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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

 

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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.

Confusion

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.

Feedback

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.

Recognition

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.

Evaluation

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.

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

February 3rd, 2017 Comments off
#findyourcallingday

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.

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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.

Cross-train

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

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!

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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:

Gamify

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?
JS:
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?
JS:
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?
JS:
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?
JS:
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.
JS:
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?
JS:
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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

What Does This Mean For You?

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

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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.

Leading

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.

Managing

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.

Empathize

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.

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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.

Communicate

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.

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

 

 

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:

Volunteering
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.

Eating
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
Internship

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.

Compensation

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.

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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.

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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

8%

$35.09 *Operations Manager

*Business Process Analyst

*Product Development Specialist

*Financial Analyst

*Office Manager

Information Technology 3,926,758 4,398,862 472,104

12%

$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

8%

$37.77 *Family Practitioner

*Medical Director

*ICU Nurse

*Cardiologist

*Physical Therapist

*Rehabilitation Nurse

Sales 15,143,749 16,057,815 914,066

6%

$19.06 *Account Executive

*Account Manager

*Business Development Manager

*Client Services Coordinator

Skill Trades 12,049,958 13,067,497 1,017,539

8%

$21.38

*Electrician

*Plumber

*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
erik-kostelnik-photo

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.

Legality

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
CareerBuilder content

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:

1. Subscribe to our NEW RSS feed: Add our new RSS feed for real-time alerts when our latest articles, videos and flipbooks become available. This will be replacing our current feed, so make sure to update your subscription with the new link.

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Have any content suggestions for us? Tweet us at @CBforEmployers.

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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What Job Seekers WISH You Knew About the Candidate Experience

November 2nd, 2016 Comments off
What Job Seekers WISH You Knew About the Candidate Experience

It’s no secret that attracting the right talent is hard, and the hiring landscape has grown increasingly competitive. You can stand out by providing a great candidate experience – but in order to do so, you need to understand and circumvent some of their biggest frustrations with the application process.

We wanted to take you inside the minds of today’s job seekers to give you an idea of what they expect of your company and the candidate experience you (knowingly or unknowingly) provide. So we asked real-life job seekers via our social channels: What part of the job search process do you wish you could change most?

Here’s what they said…and how you can do your part to bridge the divide:

They want you to keep an open mind instead of setting unrealistic expectations.

Joe Duhamel: Right out of college, I actually had a placement agency in Manhattan tell me to “come back when you have some experience.” I said, “When I get experience, I won’t need you.” And I never did.

Mary SaelensThe “relevant experience” is something that should be used in moderation though; people need jobs and if it’s [an] entry-level [position], let them get their feet wet.

Kristina RoepkeThey require years of experience when fresh graduates haven’t been alive long enough to fulfill the requirement. Also, no one hires you unless you have experience…[but] how do you get it? It is a logic loop.

Milap (@m3jstile): HR managers [must] be more willing to interview more people.

Adam Patrick: Wasting candidates’ time (and theirs) by posting a job when they already know whom they are hiring.

They want you to be more responsive.

Eddie Quinn: [I] hate spending so much time applying to a company (research company, customize resume, cover letter, create log in and re-enter entire resume into web form) and then never hearing back, even after attempts to follow up. Some decency would be nice. [I] once applied to [a company], and didn’t get a ‘We regret to inform you…’ email until six months after I applied and followed up three times.

Patrick BarnesI would push for an immediate decision. No waiting for a week [and] doing a follow-up call, only to find out the position has been filled…right before they hang up [on you].

They want you to NOT waste their time.

Career Break Site (@CareerBreakSite): Pretending to be enthusiastic when a recruitment agent has sent you to interview for some crappy job.

Adam Patrick: Asking for information on the online application that is the exact same information a resume contains (or should contain instead of extraction of keywords, info, reading it).

They want you to be fair — when it comes to pay, etc.

Adam Patrick: Requiring WAY TOO much education, TOO specific experience and they pay you in beans.

Chris PapaliaYou forgot to mention the start pay… $9.50 an hour.

They want you to be prepared and know what you’re looking for.

Kristy HughesNot nailing down the job description or team’s needs before starting the interview process, so interviews are a waste of time. Or interviewing for one position, hiring a candidate and then telling the candidate they are needed to do something else.

They want you to offer training because they’re willing to learn.

Misty TaylorAll the experience that is needed for the position [is there], yet no one seems to want to train. Think of the people that could learn what needs to be done.

Small Business Job Growth Holds Steady in October, According to ADP Report

November 2nd, 2016 Comments off
ADP april 2016

Small business job growth in October was unchanged from September. According to the ADP’s most recent Small Business Employment Report, which looks at job growth specific to businesses with 49 or fewer employees, small businesses added 34,000 jobs in October, the same number the ADP reported in September.

Looking at company size, very small businesses (those with 1-19 employees) added 14,000 jobs and other small businesses (those with 20-49 employees) added 20,000 jobs.

Looking at sectors, small businesses in the goods-producing sectors continue to lose jobs (down 13,000 jobs, significantly lower than the 2,000 jobs lost in September).  In contrast, small businesses in the service-providing sector are making up for the loss, having added 48,000 jobs in October.

These numbers seem to be in sync with national trends. According to the ADP’s national report, the U.S. added 147,000 private jobs across company size from September to October. (Medium-sized businesses added 48,000 jobs, and large businesses added 64,000.) Overall jobs in the goods-producing sector are down 18,000 but have spiked in the service-producing sector, which added 165,000 jobs.

If it feels as if job growth is hitting a plateau, you’re not alone. According to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, “Job growth remains strong, although the pace of growth appears to be slowing.” Zandi attributes the slowdown in part to “businesses’ difficulty filling open positions.”

If you’re having trouble filling open positions, perhaps it’s time to reconsider waiting for the perfect applicant to come along and hire candidates with potential. Another option to consider: asking your employees for referrals, which could lead to quality hires.

29% of Workers Have Side Gigs

October 31st, 2016 Comments off
candidate behavior

Working more than one job is nothing new, but a new survey from CareerBuilder suggests that the practice may be growing more prevalent – and this trend isn’t likely to be changing any time soon.

 

The survey found that 29 percent of workers says they have a side hustle. The trend is especially prominent among younger workers, with 39 percent of workers between the ages of 18 and 24 having side hustles, and 44 percent of those ages 25-34.

 

What does this mean for you?

While some employers may perceive an employee’s side gig as a threat or a sign of a lack of commitment to their day job, 71 percent of workers with side gigs say they don’t want to turn it into their day job, and 76 percent say they don’t plan on opening their own business.

 

The best course of action if you believe a side hustle is having an impact on your employee’s performance is communication. Work with the employee to find a balance between their commitment to a side hustle and the standards you expect from them at your company.

The Telltale Signs of a Great Hire

October 31st, 2016 Comments off
Confident business people shaking hands and woman smiling, recruitment and agreement concept

Regardless of the position for which you are hiring, demonstration of certain characteristics can indicate that an applicant will make an excellent employee. Help your small business reach new heights by looking for candidates who exhibit the following qualities:

Professionalism
Want to hire someone you can trust to represent your company? A candidate who shows up on time, dresses appropriately, acts courteous, and clearly has done his homework knows the importance of a good first impression. But don’t stop your evaluation there. Listen to how the person talks about past employers, co-workers and experiences – both during an interview and on social media. Is he or she quick to claim credit for achievements but equally eager to blame others for problems? A true professional doesn’t jockey for sole command of the spotlight or air dirty laundry.

Problem-solving ability
Small business employees are often challenged to do more with less. They also get called upon to deal with unforeseen problems – sometimes outside of their comfort zones. Look for workers who attack challenges rather than try to avoid or run from them. A competent problem solver keeps the team level-headed and focused on solutions, not drama. Inquire about how the candidate solved a tricky situation at a previous job, or create a scenario based on the position at hand and ask the interviewee to discuss how he or she would approach it.

A love of learning
The skill sets your employees bring to the table when hired definitely affect your company’s capacity for success. But the best hires will not only be valuable today – they’ll be anxious to keep improving in order to grow along with your small business. Evaluate resumes for examples of being a lifelong learner, such as taking classes, attending conferences or gaining new certification. Ask about the role professional development opportunities play in career plans and the decision on whether or not to accept a position.

A sense of team
Small businesses thrive when staff members put the good of the company front and center. This often means assuming various roles and helping co-workers whenever a need arises. People who regularly assert that “that isn’t my job,” fail to pull their weight, or act inappropriately zap morale – especially when working in close quarters. Ask potential hires for their perspective on how to get along with fellow workers and resolve conflicts. Provide opportunities for them to interact both formally and informally with current staff (and seek feedback). And don’t neglect the “little things,” such as holding doors for others and treating the receptionist with respect.

Entrepreneurial spirit
Lastly, look for individuals who share your excitement for entrepreneurship. They need not run the company, but they’ll add to it with their genuine curiosity and ability to challenge the status quo in a positive manner. Take note of applicants who ask questions about why your small business does things certain ways or who want to hear about your five-year vision. A kindred trailblazer will keep you on your toes and likely be one of your brand’s strongest ambassadors.


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.

7 Surefire Employee Morale Killers

October 28th, 2016 Comments off
Office life: business team during a meeting

As a small business leader, one of the best investments you can make is in the engagement and morale of employees. Disengaged employees are more likely to call in sick, perform poorly and can cost companies thousands of dollars a year in lost productivity. If you’ve noticed an increase in absenteeism lately or an overall sense of gloom in the workplace, you may have a morale problem. Take a moment to consider what could be causing this disengagement. Below are five surefire morale killers that could be infecting your workplace.

Playing the blame game: Mistakes are inevitable in any workplace. Part of being a manager is accepting that mistakes happen and using them as opportunities to improve. Unfortunately, some managers refuse to accept responsibility for their workers’ mistakes and pass the blame on someone else. Not only does that take a toll on a person’s morale, it instills fear in the workplace.

Being dishonest: While you may feel the need to keep employees in the dark about certain things, it’s never okay to outright lie to them. Making false promises — about pay raises, promotions or time off, for example — will come back to haunt you. You will lose your employees’ trust and respect, and it’s hard to motivate people who don’t trust you.

Threatening jobs: Threatening your employees’ jobs in order to motivate them will almost always have the opposite effect. Rather than feeling driven to perform well, they will be distracted by feelings of fear, anxiety or resentfulness for being made to feel disposable. Not only will this take a toll on morale, it will hurt productivity and lessen the quality of their work.

Providing no direction: You may think you are giving your employees freedom by staying “hands off,” but not providing any sort of direction or clarity around their jobs or what’s expected of them can cause frustration and stress.  particularly when, if they make a mistake, they are reprimanded for it.

Micromanaging: Where some managers are too hands-off, being too hands on can be just as detrimental to morale. Employees need to feel that you trust them, which will never happen if you’re constantly looking over their shoulder and telling them how to do their job better.

Never saying thanks: While berating employees for mistakes can be a surefire morale killer, never telling employees when they do a good job can be just as bad. Employees aren’t mind readers. If they are doing a good job, tell them so. While you shouldn’t feel the need to compliment your employees for every small thing or go overboard with extravagant rewards, it’s important to let them know they are appreciated. A sincere gesture that says “thank you” and lets them know their work matters can do wonders for morale.

Holding employees back: Do you discourage employees from trying new pursuits or taking on projects that fall outside of their normal responsibilities? These are instant morale killers. People want to work in a place where they feel their ideas are appreciated and their talents utilized. Encourage employees to bring new ideas to the table or pursue projects that interest them even if they don’t necessarily fall into their normal duties. Giving employees room to explore their passions will make them more passionate in their jobs and about their work.


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.

How Would Your Hometown Fare in the Zombie Apocalypse?

October 27th, 2016 Comments off
zombieapocolypsewithemsidata

We’ve all fantasized about how we would survive the zombie apocalypse (haven’t we?), but for many, that plan doesn’t go beyond surviving the initial breakout and period of chaos. But once the dust settles and it’s time to seek out the last vestiges of civilization, where do you and your rugged-but-lovable band of misfits go?

To help with this decision, CareerBuilder has put together an index ranking the country’s largest cities’ likelihood of surviving a zombie outbreak.

How it Works

Based on the occupational and industrial makeup of its workforce, each city receives a score for four essential zombie survival categories – Defense, Containment, Cure and Food.

 

Defense – This category is based on a city’s concentration of military and protective services occupations as well as availability of small arms.

Containment – While high concentrations of engineering and construction occupations will score a city points in this category, cities with highly dense populations stand to lose points. A lot of people packed tightly together make it very easy for the zombie plague to spread.

Cure – When it comes to the zombie apocalypse, there’s a difference between winning and not losing. Defense can help you win battles with the zombie hordes, but finding a cure? That’s how you win the war.

Food – The living dead aren’t the only threat in this harsh new world. Survivors may have escaped the zombies’ hunger, but they still must fend off their own. Bulk production and packaging of non-perishable foods provide the nourishment the last of humanity needs to keep going.

The sum of these scores indicates how likely the city is to make it through the rise of the living dead.

 

The Results

Thanks in no small part to a large number of biotechnology and medical research workers, Boston is the most likely city to produce a cure for the zombie plague. Top marks in the Cure category, along with strong Defense and Containment scores, make Boston humanity’s best hope for surviving the dawn of the dead.

