Posts Tagged: Company Culture


How to Write Job Descriptions That Will Identify the Right Candidate

December 28th, 2016

When responsible for managing staff, one of the most important tasks is hiring new employees or contract talent. Choosing the wrong person can have negative consequences. In turn, if your job description does not accurately describe the job requirements, you may not attract the right person for the job, or high quality talent. So what is important in a job description for today’s best candidates?

Convey Your Company’s Culture

Laptop vector illustration. Flat design. Notebook with text on screen. Working with documents on computer  illustration for writing, coding concept, app icon, logo design. Isolated on white background.

Company culture is very important when it comes to interviewing and recruiting a potential employee. Your want to attract candidates that will be a good fit for the company and will enjoy coming to the office every day. You may think that you have found the perfect candidate based on their education, experience and skills, yet, if this person is not a culture fit, he or she may not be productive or perform to their full potential. Communicate the corporate mission, work-life balance and other important aspects of the company culture in your job description. If you offer remote work opportunities, flexible schedules or an on-site gym, include each on the job description, it can make a difference between competing opportunities.

Make it Interesting

Candidates spend significant time looking at job descriptions and hopefully tailoring their resume to that description. Many candidates will simply move on to the next employment listing if they are reading a boring job description. Make your job listing stand out by being creative. Use a unique font or text color. If you can, add a short video to the job description. The video could talk about the positive aspects of the role along with some perks of the company.  It could also feature employee testimonials talking about why they love working for the company and where the company is headed in the future.

Focus on What Is Most Important

A job description should be short and simple. Do not drive away potential candidates by listing every single desirable qualification. The ideal candidate may not have every skill that on your list. Language that is exclusionary may cause the perfect candidate to not bother applying for the position. So, choose what skills are most important and list them in the job description. Stick to about five or six key qualifications. The same goes with job duties. Do not list every duty associated with the job. It does not provide insight into what tasks are the most important and can drive potential candidates away. Instead, choose five or six of the most important responsibilities for the position.

Do you need help writing job descriptions or identifying talent for hard to fill roles? Give us a call at (877) 746-8450!

5 Trends That Will Redefine Your Recruiting Strategy in the New Year

December 21st, 2016

Out with the old, in with the new—talent acquisition marketing strategy, that is.

2017 is promising to be a very busy year for recruiters, as the job market picks up and recently finalized trade agreements have the global economy in full swing. Despite the job-related optimism, many talent leaders are still struggling with a general lack of resources and an undefined employment brand strategy.

So what can you expect in hiring and recruiting strategy for 2017?

Talent is Key for C-Suite: When it comes to company success, recruiting leaders are key to their organization’s efforts. More than 83 percent of talent acquisition leaders hold talent as their number one resource, and 75 percent of recruiters say that their team is one of the top reasons for company growth and new success.

Sales Funnel Big Data Flat Style Concept. Vector illustration of Big Data Filter. Laptop with Data Analysis.

Focus on Sales, Operations, and Engineering: A majority of recruiters expect to hire more employees in the coming year, and the bulk of that number will be in sales. To stay relevant, recruiters will need to find innovative ways to recruit talent pools in the sales, operations, and engineering industries.

Hiring Source Diversity: Recruiters often say that employee referrals are their biggest source of top quality hires. This makes sense, given that referred employees are quicker to hire, more committed to their jobs, and better performers over the long term. To keep the talent pools full, however, recruiters will still need to maintain their presence with staffing firms, on social networks, and marketing your employee and personal brand across all platforms.

Employer and Employee Branding: Not everyone has an unlimited recruiting budget—and when money is tight, the best course of action is often to spend conservatively. With more than 50 percent of recruiting budgets allocated to recruitment agencies and job boards and just 17 percent slated for technology, it seems recruiters may have some wiggle room when it comes to being a bit adventurous with the budget. Since investing in the employer branding strategy is at the top of 53 percent of recruiter’s wish lists, 2017 might be just the right time for a bit of non-traditional recruitment spending.

Automation and Data: Since hiring demands continue to grow while recruiters struggle with a limited budget and even fewer human resources, automated screening processes and data-driven hiring strategies seem to be the next logical step toward talent acquisition efficiency. Larger companies report that big data is their number one trend for the coming year, touting minimal human bias, higher screening accuracy, and efficient soft skill assessment as distinct advantages in the recruitment process.

Do you need help with your 2017 recruiting strategy? Give us a call at (877) 746-8450!

