by Ginger Robitaille, PHR COO & HR Generalist
On a weekly basis, I hear the question from job seekers, “Why do I have to play a game to get a job? Between the cumbersome online systems, the painstaking keyword matches, and the outrageous list of requirements for each job, how can I ever expect to be considered for a position?!”
Fear not, job seekers, and read on. I know how much of this feels like a game (I have been in your shoes), but let me put your mind a bit at ease and take you inside the mind of the recruiter and hiring manager.
Of course, we want the best pool of candidates to fill our open positions, but sometimes we don’t actually know exactly what we want. We know what type of person and skill set has been successful in our open position in the past, so we start there with our list of requirements and needs. Now, if it’s a new position for our company, we really don’t know what we need! We have an idea, and after we start talking to applicants, we are able to solidify what is really required. That didn’t provide you any comfort, did it? Well, take heart: the takeaway here is that even if you don’t align perfectly with the job posting or you’re lacking some of the requirements listed, you still have the opportunity to be considered for the position.
We know that most applicants are not going to meet all of our requirements, so know that we are either prepared to compromise and/or train on certain areas where you may also be lacking some experience. If you meet around 60% of the requirements, it is worth your time applying, and it’s worth our time reviewing your resume and possibly having that initial phone conversation.
Now, I will say that we don’t look at every resume that comes through our portal when we start to receive hundreds or applicants for one position (which is starting to happen with the current unemployment rate). So, have patience with us as we do still have to do some weeding through all the applications. And if you are applying just to fill your “contacts” requirement for your unemployment benefits, please don’t (unless you actually meet that 60% mark). Know that this is “the game” that irritates us! You don’t want us wasting your time, so don’t waste ours.
If you would like more tips like this or need some one-on-one support to kick-start your job search, check out our webpage, visit our job seeker services page, and follow us on social media.
By Carrie S Ahmad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Large Companies are Leading the Way for Higher Wages
Starbucks, Whole Foods, Ben & Jerry’s, IKEA, The Gap, Aetna, McDonald’s, Walmart, TJ Maxx, and Costco. What do these highly visible brands have in common? They are at the forefront of paying their employees a living wage. Ben & Jerry’s defines a livable wage as “enough to allow for a quality of life that includes decent housing, health care, transportation, food, recreation, savings, and miscellaneous expenses.” Ben & Jerry’s livable wage in 2013 was $16.13 for full-time hourly employees. That is almost twice the federal minimum wage! Learn more about Ben & Jerry’s livable wage by clicking here.
Build Loyalty and Reduce Turnover
An exciting trend is beginning to occur in the marketplace in which businesses are realizing that by providing their employees with a living wage, they build loyalty, reduce turnover, ignite productivity, and improve their bottom line. Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, said Aetna increased the pay of low wage employees to $16/hour to reduce the worry and stress these employees feel just trying to make ends meet. Bertolini believes that even if the wage increase doesn’t impact the bottom line, it is the right thing to do for his people. Do you agree? Listen to and read more from Bertolini.
The High Cost of Replacement
For an entry-level employee, it can cost up to 40% of the individual’s annual salary to replace him or her should he/she decide to leave your organization. Let’s say you run a call center with 100 employees making $10/hour. The average turnover rate for call centers is 26%. In this scenario, if you have 26 employees, who are paid $20,800/year, decide to leave your organization you are looking at replacement costs of $216,320 (26*10*2080*.40). That is nearly a quarter million dollars to replace 26 low-wage employees. What if you could stop the money bleed by communicating value and understanding to your employees? What if you could build employee loyalty that drastically reduced your turnover rate? Would you do it?
The Right Pay for the Right People
You can pay employees what they are worth! You can provide your people a livable wage that reduces their stress, empowers them, and keeps them engaged when they are at work. At Turning the Corner, LLC, we work with small businesses to identify ways to hire right the first time, pay employees what their experience and skills are worth, and retain people to keep hiring costs low. Let us help you help your people!
Carrie Ahmad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Carrie is Turning the Corner’s VP of People. She has been advocating for the success of businesses and their employees for 18 years supporting start-ups, small businesses and large corporations. She holds certifications as both a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from HRCI and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) from the Society for Human Resource Management. She serves the local HR community as a member of BAHRA’s (Boulder Area HR Association) Treasury Committee.