Check out the chart below to see how your hometown stacks up:

MSA Defense Score Containment Score Cure Score Food Score Total Score Final Rank
Boston, MA 13.69 11.05 20 3.59 48.33

1

Kansas City, MO 23.38 10.02 4.53 3.10 41.03

2

Salt Lake City, UT 8.29 18.61 10.49 3.62 41.01

3

Baltimore, MD 17.55 7.68 11.56 2.79 39.58

4

San Diego, CA 16.44 9.89 11.69 1.41 39.43

5

Seattle, WA 9.58 17.86 8.45 1.99 37.88

6

Denver, CO 7.82 20.03 6.39 3.58 37.82

7

Virginia Beach, VA 22.38 10.61 2.76 1.79 37.54

8

Hartford, CT 17.28 9.07 5.80 3.32 35.47

9

Minneapolis, MN 17.51 8.19 5.57 3.94 35.21

10

Indianapolis, IN 8.73 9.39 10.79 5.01 33.92

11

Richmond, VA 14.61 11.16 4.73 3.38 33.89

12

Grand Rapids, MI 0.08 9.73 2.08 20 31.89

13

San Francisco, CA 6.43 8.97 14.86 1.48 31.73

14

Portland, OR 3.71 13.41 6.35 8.01 31.48

15

Washington, D.C. 16.55 7.96 6.80 0 31.31

16

Sacramento, CA 8.80 12.29 4.77 4.99 30.85

17

Pittsburgh, PA 5.98 13.38 7.26 3.60 30.22

18

San Jose, CA 5.74 15.02 8.17 1.09 30.02

19

Raleigh, NC 7.70 12.22 4.89 4.18 28.98

20

Orlando, FL 9.44 9.55 3.53 6.03 28.55

21

Memphis, TN 14.07 2.96 5.15 6.26 28.43

22

Louisville, KY 11.56 6.76 2.03 8.04 28.39

23

Cleveland, OH 10.36 4.24 8.02 5.32 27.93

24

Birmingham, AL 9.84 6.73 5.29 5.51 27.37

25

Oklahoma City, OK 8.25 10.69 6.53 1.55 27.01

26

St. Louis, MO 13.96 8.24 2.99 1.62 26.81

27

Houston, TX 6.08 15.92 2.71 1.37 26.09

28

New Orleans, LA 13.55 8.85 2.12 1.23 25.75

29

Phoenix, AZ 12.81 7.39 1.96 3.44 25.59

30

Charlotte, NC 8.65 6.12 0.50 9.78 25.06

31

Las Vegas, NV 15.84 6.20 0.68 1.44 24.16

32

Columbus, OH 7.88 7.59 6.03 2.50 24.01

33

Providence, RI 8.82 5.37 4.19 4.85 23.23

34

Austin, TX 5.83 12.13 4.45 0.70 23.11

35

Cincinnati, OH 5.46 5.63 5.16 6.62 22.87

36

Rochester, NY 5.16 4.92 3.87 8.69 22.64

37

Nashville, TN 8.53 7.15 3.77 2.89 22.34

38

Milwaukee, WI 6.29 7.48 4.09 3.95 21.81

39

Dallas, TX 7.66 7.50 2.12 4.53 21.80

40

San Antonio, TX 9.88 4.27 1.95 5.48 21.58

41

Philadelphia, PA 8.53 1.18 7.46 3.90 21.07

42

Jacksonville, FL 11.40 6.04 1.63 1.27 20.33

43

Detroit, MI 2.03 14.50 2.10 1.32 19.94

44

Chicago, IL 9.74 0.63 2.34 6.73 19.44

45

Tucson, AZ 10.88 1.59 6.40 0.52 19.40

46

Buffalo, NY 10.23 3.35 3.38 1.83 18.80

47

Atlanta, GA 6.73 5.87 2.65 3.30 18.56

48

Miami, FL 12.67 1.10 1.57 2.78 18.11

49

Riverside, CA 4.44 4.99 0 7.30 16.72

50

Los Angeles, CA 7.37 0.68 3.89 1.70 13.65

51

Tampa, FL 6.07 2.33 2.97 1.52 12.89

52

New York City, NY 12.44 -10.08 4.33 1.99 8.69

53

 

 

What Small Business Employers Should Know About Background Checks

October 26th, 2016 Comments off
Close-up of hands searching in a file cabinet

If you think large companies are the only ones who need to worry about conducting background checks, you may be setting up your small business for potential problems. Because of close working quarters, staff members oftentimes have significant access to accounts and confidential information. Bringing to light past instances of untrustworthiness before hiring may save your small business from putting such sensitive things in the wrong hands.

Likewise, we all know the hassle involved in firing and rehiring when a new employee doesn’t work out. Discovering a candidate misrepresented his education or experience before adding him to your staff can save valuable time and money down the line.

And, heaven forbid, an employee or customer gets hurt by someone you hired. Besides the trauma of such a situation, you could be hit with a negligent hiring claim contending that you should have looked into the offender’s risk potential. Such legal cases, unfortunately, are on the rise.

While many small business owners understand the purpose of background checks, some still shy away from them due to costs or perceived complexity. When the well-being of your staff and your livelihood are at stake, however, can you really afford not to make the investment?

To make the process easier and more cost-efficient, many small businesses turn to full-service background-check vendors. (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.) Look for one accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners to ensure reputability. A knowledgeable background-check provider can help with issues such as:

  • Determining which screens should be performed. Searching motor vehicle records makes sense when hiring a delivery person but probably isn’t necessary when filling a spot in IT. Professionals know the various screens available and can pinpoint which ones will yield information valuable to your particular needs.
  • Legal compliance. Since small businesses may not hire employees as often as larger firms, they oftentimes aren’t up to speed on the latest regulations regarding background checks. But being unaware doesn’t get your company off the hook if it makes errors. The Fair Credit Reporting Act specifies how background checks must be conducted, and skilled human resource personnel can walk you through everything from obtaining necessary written consent from applicants to notifying candidates when something questionable turns up. They also can help your company develop consistent background-checking policies so that you don’t subject your small business to charges of discrimination or personal intrusion.

 

Don’t be shy about asking questions before selecting a vendor. A good background-checking firm should be transparent about costs, including any access fees. (With certain background checks, jurisdictional and data access fees are charged by select counties, states and data providers – and likely passed on to you.) You should be given an estimate of how long it will take to get results and what details will be included in your written reports. Knowing what to expect takes some of the mystery out of background checks and enables you to make the best decisions for your small business.

What Do You Do When Your Best Employee Leaves?

October 25th, 2016 Comments off
employee leaves

Every team or department is made up of individuals who have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Yet there’s usually one or two workers who rise to the top; their work – and work ethic – stand out from the rest.

So, what do you do when your star employee announces he or she is leaving for another opportunity?

You knew deep down it was likely to happen – in today’s market, top talent is in high demand. Do you find a way to try and make the person stay? Or do you focus on recruiting another stand out? Here are some options to consider when your best worker leaves.

Contemplate a Counteroffer

If you believe the employee is worth fighting for, work with HR to put together a counteroffer. Consider the reasons your employee might be leaving, and develop a strategy to convince the person it’s worth it to stay. While this may include higher compensation or more appealing benefits, be sure to address the other factors in play – such as the employee no longer feeling challenged in his or her role.

If you go this route, do so with caution. Remember that there’s a reason the employee invested time into finding a new job, so chances are anything you offer the employee may just act as a Band-Aid instead of a permanent fix. And consider how you will feel about the employee if he or she stays – will your relationship be different? Will the trust disappear? If the dynamics are going to change, it may not end up being worth the work.

Take the Exit Interview Seriously

If the counteroffer is a no-go, or you decide it’s better to just let go, it’s still important to get to the root of why your employee wants to leave. While exit interviews can sometimes be an afterthought, why not take advantage of an opportunity to get real (or as real as possible) feedback on some of the grievances this employee – and likely other employees – have about the team or the company?

Encourage the employee to be candid with HR, and let them know you truly value his or her feedback and plan to put it into action. And don’t just pay the employee lip service – if there are valuable insights gleaned from the conversation, find ways you can apply those lessons to your current employees to hopefully prevent another top worker from leaving.

Talk to Your Team

Losing a star employee isn’t just a blow to you – it’s a blow to your whole team. Not only will they worry their workload is going to increase or the team dynamic will shift, it also may make them question their own situations – and whether they should be looking elsewhere, too.

Instead of brushing the departure under the rug, meet with your team and reassure them that everything will be operating as normal and you’re working to replace the ex-employee as quickly as possible. And considering that morale might be down, it might be a good time to plan an outing or activity that could help rally the team together.

Look Internally to Fill the Position

While it may seem like no one else on your team compares to your No. 1 worker, and your first instinct may be to look externally to fill the role, consider first looking internally. Perhaps there’s someone who has the potential to really shine but was never given the platform to do so. This could be your chance to nurture that person’s career while also saving time and money on recruiting an external candidate.

Consider the Positives

It may be hard to say goodbye to your star employee, but it may end up being a blessing in disguise. No manager wants someone on their team who doesn’t want to be there. Even if the person is a top employee, sooner or later his or her unhappiness will start to show in his or her work.

When your best worker leaves, consider it an opportunity to start fresh and build an even stronger team.

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

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

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

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

What this means for you

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

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

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

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Does Emotional Intelligence Matter When Hiring?

October 24th, 2016 Comments off
Puzzle head brain concept. Human head profile made from brown paper with a jigsaw piece cut out. Choose your personality that suit you

A resume tells a great deal about a candidate’s qualifications and background, but it fails to reveal much about emotional intelligence (EI). To find applicants skilled in this area, a small business leader must dig deeper.

What makes such effort worth a small business leader’s valuable time? In a workplace where staff members rely greatly on one another, oftentimes must do more with less, and need to be ready to take on unforeseen challenges, emotionally intelligent employees can be a godsend. The qualities they bring to the table include:

  • Emotional control – they remain calm under pressure, help others focus on results rather than drama, and think before they act.
  • Ability to pick up on the cues of others – they notice when a colleague needs help or could use a break.
  • Savviness at managing relationships – they work well with others and resolve conflicts effectively.
  • Self-motivation – they do not need constant supervision to remain on task and pursue excellence.
  • Self-awareness – they have a good handle on their strengths and weakness and know when to ask for help.

 

If you think these attributes sound beneficial to a small business, you’re not alone. In fact, 71 percent of hiring managers in a CareerBuilder survey said they value emotional intelligence in an employee more than IQ. The challenge becomes how to judge an applicant’s EI level. Here are some helpful strategies:

Ask appropriate interview questions

Though you should be searching for insight about emotional intelligence throughout the interview, asking a few pointed questions can be useful. For instance, “How would you go about informing a co-worker about an error she made?” provides clues on the applicant’s tact and consideration of others’ feelings. A thoughtful response when asked to “tell me about a mistake you made during your career and what you learned from it” demonstrates self-awareness and motivation to improve.

Set up a scenario

Practical applications give candidates a chance to demonstrate their skills and thought processes and you the opportunity to look for evidence of emotional intelligence. You might present a real-life situation, such as a client moving a deadline up a day, and ask the candidate to take you through how she would handle the request. Look for evidence of thinking the situation through, calmly reorganizing priorities, and dealing with reactions from colleagues.

A similar evaluation exercise is asking a prospective hire to teach you something new, as if you’d never heard of it before. Is he or she patient and willing to restate information in different ways? Does the candidate ask empathetic questions along the way (e.g. “Does this make sense?” or “Am I going too fast?”). Can he or she judge your understanding based on facial cues and body language?

Seek employee referrals

Is your small business fortunate to already have emotionally intelligent people on staff? Pick their brains for people in their network who might make good additions to your team. When describing the type of candidates you seek, put as much emphasis on emotional intelligence as on hard skills. Your emotionally intelligent workers will pick up on your comments and do what they can to help you discover a great new hire.


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.

Should You Be Offering Workers ‘Unsick Days?’

October 21st, 2016 Comments off
Patient sitting on treatment couch

Most people’s approach to their health tends to be reactionary – you get sick, you go to the doctor to get it checked out. But why do we wait until something goes wrong? What if we had the option to go to the doctor before we got sick and hopefully avoid getting sick at all.

That’s what Zocdoc is proposing – an Unsick Day.

One of the main reasons people aren’t going to the doctor in advance of illness setting in is work. According to a recent Zocdoc survey, 86 percent of workers say they would cancel or reschedule a booked preventive care appointment due to workplace pressures.

Zocdoc’s Unsick Day is a new kind of day off – one taken with employers’ explicit permission and encouragement, specifically for employees to take care of annual physicals, skin screenings, dental cleanings, and other routine health procedures that are too often neglected.

And it’s not just the workers who are missing out. The survey found that only 1 in 4 workers have utilized all of their preventive health benefits, which means companies are investing in benefits and plans that are going vastly underutilized.

An Unsick Day would change all that – according to the survey, 51 percent of workers said they’d be more likely to take advantage of preventive health benefits if their employer encouraged it. And on top of that, 49 percent say they’re more likely to stay with a company that offers time off for preventive care.

Plus, preventive care leads to healthier, more productive employees. These check-ins help workers detect potential issues early, form stronger relationships with providers and take a more active role in their own long-term health.

Benefits like health care are often looked at as a way to attract candidates, but they’re also great for retention. Workers appreciate when their employers take a continued interest in their happiness and wellbeing – exactly what an Unsick Day would provide.

For other ideas on how to help your employees and improve retention, check out Why and How to Help Employees Manage Their Finances.

5 Signs It’s Time to Let an Employee Go

October 21st, 2016 Comments off
Fired businessman packing personal desk items in box

No small business owner wants to go through the draining experience of firing a worker. Not only is such a situation emotionally taxing, it leaves you short-handed and faced with the burden of finding a replacement. Thus, leaders oftentimes avoid taking action in hopes that the problem employee will somehow turn things around.

Prolonging the agony, however, can have major repercussions on everything from productivity to morale at your small business. So when is it time to face the music and do what needs to be done? Here’s how to know for sure when you must let someone go.

The work isn’t getting done: The growth of a small business depends on each team member pulling his or her weight. An individual repeatedly failing to meet expectations cannot be allowed to continue. Take notice, too, of overall staff productivity. Chances are high it also is suffering; others have difficulty performing their best when a co-worker’s input is late or requires multiple revisions. Similarly, staff members may not have as much motivation to do well when they witness poor performers still receiving a paycheck.

The employee doesn’t respond to your efforts: Sometimes a worker simply needs extra guidance to get on track. Before dismissing someone, most small business leaders will try measures such as training, feedback, mentorship, and formal performance improvement plans. But if an employee snubs suggestions, refuses to fill in learning gaps, or offers more excuses than effort, you’re left with little choice but to cut ties.

Others are complaining: Take note immediately when customers or vendors express dissatisfaction with an employee’s attitude or performance. Inaction will leave them questioning your leadership skills. Seriously consider the risk of the person at fault jeopardizing your reputation and your livelihood.

Morale has dropped: Members of your staff likely have plenty of thoughts on a lackluster colleague. Some may choose to share information with you; others may feel uncomfortable or worry they’ll be seen as a tattle-tale. Do some observing or even a survey to judge what might be going on. Better to discover now that people are tired of picking up slack or dealing with office drama than when they hand in their own resignations.

You’re wasting time: Lastly, remember that every minute is a precious commodity for a small business owner juggling multiple obligations. Evaluate how much time you (and others on staff) spend trying to get this person up to par and dealing with fallout from his or her behavior. Might this time be better spent doing other tasks to help the company grow? An honest answer should confirm what you need to do next.


 

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.

The HR Tech Trends Everyone is Talking About

October 20th, 2016 Comments off
The HR Tech Trends Everyone is Talking About

We asked some of the leading HR technology influencers and experts who attended the 2016 HR Technology Conference and Expo to share what they see as the biggest topics and trends influencing the constantly evolving HR technology space right now.

Meet Our Experts

Tim Sackett is the president of HRU Technical Resources, a leading IT and engineering staffing firm, with more than 20 years of combined executive HR and talent acquisition experience. He’s also a speaker and writes for Fistful of Talent and The Tim Sackett Project. Jason Lauritsen, a former HR exec, is an employee engagement and workplace culture expert who also led the research team for Quantum Workplace’s Best Places to Work program. Neil Morrison is the director of strategy, culture and innovation at Penguin Random House U.K.

Here’s what you need to know right now, according to these industry leaders:

What are some of the biggest HR technology topics/trends you are seeing and hearing about right now?
Jason Lauritsen

Jason Lauritsen

JL: There is a lot of investment going into technology tools that claim to drive employee engagement. This suggests that organizations are searching for solutions to employee engagement, and they are hoping that the right technology mix will help.

