Sweden whenever you want and talk to an actual resident.

5. A renewed focus on retaining top talent through engagement, career development and flexible working models.

Workers are constantly seeking ways to move ahead — in terms of title, compensation as well as acquiring a broader skillset — but it doesn’t always mean they want to leave their current organization in order to find new opportunities. Successful companies will make note of the eager candidate pipeline within their own organizations and better leverage that for healthy growth of the business and increased employee engagement.

Additionally, employees are seeking more flexibility in their work life, and employers will need to become increasingly creative in their staffing models to attract and retain the talent they need. A workforce that comprises full-time and part-time workers, flexible work schedules and venues, as well as incorporates aspects of the growing gig economy will be key to having a robust and productive employee base to set them up for long-term success.

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

Is it Time to Retire Office Dress Codes?

December 9th, 2016 Comments off
Two pairs of shoes – new business shoes and old tennis shoes

You don’t need to have been in the workforce very long to recognize that when it comes to how people dress for work, trends come and go pretty quickly. Where once offices were filled with people in borderline formal attire, nowadays most offices adhere to a much more relaxed dress code.


This is at least in part due to the high demand for talent. Competition among companies for skilled workers is fierce, and some employers who can’t afford to compete in terms of salary turned to other intangibles – a more relaxed working environment is a prime example.

The fact that this trend has taken hold is evidence that offering a more casual dress code can be an effective recruitment tool. In fact, according to a study by Robert Half earlier this year, 31 percent of office workers said they’d prefer a company with a business casual dress code and 27 percent prefer casual or no dress code at all.

However, casual dress isn’t necessarily appropriate for all positions or all occasions. For example, individuals in roles that involve representing the company — in front of clients, the public or the media — can understandably still be held to higher dress code standards. And besides, sometimes dressing up a bit can increase self-confidence and help workers get in the mindset to get to work.

But for the most part, employers should consider giving their staff some leeway in the fashion department.

And maybe even enjoy the trend for themselves.


Do you think a more relaxed dress code is a good thing, or has this trend gone too far? Let us know on Twitter @CBforEmployers!

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Office Holiday Celebrations and Gifts Perfect for Small Businesses

December 9th, 2016 Comments off
Red coloured "gift" button on a keyboard.

The holidays can be a busy time – both personally and professionally. Not only are you struggling to keep up with work during the busy end-of-the-year “crunch time,” you are probably also trying to balance personal holiday-related errands and travel. With everything that’s going on, how can you possibly be expected to plan — and foot the bill for — an office holiday celebration, too?

Before you decide to forego any sort of holiday celebrations, consider the positive effects it can have on staff morale and engagement. Recognizing employees with a party, gift or holiday bonus is a thoughtful way to show your employees just how much you appreciate all their help. Plus, they’ll come back from the holiday vacation eager and ready to keep working just as hard.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to recognizing your employees during the holidays.

Celebrate together. Even if you have to hold it at your office, try to have some type of party. If you’re on a tight budget, potlucks are great way to celebrate and bring people together while saving money. (You could even have a contest with prizes for the “best” dish in each category.) Not only will employees appreciate the break from the “daily grind,” encouraging employees to socialize in the workplace can boost engagement, job satisfaction and productivity.

Give a few extra days off around the holidays — or allow employees to work remotely. Your employees will appreciate having the extra time saved from commuting to the office to spend running errands, hanging out with friends and family or simply recharging during the stressful holiday season.

Start early by putting aside a little money each week at the beginning of the year (say, $20) toward a “bonus” fund, so by the time the holidays roll around, you won’t be struggling to come up with some cash to reward your employees during the holidays.

Give a little extra. In addition to a holiday party, consider giving a gift (especially if you can’t give a cash bonus). Your employees will appreciate the thought you put into a gift and it will re-energize them to come back to work in the New Year and give it their all. Gift-giving doesn’t have to break the budget, either. Here are some ideas for cost-effective gifts that go a long way in showing your employees you care:

  • Gift cards. Gift cards are a great option that can appeal to a lot of people. Consider Amazon, iTunes, Target or Starbucks.
  • Food or beverage gifts. It’s hard to go wrong with food (assuming you’re aware of any allergies your employees have). Treat them to a gift basket, a monthly snack box subscription or a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.
  • Hobby-related gifts. If you know your employees have certain passions outside of work – from cooking to gardening to sketching to gold – consider a gift related to their interests.
  • Travel accessories. If you have employees who travel a lot on business, consider giving them something to make their travels a little more comfortable, like a personalized luggage tag, travel pillow travel or mobile electronics charging kit.


How do you celebrate the holidays at your office? Message me at @CBPeteJ

Your Guide to Buying Gifts for Coworkers During the Holidays

December 8th, 2016 Comments off
Cropped image of business people exchanging Christmas presents in the office

Shopping for loved ones leading up to the holidays can be difficult: It needs to be meaningful to show you listen, priced just right and handled with the perfect amount of care.

Buying gifts for your coworkers goes a little differently. If you are able to find anything at all, it’s either the first thing that strikes you as funny at a gift shop or a re-wrapped gag gift from many years prior.

A new CareerBuilder survey of workers and employers from across the country found that 69 percent of employers plan to throw a holiday party this year. Twenty–two percent of employees plan to buy a gift for coworkers, and 73 percent expect to spend no more than $25 on a gift. The survey also identifies a few points to remember as we near the holidays.

People Don’t Spend Much on Coworkers

So, you shouldn’t either! Don’t be the guy who gets a special someone a new camera-phone if there is a suggested spending limit. A third of all workers (33 percent) will cap their spending at $10 on holiday gifts for the office, and 11 percent will spend $5 or less. If everyone follows these guidelines, no one will feel neglected.

It’s OK to be Funny, Just Don’t Be Weird

The CareerBuilder survey compiled a list of the most unusual gifts employees had received during the holidays from coworkers. These highlights are memorable for all the wrong reasons:

  • Two left-handed gloves
  • Coconut bra
  • Jar of gravy
  • A fake lottery ticket
  • A real stuffed duck
  • Toilet paper that looked like money
  • Post-it Notes
  • Dish detergent
  • A pen holder that looks like a crime scene victim
  • A comic book of an obscure movie
  • A handmade ornament for a sports team the recipient had never heard of
  • A singing chicken
  • A whip

Remember, There’s Always Charity

Nearly half of all employers (48 percent), plan to make charitable donations this holiday season. So, if you’re worried about participating in the sure-to-be-awkward white elephant grab bag, but you’re in the giving mood, start a charitable collection on behalf of the company.

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The TA Technology I’m Putting on My Santa List

December 7th, 2016 Comments off
TA technology wish list

I love this time of year! You get to put your TA budget together for next year, you find out how much you get to play with and you can start dreaming about all the cool stuff you can do for next year.

If you’re like me, most of your Santa list was stuff that your rich friends already had. I grew up fairly blue collar, so my stocking was stuffed with socks and underwear. A nice winter coat and new boots were probably going to be under the tree somewhere. I grew up understanding you get the things you need for Christmas, first, and if there was some left over budget you might get something you want.

I’ve run my TA budget, over the years, the same way. Sure, I love looking at all the new shiny, cool technology on the market, but first, let me get the technology I really need to make my shop run efficiently and effectively. So, if I was looking at putting my Santa list together for TA tech this year, this is what I would be asking for:

  1. Sourcing technology. People Aggregators, like CareerBuilder’s sourcing platform and a few others, are the perfect for filling your pipelines with passive candidates, different from what you get from candidate databases and your normal “post and pray” sourcing strategy.
  2. SMS candidate messaging. A few ATSs already have this as part of their platform, or there are specific products on the market that will work with your ATS or CRM technology that allows you to text candidates directly. If you run a serious TA shop, your recruiters must have the ability to text candidates from your TA tech stack.
  3. An employment brand that is transparent. Most of us have this made-up employment brand. It’s not bad, but it’s not “us.” I want a brand that truly speaks to who we are. That’s scary because some of us don’t want our candidates to know who we truly are! I do. Just like our families. We love them to death and we have issues. I want people who want all of that, not just the good stuff! There’s great storytelling technology on the market that helps your employees truly share the real story of who you are as an organization.
  4. Hiring managers who own the talent on their team. TA isn’t responsible for the recruiting on your team. TA is responsible for helping you attract and select the best talent possible for your team. Ultimately, you – Mr. or Mrs. Hiring Manager – are responsible for the talent on your team. Want to completely change the talent culture in your organization? Make this one change! This means I need an ATS that is truly collaborative across our entire organization. Most aren’t.
  5. Candidate Relationship Marketing (CRM) technology. I need something to help me keep in contact, on an ongoing basis, with the talent we didn’t hire, but might just be our next greatest hire. It doesn’t work manually; Santa knows I’ve tried to do it manually for years!


