Posted on

Terms You’re Sick of Seeing on a Resume

How is it possible that we live in a world with billions of unique people yet every single resume seems to be identical? In a way, we like when people use the same boring font, simple format and basic structure, but the least they can do is mix up the wording. Any recruiter or hiring manager who looks at resumes is tired of the same buzzwords.

This infographic from ebi sums it up perfectly. Not only did they capture the most common clichés that appear time and again, they hit the nail on the head with what we’re all thinking when we read it. Better yet, this infographic is more than a negative stab at uncreative job applicants. It also includes suggestions for job seekers on what they can say instead — perfect for you when those keen rejected applicants ask for your feedback!

Terms You're Sick of Seeing on a Resume

Posted on

Preparing for an Increased Minimum Wage

Preparing for an Increased Minimum WageMany of us have heard the Ontario Government’s new plan to have minimum wage raised to $15/hour by 2019. In fact, the Government of Alberta also has planned to raise rates to $15/hour in 2018 and many have suggested that other provinces will follow suit.  These planned increases have led to very diverse opinions from businesses across Canada as many believe that this new expense will negatively impact corporations, with the potential to ruin them.

At first, it might seem that there are a lot of downsides to drastically raising the minimum wage up a couple dollars. However, there can be various benefits to having higher wages that can improve your business such as: motivating employees to work harder, attracting more productive workers, minimizing disciplinary issues, enhancing quality & customer service, and much more! In addition, higher wages can lead to lower turnover resulting in reduction hiring and training costs.

In short, some changes will most likely need to be made to your business and hiring process to accommodate these new minimum wage increases. However, in the end, it comes down to one question; will my business be able to afford the minimum wage increase?

According to this Globe and Mail article, it would be in every business’ best interest to do some early research and preparation. Here are a few measures they suggest to ensure that your business is ready when the new minimum wage legislation come into place:

  1. Conduct an audit. Start with an audit to help determine if the new wage legislation is properly arranged with your business plan and structure.
  2. Determine the scope. By taking a look at the salaries your current employees earn, you may find most of your employees already are already earning $15/hour. Figure out how many employees will be impacted by an increased minimum wage.
  3. Determine the job worth. Separately reviewing each job role to see if any alterations in responsibility needs to be established. A change in responsibility and review of the impact of each role might mean creating different roles with different pay scales.
  4. Create a new pay grid. Once you have collected all your information, start building a new pay grid with ranges in salary.
  5. Communicate any upcoming changes early and try to be as clear as possible! This will help avoid misunderstandings or confusion that may arise with employees, or customers that are involved in your business.

All in all, every business should be able to survive the minimum wage increase as long as they take the time to do some advanced planning!

Posted on

How Dropbox Recruits Top Tech Talent

Finding people who have had success and copying their methods is a proven way to gain success of your own. This holds true in all areas of life, both personal and business. Specifically, if you’re seeking to improve the way you recruit and hire in order to attract the best talent, there are hundreds of great organizations out there – one of which is Dropbox.

This TechCrunch video interviews Dropbox CEO Drew Houston and Sequoia Partner Bryan Schreier and discusses their recruiting partnership. In this interview they discuss how they hire, the challenges they’ve overcome along the way and what they believe brings success. If you want to learn from the best, then grab a pen and take 10 minutes to check this out.  Do you have any other tips to add?  Leave them in the comments below!

Posted on

Paid Job Postings or Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Paid Job Postings or Pay-Per-Click AdvertisingSince the early days of posting jobs in local newspapers, the standard way to promote a job opening has been to pay a fixed price and, in return, receive a designated slot for a specified amount of time. When the Internet took over as the primary medium to post a job, the model remained the same — companies started paying an agreed upon amount to include their job posting on an online job board.

The fixed price, one-time posting model was going great, right up until businesses like Google introduced a new way to advertise online, which they referred to as pay-per-click (PPC). It wasn’t long before the new way of thinking was being adopted by job aggregators like Indeed and Simply Hired, who started offering pay-per-click advertising for jobs.

