There’s more than a grain of truth in the saying, “You hire for attitude, train for skills.” In fact, the late Herb Kelleher, founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, said, “You can always teach skills. One needs to hire attitudes that fit the firm’s culture.”
Now, I’m not about to downplay the importance of skills. I’m a recruiter–I look for candidates who have the skills our clients need. I respect professionals who devote years to learning skills in school or on the job and, often, years more perfecting them.
But skills alone don’t make a great employee.
Overcoming the risk of recruiting employees at the entry level
Have you had the following experience? You’re recruiting employees to hire for an entry-level position. You review candidates whose skills appear untested or underdeveloped. Hiring any of them feels a bit risky. I totally understand, because I’ve been there, too.
However, someone without experience but who is sharp, upbeat and confident may be just who you need to fill that entry-level job. You can train an employee with a clean slate in a way you need for them to perform well in the job.
Employers often have lofty requirements for positions when recruiting employees for entry-level jobs. Research by TalentWorks, a developer ... Read More
A diverse workplace, made up of employees with varied backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives, can benefit a company’s performance and bottom line. However, developing such an environment—co-workers of different ages, genders, and ethnicities—requires well-planned recruitment strategies.
A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 57 percent of recruiters say their recruitment strategies are meant to attract a diverse body of candidates. The remaining recruiters would be wise to develop such strategies of their own. Why? A survey by Glassdoor (a website for job hunters), found that 67 percent of job seekers say a diverse workforce is important to them when evaluating companies and job offers.
That means companies that recruit and manage a diverse group of employees will have a recruitment advantage over their competitors. But the competitive advantage may go further than that. According to Forbes Insights (the strategic research arm of Forbes Media), workplace diversity is a key driver of internal innovation and business growth—that is, greater revenue.
The upside—and yes, the downside—of expanding workplace diversity
A study published in the American Sociological Review, based on input from 500 organizations, found that employee diversity resulted in increased sales revenue and company profit. Every 1% increase in gender diversity correlated with ... Read More
Class of 2019 college graduates are entering the best job market in years. The National Association of Colleges and Employers says that companies plan to hire about 10 percent more new graduates from this year’s class than they did last year. Employers are opening up positions to them that might have once gone to more experienced professionals. And overall, these grads can expect higher salaries than those in 2018.
But despite their initial excitement over landing their first professional job, many won’t remain in their first jobs long. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than half of recent college graduates leave their first job within a year, most citing a bad fit.
Some of this turnover could be prevented by employers adopting different recruitment strategies from those they use for experienced professionals. Even career-focused students with impressive GPAs don’t know all about the industries they’re entering, nor will they be familiar with corporate policies and procedures.
Each new graduate is essentially a blank slate of professional experience but presents an opportunity for employers to develop young potential. Investing in their youthful virtues—trainability, potential for growth, fresh perspectives, and tech know-how—can be beneficial and even profitable for your company in the ... Read More
Businesses have depended on job descriptions to define work for employees for generations. And even though technology has drastically changed the work environment over the years, job descriptions in 2019 remain as important as ever.
Good job descriptions can prevent the wrong person from applying for a job and better ensure the right person does apply. In other words, they can help prevent employers from interviewing and maybe hiring someone who isn’t right for the job.
Every job description needs to be thorough and updated each time you’re recruiting someone new for the position. The following list details information that should appear on most job descriptions.
- Job title
- Work location (if working remotely is an option, note that here)
- Company overview
- Job summary including key objectives and goals
- Job duties (mention opportunities for training or professional development)
- Experience required (skills, education, years of experience)
- Employment type (full time or part time)
- Work hours/travel requirements
- Salary range and benefits (bonus program, retirement plans, health insurance)
Job descriptions done well can help you with recruiting employees
Job descriptions also must attract great candidates and encourage them to apply for open positions. For that reason, the descriptions have to be clear and compelling as well.