I probably won’t get all of this, but that’s what Santa lists are for, to dream a little. My TA budget looks the same way! I’ll probably get some of what I ask for; I know I’ll never get everything, but little by little we’ll keep getting better. What would you put on your TA tech Santa list this year?

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


How to Recruit College Grads for Your Small Business

December 7th, 2016 Comments off
writing job fair on blackboard

Small business owners looking for enthusiastic, highly trainable employees might want to expand their efforts to recruit new college grads. Your company may be just the environment they crave – a place to develop their talents and make an immediate impact — but first these young workers need to know that you exist. Get your name in front of this new crop of talent and stand out from competitors using these tips:

Hang where they hang

Send staff members who truly love to talk about your small business to collegiate job fairs. These brand ambassadors will engage participants and leave them excited about the prospect of joining such a great place. For added exposure, consider running an ad in the campus newspaper a few days before the event briefly explaining who you are and welcoming interested candidates to stop by your booth.

Look for other ways to become visible, too, especially at targeted regional institutions. Offer to discuss topics relevant to your industry as a guest speaker in a class. Become a sponsor of a theatrical production, athletic team, or charity event. Judge an entrepreneurship competition. Participate in a mentoring program. Keep in regular contact not only with career counselors but also with division heads. They may be able to identify students within their department with the specific skills you desire and connect on your behalf.

And, of course, there’s social media. College students spend two to four hours daily on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, so developing a strong presence on a variety of platforms can be valuable. Rather than blatant self-promotion, however, look for interesting ways to grab attention and engage — eye-catching photos depicting company culture, genuine participation in conversations, or perhaps a fun contest. Encourage your small business employees (especially young ones) to get in on the action. Content coming from someone in your personal social circle or from a fellow member of your online college alumni group stands a better chance of being read.

Start an internship program

College students know that “real world” experience can be a great thing to put on a resume. While they’re getting a taste of the future, you’ll gain eager and educated part-time or summer help (paid, unpaid, or perhaps in exchange for college credit). You’ll also enjoy a first-hand glimpse of someone you might want to hire after graduation. Additionally, the intern is bound to mention your small business to fellow students, which can help you attract more interest.

Play up your strengths

Modern grads want to know all they can about a potential employer, so make the information they desire easy to find. A recruitment video is a great way to showcase your workplace culture, values, perks, and awesome staff. Put one front and center on your website, social media pages, and even job ads. Highlight features important to this generation, such as career development, a non-hierarchal structure, meaningful work, project ownership, and a flexible schedule.

Stay in touch

Finally, make a point of valuing every connection with a new grad. While the person may not be the right addition to your staff at the present time, he or she may be just the talent you’ll want down the line as both your small business and the candidate’s professional attributes grow. Maintaining contact keeps the door open.

How Recruitment Videos Can Be a Boon for Your Small Business

December 5th, 2016 Comments off
professional camcorder on the tripod, selective focus on nearest part

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how much information a short video could convey to potential employees. Small business owners who assume recruitment videos are something only large companies can afford may be missing out on a valuable, cost-effective way to build their employment brand. Create a presentation that’s right for your small business using these tips:

Choose your route.

Evaluate whether you or anyone on your small business staff has the skill to film and edit the piece. While the video needn’t be Oscar-worthy, it should be good quality and positively reflect your brand. Consider hiring a local company, a freelancer, or even a student majoring in film production for this short-term project.

Define your message.

What makes your workplace special? Perhaps it’s the fast-paced nature that turns every day into an adventure. Maybe it’s your close-knit team’s dedication to the company’s mission. Determine what sets your small business apart and what type of worker you’d most like to attract. Recruitments videos tend to run three minutes or less, so zero in on what you truly want viewers to take away.

Enact your vision.

Once you know what you’d like to convey, focus on how to engage the audience. The sky’s the limit in terms of creativity, but don’t feel you must be flashy. (And definitely don’t go any route that feels false; you’ll give candidates the wrong impression.) Many small businesses have been successful with options such as portraits of everyday life at the company, interviews with staff members, tours with a narrator voice-over, and highlights from company events.

Remember, you’re not trying to be everything to everyone. Rather, you want viewers to taste company culture, envision what working at your small business would be like, and apply if they judge themselves a good fit. Self-selecting saves you the trouble of weeding out bad matches.

Screen your masterpiece.

Finally, make sure your intended audience gets the opportunity to see your final product. Good outlets include:

  • Job ads. According to CareerBuilder internal data, job postings with video icons are viewed 12 percent more than postings without video. On average, CareerBuilder customers receive a 34 percent greater application rate when they add video to their job postings.
  • Social media. Post the video on your company’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. Consider paid advertising options to reach an even larger audience. Encourage staff members to share the video with their networks. People are more likely to view material sent from someone they know, and employee referrals remain one of the best methods of recruiting great talent. And if you don’t already have a presence on YouTube, now would be a great time to add that to your strategy since applicants often go there specifically to view videos on employers of interest.
  • Your website. Put your video front and center on the “Careers” and “About Us” landing pages to quickly show visitors why your small business is a great place to work. You did make sure to end your video with clear instructions on how to apply, right?

IT Jobs Have Grown by 12% Since 2012

December 5th, 2016 Comments off
28% of Workers Will Celebrate Thanksgiving with Coworkers

December is underway and 2017 is almost upon us. In anticipation of the new year, CareerBuilder and Emsi have compiled a list of the top jobs for 2017. The list is based on pay, growth and number of jobs.

The study groups occupations into five categories: business and financial operations, IT, health care, sales and skill trades.

Of these categories, IT has seen the largest percentage growth over the past 4 years, with a job growth of 12 percent. Sales saw the lowest growth with 5 percent, while the other three categories each grew by 8 percent since 2012.


What does this mean for you?

As we gear up for a new year and you begin assessing your upcoming hiring needs, it’s worth knowing where you’re likely to face the stiffest competition for talent.

While technical roles that fall under IT have grown at the highest rate over the past four years, it is still the smallest category in terms of number of jobs. So, unsurprisingly, competition for the high-skill candidates to fill IT-related positions will likely continue to be fierce.

Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruiting tips and trends, right to your inbox.

Unemployment Hits 9-Year Low in November, BLS Report Shows

December 2nd, 2016 Comments off
BLS april 2016

The latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a mixed bag. While the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point since 2007, hourly earnings fell.

The U.S. added 178,000 new jobs in November, according to the BLS, which is in line with what economists projected. While the BLS revised job gains in September to 208,000 (up from 191,000), October’s numbers were revised down to 142,000 (from 161,000). Over the last three months, the U.S. has added an average of 176,000 jobs.

The bright spot of the report was the unemployment rate, which dropped to 4.6 percent; economists had expected it to remain unchanged at 4.9. This number is significant for two reasons: Not only does it mark the lowest unemployment rate since 2007, but according to NPR’s Marilyn Geewax, “4.6 percent unemployment is what most economists consider “’full employment.’”

The biggest disappointment of the report was the average hourly earnings, which dropped by 3 cents – a particularly big blow right after wages saw a remarkable 11-cent rise in October. It’s also surprising to see wages drop, considering a low unemployment rate means more competition for workers, inciting employers to raise wages. Still, it’s worth noting that wages have increased by 2.5 percent over the course of the year.

Overall, the latest BLS employment report was a solid one, and this month marks the 74th consecutive month of job growth. As a small business employer, you play a major role in driving economic growth. For resources and advice on hiring and growing your business, I encourage you to visit my small business resource page.

3 Things You Should Know From the November 2016 Jobs Report

December 2nd, 2016 Comments off
3 Things You Should Know From the November 2016 Jobs Report

The U.S. unemployment rate in November dropped to a nine-year low while wages took a tumble, according to the latest jobs report released by the BLS this morning.

As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.

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

1. The jobless rate sits at a nine-year low. Wall Street was expecting an increase of about 180,000 jobs last month; in reality the U.S. economy added 178,000, which was not too far off the mark. The unemployment rate dropped from 4.9 percent last month to 4.6 percent, which is the lowest it has been since August 2007. According to The New York Times:

The official jobless rate is the lowest since August 2007. A broader measure of unemployment that includes part-time workers who would rather work full time or those too discouraged to keep looking also slipped down, to 9.3 percent from 9.5 percent.