By Ginger Robitaille, PHR COO & HR Generalist
We all know what it is like to be a job seeker; scouring the internet sites for the perfect position, connecting with old colleagues to see if they may have a lead on a job for us. The job search is a roller coaster ride of emotions and a lot of work! So, when a job seeker takes the time to apply for those opportunities, they are a perfect fit for and then they never hear anything back, it is incredibly frustrating!
Well, guess what, if you are a Recruiter reading this, you can do something about it. As a recruiting professional that has been involved in the industry in some capacity for more than a decade now, this is a call to action! Recruiters, Respond!
If we do not respond to applicants and candidates to let them know if they are still in the process or not and WHY then who will? Now I know, your responsibility is to focus on finding the best candidates for the positions you need to fill, but how about helping a job seeker out?! Not only that, helping yourself from having to answer additional emails and phone calls from applicants and candidates when they have not heard from you.
This “wonderful” technology called ATS’ (Applicant Tracking Systems) are supposed to help us review and respond quicker to applicants but are we using it to its full extent of support. Make sure to set up multiple templates, so even if someone gets more of a “form” response at least they know whether they are still in the running. These templates can be so simple, “Thank you for your application, but we have moved forward with candidates that already have experience in this industry”. Or, “Thank you for your application, but we have chosen to move forward with applicants that have direct experience in this role”.
And GOODNESS GRACIOUS, if you have moved an applicant to candidate status and have conducted a phone screen or even moved them past that to a video or face-to-face interview, responding on their status is a MUST! Over and over again I speak with job seekers that went through a portion or all of the interview process to never hear back on why they weren’t selected. They spend days, weeks, thinking they are still being considered. Let us lean on what we learned in our childhood years, “treat others the way you would want to be treated”. And heck why not pay it forward! If we can share with an applicant or candidate why they did not move forward in the process or weren’t offered the job, we can help them refine and improve their job search going forward.
By Drew Bonder, MSIO
Director of Business Services, Turning the Corner, LLC
You’ve Been Promoted – NOW WHAT?
Envision this. You’re an “A” player at your company. You exceed quota month after month, quarter after quarter, year after year. You’re the safe bet for any project and well recognized throughout the company. You’re the ambitious type, so OF COURSE, you’ve expressed that you aspire to keep growing in the company, however possible.
FINALLY, there’s a management position open and you’ve been told that this is the best opportunity to grow in the company!!! You’re getting a big raise too! Oh, the excitement! But wait… “I’ve never managed before, how do I do this?” But, leadership has always relied on you to be the “independent, self-motivated” type and certainly weren’t expecting to have to spend a lot of time with you. It’s like finding out you have the “bad management” illness and now you have to figure out how to cure it!
New Managers Don’t Have to Be Patient Zero
People, this is a common scenario. Suddenly, this “A” player is thrown into an entirely new world of challenges that come with management. This person is now one of the most important people in his employee’s lives, and he’s charged with being their coach, leader, mentor, and director. WOW, no stress, right?! Even more, the success of the employees under this new manager largely hinges on their ability to create and communicate clear objectives, while still being attentive to the ‘human element.’ The new manager will have an impact on your organization whether it is positive or negative.
Of course, we would want to arm this person with all of the skills needed to be the best manager they can be, and continue to be that “A” player in their new role?? Nope, so many companies don’t see this as necessary. Their leaders never got trained on this stuff and ‘are doing just fine,’ so why make an unnecessary investment to give this person the requisite skills to be great at their job. The grim reality is times are often not as smooth sailing for these kinds of leaders as they might lead you to believe. They frequently do WAY more hand holding than they’d like, along with many other challenges they face which might have been avoided if they got the appropriate training themselves.
Train Your New Manager to be an “A” Player Leader
Let’s take a deeper look at this. Imagine the stress this new manager has. They were always the Rockstar of the group and now maybe they’re struggling to get their employees to do what they need to hit quota month after month, quarter after quarter (and sometimes year after year). They try a lot of approaches to motivate their employees and drive results, but nothing’s working.
Now they’re stressed, their employees are floundering OR LEAVING, and the leadership is extremely disappointed and stressed (Their “A” player is no longer an “A” player). Remember though, this new manager wants to do a great job. They are self-motivated and reliable. They just need to get a strong understanding of what they need to do to be successful.