Here are a few guidelines to help prepare job descriptions to 1) ... Read More
Time and money. Most companies can’t afford to lose either by hiring the wrong person. While making a bad hire may happen on occasion, employers can minimize it with background checks of promising candidates.
Background checks help ensure a job candidate is qualified for a position and poses no threat to the safety and security of others in the workplace.
Most employers run some type of background check on every single hire. To do so, they need a candidate’s signed consent. If they decide not to hire someone based on a background report, they must notify the candidate in writing and provide a copy of the report.
Because background checks can be labor-intensive and time-consuming, companies sometimes outsource them to companies specializing in these services.
The most common pre-employment background checks used today
Former employment checks are used to verify a candidate’s claims about education, work history, and professional license. Recruitment employment agencies can fulfill these background searches to confirm the facts as presented on the resume.
Reference checks can be challenging and take more time. Job candidates tend to supply “safe” references—people whom they believe will vouch for them. So, can hiring companies go beyond these references to ask about skills, past performance, and personality? ... Read More
Searching for just the right candidate demands more time and patience than it did just a few years ago. In particular, recruiting employees who are high performers in their field can be tough, especially for positions requiring certain specialized skills.
Even with new college and trade school graduates entering the workforce, an increased labor supply in some fields can’t meet the demand at a time of nearly full employment.
If recruiting employees takes too long, internal projects can be delayed and workers picking up the slack can become resentful. So, word to the wise: don’t wait too long for the perfect candidate who may never turn up.
Sometimes, great candidates aren’t too far away
Though you might not realize it, your best available candidate may already be under your roof, plugging away and doing excellent work. Don’t overlook talented employees who could be ready for more responsibility, or an expanded skill set, with a little training or development. With their proven loyalty and knowledge about your organization, they may be able to make a seamless transition to another position.
Employees capable of taking on additional duties and authority are not always the ones who immediately come to mind. Identifying just the right person for your ... Read More
Working with a staffing firm brings significant benefits. A recruiter can shorten the length of time needed to find an opportunity. They can help you sharpen your ability to land better positions and they will help you prepare for a placement, so you feel confident from day one.
Still, many people remain misinformed about how staffing firms work. They worry about how an agency’s business model will impact the way it treats the candidates it’s looking to place.
No one wants to be treated like an anonymous product. However, recruiters are incentivized to care about their candidates. It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s good business as well.
Here are some of the top myths about working with a staffing agency, as well as the truth about what you should expect:
Myth: A Recruiter Will Throw You Into Any Open Position
A recruiter won’t just cycle you through open positions until you find one that sticks. Clients get annoyed when a staffing firm sends a candidate that doesn’t fit the situation.
If a person shows up with the wrong skills, or if they leave before the end of the placement because they are dissatisfied with the situation, it reflects badly on the recruiter.
Therefore, it’s ... Read More
In the “Odyssey” by Homer, Odysseus assigned the care and education of his son, Telemachus, to his trusted advisor Mentor. Borrowing from this ancient epic, today we use Mentor’s name to refer to someone who uses their knowledge to advise a less-experienced colleague.
Over the last several decades, U.S. businesses have adopted mentoring as a training vehicle, mainly for young or new employees. Among Fortune 500 companies, 70 percent offer formal mentoring programs to employees.
While some companies have structured mentoring processes, most smaller companies don’t. But mentoring new employees can take place without a formal program and with little to no expense.
Mentorships can be an employee retention and recruiting tool
Young or new employees can learn their jobs faster and expand their skill set if coached by experienced mentors. Together, they can tackle issues related to problem-solving, communication, collaboration, networking, and more.
Mentors get the satisfaction of using their knowledge to assist someone just starting out in their profession or a new position. They might benefit in other ways—many mentors report that they learn from their mentees. For example, mentors may learn about new technologies from younger employees.
Companies with formal mentoring programs generally find they improve employee satisfaction among participants. This, in turn, ... Read More