NM: The major hot topic still seems to be data and analytics in any shape or form — how do we best obtain, analyze and use data to inform decision making and interventions? Beyond that, talent acquisition is still a big topic of conversation and a serious focus for the industry, combining smart attraction and selection with good candidate experience.

What are some of the most imminent hurdles those in the HR and talent acquisition space are faced with today? What keeps them up at night?

NM: Everyone I talk to is facing some sort of challenge from the increased digitalization of the workplace — whether it’s through consumer behavior, skills development or talent acquisition. We also have a specific challenge here in the U.K., based on our recent referendum vote which is causing a lot of thought, but without many answers.

Where do you see the industry going in the next six months or year?

NM: I think there has to be more consolidation in the HR technology space. At the moment, the number of providers sometimes feels greater than the number of procurers, which can’t be a sustainable model.

There was a lot of talk in the HR Tech sessions about employee experience. Tell us what that means to you and why it’s important. Also, do you think employers are paying sufficient attention to the candidate experience?

TS: Employee experience is about creating a culture and environment where every employee feels like they are valued and the organization is working to try and develop those things each employee is best at.

It’s not about ping pong tables and free snacks — it’s about providing a work experience where the employee feels what they do adds value to the organization and that value is recognized.

JL: Employee experience is about designing a work experience that feels good to employees while setting them up to succeed. Smart companies have been designing customer experience for years, and this thinking is finally making its way to employees and candidates. Employee experience design is where employee engagement meets performance.

Neil Morrison

Neil Morrison

NM: Candidate experience is an area that I believe is hugely overlooked in the talent acquisition space. I believe this is going to be one of the biggest differentiators of brands in the years to come. We have to start taking a more consumer-based approach and treat people less like fish in a barrel.

What tips do you have to help your peers strike the right balance between leveraging the right technology while also maintaining that human connection?

TS: Here’s my rule of thumb: Any time you’re using technology to do some part of your process and it would be equally as fast to stand up and walk over to another individual or pick up the phone to complete that part of the process, technology is working against you from the human connection side of the business. This happens constantly in organizations, and many times the technology takes longer than just having a simple conversation. Striking a balance between technology and human connection is all about allowing the technology to complete mass touches, while you complete individual touches. Don’t allow your tech to be you — allow it to be 100 and 1,000 of you, but not you individually.

JL: The most important — and often overlooked — step in identifying HR technology is to define exactly what you are trying to accomplish. If you are selecting a technology to increase employee engagement or candidate experience, what exactly does that mean? And how will you know that you’ve been successful?

NM: Ask yourself: ‘Does this make life better for employees? Does it make life simpler for managers? Does it add commercial value to the business?’ If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to at least two of these questions, you’re probably only making life easier for HR, which isn’t the goal.

Robots are not going to take over the world, right? Phew! But in all seriousness, how do you see the role of the talent acquisition and/or HR professional shifting and evolving with the introduction of overwhelming amounts of data and new technologies?
Tim Sackett

Tim Sackett

TS: HR and talent acquisition leaders are confused by artificial intelligence or A.I. They expect some Will Smith iRobots to show up and start doing their jobs and bake amazing pies. The reality of A.I. in a HR and talent acquisition sense is that it is much less sexy. Most A.I. that we’ll use in HR and talent acquisition is centered around ‘bots’ that will take over mass communication-type Q&A. Things like someone applying and having simple questions about a job description, interview directions and times, what they should expect from your process, etc. A.I. can now handle all of these types of communications pretty effectively and it helps to raise your candidate experience.

JL: As we face the reality that humans are really bad at assessing other humans — for performance, abilities or fit — due to inherent biases, there will be a rise of technology to do this more effectively for us. This will create more time to focus on things like experience design and engagement where we can drive performance and retention.

NM: We need to be combining the insight that we get from good data and analytics with the intuition that we get from good hiring managers. We need to listen to both and make informed decisions. For too long we’ve relied just on intuition and, whilst we don’t want to replace it, we do need to complement it.

This Most Absurd Excuses Workers Used to Call in Sick This Year

October 20th, 2016 Comments off
callinginsick

No one should be forced to go into work when they are sick — not only is it bad for the employee’s health and productivity, it’s also bad for the health of everyone around that person. But some employees are going to great lengths to get a free, personal day off work.

Slightly more than a third of workers (35 percent) said they have called in to work sick when they were feeling just fine in the past year. When asked why they called in sick when they were feeling well, 28 percent said they just didn’t feel like going in to work and 27 percent took the day off to attend a doctor’s appointment. Another 24 percent said they needed to just relax and 18 percent needed to catch up on sleep. Meanwhile, 11 percent took the day off to run personal errands.

Checking on the Check Up

Though the majority of employers (67 percent) give their employees the benefit of the doubt, 33 percent say they have checked to see if an employee was telling the truth in one way or another. Among employers who have checked up on an employee who called in sick, asking to see a doctor’s note was the most popular way to find out if the absence was legit (68 percent), followed by calling the employee (43 percent). As many as 18 percent of employers went the extra mile and drove past the employee’s house.

More than 1 in 5 employers (22 percent) say they have fired an employee for calling in sick with a fake excuse, on par with last year.

The Craziest Excuses for Calling in Sick

When asked to share the most dubious excuses employees have given for calling in sick, employers reported hearing the following real-life examples:


How to Stop Employees From Fibbing

Employers should take a look at what’s keeping employees off the job and then decide what they can do to help. A company’s policy on taking time off should reflect the needs of the staff.

The CareerBuilder study found that 47 percent of employers do not have a flexible PTO program where sick days, vacation days and personal days are all lumped in together. Inflexible scheduling may put an employee in the position of having to fake a cold and take an entire day off when he or she only needed a few hours to take an elderly parent to a doctor’s appointment.

Of course, as noted in the crazy excuses above, employees don’t always have a good excuse for lying – most often they simply don’t feel like coming in –  but personal needs and stress account for a large number of unscheduled absences, so being flexible in allowing workers to meet demands on the home front is important. Workers in turn are more appreciative of the company and more willing to go the extra mile.

What’s the most absurd excuse you’ve ever heard when an employee has called in sick? Tweet us at @CareerBuilder

How to Earn Trust with Your Employees

October 19th, 2016 Comments off
Building trust as a concept

When workers trust their leaders, good things happen. They feel empowered to give valuable, honest feedback that can help a small business grow. Creativity and willingness to try new things flourish because employees know management has their back. Individual accountability rises as team members follow the lead from above to take responsibility for actions.

Yet less than half of full-time workers trust their boss, according to a 2016 EY study.

Furthermore, respondents with a low level of trust in their company note serious potential consequences arising from that lack, such as influencing them to look for another job (42 percent), working only the minimum number of hours required (30 percent), and being less engaged/productive (28 percent).

So how can you earn the trust of your small business employees? These strategies can make an important difference:

Keep your word. People need to know that they can consistently believe what you say, so avoid making false claims or promises you can’t fulfill. If you need to revise statements based on unforeseen circumstances or new information, explain the change in detail.

Do the “hard stuff.” No small business leader relishes delivering bad news or giving negative feedback. But regular, honest communication demonstrates that you are a straight-shooter who doesn’t keep secrets or blindside employees. Likewise, admit when you make a mistake rather than cover it up or blame others. A sincere apology and actions to rectify demonstrate character.

Share credit. Acknowledging the contributions of others shows your team that you aren’t out to steal the spotlight and that you genuinely value their efforts.

Be consistent. Favoritism leads to resentment, especially in a close-knit environment. Treat everyone equally and hold all employees to the same standards and rules. Also, avoid waffling when it comes to priorities, objectives, and procedures. When a message changes too often, people don’t know if they should believe it.

Listen to feedback. Soliciting input shows you respect the opinion of others, and following through builds faith that you’re committed to real progress. Employees need to feel secure that they can share information without being ignored or penalized.

Demonstrate your trust. Micromanaging often backfires because employees sense that you lack confidence in their abilities. Alternately, allowing someone the freedom to try out an idea or work from home when a child is sick sends the message that you view staff as professionals capable of monitoring their own behavior. Trust breeds trust, so don’t be afraid to make the first gesture.

Set workers up for success. Finally, remember that small business employees can feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. By keeping workloads manageable, giving workers the proper tools, and checking in to see how things are going, your team learns to trust that you have their best interests at heart. You’ll go even further in generating trust by pitching in and getting your own hands dirty when things are tough. Saying that you’re all in this together is one thing, but living it is quite another.


 

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.

Clearing the Air About ATS Implementation

October 19th, 2016 Comments off
blog_16_qabrettheader_blog

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

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

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

Could you explain more about the AADAM approach?

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

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

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

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

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

What differentiates CareerBuilder’s implementation process from other vendors?

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

9 GIFs That Perfectly Sum Up What Happens When a Candidate Rejects Your Offer

October 18th, 2016 Comments off
9 GIFs That Perfectly Sum Up What Happens When a Candidate Rejects Your Offer

If there’s anything that the cast-offs contestants on The Bachelor franchise have proven time and again, it’s that rejection can not only blindside you…but also straight-up feel like a punch in the face.

And recruiters and employers like you are no different when rejected. When your strongest candidate rejects your offer, you experience a flood of emotions, and then you go through the following phases…

First, you test them to see if they’re truly serious about saying “no”…

Then you go into a brief state of denial…

Once you realize you have to face reality, you experience a healthy amount of anger…

And a dose of grief that you weren’t expecting, so you throw yourself a little pity party…

But you try to play it cool…

You may even inadvertently take out your frustration on some innocent co-workers…

You tell the candidate to keep in touch, but you know that won’t happen…

Nevertheless, you mourn the end of an era and realize you have to stay strong and move on…

And just like that, you are ready to start searching again…

How do you react? Tweet your response GIFs and tag @CBforEmployers.

The Best Questions for Your Employee Engagement Survey

October 17th, 2016 Comments off
Computer key showing the word Feedback. Message on keyboard key.

As a small business owner with many things going on at any given time, it can be easy to miss signs of dissatisfaction among your employees. But the last thing you need is low morale and high turnover, so it pays to get a pulse on your team. Thoughtful, regular employee engagement surveys can help you do just that.

Instead of asking any old questions, however, select ones that will provide insight on how to make your small business a better place to work. Your aim should be to gather usable information, not a pat on the back. What should you include? Consider questions that get to the heart of these small business concerns, such as:

Stress: A smaller staff means employees often must juggle multiple tasks and venture into areas outside of their comfort zones. Wearing many hats can be exciting, but it can also potentially be exhausting. Likewise, long hours and pressure to do more with less can take a toll on morale. To gauge how individuals are handling such demands, ask questions such as:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your work-life balance?
  • What word(s) would you use to describe your feelings or mood at the end of most workdays?
  • When something unexpected or confusing comes up in your work, do you usually know where to turn for help?
  • Which of the following (if any) would you consider helpful for performing your job: time-management training, more consistent feedback, clarification of priorities, flexible work schedule?
  • The majority of the time, do you feel you have enough information to make good decisions about your work?
  • What is the number one source of stress for you at the office, and what might lessen it?

 

Opportunity for growth: Employees who cannot envision career advancement at your small business become likely candidates to leave. Judge how much optimism workers have for their future at your company with questions such as:

  • Where do you see yourself in one year?
  • What types of training or development interest you most?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rank the long-term career opportunities at this company?
  • How challenged do you feel in your current role?

 

Knowledge of your brand: Studies have shown that employees become more engaged when they understand how what they do fits into the overall purpose of the company. Similarly, workers with a clear understanding of your brand can be your small business’s best ambassadors in terms of generating excitement among both potential customers and prospective hires. Ensure team members do indeed have a firm grasp of operations through questions like:

  • Do you feel you have a solid picture of the company’s future direction?
  • If someone asked you about our brand, how much confidence do you have that your response would be accurate?
  • How important do you feel your work is to the success of the company?
  • Has your role in meeting company objectives been effectively explained?

 

Company culture: When you work in close quarters and depend heavily on co-workers, maintaining good relationships is a necessity. Bad morale can spread quickly throughout the whole place and take a toll on the company culture. Feedback generated from these questions provides insight on feelings about the workplace and how well everyone gets along:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how prominent is office politics in this workplace?
  • What two words would you use to describe our workplace’s vibe?
  • How well does leadership respond to internal issues?
  • How comfortable are you speaking up about problems?
  • Would you recommend working here to a friend? Why or why not?

 

Whichever questions you ultimately select, be prepared to act on what you learn. Asking people how they feel about something and then failing to address problems can create hard feelings — and good luck getting them to take future surveys seriously.


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.

 

68% of Employers to Increase Wages for Full-Time Workers in Q4

October 17th, 2016 Comments off
increasing salaries

While the economy has bounced back from the Great Recession, wage growth has continued to remain stagnant. Yet, CareerBuilder’s latest hiring forecast shows that paychecks may soon get a much-needed boost.

According to the survey, 68 percent of employers plan to increase salaries for full-time, permanent workers in Q4, with 28 percent anticipating an average pay increase of 5 percent or more.

Employers also plan to offer bigger paychecks to seasonal workers. Forty-seven percent expect to increase pay for seasonal workers during the fourth quarter. Of those hiring seasonal employees, 75 percent will pay $10 or more per hour, up from 72 percent last year, and nearly 3 in 10 (28 percent) expect to pay $16 or more per hour, up from 19 percent last year.

What Does This Mean for You?

Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of “The Talent Equation,” says that various factors are influencing rising wages. “… campaigns for a higher minimum wage, paired with a tighter labor market for lower-skill and semi-skill jobs, is giving job seekers more of an edge when it comes to compensation. Wage growth, while still a serious concern, will likely see a lift in the coming months.”

As the competition for candidates intensifies, especially for hard-to-fill jobs, you may need to re-evaluate your compensation strategy if you want to entice new hires to join your company and keep employees from leaving for a higher-paying job. Using analytics to compare your compensation rates with your competitors’ salaries can help you make the case for raising wages.

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

How to Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors

October 14th, 2016 Comments off
Top view of successful team of professionals high fiving and looking at camera smiling. Men and women making a pile of hands in office.

Looking for an effective way to generate interest in your small business that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Utilize one of the greatest assets already at your disposal – your employees. Enthusiastic workers make excellent salespeople, not only of your products and services but also of your workplace. Help them become “brand ambassadors” capable of gaining attention from potential customers and prospective employees with these tips:

Get them excited about your vision.

As a small business leader, you undoubtedly have high hopes about how your company will grow and develop. Letting your workers in on these dreams will rev up their own entrepreneurial spirit. Every employee should clearly understand how his or her work fits into the bigger picture. Such knowledge encourages responsibility and pride. Company success will feel like everyone’s victory, so individuals will be motivated to do what they can to stimulate progress.

Show that they are valued.

Employees who feel appreciated tend to have a positive view of their company and are more apt to convey their happiness to others. While you may not have the funds to offer as many rewards or bonuses as you’d like, don’t discount the power of regularly and genuinely saying “thank you.” Another way to demonstrate that you value your workers is to listen to them. Seek input on ways to improve productivity, company culture, public relations, and other important matters. Give their feedback serious consideration, and see what can be implemented.

