We focus a lot of our attention on what the company or hiring manager is focused on but this week we are focusing on the candidate and what they expect during the hiring process. As hiring managers, you are trying to stay focused on screening top candidates that will fit your organization from a skills and cultural basis. The question is are you investing time into what the experience is like for the applicants as well? Madison Professional Group knows if you are not evaluating this you could be unknowingly sending the wrong message and thus harming your employee brand as well as future candidates.
The following are things to keep in mind as to what candidates expect:
Candidates want to know what you want
As candidates have their first contact with a company, whether it is through a job ad, company career site, the expectations should be clear and thorough as possible. When you use words that are cryptic, or vague job descriptions, it does not give the candidate a clear picture and it sends a message of, “Maybe this isn’t the job for me.” It is important to have a clear theme throughout the hiring process. From when and how to communicate, to initial expectations, consistent transparency saves on time.
Candidates want Communication
Madison Professional knows that communication is very important. Unfortunately, many times the candidates are left in the dark, which in turn causes the company to miss out on great candidates. Therefore, it is important to be quick with your communication with the candidates and let them know where they stand. If the news is bad it is important to communicate that as well because it allows them to move on. As the company you need to keep in mind that social media is a driving factor in so much of today’s brand awareness and companies can mitigate negative feedback by being prompt, upfront, and honest in their assessments of job candidates.
If the interview process is going to require 4 or 5 rounds of interviews, tell your applicants right up front so they are prepared and have expectations set.
The hiring process is taking longer and longer. Recruiters and hiring managers are adding interview rounds to be sure they are hiring candidates that are the right fit. It is important that even if the candidate does not get the role, they need to leave feeling that their time mattered. It is important to forge a professional relationship with the candidate, connect on LinkedIn, give them constructive feedback. If they might be a fit later down the road let them know that they should try again after they do the following steps (i.e. licenses, experience, etc). All of this will tie into the message you are sending to the candidate and proper branding of your company. You want to leave as positive of footprint on the candidate as possible.
They Want an Efficient Process
This ties back to our first advice on have a smooth and efficient process in place. The first steps a potential candidate takes in joining a company are usually on the website or career portal. These tools should work flawlessly as they are a candidates first interaction with the company. Poorly run and/or inefficient software can dissuade job seekers from applying. If your site requires them to create an account and fill in fifty prompts, use only a certain web browser etc. then you probably need to explore your options and update your system.
It might be a good time to update your hiring lifecycle from start to finish from the applicant’s perspective. This will allow you to smooth out any issues that you see pop up during the process that might apprehend them from being submitted.
It is important to remember that if your hiring process is not in order then the expectation when you have these applicants become candidates and then hopefully employees, they will see the company has a strong acquisition foundation and they become your talented management strategy. By actively incorporating these items from the beginning you set the stage for a successful partnership, right from the start.
Interested in outsourcing hiring to local experts?
Give Madison Professional Group a call. Our top priority is “creating connections that last”. In doing that we deliver exceptional job candidates, not just medium candidates who may have the skills. If you are ready to take advantage of the services, our team can office then reach out to us today!
In talking with a recent client, we had a long discussion on employees and retaining them. Many times, clients want us to take extra measures to be sure that the candidate will stay. They seem to think that we need to share in the responsibility of the candidate staying on board with the company and feel that it is within our control. As many of you know that is simply not the case at all. As headhunters and recruiters, we do our due diligence of checking references and backgrounds to be sure the candidate is not only having the right skills but also is the right company cultural fit. In one of my other articles I touch on company culture as we believe at MPG that is a driving force in whether the candidate will stay in the role. We have found in our research that more than 40% of workers are planning to look for a new job within the next six months, and 69% say they are already passively looking. As a headhunter, we encounter individuals that tell us they are always looking and keeping their options open. This might be good in theory, but if you are always looking are you really cheating yourself and your current employer in these actions. This also raises the question of is the candidate truly buying in to the position and company or is it just a temporary fill to get them to the next opportunity.
We understand that for employees to safely make a long-term commitment to an organization, the employer will need to give them good reason to stay. We advocate proactive efforts by employers to establish a culture that builds a strong relationship between the employee and the employer. What can the employer do to foster this kind of relationship? This is the question we are asked most often. The following are the some of the ways that we have found to keep employee relationships on the road to retention:
- Respect: Employees want to know they are respected and appreciated. If managers make it a priority to show outward respect for employees on a regular basis, it will lead to a strong and enduring workplace culture as well as a positive experience and create memories that they will never forget.