Why Retention is Crucial to Your Recruiting Strategy in 2017

December 14th, 2016

With a job market that’s on the upswing and employers looking to hire more workers in 2017, it seems recruiters have a busy year ahead. For at least the next few years, one of the most important elements in your talent acquisition and recruitment toolkit will be talent retention. The reason? Basic supply and demand.

Data retention protection icon in flat style isolated on white background. Security symbol

Starting in 2007, companies were forced to deal with the recession and the related fallout from a struggling economy. Employers had to make some tough decisions regarding eliminating employee benefits to cut costs—often cutting back on employees as well. The recession left employers holding all the cards while employees struggled with fewer perks, nonexistent benefits, and heavier workloads. With employees feeling privileged to simply have any job at all, the idea of employee retention as a recruiting strategy was not even on an employer’s radar.

As we approach 2017, the tides have shifted. To avoid a massive skills shortage, recruiters and employers alike have to start thinking of ways to keep top-notch employees in the positions they worked so hard to fill.

With increased demand for talent, companies have started revisiting their perks, compensation, and benefits offerings. Along with developing more attractive compensation plans, employers are shifting their focus toward talent retention in an effort to avoid suffering a skills and labor shortage in the foreseeable future.

A Renewed Focus on the Long Term

Along with an improving economy comes a new set of challenges for recruiters and employers. Companies that can’t hold on to their employees will suffer market-based shifts in the availability of top-quality talent every time the job market fluctuates—making consistency and productivity nearly impossible to attain.

To maintain growth in a thriving economy, companies should focus on the following hiring and talent elements:

Retention of Quality Candidates:The talent pipeline is a talent acquisition team’s greatest asset. From the moment a viable candidate visits a recruiter or signs on to a career page, maintaining that connection is vital to retention efforts.

Holding onto Key Employees: This should go without saying, as quality employees are the backbone of every organization.  A high volume of potential candidates simply can’t replace the tenure and experience of a seasoned employee. At the same time, high-potential leaders are the most sought after during times of high demand, and turnover in these situations is somewhat inevitable. This is an area where retention strategy can make a huge difference in whether you keep a valuable potential leader or are faced with starting over from scratch.

Retaining Lead Personnel: When an organization has trouble retaining its top personnel, company morale suffers and overall productivity takes a nosedive. An innovative retention strategy is essential for companies who want to avoid losing top leaders to the competition.

Do you need help attracting and retaining key talent? Give us a call at (877) 746-8450!

What Millennials Can Bring to Your Talent Pipeline

December 7th, 2016

Talent acquisition comes with a unique set of traits to look for in potential employees. Some of the more obvious ones are dependability, loyalty, and a strong work ethic. With millennials, you might have to look even further at what they can offer. This group of candidates is defined as 18-34 years old, and now make up 75.4 million people. They outnumber the “Baby Boomers” slightly, so they are the largest group in the workforce today.

This is a wide range of possible employees. Many are just entering the workforce right out of high school, while others have completed college, their masters, or have been employed for quite some time. All of them have certain traits that will be beneficial to your talent pool as recruiters who are looking at this prime age of workers in many different fields of employment. So what can this group of candidates bring to your talent pipeline?

Three millennials walking past a dark stairway in Seattle

Ambition: Millennials are a “can do” generation. They like to get things done, contrary to reports of them being lazy or aloof. The Council of Economic Advisers reports that around 61 percent of millennials have attended college, as compared to only 46 percent of Baby Boomers. Their ambitions are high, some due to the fact that they have excessive college debt to pay down. Either way this helps to have an attitude that will allow them to achieve great things in their careers, since they desire success. Plus they know what’s it’s like to work through a down economy, during the years 2007-2009, when the oldest of the generation was just 27-years-old.

Tech expertise: “Digital natives” as this generation could be called, grew up during the beginning of the internet boom. This makes millennial candidates very tech savvy, so working in a high tech workplace and adapting quickly isn’t an issue. It can also be an asset from a work culture standpoint, as candidates can really bring different generations of employees together with technology. Many of them love being team players which fosters a solid work environment, and generally function well in a team setting.

However, one of the biggest challenges with mellennial talent is actually attracting and retaining candidates. Millennials desire different perks and environments than past generation, and companies are tailoring their workforce strategy, respectively. Check out some of our previous blogs to learn what companies are doing to attract and retain highly sought IT talent.

