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

The Secret to Success

What is it that makes people successful and I mean really successful compared to you or me? Are they smarter or do they work harder? Are they risk takers or have powerful and influential friends?

The financial newspaper Investors Business Daily (IBD) asked these same questions a few years ago and started a multi-year search for the answer. They studied industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs to understand the traits they all had in common that contributed to their success.

1. How You Think is Everything. Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.

This trait has to be one of the most important in the entire list. Your belief that you can accomplish your goals has to be unwavering. The moment you say to yourself “I can’t…”, then you won’t.

2. Decide upon Your True Dreams and Goals. Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.

Goals are those concrete, measurable stepping stones of achievement that track your progress towards your dreams.

3. Take Action. Goals are nothing without action.

Be like Nike and “Just do it”.  Every day try to take some action towards your goals. It may be small, but it’s still an action.

4. Never Stop Learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training & acquire skills.

Becoming a life long learner would benefit us all and is something we should instill in our kids. It’s funny that once you’re out of school you realize how enjoyable learning can be.

5. Be Persistent and Work Hard: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

There is no getting around this and there is no free lunch. But, if you’re working towards something that you’re passionate about, something you love – then is it really work?

6. Learn to Analyze Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.

You have to strike a balance between getting all the facts and making a decision with incomplete data – both are traits of successful people. Spend time gathering details, but don’t catch ‘analysis paralysis’.

7. Focus Your Time And Money: Don’t let other people or things distract you.

Remain laser focused on your goals and surround yourself with positive people that believe in you. Don’t be distracted by the naysayer’s or tasks that are not helping you achieve your goals.

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Innovate: Be different. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.

Follow through on that break-out idea you have. Ask yourself “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”

9. Deal And Communicate With People Effectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.

Successful people develop and nurture a network and they only do that by treating people openly, fairly and many times firmly. There is nothing wrong about being firm.

10. Be Honest And Dependable: Take responsibility, otherwise numbers 1 – 9 won’t matter.

Source: Pick the Brain and Grow Yourself; 10 Secrets to Success by Victor Stachura

Tips for Hiring the Right Employee

Hiring the right employees can make or break your business. Employee recruitment is about managing stress, as you will constantly be judged on your selection, and you obviously cannot please everybody in your organization.

However, there are certain rules that you can use to hire the right employee for your business every time:

1.    Look for Someone With a Commitment to Their Career

A person committed to his or her career is the candidate you want to hire. You don’t want to hire an employee who switches careers or jobs frequently, just to get a higher salary. If a candidate is not loyal to any company, hiring this person could definitely be a problem for your business.

Always check the candidate’s previous job duration and if he or she is switching jobs constantly, this is definitely not the right person for the job.

2.    Test for Excellent Learning and Analytical Skills

Try to use different methodologies to assess the learning and analytical skills of your candidates. Testing candidates might be tricky, but don’t evaluate candidates merely on the basis of their resume and their confidence because a resume can contain lies.

A candidate with confidence is great, but what you really want is a candidate that has the right skills and educational requirements. Satish Bakhda from Rikvin.com believes that a candidate with confidence is great, but what you really want is a candidate that has the right skills and educational requirements.

3.    Check Compatibility

You want to find an employee that will fit in with your company’s culture. Check whether the candidate has social skills to get along with others, especially with current employees and managers. Ask how he or she is managing current business clients to judge compatibility skills.

Remember, willingness is one of the primary things a candidate must possess to work with you. And if a person cannot get along with his or her current clients or previous bosses, it’s not such a great idea to hire that candidate.

4.    Keep Improving Your Hiring Process

Whether you are hiring employees for a big organization or looking for some potential candidates to build your start-up, the hiring process is the first and foremost factor you need to focus on. Make sure you are following these steps in your hiring process:

  • Instead of asking magic bullet questions or irrelevant questions, you always need to focus on getting to know the capabilities, knowledge, skills, confidence, attitude, and potential of the candidate.
  • When you advertise job vacancies for your company, make sure that all the job requirements such as responsibilities, required education, experience, knowledge, and skills are clearly mentioned. It will help you in evaluating candidates and attracting applicants that fulfill all of your responsibilities and requirements.
  • It’s also a good idea to involve other people in the evaluation process, since more opinions can lead to finding the right hire.