According to CNN Money:

The drop in the unemployment rate was a bit mysterious. More people stopped looking for work in November compared to October, which sometimes explains why the unemployment rate drops. But such a large drop isn’t entirely explained by people leaving the workforce.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

Despite robust hiring, Friday’s report suggests there remains plenty of slack in the labor market. A broader measure of the unemployment rate, which counts part-time workers who would prefer a full-time job and marginally attached workers, remains elevated at 9.3%, although it has fallen in recent months.

2. Where are all the working people? Are baby boomers, in part, contributing to the decline in the labor force participation rate? According to Business Insider:

…[the] labor-force participation as a share of the working-age population declined to 62.7%, remaining near the lowest level since the 1970s. Fewer people are joining the labor force on net partly because baby boomers are retiring in droves.

According to Reuters:

The labor participation rate, or the share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, fell 0.1 percentage point to 62.7 percent last month, not too far from multi-decade lows, in part reflecting demographic changes.

3. Wage growth up year-over-year, down month-over-month. Even though wages were up from the same time last year, one big headline coming out of the latest jobs report is that wages dropped compared to last month.

According to Reuters:

A pullback in wage growth after two straight months of solid increases, however, put a wrinkle in the otherwise upbeat employment report. Average hourly earnings fell three cents, or 0.1 percent, after shooting up 0.4 percent in October.

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.

Did you miss the October jobs report breakdown? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.

5 of the Best Industries for Job Seekers and Recruiters in 2017

December 2nd, 2016 Comments off
5 of the Best Industries for Job Seekers and Recruiters in 2017

Every good business experiences periods of growth. Some are influenced by customer demand, while others are spurred on by changing technology. CareerBuilder and Emsi have identified five industries in a new study that are poised for fast growth in 2017, which would be great news for both candidates and talent acquisition teams.

The new study uses CareerBuilder and Emsi’s extensive labor market database, which pulls from a variety of national and state employment resources as well as online job postings. Industries with the greatest potential were identified by three main factors:

  1. Occupations that pay, on average, around $20 or more per hour
  2. Employment has grown faster than the overall labor market from 2012 to 2016
  3. Occupations have high employment numbers that translate to even more job opportunities to job seekers


CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson believes that growth in these categories may be due to factors beyond simple supply and demand:

Our research shows that employers are very invested in expanding headcount in areas such as analytics and data science, product development and sales as they strive to stay competitive in B2B and B2C markets.

The table below shows industries and occupations where workers will find a larger number of opportunities in the coming year. (Note: The average hourly earnings are for the category overall. The job titles listed can earn significantly higher than the average.)


Occupation Category 2012 Jobs 2016 Jobs 2012-2016 Increase in Jobs Average Hourly Earnings Examples of In Demand Job Titles
Business and Financial Operations 7,358,038 7,938,303 585,265


$35.09 *Operations Manager

*Business Process Analyst

*Product Development Specialist

*Financial Analyst

*Office Manager

Information Technology 3,926,758 4,398,862 472,104


$40.82 *Data Scientist

*User Interface / Front End Developer

*Product Manager

*Mobile Software Engineer

*Information Security Manager

Health Care 8,035,052 8,641,939 606,887


$37.77 *Family Practitioner

*Medical Director

*ICU Nurse


*Physical Therapist

*Rehabilitation Nurse

Sales 15,143,749 16,057,815 914,066


$19.06 *Account Executive

*Account Manager

*Business Development Manager

*Client Services Coordinator

Skill Trades 12,049,958 13,067,497 1,017,539





*HVAC Technician


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Small Businesses Added 37,000 Jobs in November, According to ADP Report

November 30th, 2016 Comments off
ADP april 2016

The small business sector added 37,000 jobs in November, up from 34,000 in both October and September, according to the ADP’s most recent Small Business Employment Report. The ADP’s small business employment report looks at job growth specific to businesses with 49 or fewer employees.

Looking at company size, very small businesses (those with 1-19 employees) added 9,000 jobs and other small businesses (those with 20-49 employees) added 28,000 jobs.

Looking at sectors, small businesses in the goods-producing sectors continued its downward trend. Small businesses in this sector lost 14,000 jobs. Alternatively, small businesses in the service-providing sector continued to boom, adding 51,000 jobs.

To put these numbers in context, let’s look at national trends: Overall, the U.S. added 216,000 private jobs across company, up significantly from the 147,000 jobs added in October, according to the ADP’s national report. Medium-sized businesses added 89,000 jobs, and large businesses added 90,000. Overall jobs in the goods-producing sector are down 11,000 but have spiked in the service-producing sector, which added 228,000 jobs.

This report comes right after news that the consumer index hit a nine-year high in November, indicating that Americans are growing more optimistic about the economy. Employers seem to be feeling the same way as evidenced by the growing number of jobs.

If you’re among the small business employers adding headcount right now, here’s a great article on how to recruit as a small business owner. You might also want to check out these tips for avoiding hiring mistakes and asking effective interview questions to unveil top candidates.

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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The Benefits of Algorithmic Candidate Recommendations

November 29th, 2016 Comments off
Algorithmic recommendations

Do you have a hard-to-fill job? Not enough qualified applicants? You could search through a candidate database. Or, even better, save yourself the work and rely on algorithmic candidate recommendations. This is the message from a newly published paper in the Journal of Labor Economics by my economist colleague John Horton, from New York University’s Stern business school.

Algorithmic recommendations can increase the job filling rate by 20 percent

John collaborated with the ODesk (now Upwork) online work platform to do some experimentation in 2011. Employers were randomly assigned to a control group (business as usual) and to a treatment group (algorithmic recommendation). Without the recommendation, employers can either look at candidates who applied to their jobs, or search candidates on the ODesk database. With the recommendation, employers got up to six candidate recommendations based on their job opening. Employers with technical jobs (e.g., web programming and mobile development) typically had a hard time filling their vacancies, but the job filling rate was 20 percent higher for those who saw candidate recommendations.

Interestingly, candidate recommendations did not dissuade employers from hiring other non-recommended workers. This shows that candidate recommendations were not duplicating employer efforts, but were a real value added to employers.

Algorithmic recommendations are especially effective for jobs with few applicants

It is interesting that, in the ODesk experiment, algorithmic recommendations only had an effect for technical jobs and not for nontechnical jobs. When digging deeper into the data, John found that part of the difference could be explained by the fact that nontechnical jobs already had plenty of applicants. It is for the hard-to-fill technical jobs that the algorithmic recommendations were more effective, increasing job filling rates.

Recommended candidates are as good as employer-sourced candidates

When comparing recommended candidates and those sourced by the employer themselves, John found that recommended candidates were just as skilled and performed just as well on the job. Therefore, employers can rely on algorithmic recommendation to do at least as good of a job as themselves when sourcing candidates. This is especially remarkable given that the recommendation algorithm used at the time of the experiment (2011) was quite simple, and more recent algorithms are much more sophisticated.

For example, CareerBuilder now has a Talentstream match product that uses advanced natural language processing techniques to match jobs with the most suitable candidates. The product is currently available to staffing companies and other companies that use the Bullhorn ATS. The search engine allows employers to search not only in their candidate database but also across other sources like LinkedIn. Furthermore, search can be refined by specifying the relative importance of different skill requirements.

In conclusion, if you regularly find yourself with hard-to-fill jobs, you could benefit from algorithmic candidate recommendations.

Get in touch with your sales representative to learn more.


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5 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated During the Holidays

November 28th, 2016 Comments off
Two best freinds working from home office, star-up idea, modern office interior

The period from the week of Thanksgiving until after New Year’s Day can be among the most exciting – and challenging – times of the year. From travel plans to holiday shopping, employees undoubtedly have their plates full outside the office.

But your small business also has much to accomplish before the calendar turns, and a distracted staff dreaming of a white Christmas isn’t going to send 2016 out with a bang. What can a small business leader do to promote morale and productivity during the busy holiday season? Here are some tips:

Get a handle on scheduling

Employee requests for days off come just at the time when customer service and production needs increase at many small businesses. Balancing can be tricky with a limited-size staff, so careful planning becomes essential. Set an early deadline for time-off requests so that you can satisfy coverage needs in the workplace while doing your best to accommodate staff wishes. Keep everyone in the loop with an easily accessible master calendar of important dates and vacation absences.