- Reward: As an employer the rewards that you give your employee should speak to their emotional needs and should go beyond their monetary compensation. Personalities can be very different, sometime employees like to be recognized in front of their peers or the company and other times they desire an increase in responsibility. You will also find that some of them might be better with other forms of morale builders. The morale builders will also help to build the company culture and help other employees remain excited about what is happening in their workplace. Also, it is important to not buy your employees, this can create a negative effect in the environment. For example, if you are giving employees monetary rewards and perks in addition to overtime pay because they are working overtime and beyond it sends a message to employee that they must work those extra hours to get any reward. What we have found is that companies that place value on the quality of an employee’s work instead of just the quantity create higher company loyalty and increase retention.
- Relaxation Time: Time off is very significant, and it is important to not be stingy with it. While It is nice to provide sufficient time off for sick days, family vacations, etc. People need time off to recharge and this will help to foster the demand for high quality performance. If a company wants their employees fresh and ready for the important projects and deadlines it is important to let them get time off during non-peak times.
- Responsibility: For your employees to grow it is important to trust them and give them responsibilities. For example, encouraging them to gain new skills, go to workshops, continuing education opportunities. The more confident your employee feels about themselves the better they will preform their job and will enjoy coming to work. Promoting employees from within is also very helpful and motivating to the company’s culture, it shows them that they too can move up and be a contributor.
- Environment: Creating an open and welcoming environment is very important to retaining individuals to stay. The average person spends over 90,000 hours of their life working. By working this much it can create a negative home life and that can have severe effects on the environment of your workplace and the condition of your people. It is important to create an environment where people can take breaks and time off to recharge and refuel. If you do not it can cause greater issues.
- Incorporate Revenue Sharing: Tie part of your employees’ wages to the company’s performance. This will align their interests with the company’s review and profit goal. It will also serve as an inherent incentive to see the company grows. This will also make your business more agile when it is having to deal with differing business conditions and changes in the economy.
- Small Perks: This is a great incentive to have for your employees and it is something that all levels of employees can benefit from. Some examples of small perks could be: free bagels on Fridays, lunch brought in for quarterly sales meetings, in office massage therapists after the completion of a significant project, and dry-cleaning pickup and delivery may seem insignificant to you, but if they help employees better manage their lives, they’ll appreciate it and may be more likely to stick around.
- Conduct “stay” interviews: In addition to performing exit interviews to learn why employees are leaving, consider asking longer-tenured employees why they stay. Ask questions such as: Why did you come to work here? Why have you stayed? What would make you leave? And what are your nonnegotiable issues? What about your managers? What would you change or improve? Then use that information to strengthen your employee-retention strategies. Also, it might a bonus to use those employees on your employee spotlights. You could feature them on the employee boards in the office, e-newsletters, or social media. This will foster two things, enhancing the relationships with your employee but also showing outsiders that might be applying that this is a company that cares about its people.
It is important to remember the long-term commitment of retention and it requires effort in both directions. It is understandable that companies do not want to hire perpetual “job hoppers” but in the same token it is equally important to give them good reason to stay. If you are looking for assistance in your recruiting efforts please reach out to one of our Recruiters at Madison Professional Group. We strive to create connections that last
So, you are in between jobs or just graduated from school. Maybe you are on the job hunt for a full-time position or a better paying position. Regardless of your situation unemployment can be daunting. It can be tempting to sleep late or stay up having a fun night out or you might be up worrying about your current situation and the ramifications to your finances, career and general life. Needless to say, it is easy to get de-motivated. But believe it or not, there are better and more productive ways to spend your time. Below are some tips on how to make the most of each day.
Planning day: Use a Sunday afternoon or evening for about an hour or so to put a game plan or strategy for the week. It is important for you to still set goals and develop plans for yourself. For example, perhaps you only have a certain amount of savings or reserve funds that will last for a specific period of time. In the above situation your game plan needs to coincide with the timeline of you getting your job or know if you need to get a supplemental job while you are still searching for the ideal role. The more of a plan you have in place, the more successful you will be achieving your goal. Lay-out your week of items to accomplish, networking events to attend, people to connect with and readings to help keep you update on particular industry trends.
Plan out your days: If you do not have a planner it might be a good time to invest in one. This will allow you to be in line with your socializing, networking, working out, and job hunting. It will keep you in a routine because that is most important to keep your performance and self-esteem up.
Applying for jobs: Applying for jobs should occupy a large part of your day. Your ability to research niche job boards, specific companies, major job boards, and social media sites to see where unique job postings might crop up. To be more organized about your search it might be appropriate to assign certain job boards for certain days as this will increase your productivity and help you from feeling this is mundane or monotonous. For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays might be spent looking over companies’ social media sites, while Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays involve searching on niche and major job boards. The more you plan and have a schedule in place the easier it will be for you to be productive and get noticed.
Research: Research the companies that sound interesting to you and might have openings in your field. If they do not have current jobs posted then you can sign up on their site to be notified of when jobs that align with your roles come available.
Resumes and Social Media: It is important to be sure you have your resumes ready to go. I would suggest having more than one resume template ready to go so you are prepared for multiple opportunities. For example, if you have an accounting and sales background, I would have a resume for various sales positions and an accounting position resume. LinkedIn is a great resource for when you are job hunting. However, it is very important that your resume is the same as your LinkedIn profile. When you are applying for jobs many time recruiters and hiring authorities might search for your profile on LinkedIn as well. Also, please keep in mind your other social media profiles. You want to be sure that your social media aka Facebook etc. reflect positively on your persona. You do not want to have inappropriate posts that would portray you in a way differently then your resume. Good rule of thumb if you are uncomfortable explaining anything on your social media profile to another person then don’t post it or make it private.
Exercise and Diet: It is important during this time that you continue exercising. For your lunch break take a bike ride around or go for a walk or jog. The sunshine will work wonders for your spirits and mood. Also, the break will make you more centered and productive when you come back to it. If you have kids, go visit them at school during lunch. It’s a great way to have some lunch, connect with your kiddo and get out of the house. There is no need to be a shut in and stare at the light of your computer day and night while the world is still going on outside. Proper diet is important for you to continue on the right track. Late night coffee or alcohol is not the best remedy for this time in your life as it will make you sluggish and effect your mood.
Networking: Networking is important to stay connected with the groups and events you were going to prior to your unemployment period. Reach out to contact you have in the industry. Set up lunch and coffee meetings to ask about your field, the best places to look for jobs, any recommendations they may have or openings in the industry that may not be common knowledge, etc. Be sure to follow-up with your contacts after these meetings to keep the connection going. Also, if you come across interesting articles that might be of interest or might trigger something you discussed in the lunch it might be a good way to re-connect and keep the connection going.
Socializing: It is important to stay in touch with friends and family. They might have a connection for you that could help you in the job hunt or might be a great resource for you. You do not want to be a shut in for a week and then you have a phone interview and sound like you have lost your best friend. When you have phone interviews it is very important to sound upbeat and engaged since they are not able to read your physical body language. There are other tips we can suggest for when you are interviewing but we will share that in another piece.
Volunteering: Volunteer work is a great thing to do all the time, but it can be helpful during this time because it helps keep things in perspective. Also, it will help you meet a lot of great people during your time off because you are connecting with people who value the same things you do. You can then connect with them on LinkedIn and see about furthering those connections.
Review your weekly plan: Each Sunday as you make your new plan for the upcoming week this is a great time aside from your daily plan, make a weekly goal list to chart the progress you want to make over any given week. During this whole process, it is important to keep on top of your plan and goals because that will greatly influence and impact your steps moving forward. Make sure you aren’t spending too much time on Facebook or watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls on TV. Compare your daily schedule and your weekly goal list side-by-side to confirm you’re using your time effectively. Check things off as you get them done; at the end of the day, those check marks will make you feel accomplished!
Stay Positive: It is important that during this time you stay positive and focus on the positive. It will help you when you are connecting with others.
Equipped with these tips and ideas be ready to spend your day in a whole new way! Make the most out of this time of unemployment and you will not stay that way for very long.
If MPG can be of assistance during this time please do not hesitate to reach out to one of us.