This brings us to where we are today. Big job boards, like Monster, Workopolis and CareerBuilder continue with the traditional paid posting model and aggregators are pushing the PPC idea. All of these players remain successful and competitive, proving that there still isn’t a clear “right way” of posting your job. Instead, the question becomes which is the right way for you and your company to promote your job openings, assuming it’s in your budget?

The Benefits of Pay-per-Click Job Postings

  • Only pay for specific clicks. Exactly what the name suggests, pay-per-click means that you only pay if somebody actually clicks on your job, and that’s often less than a dollar. Yes, it can add up quickly; however, at least you know most of what you paid was to give more information to an interested candidate. (Note: There will always be a few accidental clicks or extremely unqualified people.)
  • It’s easy to measure. You get a report from PPC postings, meaning you’ll see exactly how many people clicked on your job and the cost of each of those clicks. You’ll also know how many clicks resulted in an application and how many of those applications were quality.
  • Set Budgets. PPC seems like it could get out of control, but another advantage is the ability to set exactly what you’re willing to spend, both the maximum click and a daily budget.
  • Specify Targets. The nature of PPC also means it’s easier to say exactly who you want. For example, you can ensure your job ad only appears for somebody who typed in certain keywords for certain regions. With sophisticated engines such as Google, advertisers can often name the specific demographics and search history of their target audience.
  • Free Postings. PPC job postings are frequently associated with search engines and aggregators which also offer organic search. That means you can post all of your jobs for free and only pay to boost those which need extra attention.

The Benefits of Pay-per-Post Job Postings

  • Low-maintenance. Regular job postings are much easier to use and, with a “set it and forget it” functionality, require much less maintenance and planning. This is the opposite of PPC, which requires more planning and monitoring.
  • Easier internal sell. Recruiters and HR managers trying to sell a new recruitment solution to their managers have a much easier time getting buy-in for traditional job boards because they’re familiar and easy to understand.
  • Unlimited views. You pay one price for a posting for a certain period of time and if a million people click on your job, you’re still paying that same price.
  • Easier to Budget. Fixed prices make it much easier to predict what you’re going to spend. If you anticipate a specific number of posting requirements, then you’ll know your exact costs early on. In PPC, you can set budgets, but you never know exactly what you’ll spend until afterwards.
  • You Still Get Organic. When you search through aggregator job boards, you’ll often notice postings (sometimes paid) from the major job boards. It’s in these big players’ best interests to promote your job everywhere, and they have the resources to do so.

As with every business decision, the right strategy will depend on your current situation and the direction the company is planning to go. Hopefully these few benefits of each job posting technique will help you make a clear decision on the best route for you.

Posted on

How to Manage Difficult Team Members

As a manager, you need to have the ability to properly deal with a wide range of different individuals, even those that give you a hard time. At some point in our careers, we have all encountered a difficult team member. But, fear not! This infographic from Wrike shows us just what to do when managing a tough team member.

Ultimately, it is important to remain level headed as to not create any additional problems for yourself. There will always be team members that are more challenging to work with than others, and somedays you might feel like you have had enough. But, do not lose all hope yet! With these tips and tricks, you will be able to take control and handle a difficult team member at any time.

A Manager's Guide to Working with Difficult Team Members (#Infographic)
Infographic brought to you by Wrike

Posted on

How Secretive Are Your Job Postings?

How Secretive Are Your Job Postings?Sometimes, when writing job descriptions to promote a job opening, you come to a fork in the road where there’s an important decision to make: how much information should you include? Very often, companies are hesitant to divulge too many trade secrets that may jeopardize the business, such as specific employee benefits, technologies used, future projects, or certain policies.

Potential job applicants skim through many postings across countless job boards when hunting for jobs, and yours is just a number to them. As such, you want to include all of the attributes of your organization that make it a unique and desirable workplace.  Simultaneously, you must remain cognizant of the fact that competitors may also be reading your job postings, seeking to learn how you’re stealing all of the best talent in the industry.