Outline objectives

Give staff members clear goals for the final few weeks of the year, and review regularly to ensure they are being met. Knowing that the boss maintains high expectations and hasn’t “checked out” sets a positive tone.

Focus on results

Small business owners have too much on their plates to waste time monitoring online shopping or exactly how long someone took running to the post office at lunch. Instead, have an honest conversation with your staff. Let them know you understand the importance of work-life balance during the holidays and that you will treat them as professionals capable of managing their own time so long as the work gets done. An employee who nabbed that one-hour-only bargain gift or was able to catch his daughter’s holiday recital by leaving a half hour early will likely repay your trust and flexibility tenfold.

Shake things up

Who couldn’t use an Amazon gift card to help with holiday purchases? Offer one to team members who exceed production goals for the week. Turn staff meetings into mini celebrations with pumpkin spice lattes and cookies. Challenge two team members to swap jobs for a week – they’ll stay engaged learning new skills, and you’ll gain a well-rounded staff. Having difficulty deciding which morale-boosting activities your small business team would most enjoy? Just ask.

Show appreciation

While saying “thank you” and acknowledging hard work is important in any season, such recognition takes on added meaning during the holidays. Your small tokens and kind words are proof that you realize the extra focus and effort needed to stay on-task during hectic times. People commonly reflect on their lives as a new year approaches, so really emphasizing each person’s value to your small business will generate positive feelings bound to carry over into 2017.

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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10 Low-Cost Ways to Reward Employees

November 25th, 2016 Comments off
businessman holding a gift package in hand .

Do your employees feel appreciated? Do you make a concerted effort to recognize them for their hard work? Is “thank you” a commonly used phrase at your business? Companies that regularly recognize their employees tend to see higher levels of employee satisfaction, morale and retention. Employees who feel their work matters tend to put more effort into their work and treat their clients and customers better. As a result, quality of service and product improve, all of which lead to a better bottom line.

As a small business owner, you may not have the budget to provide your employees with extravagant rewards or huge cash bonuses, but it’s important to show your staff that you appreciate their hard work. And believe it or not, a little bit of recognition can go a long way. Here are just a few ideas for recognizing employees that cost little to no money — but that your employees will appreciate in a big way.

  • Half-day Fridays: Let employees start their weekends early by giving them Friday afternoons off (so long as they don’t leave any work unfinished).
  • Flexible work hours: Give employees the option to work remotely once a week, work four 10-hour days or come in earlier and leave earlier (or vice versa).
  • Casual Fridays: Giving employees the option to wear jeans on Friday costs nothing and offers a fun change of pace for employees (while cutting down their dry-cleaning bill!)
  • Corporate discounts: Companies such as PerkSpot, AnyPerk or Working Advantage offer small business employees discounts on everything from workout classes to theater or sports tickets to travel.
  • Tuition reimbursement: Helping your employees take their skill sets to the next level is a win for them as well as your business.
  • Handwritten thank you notes: Few things are as personal as a handwritten thank you note. Your employee will be touched that you took the time to write to them.
  • Extra paid time off (PTO): An extra paid vacation day is always a welcome option.
  • “Bring your dog to work” days: Letting employees bring their dogs to the office not only brightens everyone’s day, it can also lower stress levels and improve morale.
  • Restaurant or entertainment gift cards: Let your employees treat themselves to a night out with a gift card.
  • Catered lunches once a month: Designate certain days of the month to bring lunch into the office for everyone and celebrate various “wins” among your team.


When in doubt, just ask your employees what they want in terms of rewards. The best type of recognition is personal and shows that you care about your employees as people.

What are some low-cost ways you reward employees? Let me know at @CBpetej

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.

How to Poach Employees (Without Being a Jerk)

November 23rd, 2016 Comments off
Woman offering to sign contract

When your small business needs someone for a hard-to-fill role, poaching talent from another company becomes an option to consider. Not only could this person bridge a skill gap, he or she may bring along connections that can help secure clients or position your small business more favorably within the industry. Before embarking on this controversial business practice, however, leaders need to be aware of the possible repercussions. Failure to think about these issues could make poaching your dream candidate turn out to be a nightmare.


Small business owners do not have the time or the money to get into messy legal battles, so be certain from the start that your desired new hire is not bound by a non-compete agreement. Such an arrangement may prevent the employee from working for specific industry or geographic competitors for a set period of time after leaving his or her current employer. Failure to comply could result in a lawsuit, so seek advice from an employment lawyer before continuing talks.

Bad blood

Recruiting and training take effort, so it’s no wonder other employers do not look kindly upon people who try to “steal” their talent. Those you’ve angered may now view members of your small business staff as fair game and lure without remorse. Likewise, getting a reputation as a poacher may lead others in the business community to question your ethics and abilities. Do you really want to be known as the person who resorts to moving in on other people’s superstars because you can’t attract or develop worthy candidates on your own?

So what can a small business leader do to minimize problems?

  • Make sure the candidate is worth the effort. Save your feather-ruffling for the most important cases. Many times, someone from another company may look great on paper but not actually be the best person for the job. Learn everything you can about the worker before trying to convince him or her to come aboard. As you dig deeper, you may discover a poor cultural fit or qualifications different from what you expected.
  • Be subtle. Instead of bulldozing ahead, test the waters. Hiring a search firm to look into the interest level of potential candidates can provide some distance between you and the talent you seek. Introductions through shared network connections or casual conversations at an industry event also can appear more respectable than aggressive wining and dining.
  • Respect others. Finally, remember that the cost of landing an awesome new employee should not be losing the connections you already have formed. Hurting a business partner, vendor, or personal friend can have a greater impact on your small business than missing out on an impressive worker. Ask permission before initiating any contact with their staff members, and back off at any sign of anger or discomfort. Better yet, enlist help from these folks — they may know someone looking for a position who could fulfill your needs.

6 Hiring Lessons Small Businesses Can Learn from Google

November 21st, 2016 Comments off
Mountain View, CA, USA - August 19, 2015: Android Marshmallow (latest android OS) replica in front of Google office on Aug 19, 2015. Google specializes in Internet related services and products.

As a small business employer, you might not have the resources to offer employees the same fancy perks or astronomical salaries that Google does. And you probably don’t get anywhere close to getting one million resumes a year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from the tech giant’s hiring process. After all, in the end, Google is just looking for the best candidates for its business – just like you are.   

So here are a few lessons from Google’s hiring process that you can apply to your small business as well.

  1. Skip the brainteasers. Many employers like to ask employees brainteaser questions to see how well they think on their feet, and for years, Google was famous for this practice; however, not only do candidates perceive these questions as unfair, Google ultimately found these types of questions weren’t a good prediction of success on the job. Now, they give candidates work sample tests and ask structured interview questions.
  2. Involve others in the hiring decision. Google has a ‘hiring committee’ made up of senior managers and other employees who meet all potential candidates and share feedback. This form of collaborative hiring helps ensure no single manager can make a potentially bad decision by themselves.
  3. Look for cultural fit. One of the four main characteristics Google looks for in potential employees is “Googleyness.” The company wants employees who are the right fit for the company’s unique culture. In fact, its hiring managers focus less on education and experience and more on finding people who “are great at lots of things, love big challenges and welcome big changes,” according to Google’s website.
  4. Ask about mistakes, not weaknesses. Instead of asking candidates to talk about their biggest weakness, the team at Google asks potential employees to discuss a time they made a mistake at work – and what they learned from it. Google knows that mistakes happen, but they want candidates who have the gumption to own up to their mistakes and wise enough to learn from them.
  5. Ask for employee referrals. A high percentage of Google’s hires come from employee referrals. Employee referrals not only tend to generate better quality hires, but they can cut down on time and costs related to hiring, making them the perfect option for small businesses.
  6. Be explicit about the process. Google wants potential employees to know exactly what to expect throughout the hiring process – that’s why the company outlines the process on its careers page. Explaining your hiring process to candidates doesn’t just benefit them, it also helps your hiring managers make more informed decisions. After all, the more prepared candidates are going into the interview, the more focused they will be, and the more a hiring manager can learn about them and get an understanding of their potential as an employee.


28% of Workers Will Celebrate Thanksgiving with Coworkers

November 21st, 2016 Comments off
28% of Workers Will Celebrate Thanksgiving with Coworkers

This week’s national holiday is a time for family and friends to come together and give thanks for those things or people that bring joy to their daily lives. And, for a growing number of workers across the country, coworkers may also be invited to the day’s festivities.

