Steps to Writing a Targeted Resume

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If you want to increase your chances of landing a job in today’s highly competitive landscape, it’s not enough to just write a single broad-based resume. You have to have multiple, targeted resumes ready to go for each field, industry, position, etc. Targeted resumes increase your chances of making it to the interview, as they speak to specific job requirements and highlight skills and experiences relevant to each opportunity.

While writing multiple targeted resumes does require a bit more effort, the process is actually quite simple. Once you have the steps down, it’s just a matter of editing, proofing, and repeating. Here’s what you need to do:    

  • Review – Carefully review a job posting before you exert the effort and time tailoring a resume. After all, if the job isn’t really something you’re interested in or doesn’t line up with your experience, then you’re just wasting valuable time that could be spent on crafting a resume for a position you’re actually qualified for and might even love.

  • Focus – Focus on emphasizing your qualifications as you edit each resume. Make sure you highlight the specific skills and qualities requested on each job posting.

  • Tailor – A major part of tailoring each resume is editing for specific keywords. Each resume crafted for a specific position should include the same keywords that are listed in the posting’s job description, as well as the desired skills and experiences.

  • Proof – Proofread, proofread, proofread! With each edit, go back and double check for accuracy as well as any careless grammatical and spelling errors.  Also, make sure all of your listed skills, experiences, credentials, etc. match up with the position you’re applying for.

It’s important to take the extra time and make the effort to target your resumes. The closer your resume matches a specific job posting, the better your chances of landing an interview and ultimately the job.

Best Practices for Using Job Search Engines

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Search engines are an excellent resource available to job seekers everywhere. With today’s modern technologies, finding open positions has never been easier. A single search can lead to thousands of opportunities, all delivered directly to you in a matter of seconds. But, in order to achieve real results (i.e. land a job), you have to learn a few strategies to make the most of these tools. Here are some of our best practice recommendations:     

  • Have a targeted strategy – Don’t simply apply to every job that pops up in your search. Target your responses, and tailor your resumes to each specific position for best results.

  • Be proactive – Landing a job isn’t as simple as posting your resume and leaving it. Don’t just assume job offers will find you. You must be proactive, and get in the habit of regularly checking job postings and applying.

  • Include keywords – Companies search for potential employees using narrowly-defined keywords. This means that you need to make sure your resume uses current, targeted terminology. Otherwise, you may be looked over for a great opportunity.

  • Check the format – Sometimes, uploaded documents don’t fully translate when converted to various digital formats. So, make sure that all uploads and attachments appear correctly formatted when clicked. Check everything from spacing, to bullet points, to graphics, to links, etc.

  • Stay organized – As you’re likely going to be sending out multiple applications at a time, make sure you keep track of each application. All of those positions and companies can get confusing, so track everything in a spreadsheet with dates sent. This will not only help you keep incoming responses and potential interviews straight but help you track appropriate follow-up times as well.   

Job search engines bring opportunities right to your fingertips, anywhere, anytime. They’re a wonderful resource and asset for those who know how to employ best practices.

How to Negotiate a Better Salary

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Celebrations are definitely in order after you’ve gone through the long process of landing a job. But, there’s still one crucial step to consider before you accept the position and all of its terms – salary negotiations.

Your research isn’t quite done until you’ve taken the time to determine how much the job you’re taking on is worth, and how much your skills, experience and expertise are worth to your prospective employer. This will give you power and confidence to professionally negotiate an informed and fair end salary. So, how do you make this happen? Here are some tips:

  • Timing – Money is always a touchy subject, so it’s best to wait for the appropriate time to bring it up. You must be patient. As a general starting point, let your prospective employer be the first to bring it up once they make the job offer.

  • Patience – Wait for them to make the first move when it comes to throwing out numbers. Even if you’re asked about salary requirements, simply say that they’re open, and that they’ll be based on the proposed position and all that it entails, as well as the overall compensation package being offered. This leaves you room to negotiate once a real offer is on the table.

  • Research – If and when you do put a number on the table, make sure it’s well-searched and backed by industry data.

  • Wait – Salary negotiations should be allowed a little breathing room. Any number that a prospective employer brings to the table, take your time to consider it, and don’t respond right away. It’s perfectly alright to say that you need time to consider their offer.

Salary negotiations can be intimidating at times, but don’t let it get to you. You know your worth, and with the right research and information in-hand, you’ll have all the confidence that you need to negotiate an appropriate salary that you deserve.

Tips for Maintaining Employer - Friendly Social Media Profiles

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When it comes time to search for a new job, you have to keep in mind that any prospective employer will be looking at your public profile, and that includes through social media. These days, it’s pretty much a guarantee, actually. They’ll be looking at things like your listed professional background, your personal social and political commentary, your photos, even your tone of voice and “friend” associations.

All of this means that you need to maintain awareness and employer-proof your profiles, now, before you send out the first application. So, to help ensure your social media pages don’t raise any red flags, here’s what you should do:  

  • Make your Instagram profile private if you do not wish an employer to see.

  • Make your timelines “employer-friendly” by making posts private.

  • Make sure “timeline review” is enabled on Facebook.

  • Make sure all of your photos are set to “Friends Only” or “Only Me.”  

  • Delete any and all controversial posts from your pages, even those that are dated.

  • Delete and untag yourself from any photos that could be seen as unprofessional, and ask others to untag you from those that may be questionable.

  • Make only relevant, thoughtful content available for public viewing on your profiles. Things like industry news and other interesting, related articles are most appropriate for any potential employer to see.

  • Update your work history on all social sites, especially LinkedIn and Facebook.

If you want to find and keep your job, always remember that what you share on social media has the power to make or break your position. So, keep your reputation safe by taking appropriate measures, now, and reevaluate how you use your social platforms.

Key Elements Every Employee Needs to Know to Successfully Fill Their Open Positions

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The importance of the on-boarding process can’t be stressed enough. All employees must be equipped with not only the information necessary to carry out their own duties but also the most up-to-date company news and objectives. Sometimes, however, this information can get lost through the various channels of communication.

That’s why it’s so important for those in charge of internal communications to focus on promoting a communicative work culture that not only lends a positive environment but ensures that all of its employees are well-equipped with the information that they need in order to successfully fill their positions. After all, how can you expect workers to be engaged and productive if they don’t understand the fundamental purpose of their job? Successful performance is entirely reliant upon this understanding. So, make sure every employee is able to answer the following questions once they step into a new position:    

  • What is the company’s purpose?  What do they offer, and how does this positively impact the consumer?  

  • How do we implement the company’s overall vision?   

  • How does my position specifically contribute to the company’s overall success?

  • What are the responsibilities of my team and manager?

  • Are the necessary tools and channels available for me to successfully carry out my job?  

  • Does the company provide opportunity for involvement (e.g. events, initiatives, volunteer programs, etc.)?

  • How does the company stand out from its competitors?  

  • Are there opportunities for me to learn and grow with the company?  

The best employers maintain open channels of communication to ensure that their employees are able to align their efforts with their shared business objectives by providing clear information to help each and every person more effectively carry out their duties and feel valued. So, make sure your employees fully understand their positions for a more fulfilling and positive work life.  


Top Qualities Found in Every Successful Team

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When it comes to running a thriving, profitable business, there is no greater asset than a high-performing team. They are the foundation and lifeblood of your business, so when things are going well among team members, you can be sure that your operations will be running just as smoothly. So, what is it exactly that defines a high-performing team? Let’s take a look at some of the key characteristics they all have in common:

  • They communicate clearly with one another. There is no guesswork involved when it comes to expectations or the status of operations. Successful teams communicate proactively whenever possible and they respond quickly to open concerns.

  • Everyone pulls their weight. Sure, everyone has “off days”, but it shouldn’t be the norm. On any given day, everyone on your team should be contributing his or her fair share to the overall team objectives.

  • They all have something different to bring to the table. The most successful teams are made up of professionals with a diverse educational and professional work history. With the right mix, you’ll never run out of great ideas or fresh perspective.

  • They understand the importance of balance. Everyone can appreciate the extra effort offered by an overachiever, but in almost all cases, that well will eventually run dry. When teams don’t have enough personal time (and even enough fun in the workplace), they can burn out quite easily.

Team leaders and human resources professionals certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to building a highly effective team of workers. It’s certainly not impossible, however, so keep these key characteristics in mind throughout your recruiting journey!


