The process of hiring someone new is a time and resources burden for every employer out there. If possible, wouldn’t it be better to just keep the well-trained and experienced employees that are already doing their jobs? It turns out that there are a lot of things that employers can do to help keep employees from disappearing because they’re burnt out, bored, or simply not doing as good a job as they’re capable of doing.
Disengaged employees make up as many as 9 in 10 staff members, according to Forbes. That not only means many people may be thinking of leaving, but the entire office is not doing a very efficient job. Here are a few important considerations for employers who want to re-engage unenthusiastic employees.
Know Your Staff
Managers that take the time to understand the specific skills and interests of their staff are more likely to fit the right employees to the right tasks. When employees are doing the things they’re good at and they’re interested in, they’re much happier.
Talk About Goals
Long term goals should be a part of conversations with staff members. When managers and leadership take an interest in the future of an employee, that employee feels that they are working towards something bigger and better. That feeling can keep them engaged and motivated.
Disengaged employees feel that their contribution doesn’t matter, that anyone could come in and do their job. When you take the time to appreciate their work, they realize that they are doing a good job and that management has noticed. Being noticed can lead to motivation and enthusiasm for better performance.
Cultivate Pride and a Positive Office Culture
A lot of disengaged employees don’t feel that the company they work for is special in any way. Some offices encourage positivity by using teamwork that requires cooperation. Others offer volunteer opportunities or perks like gym memberships. Little things can make a big difference for employees, giving them the sense that their job is different and better than other jobs.
Some employees are going to leave because they’re motivated to find another job or a better position. But all too often, their lack of enthusiasm for their current work has more to do with disengagement than a lack of opportunities. Creating those opportunities and staying engaged with employees on an individual level will help to keep staff from leaving.
While it’s certainly a good practice for all of us to be discerning in what we choose to share on Facebook—versus what we choose to keep to ourselves—it’s interesting that these warnings assume that all employers are looking at social profiles as part of the job screening process. Indeed, there is a perception about the employment industry these days that so-called “social media background checks” are now a key tool for employers trying to make tough hiring decisions. In the minds of many, social media checks have joined resume reviews, interviews, and criminal history checks as a standard part of all hiring policies.
Now, say you are an entrepreneur or business owner, and you are looking to hire new employees for the first time. You need to design a screening process that will filter out the weak applicants, eliminate unsavory individuals, and find you a perfect candidate. And because you’ve heard so much about social media checks over the years, you decide that you might want to implement them as one step of your hiring process.
How Social Media Checks Work
After you begin considering doing social media checks of your applicants, your first question will probably be about how to go about doing them.
It should be a clue to you that no background check company offers a service for social media checks. These firms will do virtually any kind of background check that is legal and fair, from searching criminal records, to checking financial history, all the way to verifying educational credentials and checking references. They will not do social media checks, though. If you want to do these checks, you are on your own.
Most employers that do social media background checks don’t do them until after an interview. They use resumes and job applications to choose the candidates they are actually interested in. The pool is then narrowed with interviews. After that, a social check may be used to see if any top prospects have any obvious online red flags. In other words, these social media checks aren’t really a key component to the employee screening process. Instead, they are a way to see if an applicant is indeed the person they presented themselves as in the interview.
All told, this means that most hiring managers will only ever be doing social background checks of a few applicants. How these checks are done, then, is more or less what you would expect: an employer goes onto Facebook; searches the name of an applicant; finds that person’s profile based on name, photo, location information, etc.; and then browses the profile for potential red flags.
3 Reasons Why You Should Skip The Social Media Check
The concept of a social check sounds pretty simple, right? You narrow down your applicant pool, pick a few people you’d seriously consider hiring, and then see if there are any inappropriate photos or statuses on their Facebook profile. But while there can certainly be benefits from seeing how an applicant behaves “in the real world,” the risks and cons of social checks outweigh the pros. Here are the three primary reasons why you should skip the social media background check in your employment screening process.
