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TIP TUESDAY

TIP TUESDAY: 13 Tips to Stay Motivated in the Dog Days of Summer

from Entrepeneur magazine

You may not want to admit it, but you’re probably longing to take a dip in a pool instead of working. Unfortunately, an entrepreneur’s 24/7 work schedule rarely allows for much of a summer break.

So, we went to the experts, including pro athletes, authors, happiness experts and, of course, entrepreneurs, to find out what they do to recharge. Read on for 13 ways to stay inspired to work hard this summer and even cull out a few minutes to decompress.

1. Power through it.
“It’s tempting to take a break, to slow things down in the dog days of summer. But there’s somebody out there who wants to be in your place. That person might be working on the next big thing that will compete with your business.

2. Make a (reasonable) list.
“Every night, jot down the things you need to get done the next day. Try to move through all of them, but if you don’t, just add them to the next day’s to-do list. Keep the list manageable during the summer and get a bit done every day.

3. Create your own “quitting time.”
“It’s tempting to work around the clock or at least to feel that you should be working–and that means that you don’t have a feeling of leisure. By telling yourself, ‘After 7:30, no more work’ or ‘Sunday is a day off,’ you ensure that you get the rest and relaxation that are crucial to being productive. I remind myself, ‘To keep going, I have to allow myself to stop.'”–Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (Harper Perennial, 2009) and the forthcoming, Happier at Home (Crown Archetype, 2012)

Click here to read the other 10 tips in the article in Entrepreur magazine 

What Do Employers Really Need to Know About Job Applicants?

Employers invest significant time, energy, and resources in bringing a new employee onboard.  Recruiting, screening, and interviewing processes are all done with the goal of hiring an employee who will do a job well and work well within an organization.  So what do employers need to know to hire successfully?  And what are the things employers don’t need to know?

Need to Know

Experience.  Does the applicant have relevant work experience (or other experience)?

Education.  Will the applicant’s education help him or her do the job?

Personality.  Does the applicant have the motivation, energy, and attitude that’s needed for the job?  For the organization?  Note—employers shouldn’t always look for an applicant who will “fit in.”  Sometimes the right person for the job is someone who will shake things up, bring a new perspective, or reenergize a team or department.

Not So Much

Credit score. It’s apparent from recent legislation on the state and local level that employers don’t need to know whether an applicant has a good credit score—at least for most jobs.  The District of Columbia is the jurisdiction that most recently enacted a law that prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their credit history.  It joins 11 states that have similar laws.  Generally, the laws allow employers to inquire about an applicant’s credit history if the job involves unsupervised access to large sums of money or to customers’ financial information.

Pay history. A new state law in Massachusetts and a new ordinance in Philadelphia prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s pay history.  And similar legislation is pending in other states and municipalities, including New York City, where a bill approved by the city council awaits the mayor’s signature. Basing an employee’s pay on pay history instead of the market value of the position can be a disadvantage to workers who entered the workforce at a lower pay rate; and it can perpetuate gender-based pay disparities.

Not Right Away

Criminal history. Several states and numerous cities and counties have enacted “ban the box” laws that prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on a job application. Many require employers to delay these questions until after an applicant has been offered a job.

Not at All!

Protected characteristics. It’s a rare job that requires a job applicant to be of a certain age, race, color, religion, national origin, or sex (think female actor for a female role).  Yes, there are exceptions.  But by and large, employers don’t need any of this information about an applicant.  If employers ask for information, it’s because they want the information.  And if they want the information, it’s because they’re going to use the information.  At least, that’s what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “generally presumes” about an employer’s questions.  So, if an employer doesn’t plan to use certain information to make a hiring decision, it shouldn’t ask for it.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from asking questions that are likely to elicit information about a disability before a conditional job offer has been extended.  Employers should avoid questions about an applicant’s history of using sick leave, history of hospitalizations, workers’ comp claims, etc.  Questions should be limited to whether the applicant can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

To get the information it needs while avoiding information that’s irrelevant (and possibly unlawful), an employer should focus on the qualifications for the job in question and make inquiries that will help it evaluate how the applicant’s skills and experience align with those qualifications.

Click here to see more

TIP TUESDAY: Top Hiring Tips from HR Professionals, for HR Professionals

by Miranda Nicholson, director of HR, Formstack

Every HR professional knows there’s a lot that goes into recruiting behind the scenes. Where do you find the perfect candidate for a role? What criteria does each individual need to meet before they receive the opportunity to interview? What interview questions will show you how they might perform as an employee? And, if they’re hired, how do you know if they’ll fit well with other employees in your organization?

With all these factors (and more) in play, it’s no wonder that hiring is one of the top HR challenges faced by Human Resources professionals across the globe. To better understand how organizations overcome the hiring challenge, we asked HR professionals with different backgrounds for some of their best tips on hiring the right employee for a role. They gave us some outstanding insights and advice on different pieces of the recruitment puzzle, which we narrowed down into three main takeaways. While there’s no simple solution, putting more effort into these parts of your recruiting process is a great way to get started.

1. Define What ‘Fit’ Means to Your Organization

Hiring for fit is an obvious part of the recruiting process, but few organizations actually take the time to identify what “fit” means for them. To get started, Mike Bensi, advisor at FirstPerson, suggests considering these key questions:

  1. What are the core values that make up your company’s culture?
  2. What kind of behaviors do employees need to be successful in your organization?
  3. What kind of behaviors might signify a red flag?

Brainstorm with employees on your team or in your organization to get a strong sense of culture, success, and overall fit. Answering questions like these will help you build a unique value proposition for your company’s recruiting experience and can become a solid framework for your interview process.