According to a new study by CareerBuilder, nearly 3 in 10 employees (28 percent) say they will be spending Thanksgiving with coworkers either in or out of the office this year. Compared to last year (only 20 percent), workers may be growing closer to those at work or may simply plan on being in the office on November 24.

More than 1 in 5 workers (22 percent) say they plan to work on Thanksgiving this year – on par with 2015.

Family First

Keep in mind that your employees’ minds will be set on taking time off and spending the holiday with family – even if they have to work on Thanksgiving. Ninety-one percent of employees say they would rather spend Thanksgiving Day with their family, while only 1 percent would prefer time with coworkers. Eight percent responded “neither,” but they are probably just dreading discussing politics at the dinner table with that one uncle who has had too much to drink.

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Don’t Forget: Subscribe to CareerBuilder’s New RSS Feed

November 18th, 2016 Comments off
RSS feed reminder

If you haven’t already, subscribe to CareerBuilder’s NEW RSS Feed for easy access to all of our content. This is replacing our current feed, which will stop updating as of today (Friday, Nov. 18).

 Also, check out CareerBuilder’s Employer Resource Center, resources.careerbuilder.com, for insights and trends, best practices, product news and more from CareerBuilder experts.

And if you want recruitment and talent management tips delivered straight to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

So You Got Negative Employee Satisfaction Reviews. What Now?

November 18th, 2016 Comments off
Businesswoman drawing check box.

Smart small business leaders regularly conduct employee surveys to gauge satisfaction and understand what they need to do to keep their greatest asset happy and productive. Sometimes, however, hearing the truth about what employees really think can hurt. While disappointment is a legitimate initial reaction, coming to view the information as valuable input rather than as terrible news can set your small business on the road to improvement. Here are steps to turn what feels like a setback into a great opportunity:

Step back for a moment

Sometimes people focus so intensely on what strikes them as negative that they fail to acknowledge the positive. Review survey results with an eye on the good things workers are saying. Not only will this information clue you in on what is going right at your small business, you’ll form a more optimistic mindset. Also, remember that the purpose of employee satisfaction surveys is not a pat on the back; your aim is to get an accurate pulse on your team. Isn’t it better to be aware of dissatisfaction now when you can do something about it rather than down the line when staff members quit or you discover productivity suffering?

Think about changes

Prepare to act on what you learned from the survey. Asking people how they feel about something and then failing to address problems creates hard feelings (and good luck getting them to take future surveys seriously). Develop some possible measures to take, and share these thoughts with your small business team. Coming prepared to the meeting shows you’ve taken their comments to heart. But also listen to their feedback and seek their ideas. Engagement increases when workers contribute to solving problems.

Implement and reevaluate

Though negative survey results may make you eager for huge changes, small steps probably are better than a sweeping overhaul because you can get a better handle on what specifically makes a difference. Break up challenges into concrete, manageable pieces. After a reasonable trial period, solicit opinions on effectiveness. Readjust as necessary, or try a different approach if improvement simply isn’t happening.

Don’t give up

Finally, whether you’re trying to reduce stress or improve morale, remember that issues usually don’t get solved overnight. Acknowledge trial and error as a fact of life. Persistence demonstrates commitment to long-lasting improvement, not just temporary appeasement. Your small business staff members will notice your effort – and hopefully have better things to say when the next employee engagement survey comes around.

75% Of Employers Have Hired the Wrong Person, Here’s How to Prevent That

November 17th, 2016 Comments off
background check

Ben Goldberg, CEO of Aurico

Going deeper than what you see in a candidate’s resume is becoming more and more crucial as the competition in the job market continues to stay fierce. Candidates resort to practices such as embellishing or misrepresenting themselves to appear attractive to companies that are hiring. Some trained HR professionals might spot these details, but many of these so-called facts may not reveal themselves until a thorough background check is performed.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, the majority of employers (72 percent) background check every new employee before they’re hired, but more than a quarter (28 percent) don’t at all. Similarly, while many (55 percent) drug test employees, only one in five (20 percent) continue to once an employee has been hired.

Those who do background check are analyzing these aspects:

  • Criminal background: 82 percent
  • Confirm employment: 62 percent
  • Confirm identity: 60 percent
  • Confirm education: 50 percent
  • Check for illegal drug use: 44 percent
  • Check licensing: 38 percent
  • Credit check: 29 percent


Knowing as much as possible about your potential hires is crucial. After all, the individual you hire will have access to critical data and documents that belong to your organization. And, if you hire the wrong person, you’ll likely find yourself looking for ways to reassign the employee or working tirelessly to fit him or her into the organization in some other way. Rather than simply letting the employee go, you’ll owe it to him or her to spend time and money on training and ongoing reviews. Eventually, he or she may become a satisfactory employee for your business, but there’s also a chance it just won’t work out. Either way, that bad hire is a drain on resources.

The Cost of a Bad Hire

According to the CareerBuilder survey, 75 percent of employers said they have hired the wrong person for a position, and of those who had a bad hire affect their business in the last year, one bad hire costs them nearly $17,000 on average.

When classifying what makes someone a bad hire, employers reported these issues:

  • The employee didn’t produce the proper quality of work: 58 percent
  • The employee had a negative attitude: 52 percent
  • The employee didn’t work well with other employees: 51 percent
  • The employee’s skills did not match what they claimed to be able to do when hired: 49 percent
  • The employee had immediate attendance problems: 45 percent


Background checks can help employers avoid making a bad hire. Among those who had a bad hire, 37 percent said it was because the candidate lied about his/her qualifications. The price of a bad hire like this adds up in a variety of ways. The most common ways employers say a bad hire affected their business in the last year are:

  • Less productivity: 36 percent
  • Compromised quality of work: 33 percent
  • Affected employee morale negatively: 31 percent
  • Lost time to recruit and train another worker: 30 percent
  • Cost to recruit and train another worker: 30 percent


Conducting Better Background Checks

Although the phrase “background check” is common in HR vocabulary, are you doing the right things to keep your company out of trouble? Here are three tips to follow:

Establish a standard policy: Having a mandatory background screening policy for every employee in an institution, from entry-level to the c-suite, not only provides clear guidelines for security, recruiting and HR professionals, but also eliminates any appearance of inconsistencies when checks are made.

Don’t forget international background checks: The workforce has become more global than ever before, and it is a best practice to check the backgrounds of all applicants who were born, educated or have worked outside the United States.

Know the regulations: There are regulations at both state and federal levels. Some information, such as arrest records that did not result in a conviction, cannot be accessed via a background check. The Fair Credit Reporting Act sets national standards employers must follow when conducting an employment background check.

Want more information about how to perform effective background checks on job candidates? Check out Aurico. Earlier this year CareerBuilder acquired Aurico, a leading provider of background screening and drug testing serving U.S. and international clients. Today Aurico announced it has been named one of the nation’s top 13 employment screening providers on HRO (Human Resource Outsourcing) Today magazine’s 2016 Baker’s Dozen list. This recognition marks the fifth appearance on the list for Aurico.

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What Happens When A Great Interviewee Turns Out to Be A Bad Employee

November 16th, 2016 Comments off
business, people, fail, paperwork and technology concept - businessman with laptop computer and papers working in office

Hiring employees is a risky business. The entire hiring process is designed to prevent a bad hire from slipping through, yet most employers say they’ve made a bad hire in the past. So how does this happen and, more importantly, what do you do to correct the mistake of a bad hire?


How Bad Hires Happen

You’ve probably already come to accept that some job seekers lie on their resumes and applications. More than a third of employers who have made a bad hire say it was because the candidate lied during the application process.


However, employers aren’t always completely blameless. In some cases an employer may be so eager to fill the open position that they’re willing to overlook potential problems with the candidate. It’s also not uncommon for candidates who are particularly skilled at the interview portion of the hiring process to slip through without much scrutiny in other areas, including cultural fit and whether they are capable of performing the job.


How to Prevent a Bad Hire

There are a number of things employers can do to avoid hiring a potentially toxic employee. Following up with references and actually drilling down to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate, rather than simply confirming titles and dates, can go a long way.


Splitting the interview into several stages is also an effective blockade against bad hires. While the first round of interviews may be relatively brief, as candidates get closer to landing the job, stretch it out a little more. After all, you’re hiring them to work with you all day every day, not in one-hour spurts.


It also helps to get more people from the team involved in the interview process. While a skilled interviewer may be able to put on a convincing enough act to win over one interviewer, fooling an entire team is less likely.