 

 

Why Identifying Hiring Roadblocks is the Answer to Hiring Challenges

November 30th, 2016

Most professional struggles with time management, even the most successful organizations. There are an infinite amount of things to do in any given day, and some challenges are prioritized over another. However, when it comes to hiring, it’s hard to imagine a successful business without a successful workforce plan. If you’re having trouble finding or retaining good talent, start asking some tough questions to avoid wasting time, money, and great employees.

Do you really know what you’re looking for?

In this market where loyalty is low and demands are high, it’s easy to think a lot talent management is outside of your control. But hiring is all about aligning your expectations with the candidate’s outlook. Once completely honest with the current workforce dynamics, you can start to see certain red flags that are not helping the situation. For example, if you’re willing to ignore an IT candidate’s cultural challenged in favor of their talent, then you have to expect it might not work out for the team long-term.

3d worker with hand on roadblock, barricade

Are you thinking long-term?

Hiring managers must take into account both the stress they place on staff when they’re in need of talent, and the potential problems that come from hiring someone who may not be the best candidate simply because the need is so great. Both factors are important, but contradict each other. If its beginning to take entirely too long to identify someone is that is a fit, it could be time to reassess how the hiring process is being executed.

Can you find the talent on your own?

Sometimes managers just don’t have the resources to identify talent, vet their resumes, sit down for multiple interviews and then deliberating over the final decisions. Generally speaking, fatigue will set in somewhere along the way, causing people to skip or half complete one of the steps. Partnering with recruitment firm can make all the difference, but it’s pivotal to find a partner who not only has connections, but can also really understand the role both skill set wise, and culturally. It’s possible to outsource every part of the process, or just bits and pieces, but a recruiting partner can provide great value, and a specialized expertise.

Understanding the Value of Workforce Productivity Metrics

November 23rd, 2016

While there are numerous ways to measure employee performance from a human resources standpoint, there is one metric that is most valued by company executives, particularly CFOs. This metric provides data that generally translates into dollars. It is simple to calculate and can allows comparison to other publicly listed firms in the same industry. It is one of the most effective way to measure both innovation and productivity in employees.

What is it?

This highly valued metric is revenue per employee (RPE). To calculate your company’s RPE, simply divide the total revenue of the company by the total number of employees. This calculation focuses on the value of the output of the workforce. Its relevancy is due to one of the largest expenses for most companies; salary and benefits of their employees.

Rear view of the business lady who is looking for the new business ideas. Blue growing arrow as a concept of successful business. Business icons are drawn on the concrete wall.

Why is it so effective?

It is an effective tool for measuring a workforce because companies are looking for the highest revenue per employee that they can get. Higher RPE translates to higher productivity levels and more effective use of the company’s available resources. By comparing RPE numbers over the years, businesses can also effectively evaluate their human resources team. Additionally, it can be a tool to assess how your company is doing compared to other similar companies. The top companies in any industry generally produce a higher revenue per employee number.

How can you increase your RPE?

Industry leaders tend to have the best RPEs. How do they do it? A lot depends on the industry, considering there is no one-size-fits-all solution to increasing RPE in the workforce. However, one rising trend throughout different industries is employee engagement. Employees that are engaged in their work are 38% more likely to have above average workplace productivity, per Workplace Research Foundation. This typically translates into higher service and customer satisfaction, increased sales and profit, and higher shareholder returns.

Another way to increase RPE is continued effort to hire highly skilled and qualified candidates. It has always been a challenge for HR departments to sort through piles of resumes and applications in search of the right candidate. However, many have found hiring solutions by utilizing a professional recruitment partner. Recruitment partners provide resources and training to help companies identify and hire highly skilled executives and employees that will help, not hinder, the company’s RPE.

Although there are numerous metrics that provide human resources departments with valuable information about workforce productivity, the one that could be considered most valued outside the HR department is revenue per employee. When it comes to workforce productivity, how well does your company measure up?

Do You Really Know Who Would be Best for Your Team?

September 28th, 2016

When there are open positions to fill, you have the chance to add team members who can enhance your current status quo and take your company to the next level.  On the other hand, if you hire the wrong people, you could be facing an epic fail that will be costly on budget, as poor hiring decisions typically result in expensive turnover costs.

flat vector design of employees or executives in meeting. this vector also represents company meetings discussions and opinions employee interaction & engagement

So, how do you combat the potential pitfalls and find people who will be perfect for your team?  Many decision-makers are far removed from the day-to-day tasks of the people under them.  Ironically, these same leaders are often the people tasked with choosing which candidates to hire.  When you take a step back, and look at the bigger picture, this system is set up for failure.  If you want to hire folks who will truly fit well with your existing team, you need to go directly to the source, and seek input from the people who will be working next to the new colleague.  Remove yourself from your role as a leader, and become a learner, the results can be astonishing!