Why Spring is Such a HOT Time to Find (and Land) Your Dream Job

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Are you planning to start your job hunt this spring? If so, then you definitely have the right idea! As the weather begins to warm up across the United States, business begins to pick up right along with it. This is true for a wide variety of industries, but in particular, hospitality, tourism, food service, and retail. That stimulates the economy, in general, creating a very search-friendly environment for job seekers.

On those same lines, though, it’s important that you strike while the iron is hot. Many job seekers who would have found success in the spring find that they hit a dead end when applying for positions in May, June, and July. That is largely due to the fact that hiring managers and other upper-level executives tend to take vacations of their own around that time.

It goes without saying that Fall and Winter tend to bring a bit of a lull in nearly all industries, aside from the usual seasonal positions in such fields as marketing, advertising, design, and all things retail. When those come to an end, however, many members of the workforce find themselves caught in a sort of limbo - most companies are prepping their annual budget around that time, which means they’ll probably wait until after the new year to bring new team members into the organization.

Year after year, we see this same cycle, and every time, we encourage job seekers to seize the moment. As they say, “get it while the getting is good!” This spring, you should find yourself with plenty of opportunities to choose from, so be sure not to let any of them pass you by!


Is It Time to Leave Your Job?

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As anyone who’s ever had a job knows, there are inevitably ups and downs. You’ll experience rewarding days, but you’ll also experience tougher days that come with stress, frustration, even boredom. Of course, some of us also experience days that are absolutely unbearable where we start to reconsider why we’re even there in the first place. And, this is a tough position to be in. After all, how do you really know when it’s time for you to leave a position?

It may be time to reevaluate your work situation if you find you’re experiencing more miserable days than good, or if you start to experience the following:   

  • There’s no room to grow: If you’re not continually challenged, you’ll inevitably lose interest in your work. So, if there’s no room for advancement or growth, you might consider looking for new opportunities.  

  • You’ve lost interest in your work: Whether due to a lack of growth or total boredom, you may find that you’ve lost all motivation to do your job. Creativity and innovation have flown out the window, and you’ve completely checked out. When this happens, it may be time to move on.

  • Job security is no longer guaranteed: While no position is 100% guaranteed, if you find that your company is now operating on uncertainty (e.g. they’re downsizing, the company’s been sold, work culture has taken a turn for the worse, etc.), it may be time to update your resume.

  • You’re experiencing extreme stress: Ultimately, when the stress of a job starts to affect your health and well-being, it’s time to walk away.

No matter how bad your work situation may be, the decision of whether or not to stay is entirely up to you. It’s all a matter of evaluating your path, your priorities, and what will ultimately be in your best interest.

Emerging Trends in Human Resources and the Millennial Workforce

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As we’re in the age of the Millennial workforce, human resource managers have been asking themselves how best to leverage the strengths of this group of workers. It’s all in effort to figure out what this generation ultimately needs to be successful and motivated at work. So, what do you need to know about the newest generation taking over the workforce? Here’s what they’re looking for:

  • Technology is Key: When it comes to overall communication, Millennials want companies to incorporate new technologies that ultimately promote increased collaboration amongst employees. This applies to everything from email, texting and chat forums, to social media, and beyond into other emerging technologies.

  • Collaboration: Millennials want to be heard by leadership and are looking for more opportunities to collaborate with leadership. Their goal is to establish relationships through frequent interaction and conversation.

  • Engagement: Millennials want to be and feel valued. So, listen, and engage in the exchange of opinions and ideas. They feed off of constructive feedback and seek mentorship-like relationships for guidance and growth.

  • Team-Driven Environment: More than any other generation, Millennials truly enjoy working in and being a part of a team. They want to meet new people, make friends with their co-workers, and work with a diverse group of people. With this, Millennials typically look forward to the work that they’re doing and bring a positive attitude and drive to the table.  

  • Financial Incentive: For Millennials, it’s all about work-life balance. But, achieving that balance still requires adequate financial incentive and job security.  

Like all other generations, Millennials just want to have a sense of purpose in the workforce. They want to know where their career is going and what they need to do to get there. Employers who recognize these needs will be able to leverage emerging employee trends, and use them to benefit both the organization and their millennial workforce.

Why Your Business is Struggling to Keep Its Employees

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For any business, talent is your biggest asset. But, when good employees leave, productivity within your organization can sink, and morale may suffer. High turnover rates also lead to increased recruitment costs and more time spent on-boarding new hires, which can make for an extended and stressful transition.

So, what is it that drives employees to leave? If your business is struggling to keep employees around, here’s what may be going wrong:  

  • Poor Management: When you lose top talent, the first place you should look is at management. Great management requires individually invested time. You must discover each team member’s assets as well as their needs. So, take the time to listen to their concerns, communicate, and take actionable measures to correct.

  • Unprepared Managers: It’s not enough to simply promote top talent. Management requires a different skillset altogether. So, you must provide the necessary training and guidance to chosen leaders for the sake of their team and the company overall.  

  • No Advancement: Top talent often leave when they feel there’s no room for career advancement. They have to know that there’s ultimately something in it for them, otherwise they’ll be tempted to look elsewhere. So, help build a career path for them through things like educational advancement opportunities that can be used later in their career.

  • No Feedback: Managers need to regularly check in with employees and provide constructive feedback. This shows that you’re invested in their position within the company, that they’re valued, and shows respect for them as a person.

  • Rigid Policies: Flexible scheduling and telecommuting are more common and important than ever before. In fact, these days, flexible work time is expected. So, consider updating your policies.

Above all else, make sure that employees have a clear understanding of the company’s mission and their position within it. After all, if they’re not working toward something of value, then chances are they won’t stick around.

An HR Checklist to Close Out the Year

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It’s that time of year again – open enrollment. It’s a challenging time that consists of tracking people down and reminding employees over and over again that the year is almost over and that they need to get their houses in order!

So, let’s try to make the chaos of it all a bit easier, and take a look at some things that you can do now to address those year-end housekeeping items:

  • Plan Ahead – Crunch some numbers, and gather data you’ll need for the new year like retention and turnover rates, training costs, etc.

  • Update Policies – Make sure all policies and procedures are up-to-date. Tag anything that needs an update, including language, and follow up after the first of the year.

  • Spending Accounts – If you need to notify employees to spend their FSA dollars, then do so. Otherwise, determine whose rolls over, and who’s using the grace period.

  • FMLA Notices – If appropriate, review and renew any existing leaves, inform staff, and restart the clock to begin counting time utilized.

  • Divide – Ensure all files are separated appropriately, like one section for personnel, one section for medical information, etc. And, audit to make sure all collected information is still relevant.

  • Vacation – Instead of waging war over vacation days at the last minute, send out planning calendars to let staff know that they can start calling dibs on preferred dates after the first of the year on a first-come, first-served basis.  

  • Calendars – Start organizing your calendar now for the coming year, and set reminders for everything from evaluations, to training, certifications, contracts, etc.

  • FMLA Notices – If appropriate, review and renew any existing leaves, inform staff, and restart the clock to begin counting time utilized.

Stay ahead of the chaos as you close out the year, and tick off the items on this checklist for a stress-free start to the new year.

What HR Managers Need to Know About Corporate Holiday Parties

As holiday season is in full swing, and with it the holiday parties, it’s an important time to remember to be mindful, and celebrate responsibly among your peers and colleagues. So, as you plan your holiday work gatherings, here are some tips and lessons learned from expert HR managers to help guide and create a safe, happy holiday celebration for all:  

  • Don’t require attendance.

  • Remind employees that normal company rules of conduct apply during the party.

  • Designate someone to monitor the party and coordinate with event staff.

  • Check with your insurance broker about your business policies regarding alcohol-related exclusions.

  • Watch the alcohol. Most holiday party misconduct happens when alcohol is served, especially when self-served.

  • Don’t host a BYOB party. Hire trained professionals to tend bar.

  • Be sure to provide non-alcoholic beverages, like water, tea, soda, etc.

  • Consider a week-night celebration. This way, employees are less likely to binge.

  • Avoid putting out punch bowls that could be spiked with alcohol.  

  • To prevent drinking from being the focus of the party, provide food and entertainment.

  • Consider hosting your office party off-site at a professionally managed facility with hired and trained bar staff.

  • If the company is providing alcoholic drinks, consider issuing drink tickets in order to limit consumption so that things don’t get out of hand.

  • Shut down alcohol service at least one hour before the party ends, and set a solid agenda for the night’s festive events.

  • Arrange for designated drivers to be on-site.

  • Avoid decorating with mistletoe. It could unintentionally lead to all sorts of harassment issues and complaints that will be plopped on your desk in the morning.

Make sure that you know your company’s liabilities before planning a holiday party to keep everyone full of cheer and safe this holiday season.

The True Talent of Human Resources Officers

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Among the workforce, there’s an ongoing war for talent. But, is the problem a lack of qualified candidates or a lack of appropriate resources and respect given to HR professionals? The answer is the latter.  

Did you know that most HR professionals don’t report to a CEO? Did you also know that most HR professionals operate with little to no budget? It doesn’t seem possible does it, but this is all true. Most CEOs say that human capital is one of their toughest challenges. That’s why HR professionals are the true hands to CEOs. However, HR is often at the bottom of the list when it comes to function and priority within a company, despite the intense war for talent and challenges that come with hiring and retention. So, how can we reconcile this discrepancy?  

The chief human resources officer is one of the most essential and strategic roles for any company and is the executive hand to the CEO. They are the true power behind an organization’s leadership and overall ability to function and succeed. They are the ones who influence smart decisions, and without them, it’s nearly impossible to have access to the best insight into your employees or work culture. It’s even harder to bring in the necessary talent that you need to succeed without their vision and guidance.   

When you hire a chief human resources officer, you hire your right hand and essentially the driving force behind your company. A great HR professional will take risks when values are compromised and turnover is high; they find and call out the issues as seen and take action. They make strategic decisions for the betterment of the company based on the integrity of the values, mission and people within a business to encourage and advance culture, output and goal orientation.   

It is for all of these reasons and more that your HR leaders need support. Any hindrance to them is a hindrance to your company as a whole, as you’re only as good as the people who work so hard to create your brand.

HR Technology That Will Connect You to Top Talent

Most often, employee turnover rates are due to bad hiring decisions. And, unfortunately, those decisions can cost businesses thousands of dollars in recruitment and training costs, not to mention time. That’s why connecting with and hiring top talent is crucial to a company’s success, though it can be a challenge. Recruiters face tough time crunches, budget hurdles and more that all affect the hiring process. Fortunately, those who are implementing more HR technologies can streamline the process and better connect with qualified talent, instantly. Here’s a look at some of these technological resources HR professionals are using to make a splash:     

  • Social Media – Most job candidates these days prefer to use social sites like LinkedIn to job hunt, and this trend is only growing. Social media is a great way for businesses and job seekers alike to connect, as it breaks down those cold, mechanical barriers and shows brand personality to better attract candidates to a position that might otherwise read as bland in any other form. It immediately encourages open engagement and open lines of communication.  

  • Email - Email is used within all businesses as a means to communicate with fellow employees, but it’s also the main way to communicate with potential applicants in this day and age. For HR professionals to truly win over interested candidates beyond simply receiving an application, email is encouraged as a means to keep an open and informed line of communication throughout the recruiting process, as it’s just as important to let candidates know where their application and efforts stand so as not to waste their time. This encourages confidence and future correspondence.

  • Mobile – Today, most job seekers use their smartphones to look for opportunities on the go. So, is your HR team able to function and advertise in this new realm? Roughly half of career pages aren’t yet optimized for mobile devices, which leads to missed opportunities and qualified candidates.   

It’s time to embrace technology as a primary resource for recruiting and communicating with top talent.  


5 Interview Questions You Must Be Prepared For

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Interviewers have a finite amount of time during the interview process in which to assess whether or not you might be a good fit for a position. Due to this time crunch, most interviewers have a standard set of questions they ask to learn as much about your background and personality as possible. Fortunately, you can prepare in advance for the most commonly asked questions. Here’s what you can expect and how you can answer to impress:

  • What are your short and long-term goals? Employers want to know your level of ambition and whether or not your goals fit the role. So, respond with how you’d like to help the organization in the long-term and how that aligns with your personal goals.

  • Why are you leaving your current position? Employers want to know if you’d be happy in the available role and whether or not you respect your current employer. So, share what you appreciate about them, keeping it positive, and what you’re looking for in the next opportunity.  

