Category: Employers

  • Adjusting your recruitment strategies: How to fit a square peg into a round hole

    Can recruitment strategies change with the job market? Is it always necessary to find just the right person for a job—or can a square peg be reshaped to fit into a round hole?

    Currently, with record low unemployment, hiring managers might need to consider candidates who are short on desired skills but are a good company fit. On-the-job training can often fill the gap. But what else can help to ensure success?

    Kate and Rob: A study in recruitment strategies and outcomes

    Kate and Rob started the same day in customer service positions. Neither had the related experience the hiring manager had in mind. But they appeared eager to learn new skills. At the end of a six-month probation, Kate had enjoyed her customer interactions and was respected by team members. She was a shoo-in for a permanent job. But Rob struggled to address customers’ concerns adequately, and he didn’t manage staff well. He and his employer both realized he was in an ill-fitting role and agreed to part ways.

    Neither Kate nor Rob were ideally experienced for their jobs. So, why did Kate succeed in her new position, while Rob didn’t last?

    Kate thrived because her personality was well suited for it. Rob’s, however, ... Read More

  • Best practices for interviewing: 5 do’s and 5 don’ts from our skilled job recruiters

    How you interview job candidates can make a big difference in the success of your most important hires. Knowing what and what not to do, as well as what and what not to ask, can also keep you out of hot water.

    Interviewing is time-consuming and requires organization; it can be frustrating and even stressful. It’s not surprising, then, that so many companies depend on job recruiters for their most significant hires. Whether you decide to go it alone or hire a professional recruiter, you will eventually be interviewing candidates. So, equip yourself now with good interviewing skills to assess your finalists.

    You are likelier to make the right hires if you interview smartly and effectively. And as you no doubt have learned, the wrong hires cost time and money, and the hiring process restarts at square one.

    Make our 5 do’s and 5 don’ts for interviewing part of your recruitment strategy

    Do’s:

    1. Look over candidates’ resumes before interviews. Well, of course, you say? You might be surprised at how many people don’t. Be organized and know what you plan to ask before interviews start.
    2. Be positive and make candidates feel at ease. This builds a better rapport with them and encourages them to respond openly and honestly.
    3. Ask candidates the same set of questions. This allows you to compare ... Read More
  • Watch for these seven red flags when recruiting employees

    Did you hear the one about the job candidate who texted with his mother for responses as he filled out a job application? Or the one about the guy who didn’t remove his motorcycle helmet for his job interview?

    These aren’t jokes missing their punchlines, but rather real stories about candidates who raised red flags before they could be hired. (We’ll give the biker credit for flipping up his visor.)

    When you’re recruiting employees, pay attention to red flags that can signal trouble ahead should certain candidates be hired. If you encounter red flags during the recruitment process, it’s best to heed them and not wish them away.

    So, what are the most conspicuous warning signs? Do frequent job changes still matter? Maybe. Do typos on resumes still matter? Yep.

    These issues should raise concerns when recruiting employees

    1. Resume issues – To be sure, spelling and grammar still matter because good written and verbal communication skills remain important. But resume issues can go deeper and include poor organization, vague experience, incomplete information, and lack of measurable results.
    1. Questionable work history – While frequent job changes can have valid reasons, particularly with younger employees, inquire to find out why. Be alert to large gaps in employment ... Read More
  • When recruiting, assess for personality to fit the position and your company

    You’re recruiting candidates for an upper-level management position and are preparing to interview the top prospects. All have the experience and education that should qualify them for the position. But beyond their names and current work titles, who are they really? And how can you determine who is most likely to succeed in the position?

    Nearly all employers have confidently hired people who were great fits professionally and academically and seemed nice enough during the interview. But for one reason or another, they didn’t work out and, before completing a year on the job, were gone. The results? A sidetracked career for them and a loss of money for your company.

    Can this be prevented? While impossible to avoid completely, these unfortunate hires can be reduced by assessing candidates for personality as part of the job recruitment process.

    Assessment for personality during job recruitment can help screen out unsuitable candidates and result in more successful hires. Personality has been shown to be a strong predictor of satisfactory job performance.

