Monthly Archives: May 2016

Get Better Results with Your Job Ads

Your company has a job opening with no interest from job seekers.  Is it possible that your job ad could use some help?  Here are some tips to writing effective ads for hiring the right person the first time:

Use an Informative Job Title
The job title really isn’t the place to get creative.  The job title is the first piece of the puzzle that job seekers see and will make a quick decision on whether or not to read on.  Use a title that best describes the position and utilizes common keywords (ex:  sales, accounting, customer service).

Explain Your Company Culture
What makes your company so great to work for?  Explain your company culture and highlight your signature attributes in your job ad.  This job ad is, after all, an advertisement for your company.  Highlight perks offered, unique benefits and why anyone would love to work for your company.

Give a Descriptive Job Summary
Represent a full scope of the functions the successful candidate will be completing as well as what their role will be within your company or organization.  Don’t just list tasks, make it all encompassing and inviting.

Describe What Your Company Needs
While most applicants know that you are not going to find someone that meets all of your expectations in an employee, if you are clear about the skill set that is necessary to perform the job and which additional skills would be valuable, you will cut down on the time it takes to sift through resumes after you place your ad.

Group Information
There is a lot of information to include when posting a job, but a complicated posting can deter job seekers from reading or applying.  Keep your information grouped in a logical manner using bullet points and breaks to make it easier to read and follow, as well as bold, italics and underlines to make it appear more interesting.

Make it Easy to Take Action
Once you have the attention of candidates, you want to present an easy to execute way to apply.  This could be a direct link to an online application, an email to send a resume to, or use the CareerBum.com site for a one click application for job seekers.

Share the Job Posting
After you have finished writing your job post, share the information on your network.  Post it to your social media sites, post it in your foyer, share it with your employees to re-post on their social networking sites and share it off of CareerBum.com’s page.

Make a Great First Impression at the Job Interview

When you are ready to look for work, really ready, take the time to put your best self forward.  There are many opportunities for error on a resume and in an interview, so here are a few tips to help you stand out in a positive manner.

Ensure the individuals you recruit as references for your resume:  a) know that you are using them as a reference, b) know what position you are applying for and what your expectations are of them as a reference c) think highly of you as a professional.  Too often job seekers list references without first checking with them.  Put a lot of thought into the people you put down.  Make sure they are articulate, think highly of you, and are professional on the phone.

Stay positive.  When an interviewer asks you about a past employer, or why you are looking to leave your current position, it is important to not state the negatives about the job.  It is easy to say that you don’t like the supervisor, or you have a co-worker that always calls in sick, or perhaps that you keep getting skipped over for a raise.  But DON’T.  Instead say that you have always been interested in the company you are applying to, or that you have been working toward this position.  Refrain from saying anything negative about your past/current employer and turn the tables to where you are seeking out this position because it is the perfect fit for you and you are the perfect fit for the company.

One more piece of advice, when you arrive, shake your interviewers hand, firmly, while looking him or her in the eyes and smiling.  Do not give the limp fish handshake.  A firm handshake exudes confidence and power.  That is the goal of the whole interview, to show that you are confident that you are the perfect fit for the company and position.

The interview is your ticket to the position.  Research the company, know your stuff and be prepared and confident.  Your future just started.

Running Background Checks When Hiring

Make Your Employee Background Check Reasonable

Running an employee background check can not only be helpful in better understanding the applicant, but can also be useful in protecting a business from liability. Employers must still be very careful about what kind of information they ask for and look into, however. If an employer goes too far, he or she may face a lawsuit. Here are some things to keep in mind when performing an employee background check:

  • Be reasonable: The best advice for an employer running a background check is to keep such an investigation reasonable. Running a credit report and checking up on references makes a lot of sense, but combing court records, interviewing neighbors and requiring physicals for all of your applicants may not make much sense and may get you in trouble.
  • Make your investigation business-related: Part of being reasonable is ensuring that your background check is really business-related. If you are hiring a security guard, then digging heavily into a person’s criminal background may be extremely relevant and justified. If you are hiring a part-time janitor, you may not need to go to such lengths. In order to avoid being sued, make sure to tie what you’re asking for directly to the job at hand.
  • Get the applicant’s consent: Another way to avoid liability in general is to get the applicant’s consent before accessing potentially sensitive information. Some things, like credit checks, expressly require you to get the applicant’s consent, but even if you might otherwise have access to sensitive information, it pays to be careful and get the applicant’s consent in writing. The easiest way to do this is to simply ask for the consent on a job application.

Records an Employer Can Likely Consider when Performing an Employee Background Check

Some of the records below, such as credit reports, drug tests and driving records, require the consent of the applicant, but are still considered routine records to be used when performing a background check. As discussed above, regardless of the record type, always make sure that such an inquiry is related to the job. Asking a pizza delivery man for his driving record makes sense, but asking a software engineer for his or her driving record may not be as relevant.

Here’s a list of the types of records routinely involved in an employee background check:

  • Drug tests
  • Driving records
  • Social Security number
  • Court records
  • Character references
  • Property ownership records
  • State licensing records
  • Past employers
  • Personal references
  • Sex offender lists

Records You May Not be Able to Consider when Performing an Employee Background Check

  • Criminal records: Whether employers can access criminal records varies greatly between states, but in many states such records can only be used by certain employers such as public utilities, law enforcement, security guard firms, and child care facilities. Even if employers cannot access criminal records, whether employers can ask about past criminal activity also varies greatly between states, but some states allow employers to ask about a criminal past even if they won’t allow employers to access criminal records. This is probably a potential employer’s biggest area of liability and it is highly recommended that you consult a lawyer to find out the rules applicable in your particular state.
  • Bankruptcies: Although bankruptcies are a matter of public record, employers generally cannot discriminate against applicants because they have filed for bankruptcy.
  • Worker’s compensation: When a person files a worker’s compensation claim, the case becomes a public record. An employer may usually only use this information if the injury might interfere with the applicant’s ability to perform the work required by the job, however.
  • Medical Records: Medical records are confidential and generally cannot be released without an applicant’s knowledge or authorization. Employers can require a physical examination for the job if it makes sense, however, in which case the employer will have access to those results.
  • Military Records: Under the federal Privacy Act, military records are confidential and can only be released in very limited circumstances
  • Educational Records: Generally, transcripts, recommendations, discipline records, and financial information are confidential and cannot be released without consent. If the applicant gives their consent and it makes sense for the job, however, transcripts can be, and often are, requested.

Source: Essential Screens, Running Employee Background Checks