Give them outlets.

If you’d like employees to sing your brand’s praises, provide opportunities to do so. Send them to industry conferences, job fairs, trade shows, and other events where they can talk about your awesome company and why they like working there. Likewise, encourage staff members to be active on social media. 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. Pictures an employee posts from the day he or she spent with co-workers reading to kids at a local school aren’t just entertaining – they serve as examples of your small business’s activities and values.

Provide swag.

Finally, consider giving your team members promotional tools to help with their role as brand ambassadors. An employee standing in line at the grocery store wearing your company t-shirt may spark interest from a fellow shopper about the nature of your small business. Business cards casually passed out when an enthusiastic worker makes the rounds at a college reunion weekend may draw interest in employment opportunities. And don’t forget items such as product samples and pens with the company logo for staff to bestow on friends and family. People love free things, and your small business will stay top of mind.


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.

How to Keep the Peace with Political Talk at the Office

October 12th, 2016 Comments off
Voter Registration Application for presidential election 2016

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, you’re well aware that election season is upon us. In fact, chances are you’ve participated in a few discussions on this topic – perhaps even in the workplace. While a little discourse and debate can be healthy for workers, when it comes to politics, things can go from healthy to heated in a matter of seconds. According to new study from CareerBuilder, 3 in 10 employers have argued with a co-worker over a particular political candidate this election season, and 1 in 5 workers have done the same. Such conflict can be particularly hard at a small business, where it’s harder to avoid those co-workers who insist on talking politics.

While you may be tempted to ban political talk altogether at the office, such actions could make employees uneasy. Fifty percent of employees in the survey said they feel their office has become too politically correct, and a third (33 percent) say they are afraid to voice certain opinions because they feel they may not be considered politically correct. Nearly the same number of workers (34 percent) say this level of political correctness has hindered business, because it forces people to “tip-toe” around issues instead of addressing them head on and making people afraid to speak their minds.

5 Ways to Keep the Peace with Political Talk

So what is a small business manager to do? Remind your employees that while they are entitled to their opinions, they should respect the opinions of others. Follow these guidelines – and encourage your employees to do the same – to promote a healthy and civil political discourse at the office.

  1. Promote a culture of respect. Remind your employees to keep conversations respectful and stay open-minded. Make it clear that everyone’s opinions and ideas are welcomed and accepted, no matter how different they may be from another person’s.
  2. Find things to agree on. Encourage employees to discussing facts and values they can agree upon, which will help ensure the conversation remains respectful.
  3. Deal only with the facts. Remind your employees to stick to the facts when discussing the candidates. Exaggerating and spinning facts are common ways to start an argument.
  4. Step in. While you may not want to hinder your employees from stating their opinions, if you find that political talk has gotten so negative that it is hurting productivity and/or overall morale, you are well within your rights to step in and change the topic to something more neutral or put an end to the discussion altogether.
  5. Set an example. Adhere to these guidelines yourself, and your employees likely will follow suit.

 

How do you promote peaceful political discourse at your workplace? 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.

How CareerBuilder’s Tech Team Drives Innovation

October 11th, 2016 Comments off
How CareerBuilder's Tech Team Drives Innovation

When you think of a recruitment-focused conference or customer event, images of employees talking one-on-one with customers and listening intently to their feedback — then hunkering down in a hotel room that night until 4 a.m., busily strategizing and coding and making immediate improvements to a product based on what they’ve heard, Hackathon-style — probably don’t immediately come to mind. But that’s exactly what members of the tech and product teams at CareerBuilder do each time they attend a customer event. After all, there’s no better way to instantly make changes and add the features our customers need most than by talking directly to the people using them each day.

I recently talked to Adam Parker, manager of consumer web applications at CareerBuilder, about how CareerBuilder’s technology and product teams quickly adapt to client feedback to make changes in our products – or create new products altogether.

 1How do the tech and product teams tap into what clients are asking for?
Trying to guess what a client is asking for is easy; actually knowing what they want is much harder. We have learned from experience that to truly know what a client needs you have to interact with them. You have to work alongside them and feel their pain. We are constantly gathering feedback from clients. Our sales and account management teams are a powerful first line in discovering those pain points. We have what we call “Cagility” (a term CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson coined, fusing the values of candor and agility) calls and meetings with clients where we partner with them to find unique solutions. We use the feedback we get from every part of the business to make our products better. Our product and technology is structured in such a way that everyone is empowered to advocate for the best interests of our clients.

2. How was CareerBuilder’s Talent Gather product a result of quickly changing the business to meet clients’ needs?
Talent Gather is actually a product that was born from a client’s need. The entire premise of digital candidate capture started with clients wanting to get more value out of college recruiting events. During the course of a single 24-hour Hackathon, we were able to create a working prototype of what would soon evolve into Talent Gather. Since then we have continued to pursue a quick development cycle where small improvements combined with client feedback result in real gains in product value.

3. How do you decide when to make changes to a product based on outside feedback — and when not to?
Feedback is an essential part of product development. As a product gains more and more stakeholders, it becomes challenging to know how to prioritize that feedback. When we prioritize our work, we try to consider the following: 1) What will benefit the largest number of users, 2) What makes our product more reliable or easier to use? and 3) What additional technologies or practices can we incorporate to create value in our product? Features created in a vacuum cannot develop to their full potential. Only with the feedback of our users can we be assured the work we have done is truly valid.

4. You’ve been with CareerBuilder for a long time. What’s the biggest/most drastic change you have seen in the company or in the tech team since you started?
The technology industry has transformed into such an intelligence-driven field over the last 10 years. Watching CareerBuilder incorporate those changes has been amazing. Our industry, like many, used to rely on sheer volume and power to deliver value to our users. Today we have such an intelligent team using the most cutting-edge techniques and tools to help enrich every part of our business. Being able to instantly reveal insights to the customers using our products helps make them both more confident and more efficient. We constantly develop ways of working that make us wonder how we ever did things the old way. We’re just scratching the surface of what is possible.

5. What makes you want to get up and go to work every day?
Being able to solve problems and create value is the most rewarding part of my work. The power that technology has had on simplifying some of the hardest parts of our lives is amazing, and at CareerBuilder we have so many opportunities to do the same thing. From seeing a stack of resumes turn into instant value at a career fair, to helping employers discover new markets for amazing candidates, to showing job seekers the value of their resumes — every day brings new and rewarding challenges and opportunities.

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

62% of Employers Expect to Transition Holiday Hires to Full-Time Employees

October 10th, 2016 Comments off
candidate behavior

Adding seasonal headcount is something of a holiday tradition for many employers, and this year that tradition continues. According to CareerBuilder’s Q4 U.S. Job Forecast, 33 percent of employers plan to hire seasonal workers this year, right on par with last year.

While overall seasonal hiring rates may be holding steady, the study does indicate a major shift in how employers view seasonal workers. According to the study, of employers who are bringing on additional seasonal workers, 62 percent say they expect to hire some of their seasonal staff for full-time positions after the holidays.

What does this mean for you?

Transitioning temporary workers to full-time roles is not a trend exclusive to holiday hiring. According to a separate CareerBuilder study, of employers who planned on hiring temporary workers this year, 58 percent expected to transition some to full-time status.

This cautious approach to expanding headcount makes sense for many employers – particularly those facing the skills gap. By first hiring a worker in a temporary position, you can not only ensure they are a good fit with the team and the company culture, but you can also provide them with the on-the-job training necessary to fill a potentially higher-skill position.

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

Small Business Hiring Forecast Shows Bigger Paychecks in Store for Q4

October 10th, 2016 Comments off
AnnualJobForecast

As the holiday season approaches, small business employees may have extra reasons to be jolly, as the majority (58 percent) of small business employers plan to increase salaries for full-time, permanent employees in Q4, according to CareerBuilder’s most recent hiring forecast. Nearly 1 in 4 employers (23 percent) anticipate an average pay increase of 5 percent or more.

Small Business Hiring Plans for Q4

‘Tis the season for seasonal hiring: 1 in 4 small business employers plan to hire seasonal employees in Q4 2016. While many plan to hire for additional help during the busier holiday season, others need seasonal employees to fill in for workers who are out of the office for the holidays, assist with year-end wrap ups, or help the company ramp up for 2017. Industries expected to hire seasonal employees most are customer service, retail sales and administrative/clerical support.

Twenty-seven percent of small business employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in Q4. Seven percent expect to reduce staff, while the majority (59 percent) anticipate no change and 6 percent are unsure.

Nearly 3 in 10 small business employers (29 percent) expect to temporary or contract workers in Q4. Many of these employers are viewing temporary and contract hiring as a means to test-drive candidates for more permanent roles. Twenty-three percent expect to transition some contract or temporary workers into full-time positions.

Modest Job Gains in September, According to Latest BLS Report

October 7th, 2016 Comments off
BLS april 2016

While U.S. job creation fell short of economists’ expectations this month, the labor market continues to show healthy growth. According to the latest BLS employment situation report, released today, the U.S. created 156,000 jobs in September, which was lower than the 176,000 gain predicted, but well in the margin of healthy job growth.

The unemployment rate ticked up slightly from 4.9 percent to 5 percent in September, but so did the labor force participation rate – from 62.8 percent to 62.9 percent. This increase is an indication that people are gaining confidence in the labor market and returning to look for jobs.

The industries that saw the biggest gains were professional and business services and health care.

While this marks the second consecutive month of modest job gains, it’s important to note that the overall economy has created a healthy 2.44 million new jobs in the last 12 months, and September was the 72nd consecutive month of positive job growth — the longest on record.

And there’s more good news, according to CNN Money: “America also reached a post-recession milestone: Counting September’s gains, the United States has added 15 million jobs since employment hit its low in February 2010.”

3 Things You Should Know From the September 2016 Jobs Report

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

 

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

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

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

 

According to The New York Times:

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

According to Business Insider:

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

According to MSNBC:

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

 

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

 

According to CNS News:

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

According to the Wall Street Journal:

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

 

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

 

According to CNN Money:

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

According to the Wall Street Journal:

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

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


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

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

Make Social Recruiting a Snap With Our New, Free Tool

October 6th, 2016 Comments off
Make social recruiting a snap with our new email program

 

It’s clear job candidates want more of a personal connection with potential employers. In fact, before they decide whether or not to apply to a job, 72 percent of job seekers say they want to talk to a recruiter or hiring manager, according to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

Luckily for you, it’s possible to be an amazing, busy recruiting professional and make personal connections with candidates – with our new social recruiting program, Candidate Connection Builder.

What is it?

Hand-picked, relevant content that’s interesting and informative for job seekers, packaged into weekly emails and delivered to your inbox. You can choose which content you want to share with the job seekers in your social networks – and post it instantly with one click.

  • Post more often on social media to connect with job seekers (without all the effort).
  • Grow your reputation to job seekers as a recruiting expert who’s in the know.
  • Don’t spend a dime (how often can you say that about a super-convenient recruiting tool?).

 

The alternative, my friends, is bleak: If job seekers can’t find the info they need about a potential employer, 37 percent of all candidates will just move on to the next company or job listing. Your company career site and social presence must be strong.

 

Sign up now and start building closer connections to potential candidates in your social networks.

Staying Strong: Findings from CareerBuilder’s Q4 Forecast

October 6th, 2016 Comments off
Staying Strong: Findings from CareerBuilder’s Q4 Forecast

Each quarter, CareerBuilder surveys employers from across the country to determine hiring trends for the next three months. As we approach the holiday season and a new year, the latest forecast also includes a heavy focus on seasonal, or temporary, hiring.

The good news is: All signs point to continued strength in the hiring market. The study found that 34 percent of employers plan to make permanent, full-time hires over the next quarter; and 33 percent plan to add more seasonal/temporary workers in the same time frame.

“Overall, permanent and seasonal hiring in the fourth quarter will be on par with last year, with one-third of employers planning to add staff in either category,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “However, campaigns for a higher minimum wage, paired with a tighter labor market for lower-skill and semi-skill jobs, is giving job seekers more of an edge when it comes to compensation. Wage growth, while still a serious concern, will likely see a lift in the coming months.”

Let’s take a look at some other highlights.

Wages on the incline

Not only are nearly half of employers (47 percent) planning on increasing wages, but the wages themselves are also climbing. Of those hiring seasonal workers in Q4, 75 percent will pay $10 per hour or more (up from 72 percent last year), and 28 percent expect to pay $16 or more per hour, up a whopping 9 percentage points from last year.

Retail is slowing, but still growing

Possibly the largest employer of seasonal workers in Q4 is the retail industry. However, as the talent market continues to be competitive and the push for higher wages spreads, retail is also experiencing a greater change than other industries.

Forty-nine percent of retailers plan to grow their seasonal workforce, a number that is down from 53 percent in Q4 last year. However, workers that do find these jobs can also expect higher wages than last year. More than half of employers (53 percent) will offer new seasonal hires wages of $10 per hour or more – up from only 43 percent last year.

West is best

If you’re looking for warmer weather and a seasonal or full-time job in Q4, the Western region of the U.S. is on the right track. About 2 in 5 employers in the West report that they plan on hiring both permanent and temporary workers (39 percent and 40 percent, respectively) over the next three months.

On the other hand, even the region with the lowest numbers – the Midwest – project growth in both categories. Nearly 3 in 10 organizations plan to hire workers for jobs that are either full-time (29 percent) or seasonal (27 percent).

Click here to download the full report.

Small Businesses Add 34,000 Jobs in September, ADP Says

October 5th, 2016 Comments off
ADP april 2016

Small businesses created 34,000 private sector jobs in September, according the ADP’s most recent Small Business Employment Report. The ADP reports job growth specific to businesses with 49 or fewer employees, due to the important contribution small businesses make to economic growth.

Looking at company size, both very small businesses (those with 1-19 employees) and other small businesses (those with 20-49 employees) added 17,000 jobs.

Looking at separate sectors, very small businesses in the goods-producing sector lost 2,000 jobs, while other small businesses held steady. In contrast, very small businesses in the service-providing sector added 19,000 jobs, other small businesses added 17,000 jobs.

Looking at overall national job growth, the ADP reports the U.S. added 154,000 private jobs in August. Medium-sized businesses added 56,000 jobs, and large businesses added 64,000.

While the U.S. added fewer than expected jobs – economists predicted an addition of 169,000 jobs – the slowed job growth may be related to the low unemployment number. Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi says job growth “should be expected to slow as the U.S. nears full employment,” according to Marketwatch.

It will be interesting to see what the Labor Department’s release on Friday will show. In the meantime, remember that even if adding headcount is not on your mind right now, retaining high performers should always be. Make an effort to understand what compels employees to stay (or leave) and find new ways to ramp up employee engagement.

What Should You Automate in Your Recruitment Process?

October 5th, 2016 Comments off
What should you automate in your recruitment process?

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you could just completely start over with your recruitment technology? No barriers or roadblocks. No legacy HRIS or ATS. Clean slate.

Of course, it would be easy to just tell you to go out and buy the newest, most expensive tech on the market. That would also be a bit of a pointless exercise, because 99 percent of us would never be able to do that. But, what if you got the chance to build a new recruiting tech stack from scratch?