How to Remedy a Bad Hire

Still, bad hires do happen, and in many cases letting them loose simply isn’t an option. So what can you do to make the most out of a bad situation?


The answer is almost always communication. Make your expectations as a manager clear and specific, and don’t shy away from letting the employee know when he fails to live up to them.


If behavior is the issue, make it clear what specific behaviors need to be changed. Telling an employee that he needs to start showing up on time will be more effective than asking him to improve his attitude.


If the employee isn’t living up to expectations in terms of skills and quality of work, plan extra time in his projects for additional feedback and collaboration. You may also want to work with the employee to find relevant classes or training programs that may help get him up to speed.


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4 Effective Ways to Deal with Toxic Employees

November 16th, 2016 Comments off
unhappy smile

While a toxic employee can wreak havoc in any workplace, such a person can be especially damaging to a small business, where interactions are frequent and quarters close. Others on staff have difficulty escaping the negativity, and a small business leader who fails to address the problem may soon find everyone’s energy drained.

Obviously, the best solution would be for small business owners not to hire toxic workers. Warning signs during interviews may include talking negatively about former employers, blaming co-workers for problems, and failing to acknowledge the role of others in accomplishments. Speaking with references can be revealing; they may hint at attitude problems or provide lackluster answers that raise red flags.

Unfortunately, preventative measures don’t always work, so it’s important to stay alert to possible toxicity on your staff. Probe when customers request a different contact. Look at the facial expressions of team members when around the individual in question. Ask yourself how you feel when interacting with the suspect. Complaints, looks of frustration, avoidance, and a general bad vibe spell trouble.

If you discover a toxic employee on your team, take action. While speaking up may be awkward, let this finding spur your courage:  Research shows that good employees are 54 percent more likely to quit when they work with a toxic employee. Do you really want to risk losing valuable talent?

Consider these measures to deal with someone you’ve identified as toxic:

One-on-one discussion

Call the team member in question in for a private chat. The person may not be aware of the behavior and its effect on others. Stick with facts and specifics to drive the point home and lower defensive reactions. Listen when the person responds. A personal problem may be carrying over into the workplace, or perhaps a work-related issue might be brought up that you can help solve. Knowing the behavior has been noticed may be enough to squelch it.

Notification of consequences

Some people, however, need more motivation to change their tune. Outline your expectations, and clearly state what will happen if they aren’t met. Attitude may improve when a promotion, raise or even continued employment is on the line.

Positive reinforcement

An employee who truly wants to improve will likely keep up the good work if rewarded with praise and attention. Such actions also demonstrate that you aren’t holding a grudge based on past actions and instead are interested in moving forward for the sake of the small business.

Outlets for expression

Finally, remember that negativity may simply be a way to get heard, so providing positive means that serve the same purpose may reduce the need to complain and blame. Suggestion boxes, employee surveys, town-hall style meetings, and open-door policies encourage engagement and solutions over aimless expressions of discontent. You may even choose to meet regularly with your “problem” employee. Scheduling a productive conversation every two weeks beats depleting everyone’s time and energy daily.

2 Ways to Get Easy Access to CareerBuilder Content

November 14th, 2016 Comments off
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We are making it easier than ever to access our content – from blog posts and exclusive research to product information and guides. Here’s how:

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How and Why Small Business Employers Should Promote from Within

November 14th, 2016 Comments off
Business team applause in meeting

For small business owners who can’t find the high-skilled candidates they need for hard-to-fill positions, a great solution might be closer than they imagine. Promoting from within enables employers to augment the skill set of existing employees to correspond with growing company demands. Benefits of dealing with someone who already “knows the ropes” at your small business include:

  • Ability to hit the ground running. Promoted workers already have a good grasp of your small business’s structure, goals, customer base, employees, and even its temperamental printer. Skipping the onboarding period allows individual contributions to begin faster. Likewise, others on staff can remain on task rather than being pulled to get a newcomer up to speed.
  • Assured cultural fit. An external candidate can be great in theory but for whatever reason turn out not to be a good match when actually brought into a workplace. Small businesses thrive when team members work well together, so someone who has already proven successful in your environment poses less risk of disturbing group dynamics.
  • Better odds of success. Studies show that internal promotions have a lower failure rate than external hires. Employee and employer have a truer picture of each other because of their past relationship. Fewer surprises mean less chance of dissatisfaction that leads either side to sever ties.

In addition to these benefits, internal promotion sends a positive message to your entire small business team. It shows that you reward outstanding work, put faith in your staff to meet new challenges, and foster career development. Morale, retention rates, and loyalty all stand to gain as good workers witness that they can grow with your company.

And while perhaps not the primary reason to look to your own to fill positions, this method may save you time and money by eliminating the hassles and costs associated with recruiting. Your small business can get immediate productivity from the position rather than wait for the completion of the hiring process. Also, such a move may be beneficial in terms of salary. Research shows that external hires make 18 percent more than internal promotes in the same job. While your current employee might get a raise with the promotion, the amount oftentimes is less than what it would take to lure an outside prospect.

Stepping Up to Success

While promoting current employees has advantages, the process should not be willy-nilly. Thinking about how to best develop internal candidates for increased responsibilities maximizes their potential to be a good fit. Strategies for doing so include:

  • Evaluating interest. Consistent one-to-one discussions regarding long-term goals helps a small business owner set the stage for the future. Does the employee seem excited about advancement prospects and willing to take the steps to make promotion a reality?
  • Providing leadership opportunities. Enable employees to test the waters slowly by incrementally increasing chances to take ownership of projects. Grooming in this manner keeps them motivated but not overwhelmed, and you can get a more accurate picture of their potential.
  • Investing in continuing education. Finally, continually be aware of what skill sets would help your small business grow, and provide staff members with necessary training.

A culture of enrichment keeps workers engaged and ready to develop new talents, including ones not currently on your radar. Avid learners dedicated to professional development are gems to treasure because they don’t mind expanding their horizons as you expand yours.

73% of Employers Would Negotiate Salary, 55% of Workers Don’t Ask

November 14th, 2016 Comments off
73% of Employers Willing to Negotiate Salary But 55% of Workers Don't Even Ask

“Show me the money!” is evidently NOT something a lot of job seekers are saying. According to new CareerBuilder research, a majority of employers in the U.S. (73 percent) say they would be willing to negotiate salary on an initial job offer. Still, more than half of workers (55 percent) do not even ask for a higher salary when offered a new position.

Employees who avoid the salary negotiation say they don’t even attempt it because they don’t feel comfortable asking for more money (53 percent), they are afraid the employer will decide not to hire them (48 percent), or they don’t want to appear greedy (38 percent).

In case you’re curious about the demographic breakdown, 48 percent of men said they would attempt salary negotiations with an employer versus 42 percent of women.

What Does This Mean For You?

Employers, don’t be afraid to have conversations about salary during a job interview —  even if it can be a bit awkward at times. Get comfortable with it! You don’t want to lose a great candidate because the topic of salary only came up at the last minute and you were nowhere near meeting their expectations.

Now, our survey showed that there are some occupations with notoriously higher turnover rates that rely on more part-time workers and are therefore less willing to negotiate than those that may require more education or experience. So for employers who are genuinely not in a position to offer a higher bid to the winning candidate, get creative about what else you can offer to round out the package.

For instance, you could consider offering one or more of the following perks or incentives in lieu of a higher salary to help you meet a candidate in the middle: vacation time, flexible work schedule, transportation allowance, tuition reimbursement, daycare reimbursement, a better title, a nicer office, etc.

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4 Ways It Pays to Hire Veterans for Your Small Business

November 11th, 2016 Comments off
Happy healthy ethnic army soldier with copy space on the right

Nearly 250,000 service members transition out of the military every year. Could one of them be your small business’s next great hire? Providing job opportunities for veterans not only feels like the right thing to do, it makes good business sense. Consider the qualities these candidates typically bring to the table:

  • Resourcefulness

Small business employees often must do more with less. The same holds true for service members as they work with what they have out in the field to come up with viable solutions.

  • Grace under pressure

Adjusting to changes, evaluating circumstances, and making quick decisions are par for the course in military life. Expect ex-military to remain calm and goal-focused (and help others at your small business do the same) when asked to wear many hats or deal with challenging clients.

  • Professionalism

Employers often report that veterans are among their most honest, dependable and productive employees. The work ethic developed in the military can translate easily to other environments.

  • Teamwork

Colleagues at small businesses depend on each other too much and work in too limited of quarters to not get along. In the military, operating as a cohesive unit means survival. The ability of veterans both to lead and to follow directions can improve dynamics at your small business.

