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The Official Guide to Hiring Millenials September 5, 2014

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Their aptitude is undeniable: technology is their forte, they are creative, and they are connected. Unfortunately, many managers are weary of hiring millennials since they assume millennials lack loyalty and are easily distracted. The problem isn’t with millennials, but with the manager’s approach.

Develop an Effective Hiring Strategy

The inability to hire and retain millennials underscores the lack of agility in any company’s human resource strategy. The ability to adapt to changes in the market is a key strength for companies, and hiring millennials requires agility. Bruce Kasanoff of Forbes explains that managers must be flexible in their endeavors with millennials in How to Hire, Manage and Motivate Millennials.

Small changes in the hiring process can lead to huge rewards with millennials. For instance, adjusting interview questions, so that managers aren’t asking hypothetical questions, helps with context during the interview. Managers can also ask them about their expectations in order to eliminate millennials that aren’t a good fit for the organization.

Utilize Tools That Streamline the Hiring Process

Many companies leverage technology as a competitive advantage within their IT department, but fail to do so when it comes to human resources. Word of mouth and an in-house online application is a great start, but these approaches limit exposure. Investing in an Applicant Tracking System is a better option.

Applicant Tracking systems consolidate information about candidates into one central repository. But, the system’s strengths doesn’t stop there. These systems are robust, and include features like:

  • Integration with job boards
  • Requisition management
  • Candidate analysis
  • Cost tracking
  • Searchable resumes
  • Keyword searches
  • User controls

All of these features help managers assess which millennial is truly an asset to the company. Additionally, these systems reduce time and save money for organization.

Think Bigger

Kansanoff explains managers who “aggressively adopt a growth mindset will flourish.” There is no place for complacency within any organization. With an eye on talent and acquiring knowledge workers, managers have to assess where gaps in their hiring process in order to acquire fresh talent. How can you attract more millennials? What motivates millennials to remain with employers for years? Answers to these questions help managers secure millennials, allowing the organization to leverage their perspective, creativity and technological prowess. If not, untapped millennial talent will rest with the competition.

Avoiding millennials because of their weaknesses isn’t hurting millennials, but the entire company. It highlights deficiencies within the human resource strategy, and places the company in a defensive position. Adapting the hiring process, incorporating effective human resource tools and adopting a growth mindset help human resource managers secure millennial talent.

Look Within For Your Hidden Talent August 25, 2014

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It does sound like a phrase from a martial arts movie, but looking within for your hidden talents comes into play when hiring for your company.  When it comes to finding talent for your company, there are many places to look. Online job boards, social media sites, and even in the application pile that’s stacked sky high on your desk are all places that you’ll be sure to find job candidates.

But one place hiring managers often fail to turn to is sitting right in front of them; internally.

You know your workers better than anyone. From their work ethics to their ability to show up every day on time, use these insights to determine whether or not anyone from within would be worth pushing up the ladder. Not only does promoting an internal worker take away from having to recruit someone on the outside, it will also prove to be less expensive in terms of training.

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your internal hiring efforts, make sure to follow the three tips outlined below.

Create a Plan that Promotes Internal Hiring
If you want to move your internal employees up the ladder, you must have a plan in place that recognizes their talents. You must also have a plan that informs these workers of available positions. There are many instances in which your top worker would have agreed to move up in the ranks had she known there was a position open.

Give Your Best Workers Reasons to Stay
If you want your top talent to stay with you, it’s a good idea to give them reason after reason. From paid vacation time to showing them they have opportunities to be promoted, there are many ways you can keep your best workers on board. Also, keep in mind that promotions should be offered at all levels. After all, without the little man, your company might just fall apart. From janitors to accountants to marketing directors, internal hiring can take place from the bottom of the totem pole on up.

Use an Applicant Tracking System
Regardless of your current hiring processes, using an applicant tracking system is of the utmost value. If you’re already using one, then that’s great. Just make sure that it allows you to limit open position announcements to internal employees. After a certain period of time, then you could open up permission for outside applicants to apply, but before doing so, you should want your current workers to have first dibs.

The Takeaway
The next time you’re looking to fill an open position, first take a look at what you’ve already got, and see if any internal workers will be a good fit.