So where’s the balance? How do you decide what you’ll include in a public job posting and what you’ll save to tell an applicant in a job interview, or after they start the job? Here are a few thoughts to consider:

  • Trade secrets vs Industry standards. Have a strategic discussion with the company’s leadership about what’s truly a trade secret within your organization, and what’s an industry standard that everybody else is also doing.
  • You’ll attract more people with more details. As noted, there is a trade-off. If you hide more information, then it’s harder to sell your company and everything you have to offer. Eventually, you become just another employer.
  • Does it look sketchy? You’re hiding information from competitors, but if job seekers perceive it as hiding information from them, you’ll lose trust right from the start.
  • What’s the market like in your industry? If it’s more important to find people than it is to keep innovations a secret, then consider giving a few more details to bait in the talent.
  • Do competitors really care? That’s the next question to ask yourself. Sure, you think it’s an important part of your corporate culture and sets you apart, but maybe that piece of information means nothing to your competitors.
  • They’re going to find out anyway. And if they do care, they’ll find out (assuming they haven’t already). Except for well-kept secrets that require confidentiality agreements, there is little that remains confidential. It’s a fact that employees leave organizations and some will talk to competitors. You’re kidding yourself if you think they’ll remain loyal and never talk about what you offer for benefits.

In the end, what you’ll disclose in a job posting is up to you and your company’s strategy, but avoid over-thinking the discussion. In today’s economy, talent is arguably the top competitive advantage, so in most cases, giving up more information to attract better people will win.

Posted on

What is Transformational Leadership?

Transformational leaders are always thinking about the future and ways they can improve on it. In this video, Doodle Slide shows us how transformational leaders use four different methods to make tomorrow a better day. Some characteristics that make up a transformational leader are honorable outlooks, authenticity, a growth mindset, and creativity.

Having a transformational leader can inspire workers to achieve outstanding results and take charge when it comes to making decisions. Learn more details about what it takes to become a transformational leader, and get your employees excited about their position in your organization!

Posted on

5 Mind Games to Play When Interviewing Job Applicants

5 Mind Games to Play When Interviewing Job ApplicantsInterviewing candidates is a crucial step in the recruiting process. We all know that there are plenty of unethical applicants lying on their resumes and the job interview is your next step for weeding out these people. On top of skills validation, it’s also your number one opportunity to learn more about who they are as a person, their work ethic, and if they’ll be a good fit into your corporate culture.

Sometimes, the cliché questions like “Tell me your top 3 strengths and weaknesses” or “Explain why you’re the best person for this job” just don’t cut it. Instead, you’ll want to throw a few curveball questions or use some tricky techniques that will get the candidate telling you about their true self.

  1. Create an Awkward Silence and See What Happens
    This is a common strategy taken by many job interviewers. This article from Time explains that just 4 seconds of silence can “elicit primal fears, activating anxiety-provoking feelings of incompatibility and exclusion.” As a result, people will do whatever they can to break the silence and start talking. When seeking more information from a candidate, just say nothing. Eventually, to eliminate the discomfort, the candidate will begin expanding on their response and divulge additional information.
  2. Confirm Their Former Supervisor’s Information and Secure an Honest Interview
    A 2012 Business Insider article provided 8 interesting mind games for a recruiter to play, based on the work of leadership and training provider, Mark Murphy. It included some common techniques, including the awkward silence listed above, as well as this unique question: “Please spell your former boss’s last name.” This will make the applicant believe (whether it’s true or not) that you have every intention to contact their former manager for validation. As a result, your chances of getting honest answers increase significantly.
  3. Let Them Feel They Can Be Honest
    Where the previous technique scared your applicant into being honest, this one does the opposite — comforts them into being honest. Create a “safe place” that gives them a false sense of security. As the interview gets casual, your candidate will feel as though they’re speaking off-the-record and divulge details about themselves that they would regularly hold back from a formal interviewer.
  4. Ask About a Problem, But Not How They Solved It
    Another common question to ask in interviews is “Tell us about a problem you had at work and how you solved it.” This can tell a lot about an applicant, but if you don’t prompt them for a solution, you can learn even more. A person who instinctively tells you their way out of a predicament is more likely to be a problem-solver, as opposed to the negative person who’s quick to tell you about their unsolved difficulties. (Bonus: The strategy of asking only partial questions can be applied to other typical queries as well).
  5. Brainteasers
    Finally, there are the ever-popular brainteasers, such as “How many lights are there in New York City?” Advocates for these techniques will tell you that they demonstrate a person’s critical thinking abilities. Critics (which are increasing) will tell you they add little value and just make your applicant angry.