What would you choose?

Below, I share what I would do if I could start over — which things within the recruitment process I would automate, and which would get a more hands-on approach.

Core Recruitment Technology

  • Applicant tracking system – Okay, this one is easy. It’s like your HRIS, or system of record, but for talent acquisition. The problem is that most ATSs will tell you they can do it all. I have never found one that can do it all (effectively). So, really dig into those claims.
  • Analytics – Everyone will tell you they have analytics, but when you finally demo a full analytics-talent acquisition technology and it completely blows you out of the water, you realize what powerful analytics really mean. The larger the organization, the more important and more of a must-have this becomes.
  • Digital phone technology – Oh, boy — here we go. Almost no one on the corporate side of talent acquisition has this, and it’s a huge miss. Most recruiting is still done by phone — and this won’t change. Unless you have candidates accepting a job without ever speaking to someone at your company, you need this. A digital phone system tracks usage by recruiter and gives you metrics that can help you see who is actually making calls and who’s not. Be forewarned, the lack of time your recruiters are spending on the phone may give you a stroke!
  • CRM – This is ongoing candidate communication during the pre-apply, apply and post-apply hiring process. Truly, 99.9 percent of ATSs don’t have anything close to CRM, but will tell you they do. You need a strong CRM technology to build talent networks, pipelines of talent, and catch so much talent you’re missing and have no idea you’re missing.
  • Recruitment training – All the best talent acquisition technology is the world is great, but if your recruiters suck, great tech only makes them suck faster! I suggest you find a great online technology that continually trains and enables you to track this training and use.

 

Pre-Apply

  • Job distribution – Recruiting can be broken down into two main buckets: inbound and outbound. Most corporate organizations do about 90 percent inbound (post and pray baby!). So, if that’s your main strategy (and it usually is), you better have the best job distribution engine on the planet.
  • Sourcing technology – This space is packed right and growing super fast. More money is being dropped into sourcing technology than almost any other segment, which makes it very confusing for talent acquisition buyers. Ultimately, before you buy, you need to talk to people you trust who are using the technology. I had one vendor drop the name of a competitor of mine. The vendor said the company “loved” using the vendor’s technology, but that because the company was a competitor they wouldn’t talk to me. BUT — I “need” this tech! So, I called the competitor’s CEO directly. Guess what? The CEO thought the tech was worthless.
  • Employee referral automation – Is employee referrals your largest source of hires? For most organizations, this is the case. Yet, when I ask how much money they’ve invested into technology to support their most important source, it’s almost always $0. Doesn’t that sound silly!
  • Job advertising – If you haven’t looked into programmatic job advertising, you need to: It’s what all companies will be doing in the future. Basically, it entails using technology to buy and place your ads in real time in a very hyper-specific way. Higher quality applicants, at a lower cost.

 

Apply

  • Video Interview Technology – I love this technology and how it’s evolving. What we know is that our hiring managers love to see candidates before they live-interview them. Video interview technology helps your organization be more effective with its time and resources.
  • Assessment technology – No more gut decisions! Assessment tech has also evolved way past the personality assessments of yesteryear. Predictive assessments can now accurately tell you who you should be hiring, and they have proven to be more effective than live interviewing. If you want to hire better, you need to add assessment technology to your stack.
  • Automated reference checking technology – This is a giant pet peeve of mine. If you manually do reference checks from references given to you by a candidate, you should be fired — it’s a giant waste of time. What do you think the candidate’s references are going to tell you? They gave you the references! They will tell you the candidate walks on water. There — I just saved you all that time. Seriously, stop this. Get an automated reference checking tool that’s proven to actually knock out some candidates based on how they’ll fit into the role and your organization.
  • Automated background checking – I think most organizations have this now, but if you don’t, you should. This is a way to verify the credentials of a candidate and the information that’s presented in a resume.

 

Post-Apply

  • Interview/apply feedback – Don’t just think “exit interviews.” Think about all those candidates in your own database who you didn’t hire, but who are still awesome, talented folks you might want to hire in the future. How is your organization staying connected with them? For most, this will be with your CRM technology. Think about that entry-level engineer who loved you and applied three years ago. Back then, you just didn’t have an entry-level opening. Fast-forward to today, and that person now has three years of experience with your competition. How are you letting them know you still want them?

 

These are the big buckets of talent acquisition technology. Depending on your specific industry, location, and so on, you might have other buckets that you need or don’t need. Also, don’t get sold on the idea that you must have all of these technologies talking to each other, and thus must buy one big giant talent acquisition suite.

New technologies, built on a SaaS platform, will be able to “talk” to each other. The key is first checking to see if those integrations have already happened and talking to those using the tech now to know how they’re working. Suites will be great for some organizations, but they usually fall down on certain parts, so you need to know what’s super important for your organization before buying.

We’ve partnered with industry expert Tim Sackett to create a comprehensive checklist to help you take stock of where you’re at now — and take that first step toward determining where your process is too manual, too technology-focused, or just right. Get the checklist.

Are Happier Employees More Productive?

October 4th, 2016 Comments off
Are happier employees more productive?

Google is known for offering employees perks that will make them happier, such as great food and play rooms. This strategy is based on the belief that happier people are more productive. Is it worth investing in your employees’ happiness? And, as a recruiter, should you prefer happier candidates?

A recent study by Oswald, Proto and Sgroi published in the leading journal in labor economics in 2015 offers some answers based on a series of clever experiments:
1. Showing employees a comedy clip makes them 13 percent more productive.
In this experiment, the researchers showed employees a comedy clip. Not everyone found it funny, but on average there was a 13 percent increase in productivity. The increase in productivity was higher among those people whose mood was boosted the most by the clip.

2. Free food and drinks also boost productivity by 15 percent.
Researchers gave workers chocolate bars, fruit, and water, and 10 minutes to enjoy them prior to the work session. Getting food and drink made people 15 percent more productive compared to those who did not receive this benefit. This result confirms that Google’s strategy of offering good food may well be an effective way to increase productivity.
3. People who are unhappy in their personal lives are less productive at work.
Are unhappy people less productive? In this experiment, researchers compared the work performance of students from the same university. Students who had recently had a death or illness in the family reported lower levels of happiness and were 10 percent less productive than students who did not experience such sad events.

Should you therefore invest in free food and drinks for employees, or perhaps allow more internet browsing to lift people’s moods? This is probably going to make them more productive if they get working right after the benefit is given. What is unclear is whether the cost to the employer is worth the productivity boost. If you find low cost ways of boosting the mood of your employees, go for it: Everyone will benefit, employees and business alike.

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

How to Develop Your Small Business Employees Into Leaders

October 3rd, 2016 Comments off
executive drawing on the wipeboard the learning and the lead are two pieces of the puzzle. All screen content is designed by us and not copyrighted by others and created with digitizing tablet and image editor

As a small business owner, your attention undoubtedly will be pulled in numerous directions as your company continues to grow; therefore, having people on staff who can step up to assume greater responsibility can be a lifesaver. Now is the time to start developing a leadership mindset among your small business team members.

By encouraging and training your employees to think leaders, you’ll create a steady stream of individuals ready to move to the next step on the managerial ladder, which will save you training time and recruiting costs. And even for those whose career paths don’t venture that way, knowing how to problem solve, take initiative and think strategically will still make them more valuable workers. Here are some tips to help your small business employees think like leaders:

Emphasize connections

Because leaders interact with others frequently, they need strong interpersonal skills. Routinely providing opportunities for each worker to be in charge of a project will result in a staff of better communicators with a greater handle on group dynamics. Assigning seasoned employees to mentor new hires also can aid with leadership development.

But don’t focus solely on in-house opportunities. People who can initiate conversations with strangers and talk knowledgably about your small business enhance both their reputations and yours. Consider allowing an employee or two to shadow you at a new client meeting or an industry event to get a sense of those situations. They may become so proficient that you’ll feel comfortable allowing them to go in your place – opening up your time for other activities.

Promote development

Successful leaders keep learning new things. Paying for classes or training programs demonstrates that you want employees to stretch themselves and bring new ideas back to the workplace. Also, consider the value of cross-training. Not only do workers gain new skills, they develop a better understanding of how the whole business operates.

The best employee growth often occurs when you learn to step back. Instead of jumping in with a solution to every issue that arises, allow some time for people to think and evaluate. You’ll develop a team of confident, engaged problem solvers ready to take charge rather than simply follow.

Create a sense of ownership

As a small business owner, you feel vested in your company. You realize your actions can make or break progress and affect the bottom line. When your employees gain this same sense of accountability, exciting things can result.

Leaders have a voice, so listen to your employees’ thoughts if you expect them to act like one. Likewise, when a team member has a reasonable idea, let the budding entrepreneur try it out. Seeing projects through and showing the courage to step outside of one’s comfort zone are great training for future leadership roles.

To really develop interest in how the company fares, consider incentives such as profit sharing and stock options. Tangible rewards keep you inspired to lead the small business to new heights; a direct stake in the outcome can be the motivation your emerging leaders need to do the same.


 

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.

The Staffing Advantage Report: How to Get Your Staffing Firm to the Top

October 3rd, 2016 Comments off
The Staffing Advantage Report: How to Get Your Staffing Firm to the Top

Did you know that the average client works with three different staffing firms? The majority of them (59 percent) say it gives them better access to talent because if one firm can’t help them, they have other options, according to CareerBuilder and Inavero’s 2016 Staffing Advantage survey.

It’s safe to say the competition is fierce among staffing firms vying for business today.

That’s why CareerBuilder has partnered with Inavero to bring you exclusive market research and industry insights to help you go inside the minds of both candidates and clients to better understand the competitive staffing landscape.

The 2016 Staffing Advantage survey will also help you answer questions such as:

      • What are your competitors doing?
      • How can you outpace the best staffing firms out there?
      • How can you run your staffing firm the smartest way?
      • How can you win business?
      • How can you win over candidates?
      • How can you use technology as a competitive advantage?

 

Ready to find talent, win business and stay ahead of the competition? Download the Staffing Advantage Report now.

What Small Business Employers Should Know about Generation Z

September 30th, 2016 Comments off
Notepad with generation z on the wooden table.

 

Just when you think you finally have a good grasp of Generation Y, along comes a newer batch of prospective employees. Outnumbering Millennials by about a million, the 60 million members of Generation Z – young people born between roughly 1996 and 2011 – make up a quarter of the U.S. population. And while the oldest members of this group are just getting their feet wet in college and the workforce, employers need to start thinking about their impending tidal wave.

Here are a few things you should know about Generation Z in order to prepare your small business to attract and retain talent from this age group:

Tech is expected

Gen Z doesn’t remember life before smart phones and the Internet. For them, technology is a given rather than a brave new frontier. Luckily, your small business needn’t have the absolute newest gadgets to be impressive. Compared to their Millennial counterparts, Gen Z doesn’t get as excited by the latest and greatest because they know an even better version will soon take its place. However, your company must have a strong social media presence to even be on their radar. Likewise, seriously examine your small business’s mobile recruiting efforts. Candidates from Gen Z expect a convenient, positive experience when they attempt to gain information and apply for a position via electronic devices.

A long company history doesn’t mean as much

The idea of entrepreneurship excites these young people, and they’ve witnessed start-ups turn into household names virtually overnight. And the demise of many established companies and brands during the Great Recession has made them skeptical about immediately equating a big name with job security. The good news for small business owners: The recruiting field will likely become more level, and Gen Z job hunters will be willing to entertain offers from companies of any size.

Money still matters

Seeing their parents struggle through the economic downturn made an impression on Gen Z. Expect applicants to be highly conscious of salary. Between social networks and websites providing easy access to compensation information, you’ll be dealing with candidates who know what their services are worth, so be prepared.

They do their homework

On that same note, realize that all of these online resources at their disposal can be a big plus for establishing your small business’s employment brand. Website perusal and Google searches are second nature, so give viewers great things to discover about your workplace culture, values, and social involvement. Keep messages consistent and truthful – this generation spots discrepancies quickly and will hold them against you. Especially pay attention to what employees (past and present) and outside parties are saying about your small business. Gen Z puts a great deal of stock in non-corporate messages and reviews.

Give them chances to grow

Though many in Gen Z are still quite young, they are already being touted as a creative, intelligent bunch. Many may not pursue higher education to the extent of their predecessors for fear of too much student debt without substantial return on their investment, but they still thirst for knowledge. When recruiting, spark their interest by discussing training opportunities. They’ll see your dedication to employee development, and you’ll be rewarded with workers eager to grow your small business.


 

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.

The ‘Dream Team’ of TV Employees

September 30th, 2016 Comments off
Dream team

Do you ever watch one of your favorite TV shows and wish your employees showed as much leadership, dedication or innovative thinking as some of the characters on those shows? Sure, those characters aren’t always the most realistic portrayals of the roles they depict, but what if you could assemble them to make up one super-sized team of employees?

Here’s who we would draft for our dream team, based on specific attributes they could bring to the office:

The Level-Headed Peace Keeper: Jim Halpert, “The Office”

The employees who worked at fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin were an interesting, over-the-top bunch. But within that crazy crew, there was one worker who was always calm, cool and collected, no matter what antics his fellow co-workers were up to. When your team is full of strong personalities, it’s refreshing to have someone like Jim who is level-headed, focused and can rein everyone else in.

The Creative Entrepreneur: Tom Haverford, “Parks and Recreation”

Sure, Tom wasn’t the hardest worker or the smartest member of Leslie Knope’s team, but he certainly was confident and had a creative, entrepreneurial spirit. When he had a vision, he wasn’t afraid to try and achieve it, even if it didn’t work out so well in the end. A team member like Tom who takes risks can help push the rest of your team to think bigger.

The Fixer: Olivia Pope, “Scandal”

A major crisis can sink a company if it’s not handled properly. Olivia, known as “The Fixer,” is a pro at making any type of scandal disappear. While you’ll want someone with more moral integrity on your team than Olivia – who has plenty of skeletons in her own closet – a skilled crisis communicator is a key person to have on your team, should a crisis arise.

The No-Nonsense Outsider: Rosa Diaz, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

Rosa is known around the Brooklyn Nine-Nine precinct as the tough, smart, intimidating and slightly scary detective. While she may not win points for friendliness, she is no-frills, no-nonsense and extremely intelligent. She just comes in and gets her job done without any hand holding or need for recognition. While there may be some challenges with having a team member like Rosa who doesn’t always want to be a part of the team, you also know she’ll do great work and will be there for the team when push comes to shove.

The Dedicated Leader: Meredith Grey, “Grey’s Anatomy”

It’s the understatement of the year to say Meredith Grey has dealt with A LOT in her 13 years at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (her sister’s and husband’s deaths, being a victim of both a ferry and plane crash, having a bomb almost explode in her hands…). Yet she has remained a dedicated, loyal employee and is considered a mentor by the hospital’s residents and interns. In today’s workforce where job hopping is the norm, it’s rare to find someone like Meredith who shows loyalty to her employer, no matter WHAT is thrown her way.

