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TIP TUESDAY: Time Management Advice for Recruiters, From Recruiters

by Roy Maurer for SHRM online

A recruiter’s day is spent juggling applicants, candidates, hiring managers, e-mails, phone screens, intake meetings, queries and reports—making effective time management a critical skill to stay above water.

Time management doesn’t need to be complex or high maintenance. Many of the talent acquisition professionals interviewed for this article described themselves as “old school” when discussing what works best for them.

In a response typical of those interviewed, Wal-Mart Senior Corporate Recruiter Catherine Pylant said that she has “dabbled with a lot of different organizational platforms, apps and methods,” but ultimately she goes back to “tried-and-true handwritten notes and utilizing the Microsoft Office suite.”

Take Notes

Keeping a list of what you want to accomplish is a basic organizational tactic, whether you prefer writing it out by hand or using digital list-making tools.

“The act of writing down my workday’s goals with pencil and paper really helps me stay focused,” said Michelle Cugini, an HR and talent acquisition consultant at HRawesome, based in Oceanside, Calif.

“A notepad next to my keyboard is all I need,” said Nina Rodriguez, an Orlando, Fla.-based recruiter for online travel site Booking.com. “Once I finish the task, I cross it off the list. If it’s something pertinent that I need an alert for, I just plug it into my Google calendar. If I want to keep an electronic note for future reference, I use Notes for Google Drive, which is an extension on my browser and easy to access without having to open a new tab.”

Task management apps like Asana and Trello are also effective, De Pape said. “Pick a tool you’re already comfortable with and be sure it’s something you can keep at your side at all times,” he said. “Avoid software that lives exclusively on your desktop and doesn’t sync between devices.”

De Pape recommended capturing clear, specific information when jotting down tasks. “Assume you’ll forget the details, because you will,” he said.

Block Time

Assign yourself time to accomplish assignments. Mustain uses Calendly, a scheduler app, to block time in her day. “I go in on Fridays and block off meetings and sourcing power hours for the next week,” she said. She uses a planner to set daily goals like “source 20 candidates, do three interviews and submit five people,” she said.

Pylant cautioned recruiters to be realistic when blocking time. “If you underestimate a meeting or task, it will throw off the rest of your blocked time for the day—and sometimes week.” She also recommended adding a floating 30-minute time block each day, which can be parceled out to make up for unexpected but unavoidable time-wasters—like a meeting that goes too long or being stopped in the hallway by a chatty colleague.

Prioritize Tasks

When it comes to prioritizing tasks, solutions range from the simple—Pylant keeps a written list handy and constantly updates and reprioritizes it—to more complex organizational methods.

For each task, Mustain considers where in the process the related requisition lies, the urgency of the task and the stakeholders involved. “If your boss is coming to you with something urgent, that ranks higher than a candidate who needs something on the side that can wait.”

She spends the first hour and the last part of each day reading e-mails and schedules her sourcing time early in the morning. “I can get people responding that same day and that drives my results,” she said. “I’ll target what is the most value-add for my time.”

Mustain also believes in getting the most challenging tasks done early in the workday. “Try to do the things you are most reluctant to do in the morning,” she said. “If you hate calling to decline people, do it in the morning and get it over with or it will hang on you all day.”

It gets tougher to solve problems and complete challenging work later in the day, De Pape agreed. He schedules calls and meetings and does administrative tasks during the “downtime” periods of the day, such as right before breaking for lunch or midafternoon.

Take Breaks

Everyone knows that taking breaks during the workday is important for recharging, but many recruiters find this hard to do. “In my time in recruitment as well as working remotely, I have found myself many times logging in at 8 a.m. and then the next thing I know it is 6 p.m., and I never took a break and sometimes forgot to eat,” Pylant said.

“I schedule a lunch hour on my calendar every day,” Mustain said, even though she admitted that she usually works through it, eating at her desk. “When you are doing anything for over 90 minutes, you need to step away and take some time to clear your mind. Take a walk, grab a cup of coffee or chat with colleagues.”

Take breaks away from your desk or work area when possible. “I like to take a walk at lunch and maybe even a quick walk around the building for a shorter break during the day,” Cugini said. “Hopefully others are breaking at the same time, and we can walk and talk about life outside of work. Workplace friendships have such a big impact on employee engagement, and these walks and talks have proven that to me over and over again.”

Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Visit SHRM online.

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: Onboarding Employees for Success

{by Christine Marino at http://blog.clickboarding.com/employee-engagement-onboarding-impacts-performance}

 

Employee engagement is a perpetual hot-button topic for employers as research have shown that as many as 70% of employees are disengaged at work. This means less productivity for employees and endless frustration for you and your management team. The best way to create a culture that is engaged and happy is by engaging your employees as soon as possible — during the onboarding process.

Use Culture to Propel Employee Engagement

There’s more to early onboarding than having legal paperwork completed by their first day. Almost 50% of potential employees explore company materials (like their careers website) to get a feel for the company’s values and cultural fit. For employers, this means “cultural onboarding” needs to start well before an employee starts working. Provide your new hires with digital information as part of their onboarding material. Be sure to explain what your company is about and contextualize their job within its larger vision. This gives your hire a better idea of the company they’re about to work for, easing them into the job.

Be Proactive and Smile

You’ve told your new hire where their office is and what events go on the company calendar… now what? What do candidates want from their onboarding? According to a recent survey by BambooHR, 23% of new hires who left their jobs within six months of starting wanted clearer guidelines about their responsibilities. 17% felt “a friendly smile or helpful co-worker would have made all the difference.” The message? When it comes to onboarding, a little friendliness goes a long way.

Better Performance Through Extended Onboarding

Research shows that employee onboarding programs increase performance by 11%. Now imagine what you could do if you truly engaged your employees before day one. The more you teach your employees before they get into the on-the-job training, the faster they’ll be able to do their job.

When performance is taken into consideration, every day counts. Even day-one.  Many companies have a probationary period, so understanding an employee’s growth from the first day is a crucial predictor to their performance in the future. The average time for a professional employee to reach full productivity is about 20 weeks. 26 weeks for those at the executive level. So no matter how minor it may be, every little thing you teach an employee through onboarding will cut down on this time, meaning higher performance and better work sooner.

It’s simple: if you want your employees to engage with your company culture, have a better onboarding experience, and grow into their own as employees more quickly, you need to engage with them before and throughout the onboarding process. Even something as simple as a positive attitude can go a long way. If you engage your new hires during onboarding, you’re setting your employees up for better performance and a better experience.

 

TIP TUESDAY: How to Demonstrate Respect in the Workplace

{excerpted from the article by the same name at the balance online}

Ask anyone in your workplace what treatment they most want from their bosses and coworkers at work. They will likely top their list with the desire for their employer and coworkers to treat them as if they have dignity and with respect.

Respect is when you feel admiration and deep regard for an individual. You believe that the person is worthy of your regard and admiration because of the good qualities and capabilities that they bring to your workplace.

After feeling the respect and regard, you demonstrate them by acting in ways that show you are aware of your colleagues as people who deserve respect. As such, you recognize that they have rights, opinions, wishes, experience, and competence.

Tips for Demonstrating Respect

You can demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions. These ideas will help you avoid needless, insensitive, unmeant disrespect, too.

  • Treat people with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.
  • Encourage coworkers to express opinions and ideas.
  • Listen to what others have to say before expressing your viewpoint. Never speak over, butt in, or cut off another person.
  • Use people’s ideas to change or improve work. Let employees know you used their idea, or, better yet, encourage the person with the idea to implement the idea.
  • Never insult people, name call, disparage or put down people or their ideas.
  • Do not nit-pick, constantly criticize over little things, belittle, judge, demean or patronize. A series of seemingly trivial actions, added up over time, constitutes bullying.
  • Be aware of your body language, the tone of voice, and your demeanor and expression in all of your interactions at work. People, who are radar machines, are hearing what you’re really saying in addition to listening to your words.
  • Treat people the same no matter their race, religion, gender, size, age, or country of origin. Implement policies and procedures consistently so people feel that they are treated fairly and equally. Treating people differently can constitute harassment or a hostile work environment.
  • Include all coworkers in meetings, discussions, training, and events. While not every person can participate in every activity, do not marginalize, exclude or leave any one person out. Provide an equal opportunity for employees to participate in committees, task forces, or continuous improvement teams. Solicit volunteers and try to involve every volunteer.
  • Praise much more frequently than you criticize. Encourage praise and recognition from employee to employee as well as from the supervisor.
  • The golden rule does apply at work, or, as professional speaker Leslie Charles, says, “Implement the platinum rule: treat others as they wish to be treated.”

WORKFACT WEDNESDAY: 9 Facts About Women in the Workplace

by Lisa Raphael

1. Mom is bringing home the bacon and gluten-free, sprouted bread. More than ever before, women are the breadwinners in their household. Over 40% of moms are now the sole or primary source of income in the household. Women are now the primary or co-money maker in nearly two-thirds of American families and working married women bring home 44% of their family’s income.

2. Stay-at-home dads are seriously trending right now. It makes sense (please see above) but to put it in easy to count context: one in five fathers are now the primary caregivers in their household. Over the last 25 years, the number of households that include a stay-at-home dad + a working mom have doubled.

3. Women make up nearly half of today’s labor force. Today, 47% of the workforce is comprised of women. Compare that to 38% in 1970.