Learn How to Hire From a Celebrity August 7, 2014

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Celebrities often seem to exist in a different world, where landing a job has nothing to do with writing a good resumé or getting a college education. So unless you’re in the entertainment business, Hollywood might sound like a bizarre place to seek hiring advice. However, recruiters and hiring managers can actually learn a valuable lesson from one of the world’s most famous women. Oprah Winfrey has spent decades in the TV industry, but her career might not have happened at all if it weren’t for some savvy and forward-thinking employers.

Oprah Winfrey’s unlikely success story
Winfrey wasn’t always a household name. In the late 1960’s, she was a Mississippi teenager who suffered abuse, the death of her infant son, and addiction to crack cocaine. That life of poverty is a far cry from the one she leads now, but it wasn’t luck that turned her world around. She was so determined to make a better future for herself that she started working in radio in her twenties, hoping against all odds to land a job on TV someday.

In 1983, she did just that. Right after she started hosting a morning news show in Chicago, it climbed to the top of the local ratings chart. That’s when major production companies began to notice this unexpected dynamo: a young black woman from the South with a growing audience of loyal viewers in the Midwest. She landed her own, nationally syndicated daytime talk show, and networks across the country made the decision to pick it up.

At the time, executives were taking a huge chance on her. They had no way of knowing that she could appeal to a mainstream audience, or that she could segue her news broadcasting career into the lighter world of daytime TV. Of course, history speaks for itself, and Oprah Winfrey went on to revolutionize the entire TV industry.

Her climb to success didn’t just take her from poverty and abuse to immense wealth and adoration, though. It also gave her the opportunity to change countless lives, from the audience members she lavished with gifts to the entertainers who followed in her footsteps. Today, for example, an openly gay woman is the top-rated daytime talk show host. Ellen DeGeneres followed Oprah’s example in her own successful show, from generous giveaways to intimate interviews with A-listers, proving once again that the majority can accept and relate to a minority.

Diversity can lead to great things
Different viewpoints are essential if you want to build a successful and productive team. Whether you’re conducting groundbreaking scientific research or holding a routine sales meeting, you can’t find the best answer without considering a wide variety of different viewpoints. If everyone in the world had the exact same background and opinions, there would be no room for innovation, creativity, or thinking outside the box, and all of these are essential for business success.

Embracing diversity is easier said than done, though. No matter how hard you try, it’s difficult to cast aside your own experiences and biases in order to objectively — and accurately — judge the potential of someone else. Luckily, technology can handle much of the sorting and analyzing for you. For example, an Applicant Tracking System takes your own goals and needs into consideration, gathers all relevant data from electronic applications, and allows you to choose from the most eligible applicants.

Every job applicant offers a completely unique perspective and skill set, and uncontrollable factors like race and upbringing should never determine their ability to do a job. Unique experiences — such as overcoming social and economic challenges — can actually improve an employee’s ability to relate to customers and colleagues, and to overcome tough obstacles to achieve amazing results. Winfrey proved this by earning the trust and devotion of a worldwide audience, and she continues to set the bar higher, producing her own original TV shows. If you think outside the box and forget about your own idea of the perfect employee, you might be surprised at the success that follows.

Is your company’s hiring experience streamlined? July 28, 2014

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Advances in information technology have changed the way many industries work, and the same goes for human resource management (HRM). One of HRM’s most notable functions is recruiting, and today’s software packages like the applicant tracking system (ATS) helps make the process easier for both head hunters and candidates. Here are some of the perks of using an ATS that help HRM staff put the human back into the HRM recruiting function.

Quickly Locate And Sort Able Job Seekers

The web-based ATS software is able to sort through many applications to locate possible job seekers based on key words and phrases. The ATS also streamlines the application process for job seekers and head hunters by asking them some basic questions to weed out people who are not a good fit. A key feature of these software systems is the ability to extract data from an uploaded resume to quickly fill out an application. Even in a sour job market, the best candidates expect worthy companies to use modern technology to make job search and recruiting functions more user friendly.

ATS Connects With Main Online Job Boards

Many job seekers have a presence on career platforms like Monster, Career Builder and LinkedIn. Even so, connecting to the right people through manual searches is like finding a needle in a haystack. ATS software allows HRM staff to conduct custom search and data import from these job boards based upon resume information that job seekers have posted there. HRM staff can now quickly locate job seekers with the right skill sets no matter what platform is used. These time-saving ATS features allow HRM staff to make contact, convey facts about the company and give feedback to select applicants.

ATS Helps Head Hunters Build Brands

Using ATS tools that streamline HRM processes helps staffing agents present their companies in the best possible light. Today’s job seekers have less leverage in the hiring process because of the surplus of people looking for work. Even so, wise head hunters still interact with them in a professional manner. They realize that some of these candidates are customers in disguise.

Conclusion

No one usually thinks of HRM professionals as marketing agents for the companies in which they work. However, that is exactly what they turn out to be as they represent their companies to potential candidates. Qualified candidates apply to positions at companies for a variety of reasons. Some applicants are simply seeking a good paying position with health care benefits. Other candidates carefully consider the company’s culture and values before doing serious job searches. By treating job seekers in the latter group with little respect, recruiters can inadvertently tarnish a company’s brand.

A New Age of Applicant Tracking Companies July 14, 2014

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Recruiting and hiring employees can be a time-consuming and laborious job for employers. If not done efficiently, it can also create unnecessary expenses for the company. These are just a few of the reasons more and more human resources (HR) departments are utilizing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

We live in an ever-evolving world that requires companies to stay up to date on state of the art technology which includes recruiting and hiring methods. These types of modern technology, including Applicant Tracking Systems, are crucial when it comes to finding and cultivating talent. ATS software enables companies to meet all of the HR needs including collecting and storing potential candidate’s job related information while tracking their progress throughout the hiring process. Employers are finding that ATS can be used for so much more than this, though. Employers looking to hire the perfect employee can also post job openings, screen resumes and generate interview requests all the while reducing the amount of paper used in the hiring process.

Due to the many companies who are now utilizing ATS as a more cost-effective and convenient method in hiring, the number of companies who make this high-tech HR software has grown considerably these past couple of years. In fact, according to theWall Street Journal, 90% of large companies use some kind of ATS.

Currently companies are debating what type of ATS to use and are questioning if it is best to go the IT route or go with the cloud. Most are finding that to stay on top of the latest and greatest technology, much of this finding, hiring and cultivating talent should be done through cloud-based HR applications. As more people become confident in the security of using cloud technology, these applicant tracking systems are quickly becoming a multi-million dollar business for which investors are jumping in with both feet to get their piece of the pie.

It seems that there is no getting away from modern technology in order to successfully run a business. It is almost unheard of for a company to succeed without using the Internet in some form or fashion, whether it’s marketing via social network or keeping in close contact with co-workers on the other side of the world. If businesses are not currently using the Internet, they best jump on board or they will soon be left behind. Companies who used to hire employees by first reading through every resume they received will also be a thing of the past. If they don’t start using ATS, they will be missing out on finding and hiring some great candidates.

Top 4 Hiring Tips for 2014 June 30, 2014

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Turnover is a critical issue, and many employers have had to terminate individuals despite their initial credentials. These days, hiring can be rough-and retaining human resources can be tougher. Nobody wants employees incapable of maintaining their resume-provided credentials, and nobody wants to make repeat mistakes. Here are a few tips for avoiding the “hiring spiral-loop of death”:

1.  Choose Passion over Paper

Sure, credentials look great. However, businesses have failed to hire extraordinary individuals due to heavy focuses upon credentials.

According to Business Insider, “clarifying job expectations has repeatedly been shown to be the number one driver of performance.” Unfortunately, these expectations may reduce a future employee’s credentials before they’re in the door.

The truth is, those not hired for passion are often riding the credential bullet straight to you-know-where. Simply put: People want Jobs, and they’re good at getting them. Those displaying true passion, however, often match it with natural potential. These employees stick around, and they’re the best asset human resource managers have.

2.  Be Strict About Fit

Sure, many industries overlap. However, a professional sportsman may not be an adequate weightlifter. The same rule applies to the professional world-where many jobs seemingly “cross” into other fields. Beware false credentials. Instead of looking for a jack-of-all-trades, look for a one-hit-winner. It’s better to have a niche worker than a widespread one. It’ll make a business more efficient in the long run, and it’ll keep workers happy by pressing their defined skills.

3.  Know What the Job Requires

This aspect is commonly overlooked. Many hiring managers think they know what a job demands, but they fail to recognize intricacies defined by niche professionals. Before posting on a job board, contact those already within the job’s segment, and learn what you can about the position’s demands. Additionally, understand what traits are exemplified by the field’s successful workers. Determine organizational values, and figure out what defines “success”.

4.  Be Open Minded in Hiring

It pays well to be open-minded, and many hiring managers fail to hire decent employees because of tight-fitting shoes, so to speak. While it’s important to understand the various, acute, needs of a position, don’t be defined by the boundaries.

People are wide and varied, and some may deliver innovative approaches to an industry. Many, too, haven’t had chances to reach high-success levels, and they may need a small push from the nest. Successful people are often apparent to hiring managers: They seize opportunities, and they blow human resource leaders away with charisma, grit and ambition.

It’s time to approach human resources differently-and it’s time to avoid the disasters plaguing many hiring managers. Take additional time when considering alternatives, and approach each potential employee with honesty, curiosity and an optimistic mind.

Don’t Let Emotions Interfere With Your Hiring Practices June 2, 2014

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The entire hiring gambit, on most occasions, slants toward the ‘instincts’ of the hiring manager more than qualifications. When asked about this, most people use social ‘cocktailing’ as a scale to weigh the probability of hires.

Pretend the prospective employee is of legal drinking age. A lot of hidden interviews begin with the casual drinking test. The approach you take is to ask yourself this: would you be able to take an evening out with this person and have a drink – alcoholic or non-alcoholic – with them without cringing or becoming exasperated? If you can’t stand to be in their presence for five minutes, not even to have a soda, then chances are they won’t be able to work for you.

You don’t have to literally go out and drink with them; this is just a prime example of what it would be like to have them around you and to find out if you can work with them or not.

If the person in question passes the ‘social drinking’ test the second step is to make sure they want to work with you. The main thing to help them overcome is the fear factor. Would-be hires may have misgivings about the longevity of the offered position. They may not be willing to sacrifice the comfort of what they have to get something they’re not sure of. These concerns are reasonable enough, but let’s look at another angle.

Eric Lunt, CTO for Bright Tag suggests focusing on the danger of over complaisance in a job as opposed to risky start-ups. As comfortable as a candidate is on their present job they could be in danger of losing it. Not taking chances could cost you your dreams.

Commentary 

I have never read a better example of using socializing instincts as related to the job search in my life. Fiction can become a fact. I went out with a group of people and was singled out with one in particular. This person had the worst table manners I had ever witnessed. Over time, I discovered that their personal and vocational standards weren’t that hot either. If the author feels the ‘cocktail test’ is a good way to screen would-be hires, than I totally agree. The relaxing atmosphere brings out the best/worst in a person.

The fear factor is completely understandable and I’m sure all of us have been there, however, getting too comfortable on the job could be an indication that things aren’t moving in the right direction. Ask the hire If they are ‘content’ on the job instead of ‘steadily motivated.’ If they’re just content, try to persuade them to take the plunge. What they fear could be their best break yet.

It’s a Fact: Hiring Managers Look at Social Media Feeds May 23, 2014

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Surveys show that 6 out of 10 hiring managers are taking ‘sneak peeks’ at Facebook posts and tweets of prospective employees, but the larger percentage of them wouldn’t allow this to influence their hiring decisions. 4 out of 10 stated that social media posts would be a deciding factor on whether or not they would hire an applicant according to Challenger Gray & Christmas.

John Challenger, CEO of Challenger and Gray further stated that inappropriate tweets or Instagrams from an applicant might lessen their chances of being hired. On the other hand, hiring managers are shaking down to reality because many of them are social media users themselves. He goes on to say that if every applicant were weeded out for inappropriate posts there would be no one left to hire.

Compromising photos and damaging statements posted to the public may hinder a job applicants chances, but ‘eavesdropping’ on those applicants social media post can work against employers as well. Anti-discrimination laws come into play if hiring managers are found to be biased, so checking up on protected workers social media posts can be tricky.

OgletreeDeakins Nash Smoak& Stewart PC’s employment attorney Tracy Miller says that employers are opting for third-party consultants to make professional and unbiased decisions when reviewing social media profiles. This allows for impartial hiring processes.

It is just about impossible for the casual social media pundit to pass up an opportunity to review a propaganda-style/racy photo that any other user posts; how much more can a human resource manager resist the temptation? The trick here is to put all off-color posts and photos into perspective by comparing what is actually said (and seen) in conjunction with the working world.

It is wise to think twice – and be a little charitable – in cases where it is plain that someone is blowing off steam. What they actually say may not weigh in as much as what they actually do. I’m sure many of us have posted comments that made us cringe when we thought about it afterward; you can’t take back what you give out!

