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.

10 Things Every Employee Should Know About Their Position

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For employees, keeping up with the latest company objectives and news can sometimes become burdensome when information isn’t properly communicated through the various channels. That is why it is up to those in charge of internal communications to not only promote a positive, communicative work culture but also ensure that each employee is well equipped with the information that they need to succeed.      

In order for employees to be truly productive and engaged, they must understand certain fundamental things about their work. It’s an essential part of the onboarding process as well as key to overall employee performance. So, every employee should be equipped with the following information once they take their position:   

  1. What products and services does the company offer? How does the company positively impact the customer?

  2. How can the company’s vision be summarized? 

  3. What is the organization’s mission? How do we implement this vision? 

  4. Who are our main competitors? How are we different from them?

  5. How does my job specifically contribute to the company’s overall success?

  6. Who does my boss answer to? What are the responsibilities of my boss and his/her boss?  

  7. Who is my HR contact?

  8. Does the company offer any growth and training opportunities?

  9. Which techniques and tools are available to me to make my work more effective?

  10. Are there ways to get more involved with the company? Are there company events, initiatives, etc.?

Ensuring that employees can align their efforts behind shared business objectives means that certain avenues for communication must be in place to make the necessary information clearly available to those employees who it effects. By providing the answers to these ten questions, employees will be well on their way to fully understanding their positions and experiencing fulfilling work lives. 

5 Things That Great Employers Do That Others Don't

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The question of whether or not there is a single recipe for creating a happy, high performing, engaged workforce is one that employers constantly ask themselves. But, it’s the great employers who actually turn this question into action and a reality that can carry an entire workforce. While there is no one magic tip for inspiring a workplace, there are a few key elements that do spark employee engagement and overall accomplishment.

Great employers all share several common key elements. Let’s take a look at a five:

  1. Great employers keep involved, curious leaders on their team who constantly seek self-improvement. Leadership set the example and tone of a company. It’s their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that trickle down through an organization and directly affect work culture.

  2. Great employers have stellar HR teams. The best HR people have a knack for influencing, teaching and holding leadership accountable. They help managers learn to bring out the best in their employees’ natural capabilities.  

  3. Great employers ensure their employees are equipped with all of the necessary resources they need to succeed. An employee will commit to almost anything a company aims to accomplish so long as they know exactly what is expected of them, have all of the information and tools that they need to do their job, have been well placed in their position, and know that their managers have their backs.

  4. Great employers support their leadership teams and hold them accountable. The best companies inspire and encourage their mangers by relentlessly providing support, building up their capabilities and resilience, and holding them and their teams accountable for the cultures they create.

  5. Great employers have a decisive, straightforward approach. The companies that see the highest engagement achieve that because their leaders know how to use recognition as a powerful incentive.

It’s not enough to simply prioritize the easy, sugar-coated toppings of a company, like having a hip office space or providing beer and a free gym. The elements that really strengthen a workplace are those that build emotional ties and connect employees to their teams on a deeper level.


Keywords Recruiters Look for When Seeking Top Talent

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As job seekers strive to perfect their resumes, it's important to know just what recruiters are looking for and how they spot top talent. Often recruiters, in their initial skim of resumes, are looking for certain keywords and phrases. If job seekers match their experiences with these types of sought-after skills and experiences, recruiters are more likely to take notice and continue reading.

So, just what are some of the most sought-after keywords that can set one candidate apart from the next? They include:

Problem-Solving – This keyword displays great strength in a resume because it illustrates a candidate’s ability to approach challenges and solve them. No matter what level position you are applying for, problem-solving is a skill that absolutely every employee will use in the workplace.

Written Communication – Many job seekers underestimate this skill, but it’s actually one of the strongest skills that recruiters look for. Strong writing abilities give you a better chance of getting the job that you want, because most of the communication between employees and management will be through writing. This skill therefore shows that a candidate is prepared to communicate with upper management.   

Leadership – Recruiters always look for leadership experience on resumes because they want to fill positions with candidates who possess the skills associated with good leaders. This demonstrates confidence in decision making, listening skills and an ability to be a team leader.

Team Building – Companies ultimately achieve their goals through strong team efforts. So, when a job seeker can show their ability to work in a team and collaborate, recruiters take notice.

Job seekers who are able to demonstrate keywords such as these and provide examples with experience will stand out among other candidates. Recruiters make a point to look for these types of skills on resumes, so make the most of this first impression.

How to Identify and Compete for Your Industry’s Most Promising Candidates

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Employers know that there's a world of difference between an employee who's correctly matched to their job and one who isn’t. But, how do you identify the most promising candidates, then compete for and match them to the right jobs? Simple – by creating a comprehensive search strategy and having a well-structured selection process.

Follow a proven step-by-step process for the competitive positions you want to fill. But, don’t take shortcuts because in the end you will be left with undesirable results.

Here's what you should do:

  • Develop accurate job descriptions. You must have an effective job description for each position. These should reflect careful thought as to the skillsets a candidate must possess, including personality attributes that are important to fulfilling and succeeding in certain positions.