4. Women will soon be the majority of college-educated workers. The number of women attending college has been steadily on the rise since the 1960s and now the number of them who attend and graduate trumps men. In 2013, women between the ages of 25 to 34 were more than 20% more likely than men to be college grads.

5. Women are breaking education’s glass ceiling. In 1968, women made up less than 10% of entering classes for historically male-dominated programs in medicine, business and law. Now, women make up almost 50% of students in MD, JD and MBA programs. Women also earn 59% of all higher education degrees.

6. More women working has meant more money in the economy. Almost all of the rise in family income since the 1970s has been due to the earnings of women. Thanks to the growth in the women’s labor force, the median family income is $13,000 more than it was in 1970.

7. Single dad families are also on the rise. Father-only families have more than tripled in the last 40 years. Currently 7% of families with children are father-only.

8. Employers need to keep up with families’ new needs. Men and women looking for new jobs are increasingly choosing career paths or specific employers who offer more flexibility when it comes to taking time off for their children or family.

9. Better workplace conditions = stronger economy. Studies show that increasing paid leave and flexibility comes with a whole slew of benefits for both the employer and the employee. Productivity gets a boost, random days off drop, more talented workers come knocking on employers’ doors. Including the economy: making it easier for everyone to work (by providing a higher minimum wage, a better work-life balance and assistance with child and eldercare) means more money flowing and greater economic gains for businesses, individuals and families. Think about this: today’s economy would be $2 TRILLION smaller without the strides women have made since 1970.

Get more info about the Working Families Summit here and read through the White House’s official doc for more facts.

TIP TUESDAY: Finding Your Way Out of Burnout

by Denise R. Green for business know-how online

Burnout is eroding the lives of too many of today’s professionals. A landmark study by the Mayo Clinic characterized burnout as emotional exhaustion, bitter cynicism, a plummeting sense of accomplishment and “a tendency to view people as objects rather than as human beings.” Whether you suffer from all the symptoms of burnout or just one or two, know that life doesn’t have to be this way.

Brilliance occurs when you feel a sense of freedom and agency over your life — ease instead of struggle, and freedom instead of feeling trapped in a toxic body, relationship, thought pattern or job. Brilliance is the opposite of burned out, and a serious upgrade from blah. Through incremental and attainable steps, you can reignite that flame within you that has dimmed over the years.

Use these four achievable steps to turn burnout behaviors around, and to find your way back to a brilliant life that shines with purpose and fulfillment.

1. Tame your thoughts.

Getting hooked on emotionally charged narratives of anger, resentment, guilt or fear can have devastating consequences for your physical and mental well-being. It can affect your emotional and physiological circuitry in powerful ways. Upgrade your thoughts by noticing when you think the original painful thought. Catch yourself thinking it, and replace it with the reappraisal. Repeat the story over and over until it becomes an embedded belief. Use daily routines as cues to remember to repeat your upgraded thought, like brushing teeth or walking in your office door.

2. Exude confidence.

Aligning your outward appearance and actions with who and how you want to be in the world can improve both your self-perception and how others perceive you. With some observable traits, you can make changes almost instantly: getting a great haircut, improving how you dress, making eye contact and standing and sitting with good posture. Changes to your physiology can take more time and effort, such as losing weight, feeling rested and being alert. Start a strength-training practice, either with a personal trainer or at home. You’ll get both health and emotional benefits from toning your muscles and becoming more mindful of how your body feels.

3. Nurture brilliant relationships.

Toxic encounters switch on your sympathetic nervous system, putting your brain in a threat state where you’re less able to access your “intelligent” brain, the prefrontal cortex. To live a brilliant life, you must attract and nourish relationships that make you happy, healthy and more effective in your life. You need people who make you laugh, who pick you up on a bad day and who remind you of your brilliance. If you’re unhappy with your relationships, what qualities do you need to improve in yourself to build and sustain brilliant relationships? Do you need to be more appreciative? A better listener? More forgiving? Do you seek out new friends in places you like to frequent, like coffee shops or workout classes? Take steps to improve your relationships and connect with positive people.

4. Manage your relationship with technology.

Most of us don’t use technology as much as we let it use us. Technology has created a “constantly on” environment where we actually have less free time. It takes incredible willpower to resist our screens, but our addiction to technology and our mobile devices allows us less space to just be. It also zaps our productivity. If you want to have productive, fulfilling days, you must mindfully choose not to fall into the social media or news and entertainment rabbit hole. Turn off sound notifications, leave your phone behind in meetings and choose face-to-face conversations whenever possible.

Denise R. Green is a speaker, writer, and executive coach. Her new book, Work-Life Brilliance: Tools to Break Stress and Create the Life & Health You Crave (Brilliance Publishing, April 2017) is about reigniting one’s internal spark. Learn more at BrillianceInc.com.