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Employers want to know what you do well but also where you can improve. This is a sign of emotional intelligence, so don’t try to skirt around the question. Give a real, honest answer.   

  • What do you like or dislike about your current role? Employers want to know that your interests align with the position. So, know the role, and never respond with negative characterizations of your employer or coworkers. Simple describe your likes and/or dislikes of the job itself.

  • How did you handle a situation that didn’t go as you’d hoped? Employers want to know how you solve problems and handle stress. Answer with an example of how you were able to calmly and efficiently handle a situation using your insight.

With preparation, you’ll be sure to nail your next interview.   

Job Hunting Tips to Find Your Dream Job

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Job hunting is a job in and of itself. It takes time, persistence, hard work, and it helps to know exactly what you’re going after. But, you can turn the unattainable into the attainable with the right amount of preparation and forethought. These simple tips can help you land your dream job:

  • Self-Composure – Preparing for and going after your dream job is all about being in the right mind-set. You must maintain self-composure in order to face the demanding task at hand as you move forward with your application.

  • Self-Confidence – Don’t let fear stop you from going after what you want. You only have one life after all. Do the things that will improve and round you out at as a person.

  • Try, Try Again – If your application is declined, don’t let defeat take hold. Try again and again. After all, this is your dream job we’re talking about! You can’t achieve success without taking a few hits. That’s how you’ll grow and become better prepared for the next round. Eventually, you will make it happen.

  • Effective, Updated Cover Letters and Resumes – You can’t land your dream job without maintaining effective resumes and cover letters. This display of your professional profile is what will take you to the next level, the next application and the next opportunity.  

  • Search Online – These days there are numerous job websites available for you to both look for and apply to jobs. So, don’t be shy about sending your resume and cover letter out there. Just make sure your online profiles are professional and maintained just like your resume.

  • Network – Communicate with others, whether in person or through the use of online platforms. This will help you build an effective networking system that will become an integral part of your field-specific job hunting process.

Stop dreaming, and start doing!

Why Millennials Choose Certain Jobs Over Others

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If you thought money was the biggest incentive you could offer a Millennial to come work for you over your competition, think again. Millennials view the workforce in the same way that they view technology. It’s open and limitless. They’ve grown up in an era when nothing is guaranteed and therefore have embraced rapid change as the norm. For Millennials, time is no longer money, rather time is a limited resource they’d rather spend wisely.   

So, what is it that they’re looking for? Here are just a few reasons why Millennials choose certain jobs over others:  

  • Flexibility – Millennials are looking for flexibility where physical presence is optional. To them, work shouldn’t be measured by the number of hours you clock in-office, but by the output of quality work that they do. For a company to remain competitive and attract Millennials, it’s time to rethink the nine-to-five workday and explore other scheduling options, even off-site availability.

  • Inspiration - Millennials don’t just want to spend their days earning a paycheck. Their time is better spent investing in the acquisition of new skills and knowledge that they need to grow both personally and professionally. On-the-job training needs to be more thoughtful with the goal of inspiring, tapping into employees’ interests, passions and career goals.

  • Purpose – Millennials want to be a part of the solution, and so they place importance on social and community causes, both in the office as well as outside of the office. They want this to be both self-fulling, in that it makes their work relevant, and a clear definition of their purpose within the company in how their position relates to the wider world (i.e. are everyone’s ethics and social responsibilities aligned?).  

It’s time for companies to move forward, and shake things up in order to meet the new standards this growing workforce demands. Millennials are the future, and so recruiting and retaining them is a most valuable asset.

How to Win at the Hiring Game

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We all know that recruiting and retaining top talent has never been harder. This is especially true when it comes to SMBs (small and midsized businesses), as each employee’s impact on a business’ performance is amplified. While the consequences of one or two subpar performers in a workforce of several hundred might be minimal, in a company of only 10 or 20 employees, it could be devastating.  

This obviously raises the stakes in the hiring game for SMBs, and hiring can become quite challenging. Much of this is due to certain industry-specific requirements as well as the macroeconomic conditions in the current hiring environment. While there are no quick fixes, SMBs should avoid making mistakes that aggravate the problem.  