    In job recruitment, test and look for personality traits that will lead to success

    Once you have your initial pool of candidates, you can whittle it down to a manageable number of those who are most ... Read More

  • Five mistakes to avoid when finding candidates for key positions

    At a time of nearly full employment, recruiting employees who are high performers can be tough. That’s why employers should watch for missteps that can cost them a leading candidate or cause them to hire the wrong person. Such avoidable errors can send the recruitment process back to square one at the company’s expense of valuable time and money.

    In order to get the most out of your recruitment efforts and land the candidates you need, plan ahead. When formulating your recruitment strategies, avoid making these mistakes:

    1. Assessing only for skills and knowledge – Evaluating a candidate’s skills and qualifications is vital, but so is assessing for personality and compatibility. Yet many companies never do this. Knowing that a candidate is a good fit for both your company and the position will result in a higher placement success rate. See our blog post on recruiting for personality as well as skills.
    2. Prolonging the recruitment process – If a recruitment process drags on too long, great candidates are lost and internal projects get delayed. If other employees pick up the slack for too long, morale can suffer. Don’t wait for the perfect candidate who may never materialize. Now, I’m not suggesting you rush ... Read More
  • Building productive workplace teams with shared vision for success

    Our 21st century focus on teams isn’t new. Successful industry executives and entrepreneurs have long recognized the value of teams in fulfilling a company’s purpose and producing positive results.

    Industry titan Andrew Carnegie was a proponent of teamwork, defining it as “the ability to work together toward a common vision.” And his contemporary Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

    Those are inspiring and convincing words, but even the firmest believers in teamwork can find it difficult to put into action. While a workplace retreat can be effective, gains made in a single day are too often lost upon return to the office. So, how can managers build teams of employees who embrace shared goals to produce profitable outcomes?

    Want to create successful teams? Focus on these five qualities

    • Leadership – Establish yourself as the leader. Set goals for the team that can be linked to the company’s success. Delegate responsibilities that will foster individual professional growth and will help achieve the team’s goals. Be objective and fair in resolving conflicts among team members.
    • Trust –Trust in your employees’ abilities to perform their jobs well and allow them to make independent decisions as much as possible. The ... Read More
  • Temp help wanted: Employers’ demands for temp staffing are growing

    Temp staffing is on the rise, not just here in southcentral Pennsylvania but across the commonwealth. Last year in Pennsylvania, an average of 120,000 temporary employees worked each week, according to the American Staffing Association—a 5 percent increase from the year before. A total of more than 582,000 people filled temp jobs during 2017, an increase of 12.6 percent.

    A substantial temp workforce is picking up the labor slack resulting from a shortage of skilled employees during this period of historically low unemployment. Businesses find that temp workers not only get them out of a jam but also have other advantages. Hiring temps can reduce their labor costs, unemployment claims, and time spent on recruiting.

    There’s good news for temps, too. For many, the flexibility of briefer assignments matches their lifestyles and personal schedules. In addition, the chance to learn new skills increases their professional marketability. Some are even offered full-time positions with their temporary employer.

    The hottest job opportunities for today’s temp staffers

    In our service region, we’re definitely seeing a need for temps in some fields more than in others. Positions most in demand are in customer service and call centers, as well as in accounting support (mainly billing and accounts payable). ... Read More

  • Managing low performers: Confront, communicate, coach. Then commend or can them

    One of the most challenging tasks facing managers is how best to handle low-performing employees. Questions abound: Can they make an acceptable turnaround? What help should we give them? How many strikes until they’re out? How long until we cut them loose?

    If they show a sign of promise, you might want to give them a chance to redeem themselves, particularly now when good employees are hard to find and recruit. Try coaching low performers and developing action plans for them. But know how and when to terminate them properly.

    “While it’s never easy confronting individuals about poor performance, tolerating it is a failure of leadership,” says John Baldoni, executive coach and leadership educator.

    Use a mixture of sensitivity and firmness when approaching low-performing employees. Don’t express anger toward them, and never disparage them in front of fellow employees. While no process is the only right way, here are eight effective steps to address subpar performance with employees from our HR consulting firm:

    1. Address the situation as soon as you recognize a problem. Don’t procrastinate or wait for a performance review while the problem continues.
    2. Find the cause and be objective. (Employees’ lack of skills, training, or motivation? Personal problems? Unclear expectations? Poor two-way communications?)
    3. Begin ... Read More