Category Archives: Hiring

Use Body Language to Build Trust

photo_8171_20081204Building trust during the interview process is critical. Trust is a huge component needed in valued employees. How, though, do you convey that you are trustworthy? Here are some body language tips for your next interview.

  • To begin the interview, a firm handshake is in order. A loose handshake comes off as timid, or a lack of confidence. Firm is the way to go.
  • Eye contact is crucial. Most individuals don’t struggle with this regularly, but it can be a different story when nerves have the best of us. Focus on having good, steady eye contact with your interviewer. It is normal to glance away, but sporadic eye contact communicates distraction or even dishonesty.
  • Stand tall, present yourself with confidence and hold your shoulders back. A slumped posture or sagging shoulders can communicate a lack of effort to an interviewer, or even a lack of sureness.
  • Along with keeping your shoulders straight, keep your arms down. Crossing your arms or having them stiff and behind your back can send a mixture of bad signals from threatening to pretentious. Keep your arms loose and your posture open.
  • Be aware of your hands. Avoid twiddling your thumbs, biting your nails or just fidgeting. These are very visual signs of nervousness. The best way to hold your hands is in front of you, relaxed. Gesturing while you talk is great, as long as it isn’t too big and remains casual.
  • One of the best ways to build trust is through understanding. To display this with body language, mirror the interviewer’s emotions. Nod to display interest, smile and show concern when appropriate.

Fill Your Jobs by Writing Sexy Job Ads!

computerMake the most out of your time, effort and money while ensuring that you will find the best candidate for your position by writing a sexy job ad that compels the reader to apply.  The job description of many companies hasn’t evolved since the days of the newspaper classified ads, from the same boring text to the extensive list of requirements to the bullet points that do nothing to actually entice the best candidates to apply.

A company job ad should be treated as an advertisement.  These ads are your initial recruiting effort, and the first thing a potential candidate sees. A good first impression is essential in a hiring climate. To write better ads, you must tell a better story.

1.     What is your ideal candidate looking for?

Who do you want to apply for the position?  Connect with what job seekers are looking for and let them know what you have to offer.  If you offer a unique work environment, career advancement opportunities, a good work/life balance, a great location or high industry compensation, write about it!  Let them know what sets you apart from the rest.

2.     Focus on the ‘Why’ and not the requirements.

Don’t use your entire job post to list the necessary skills for the job.  More than likely your top candidates are not going to have every single skill on your list, so you could be wasting space.  Instead, write about what makes your company unique, why a job seeker should choose to work for your company and why the job is important.  Job seekers value a worthy challenge.

3.     Keep lists short!

Focus on marketing to top people, not cutting out the unqualified applicants. Concentrate on the vital skills for the position, but keep the bullet points to a minimum.  You don’t need to mention that you are looking for hard-working people who are good team players.  They know.

4.     Get personal about your company.

Job seekers are not only looking for a challenging career, but also a work environment that is a good fit for them.  Don’t leave your company culture out of the ad.  Cover the basics and be honest.  If you offer a four day work week, child care, tele-commuting, profit sharing and what you do for fun.  Keep the ad true to your culture.

Recruit and Retain – Ten Tips

A company relies on employees to be contributing to a profitable bottom line.  While some employees will have a significant impact, others may be smaller, or at least less noticeable, but all of them are important.  Recruitment and employee retention can benefit a company, providing an edge if done properly and strategically.  Here are some helpful suggestions to help attract and retain the best employees.

  1.  Always be Recruiting:  Have a good sense of the talent that will best benefit your company, and always be on the lookout for a person that will be able to advance your company.  Even if there are no current openings, you never know when something will come open, or growth will happen.
  2. Build a Standardized Hiring Process:  Don’t count on your conversational skills to choose between candidates. At a basic level, your standardized hiring process should include criteria-based screening of an adequate number of candidates, a background check, standardized assessments and structured interviews.
  3. Make your Job Post Matter:  You should tell candidates about what your company does and stands for. Include your mission statement. Make clear what your expectations are, from the start. You want potential employees to proactively identify with what you’re all about–before they even submit an application.
  4.  Interview Multiple Applicants:  Commit to meeting and interviewing a specific number of people, don’t hire the first person you like.  You never know if the next person will be a better fit for the company.
  5. Ask Probing Questions:  Use the interview to find out an applicant’s attitude, energy level, life goals, ability to take on responsibility, track record, and ability to work with the flow of your organization and your work culture.
  6. Check References:  Often we get too busy and assume that we won’t get a thorough reference regardless, but take the time to try.  You may find out enough to narrow down your choices.
  7. Train your New Hire: Recruitment doesn’t end with the offer letter. You’ve got to give new people the tools to do the job well.
  8. Keep Expectations Clear:  From day one make sure that employees understand what is expected of them, how you will measure it and what the benefits are for achieving their goals.
  9. Offer Compensation:  Offer talent an attractive compensation.  Be fair and recognize effort by rewarding with benefits or salary.
  10. Continue Development of Employees:  There is so much potential that frequently goes underutilized in organizations, offer employees feedback, coaching, cross training and opportunities for advancement.