For example, if an SMB offers a salary that’s too low for the knowledge and skill level required for a position, they’re not likely to attract as many highly-qualified candidates who can come in and hit the ground running. Fortunately, employers who struggle to fill open positions often find that recruiters are better able to bring attention to these sorts of hiring obstacles and can suggest solutions to increase candidate flow.

In order to succeed in attracting top talent, SMBs need to optimize their employer brands. In other words, you have to show what you can offer potential employees beyond a paycheck, as well as how much you care about the public’s perception of your company.   

Most strong employer brands make a point to:

  • Frequently update websites and postings

  • Have a broad and interactive social media presence

  • Cultivate positive online reviews

All of these characteristics factor into a candidate’s perception of your company and whether or not they want to be a part of your organization. So, take every opportunity to use these channels to highlight your company’s culture to show off the benefits and perks you offer to those who are part of your team. This can do wonders when it comes to grabbing the attention of top talent.

Overlooked Talent Pools Might Be the Best Recruits You Ever Make

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Every company in every industry is looking to recruit the best. They’re all competing for that new crowd of Harvard MBAs or ex-Googlers. But, the truth is that you may be overlooking an equally qualified group of potential employees that are just as valuable. Here are a few groups that you should be looking at when seeking out all-star talent:

  • Parents – Employers dream of hiring teams of seasoned professionals ready to dive into the deep end. But, have you ever thought to look to your local playground? The candidate pool is just teaming with experienced professionals who turned into stay-at-home parents now looking to get back to work. And best of all, these candidates are often looking for flexibility, which is ideal for smaller companies looking to hire remote or part-time employees.  

  • Veterans - Veterans are tech-savvy and wired for everything from customer intel to robotics. Yet, companies often overlook their amazing skill sets, particularly when it comes to technology, team building, leadership and transparent decision making.

  • Boomerangers - Boomerangers are older workers, those who have retired but are eager to return to work or scale back from full time. This crowd brings deep business experience, extensive networks they can call upon and loyalty. A 2016 study found that workers over 55 had a median tenure of more than 10 years compared to just 2.8 for Millennials. Plus, multi-generational workforces are more productive and tend to have less turnover.

  • People with Disabilities - People with disabilities, including those with invisible disabilities, are excellent problem solvers. From greeters to managers, they succeed because they’ve had to navigate a world that simply wasn’t built to accommodate all of their needs.

  • Career Pivoters – No industry has been spared from turmoil or transformation. From advertising to healthcare to retail, there are people who have spent a decade or more working their way up in a field that may have vastly changed, or they simply decided to reinvent their careers elsewhere. But, these cross-industry finds have the agility and skill to fit into any industry.

Talent is out there. So, get creative, and look outside of your normal resources to find these candidates and their universally coveted traits.

Where Has All the Talent Gone?

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In today’s job climate, every business is competing against deep-pocketed corporations in a time when unemployment is at a 17-year low. So, what does that mean for smaller businesses looking to recruit top talent? It’s time to get creative.

Almost two-thirds of fast-growing companies say that finding and retaining good, qualified employees is their biggest obstacle for several reasons. Those include:

  • Having little money to work with when it comes to making competitive offers to qualified candidates.
  • Lacking a wide-spread, publicly recognized brand that qualified candidates might be drawn to.
  • Facing shallow referral networks.

All of this means that with fewer incentives to offer, luring day-one-ready employees can be quite challenging. Most smaller companies simply can’t afford to spend the extra six months or more to train a new, inexperienced hire.

Unfortunately, the downside of this is that some businesses have coped with these challenges by lowering their sights by weakening their credential and college requirements. While in some cases this may be a necessary move to attract new hires, it can also backfire, as it may signal to top candidates that they’re overqualified for the position. That’s why smaller businesses need to get creative. So, what’s the solution?  

Smaller businesses (of fewer than 500 employees) have the advantage of being able to lure top talent from big companies. Most employees are already disposed in favor of smaller businesses, as most job seekers prefer small to midsize companies over larger ones. Top talent is often willing to make the jump because they are seeking:

  • That close-knit, family vibe

  • Access to and mentorship from leaders

  • More opportunity to learn and expand their abilities

  • A more in-depth view of and role within the business

  • A noticeable impact on how their job affects the business

At the end of the day, top candidates are looking for these impressive value propositions that only smaller businesses can offer. So, don’t be afraid to keep reaching for the best.