What TV show character would you put on your dream team? Tweet us @CBforEmployers

6 Steps to Using Workforce Analytics in Your Recruitment Strategy

September 29th, 2016 Comments off
How to use workforce analytics in your recruitment strategy

Workforce analytics plays a crucial role in helping you find the right people at the right time. The truth is, you’re likely sitting on piles of big data, but that data is worthless if it’s not accurate and applicable to your organization’s specific needs. To stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving labor market, you need to get creative in the way you recruit candidates, and that involves finding and applying workforce analytics in new ways.

If you don’t feel comfortable using workforce analytics in your recruitment strategy or don’t know where to start, don’t stress: Our six-step list below, created in conjunction with Tony Stemen of Novo Group, Inc., will help you break down your own strategy and ensure you’ve checked each crucial data point in your process. Tony shares six steps his own company uses when incorporating workforce analytics and intelligence into their recruitment strategy. These steps are broken into “external data” for the first part and “internal data” for the second (explanations for each are below). Use these steps as a template to start applying workforce analytics to your own recruitment strategy.

External Data: This type of data helps to kick off a candidate search and influence your organization’s search strategy. It can also be helpful in client conversations to let the client know if salary is out of line or something seems off.

Tony says: “We look at competitive intelligence as the very first thing, and normally that’s in the geographical area where the new project and new search is going to be based.”

Steps in the external data phase include supply and demand, compensation, and diversity. Here are questions you should think about for each of these steps:

  1. Supply and demand: In this phase, Tony says, you should ask things like where your ideal candidates are located. Who is the competition, and which companies do passive candidates work for? Are there passive candidates in the position’s location, or will you need to look at relocation? Who are your competing companies who may be within the industry, and what companies are hiring for similar positions to yours outside of your industry?

These kinds of questions give us the immediate landscape of where you need to go to pursue passive candidates to get the most immediate results.

  1. Compensation: Is the salary that you’re offering, or that the client is offering, competitive and in line with the market? If it’s not, knowing this upfront enables you and your team to reevaluate and adjust early on in the process so you don’t lose valuable time and miss out on a wider range of candidates.
  1. Diversity: How can you attract a diverse set of workers and increase your candidate pool? What other associations and memberships can you network with and add into your recruitment mix to increase your candidate pool within your desired location?

 

Internal Data: This data, looked at after external data is analyzed, often occurs mid-process. Internal data influences conversations during and after the candidate search, enables you to make needed adjustments and influences your strategy all the way through.

Steps in the internal data phase include applicant drop-off, talent drain, and relocation.

We ask questions like, ‘Why are candidates declining? Why are we not converting candidates? Are we losing candidates as we hand them over to the hiring team?’

  1. Applicant drop-off: Are you attracting the right candidates, but losing them during the application process because of a delayed candidate response time, or for other reasons we should be taking a closer look at?
  2. Talent drain: Which companies do your employees typically leave to come work for you?
  3. Relocation: Are job seekers willing to relocate? Sometimes, you can’t get all the puzzle pieces at the beginning. Example: plant closing in 6 months- target those individuals that are going to need a job

 

Now is a great time for data – but it needs to be easily understood and interpreted before using it to influence your strategy; otherwise, it’s of no use to you.

And remember: Any piece of applicable, accurate data is better than no data at all.

 

Learn how a tool like Supply & Demand can help you and your entire team start using the right data in your candidate search strategy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tony Stemen has been a sourcing and research recruitment and technology professional for the past 10+ years.  He started at the ground floor in the RPO industry and has progressed to now manage all recruitment technology implementation and partnerships for Novo Group, Inc. When he is not working in human resources technology, he enjoys spending time with his family, and providing contractual public relations management to the YouTube video game community. He currently has two YouTube clients who hold a massive 2.5 million-person subscriber base.

Workers with Side Hustles Are an Asset to your Business

September 29th, 2016 Comments off
Twenty-nine percent of employees have a side gig, but most want to keep them separate from their full-time job.

As a human resources professional or a manager within your company, it can be very easy to be skeptical of employees who have jobs outside of their full-time positions at your office. You might think: What are their motivations? Are they not satisfied working here? What if they like their other job better?

Rest assured, 71 percent of workers with a side gig say they do not want it to replace their full-time position, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

Workers taking side jobs are exactly who you would expect

While only 29 percent of employees have a side hustle, this trend is most common in the younger generation of workers. Thirty-nine percent of those ages 18-24 and 44 percent of those 25-34 have side gigs.

Shift-based occupations are significantly more likely to welcome employees to find or create side hustles. Broken down by industry, leisure and hospitality (34 percent), retail (33 percent) and transportation (32 percent) workers are most likely to have a side gig.

Those workers who may be less financially well-off are also more likely to have a job on the side. More than a third of workers (34 percent) making under $50,000 and 34 percent earning below $35,000 have jobs to supplement their full-time employment with extra money, or a labor of passion.

Why are these workers an asset?

As long as an employee’s side job doesn’t conflict with your business, an entrepreneurial spirit in that employee can be a recipe for success. CareerBuilder’s chief human resources officer, Rosemary Haefner, recommends hiring workers who pursue opportunities outside of office hours because as entrepreneurs, these employees:

  1. Gain skills off the clock: Building a business in their spare time gives them real-world experience to help in their full-time day-to-day. There’s no better way to learn than hands-on.
  2. Have winning personalities: Who doesn’t want innovative, proactive team members and self-starters working to achieve your organizational goals?
  3. Have a boost in creativity: Entrepreneurial employees thrive when handed something to create. At its core, entrepreneurship is about creating something — taking ideas and making them come to life.

 

See more statistics from this survey and learn what type of jobs are most common for workers with a side hustle.

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5 Small Business Leadership Lessons from Arnold Palmer

September 28th, 2016 Comments off
Golf ball on the lawn

This week, sports fans from across the nation are reeling from the news that golf legend Arnold Palmer, died on Sunday at the age of 87. Known as the “King of Golf,” Palmer held seven major championship title s and 62 PGA Tour wins. But it was more than his talent that led to his success and won Palmer the respect and admiration of fans and peers alike: Palmer was an inspiration to many for his dedication, hard work and a passion for the game. Below are some of Palmer’s famous quotes about success and how he got there, and what small business leaders can take away from it.

  1. “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” As a small business owner, you face a lot of opposition; however, you only fail when you fail to try. A defeatist attitude will get you nowhere.
  2. “The road to success is always under construction.” As a small business owner, your jobs as a leader is never truly “done.” Good leaders are constantly looking for ways to better themselves and their teams and are never satisfied with the status quo.
  3. “I’m not much for sitting around and thinking about the past or talking about the past. What does that accomplish? If I can give young people something to think about, like the future, that’s a better use of my time.” While it’s important to learn from our mistakes, it is even more important not to dwell on them. Focus instead on what you can do different and better next time. Likewise, if there are things that have worked for you in the past, think about how you can build on those successes.
  4. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting it is.” As a small business owner, you will inevitably face your fair share of ups and downs. Remember that everyone experiences failures, so don’t let them hold you back. Focus on why you wanted this in the first place, and keep that goal in mind.
  5. “Concentration, Confidence, Competitive urge, Capacity for enjoyment.” Leading a small business is hard, and it takes hard work, dedication, and a healthy dose of blood, sweat and tears. But as important as it is to work hard, it is equally as important to allow yourself time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Remember to make time to celebrate your successes – both for yourself and the sake of your team. Show your team you are proud of their hard work and help them realize how their efforts contributed to the overall success. Taking time to do so will boost morale, foster loyalty and increase productivity.

Got a favorite Arnold Palmer quote or memory that you’ve applied to your business? Tweet me at @cbpetej

How to Use Tech in Your Recruitment (Without Losing that “Old School” Touch)

September 28th, 2016 Comments off
Get Personal, Get Automated in Your Recruitment

Let’s face it. If you’re a recruiter in 2016, you’ve got it pretty good.

Just listen to any “old-timer” – say, someone who was recruiting 15 or 20 years ago – and they’ll be quick to tell you how it used to be in the not-so-good-old days.

Paper resumes. File cabinets. Phone books. Rolodexes. Fax machines.

Look some of these things up online, and gaze upon your yesteryear colleagues in pity. I mean, how did any recruiting actually get done? It’s hard not to appreciate that it’s much easier to recruit good candidates today than it was just a few years ago. After all, that was before we all learned how to use the internet, and before we could reach out to just about anyone by simply hitting enter on a keyboard.

Technology has certainly made it much easier to share our job openings with the world, and it’s provided good recruiters with the opportunity to source candidates with specific skill sets in a matter of minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks.

Life is much better today – for both recruiters and job seekers. The use of technology and automation in the recruiting process, however, has also made it possible to turn potential candidates off in an instant with something as simple as a poorly crafted message or one that feels too impersonal. The old adage “with great power comes great responsibility” can be applied to us as recruiters as well.

In some cases, we must make wise choices about when to take advantage of the powerful technology and automation solutions available to us – and when to take a more “old school” and personalized approach.

When technology and automation can be used for good:

1. Job postings and distribution. Just a few years ago, job seekers (mostly active candidates) had to wait until Sunday to view the Help Wanted ads in the local newspaper to find out about job opportunities.

Today, technology provides us with the opportunity to share job openings almost immediately, and in multiple places at one time. This increases the possibility that our job openings will be seen by more candidates who may be a match, as well as by passive candidates who may come across them through automated job notification feeds or while on social media. This is a win for both recruiters and job seekers!

2. Parsing data from resumes. Back in the day, recruiters — after waiting two or three days for paper resumes to arrive in the mail — often had to set aside a day or two to go through the resumes to make decisions about which candidates to put in the “yes” pile, and which ones to relegate to the “no” pile. This process lacked both objectivity and speed.

Today, using technology solutions, resumes can be quickly and objectively screened to ensure that neither bias nor the postal service add ambiguity and delays to the process of selecting the best candidates to evaluate for job opportunities. Once again, everybody wins!

 

While technology has changed so much about the recruiting process – often making it faster, more effective, and scalable – we must never forget that we’re dealing with humans. Humans aren’t machines, and humans make choices based off of feelings and emotions. Humans like to work with (and for) other humans that they know, like and trust.

Here are three times you need to get personal:

  1. Candidate responses. Respond to applicants to let them know their application was received – and inform them about the next steps in the process/expected timing. Sure, this step can be automated, but it can still be personal. And the fact that your company does this – when most do not – will set you apart.
  1. Emails. Personalize email communications with candidates – and let them know why you’re reaching out to them specifically. Many active and passive candidates are turned off by mass emails, and they’re exponentially more likely to respond to a personalized approach – even if it’s to say “thanks, but no thanks.”
  1. Contact info. Once you’ve interacted with someone (pre-screen, in-person interview, and so on), make sure that they have contact information where they can reach a real person to get information or ask questions – even if their question is to check on their status in the process.

 

Technology is the gift that keeps on giving for recruiters, and it has definitely improved the recruiting and hiring processes for all involved. But I encourage you to take some advice from this “old-timer”: The best recruiters will always be those who understand the importance of connecting and engaging with candidates early and often in the process.

We’ve partnered with industry expert Tim Sackett to create a comprehensive checklist of the various aspects of the recruitment process. Use this checklist to take stock of where you’re at now — and take that first step toward determining where your process is too manual, too technology-focused, or just right. Get the checklist.

 

How Long Should You Wait For the Perfect Applicant?

September 26th, 2016 Comments off
Woman in business suit looks on the hand of the clock close up

With a limited staff size, small business owners depend heavily on the contributions of every team member. So when a new position opens up, finding a great match becomes imperative. A hiring mistake could cause problems ranging from insufficient output to workplace discord. At the same time, companies that take too long searching for the ideal applicant face risks, as well. A prolonged vacancy means lost productivity, and putting strain on your existing employees to pick up the slack could leave you with even more roles to fill if people get fed up and quit.

Unfortunately, no magic formula exists to figure out how long is too long to wait when searching for the “perfect” new hire. Your dream candidate could walk in the door tomorrow – or never. Instead, a better solution might be putting effort into finding worthy talent and working to help those chosen become what your small business needs. Here’s how:

Look internally: Could the person you’re seeking literally be right around the corner? Current employees already are a good fit culturally, and promoting from within can improve morale and increase retention because it exemplifies how you value workers and provide growth opportunities. Likewise, training someone who already knows a great deal about your small business can be faster and more cost effective than starting from scratch. If you work with freelancers or part-timers, consider informing them about permanent positions, too.

Encourage employee referrals: Applicants referred by members of your team tend to be a better match for your needs than those responding to job postings because they’ve been hand-selected by people who know your small business’s objectives and culture. Before they refer someone, your employees essentially do some of the initial screening for you by figuring out who in their network has the right credentials and work ethic; nobody wants to damage his or her own reputation by endorsing a slouch.

Develop relationships: Let those in your professional network know your hiring needs; they may be able to pinpoint appropriate individuals looking for a job. Similarly, consider partnering with professional associations or local colleges. They can connect you to people who are developing the specialized skills you require and would welcome internship or employment opportunities.

Get to the core: Finally, realize that “perfect” candidates rarely exist (and likely not at the price you’re willing to pay). Instead of creating a massive wish list, craft a job posting focused on critical requirements. Specifics discourage random job hunters from applying and increase the likelihood of a relevant applicant pool. In the process, you’ll develop a clearer picture of what the position truly entails. For instance, you might conclude that professional editing experience is nice but that an otherwise stellar candidate with an eye for detail could be trained in this skill.

Then, make it simple for candidates to learn about your small business. A strong career page on your website can save you filtering time by helping prospective applicants self-select. After all, employers aren’t the only ones hoping to discover a perfect match.


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.

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

September 26th, 2016 Comments off

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

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

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

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

What Does This Mean For You?

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

Get more details from the study here.

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

7 Ways to Help Employees Achieve Work-Life Balance

September 23rd, 2016 Comments off
work life balance

Why should you care if your employees have a healthy work-life balance? Because a healthy work-life balance among employees can benefit your small business – in more ways than one. Research has shown that shown that employees who feel they have a healthy work-life balance are more productive, more satisfied in their jobs (which increases retention) and healthier (which lowers medical costs and absenteeism). There’s another benefit, too: Companies that provide a healthy work-life balance are also more attractive to job seekers, making it easier to attract and recruit excellent employees.

Here are seven ways you can help your employees achieve a better work-life balance – and be happier, healthier (and more productive) employees as a result.