Do you want the best results with your resume? If you are working with a recruiter/headhunter, they should be able to help you with these services. If not, then you need to tailor it by fine tuning your resume and paralleling keywords and phrases that you can use to better speak to your relevant experience.
When tailoring your resume, you are tested with, “where do I begin?” As a professional in the industry, I have the answers you need. First and foremost, you must always remember that even though we are in a technical age where you will receive emails with notices telling you jobs that you qualify for that you should never click apply all to them without viewing each job description. Please remember throughout your job search and the higher up the job title it is quality over quantity. Here are some tips to customizing your resume:
- Read and examine the job posting/description: Thoroughly read through the job posting and grab a highlighter or pen and circle the key areas, requirements and any key software programs or certifications. After you will need to correlate and write down which one’s best tie-in with your abilities. Many large companies have systems they use as the initial sorter for resumes which focuses on certain “keywords”.
- Rework your qualification summary: Now that you have identified key areas that the potential employer is looking for, you can reword and organize your bullet points to include the key items at the top and add or eliminate as need be.
- Edit your career experience: Once you have re-worked the summary area and weaved key words from the post into your experience your goal is to highlight key area in your resume that tie-in with the post that will excite the hiring manager once they read your resume. You need to remember that you do not want to over use or use too many words as the hiring managers time is very valuable and they only have a few minutes per resume, so you want to be eye catching.
- Ask a friend or trusted advisor: Mentors in your industry are key. They can keep you grounded but still assist you in advancing in your field. Please reach out to your mentor or friend to review and give feedback on your resume.
- Are cover letters optional? NO! You should always include a cover letter and not a template where you simply change the company name and job title. The cover letter should be customized to fit the job that you are applying for. You should do your research and due diligence on the company and add items about yourself and how you would work within their culture. You want the hiring manager and their cohorts to know that you have visited their company’s website and are not just blindly sending a blanket cover letter and resume.
I have seen more times than not individuals and/or recruiters try to place and oversell candidates that are not qualified for the role in order to make a sale. It does not work in the short or the long game for the client or the candidate
Do you need professional help with your resume?
If you need professional resume help, please do not hesitate to reach out. We know what employers are looking for on resumes and can help you tailor your resume to best fit the jobs you are applying for. I look forward to helping and hearing your stories.
Social media, the news and other platforms are always mentioning the unique culture that places like Apple and Google have and how employees there are thriving. This has grown and had such an impact that we see people on social media posting about how their offices have fruit in in the lunch areas for healthy living or provide childcare for working mothers. The topic of company culture has become a hot topic. In fact, Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Trends report points out that the transformation from pure business enterprises into business/social enterprises is increasing. Organizations today are increasingly judged based on their relationships with workers, their clients and their communities. This ties in with the company’s culture and its significance not only to the employer but employee. The next question posed is what to look at in order to create a great company culture:
- Building a foundation: The first steps to creating a great company culture is to understand what culture is. In order to do this, key management needs to have discussions and brainstorm about the foundational values of the business in order to cultivate the message that their people will apply and relay to clients.
- Identify the company’s value: A good step towards clarifying your culture is defining your values. The values are what’s important to you and how your company wants the people to feel and connect internally and externally. It is very important that the Leadership is on the same page, because when leadership has differing values this effects the direction and can create chaos for employees.
- Put the values into action: Communicate with your employees about the companies’ value. They will be interfacing and carrying that out to your employees and the public. Communication is very important within your organization. How we communicate our message has huge impacts on the direction of the company.
- Working as a Team: When you have everyone working together as a team it ties to the social enterprise and helps unite the company. Employees have a strong sense of loyalty when they are apart of a team sharing in the same vision.
- Maintain and carefully evolve the culture: As the company grows and time changes it is important to be agile to the evolution of the company’s culture.
All these items tie to having a great company culture. A strong social enterprise in an organization is vital. The mission and values provide the foundation for that the company’s profit and revenue growth will build upon. It is important to remember to listen to, invest in and actively manage the trends that are shaping todays wonder. The millennials of today are strong in believing that the organization they work in shoulders the responsibility for them to be a good citizen inside and outside the organization. This in turn makes for a stronger employee connection that promotes more collaboration and growth at all levels. This collaboration creates a strong company with a strong culture.