1. They reveal information that employers are not supposed to know
When you draft a job application for your company, there are a number of rules to which you must adhere. You are not allowed to ask, for instance, about an applicant’s age or marital status. In some parts of the country, where ban-the-box legislation is on the books, you aren’t even allowed to ask about criminal history. These rules are there to prevent discrimination or bias in hiring.
When you check an applicant’s social profile, you are almost certainly going to learn about some of these pieces of information that no employer is supposed to have. Facebook profiles disclose a lot of personal information: age, race, native language, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, whether or not the applicant has children, whether the applicant smokes or drinks, etc. Learning this information can make it difficult for employers to make unbiased hiring decisions.
2. They are frowned upon by the EEOC
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission frowns upon social media background checks for the reasons laid out above: they increase the chances of bias and discrimination entering into the hiring process. And while social media checks aren’t illegal themselves—at least not yet—they can lead employers to breaking EEOC laws without even realizing it.
For example, let’s say an employer looks at the Facebook page of a female applicant. The action of simply pulling up the webpage is legal. While browsing the profile, though, the hiring manager notices that the woman has just announced that she is pregnant. Due to concerns about maternity leave, the employer decides not to hire the woman and goes with an equally qualified male applicant for the job. The employer has thus committed an employment discrimination crime, and can be sued by both the EEOC and the female applicant they unfairly rejected.
3. They can be a big waste of time
The last reason to skip social checks is that, plain and simple, they can lead to a huge waste of time and a substantial loss of productivity. When an employer sits down to look at applicant profiles on Facebook, there are plenty of reasons that the endeavor could end up being fruitless. Perhaps the applicant doesn’t have a Facebook profile, or has implemented extensive privacy settings to keep non-friends from looking at their page. Or maybe the person goes by a different name on Facebook than the one they wrote down on their application. Either way, there are better uses of time than chasing phantoms on a social network.
Instead, use those hours to find a reputable background check firm for criminal screenings, or even to interview a few extra applicants You’ll get more out of your time, and won’t have to worry about accidentally breaking any hiring laws.
Michael Klazema has been developing products for pre-employment screening and improving online customer experiences in the background screening industry since 2009. He is the lead author and editor for a background check company. He lives in Dallas, TX with his family and enjoys the rich culinary histories of various old and new world countries.
Can you really put your resume on every job site out there? And is that the best strategy? Sorting the good advice from the misleading can be time consuming and frustrating. Here is a list of some of the most influential and useful career sites of 2014, all of which are updated regularly, see plenty of traffic, and are easy to access through various social media channels.
Indeed, launched in 2004, is the most visited job website in the world. 140 million unique visitors check the site every day. Part of its success is due to the fact that it’s actually an aggregator, providing job listing from many other websites, all in one place. It’s operating in 50 countries.
Next on the list is familiar named Career Builder. Partnered with AOL and MSN, it provides a huge selection of jobs and operates in 60 markets over 24 countries. They also own and operate other smaller sites that cater to specific markets, including WorkinRetail.com and sologig.com.
Despite the size, and in fact partially because of it, Monster is an important career site to use. It’s one of the largest online job markets in the world, and it continues to grow every year. With about a million jobs and a million resumes, plus over 63 million job seekers accessing the site per month, it’s a great place to start your job search.
This website may be simple, but it is not small. With over 8 million job listings, it is the largest independent job search engine. It is so extensive that it is used as an economic indicator by some economists.
LinkedIn isn’t a proper job search site, however it is an important networking tool and does lead to a lot of job placements. By connecting with your friends, co-workers, previous co-workers, and the broader network from there, you might get that personal introduction to the perfect job.
Beyond is another search engine for job sites. They’ve provided a different kind of tool, which gives them a leg up in certain ways. Some compare Beyond to LinkedIn, because it offers a unique way to display your resume and has online communities for professionals to join and benefit from.
This website offers many internships and entry level professional jobs as well as plenty of sound advice about landing that first job. It includes many helpful and encouraging success stories from those who are entering the job market and land permanent positions via internships.
