Tag Archives: HR

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.

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

Am I Qualified for that Job?

Have you applied for a job that you feel under-qualified for?  What happens when you land an interview?  If you find yourself in this situation, there are simple steps you can take to sell yourself for a position you may lack some credentials for.  Here is how:

Research the job and company

Although duties typically change once you are actually in the role, looking at the job description before an interview is a great way to prepare.  Having solid, overall knowledge of the company’s product or service will also help you understand the areas of the position you will be able to excel at to highlight during your interview.

Also, try locating other individuals within the industry in a similar position.  Find their resumes and examples of their work if possible to gain insight into a typical day and to better understand what the duties of the role will actually look like.

Update your resume and cover letter to reflect the position

Many job seekers do not alter their resumes for each job they are applying for.  This is a mistake.  By customizing your resume for the job you are applying for you can include any transferable skill relevant to the position as well as areas you are involved in outside of work that would be an asset in the position you are interviewing for.  Be sure to include volunteer activities relevant to the position as well.

During the interview, highlight your relevant experience

Take the time during the interview to highlight the skillsets you do possess that the company is looking for.  Explain how all your other experience can also benefit the organization if you’re offered the role. Also, include information you have gained from your research to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the company, product/service and industry, which will help you be successful in the position you are interviewing for.

Be confident

Confidence is extremely significant. Even if you’re unsure about your background and/or qualifications for the role, be confident. Do your absolute best to sell yourself for the position, highlighting that you’ve already began conducting research about the company, possible team members and industry experts’ advice on what it takes to be successful in this kind of role.

Be honest.  If you don’t have the skills listed in the job description, explaining that you’re a quick learner who is always eager for a challenge and has a proven record of excelling on the job. Display that you’re confident in your abilities to do whatever it takes to benefit the company in this position.

Ten Tips to Hiring and Keeping Employees

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.

HR’s Workload May Be Expanding

By Jared Bilski, HRMorning.com

Based on the feds’ recently released Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, agencies like the DOL and the EEOC have some big plans for the remainder of 2014 — plans that could potentially have a major impact on HR.

So what can you expect before the end of 2014? Here are the highlights of the Spring Agenda:

DOL’s minimum wage, OT and FMLA plans

Wage and Hour Division (WHD). All in all, the DOL listed 91 regulatory items in the agenda, with five of those items specific to the WHD. Of those five, two items were listed as long-term actions — meaning the agency doesn’t have a projected date for when it may issue a proposed rule.

The good news is one of those long-term items is the “Right to Know” rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If you remember, the Right to Know rule would require employers to perform a written classification analysis for every exempt employee — and share that info with all affected workers. This would add a significant administrative burden on HR pros. While it’s too soon to say the feds are abandoning the rule altogether, many benefits experts feel it’s headed in that direction.

The other long-term action item involves the Child Labor Hazardous Occupations Order, No. 7.

In terms of the action items on the WHD’s priority to-do list, the agency listed three main items:

  • Obama’s overtime reg overhaul: This was listed as “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees.” President Obama made national news when he used his authority to order the DOL to amend the current overtime regs under the FLSA. And the DOL has prioritized these rule changes as “Economically Significant” and assigned a tentative date for when the proposed rules will be issued: November of this year.
  • Revised definition of “spouse” under the FMLA: Following the Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) decision, the agency promised to amend this definition to reflect the slew of federal benefits same-sex married couples are now entitled to receive. The WHD listed this proposed rule as “imminent.”
  • Executive Order 13658: Back in February, President Obama issued a proposed rule on raising the minimum wage for certain federal contractors — and the WHD needs to scramble to complete this rule by the Executive Order’s deadline of Oct. 1, 2014.

Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). The main item on the EBSA’s agenda continues to be an expanded definition of fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). However, this has already been delayed several times and action may not be taken until after the November elections.

The EBSA also has plans to refine the existing fee-disclosure regs under ERISA. Specifically, it’ll focus on drafting enhanced disclosure requirements for target-date funds. Finally, the DOL’s benefits division will focus on the fiduciary implications of self-direct investment (aka, “window”) accounts for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015.

Big news from the EEOC coming

Although the EEOC has nine items on its list, there is just one new action item: Wellness programs offered through company-sponsored health plans.

The agency is looking to draft a proposed rule on how wellness incentives given to employees should be treated under federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). According to the EEOC, HR pros should prepare to see the ADA amended to address whether, and to what extend, the law allows employers to incentivize or penalize employees via wellness programs.

The EEOC also says it’ll make changes to the current GINA regs to: “resolve the frequently-asked question of whether employers may offer inducement to employees’ spouses or other family members who answer questions about their current medical conditions” on health risk assessments, which are sometimes included in wellness plans.

Hiring in Rural Areas

ruralFinding 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 CareerBum.com 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.

Writing a Job Ad to get you Noticed

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 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.

How to Stand Out when Applying for a Job

You are ready for a change.  You have your sights set on a career, and you have found that the job you have been waiting for is available.  What’s next?  How can you stack the deck in your favor?  Here are a few tips for modern job seekers.

Update your resume.  Make your resume job specific and easy to read.  Don’t be tossed aside by the hiring personnel due to a lengthy resume; take out the irrelevant job skills that you have and only include those that will benefit you in your current search.  Also make sure you include transferable skills that may have worked for you in one way at your current position but can set you apart in the position you are applying for.  For example, if you are currently a customer service representative and deal with a variety of personalities and issues you could easily relate that to your new goal, outside sales.

Do not underestimate the cover letter!  It is very important to showcase yourself and should not be overlooked.  The cover letter is where you can show a little personality.  Keep it simple and direct, but use the opportunity to introduce yourself, explain how you heard about the opening and why you are the perfect choice for the job.  Don’t forget to add your contact information and thank the hiring professional for his/her time and consideration.

This is the age of social media.  Most job seekers have a Twitter, Klout, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, YouTube, etc. account.  Before you put your resume out there, make sure your sites are clean.  Remove any pictures that could prove to be detrimental to a possible hire, remove any negative feeds, notes or comments.  Keep your pages professional and appealing to a hiring manager.

Last of all think about designing a personal website to showcase your professional traits.  Very few people have personal websites, and the use of one can really help you showcase your strengths and stand out from the crowd.  Make sure your website is 100% developed and you have proofread it (twice) before making it live and putting it on your resume.  A poorly done site could negatively impact you and that is obviously not the goal.

Using these tips you are sure to land that dream job you have been thinking about!