  1. Set the example. Employees model their behavior after their leaders. If you’re not setting the example by creating a healthy work-life balance for yourself, they won’t, either. This means leaving the office at a reasonable hour, taking lunch breaks and actually using your vacation time (see No. 4 below).
    2. Say no to after-hours email. Thanks to smart phones and tablets, we can work from anywhere at any time, making it hard to truly “disconnect” from work – even when we’re not there. Research shows that checking work email at night, however, can actually harm productivity, due to a phenomenon called “telepressure.” Unless there are extenuating circumstances that require you to check in to work at 10 p.m., make a vow to turn your phone off after 6 p.m. – and encourage employees to do the same.
  2. Be open to flexible scheduling. Work with employees to set schedules that better fit their lifestyles without disrupting the business. This may mean letting them come in earlier and leave earlier, or taking Friday afternoons off in exchange for working longer hours on other days.
  3. Offer a work-from-home option. If at all possible, let your employees work remotely once a week or a few times a month, which can save them time commuting, which frees up more time to take care of personal errands.
  4. Encourage employees to use their vacation time. Employees may feel reluctant to take vacation for fear they will appear as if they are slacking off (particularly at a small business, where their absence is more noticeable). But not only is taking time off every once in a while good for employees, it’s good for the business. Employees are likely to come back refreshed and with renewed energy to dive into their work. (In fact, you might even consider going one step further to offer unlimited vacation time.)
  5. Be a friend to pets. Approximately 20 percent of U.S. companies let employees bring their pets to work. Having a pet-friendly office not only eases the burden of looking for a pet-sitter during the day, but it can also lower stress, improve morale and spur creativity – among other benefits of allowing pets at work.
  6. Be vocal. Communicate the importance of work-life balance to your employees. Make sure they know that their time is valuable and that you are committed to helping them achieve a healthy balance. Check in with them on a regular basis to make sure they are satisfied with their work-life balance, and work with them to make any adjustments if they aren’t.

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.

 

#SorryNotSorry: Resume Mistakes Employers Hate

September 22nd, 2016 Comments off
#SorryNotSorry: Resume Mistakes Employers Hate

Making one’s resume stand out in a pile of 250 others can be challenging, but some job applicants stand out for unintended reasons. From innocent typos to downright lies, some resume mistakes have cost candidates the job.

In a new CareerBuilder survey, hiring and HR managers shared some of the most outrageous resume mistakes of the year.

One applicant claimed he/she worked at a federal prison — which sounds noble — until a background check found that he was actually incarcerated at the prison during that time. (Such a minor detail — why bother sharing it?)

Another casually listed “smoking” under hobbies… because why not.

One applicant said he/she had great attention to detail, but “attention” was misspelled.

“I was a prince in another life,” claimed one. Welcome to adulthood as common folk, buddy.

One applicant thought it’d be a good idea to note that he/she would work harder if paid more.

We asked some of our Twitter followers to share their biggest resume turnoffs — here’s what they said:

Lots of text with little substance…

Typos…

Poor formatting and “interesting” tidbits…

What are your biggest resume turnoffs? Tweet your responses and tag @CBforEmployers.

Candidate Sourcing Secrets From GM’s Global Sourcing Manager

September 21st, 2016 Comments off
Sourcing Secrets From General Motors' Global Sourcing Manager

Ever wonder if there’s a more time- and cost-efficient way to source and screen candidates? To answer these important questions, we spoke to one of the best in the business: Will Maurer, global sourcing manager at General Motors. He offered up some real-life examples and insights on how to expand your sourcing skill set, work more effectively with hiring managers, get the most out of your database — and take your sourcing strategy to the next level.

How can sourcers/recruiters work with hiring managers to more effectively deliver better candidates? 

There are many skills that are required and many techniques that can be leveraged in order to increase your effectiveness when working with a hiring manager. It all starts with cultivating a strong partnership. I emphasize the word “partnership” because I think it’s imperative that you are seen as a trusted advisor and not simply an order-taker.

In order to be viewed as a partner, you need to gain credibility. One of the things that can help immensely is ensuring you are prepared for the initial intake session. Simply bringing the job description and checking off some boxes won’t get it done. One of the ways that we achieve this is by acquiring labor market data as it relates to the role and then studying it so we are able to speak to it. It helps establish you as a subject matter expert, shows that you’re prepared, and stimulates higher-level strategic conversations.

As W. Edwards Deming said, ‘without data you’re just another person with an opinion.’ Data can be very impactful. It brings validity to your insights, which is crucial when setting expectations or establishing an overall strategy.

I think you also need to bring what are commonly referred to as “calibration resumes.” These are resumes that you have identified as possible prospects based on the job description. Walking through these resumes opens a discussion regarding the role, the team, and the requirements and will help you hone in what the hiring manager is looking for. Again, the focus is to gain credibility because the most important thing you can do to work effectively with hiring managers is to ask them to be part of the process. Our goal is to turn everyone in our organization into recruiters, especially our hiring managers.

Will Maurer, Global Sourcing Manager, General Motors

Will Maurer, Global Sourcing Manager, General Motors

When you think about it, hiring managers are probably best positioned to fill their own roles. They will typically have a robust network of people that operate in their field if they have been doing it a while. They also have the ability to tell their story and share how working for their current organization has impacted their career. This is very powerful when talking to a potential candidate. Don’t assume that hiring managers automatically know how important they are in the process. Educate them. You can help them tap into their network and establish their own unique value proposition. Once they understand how impactful they can be in the process and how important their contributions are in today’s market, they can be a phenomenal resource.

Once you have established that partnership, it’s also important to note that you can’t stop there. Communication, accessibility and follow-through are key in keeping that relationship strong.

As a sourcer, how can you get the most out of your database and the tools you have at your fingertips?

It’s important to understand not just the tools at your disposal on a surface level, but also the nuances of each tool. This includes features that have been developed to improve your overall efficiency and effectiveness. We have created a scorecard to evaluate our various sourcing tools. Naturally we look at the number of results or candidate profiles that a tool can generate, but we also look at its efficacy within a particular set of skills and any features that streamline or simplify our processes.

The idea behind this is that we identify the tools that can have the greatest impact within each functional vertical. This is vital.

I think that tool selection and evaluation is an important concept that is often overlooked. It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of products available and find yourself in a situation where you are ‘dabbling’ with many potential solutions instead of maximizing your performance with the key tools at your disposal. I would never discourage trying different avenues and continuing to innovate but I think that you need to establish what tools are going to be at the foundation of your sourcing strategy.

Once those tools are identified, it really comes down to being committed to learning the tool and the vendor having the ability to provide continuous education. We put a lot of emphasis on our suppliers being accessible and providing training not just at the time of implementation, but throughout our relationship with that vendor. Having a competent and readily accessible support staff is very important.

For someone looking to become a more advanced “modern-day sourcer,” what would you recommend to help expand their skill set?

What prompted the “Modern Day Sourcer” were some observations I had made when attending various conferences that were tied to talent acquisition. It occurred to me that in some instances there was a gap between how companies defined a sourcing professional and what I believe is truly needed to be successful in this space.

There is no doubt that someone in a sourcing role needs to be a search expert, but I think there’s more than that. The labor market, candidate expectations, and how candidates select employers have evolved since I began in talent acquisition several years ago. Additional skills are required.

First of all, it’s important that you are a student of your craft. If at any point you think you have this business completely figured out, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

There are so many resources out there to help keep you informed about our industry. There are websites, blogs, workshops, conferences, certifications, training curriculums, and more. Personally, I make it a goal to obtain a new certification each year. Make an effort to educate yourself and learn something new every day. I would start with your current organization. Educate yourself on how your business fits into the market, how the various business units interact, and how talent acquisition fits in the company as a whole. This goes a long way when trying to gain credibility and present yourself as an advisor.

Also, don’t forget about the skills outside of putting together Boolean searches or interviewing prospects. Presentation skills, overall communication skills, the ability to build and document a comprehensive strategy, and adopting a marketer’s mindset are some of the things that are important as you embark on your journey towards being a talent ambassador, educator and strategic partner.

When working on these other skills, you need to have the ability to humble yourself, put yourself out there and get feedback from your colleagues. Ask them to observe you. Then ask for feedback and look for common themes. Once you have identified potential areas of improvement, you can formulate a strategy to work on those areas and implement it accordingly. You can also look for special programs to help build these skills. If you’re struggling for an answer, go to your manager and ask for his or her insight. I am always thrilled when a team member comes to me looking for ways to better themselves and we can usually figure something out together.

Want to simplify your resume search and find candidates faster? See how CareerBuilder Search Pro can help.

Does Your Small Business Have a Social Media Policy?

September 21st, 2016 Comments off
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Small business owners who allow employees to use social media at work stand to benefit from their connections and promotion of the company’s brand. However, smart leaders realize that unflattering, illegal or incorrect information can soon land their businesses in hot water. An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure when it comes to protecting your small business’s good name, so educate and guide your staff by creating a thoughtful social media policy.

Do’s and Don’ts for Creating a Social Media Policy at Your Small Business

Here are some things to consider when crafting your document on employee social media use:

DO define what company information employees can and cannot share online. Outline what’s considered confidential, and stress that anything remotely in doubt be passed by you before posting.

DON’T make a blanket declaration that staff members cannot say anything negative about your small business or their job on their own pages. Such a statement can be in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, which gives employees the right to discuss their working conditions. Rather, encourage them to bring concerns directly to you instead of venting online.

DO be certain employees know that they are responsible for their online actions. Claiming something “was supposed to be private and only viewed by a few friends” does not get rid of the damage a leak or an inappropriate post could do to your small business, so make consequences clear.

DON’T bury your social media policy in a handbook. Give it to new hires as a separate document, and obtain a signature signaling it has been read and understood. Review the information with staff from time to time to maintain awareness and address questions.

DO spell out standards for posting and conversing on the company’s official accounts. Without the resources for a permanent social media manager, various team members may assume responsibilities at your small business. Be sure anyone representing your company has your permission and is versed in legal issues such as copyright and privacy. Your social media policy also should offer guidance on respectful conduct. The way your employees deal with negative comments and online “troublemakers” impacts your brand’s image. Whether you choose to respond with humor, politely state facts, or ignore the offender, writing out a protocol for how to respond in various situations can provide consistency and ease employee stress over what to do in challenging situations.

DON’T think of your social media policy simply as a list of restrictions. Providing clear guidelines also encourages workers eager to tout your small business understand ways they can use social media to help the company grow. Teach them how to properly comment on blogs or boost excitement for a new product on their own channels, and you’ll create an army of powerful brand ambassadors.


 

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.

5 Reasons to Rethink Banning Social Media at Work

September 19th, 2016 Comments off
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Think allowing employees to use social media at work is a recipe for disaster? Before turning your small business into a Facebook-free zone, consider these possible benefits the company might reap by allowing workers to stay connected:

Increased productivity: People need short breaks during the workday to maintain energy and focus. One team member may enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee between tasks, while another may prefer checking Twitter. In either case, the brief respite can help them return to work refreshed – giving you a small business of happier, more engaged employees capable of greater output.

Improved relations: Allowing usage of social media demonstrates that you view employees as professionals capable of monitoring their own behavior. The respect shown to your staff is likely to be repaid with greater loyalty and commitment to helping your small business succeed.

Better use of your time: Small business owners are too busy to add “policing social media” to their list of responsibilities. If you impose a ban, employees who really want to check Facebook will switch screens when you come near or sneak out to look at it on their phone. A better strategy is to set work goals for each person. If objectives are met consistently, don’t worry about time spent on social media. But if results are lacking, speak with the offender one-on-one about time-wasters that may be impeding productivity.

Free publicity: Did you know that your employees likely have a 10-times larger social media following than the company itself? When they share pictures of your staff Halloween party or write about the interesting conference they attended, those in their network become more familiar with your small business. Further introduce their acquaintances to your brand by telling your social media enthusiasts that you whole-heartedly support sharing articles from the corporate site. Readers likely will look more favorably on information coming from an employee than the same message presented through direct marketing.

Recruitment tool: Great employees tend to know other hard-working, talented people. Hearing first-hand about your amazing workplace may encourage them to apply. Likewise, your company’s employment brand grows through your employees’ actions, so encourage them to identify where they work. When a staff member writes a thought-provoking post on LinkedIn or earns a reputation as a leader of an online group, your small business gains respect and exposure. And if your employees feels comfortable doing so, they might even give members of their online networks a heads-up when a job opening arises at your small business – adding a valuable new layer to your recruitment efforts.


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.

66% of Candidates Wait Less Than 2 Weeks Before Moving On

September 19th, 2016 Comments off
candidate behavior

Think you can take your time filling that open position? Think again.

According to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior study, 66 percent of job seekers say they’ll wait less than two weeks to hear back from an employer before considering the opportunity a lost cause and moving on to another. What’s more, 45 percent of job seekers say their biggest frustration is when employers don’t respond to them.

What Does This Mean For You?

In today’s candidate-centric world, you can’t afford to have an inefficient, slow-moving hiring process that leaves candidates in the dark. The best talent will have multiple opportunities or offers to consider, so you need to move fast in order to beat out the competition.

Investing in the right technology can help you recruit faster, easier and more transparently to ensure you don’t miss out on top candidates.

For more insights, check out CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study. And join the conversation on Twitter: #TalentFactor.

7 Ways to Make Philanthropy a Part of Your Small Business

September 16th, 2016 Comments off
Happy volunteers in the park on a sunny day

Small business employers who give back to the community are not only doing good for others, they are benefiting their businesses as well. Not only does volunteering and charitable giving help to foster a sense of community and collaboration among your workers, it gives them a sense of purpose, which increases morale and helps with retention. Having a business that gives back also appeals to clients who want to partner with socially responsible organizations. Creating a culture of philanthropy could also give you a competitive edge when it comes to attracting millennials – as both employees and customers.

As a small business, you may not have the resources to give generous charitable donations, but there are other ways you can give back and make an impact on the community around you. Consider these possibilities:

  1. Food/clothing/book drives: Set up bins where workers can drop off non-perishable food items, clothing, books, electronics and other resources for a local homeless shelter, school, library, community center or salvation army store.
  2. Fun run participation: Keep an eye out for local races, fun runs, walk-a-thons or similar events that are raising money for certain causes, then organize a company team to participate. Not only will it promote a sense of goodwill, it will also help with team-building and promote a healthy lifestyle (which also has been shown to benefit business).
  3. Volunteering with a local organization: In addition to fostering teamwork, organizing a company volunteer day takes employees outside of their typical work environment, which can spur creativity and innovation, research shows. Not sure where to start? A site like volunteermatch.com can help you identify local charities in need of help. Or schedule an outing with Habitat for Humanity or the local food kitchen.
  4. Team sponsorship: Do something good for the community while also promoting your business by sponsoring a local little league team or intramural sports league team. In exchange for your business covering the cost of uniforms and league fees, you might see your company’s logo on team uniforms or park banners.
  5. Paid time off to volunteer: Many companies offer employees a certain amount of hours of paid time off to use toward volunteer work. This requires absolutely no planning on your end, and employees will appreciate the chance to give back — in a way that is meaningful to them and works for their own schedules — without having to worry about “making up” for the time away from the office.
  6. Office contests: Creating a little friendly competition at the office not only boosts morale, it enables employees to take a break from the daily grind and blow off some steam, so when they do go back to work, they’ll be re-energized. Add a philanthropic element by making the prize money toward the winner’s favorite charity.
  7. Employees’ choice: Your employees will be that much more invested and feel more connected when the cause is meaningful to them on a personal level. Do a survey to see where your employees most want to make an impact and start there.

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.