Glassdoor broke ground last year by creating a tool that helps you connect your skills with jobs that you may not realize you’re qualified for. Their Job Explorer feature allows you to map potential jobs which you might overlook on a different site. The rollout in July exposed a few quirks which are mostly smoothed out by now.
Mashable Jobs was launched only four years ago, but already boasts high traffic and over 3,000 employers who consider it a top destination, along with over 11,000 job postings in its extended network.
The mission of this site is to fundamentally change the way that people find professional opportunities and the ways that employers find talent. It’s used by thousands of companies, universities, and membership organizations.
While searching career sites does not replace the work of improving your actual resume and applying for jobs, you can learn a lot about the market and your opportunities by scouring the sites that appeal to you. You don’t have to use all 10, but make sure at least a few of these are on your list.
New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for being short lived. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make them. This year, consider what you can use this opportunity for. A Resolution should be something that reminds you of things you often forget. In other words, consider your New Year’s Resolutions as an opportunity to keep great advice at the forefront of your mind. In the recruiting business we all know that hard work is an absolute requirement, but with all the dashing around, trying to be the first to snap up a great candidate or fill a great position, it’s easy to forget the things that create a great base for strong recruiting skills over time. Here are a few New Year’s Resolutions to consider for 2015.
1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
As a recruiter, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the competitive side of the job. Stop doing that this year. Remember that you are your own worse competition and focus on doing your job as well as possible.
2. Value Honesty and Sincerity
Recruiters are usually some of the most confident and enthusiastic people in a room. It’s easy to let those skills – which are absolutely necessary for the job – run away with your mouth. We can all afford to step back from time to time and re-focus on the importance of being sincere and honest.
Enthusiasm can all too easily look like insincerity, and sincerity is what builds a great relationship, whether it’s between you and a client or you and a great candidate. You want people to like you, and you’re confident they will, but honesty and sincerity are the groundwork for a really powerful relationship.
3. Set Goals with Dates
A lot of people use New Year’s Resolutions as a time to set goals. That’s fine and it’s a great start, but you’ve got to put a date on a goal. Put yourself in a position to succeed by resolving to set the kinds of goals that have an expiration date. Measurable goals are real goals. Come up with goals that are reasonable for you to accomplish. If you’ve averaged 3 placements per month this year, make a goal of having at least 4 per month. At the end of each month you’ll know whether you’ve reached your goal.
4. Join a Group, Learn to Use a New Tool
Extend yourself a bit this coming year by doing something specific which will increase your tangible skills. Joining a group will help you to extend your network and may lead to educating opportunities. Using the tools available to recruiters is required, but with so many out there and new ones being added all the time it’s easy to just give up and say you like what you work with now. Make a New Year’s Resolution to teach yourself to effectively take advantage of a recruiting tool that you’ve brushed past or only learned the very basics about.
5. Get Over Bad Days
It’s something we say again and again, but it bears repeating. No matter how many times or how often you have bad days, you must be able to get over them quickly. If you let bad days, or bad weeks, slow you down, you’ll be wasting even more time than you already feel you have. When something falls through, let it go with grace and get on to the next thing.
Write yourself a letter about the things you’d like to see yourself do over the coming year. Seal it and put it somewhere so you can open it at the end of the year. New Year’s Resolutions are hard to keep, but they’re still an opportunity to make promises to yourself about how things will get better from now forward.
Recruiting is both a skill and an art when done well. There are layers to the skills required and it can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you get a couple of matches that fall through in a row. But being a great recruiter is about more than knowing how to do the job. You’ve also got to be confident, relentless, circumspect, and you can’t let the bad days get you down.
Networking: Personality and Relationships
Recruiters are responsible for building relationships with their clients, who simply want to hire the best person for each open position. But they also have to be able to build relationships with the candidates that they’d like to place. You’ve got to be able to work with the people on both sides of an equation, and you’ve got to know how a candidate’s personality will mesh with the corporate culture of a client. A match is only good if it lasts, so you can’t simply convince people that they’re a good fit. The fit has to actually be good.
Fluency with the Tools of the Trade
Building up that network of great clients and excellent candidates will require that you know where to find them. The ways that candidates search for jobs and the short cuts that clients may take are changing all the time. You’ve got to stay on top of all the best options and learn how to use them in a fluent, comfortable, and fast way. Develop a workflow that includes checking social media, online marketing tools, job sites, and resume listing sites. Use modern recruiting technologies like recruiting software that helps you to keep all those contacts organized and at your fingertips.
Balance Confidence with Listening Skills
Recruiting requires confidence. You’ve got to have an eye out for what you think is going to work best for others, which means you can’t waffle about and say things like ‘maybe this’ll work out’. There’s no room for matches that are just okay. Enthusiasm and confidence will help your clients and candidates to feel confident about you.
But there’s a balance to be struck, because with over-confidence come foolish mistakes. Being a good listener is also part of the job. Great recruiters aren’t always looking at their next great match, they’re listening closely to what candidates and clients are actually asking for. Sometimes the client or candidate isn’t able to communicate what it is they want, but if you listen closely you’ll start to understand what would be a great match for them.
Patience, Speed, and Resilience
Why lump patience and speed together? Because a recruiter has to be the first one out of the gate when a great position opens which might be perfect for a candidate. The competition is high and that means you can’t wait around to make that match.
At the same time, you’ve got to be patient as you wait for that perfect match to appear. Putting together a company with a candidate who simply won’t thrive within the corporate culture will not be good for anyone. Even if the candidate is hired, if they don’t last you’re putting your reputation on the line. If you’re impatience, you’re risking your networks, relationships, and the work you’ve done to get where you are.
Finally, a great recruiter must be resilient. Not every placement will work out. Not every candidate will find a job through you, no matter how hard you work. And there will be times when a placement falls through and you feel like you just can’t get back on your feet. Recruiting is a job that has built in ups and downs. When you’re down, remember that you have to go back up eventually. Keep going or you’ll never get there.
Hiring new employees is costly, and most companies and recruiting agencies know that by now. It’s much less expensive to hire from within or promote current employees than it is to hire someone new. The main costs are associated with the cost of recruitment services, skills training, slow adoption of corporate culture and norms, costs associated with adding employees to programs, in-house HR costs, background and reference checks, referral bonuses, uniforms, and credit checks. Indirect costs include things like recruiter travel expenses, time at employment fairs and other hiring events, and advertising.
Depending on the position, length of the hiring process, and the job sector, among other factors, a new hire can cost between $240 and $10,000. And that doesn’t include executive new hire which can be much more expensive. With all these factors and such a range of numbers, talking about the average can be a bit misleading. It’s better to look at the averages for specific industries or positions in order to gain an understanding of what is normal within your field.
Typically, we can point to numbers around $4500-$5000 as a reasonable average cost per hire. But depending on the source you may find numbers closer to $8000-$10000. Do these numbers mean anything to your company?
Calculate Your Own Cost per Hire
A more valuable number these days is the cost per hire that you can calculate from within your company. While you can calculate how much it costs in expenses, a more valuable number is the cost to your company for having a vacancy within the company.
The first number you’ll need is annual sales. This can be from your division or entire company, depending on size and variety. You’ll also need to know an average number of days it takes to hire a new employee. If the recruiting department has specific costs, you can add these in.
Start by finding daily revenue per employee by dividing the annual sales by 250. Multiply your result by the number of days your company takes to hire someone new. If you have additional costs, add those to your result. The result is the cost to your company of hiring someone new.
As you can imagine, the length of time to hire someone new is in fact a key factor. By reducing the length of time it takes to hire someone new, you can ensure you’re bringing in the maximum revenue possible within your company.
The ideal for any staffing agency is to have a consistent flow of incoming potential candidates, regular clients who are regularly hiring, and placements that happen on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately, reaching this point of balance within a staffing agency takes a lot of time. The reality on the ground is that you’ll have high points and low points, times when a number of great matches happen and times when it seems like nobody wants to actually hire the great candidates you’re putting in front of them. Accept that this is part of the work now and you’ll be able to prepare for these ups and downs.