5.    Don’t Forget to Hire Interns

People may disagree, but this is one of the best ways to hire the right employee for your business. You know all of their strengths, weaknesses, skills, knowledge, attitudes, behavior, confidence levels, and even practical evidence of work. What else do you need to know?

You’ve already done the hard work in picking an intern, so why not hire from this potential pool when looking to fill permanent positions?

6.    Get Social With the Candidates

Asking personal questions won’t get you anywhere, and could be awkward and uncomfortable for both parties. Rather, you or your human resources team should be analyzing the candidates’ presence on social media. This can be a great strategy, especially if you want to hire employees for tech businesses. You’ll be surprised what you can find out about a candidate by researching their social presence.

Source: Forbes: 6 Tips For Hiring The Right Employee by Steve Olenski

The Most Needed Job Seeker Survival Skills

Finding a new job is a massive undertaking that can consume a lot of time and effort for job seekers. The job search process itself is like a project with a beginning and an end that has many phases and tasks to complete such as finding available job openings, updating resumes and cover letters, interviewing, performing follow-up, and more. With all the work to be done to find their next career opportunity, job seekers need the right set of job hunt skills to survive during the multifaceted job search process.

Courage: Mental strength to persevere and withstand fear or difficulty

Courage allows job seekers to step outside of their comfort zone to accomplish what they set out to accomplish. Some job seekers are afraid of asking for help from people while other job seekers are afraid of networking with strangers. Many other fears emerge during the job search and the ability to face them straight on takes great courage. Envisioning what you hope to accomplish and envisioning the feeling of success that comes from facing your fears can serve as motivation.

Focus: Dedicated attention to an interest or an activity

The job search can take the form of a full-time job which can be overwhelming. With so many tasks to take on, job seekers need stay focused on what’s important. They need to understand their career goals and if an activity doesn’t assist them in the right direction, then a change might need to take place. Also, dedicating a set amount of uninterrupted time can sometimes lead to better results than spurts of job search activities scattered throughout the day.

Organization: Arrangements in a coherent, systematized form

The devils are in the details and this holds true even during the job search. Imagine as a job seeker you’ve applied for twenty jobs over the last two weeks. Then you receive a phone call that XYZ company wants to schedule an interview for XYZ position. That’s great, but unfortunately you don’t remember what the position entails and the job posting is no longer online. This is key information that could help you better prepare for your upcoming interview. Keeping track of the details is essential and this can include what jobs you’ve applied for, who you have made contact with, and other information that matter now and possibly later on.

Instincts: A natural or intuitive way of acting or thinking

Instincts are within all of us, but how many job seekers use it during the job search process? During the job search, people might be faced with a decision whether they should apply for a job, whether they should custom tailor their resume, and other decisions. The answer might be in trusting your gut. Most of us have heard stories of people getting jobs that they might not have been qualified on paper but they still applied. The result, they got the job because they were one of the best candidate overall because they were able to successfully communicate and demonstrate their value. Instincts are an invaluable trait that sometimes gets overlooked.

Kindness: The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate

A little act of kindness can go a long ways. Remember how you felt when someone said something nice to you? A good impression is one thing but a lasting impression is another. Being sincere and caring might be the difference that makes you stand out from the crowd of other candidates for a position. Say thank you to an interviewer by sending an email or handwritten note. Compliment the receptionist on how helpful she was. And perform other kind gestures when you see the opportunity. So be kind to whoever you meet not only during your job search but during the lifetime of your career.

Source:   Simply Hired Blog

Now Seeking Interns

Summer is quickly approaching and many college students are starting to think of landing an internship. Some students most likely have already secured one, but if you haven’t, there is still time. Here are some tips on how to secure your summer internship.