2. Create an Experience that Defines Your Recruiting Brand

As a representative of your organization, Michelle Rodriguez, HR manager for the Indianapolis Colts, says the candidate experience is very important and can make a major impact on your talent brand. Stringing candidates along without consistent communication is frustrating and unfair to them. Your recruiting brand will suffer if they share their negative impressions of your company with others. On the other hand, candidates who receive a great experience with timely and intentional communication can become advocates for your organization even if they aren’t hired.

3. Build Relationships to Expand Your Talent Pool

Even if your company has low employee turnover, it’s important to maintain a deep talent pool to draw from so you’re prepared whenever the need arises. Karin Gorman, president of the consulting division at Staff America Inc., encourages companies that struggle to find high quality candidates to reconsider their candidate sources.

Building relationships with candidate sourcing organizations will help you fill your hiring funnel with candidates that have the skills and experience necessary for the job. For example, if you’re looking for a skilled graphic designer, connect with a local art college or institute.

Once you establish a connection with those organizations, continue to foster the relationship through consistent communication, even when you don’t have job openings. This takes time but is absolutely worthwhile in the long run. If all else fails, consider partnering with a staffing agency that can help you fill those skilled roles.

Miranda Nicholson is the director of HR at Formstack, overseeing the acquisition, onboarding, and retention of current and to-be Formstackers. Read more.

TIP TUESDAY: It’s Not Hard to Make Your Workplace One Where People Want to Work

An article in Crain’s Chicago Business explains why providing a good workplace doesn’t have to be “rocket science.”

“Once upon a time, people dutifully stuck with a job—no matter how miserable, low-paying or dead-end-ish—rather than quit and earn the dreaded ‘job-hopper’ label.

“Today nearly two out of three Chicago-area workers say changing companies is necessary for advancement—and they’re willing to take the leap. “Being loyal to a company (does) not pay,” wrote one anonymous respondent to Crain’s survey of 650-plus people here. The urge to move on (and up) isn’t isolated to Chicagoans: Nationally, one in five employees plan to change jobs in 2017, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey. That’s up from 16 percent two years earlier. If you think these numbers are skewed by the influx of millennials into the workforce, think again. Crain’s findings, published March 31, are remarkably consistent across age groups, with people 29 and younger just as eager to forward their resumes and move as colleagues who are eligible for an AARP card.”

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170407/OPINION/170409902#utm_medium=email&utm_source=ccb-morning10&utm_campaign=ccb-morning10-20170411

TIP TUESDAY: Corporate Culture Key to Attracting & Retaining Top Tech Talent, Says Survey

More than any other concern as it relates to hiring and retention, finding and hiring top tech talent keeps executives up at night—more than keeping the team they have in place and more than staying competitive with regard to salary and bonuses. According to the Harris Allied Tech Hiring and Retention Survey for 2017, half of all executives report that this is their biggest worry and that number has continued to grow by 11% in the last 3 years alone.

So what are executives doing to attract top tech talent? While being able to offer excellent compensation and benefit packages were most often cited as important recruiting tactics, being able to attract new employees with an amazing corporate culture or a company’s unique industry position ranked as the next most important strategies. An environment that is creative, inspiring, and fun (63.4%); being industry-leading and innovative (54.8%); and having the chance to work on interesting projects (51.6%) were cited most often as contributing to an exceptional corporate culture.

Corporate culture also plays a critical role in employee attrition. Nearly 26% of survey respondents said that people left their company for more exciting opportunities and the chance to work with new technology; another 16.7% said they thought it was because their corporate culture was very challenging. Competitive compensation and benefits packages always play a role, too, with another 19.2% citing that as a reason people had left the firm.

Kathy Harris, managing director of Harris Allied, which conducts the annual hiring and retention survey within the technology space, concurs. “Candidates often cite better compensation or benefits being offered elsewhere when they give notice to their employers. We know from experience that many factors contribute to an individual’s desire to change jobs. It’s very important for technology professionals to have opportunities for professional growth, as well as to work on exciting projects and contribute to the success of an organization.”

So what do executives feel they should be doing, or doing better, to attract and retain top tech talent? Of the 120 executives that were surveyed, the answers were fairly evenly split among improving professional development opportunities, increasing employee compensation, improving corporate culture and employee morale, and improving benefits, vacation, and paid time off (PTO) time.

Other key findings of the Harris Allied Tech Hiring and Retention Survey are:

  • Social media plays an important role in a company’s recruitment strategy, said 86.7% of those surveyed.
  • Offering both competitive compensation packages and outstanding benefits packages were cited most often as important (ranging from slightly to extremely) as a recruitment strategy. Offering employees the opportunity to telecommute came in as a close second.
  • On 2016 year-end bonuses, 35% said that their bonuses would be 1% to 5% higher than last year’s.
  • Nearly one-third of respondents said their hiring plan for 2017 would grow by 10% to 15%. But another 27.5% said their plan was still being worked on as of the end of Q4. Another 18.3% plan to hiring aggressively, citing 15% growth or more in their hiring plan for 2017.
  • User experience design and web development projects were cited most often as driving corporate hiring needs in 2017. Software application developers/architects were the roles that employers expect to recruit most aggressively for in 2017.
The Harris Allied Tech Hiring and Retention Survey was conducted in November and December 2016 among 120 executives ranging from C-level to middle-management executives within the information technology sector. Survey participants represent a mix of perspectives ranging from large industry leaders to small start-up companies in the United States, India, Israel, and Germany. To see the complete findings of 2012-2016 surveys, visit www.harrisallied.com/Research.html.