  • Create a "success profile." Profile the ideal employee for key positions in your company that are critical to the execution of your business plan. In other words, who is most likely to succeed in a given position? Remember, you can't tell if you've found a match if you're not matching candidates against a specific profile.

  • Advertise within your industry. Draft your ad describing the position and key qualifications you’re looking to match, then advertise in the mediums most likely to reach your potential candidates. Also, send your ad to recruiters who can look into qualified individuals who already fill similar roles at competing companies.

  • Assess candidates. After receiving resumes, conducting phone interviews and deciding on potential candidates to move forward with, assess their core behavioral traits and cognitive reasoning speed with a proven assessment tool. This can provide excellent insight as to which behavioral traits are important for a given position and whether or not a candidate is naturally suited to succeed in that position.

Once you’ve gone through all of the steps, make a competitive offer to the best candidates, and soon you’ll be working alongside your industry’s top professionals.  

How to Get on a Headhunter’s Radar

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When competing in a marketplace of millions of job seekers, how can you make yourself stand out as a prime candidate to contact for a position? Well, this is where a headhunter or recruiter might come in handy. They look for potential candidates they feel would be a great fit for a role they’re looking to fill. The key here, of course, is to make yourself stand out to catch their attention. So, let’s take a look at a few key ways you can get on their radar:  

  • Be specific on your candidate profile. Headhunters are looking for candidates with the exact skills and experience that a company has requested. So, you must be specific and detailed when constructing your professional profile. Include your exact qualifications, industries you’ve operated in, exposure to different technologies, clients you’ve worked with, the size of your network, etc.

  • Include company profiles for each employer. Headhunters sometimes seek out candidates who have worked with or within certain companies. This gives them a clearer idea of the type of environment and structure you’ve worked within. You might also want to include a few sentences describing each employer in your work history as an overview including what the company does, who their customer base is, whether they have local reach, national, international, etc.    

  • Engage in conversation. Find ways to join in the conversation. Headhunters want to see that you’re engaged in your community, and it sparks their curiosity to investigate you as a candidate further. Take part in speaking engagements, seminars, events, fundraisers, engage in online group discussions, publish your own blog – anything that will help to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

  • Network – Headhunters are always asking for referrals, so make sure your name is in the game, and don’t stop networking!    

Start taking steps to be noticed by headhunters. If you don’t, you’re missing out on opportunities in your industry that could propel your career into a new dimension.  

What Do Candidates Look for in a New Job?

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Jobs are in high demand, and candidates are very selective about what they look for. As we mentioned in our previous article, it’s easier than ever for candidates to compare companies of interest through the use of our vast online resources. What exactly are candidates looking for in a company, though?  A little research tells us that most are looking for the following key elements:

  • Track Record – Does the company have a good reputation and successful track records.
  • Benefits – Does the company offer generous contributions to pension plans, annual leave, PTO, etc. in addition to competitive pay?
  • Technology – Does the company employ the latest technologies in-office? Do they provide laptops or smartphones for remote working?  
  • Prospects – Is the company well-positioned for the future? Is there job security and career advancement in sight?
  • Health Care – Does the company provide good health benefits and incentives like gym memberships, healthcare, childcare, etc.?
  • Flexibility – Does the company provide flexible working hours? Do they promote a proper work-life balance?
  • Reward – Does the company reward employees for meeting or exceeding their potential in the form of bonuses, extra time off, social events or early leave?
  • Location – Is the company in a good location? Do they provide opportunities to work remotely?
  • Office Environment – Does the company offer the right tools to succeed in a nice work space? Is the environment stimulating?
  • Compensation – Is the company offering a fair pay package? How much will your employee benefits contribute to the annual salary packet?
  • Values – Are your values aligned with the company’s values? Does the company care for the wellbeing of their employees? Do they create a caring culture?
  • Company Culture – Will you feel like part of a team working towards the same goals?
  • Supportive Networks – Is there a network of support in the form of mentors, regular check-ins, etc.?
  • Development – Will you feel challenged in the position and within the company?

Candidates are attracted to companies who ultimately look out for their best interest and can provide a competitive, secure and healthy work-life balance. So, when you’re reviewing your culture and compensation in 2018, keep these points in mind!

The 2018 Job Market is Hotter Than Ever!

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The dynamic that exists between supply and demand is the very heart of everything you know about economics, but have you applied those principles to your own place in the workforce? Now, more employers than ever are looking for top talent to fill key roles in their organizations (especially in tech industries), but there just doesn’t seem to be enough human capital to go around. With that high demand and such a scarce supply of workers, wages are about to be on the rise. Here are some stats you should know:

  • As of November 2017, American companies had some 6 million job openings to fill
  • Unemployment rates dropped 4% from November 2017 to December 2017, and they’re on their way to being the lowest we’ve seen in decades.
  • The top 9 industries in U.S. markets (in descending order) were: management, architecture/engineering, education/training, healthcare practitioners, legal, science, computers and math, community/social service, business/finance. All of these industries featured an unemployment rate of less than 3%.