Of course, repeated threats, harmful statements toward others or sexually discriminating and constant racist remarks are not to be ignored. To get a balanced view on a user’s personality – in connection with hiring – look at their family and friends, and their posts, to see what kind of company they keep and how they rate these people.

Also, find out what motivates them by the positive posts, photos and any pre-made mottos that are shared between them and their friends. This tells more about the inner person than anything else!

3 Recruitment Tips for Small Businesses May 9, 2014

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The goal of any company is hiring the best professionals in any industry. Hiring managers are often faced with the complication of shifting through several different applicants and individuals, but that does not mean it is impossible to find the top talent. Even a small business can hire like the largest companies with the right tools and attitude.

Look at Past Work

Fortune 500 companies often evaluate the portfolio or past work of an individual before hiring. By looking for employees who create products that the company wants or needs, it is easier to ensure that the applicant is a good fit for the goals and plans of the business.

Even new college graduates can bring in past projects that were developed in the classroom. Ask candidates to bring their portfolio and take a look at projects in person. Evaluate their abilities and ask about the different steps that were taken to create the product or complete the project.

Past work can provide insights into the individual’s capabilities, interests and methods of handling different ideas. It helps determine if the candidate is a good fit for the company or still have room to grow.

Narrow Down the Choices

Use an Applicant Tracking System to narrow down the candidates based on specific factors that are required for the position. If the position requires three years of previous work experience, then use the system to eliminate applications that have fewer than three years of experience.

Avoid setting requirements for a specific set of schools, such as Ivy League universities, to reduce the risk of eliminating the best talent. Some of the best candidates will come from unexpected places, such as non-traditional education via trade schools or small universities.

Ask Thoughtful Questions

Fortune 500 companies are always looking for the best professionals in any industry. As a hiring manager, it is important to ask questions that are thoughtful based on the position. Avoid trick questions; instead, focus on interviews that evaluate the skills and abilities of the individual.

If the candidate brought in a project that took several months to complete, then ask about changes that may have been made if they had more time. Ask about how they would handle a project that had less time. Keep the interview as thoughtful as possible to ensure that the candidates are a good fit for the company.

The process of finding the top talent requires the use of creative questions, careful evaluation and updated technology and tools. By using an Applicant Tracking System, narrowing down the choices and then interviewing the best candidates in ways that evaluate their past performance, their process of completing a project and the ways that they adjust to different situations, it is easier to find the best professionals in any field.

How to Hire for a Startup April 25, 2014

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The first time that business owners hire employees for their startups, a lot of them don’t do a very good job, and this is to be expected because many of them have no experience in hiring. As unfortunate as it is, though, hiring the wrong people can lead to business failure, so startup business owners should always be on the lookout for advice relating to how they can hire the right workers the first time around.

Determine the needed positions

The first tip that should be followed in relation to hiring the right people is to determine which positions need to be filled. While a new startup owner may feel as if he or she can take on the entire world, this isn’t a good idea. From having a qualified accountant to employing an experienced marketing manager, there are many positions that workers should be hired for.

Look for qualifications and experience

Hiring people that are qualified for their job positions is crucial to a startup’s success. And while experience is always a good thing, it’s usually not as important as being highly-qualified. Then again, the more experience a person has, usually the more qualified he or she is. The most important thing to remember is that some of today’s most highly-qualified individuals don’t have much experience under their belts because they are so young and straight out of college. It’s important to balance both characteristics–qualifications and experience–when hiring.

Double check applications

Just because a person says he or she has 15 years of experience in retail management doesn’t mean that it’s true. Startup owners should always double check the statements made on an applicant’s application.

Look for workers that will fit in

Every company has its own culture and atmosphere. When a hiring manager goes about hiring a new worker, it is essential to evaluate whether or not an applicant seems like he or she will fit in with the other workers. Sometimes, a worker will be highly-qualified, yet at the same time not be a good fit for a company.

Understand when to outsource

There are many job positions that can be outsourced instead of hiring a full-time worker to fill them. Outsourcing tends to be very cost-effective, and for some businesses, it’s the only option when first opening the doors. When a startup owners starts hiring workers, it’s important to determine which positions can be outsourced and which ones can’t.

The hiring processes that have to be carried out will always differ from one startup to the next, but by keeping the above mentioned tips in mind, the processes can be significantly simplified.

Applicant Tracking Software is also a fantastic resource for a burgeoning startup.  Using an ATS a startup can comete with large companies by having access to recruiting tools, background checks, careers sites, social recruiting features, referrals programs and more.