by Julie R. Neidlinger from the Lone Prairie blog

The concepts of what work is, has changed.

What we think work is, both in culture and how it fits into our lives, has changed in the 21st century. Entrepreneurship, including micro-entrepreneurship, has lead the way, with 21st century workers wanting to work for themselves instead of for someone else.

Concepts of co-working, a tough economy and job market, and technology that allows for a low-cost entry into owning their own business, have helped push younger workers (and some older ones) into owning their own businesses.

This drive towards entrepreneurship and making a success of a business plays into the steady increase in more hours per week being dedicated to work.

Technology has made significant changes in how and what work is done. Fewer people are required to generate the same manufactured output thanks to technology, allowing (or forcing) people to shift to urban centers and find other kinds of work. Technology has allowed human workers to be unshackled from the office, giving them greater freedom.

Work in the 21st century is about being flexible and mobile, ready for change both in skills and financial savings.

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: 4 Facts to Know About Hiring Good People

Everyone talks about the importance of “hiring good people.”  Meaning what, exactly? Skills and experience? Character? Eagle Scouts? People like you?

Keeping these following facts in mind will help you hire employees who will be a good fit in your organization—they may even turn out to be simply good people.

1. People lie.

For whatever reasons, it is common for job candidates to exaggerate—or even just outright lie—on resumes and application forms, and even in interviews. This happens at all levels, including some infamous failures in hiring for the C-suite.

Some employers put it down to the intense competition applicants feel in a kind of escalating ground war with other similar candidates who may look better, but the reality is that lying to get a job is an indicator of the person’s character, and there is no reason to think that similar behavior won’t happen again when the person becomes part of your organization.

2. Turnover is expensive.

When you think about the costs to recruit, interview, and train, combined with the lost knowledge, lost productivity, and stress on staff who remain while the position is being filled and the ‘new person’ is getting up to speed, the costs are undoubtedly great.

Everyone knows there will be a certain amount of turnover in an organization, but you want to avoid mistakes in hiring that lead to premature departures. This puts pressure on you to devise a hiring process that is systematic and thorough even though that might seem to cost more in the short run. The ultimate quality of your candidates is affected at every step of the hiring process.

3. Blanket Exclusions are Dangerous – and May Be Unfair

For convenience or efficiency, employers sometimes choose to reject applicants based on simple or even single factor criteria. For example, some employers have excluded applicants, without further research, based on a single statement that they have a criminal conviction in the past. This strategy may expose you to litigation by rejected applicants and potential action by regulators, and it likely leads you to miss out on good hires.

There are jobs where a hard and fast rule for exclusions exists, such as rejecting applicants for law enforcement jobs if they have a criminal conviction. But your hiring process should be built largely around screening applicants for their qualifications based on job-related criteria and be sure the hiring process aims to evaluate the individual fairly for his or her own circumstances, and how they do or do not fit the position.

4. The social media ‘goldmine’ can just as easily become a minefield.

Employers have easy access to a trove of personal information about candidates via social media. But keep two things in mind before you succumb to the temptation to peek inside your candidate’s personal life.

First, remember that once you look into the candidate’s accounts, you cannot “unlook” at it. In other words, you cannot pretend not to notice things about the person’s history, political views, or any other matter of private belief or lifestyle. You are accountable for knowing what is in there.

Second, the use of any information you find in a social media account is protected by the same laws that protect the use of offline information. The rules about privacy are evolving, but some courts have found social media accounts to be off limits for use in employment decisions. You may need to look at this kind of information, but you are best served by giving the job to a third party agency that will follow the laws diligently.

No doubt about it: good people make companies great…. and with these facts in hand you are better equipped to bring more of the right people on board .

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: Which occupations are expected to see greatest growth?

Much of U.S. job growth over the past 35 years has been in occupations that require higher levels of education, training and experience,jobs according to a recently released Pew Research Center report. And based on our analysis of official government job-growth projections, that trend seems likely to continue.

Employment in occupations requiring average to above-average levels of preparation – a metric that combines formal education, on-the-job training and prior related experience – is expected to grow 7.9% between 2014 and 2024, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. That equates to nearly 6 million of the 9.7 million jobs predicted to be added over that time. Employment in occupations requiring below-average preparation, on the other hand, is projected to grow by only 5.1%, or the equivalent of about 3.7 million jobs. (The BLS projects overall 2014-24 job growth at 6.5%.)

The differences in projected growth were even more pronounced when looking at social skills, which Pew Research Center defines as encompassing interpersonal skills, written and spoken communication skills, and management or leadership skills. Employment in occupations that require average to above-average levels of such social skills is projected to grow by 8.1%, versus just 4.4% growth for occupations requiring below-average levels of those skills.

Click here to read the full Pew Research report

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: Job Satisfaction High, but Employees Not Content with Pay or Workplace Trust Level

 CHICAGO—Nearly 9 in 10 employees say they’re satisfied overall with their jobs, with workers noting that respectful treatment of employees—at all levels—is the leading contributor to satisfaction, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey.

Women—more than men—say respectful treatment at work is a very important component of job satisfaction. Millennials—more than members of Generation X—say they are very satisfied with the level of respect at work. Employees who aren’t in management are far less likely than executives to be satisfied with the respect shown to all workers.

“Fairness and transparency are significant themes that repeatedly appeared throughout the top job satisfaction contributors and employee engagement,” said Evren Esen, SHRM director of workforce analytics. “This indicates the importance of these concepts when creating a workplace culture that thrives and inspires continuous success.”

The survey, released April 24, polled 600 randomly selected U.S. employees in December 2016. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Click here to read the full article and survey results from the Society of Human Resource Management

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: Interesting Hiring Statistics from Inc. Magazine

1. The 5 things job seekers take into account before accepting a job offer,

from most to least important, are: 1) salary and compensation, 2) career growth opportunities, 3) work-life balance, 4) location/commute, and 5) company culture and values.

2. 79 percent of job seekers use social media in their job search

The figure increases to 86 percent of  job seekers who are in the first 10 years of their careers.

3. Nearly 2 in 3 employees say their employer does not–or does not know how to–use social media to promote job openings

And 3 in 4 say their employer does not–or does not know how to–promote their employment brand on social media.

4. The 3 things that most matter to Millennials in the companies they work for:

1) growth opportunities, 2) retirement benefits, and 3) work culture.

5. Most Millennials (64%) would rather make $40K a year at a job they love than $100K a year at a job they think is boring

And nearly 80 percent of Millennials look at people and culture fit with prospective employers, followed by career potential.

6. 69 percent of job seekers would not take a job with a company that has a bad reputation–even if unemployed

And 84 percent would consider leaving their current job if offered a job by a company with an excellent reputation.

7. Increasing employee engagement investments by 10 percent can increase company profits by $2,400 per employee per year

And 70 percent of employees who lack confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged.

{from Inc. magazine online}