Aside from the talents these individual workers bring to your small business, the very act of bringing aboard veterans can be beneficial. Americans respect people who have served the country, so being known as a company that values veterans can increase good feelings about your brand.

Also, government contracts often involve specifics about affirmative action measures. If you’re interested in landing such business, having veterans on your staff may help with compliance.

And don’t neglect the possible tax credits. Amounts and qualifications vary, but you may be able to take advantage of incentives up to $9,600 per veteran hired.

Undoubtedly, though, your main concern is to find qualified workers. Attending veteran job fairs can be a great first step, as can advertising open position on veteran-specific job sites. You can find more information at the Department of Labor’s website, where you can also connect with a local Veteran Employment Representative.

Don’t forget, too, to tap any vets already on staff for hiring suggestions. Applicants hand-selected by people already familiar with your company’s culture and goals tend to work out better than candidates from a random pool. Your former service men and women likely will be more than happy to help out a fellow veteran.

Want to further aid ex-military members? Become a mentor to veterans looking to start their own small business. Connect them to leaders in your own network, help them navigate local resources, and introduce them to support options such as The Veterans Business Outreach Program and the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal. Serving those who have served us may be one of the most rewarding actions you’ll ever perform.

Why Multitasking is an Employee Productivity Killer

November 11th, 2016 Comments off
Why multitasking is a productivity killer

Imagine you are currently working on filling one particular job posting. Your mind wanders and you are tempted to check the number of applicants you got for another job posting. Should you resist the temptation? Research suggests that, as a general rule, you most definitely should! Multitasking kills productivity.

Want to finish projects faster? Do them one at a time.
So suppose that finishing Project A takes one week if you concentrate on it, and Project B also takes one week. If you do Project A first and then Project B, you will finish Project A after one week, and Project B after two weeks, with an average project completion time of one and a half weeks. Now suppose you work back and forth from Project A to B every couple of hours. Then, both projects will be finished after two weeks. Multitasking delays Project A for a whole week with no benefit to project B.

In case you think this is just theoretical, my fellow economists Decio Coviello, Andrea Ichino et Nicola Persico explored the impact of multitasking on the ability of judges to close cases in a reasonable time frame. They found that when judges were assigned additional cases to handle, all cases got delayed. This shows that, when you have more projects and you multitask, the time to completion for all of your projects suffers.
Multitasking impairs your ability to remember information.
When you switch from one task to the other, it is hard to keep in mind information about both tasks. For example, researchers asked students to do a small amount of web research while following a lecture. They found that students who did web research got lower scores on a questionnaire about the contents of the lecture.

What this means for you — and your hiring process

Multitasking not only delays project completion but also lowers the quality of the finished product. When a job candidate brags about multitasking, you should think twice about hiring them: Remember that multitasking is actually less productive. While it is not always possible to avoid multitasking, limiting task juggling will increase employees’ productivity and help them get things done faster. Have conversations with your candidates to find out what they actually mean when they say they’re a pro multitasker — and get the information you need to make more informed decisions about whether he or she has the focus to complete tasks well and in a timely manner.

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Job Satisfaction Among Employed Veterans is Dipping

November 9th, 2016 Comments off
Young soldier woman using a computer into her office in military building

Providing veterans of the U.S. military with gainful employment is no small task, but many U.S. employers are stepping up to do their part. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 37 percent of employers plan to actively recruit veterans in the coming year, on par with last year. Additionally, nearly half (47 percent) say they’ve hired a veteran in the past twelve months.


However, supplying the jobs is only half the battle. The survey also shows a dip in veteran employee satisfaction. Fifty-seven percent of veteran workers say they are satisfied and enjoy their work, down from 65 percent last year, and considerably lower than the 76 percent of the general workforce who say they are currently satisfied with their jobs.


The biggest driver of this dissatisfaction appears to be underemployment. Twenty-two percent of employed vets say they are underemployed, or working in a position that is below their skill level. Closely tied to that is the fact that 20 percent report working in a low-paying job.


Still, it’s clear that employers want to hire military veterans. Sixty-eight percent of employers say that, given the choice between two equally qualified candidates – one veteran, one not – they would be more likely to hire the veteran. Forty-seven percent say they pay more attention to resumes that come from veterans.


“Veteran hiring initiatives seem to be top of mind for the majority of employers, and it is almost always a hot-button topic in an election year,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. “Our veterans bring a unique blend of discipline, leadership and problem-solving skills that employers would be foolish to pass up. But, it’s also up to the employer to keep these workers involved and challenged to do their best work.”


Improving Satisfaction

So how can employers help ensure our veterans are not only employed, but satisfied with their position? Understanding the unique skills military veterans possess and how those skills can be leveraged in the workforce is a good start.


According to employers, here are the top qualities that they feel members of the Armed Services bring to their organizations after leaving active duty:


  • Disciplined approach to work: 63 percent
  • Ability to work as a team: 62 percent
  • Respect and integrity: 59 percent
  • Ability to perform under pressure: 54 percent
  • Leadership skills: 52 percent
  • Problem-solving skills: 48 percent
  • Ability to adapt quickly: 46 percent
  • Attitude of perseverance: 44 percent
  • Communication skills: 41 percent
  • Strong technical skills: 33 percent


It’s also crucial that when evaluating a military veteran as a candidate for job openings, employers see beyond the uniform. Our servicemen and women share many admirable attributes and skills, but they are still individuals with unique talents, personalities and interests. It’s not enough to simply hire enough vets to meet a quota – it still has to be about communicating with the candidate to find the right fit.


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Social Media Recruiting for Small Businesses: 4 Tips to Get Started

November 9th, 2016 Comments off
Istanbul, Turkey - September 18, 2015: Apple Iphone 6 screen with social media applications of Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Periscope while a male finger is about to touch on Facebook app.

Did you know that about 890 million people a day use Facebook? While it may be tempting for a small business leader to write off this huge audience as mostly interested in posting vacation photos and sharing brownie recipes, visitors also gather plenty of news and opinions from such platforms. If social networking isn’t part of your recruitment strategy, your small business may be missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with potential employees and failing to take advantage of an outlet that can cut down on recruiting costs.

Luckily, with some thought and research, any small business owner can start building relationships on social media. If you have yet to try this tactic, here are some tips to get started.

Tip #1: Know the sites

You won’t get far on Twitter without a clear understanding of hashtags, retweeting, and the 140-character limit. Likewise, Instagram may be awesome for introducing prospective Generation Z employees to company culture, but seasoned professionals are more likely to be found on LinkedIn. Get familiar with the top social media platforms to become comfortable with their style and audience.

Especially crucial to recruitment efforts is learning your options on each platform. While some small businesses may be content to post job openings on their company Facebook page, others may want to invest in targeted ads aimed at getting their name in front of people from a certain geographical region or a particular educational level.

Tip #2: Stand out

With so much happening on social media, competition for attention can be fierce. While staying true to your small business’s brand (inconsistency makes it hard for others to trust you and pinpoint your message), look for ways to catch eyes. Video of your office’s Halloween party or pictures of happy co-workers can increase the odds of being noticed. Or perhaps try a contest seeking answers to a real-life dilemma at your business. Viewers become engaged, and you might discover your next great hire.

Tip #3: Establish relationships

Cultivate a network of interested prospective employees by being active beyond your job postings. Get your small business on the radar of potential candidates by participating in an industry-specific Twitter chat or joining relevant social groups. Regular, friendly sharing of thoughts and expertise generates interest in your company and lets you discover members of the community who might make good additions to your staff.

Tip #4: Get personal

Encourage current team members to assist with your social media efforts. Not only are personal networks likely to be much larger than the number of corporate followers, viewers tend to trust and pay attention to messages received from those they know. Establish a clear social media policy that outlines how they can contribute, such as by sharing their experiences at your company or making others aware of job openings.

And don’t forget the power of your own social media accounts. A friend or associate may know just the candidate you should consider for that new job opening. Be responsive to your online community every chance you get, and you’ll find others eager to return the favor.

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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5 Habits of Highly Successful Small Business Managers

November 7th, 2016 Comments off
motivational set of steps to success: try, fail, try again, success

Being a small business manager is no easy task. While it comes with a lot of power, it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Being a manager at a small business is a unique experience, because managers at smaller companies tend to wear many hats. Therefore, they require a unique set of skills. Whether you are new to management or simply looking to hone your current skills, mastering the following skills will help ensure your success – and that of your team.