You are sure to reduce your turnover and increase proper hiring by utilizing these tips.

The Perfect Fit

As you job hunt and search for your next career opportunity, you may be asking yourself, “Is this position the right fit for me?” Beyond the company, the salary and your expectations, will the grass be as green as you think it is?  How can you make sure you are taking the next BEST step for your career?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, there are two types of fitness for an employee entering a new organization: Person-Job Fit and Person-Organization Fit.

Person-Job Fit
This concept suggests that a person must have certain core competencies for a particular position in order to perform the job to a satisfactory level. Often times when candidates look at job postings, they get attracted to the company name and the job title without taking an in-depth look at the core competencies required for the position. In most job descriptions, there are two types of competencies: essentials and desirables. The job the hiring company is seeking to fill cannot be performed without the essential competencies and the desirable competencies can be used to differentiate candidates. If the organization allows, ask if it would be possible to job shadow or ask someone you know who does a similar job to help validate whether you’d be a good fit for the position. To set yourself up for the maximum chance for success, make sure you have the Essential AND Desirable core competencies. To gauge whether you’d be a good fit, take an honest look at your values, personality, expectations, interests, goals, abilities, knowledge to see how they stack up before applying for a position.

Person-Organization Fit
Are you a good fit for the COMPANY and not just the position? Taking a look at your own personality and values and seeing how they line up against the company’s overall mission and operating philosophy is an important step to getting your foot in the right door and not just any door. When applying and/or interviewing for a position, research the company website and find out their organizational values and philosophy towards employees. Ask meaningful questions on the management style and opportunities for advancement within the company. Remember, you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you.

Before you begin assessing these levels of fitness for an opportunity, take some time and find out what’s important to you professionally. Make a list of five to ten key characteristics that are important to you and objectively rate them against a job you are considering. You can use the following list of questions to help get you started:

  • What salary are you expecting?
  • What’s your true passion?
  • Will you enjoy the work?
  • Will the job provide maximum satisfaction?
  • Is the company close to family?
  • Will the work be in demand in the future?
  • Is there advancement opportunities?

Finding your dream job can be challenging and sometimes even unrealistic. But if you take the time to logically evaluate an opportunity before jumping in, your chances of success will be greatly increased!

Source:  A strategy for evaluating

Hiring in Rural Areas

Finding the right hire in rural America can be challenging to say the least.  More often than not there are very few, if any, people with the exact skill set your company needs.  Most likely there will be no “Mr./Ms. Right,” so a more creative approach to hiring will need to be taken.

First, make sure to post all of your positions on so that your positions are easy to find and apply for.  Second, start looking for standout employees and places you frequent who appear to have the potential you seek for your organization. That means shopping with a purpose other than grabbing a gallon of milk; chatting with the nurses in your doctor’s office to find out more about their lives; and finding the person in your church who is running all the committees single-handedly. Schools have scores of employees, too, and are worth scouring.

When you find that no one has the skill set you are looking for, take another approach.  Seek out an employee who would be a great cultural fit for your company.  Personality goes a long way, and, for many positions, so will persistence, flexibility and a willingness to dig in and do what is needed to get the job done. You need to find a way to uncover what makes that candidate tick during the interview(s), and will likely devote more time than you initially think necessary to really get to know them.

Once you find someone you think might be a right fit, test his/her skills in various departments. The merits you admired at the check-out counter might suit your customer-service department, or that candidate might be a better fit in an operations position.

There can be enormous benefits to creative hiring. Gems are everywhere, and in rural Nebraska, they’re just waiting to be uncovered. But every hiring manager knows that hires don’t always work out. In a small town, firing is particularly painful because job opportunities are so slim. Make sure you do your homework upfront and give the hiring process the time it needs for you to find the right fit.

Make Your Job Pop!

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 résumé’s 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 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 repost on their social networking sites and share it off of’s page.

Job Search Trends, Tips and Strategies

By Arnie Fertig, US News, Money Careers

The changing nature of résumés, use of applicant tracking systems, LinkedIn and other social media sites, Skype video conferencing, big data applications and more are all impacting the way employers and hope-to-be-employees find, communicate and interact with each other.