 

Gathering Employee Feedback Boosts Engagement

When you seek assistance from your existing staff, employees will appreciate the fact that you trust them enough to want their feedback.  This simple act shows that you trust your team and want what’s best for them — two key elements to boosting existing employee engagement.  If you don’t want to be stuck filling more positions in the near future, it’s vital to learn how to build and retain employee engagement at every opportunity.

Integrating the Input of Existing Employees

Before you even begin calling candidates into your conference rooms, consult with your team members.  Begin by bringing everyone in as a group.  This will allow people to bounce ideas off each other as suggestions are made.  Make note of the following characteristics:

  • What do they do everyday?
  • What traits make the existing team work well together?
  • What are the downsides to the work they do?  (Although this isn’t a pretty question, the honesty can help open discussion for further improvement in the future, and it can help you identify candidates who can withstand the downfalls in the meantime.)
  • What can your team or company do to improve?

Each of these questions will likely lead to longer discussions from which you can derive plenty of information that you can take back to leadership regarding both the addition of your new team members, as well as changes that should be considered for your existing employees.

Invite Your Employees to the Interviews

Rather than relying on your instinct, bring a team member or two to the interviews.  They will likely think of questions you may not have even considered, and when it’s time to choose the right candidate, you’ll be able to gather a more well-rounded general consensus.

 

What are your thoughts about integrating existing employees into the hiring process?  We’d love to hear your opinions!  Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below, or head over to our Outside-In Facebook page!

How to Make Your Business a Talent Magnet

September 21st, 2016

Every company, large and small is challenged when it comeVector business conceptual background in flat style. The hand of businessman holding magnet and attracts happy customers or clients of different age and race to the business.s to attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent. For decades now, “lean” has been the buzz word in manufacturing. The lean business model has spread across industries, including the recruitment of quality talent. Here are a few tips to help you attract and keep the best and brightest, while remaining efficient:

Attract

What if, instead of bearing the cost of recruitment, (fees, travel expenses, etc.) you could have all the top candidates be drawn to you like a magnet? Corporations such as Apple and Google have perfected the art of employer magnetism. But you don’t have to be a tech giant to create a similar attraction.

Businesses need to focus on creating a workplace environment in which people enjoy working, according to Roberta Matusun, author of Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Workplace That Attracts and Keeps the Best. She also points out that, apart from the product or service they offer to consumers, businesses should also brand themselves as an employer.

Create Purpose

A mid-sized California BioPharm company has been able to capture the element of purpose. They boast a job satisfaction rate of 77% of their 18,000 employees. Almost all of them (90%) stated that they feel as though they have a “high job meaning.” Purpose is especially important when you are targeting a younger workforce as Millennial generation; it is said, work for the purpose, not the pay.

How to Create Purpose

Graham Kenny, writing for the Harvard Business Review says purpose, is not a company’s values, mission or vision. Your purpose statement needs to say; “this is what we are doing for our customers.”  To craft an effective purpose statement, it is important to convey the impact your organization has on the lives of the people it serves. Success in this area will inspire your employees to become invested.

Engage, Motivate, Retain

Face it, at times it is simply hard to get out of bed in the morning. Imagine working in an environment where you wouldn’t be missed if you didn’t show up at all. It is imperative that the modern workplace is structured to make employees feel integral to the day-to-day operations. Doing so creates a culture of engagement and a feeling that the success of their organization is dependent on the full participation of each individual, no matter their position. When employees feel motivated, they become more engaged, and that translates directly into improved retention.

By creating a corporate culture in which employees enjoy working, feel they have a purpose, and understand how they connect to the overall “big picture,” you will not only attract the most desirable talent but most importantly, inspire them to stay.

Please Stop Writing about Millennials in the Workplace

June 15th, 2016

Millennials chatterIn five years, a majority of workers will be Millennials. Boomers are retiring or being replaced at a rapid pace of 10-13,000 per day! Everyone talks about how Millennials are going to change work for the rest of us. They have. But the change started long before they came on the scene in large numbers. The only point that matters is that many of us want to work differently. And have been working on it since Millennials were born.