What Goes Up Must Come Dow
Maybe more importantly, when things seem to be at a low low, you can depend on them to go back up again. Keep this in mind when placements don’t fall into place. When a candidate you’ve been working with suddenly decides not to take a job they seemed perfect for, or when your clients reject your candidate, it can feel like you’ve wasted incredible amounts of time for nothing. Forget about that time and keep moving forward. Learn what you can, but don’t dwell on it. The only thing you can effect is the future, so work on that instead of dwelling on the past.
Balancing the Financial Side
When everything is just cruising along, let’s say you’ve had a month where you’ve made a number of very high caliber placements, remember to set aside cash for the weak months. It’s so easy to feel like you cannot be beat when you are running at full speed and making all the leaps you take. But if you go overboard when things are good, the bad times will be even harder.
Preparing Staff for Their Highs and Lows
If you have staff at your hiring agency, you know that they’re going to be experiencing the highs of great placements as well as the lows of failure. Don’t put pressure on them to feel bad about poor performance. Let them know that this happens, and sometimes it feels like it will never end. But it always does.
Recruiters have to work incredibly hard to keep themselves afloat. There have to be a few balls in the air at all times for things to work out. Sometimes all the balls fall to the floor and it can feel devastating. Pick them back up and start juggling again – it’s the only way to get better and reap rewards from this rewarding career.
There are plenty of reasons why hiring an intern can be a great idea. It’s essential to know exactly why you’re hiring them and what your goals—and theirs—are for the experience.
Interns, often young and still studying or fresh out of college, tend to be highly motivated and interested. They will come into an internship with the intention of both learning from a company, and using their experience there to further their own career path, either through simply gaining real life experience, or earning a letter of recommendation that’s not from a professor. Interns have an openness that a regular hire may not have because they also are aware of the opportunity to make professional connections for their future. All interns also know that companies will sometimes hire their best interns, and this makes them extremely hard workers.
This alone is good reason to hire an intern—Gen Y professionals simply have an ease with technology that is always helpful in the office. Not only can you trust them to learn programs easily, but they might be able to show other employees a few things that they didn’t know about company software or iPads or Apps nobody knew about. Interns can also have fresh ideas about how the company could be utilizing social media more effectively.
Since hiring new employees is taking longer and becoming a more arduous process for most companies, any shortcut means savings of time and money in the HR department. An internship functions as a natural trial period for a job in the company. Employers have a chance to witness the employee’s work ethic, know how, and skills on the job without committing to anything. If they’re excellent, the company may choose to bring them on as a paid employee and bypass the trouble and expense of a new employee search.
Unattached Can Mean Creative
The intern has the advantage of a new perspective on the way things are running in a company. They are not as attached to the power structures, or the way things have always been done. If given the liberty to do so, and enough respect that they feel that they do have a voice during the internship period, they just might have some very clever solutions to things a company had been blind to through habit.
Better Retention Rate
Employees who were hired on from an internship often stay with the company longer. This may be in part because of a kind of loyalty an intern gives to the company that sees their potential and is willing to take a risk on it. It may be a factor of the recent economy—it’s simply harder to go out there in the job market again once you’ve gotten used to being fully employed.
All things considered, it simply makes sense for companies to implement an internship program. It saves money, forms a bridge to the greater community, is relatively easy and inexpensive to set up, and has great potential benefits for everyone involved.
It is a truism of our current hiring climate that employers are taking longer to hire new employees. The average amount of time it took for U.S. companies to say “you’re hired,” from beginning to end of the process was 25 working days on average. The same study showed that bigger companies, defined as those with over 5000 employees, took much longer—58.1 working days on average.
At the same time, this trend of longer hiring periods coincides with the highest number of American job openings in the past seven years—4.7 million according to a June, 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics count. There are still plenty of people looking for work, so we can assume that the lag time isn’t because of a lack of qualified applicants. And so the numbers don’t entirely match up. The picture is a bit perplexing—how confident are employers?