Mind games and subtle tricks in job interviews can show some great results in learning about your true applicant and getting honest answers.  However, there may also be some ethical considerations and, as noted above, it could just make your applicant frustrated and choose to move on.

Posted on

How to Hire and Keep the Best Employees

Are you a manager who’s suddenly had the task of hiring a new employee thrown into your already busy schedule? Especially if you’ve never been responsible for expanding a team, hiring a new employee can be a daunting, endless process. There are many different avenues to consider on where to find people and countless “best-practices” to follow when hiring. Once you have the best person, it’s never a guarantee that you’ll keep them, but you want to do everything in your power to ensure they stay with you.

There is no need to stress out over hiring and keeping the best employees. While it can’t be taken lightly, recruiting people for your team doesn’t have to be the nightmare you may be expecting. For starters, review this infographic from BackgroundChecks.org. It outlines a simple hiring process with tips and tricks at each stage that will lead to a smooth hire in no time.

How to Hire and Keep the Best Employees #infographic

Posted on

Just Proof-Read Your Job Postings!

Just Proof-Read Your Job Postings!We frequently criticize job seekers for spelling and grammar mistakes on resumes and unprofessional-looking emails, but are we taking a close enough look in the mirror? It’s simple to make a spelling mistake, often just because we’re rushing and our fingers type the wrong word or put letters in the wrong order. If you’re hesitant to forgive job applicants and immediately judge them for these slips, then you had better be certain that you never make the same mistakes. After all, just about every professional has learned the hard way that the sophistication in spell check in programs like Microsoft Word and Google Chrome, is not perfect.

Failing to properly proof-read your job description before posting it out to job boards, can have serious implications on your recruiting process. The obvious consequence is how unprofessional you will look to job seekers, though it is unlikely they will disregard the opportunity because you used the wrong “your.” Proof-reading goes beyond spelling and grammar ensuring text is formatted and written clearly to make sense. Without this process in place, you can suffer miscommunications with job seekers who misunderstand the actual role due to a vague job description or misguided requirements and perks. What if this misunderstanding isn’t recognized until mid-interview? You could waste both your time and the candidate’s time.

A few of the common mistakes job seekers report seeing in job postings include:

  • Spelling and grammar errors
  • Inconsistent tenses in bullet points
  • Run-on or incomplete sentences that don’t make sense
  • Excessive corporate jargon
  • Inconsistent or sloppy formatting

Given the potential outcome of not reviewing a job description before publishing it, perhaps it’s time to review your own processes and minimize your risk of appearing unprofessional. A few practices you can consider are:

  • Review it later. If you wrote the entire description, then close it and come back to it later when you have a fresh set of eyes.
  • Review it with different goals. Use the common errors above as an example. Proof-read your description five times and, each time, search for a different type of error.
  • Get somebody else involved. Sometimes, no matter how fresh, your eyes just won’t catch errors and your mind will always make sense of the convoluted sentence you wrote. Ask somebody else, preferably somebody detail-oriented and not connected with this particular role, to proof-read as well.

The reality is, no matter how much effort you put in, some errors are going to sneak past you. As long as you have a plan to quickly fix them as they’re identified, you will minimize the risk of losing business or candidates.

You could also ask yourself how you will deal with applicants who point out your errors. Is it a negative or a positive trait? Start that conversations in the comments below!