Smart businesses have realized that most of us don’t work for a paycheck. We work for a purpose. Which is why so many of us care about working some place that has a mission!

They say Millennials only care about their growth and new skills. Haven’t we all grown tired of video games and smoothies at work? Food and tchotchkes barely, if ever, really mattered that much compared to how much I liked my job. But, chances to have new experiences? Lead new projects. Learn new technologies. That is what real talent has always wanted.

Nobody can lead like a 5 star general anymore. Command and Control is dead. Communication and ideas must flow freely. And decision making is distributed and pushed out to the front lines, putting decision makers much closer to the customer. This is not new, this is 20 years in the making kind of stuff. Millennials (and the rest of us) want leaders that can coach too and value our whole selves. So please, stop writing and talking about Millennials in the workplace. We get it, there’s a lot of them.

Is “No Silos’ an achievable goal?

February 10th, 2016

Silo Mentality‘ is “an attitude found in some organizations that occurs when several departments or groups do not want to share information or knowledge with other individuals in the same company.” (Investopedia)

The key phrase I’d like to point out in the above definition is “do not want to share.” Why? I’ll get to that, but first let me set up where I am coming from.

No Silos is one of our Outside-In® values. We like to brag about being one team where politics, title and departments do not create barriers to doing business for us. With multiple brands, teams and functions this value symbolically declares our equality — regardless of title or role — to everyone internally and externally in the business.

Silo MentalityBut I am here to say that we have silos, and probably always will. There are a few sources of silos that are unavoidable. For one, it is only natural for people to imprint strongly or bond with a team, a client, or group of people (when you start in the same orientation class, for example). Folks are always going to find some commonality to silo around. Everyone looks to self identify — where we live, who we know, what we know and of course who we work with or share information with. We tend to discriminate or create silos when we don’t know others. It is easier to not help or not share when you are strangers. So with strong relationship bonds, silos are naturally created.

Another example of unavoidable silos in business are organizational functions. The operations, finance, HR and sales teams (and so on) are by nature separate functions that create silos for a number of reasons: knowledge/expertise, common projects & goals, shared leadership, or even the fact that people sit closer together. Work is organized in such a way that you spend a lot of time together working on similar work, and therefore barriers are created between one functional group and another.

So yes, companies and organizations will always have silos. There will always be groups of friends, project groups, account teams, functional departments and leadership at every company. Let’s go back to the phrase “do not want to share” in the definition of silo mentality. There is one thing that separates a company with silo mentality and one without: it’s the willingness to share information.

If you sense a Silo Mentality at your company, dig deeper into the why. 1. Are people unwilling to share information with other teams? 2. Are there rules from leadership that prevent information sharing? Or 3. Is it the organizational structure that makes it hard (but not impossible) to work across teams and departments?

At Outside-In® Companies, we have experienced a lot of organizational change lately as we get organized for growth and scaling. As we define roles and put infrastructure in place, we are experiencing some of #3. But what I can tell you, is that our issues with silos are not as severe as the stories I hear about from companies that experience #1 and #2. How about needing to fill out an actual form that must be approved by each department head to receive permission to talk to another department? So much for collaboration at the water cooler or getting together for happy hour to create, solve or address business problems, large or small.

Or this recent one. Sales and Account Management teams refused to include the Service team in the customer conversation. These departments misconstrued who owns relationships, and maybe most importantly who is involved with delivering an experience to the customer! Imagine trying to get anything done!

So yes, at the Outside-In® Companies, we do have Silos. But our Silo Mentality is not because we are unwilling to share with our team members or because we have rules in place that prevent cross-team collaboration. In fact, with No Silos as a value, cross-team collaboration is encouraged. The No Silos value is about building relationships because you can. And encourages reaching out across silos — without rules, forms, sign up sheets or leader’s permission. Regardless of a one leader’s behavior, one can always talk to or work with whom they want.

Now, back to the question at hand, “Is ‘No Silos’ an achievable goal?” No Silos is an aspirational value. It’s impossible to have No Silos in a business. But you can reinforce a ‘No Silos Mentality’ and adjust your organizational structure to break down barriers that prevent departments or teams from working well together. The mentality or mindset is achievable, and one we always strive to improve upon.

Does your company have a Silos Mentality? If so, you have a leadership problem. Yup, I said it. Silos exist because leaders allow it, can’t address it, or are rewarded or incentivized to allow them to exist. So dig deeper to find out the why.

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