The Art of Rejecting Candidates

September 15th, 2016 Comments off
The Art of Rejecting Candidates

When you’re in the market for a new job, every trip to the mailbox or peek into your inbox can be an emotional event. Will I get any news today? Will the news be positive? The sheer number of “what-ifs” seem endless.

Early on in my career, I found my own stomach filled with butterflies as I progressed along in the hiring process for a job. I was informed that I’d made it to the final three candidates. I had several different interviews — each one better than the last. Then, on a rather uneventful day, I reached into my mailbox to pull out a letter from the organization of interest.

I carefully opened the envelope and pulled out the tri-folded piece of letterhead. It began with, “Dear Michelle, Thank you for applying…” and my hopes of obtaining the new role were immediately quashed. More painful, however, was the brevity of the letter. I’d met with countless people in the organization over the course of several months and formed some good relationships, yet they sent me a denial letter containing three quick lines.

Obviously that wound healed and I moved on with my life, but the experience led me to a vantage point that I believe all of us in the recruitment/hiring world should consider.

The recruiter did their job and let me know I was not getting the offer, but because of how they did it, my view of that particular organization was forever tainted. Only one person will be hired for any given position, but the way we let candidates down really does matter.

Here are four tips you can use to notify candidates that they didn’t make the cut — without negatively impacting the relationship:

Set the bar.

As you pull together your list of potential candidates and begin to line up interviews, it’s important to set expectations. Let the candidate know the general process flow and when they may expect the various stages of the hiring process to occur. Additionally, as the process progresses, make sure to update accordingly — has there been an event that is pushing things out several extra weeks? If so, letting candidates know will keep them engaged and not have them running for the hills. Most importantly, lay out a candidacy communication plan. This will probably look different depending on when in the process a person is excluded. If you don’t plan to contact all the initial candidates with a rejection letter, set this date for “sunsetting” early — something as simple as, “if you are not contacted within two weeks, we were not able to move forward with your application.”

Be swift.

Don’t leave your candidates hanging in the shadows of uncertainty. Once the decision has been made to not move forward, you should let them know right away. Closure is an important part of the hiring process, and leaving someone in the dark not only creates unnecessary stress, but will also create negative feelings about the organization as a whole.

Personalize!

If you’re reaching out to late-round candidates, any rejection should be personalized. Receiving a form letter after hours, days and weeks of an interview process is a sure way to guarantee that a high-potential candidate will avoid applying in the future… thus costing your organization a great hire down the road.

Help them grow.

While you should maintain honesty, providing feedback to a candidate is a great way to help them grow in their career pursuit. Maybe it’s as simple as suggesting some additional training, or a certificate. Whatever the area of improvement is, make sure that your feedback is constructive. Try to include tips and, again, remember to keep things positive. There’s a reason they made it this far in the interview process, and when the next opportunity is available, your honesty and feedback could be the difference-maker for the candidate next time.

 

Communicating rejection is never a fun part of our jobs — many times there’s just as much stress on the person communicating the news as there is on the person receiving it. That said, taking the opportunity to put closure on a lost opportunity is beneficial to both the candidate and the perception the candidate will have of your organization.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: As the editor and content manager at ResumeEdgeMichelle Kruse has helped countless job seekers find success. With more than 10 years of experience recruiting for companies like Novartis and IBM, she has firsthand experience of what recruiters are looking for, and she shares that insight with those who need it most. She writes regularly to provide advice on resume writing and interviewing not only because it’s her job, but because it’s her passion.

How to Turn Your Small Business Employees Into Entrepreneurs

September 14th, 2016 Comments off
Young business lady is thinking about spreading her business

You might be your small business’s owner, but you shouldn’t be its only entrepreneur. When your employees think and act like entrepreneurs as well, the entire company benefits. A staff-wide focus on innovation, curiosity and thinking outside the box boosts everyone’s morale and engagement – and can lead your company to new heights. Fostering that entrepreneurial spirit can be an awesome retention tool as well – by providing workers the challenge they crave and fulfilling their desire to make a difference.

Creating a team of entrepreneurs starts with you. Consider the following ways to help employees at your small business develop that pioneering mindset.

Encourage Questioning

A small business will not grow without a consistent desire to improve. Employees who (respectfully) challenge the notion of business as usual should be applauded for their efforts rather than labeled as troublemakers. Lead by example by treating nothing as off limits for evaluation. Solicit responses to questions that ask “Why do we do something this way?” or “How can we do this better?” Soon, your whole team will be on alert for opportunities to make business-enhancing changes.

Embrace the Unknown

By nature of the setup, small business employees oftentimes must be trailblazers. They may need to wear unfamiliar hats or find ways to do more with less. Encourage these ventures into uncharted territory by reminding employees of past successes, providing them assistance as needed, and reassuring them that perfection isn’t expected. These efforts will help your employees become more comfortable with taking risks and challenging the status quo.

Promote Accountability

When problems arise, entrepreneurs can’t blame others. Instead, they must say, “I will find a way.” Expect the same behavior from everyone on your team, and you’ll soon create a workplace of creative problem-solvers empowered to take responsibility for their actions.

Surrender Some Control

Got an employee with a passion project? Let him or her run with it. The worker will be energized by the chance to try it out, and your small business may reap great benefits from its results.

Host an innovation day

Day-to-day concerns often leave small business staff members with little time for reflection. Break routine occasionally to brainstorm ways to make the company better. You might present a problem and see what ideas people suggest as solutions. Or you might challenge workers to collaborate on creating a plan for improving some aspect of the company, such as customer service or marketing efforts. Whatever the reason, employees will appreciate the chance to contribute ideas and be heard.

Share Profits

Simply put – money talks. Motivate employees to grow your small business’s revenue by offering them shares of the profits. Likewise, present a heap of praise and a cash bonus when an innovative idea saves money. When people see their efforts pay off both literally and figuratively, they’ll be excited to be thought of as part of your entrepreneurial team.


 

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.

CareerBuilder Nurse Recognition Contest Terms and Conditions

September 13th, 2016 Comments off

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. MUST BE A LEGAL RESIDENT OF UNITED STATES, 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

By entering CareerBuilder, LLC’s Nurse Recognition Contest (the “Contest”) entrants agree to be bound by these Official Contest Rules and Regulations (the “Rules”). The Contest commences at 12:00:01 a.m. Central Daylight Time (“CDT”) on September 25, 2016 and ends at 11:59 p.m. CDT on October 1, 2016 (the “Contest Period”).

  1. The Contest is sponsored by CareerBuilder, LLC (“Sponsor”), 200 N. LaSalle Street, 11th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601.
  2. The Contest is open to citizens of the fifty (50) United States plus the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older as of the date of entry and who have a valid E-mail address and a, Facebook and/or Instagram account. The Contest is not open to: (1) employees, independent contractors, officers, and/or directors of Sponsor, and Sponsor’s respective parent, related, affiliated and/or subsidiary companies, advertising, promotion and fulfillment agencies or legal advisors and their respective officers, directors, agents, employees and assigns (collectively, “Released Parties”) or (2) the immediate family members of, and persons living in the same household as, any of the Released Parties.  All federal, state and local laws apply.

 

How To Enter: No Purchase Necessary to Enter or Win. To be considered for the Contest, an entry must include the following: a ‘tag’ by and individual of an individual on either Instagram or Facebook who works as a registered nurse.  Only one (1) entry per individual Instagram or Facebook account will be considered for eligibility to win the prize during the Contest Period.  Multiple entries during the Contest Period will be accepted but entrants can only win one (1) time during the Contest Period.  Business entities are not eligible for entry in the Contest.  Sponsor reserves the right to repurpose photos and comments submitted to the Contest on Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, et al.   For valuable consideration, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the entrant does hereby authorize Sponsor and its subsidiaries, successors and assignees and anyone authorized by them, to use, without limitation as to frequency or duration, the entrant’s (1) image and likeness (in both video and photographic form); (2) name and logo; (3) recordings of entrant’s voice; and (4) quotes or statements made to Sponsor, in any and all present and future media, all for the purposes of advertising, publicity and trade of Sponsor’s services.  In particular, the entrant grants to Sponsor a non-exclusive, non-sublicensable, non-transferable, worldwide, royalty-free license to use, transmit, reproduce, publicly perform, and publicly display the entrant’s voice, likeness and image (in both video and photographic form), name, and other identifiers on Sponsor’s website, located at www.careerbuilder.com, and in promotional materials to promote Sponsor’s services.  The entrant further irrevocably authorizes Sponsor, its respective successors and assignees and anyone authorized by them, to copyright the undersigned’s quotes or statements and to edit and combine the same for the purposes of advertising, publicity, and trade of Sponsor’s services.  The entrant hereby releases Sponsor and its successors and assignees and anyone authorized by them from all liability arising from the actions contemplated herein.  Entrant represents and affirms that he/she is of legal age and has every right to enter the Contest in he/she’s own name as of the date(s) of entry.  Entry is also available by writing your name, address, phone number, and valid E-mail address on a 3″x 5″ card and mailing it in an envelope addressed to “CareerBuilder, Marketing Department”, c/o Nurse Recognition Contest, 200 N La Salle, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60601 (“Official Entry Form” and together with a Instagram entry, collectively, an “Entry Form”). Everyone who submits an Entry Form during the Contest Period will be entered into the Contest. Entry Forms will be accepted only during the Contest Period. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, damaged, illegible, misdirected, incomplete or postage due mail/entries/requests. Sponsor will reimburse mail-in entrants for postage in states where required by law. Late entries, mechanically reproduced entries and facsimile entries are prohibited, and any use or submission of such entries will not be accepted. Entry Forms are the property of Sponsor and will not be returned or acknowledged. Use of automated devices is not valid for entry. The Official Entry Form must include a valid E-mail address for the entrant. By submitting an Entry Form, entrants warrant and represent that the entry is 100% theirs own and that the entry provided will not violate any law or infringe upon the rights, title, claim or interest of any third party. Sponsor and the Released Parties are not responsible for any problems or technical, hardware, or software malfunctions of any telephone network or telephone lines, failed, incorrect, inaccurate, incomplete, garbled or delayed electronic communications whether caused by the sender or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this Contest, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any E-mail or entry to be received by the Sponsor due to technical problems, human error or traffic congestion, unavailable network connections on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including, without limitation, any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading any materials in this Contest. By submitting an entry, you agree to abide by the terms of these Official Rules, the terms of the CareerBuilder Terms and Conditions, and the CareerBuilder Privacy Policy.

Selection of Prize Winners:  A total of twenty-eight (28) prize winners will be selected as winners of the Contest (each, a “Prize Winner”), with four (4) Prize Winners being chosen per day during the Contest Period.  The Prize Winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via Instagram Private Message or Facebook Comment on the day of selection as a Prize Winner during the Contest Period.  All entries must be posted to Instagram or Facebook to be considered a valid and eligible to win the Contest.  All eligible Contest entries received will be judged by a panel of qualified judges.  Sponsor reserves the right to reward additional entries and favorites at its discretion.  Sponsor reserves the right not to award all prizes, in its sole discretion. Prize awards are subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. All decisions of the Sponsor and judges will be final and binding on all matters relating to this Contest. Prizes and Conditions. The Prize Winner will have until 11:59 p.m. CDT on the day of notification of selection as a winner to respond to initial outreach by Sponsor and if, for any reason, the Prize Winner is not available or unresponsive, a different Prize Winner will be chosen and the initial Prize Winner will be disqualified and unable to claim any prize.  The Prize Winner who claims their prize by the required time will receive a prize consisting of two (2) Starbucks gift cards valued at approximately $15.00 USD each, with one (1) gift card for the Prize Winner who tagged a nurse and one (1) gift card for the Prize Winner nurse who was tagged.  It will be the sole responsibility of the Prize Winner to deliver one (1) of the gift cards to the Prize Winner nurse who was tagged and Sponsor takes no responsibility and will not be liable to any Prize Winner for any failure of delivery.  Prizes will be sent to Prize Winner who tagged the nurse by the Sponsor via standard mail.  Contest prizes are not transferable. Federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Odds of winning a Contest prize depend on the number of eligible entries received. Any Contest prize that are unclaimed will not be awarded. Limit one (1) Contest prize per person (which includes two (2) Starbucks gift cards). No prize substitution allowed except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor who may substitute a prize of equal or greater value. By entering the Contest, entrants expressly agree to receive E-mail notifications from the Sponsor regarding the status of the Contest. Unless entrants indicate that they do not wish to receive newsletters and E-mail from the Sponsor, they may also receive Sponsor newsletters and E-mail regarding products and services and other information that might be of interest to entrants. Any expenses not stated herein (including, but not limited to, taxes or any other applicable fees or costs not expressly identified above that are related to the acceptance and/or use of the prize) are the sole responsibility of the Prize Winner.

Participation: Participation in the Contest constitutes an agreement by each entrant to comply with these Official Rules. These Official Rules will be posted at  between September 25, 2016 and October 1, 2016.  Sponsor reserves the right to, in its sole discretion, cancel, modify or suspend the Contest should any computer virus, bugs or other technical difficulty or other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor or Released Parties corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Contest.

Limitations of Liability: By entering the Contest, you agree that: (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with the Contest, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action; (2) any claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Contest, but in no event attorney’s fees; and (3) under no circumstances will you be permitted to obtain any award for, and you hereby waive all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses.

Warranty Disclaimer: Prizes are awarded “AS IS.” Except as otherwise provided in these Official Rules, Sponsor makes no warranties, representations or guarantees, express or implied, in fact or in law, respecting the performance or use of a prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. Further, no responsibilities are accepted for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing, or acts of any government or authority.

Construction: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of any entrant vis-Ã-vis Sponsor, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions (whether of the State of Illinois, or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Illinois. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Official Rules shall otherwise remain in effect and be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision was not contained herein.

General Release: By entering the Contest, you release and discharge Sponsor, Released Parties, and Instagram from any liability whatsoever in connection with the Contest or with the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize including, without limitation, legal claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages, demands or actions of any kind (including, without limitation: personal injuries; death; damage to, loss or destruction of property; rights of publicity or privacy; and defamation or portrayal in a false light). Sponsor and the Released Parties will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the Contest. Additionally, you hereby agree to indemnify the Sponsor and the Related Parties from any and all losses, damages, costs, expenses, rights, claims, demands and actions (including attorney’s fees and expenses for litigation and settlement), which may be brought against any one or more of them by anyone claiming to have suffered loss or damage as a result of my participation in the Contest.

Official Rules/Winners List: To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, print them from the Internet at or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: “CareerBuilder, Marketing Department”, c/o Nurse Recognition Contest, 200 N La Salle, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60601. If you have any questions regarding this Contest or would like to obtain the names of the Prize Winners (available after October 1, 2016), send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: “CareerBuilder, Marketing Department”, c/o Nurse Recognition Contest, 200 N La Salle, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60601. All requests for Official Rules and Prize Winners List must be received on or before October 1, 2016.

 

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5 of the Best Recruiting Insights from Marketing Guru Seth Godin

September 13th, 2016 Comments off
seth-godin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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