  1. They make time for their employees. It’s well known that employees don’t leave jobs; they leave managers. Good managers set aside time for their employees — whether that’s in the form of regular one-on-one meetings or establishing an “open door” policy — so they can address any questions, concerns or challenges that may arise. They also make time to recognize their employees for their hard work and celebrate their achievements. Regular recognition boosts morale and instills a sense of loyalty in employees.
  2. They know how to relinquish control. As a manager, you are held accountable for the performance of the people you manage. As a result, you may feel the need to be in control of everything your employees do. This type of micro-management, however, can kill morale. When you relinquish control and let your employees be more autonomous, you show them that you trust them, which fosters confidence, loyalty and leadership development.
  3. They can think on their feet. Small business managers often have to act at lightening speed when it comes to making decisions; therefore, the ability to think on one’s feet and quickly evaluate a situation and decide is crucial. If you sit on something for too long or keep changing your mind, you could end up losing out on lots of opportunities.
  4. They know how to communicate (well). Communication is an essential business skill for small business managers, but with their packed schedules, it can be hard to stay on top of getting messages out about news and updates that affect employees’ day-to-day lives. Make a concerted effort to keep employees up-to-date on key business decisions and organizational news. Regular, thoughtful communication empowers your employees with the information needed to do their jobs better. Remember, too, that communication isn’t just about talking; it’s about listening, too. Solicit regular feedback from your employees and other managers to identify any challenges or concerns and address them immediately.
  5. They learn from their mistakes. Even managers make mistakes. It’s what happens next that truly differentiates the good managers from the bad ones. Good managers know that admitting to a mistake is not a sign of weakness, but a show of maturity. Good managers own their mistakes, learn from them and pass what they’ve learned on to their employees. Not only will your employees be better for it, they will admire you for the way you handled it.

What habits do you find essential to a successful small business management? Tweet me at @cbpetej

Want more advice and resources for building your small business? 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.

3 in 10 Employers Have Argued With a Co-Worker Over a Political Candidate

November 7th, 2016 Comments off
political debates

It’s hard to believe this election season is about to come to an end. It’s been contentious, to say the least, with supporters on both sides of the aisle having strong opinions about their own candidate – and the opposition.

It’s not surprising then that political debates have spilled over to the office: 3 in 10 employers (30 percent) and nearly 1 in 5 employees (17 percent) have argued with a co-worker over a particular candidate this election season, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey.

This brings up the overall issue of political correctness in the workplace, with many workers feeling that their freedom of speech is stifled. The survey found that half of workers and nearly 6 in 10 employers believe the workplace has become too politically correct in America, and 33 percent of employees are afraid to voice certain opinions because they feel they may not be considered politically correct.

What Does This Mean For You?

While there will be a new president-elect this week, political discussions – and disagreements – won’t likely disappear any time soon. So, it’s essential to have guidelines in place to keep workplace debates healthy. CareerBuilder’s Chief Human Resources Officer Rosemary Haefner suggests providing respect and dignity behavioral training to all employees, while emphasizing tolerance for different ideas, beliefs and needs. Haefner also says to ensure your harassment policies and harassment complaint system are made publicly available and that employees are trained in the process.

And remember that employees will follow leadership’s lead, so model the right behavior by creating a culture of open dialogue and mutual respect.

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U.S. Sees Strongest Annual Growth in Wages in October

November 4th, 2016 Comments off
BLS april 2016

While U.S. job growth in October didn’t meet economists’ predictions, growth in hourly earnings far exceeded expectations.

The U.S. added 161,000 new jobs in October, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this number is lower than the expected gain of 175,000 jobs, it is well within the means of healthy job growth. What’s more, the BLS revised upward the job gains in both August (from the originally reported 167,000 new jobs to 176,000 new jobs) and September (from 156,000 new jobs to 191,000). That’s a total of 44,000 additional jobs for those two months!

The real highlight of the report, however, was the 10 cent rise in hourly earnings, bringing average wagest to $25.92 an hour. Wages are now up 2.8 percent year over year, the strongest annual growth in wages recorded since the recession, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The unemployment rate ticked down slightly, back to 4.9 percent. Once again, the industries that saw the biggest gains were professional and business services (adding 43,000 jobs) and health care (adding 31,000 jobs).

October marks the 73rd consecutive month of job growth, and has “averaged over 200,000 job gains a month for most of the past couple of years,” according to NPR’s John Ydstie.

As I always say, small businesses are a major driver of economic growth in this country, so I urge you to keep doing what you are doing to attract, engage and retain your best asset – your people.

3 Things You Should Know From the October 2016 Jobs Report

November 4th, 2016 Comments off
3 Things You Should Know From the October 2016 Jobs Report

Halloween may have come and gone, but the October jobs report – released this morning by the BLS – was by no means scary.

As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.

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

1. Numbers were slightly lower than expected, but the unemployment rate also dropped. Economists had predicted that today’s BLS job gains would be somewhere in the 170,000-plus range; but in reality the U.S. economy added 161,000 jobs in October.

Some reactions to the report: “Economists had forecast another report that was neither super-impressive nor terrible, and that’s what we got.”

However, it’s also worthwhile to note that an additional 44,000 jobs were added over the course of August and September, according to some new BLS revisions.

2. This is the last jobs report before the elections. So how might the candidates use this report to extract some talking points?

According to Business Insider:

As both presidential candidates make their final pitches to voters, they can pick data points in this report to advance their narratives. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, can point to the number of jobs that have been created during the recovery, the record 73 straight months of gains, and the drop in the unemployment rate to a postrecession low. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, can focus on the headline print that missed expectations and the 5.9 million people who still work part-time for economic reasons.

According to The New York Times:

While the final weeks of the presidential campaign seemed to be preoccupied with everything but the economy, Friday’s report from the Labor Department refocused attention – at least briefly – on the crucial bread-and-butter issue: jobs. For the candidates, the latest employment report …[allows] each side to offer its own distinctive narrative of the economy’s performance and prospects.

3. Wages appear to be stronger.

According to The New York Times:

Average hourly earnings rose 2.8 percent year over year, a level not reached since 2008.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

Hiring by U.S. employers remained healthy in October as wage growth accelerated to its strongest pace since the recession, signaling solid momentum in the labor market and broader economy just days before American voters elect a new president.

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 September jobs report breakdown? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.

Clinton vs. Trump: Who’d Be a Better Boss?

November 3rd, 2016 Comments off
election boss

You might have your mind made up on who you’d want leading the country. But working for him or her could be an entirely different story. Recently CareerBuilder asked employees across the U.S. one important question: “If you had to choose, which candidate would you like to be your boss?”

According to survey results, 57 percent of workers say they would prefer to work for the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton – while the remaining 43 percent say they would like businessman Donald Trump as a boss.

Hillary Clinton was firmly preferred by women in the survey with 62 percent saying they would prefer the former Senator as a boss. Men were tighter in their decision between candidates, with an even split between Clinton and Trump.

Broken down by race, 52 percent of workers that identify as Caucasian would like Donald Trump as their boss. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was the preferred choice among African American (87 percent), Hispanic (79 percent) and Asian (78 percent) professionals.

What makes a good boss? “Managers who interact frequently and communicate directly are more likely to have the support of their employees. The ideal form of that communication will vary from individual to individual, but everyone’s jobs get done better when expectations and roles are clearly defined,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “The best managers understand the triggers for their workers’ success and are able to course correct when productivity drops or conflict arises.”

Should you talk politics at work? While you can’t prevent an employee from expressing his or her beliefs, you can focus on the fact that your workplace may not be the appropriate forum for such conversations. Political chatter that gets too heated can hurt both the employee and the company, so having a policy on these discussions, or a broad anti-harassment policy, is encouraged. There are many ways to approach that policy. Some companies explicitly discourage discussions of flammable political topics such as abortion, others are vaguer because of the risks of free speech in the office. What’s written in the policy is dependent on your culture; what’s important is that it’s communicated to employees.

Also remember that subordinates often look up to managers, so modeling the right behavior is imperative when in a leadership role. As a manager your job is also to be a mentor. Employees should be learning from you. If employees see their managers water cooler chats getting heated, they’ll likely think that behavior is OK.

An important note on this topic is that while speaking about politics with your peers and colleagues may be alright in a more relaxed workplace, if you’re a manager, you should refrain from speaking about politics with subordinates — doing so can put your employees in an uncomfortable position. And, on the other hand, engaging your boss in a political debate could open you up to potential retaliation in the future.

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