Strong Management Training Steers Your Company
Would you want a pilot driving your plane without any formal training? I sure wouldn’t. Their ability to fly and land that plane successfully affects a lot of people. Managers are REALLY important to a lot of people as well. Although, usually nobody is going to die if managers do a bad job! They’re just going to disengage and be emotionally drained. Bad management is contagious, and unless you train your managers, it will trickle down to your employees, your customers, and potential new clients.
Invest In Your Managers and Your Company
Moral of the story. As leaders, invest the time and resources to make your managers great. Give them the training they need. You’re making sure your software developers, financial analysts, etc., are getting trained right? How could they ever do a great job if they never got the training? Different skills for sure, but managers need the investment as well. AND managers, invest in yourselves to be great!
For more information please call Drew Bonder at 720.446.8876 ext. 7, or click here to schedule an appointment.
Visit TurningTheCornerLLC.com/Management-Training/ to learn more out our Management Training Series.
By Kendra Prospero
CEO, Turning the Corner, LLC
Tips to Look for a Job While Still Working
If you have the best job in the world, your company is growing at breakneck speed or there is no danger of downsizing then this article is probably not for you. For the rest of us, who envision a world without stress, greater flexibility and a yacht sized salary, the opportunities are out there and companies are hiring once again. The challenge is letting prospective employers know you are on the market without making your boss, spouse or yourself paranoid.
Recruiters and hiring professionals know that the best time to look for a job is when you are employed. You have a steady income, money in your pocket and the time to look for the perfect position. The absence of desperation gives you more confidence in interviews and when you are networking within safe circles. There are some great strategies that will allow you to increase opportunities without finding yourself escorted out of your office.
1. Update your resume.
You should have a professionally done, updated resume available at all times in both electronic and hard copy formats. You should also have the resume tailored to the position you desire and customize your resume to meet the prospective company’s specific needs.
Never post your resume on a job board or talk with people at the office about your job search. It is highly possible your superiors will find your resume if posted on the internet, and whether they tell you they found it or not, it will change the dynamic of your office environment. Likewise, even if your best friend may be in the office next door do not speak about looking for a new position. All it takes is one office conversation and you may be having an uncomfortable meeting with your superior.
If your supervisor discovers your intentions and confronts you, honesty is always the best policy. Calmly discuss your reasons for seeking other employment, acknowledge you are looking for better opportunities and answer any questions. It is possible it may be a wakeup call for your employer and you may receive a great offer. If not, then you can sleep at night knowing you told the truth. Integrity should always be the core value of your search.
2. Continue to do your best work.
Although companies are running lean these days, they also understand the value of employees that produce big results and contribute to the growth of the company. Take notes about successes and challenges you conquered and big wins you brought for the company. You should be noting your accomplishments and looking for ways to improve yourself. Use this time to get caught up on industry trends and learn as much as you can, to increase your in your field and to those hiring.
3. Keep networking.
You would be surprised how many people are hired because of who they know, and not solely dependent on their skills and experience. Tell people about what you do, not who you work for, highlighting successes and challenges overcome. Explain what you love about what you do, and never denigrate your current employer. This only reflects poorly on your nature.
If you are in a safe group, let them know you are open to new opportunities. Stay in contact with professional contacts and continue to provide them excellent service. Remain top of mind. Often professionals are asked who they know when a company is looking for new employees. Being one of the top people in your field makes you more visible when companies start looking.
4. Update or create your LinkedIn account.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account start one today. This social network has become one of the leading resources for recruiters, head hunters and hiring departments. Having a complete and specific profile allows people to search for you and your specialties. Make sure to include titles and keywords about your skills. I.e., Director of Sales for B2B applications in commercial software. Be specific about your position, talents and accomplishments. Don’t list you are seeking a new position or employment.
5. Consider using a recruitment agency or job search company.
The obvious advantage is that companies specializing in finding and hiring employees have inside knowledge and access to unpublished openings, growing corporations and top executives. In addition, they understand the need for confidentiality. Take the time to interview prospective firms carefully, since most agencies work for the hiring company, not the job seeker. The right agency will place your needs and goals at the same level of the prospective employers.
There is always a glimmer of hope for a better office, a more enviable title and better salary. It is not a crime to seek a better opportunity while you are still employed, nor should you feel guilty. It is important to be honest, ethical and a good employee while you search, while maintaining a level of privacy.
For more information please contact us here or call 720-446-8876. We will be honored to assist you find your dream job, create a winning resume or walk with you through the process. Good luck, and don’t give up!
Click Here to see a listing of current job openings and opportunities.