Employers have ever more candidates to evaluate in their search for the perfect fit solution to their need for talent. And in the continuing wake of the Great Recession, career expectations have changed for new grads trying to get a career started, baby boomers with dated skills and just about everyone in between.

With so much chatter online and elsewhere about the changing landscape, it can be difficult to determine what the real story is, what trends are newly emerging and where we are all heading.

To document and make sense of it all, the Career Thought Leaders Consortium conducts a Global Career Brainstorming Day annually. Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark, co-executive directors, gathered more than 150 of the top career professionals from the U.S. and five other countries for 15 live and virtual concurrent sessions for the 2013 event. The white paper detailing the discussions of that day has just been published, and it contains hundreds of valuable facts, insights and tips. The following 10 points are excerpted from the report with permission from the Career Thought Leaders Consortium:

1. There is increased use of targeting to build company brand as an employer of choice to ideal candidates. Online and offline tools are being used to actively engage with potential candidates, and helping prospects navigate the organization to create interest and determine fit.

2. Mobile apps will be the next big thing for applying for jobs. This trend has already emerged and is projected to grow rapidly.

3. Younger job seekers approach career communications differently. Millennials are more comfortable with video and online representation. They think a paper resume is stagnant; they can’t “post or tweet” it. They are shunning email.

4. Recruiters are crunched for time. The average resume review time was 20–30 seconds. Now, six seconds is the reported norm.  You must make those seconds count.

5. Resumes will become an aggregation of social media. Some project less content but with more links to work, social media, video bios, contact options, infographics, and other online bio bits.

6. LinkedIn is a complement to the resume, not a mirror. LinkedIn profiles should be more personal and more engaging than a resume. And as LinkedIn has become more robust, with the capability to link files, videos, portfolios, and other beneficial information, it often provides a portrait that is richer and deeper than a resume. Multimedia presentations, projects, and videos are more common elements of LI profiles. Summaries continue to become more creative in presenting motivation, passion, and individuality.

7. Twitter is valuable for following companies and searching for job postings. Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, recruiters on a low budget can post opportunities for free.

8. Group interviews are commonplace, and candidates need to prepare for both scenarios: either responding to a team of interviewers, or being one of several candidates being interviewed in the same session.

9. Companies are using writing exercises. Candidates may be asked to write emails introducing themselves to the company – or be required to discuss what they will accomplish in the first few weeks in the job. Even for internships, writing samples are being required.

10. Follow-up/thank-you notes are most commonly sent by email, ideally within 24 hours of an interview. Candidates should reference key points uncovered during the interview and provide evidence about how they would approach these challenges.

When you keep these insights in mind as you create your own job search strategy, you will have a better understanding of the process as a whole, and you will be able act on tips that will foster your success.

Happy hunting!

Make Your Job Postings Count

Make the most out of your time, effort and money while ensuring that you will find the best candidate for your position.  These simple tips will help you find the perfect candidate for your jobs:

  1. Use common titles.  While many companies are coming up with creative and fun titles for their employees, the job posting isn’t the place to implement this.  Use clear and concise titles to show specific functions of the position.  For instance use the title Sales Associate as opposed to the futuristic possibility of Retail Jedi.
  2. Have clear and detailed job postings.  Use easy to understand language to write your job postings, but make it exciting and enticing.  Break up the text with bullet points.  Use underlines, bolding and italics to highlight the most important aspects of the job.
  3. Use keywords in your postings.  Within your ad the job title, company name and other related keywords should be used at least three times if possible.  For example:  If your job title is Sales Manager and your company name is ABC, Inc., the ad could read as follows:

Join ABC, Inc and become part of our growing team as a Sales Manager. The Sales Manager is responsible for growing new business and developing accounts within ABC, Inc.  If you have a knack for customer service and a history in sales, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.   Apply with ABC, Inc today!

  1. Be sure to utilize as many keywords as possible that relate to the position for search engines to use.  For instance, if you were posting an elementary school science teaching position some keywords would be:  education, classroom, K-12, curriculum, and science.
  2. Set-up alerts to be notified when a potential candidate uploads a resume with the skill set you are interested in.  Be proactive and contact these applicants if they appear that they will be a good fit for your company and position.
  3. Share your job postings on your social media sites and invite your fans to share them.  The more you spread the news the more likely you will be to find multiple good candidates to choose from.
  4. Post the pay so job seekers know if it is within their range, as well as anything that makes your company unique, such as culture or history to improve applicant traffic.

Remember, it is all about informing possible candidates and standing out from the masses.