In honor of launching our new website this week (if you haven't already, poke around and tell us what you think!), we thought it would be appropriate to focus this roundup on the part of the web most relevant to talent and HR: careers sites. This week the roundup features the latest in career site updates and announcements from companies across the country.
1) With New Website, Pep Boys Wants to Attract People Who ‘Put Customers First’ from ERE
"Pep Boys has sent a new career site live, one aimed at attracting people with a customer-service mentality. Pep Boys, which operates in 35 states in the U.S. as well as in Puerto Rico, wants to be known for having great customer service. That effort has been a couple of years in the making."
We often sit down with leaders of growing businesses to get their take on culture and talent. I recently spoke with Cathy Atkins, co-founder of Metis Communications, a public relations and marketing firm. Cathy has more than 17 years of experience helping companies get in front of the right audiences at the right time. With a mission of “doing our best work ever,” Metis works closely with high-growth, emerging companies that need a true business partner to help them build influence and create measurable results. The “Metis way” is something the company’s team embodies daily, which Cathy hopes will have a long-lasting effect in redrawing the boundaries for PR and marketing. Here’s what Cathy has to say about culture and talent at Metis.
Startups and small companies don't always have knowledge of or easy access to all the legal information that falls under Human Resources. Big companies, on the other hand, have dedicated HR professionals or even entire legal departments who specialize in this. Here are some resources about what HR associates legally need to know.
1) Running Criminal Background Checks? Be Careful, at Least in the Big Apple from The Wall Street Journal
"While criminal background checks are a common part of the hiring process for many companies, there has been legal pushback lately, with federal and state authorities both launching cases against employers they say are using the checks unfairly. How do you define unfair in this context? The thrust of complaints by both the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and New York State has been that blanket rejection of all applicants with a criminal background is not OK — especially if it can be proven that such a practice has a disproportionate impact on black or other minority applicants."
It all comes down to marketing. When a political candidate is lobbying for votes, he’s campaigning. I would argue he’s marketing. When a lawyer makes it to partner, she’s no longer practicing law, she’s marketing the firm’s services to bring in new business. When a recruiter is seeking out candidates, he’s recruiting. I call that marketing. We could all use a lesson or two in marketing because it applies to a heck of a lot. Most professionals in the HR space are not trained marketers. But so much of what we do involves the core of marketing. Instead, we think marketing is all consumer facing, but it’s just as important to market a company to both candidates and employees (and even alumni!) as it is to consumers.
We’ve talked about the importance of the link between HR and marketing. To help speak the language a little better, here are some tips to help you think like a marketer when marketing your employer brand.
The book Nudge by Richard H. Thaler, "is about choices—how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioral science and economics... [the authors] show us how sensible “choice architecture” can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions." In the spirit of Nudge, this week's roundup features some ways to impact how work gets done in your office. Think of these ideas as "nudges" to enhance productivity.
1) Even Good Employees Hoard Great Ideas from Harvard Business Review
"One of the most heated debates involving innovation revolves around how to best incentivize people to develop and implement new ideas. Research on this issue offers a wide range of conclusions. For example, one recent research report suggested that offering financial incentives only raised the number of mediocre ideas and had little impact on breakthrough innovation."
We challenge you to attempt three things for your recruiting and retention strategy. First, hire the right employee. Second, hire the best of the best. Third, keep the best of the best. Easy, right? Not quite. These are some of the toughest things startup and growing businesses face. Everyone is looking at hiring and keeping the best of the best. Here is some of the latest thinking around how to do this in this week's weekly roundup.
1) When It Comes to Hiring and Keeping Great Employees, How Do You Stack Up Against the Best? from Inc.
"Consider benchmarking your hiring, salary setting, and mentorship strategies against those of the fastest-growing U.S. companies. Last year, Sam Bacharach, Cornell professor and co-founder of the Bacharach Leadership group, surveyed more than 300 Inc. 5000 firms to find out how America's fastest-growing companies recruit and develop their best employees. The infographic below displays his results."
The environment around you can greatly affect your mood and productivity. Think about days when you wake up to gray skies and endless rain. You have zero motivation to get out of bed. By contrast, when you wake up to the sun and 70 degrees, you have all the motivation in the world to get up and get moving. This translates to your work environment as well. You hear about new office spaces – like Facebook or Google – that are designed to motivate a desired behavior (be that creativity, innovation, collaboration, etc.) and reflect a company’s culture and brand. This is what Anne Regan does for a living – she designs office space as a Senior Manager at DBI Architects, which is a DC-based, full-service architecture and interior design firm.
