Monthly Archives: September 2014

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.

Personal Branding

Personal branding is not just for the rich and famous. In today’s digital kingdom, you can create your own compelling personal brand to:

  • Differentiate yourself from other potential candidates
  • Increase your visibility and credibility in the job market
  • Occupy a unique and competitive position in a potential employer’s mind
  • Ultimately land the job you want
  • Position yourself for a more successful career by leveraging the power of personal branding.

Much like corporate and product branding, a personal branding statement sums up your unique selling proposition (USP)–the unique benefit or value you offer a potential employer. Your branding statement sets you apart from your competitors and provides a compelling reason to hire you. As a general rule, this concise statement should communicate:

  • your specialty (who you are)
  • your service (what you do, and how you do it better or differently)
  • your audience (whom you do it for)
  • your leading attribute (the single most important skill you possess)

While your personal branding statement aims to influence potential employers’ perceptions by emphasizing your strengths, be careful. A personal brand should be based on your REAL identity–who you are and what you can do–not just an external “image” you want to project (i.e., if your branding statement says that you speak fluent Portuguese and have superior design expertise, you’d better have the skills to back it up). But before you can sell yourself to someone else, you must thoroughly understand what you have to offer. So start the branding process with some introspection and audience analysis. Ask yourself:

  • How do others describe you professionally?
  • How do you describe yourself?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How would you describe your ideal career?
  • What are your business standards and ethics?
  • What can you offer an employer that others can’t (i.e., what makes you different from other candidates)?
  • What would you like to be known for?
  • When it comes to your career, what motivates you and makes you passionate?
  • Who is your audience (i.e., potential employers and/or recruiters)?
  • What career opportunities are available (i.e., what positions are you targeting)?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can begin to craft your personal branding statement.

So how do you actually word your personal branding statement? It’s not easy. In fact, figuring out exactly what to say is probably the most difficult–and yet most important–thing you’ll do in your personal branding efforts. But don’t worry. Unlike a real brand on a cow’s hide, you can change your personal brand statement as you refine your approach. Just make sure your initial branding statement is:

  • short (30 words or less)
  • accurate (says who you are, not who you want to be someday)
  • unique (sets you apart from your competition)
  • benefits-oriented (tells the employer what you could do for them)

To help get you started, here are a few sample personal brand statements:

I energize, focus and align manufacturing organizations, resulting in sustainable acceleration of processes, reduction in waste, and growth of profits.

I’m a seasoned administrative assistant, whose specialty is client-phone relationship building, creating a solid bond with our client that strengthens the sales link with my company.

I am a safety coordinator with strengths in training and program implementation that helped reduce workers’ compensation claims by 37 percent over a four-year period for my current employer.

I develop employee referral programs that result in quality hires and have saved my employer $90,000 in extra hiring costs.

I use the power of social media to help great companies recruit talented people, and to help talented people get noticed and move ahead.

Company Branding with

In today’s world, one must continually be thinking about company branding.  What thoughts do you want people to conjure up when they think about your company?  Along with ease of use and a far reaching market, allows you to integrate your brand with your job posts and more!  Use to place a graphic ad to grab the attention of other companies, or job seekers!  With up to 100,000 impressions monthly, this is an extremely inexpensive and useful advertising tool.

On current job openings, be sure to upload a company logo and information about your company.  By writing about the unique culture of your company, your family atmosphere, or flexible schedule, you could gain the upper hand in recruiting and land your next great talent! also allows you to link your jobs and company profile page directly back to a company website, if you would prefer to have applicants fill out their information there.  This will allow for a consistent application look for all applicants.

Whatever your brand is, make it known!  Use as a tool to profess who you are, and why you are the best at what you do.