Start now.

The ideal time has passed to start seeking an internship, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities out there. Start now. Think about where you want to be and what type of internship you are interested in. To help you narrow your scope, ask yourself: Do you want to work for a company or nonprofit? Do you want to work for the government? Can you accept an unpaid internship? Do you want to look where you are now, or in a different location?

Research and gather applications.

After you know what you want to do and where you want to be, start to seek opportunities that closely match your goal internship. Some processes will require written essays, letters of recommendation and resumes. Find all the opportunities you can and begin collecting the necessary pieces of each application. Keep these in one spot and develop a spreadsheet for tracking. Be aware of any deadlines looming.

Develop a network.

Networking is always a good idea. Whether you are looking to land a job or an internship, or even if you have a job, a professional network can be very supportive. Speak with people who are already in the industry you are looking to enter. Try to gain insights that will help you understand what you need to do to enter this career field and connect with individuals who could possibly help you gain an interview.

Be interview ready.

Interview processes are greatly varied these days. Some may be focused on your resume, some may have you take assessments to understand your ability to be a “cultural fit” and some may be technical. Be prepared. Research as much as you can online and don’t be afraid to ask employees who currently work at the organization. Stay current with any industry developments, changes or advancements.

Retention as a Top Priority

You go to Workforce teamwork within an organization - Conceptconsiderable trouble and expense to identify, interview, and hire great employees for your organization. So retaining them should also be a top priority. Luckily, most good retention practices are inexpensive to implement.

Effective retention

To understand how to retain good employees, you first need to know what they’re looking for. Today, the best employees want:

  • Career development opportunities and a chance to grow in their chosen field
  • Regular feedback on how both they and the company are doing
  • A chance to contribute directly to the organization and be recognized for doing so
  • Flexible work schedules that recognize their need for work/life balance
  • A good salary or wage and an opportunity to increase it over time
  • Benefits tailored to their individual needs

Key strategies

Good retention starts from the time you hire employees to the time they leave your company. See how tweaking some of your employment practices can have a big impact on employee retention:

  • Recruitment and hiring. It’s worth spending time and effort on recruiting. When there’s a good match between employees and your organization, retention is less likely to be an issue.
  • Orientation and onboarding. Again, it’s worth having good practices in place. Treating employees right in the critical early stages of employment has been proven to enhance retention.
  • Training and development. Training and development are key factors in helping employees grow with your company and stay marketable in their field.
  • Performance evaluation. When employees know what they’re doing well and where they need to improve, both they and your organization benefit.
  • Pay and benefits. While today many employees tend to rate factors such as career development higher than pay, good pay and benefits still count.
  • Internal communication. Effective communication can help ensure that employees to want to stay with your company. Employees need to know—and be reminded on a regular basis—how the organization is doing and what they can do to help.
  • Termination and outplacement. Employees who leave on good terms are much more likely to recommend your company, and in doing so, help you attract and retain future employees.

Engage employees to increase retention

Engaging your employees—that is, making sure that they are committed and productive in their work—can benefit you as much as it benefits employees.

If you hire the right employees, chances are good they’ll be engaged—committed to your business and happy in their work. But to ensure ongoing engagement, you as an employer must play a major role, particularly when it comes to communication. Consider these five strategies:

  • Be clear on what your business stands for. Your company’s mission and vision and brand must be front and center in everything you do.
  • Communicate well and often. Your employees need to know—on a continuous basis—how both they and your company are doing.
  • Understand generational differences. To get the best out of all your employees, know what motivates different generations.
  • Find out what your employees need. Ask your employees on a regular basis how they’re doing, and be ready to follow up on their input.
  • Empower all employees to do their best. Provide the leadership, resources, and training your employees need to realize their potential.

Understanding what engages employees can help during all phases of the employment cycle—from recruitment to training to performance assessment and beyond. It’s also much easier to retain employees who are engaged and committed to your company’s success.

Source: CareerOneStop Business Center, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor