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Employee Engagement – Who’s Sinking Your Boat?

Engaged employees are the best kind to have. They’re the most productive, bringing the most value to your organization, and your biggest cheerleaders. According to this video by Employee Engagement expert Bob Kelleher, though, 7 out of 10 employees are dis-engaged and 2 out of 10 are actually trying to “sink your boat.” Take a look at the full video for all of the details and research. Let us know if you agree in the comments below.

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Hiring for Culture

Almost every organization agrees that cultural fit plays a huge role when screening candidates. We’ve written about culture a lot on this blog with some tips on finding the best fit, but don’t just take our word for it.

Lululemon Athletica is renowned for being a great place to work and having a solid corporate culture. In this video from Canadian HR Reporter, Jaci Edgeworth, Director of People Potential at the apparel company, explains how they seek out the perfect fit employee and their in-depth onboarding practice.  Do you see any techniques you may be able to bring to your organization?

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What People Really Want from Onboarding

A great onboarding process can be the key to keeping top talent and molding new employees into long-term veterans of your company.  Have you put much thought into really understanding what new hires want from their onboarding and how you can make it a better experience? This infographic from BambooHR runs through the dos and don’ts of an fantastic onboarding experience.

Infographic: What people really want from onboarding.

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Do You Know Your Company’s Corporate Culture?

Every organization has a corporate culture and it is a huge selling point to potential employees.  When job seekers look for a new employer, they want work that is meaningful, but they also want to be happy.  By accurately describing that culture in your job description, you’re lining yourself up to get applicants who fit, not just who know how to do the job.

We’ve written posts about the importance of promoting culture in your job descriptions, but didn’t really touch on promoting the right culture. If you look at most job postings that mention a culture, they boast a great place to work in a friendly environment, blah blah blah. Is that really the culture? If it is, is it enough detail for a reader know if it’s for them?

Your job posting is a marketing document and, like all marketing documents, you need to understand your product, your target market, and then write your message appropriately.  In this case, your company is the product and your target market is anybody who would be a great fit for your company.  Understanding your corporate culture and writing a great message that matches the culture will ensure that you will reach the right people.

Do you really know your culture?  There are many kinds, and usually a hybrid of the following:Have you all met our humor consultant

  • Traditional, hierarchical cultures with strict rules and a chain of command that requires approval for everything;
  • Customer-first cultures that base all decisions around the customers and expect employees to drop anything to help a customer;
  • Employee-first cultures that foster strong teams and offer unique perks and flexibility;
  • Elite cultures filled with the best-of-the-best in the industry who have to meet exceptional qualifications;
  • Innovative cultures that thrive on risk and let experts run with ideas; and,
  • Rule-based cultures that require employees to meet numbers or follow exact procedures or else they’re terminated.

No culture is right or wrong if it is consistent with your organization’s strategy.  When you write your job description, don’t pick a culture that you think your candidates will find most attractive, but pick one that is true to your environment.  By staying true to your company, you will not only attract the right candidates but your eventual employees will stay longer.

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7 Reasons You Should Hire a New Grad

If you speak with almost any new grad looking for work these days, they’ll express their frustration in almost every job posting they come across – everybody wants experience!  Even the most junior positions on job boards today are looking for at least 1 year of work experience.  To job seekers new to the game, this begs the question “How do we get experience if no one will hire us?”

While hiring new grads solely to help them build experience is a nice gesture, you may not see it as making business sense. If you do it graduation woman holding globe on her handstrategically, though, it actually has many competitive advantages.  Consider these benefits of hiring professionals fresh out of school:

  1. Lower salary expectations. Some do have inflated ideas about what they should make, but many are willing to start at a lower salary and work their way up.
  2. Willing to do grunt work. Again, except for those with inflated egos, many new grads will start at the bottom and do tedious grunt work that’s takes time from your senior resources. Of course, if you want to keep them happy and help them grow, you’ll need to provide some interesting projects as well.
  3. Learning mind-set. Students are programmed to open their minds and learn new things. They know how to take notes and ask questions which means onboarding should be a lot more efficient.
  4. You can mould them. Professionals who come from other companies often come with their own habits that may not fit your company’s process. New grads are fresh and open-minded which means you can mould them into the type of worker you want.
  5. Innovation. The atmosphere in a college or university is often one of critical thinking, research, and understanding “why”. Having somebody on your team who is still in that mindset can have great value for your organization. Of course, you need to be open to suggestions.
  6. They can work hard. Earning a degree is high pressure.  Especially towards the end of a semester, students only succeed if they learn to multi-task and work long hours.  This is a skill that sometimes slides after somebody’s been in the workforce for a few years.
  7. They’re up-to-date in trends. While they don’t have much practical experience, students are knowledgeable with current theories, formulas and research. They also often still have good relationships with professors and access to their school’s research.

Hiring a new grad not only has these short-term benefits, but the long-term benefits are also invaluable.  When you hire a star, fresh out of school, it means they’re working for you and not your competition. If they’re under the right leadership, they may develop a strong loyalty toward your organization and help bring other great talent into the company.

Do you hire new grads?  Do you have any positions that could be filled by a new grad?  Have you ever considered an internship?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Skills vs Culture

How much does cultural fit impact your hiring decision?  That’s the question we asked in July’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll and, not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority of respondents said that cultural fit plays a huge role in their selection process. The truth is, while culture likely always plays an important role in the selection process, most people don’t always make it top priority.

There are two sides of a candidate to consider when hiring: cultural fit and skills.  Most articles you find in business magazines and websites today will tell you that cultural fit should always be the most important and, in many cases, we agree.  After all, culture can’t be taught but if a person is reasonably competent in their field, new skills are attainable. But to "always" put culture as the top priority seems unrealistic.  The truth is, there are times when a person’s ability to get along in your happy family may not matter.Evaluation

Putting Culture at the Top

Generally, it’s a great idea to ensure your new hires fit into the organization.  Especially those in a leadership position or one that includes a lot of team work, you want to know that your team will get along and can collaborate well.  Research has also shown that when employees fit well into organizational culture, the results are higher productivity and increased retention.  This is great for the bottom line!

If you are consciously recruiting with culture outweighing skills, make sure you do it strategically to get the results you want.  Here are some tips:

  • Define your culture so you know exactly what you want in an applicant.  Take a look at your top performers and figure out what top traits they share.
  • Highlight your culture and its importance in the job description.  Some people may screen themselves out right away if they realize they’re not going to fit into the organization.
  • Mold the interview in the right direction.  Avoid discussing the resume and specific skills, and instead ask behavioural questions relating to their personality and goals.
  • Include staff throughout the hiring process.  If they have to work with this new person, shouldn’t they get a say in their favourite applicant?

Making Skills Your #1

Sometimes it’s more important to have a new-hire with up-to-date, exceptional skills.  For example, if the role can make or break your business, or if you need somebody who can hit the ground running on a critical project, you can’t afford to let them spend time learning a few new skills in between team building sessions — you need them to work!  You may also require a change agent who will shake things up, break the mold, and improve performance in the office — that will be a top performer who may not necessarily fit perfectly with your team. Finally, keep in mind that existing employees may prefer somebody with strong skills and ability over somebody who’s fun to hang out with at lunch.

Keep these tips in mind when hiring for skills:

  • Be strict in your job descriptions.  State the required experience and let them know not to apply if they can’t meet it.
  • Continue to gauge their personality in an interview (you don’t want to hire a psychopath just because he can program really well), but really dig deep into the specific skills and ask a lot of questions to ensure they know their stuff.  Include subject matter experts who can smell BS from a mile away, and then consider testing to confirm applicants’ claims.
  • Ensure the new hire can handle the environment, especially if they’re being hired to "out-perform" others.  Most likely the person will not fit in with the team, so look carefully for candidates with resilience and experience.  People with change management experience are often familiar in dealing with these situations.
  • Given the previous point, you’ll have to work harder to retain these professionals or you can expect turnover. Figure out what else makes them tick and motivates them to come to work before another company does. You may need to pay more, add some vacation time or simply make sure they’re getting regular feedback. 

Culture and skills are critical for any new employee and it would be ridiculous to think a company would neglect one entirely.  What do you tend to favour? Skill or culture? Leave us a comment!

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4 Easy and Free Steps to Getting the Attention of Top Talent

Eagle's Virtual Recruiter serviceApril’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll asked respondents what they feel is the most attractive feature of their company to new employees, aside from the work itself.  Not surprisingly, results of the poll and a simple Google search reveal that most companies have a mix of enticing qualities.  So, why are some companies still not receiving the amount of applicants they want?  

One obvious reason is the looming skills gap – especially in the technology sector.  Finding a person with your desired qualifications and experience can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.  That person is out there; you just need to grab their attention.   Here are 4 easy and free steps to doing so: 

  1. Take some time to customize your job posting. Although most companies have a solid mix of perks and benefits, not many actually promote them.  Take a look at your standard job posting template. Do you really sell your company or does it focus mainly on the job, skills and requirements?  What’s really differentiating you from your competitors who have a similar posting? Check out this blog post from January that gives some tips on promoting your company culture and everything you have to offer.

  2. Post your job on your website. Having your job published to your own site is crucial.  Even if you use a third-party tool that publishes your jobs, make it easy to find them from your homepage.  Making a new, easy-to-remember URL that forwards to your careers page is also a great tactic (ex. Yourcompany.com/jobs).  From there, ensure your page is consistent with company branding, the content flows and contains key words, and the application process is simple and clear.

  3. Submit it to Aggregators.  Job Aggregators are a search engine for jobs.  They scrape websites to collect jobs and make them available to job seekers in one place – for free.  Statistics show that more candidates prefer these aggregators for searching rather than traditional job boards, so if you’re not posting there, you’re likely missing out on a lot of great traffic.  To get started, visit a site and follow their instructions for posting a free job. There are a bunch of aggregators out there including Indeed, Simply Hired, Eluta and Wow Jobs.

  4. Facebook logoShare your job on social media.  If your company isn’t taking advantage of social media yet, you’re behind.  Since you already have that job posted to your website, get onto social media and share it.  Add a comment to make it more personal and then ask others in your company to do the same thing. Also consider joining a few groups on networks like LinkedIn and Facebook that will let you share job opportunities for free.  

These simple steps will push your job out to a large network of people.  The right customized job posting will not only attract more candidates, but key words will make it easier to search on job aggregators, search engines and job boards.  When you add social media to the mix, you make it more personal which will make it more credible.  Share your free and simple tips to promote a job by leaving us a comment.

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Use Your Corporate Culture to Attract Talent!

When recruiting top talent, job postings are a great way to reach passive and active job seekers.  There are many techniques to writing the perfect description which in turn drives more applicants to your job posting and results in plenty of qualified candidates, but it’s also critical that you get the right qualified candidates.

Eagle's Virtual Recruiter serviceFinding somebody who fits into your organization and shares your values should be just as important, if not more important, as finding qualified talent.  If you agree to that statement, then you should agree that your corporate culture should be a major part of your job postings.  According to January’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll though, companies put little weight on culture when writing their job postings!

Chances are your job posting will be an applicant’s first impression of your organization, so it’s crucial that you use this opportunity to allow them to think beyond the requirements and entice them to want to work for you.  If you think your job postings could use some extra work in this area, here are a few simple tips to help you improve them today:

  • Start simple.  There’s no need to re-invent the wheel.  Include your company’s mission, vision, core values and any other cultural elements that already exist.
  • Brag about the benefits. Candidates often ask “What’s in it for me?”  and screen you as much as you screen them.  Brag about all of the perks you offer, whether they’re health benefits, parking, or free lunch!
  • man in PJs interviewing for jobDon’t forget the intangibles. All companies have some level of benefits, and they’re often very similar.  The smaller, intangible bonuses will separate your organization from others.  Tell your potential applicants about your work environment, recognition programs, and the little differences in the office that make it a great place to work.
  • Employee testimonials. Client testimonials are a common tool when marketing products/services.  They’re genuine, build trust and help buyers overcome skepticism.  The same can be done in your job postings.  Ask some of your employees to give a quick blurb about why they love working for you and what they feel makes working at your company different from anywhere else.
  • Be yourself.  We all learned this as kids.  Trying to be somebody you’re not leads to disaster and failed relationships. When you accurately describe the work environment and set the proper expectations, you’re more likely to find the best fit and avoid disappointment for both you and your new hire.
  • Go beyond the job posting. If you have a great understanding of your culture and want to brag about it, start promoting it the same way you would promote your corporate brand.  Social media makes this easy and is a great way to start.  Just check out this recent blog post about using Pinterest to recruit.

Being up-front about corporate culture in your job postings will not only encourage the right people to apply, but can also discourage applicants who simply won’t fit, saving you time in the screening stages of the recruitment process.

How much detail about corporate culture do you include in your postings?  Could you add more? We would love to hear from you.  Leave us a comment!