One partial explanation is that employers have become pickier, raising the requirements or credentials for jobs. These new, higher bars, don’t bode well for many in the job market, like recent college grads who simply don’t have five plus years experience in any field. Yet, some employers are overall happier with the results, once they do get a new hire on the job. By taking more time with the process, they feel they are taking a more active role in curating the social and work culture of their company. Overall satisfaction with those who make it through the more elaborate screening processes seems to be up as well.
A More Elaborate Interview Process
It is a reality these days that job searchers will likely have to go through the gauntlet to get their desired job. Many employers have added multiple interviews for top choices. Future employees may be asked to go through more screening, even drug testing, for jobs which previously didn’t require such tests. Also, the increase in social and business networks online has added to HR’s load in multiple ways. First, when screening an applicant, their online history is usually investigated, and this can be time consuming. Second, many companies are using professional networks like LinkedIn to court and recruit desirable and sometimes over-qualified applicants. This may be happening simultaneously to screening other solicited applications.
If a company is unsure whether sales and revenue warrant the expense of a new employee, we may see them dragging their feet and prolonging the entire hiring process while they determine whether they can afford to fill the position. Delaying or extending the hiring process may sometimes simply be the direct effect of human resource departments having also suffered cuts during the recession.
Ultimately, however, slower hiring times usually means a loss of revenue for a company. The logic is simple: if they need to hire, it’s because business is good, and they have more clients than they can take on. Prolonging the hiring process can also negatively effect profit.
Resumes are notoriously painful to write or update. Often the previous version isn’t even accessible or it sounds trite and hollow, if you can find an old file at all. These tips are designed to be helpful for people who have an old resume they’d like to work from, but they’re also applicable for people who are starting to write their resume from scratch.
1. Objective Statement? Nope.
Forget the objective – if you have career goals, that’s great. But it’s also your responsibility to make them a reality. Talk about your goals during the interview. Instead of an objective, give the reader a quick, straightforward summary of what they’ll find in the resume. Most people are going to read hundreds of resumes, so summarizing succinctly will be doing them a favor.
2. Accomplishments, Not Responsibilities
For each job, don’t list what you were supposed to do, list what you actually did. Make sure to update results and achievements based on what the job you’re applying for will entail. e.g., if the job description says you’ll need to improve productivity, mention how you improved productivity at your last job and briefly state how you did it.
3. Abbreviations are Okay
As long as they make sense, you can use abbreviations. In the past, this was a no-no, but brevity is valued more highly today than ever before. (Twitter?)
4. Keep Hobbies and Activities Relevant
Play guitar in a band? That’s nice, but unless your job will require you to play the guitar, don’t mention it. Again, anyone reading your resume is looking for applicable skills, experience, and accomplishments. And they’re probably hurrying through many applications.
5. Formality is Less… Formal
While it’s still important to be respectful, don’t assume that you have to be stuffy in your cover letter and on your resume. Personality is also interesting, depending on the company you’re applying to. Learn a bit about company culture before applying, some companies don’t like things to be too formal.
6. They Know You’ll Send References if They Ask
Don’t end with ‘References available upon request’. No reason to state the obvious.
7. Know Your Audience
Once again, do your research. Even before you sit down to update your resume, sit down and research the company and re-read the job announcement. Find out everything you can about the position and update your resume with that information fresh in your mind. That way you’ll only include relevant things.
Put the highest level of education you completed first and end with your Bachelor’s degree, unless you’ve only completed high school.
10. Proofread, Proofread, Ask a Friend to Proofread
There is nothing worse than sending a resume with a typo. You’ve poured over this document time and again, fixing every word so that it’s succinct but meaningful. Don’t leave ‘there’ where you meant ‘the’. Proofread once first thing after breakfast and read it all out loud. Make sure there aren’t any mistakes.
These days, very few people read through the whole resume, unless it catches their eye. Simple, to the point, and concise resume summaries are appreciated and give the reader a reason to read on. Consider how the reader must feel reading hundreds of these things and try to make it at least quick and easy to get through. And finally, because everyone can see through a puffed up resume, be honest.