This week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup features a primer for the modern recruiter and includes articles that cover tips to rethink your role as a recruiter. It's easy to fall into a pattern of doing things the way you always have. Face it, today's recruiting challenges are different from yesterday's challenges, and hopefully these tips will highlight some new approaches.
1) 5 Ways To Reinvent Your Recruiting Strategy from Forbes.com
"I’ve seen this happen before: even the very best in-your-face, cult-like workforce culture can’t survive a profits meltdown. What drew employees to the thriving company – bragging rights, benefits, big salaries and big personalities – will push them away when the shine is off the company, salaries and benefits are frozen, and career advancement is slowed. And forget about trying to fill those empty seats when business picks up – news of a shaky workplace and broken culture travels fast."
Most job seekers don't brag about the application process. They hate it--the black hole of recruiting, the time it takes to hear back from recruiters and the length and complication of the process. But they don't always have insight into recruiters' woes either: heavy requisition loads, corporate processes and rules, and inappropriate candidate behaviors.
Case in point: last week, a recruiting leader posted the following...
Everyone has heard of the nebulous term "engagement" when it comes to employees. We all know that engagement is relatively low across the board, so now what? You want to jump to action and bring that engagement level up. Below are some articles on how to engage employees and take this vague term and turn it into tangible action.
1) Recognize, Reward And Engage Your Multi-Generational Workforce from Forbes
"Many leaders and HR pros are struggling to find a way to make multi-generational workforces mesh and be productive. The chatter is all about the changing workforce and managing generational “differences” or as I prefer to say “nuances”...When will we finally be ready to walk the walk (less talk, more action already) about bringing people together?"
Your company culture and your employer brand can be pulled through to any part of your organization that touches your employees, including a vacation policy. A company’s vacation policy, and how you promote it, can say a lot about your culture and brand. The spectrum is broad – from no vacation for the first year of employment to unlimited vacation. Some industries – such as the financial industry – require two weeks (to be taken all at once) for legal reasons. Some companies opt to make their vacation policies unique to their company. Here are a few examples of different vacation policies that connect with the culture: Netflix: Netflix’s culture of “freedom and responsibility” is pulled through to so many different parts of the employment experience. Its vacation policy is no different, allowing unlimited vacation as long as employees get their work done.
Businesses are built on relationships. We hire, expand and grow by finding, meeting and engaging with new people. Then why is networking such a burden? Time.
As an entrepreneur, I often struggle with how to make it work. I hate saying “no” to any networking request on the premise I can either help someone or they can help me. And often you don’t know if it’s valuable until you’re well into the call or meeting.
But I still try to be a giver. I respond to every networking request on the “you never know” premise. Until I realized it was getting in the way of growing my business.
Help them or help me? The eternal business struggle. Adam Grant illuminates that struggle in his book Give and Take. Seems I’m not the only one trying to balance altruism and capitalism. I want to help everyone. But if I don’t continue to grow my business, I can’t help anyone.
Innovation has been a buzzword for a while now. By definition, it means something new or different introduced. In a highly competitive world, innovation is key to keep your business fresh and stay alongside or ahead of the competition. This week's roundup features articles on innovative companies and ways of innovating your business. 1) The World's Most Innovative Companies 2014 from Fast Company
"In this special report on the World's Most Innovative Companies, there are plenty of examples to make you a believer ("I've never been more excited about the possibilities ahead of us," Nike CEO Mark Parker recently told me). Our staff has spent more than six months gathering and analyzing data. To generate our list of the 50 Most Innovative Companies--and the accompanying top 10 companies in various sectors--we assessed thousands of enterprises."
In today's world, technical talent is essential. And finding and keeping this type of talent is tough. There are only so many people with the right skills, and it's an incredibly competitive environment. For this week's roundup, we share some great finds about sourcing and recruiting technical talent. 1) How to Source Tech Talent in 5 Easy Steps from Undercover Recruiter
"Candidates can be easy to find, but you have to be willing to take part in the communities where they can be found. Places such as Github and Stack Overflow are good places to start, and can be extremely useful to SEE what candidates can do, instead of just reading about their potential. If you know where to look, and how to find people, you can find them – but make sure you build up a name for yourself first."
As part of my morning routine, I was sifting through emails on my iPhone today when I came across an email from Gap Inc. with the subject line, “Gap is doing more…” I normally delete these sorts of promotional emails, but this subject line was catchy enough to get me to click through. I assumed it was some sort of corporate social responsibility effort, like reusing waste products from the supply chain or partnering with a non-profit. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had to do with increasing the minimum hourly rate of their employees to $9 in 2014 and to $10 in 2015. As a customer and former employee of the Gap, I applaud the company, and it’s not necessarily because I feel strongly one way or the other about the minimum wage debate. To catch you up to speed on the minimum wage debate, here are a few quick facts:
No matter how small you are, HR Policies and Manuals are an important part of your organization. They reflect your culture and the type of business you want to operate, as well as protect your company should a legal issue occur with an employee. Below are some tips and must-haves for developing HR policies and writing policy manuals. 1) Checklist: Essential Items for Employee Handbook from HR World
"One of the most important features of any successful business is a trusting but professional relationship between the employer and the employed — and one of the best ways to establish this is through employee handbooks. These handbooks set out company policies, procedures and expectations, clearing up confusion and avoiding conflict down the line. Furthermore, they create a structured work environment and help build company loyalty. However, employee handbooks have also been the downfall of many companies. When poorly written, they can do everything from creating a hostile work environment to legally binding an organization to promises it didn't even know it made."
Last night millions of Americans tuned into the Oscars to find out who the most talented people are in show business. Why do these awards matter to us so much that we even broke Twitter from excessive retweeting? Awards mean credibility. It’s a way for industries to call out excellence and inform the public of the best of the best. The actors, writers, and directors who were nominated and won last night worked hard to get to that point. The exclusive club of Oscar winners practically guarantees a spot in any movie of the actor's choice. The personal brand recognition of an Oscar winner sky rockets, and the public is now more willing to spend $12 to see his/her movie. The same applies to your employer brand. As a startup or growing company, you are competing with bigger, well-known brands for talent. You are always looking for ways to show credibility early on, and one way (certainly not the only way) could be to stand out through employment-related awards.
Building a candidate pipeline? Recruiting on campus? Or finding someone who is the right fit for expansive growth? These are not easy recruitment tasks. Recruitment can be quite challenging and expensive. Here is a roundup of helpful articles to tackle some of the biggest recruitment challenges. 1) 50 Startup Founders Share Their Biggest Hiring Challenges from SmartRecruiters
“'In the early, scrappy days of a startup when you have very limited time/resources, you need to strike a great balance between hiring someone for position-need versus hiring someone that’s great regardless of position. If you’re stuck with the position in mind, you may be building a team for near-term need rather than superstar people. But if you’re not practical about growing, you may never get anything done and it’ll never really matter.' -Founder & CEO Daniel Ha, Disqus"
Over the weekend, I was explaining what I do to a few friends. In describing what we do, I emphasized the need for strong company culture, employer brand, and talent strategy because these elements of a business affect the bottom line in the long run. By not caring about these things, companies risk high turnover, among other consequences. Costing between 25% and 250% of a single employee’s annual salary, high turnover has a profound effect on the bottom line. While explaining this to my friend, he asked, “is there ever a time when turnover is good?” I had to think about this one for a bit. According to Software Advice, new employees who replace those who left can bring new ideas; however, high turnover is traditionally thought of as a negative indicator. That said, there are some industries where turnover inevitably is, and likely always will be, high. For example, retail, food service, or customer service are all industries with high turnover. These jobs consist of a workforce that is typically compensated on an hourly basis.
There's a whole lot of content out there for recruiters. Some good, some not so good. If you're looking for some of the best reads for recruiters, we've sifted through recent content that's out there and highlighted some of our favorites below. And please share anything you have come across in recent months in the comments below. 1) Recruiting: Darwinism or Creationism? from Recruiting Blogs
"Baby I Was Born This Way: Uh, no you weren’t. You were in a really good job that required either A. Good sales and client development skills B. Good research and/or organizational skills, or C. a love for making money. Nobody grows up wanting to be a recruiter. We happen to luck into to it, and for some of us (the lucky ones?) it becomes the found career path."