In addition to rising wages and lower unemployment rates, the market is also responding by adjusting its requirements. That is, employers are lowering lofty standards in order to open the door for more candidates. They’re eliminating unnecessary application specs, no longer asking for the same advanced degrees, and seem to be placing a higher emphasis on other areas, like hands-on experience.

In short, job applicants today are able to be a lot more selective about the job offers they accept, and employers are challenged to ask for less and offer more. What a great time to be in the workforce!


Why Safety is Important in the Workplace

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To no one’s surprise, workplace safety is incredibly important. But, why exactly? Well, because the implementation of an effective safety program in any workplace is one of the best decisions a company can make, both for its employees and for its bottom line. Here’s why:

  • Workplace safety programs create productive work environments. A properly managed safety program shows real commitment to the safety and well-being of staff by management. This in turn creates a positive safety (and work) culture where everyone ‘wants’ to be safe.

  • Effective safety programs ensure a drop in absenteeism. Everyone wants to work in a safe environment. So, with the implementation of an effective program, absenteeism drops.

  • Work premises are kept to higher standards with safety programs in place. Environments are kept to higher safety standards, including, cleanliness and general housekeeping.

  • Safer work environments produce happier employees. A safe work environment automatically lends to happier employees, because everyone wants to go home safe at the end of the day.

  • Insurance claims decrease when safety programs are in place. A safe environment means fewer worker compensation insurance claims as well as lower WCB rates. This is huge if your company has to pre-qualify to work, as a lower rate gives you a better grade with clients.

  • Safety programs create environments where safety improvements are not only considered but encouraged and implemented. This makes employees feel like they are part of the solution.

  • Safe work environments enhance your brand’s value and goodwill. This image helps to win and retain business simply because people want to work with companies that are held to higher standards.

  • Safe work environments reduce business costs and disruption. Any reduction in business costs creates a more productive work environment with little down-time.

Finally, safety is important in the workplace simply because a good safety program protects a company’s most valuable assets – its people.

Benefits of Letting a Third-Party Agency Make Your Hiring Decisions

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Even with growing competition from job boards, social networking and internal recruitment teams, the industry for third-party hiring agencies continues to grow. These firms are the eyes and ears in the marketplace who focus all of their efforts on attracting great candidates from endless pools of competition. The benefits of letting a third-party agency handle your hiring decisions are endless.

Here are just a few key reasons why you should let a professional agency take the wheel:

  • Knowledge of the Market - The best recruiters are dialed in on the pulse of their specialist markets. They already know the available talent, where they are, how to reach out to them, their salary rates, career expectations, available skill-sets and current hiring complexities.

  • Extended Reach - Sometimes, the right candidates are hard to find. But, a third-party agency has the network in place to find them. Even if those candidates aren't actively seeking employment, the best agencies know who they are and how to reach them. Each consultant, candidate, client and collaborator on their team can leverage their networks to help connect you to people with a range of skills and experiences, many of who would be off the radar of an in-house team or hiring manager.

  • Access to Key Strategic Skills – A third-party agency can help you gain access to key strategic skills. They offer the opportunity to bring in qualified, experienced talent at a moment’s notice.

  • Budgeting and Resources – Most organizations lack extensive resources to cast a wide recruitment net for any period of time. They face certain restraints when it comes to performing a thorough search, so it is easier for managers to interview from an agency shortlist.

Working with a third-party agency will save you time and money, while offering up the most in-demand, strong talent for positions that an in-house team might miss out on.

Body Language Do's and Don'ts During an Interview

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When it comes to going on job interviews, your body language can have a significant impact on how you’re perceived. You have to be aware of it from the moment you step through the door to the moment you step out, as you’re being judged even before you say your first word. So, here are some do’s and don’ts to help you make your best first impression:


  • Slouch – Don’t sit hunched forward or lounge with your arms and legs everywhere. You don’t want to look too casual and relaxed. It might give off an “I just can’t be bothered” impression.

  • Touch Your face – Often, people who play with their hair or excessively touch or rub their faces can seem dishonest or untrustworthy. It can also give off the impression of being uncomfortable, unapproachable or simply bored.

  • Move About – Try not to fidget about so much. This includes tapping your fingers on the arm rest or jiggling your leg up or down. It’s a sign of boredom and impatience. So, keep both feet planted firmly on the floor to avoid the temptation.


  • Make Eye Contact – Making eye contact is the best way to show that you’re actually paying attention and engaged in the situation. If there’s more than one interviewer in the room

  • Be sure to make eye contact with everyone.

  • Smile – A smile shows that you’re both friendly and confident. So, smile and nod whenever appropriate. It’s even ok to laugh when appropriate. You want to show that you have a personality and that you’re paying attention to what’s being said.

Your goal should be to always keep the focus on the conversation. So, keep your expression interested, your posture confident and your head high from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave.