A more recent study shows that job boards are still alive and present in helping find talent: job boards still account for 18% of new hires for recruiters. That’s in addition to their online recruiting efforts (21% of hires) and social media (just 2.9% of hires). That means that the job board isn’t dead yet.
Despite the surge in mention of social media for finding a job, 66% of job seekers are still looking on job boards. Why? They’re a simple source for information on a given role. Without the job board, the job seeker would have to spend a lot more time scouring specific company websites, work with many different recruiters, and desperately trying to look like a good catch on social.
Employers and recruiters, too, would spend much more time prospecting potential hires, and then limiting their short list to those actually looking for a job and qualified for the open position.
From the hiring perspective, job boards can sometimes be a better indicator of who’s actively looking for a job. If their profile is updated and there’s been recent activity, that’s a good sign that this person may be interested in a chat. On the other hand, just because a PR pro tweets something industry-related, that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily looking for a job.
Working with niche job boards is a fantastic way to make your position stand out, rather than have it get lost in a sea of unrelated and general job postings.
There’s no reason you have to post your position to job boards the way you’ve done in the past. Recruiters take a multi-tiered approach to finding the right candidate, and you should, too.
Look beyond the big job boards and dig into where you’re more likely to find the best candidates. That might be a niche PR job board like Hoojobs if you’re hiring in communications, marketing, or PR, or LinkedIn’s job board for other professional positions.
Use social media to search for applicants you’re interested in and get to know them better. See if they’re sharing tips in their industry or have other professional communications that can help you gauge their experience.
The more channels you have to help you find the right candidates, the shorter the search process will be, and the better fit you’ll find for your open position.
Here are some common falsehoods to look out for.
1. Periods for Past Employment
An applicant may not want to have to explain a giant gap in her job history, or may want to fudge the fact that she only stayed at her last job three months. In fact, 35% of applicants stretch the truth in some way on their job history! While it’s easy to be general on a resume by just putting years and not months, you can zero in on exact dates if you ask about them in an interview.
If the applicant gets nervous or has trouble stating approximate dates she worked at a given job, take that as a red flag.
If a job candidate knows you’re looking for someone who can get media coverage in a specific area, she may allude to having some success getting placements in those media outlets. Confirm that she has these relationships by asking for coverage samples, contacts at specific outlets, and her approach. Many agencies will give a test to assess writing and planning abilities that are essential for success in the role. That will quickly weed out anyone who’s not actually qualified with the skills you want.
3. Past Job Titles
Everyone wants a better job title than they’ve had in the past, so don’t be shocked that many may inflate themselves from being an Assistant to a Director. A person’s knowledge of the job they’re interviewing for should be a dead giveaway of whether or not they actually held the position they say they did. And you can always confirm the job title when you check references.
If you require a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, you may see a few faked degrees in your stack of resumes. This is one of the top lies that people tell on their resumes. And while a degree may not always indicate a person’s ability to do a job, if you require the degree, do your best in the referral check process to confirm that the candidate does indeed hold the appropriate degree.
This one’s tricky. A candidate could ask a friend to pose as a former employer, in which case, it’s up to you to determine the validity of anyone you call to get a reference from. They may also use references that worked closely with them, but not close enough to give you the insight you need to evaluate their candidacy. An actual reference will likely answer professionally and in detail all of your questions. Giving some direction to the candidate about the types of references you would like to speak with in the process will should help you get the information you need.
It can be a challenge to spot every lie in an interview or on a resume, but, to the best of your ability, assess how honest each candidate is being. If anything on the resume looks too good to be true, dig deeper.]]>
You don’t have to rely on just interview questions to really assess a candidate’s potential. Many companies, including Hanapin Marketing, use rubrics or scoring systems to fairly assess all candidates on the same criteria.
“For our interview process, we utilize several key components to ensure we get consistent and actionable feedback,” says Chris Martin, Director of Talent and Culture, “Most importantly, we utilize a formal scoring rubric during the process that allows for interviewers to rate/score the candidate in several different key areas of the interview (a great tip for all hiring managers!).”
The areas Hanapin looks at include the candidate’s documents they submitted, their actions during the interview, and their knowledge and skills that are applicable to the job. Because everyone goes through the same process, interviewers at Hanapin have a consistent vantage point to assess a candidate’s abilities, skills, and fit for a specific job within the company.
If you plan to have more than one of your staff members participate in the interview, it’s imperative that you plan ahead, says Chris Costello, Principal and Founder of CBG Benefits.
“Meet in advance to discuss the job position, questions that should be asked, and the timing and flow of the interview process. This sets the tone for what type of feedback they should be looking for and collecting.”
Costello says it’s also a wise idea to create a formal document with sample questions interviewers can ask (along with follow-up probing questions), spots for them to jot down notes, and a place for them to score and rank the interviewee.
Your team isn’t the only one whose opinions should matter to you. David Reischer of Legal Advice likes to get feedback from a potential hire that demonstrates the person is truly engaged with the hiring process.
“The type of feedback I like to receive from the potential hire should also demonstrate a level of engagement that reveals real critical thinking skills of the potential hire. It is of no use to hear a canned response from an interviewee.”
Reischer tries to engage in conversation with the potential hire to try to draw them away from those automated interview responses, as well as encourage problem solving that relates to the type of tasks that the new hire will be engaged with.
When you break out of the norm in an interview, your potential hires are forced to think on the fly, which is a valuable way for you to determine their fit.
Leverage the right tools to assess candidates, plan ahead with your team, and don’t forget to take the input from potential hires into consideration.]]>
We talked to employers to get their wish list of what they wish job candidates knew. Here’s what they had to say.
1. LinkedIn Beats Resumes
Douglas Karr, author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies, says he wishes candidates would stop sending resumes and start populating all the information in their LinkedIn profiles.
“I throw resumes in the trash. They're useless. Instead, I review LinkedIn and find people in their network to speak to about them.”
2. This Job’s Not About You, It’s About Us
Most applicants don’t realize the role they’re applying for is ultimately to help your business succeed, says Ken Kilpatrick, President of Silvia Marketing & Public Relations.
“If applicants internalized that principle, they would position themselves above other candidates as they would draft their cover letters and conduct their interviews in a manner that would focus on the business’s goals,” Kilpatrick says.
3. We Don’t Like It When You Talk Negatively About Your Past Employer
Whether it’s a former colleague, boss, or the company at large, employers like Matt DeLong of CoreCommerce don’t like to hear bashing.
“If I hire a candidate -- I will [one day] be that employer they're trash talking and my team members will become their colleagues they are bad mouthing.”
4. We Want You to Make Our Job Easy
It’s difficult enough to filter through stacks of resumes, choose several that are nearly qualified, and then interview them. Author Artie Lynnworth says that candidates should make his job easy.
“I want them to quickly convince me that they have the skills needed to do a good job working for me. The better they have prepared, by anticipating what those skills might be and knowing how to communicate details about their past experiences, the more easily they will transmit information about their background and future potential in my company.”
5. Professional Communications are Key if You Want to Get Hired
Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D., Executive Director at Joblink of Maryland, says everything from a job seeker’s social media profile to her voicemail should be professional if she wants to be taken seriously by employers.
“Don't have ‘cutesy’ email addresses. Keep them neutral and professional so that employers will take you seriously. Make sure that you have an outgoing voicemail greeting that is
personalized with your voice.”
6. Keywords in Resumes Matter
For many companies, a resume isn’t a creative snapshot of a job applicant, it’s a searchable document that reveals if a candidate has the necessary skills. And to that end, candidates need to include keywords that relate to the job they want, says David Lewis, President / CEO of OperationsInc.
Lewis says that “larger companies filter resumes via a computer, not a person, meaning keywords matter,” he says.
7. We Want You to Love Your Job as Much as We Do
The lazy need not apply at her company, says Lauri Flaquer, author, speaker, and business consultant. She wants applicants to be enthusiastic about joining her company, Saltar Solutions.
“This is my passion, my livelihood and my life. I don’t have time to waste on a 30 minute interview if they aren’t willing to step up to the plate.”
8. You Should Know About Our Companies
There’s nothing more infuriating than interviewing someone who asks what your company does. It’s a sure-fire way to get to the slush pile of resumes. Stephanie Ciccarelli, Co-Founder of Voices.com, says it’s appealing when a candidate understands her company and its culture.
“We get very excited when someone understands our company and even more so when it was our culture that helped attract them to the position.”
9. We Want You to Sell Yourself
New York Times best-selling author and entrepreneur Grant Cardone is frustrated with the job candidate search. He says it’s challenging to find the right people for his team, often because the people he interviews don’t always do a great job of selling themselves to him.
“You need to sell yourself in an interview and don't tell me what you did for others. I don't care. I want to know what you can do for me...If you have a great attitude, a positive vibe, good handshake, communicate clearly with eye contact and agreement, you'll get my attention quicker than some flatliner with a fantastic resume. I'm a sales professional, so naturally I want to see someone can sell themselves, their ideas and sell others on taking action. That's a leader!”
10. Be Okay with Your Level of Experience
Job candidates often think they’re qualified for positions or salary level that we don’t think they’re ready for. As employers, it’s in our best interest to pick someone who’s truly qualified for a role. Shane Fischer, Attorney at Law, says:
“Unless you've got significant experience in the field and can hit the ground running, you're not going to be paid top dollar; [you] will be expected to prove yourself,” he says.
Fischer says what employers care about is knowing a candidate is up for the work and will strive to succeed in the role.]]>
Here we get valuable advice from PR pros.
If your idea of a public relations job includes coming in at 9 and leaving at 5, you’ll be in for a shock, says Seana Norvell, Public Relations and Social Media Manager at TiVo.
“Being a good PR person means being completely dedicated. Be prepared to work and be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week because that reflects today's news cycle. Anything can happen at anytime and you will need to be prepared to be thoughtful, strategic and helpful at a moment’s notice.”
Clients want the moon, but you won’t always be able to give it to them. Rather than disappoint them, Mark Haviland, Director at MediaGenic Communications , says: “strive to under-promise and to over-deliver. Carefully chosen words are the currency of public relations and managing expectations is the bond that develops relationships.”
Just out of college, you likely won’t have a specific industry you want to provide PR for. But choose one quickly, advises Brian Mcmanus, Global Analyst Relations Director at Amdocs.
“Specialize in a vertical, finance, tech, etc. Get domain expertise and soar.”
Even if you don’t feel you know an industry well, simply reading industry blogs and publications can give you an edge when applying for a job. Start your own blog and share your insights on what’s happening in that vertical to establish thought leadership.
Elizabeth Yekhtikian, Vice President of Media Strategy for InkHouse Media + Marketing, wants entry-level professionals to know that rejection is a large part of a PR pro’s job.
“You need to be able to handle rejection--a huge portion of your job is pitching reporters. You need to be able to shake it off.”
It may sting the first few times you get your pitch rejected or ignored, but strive to develop a thick skin so that it’s easier for you to get back to pitching.
One of the best ways to learn the ropes in PR and get valuable advice is to find a mentor.
Suzy Bauter, an Independent PR Consultant working with Fortune 10 executives in the San Francisco Bay area, says: “Don't be afraid to ask someone high profile in the field to mentor you. Chances are, if you do ask, you will be rewarded. I had a couple of great mentors early on and I have been rewarded with the opportunity to mentor a few young people myself.”
The key to getting your first job in public relations is to be open to where your journey takes you. You might not get hired as a Public Relations Manager just out of college, but if you heed the advice given here, you’ll quickly rise up the ranks.]]>
1. I Will Start Looking for Qualified Candidates Before I Need Them.
Waiting until an employee is out the door is too late to find her replacement. At that point, you’re frantic to fill the gap she left, and may not make the best decision on who to hire. This year, however, you’ll stay tapped into your professional network so that you know what candidates are qualified and who’s looking for a job. Or, you’ll work with a recruiter who’s always in the know.
2. I Will Know What I’m Looking For.
If you’ve had a problem with turnover in the last few years, look at your job descriptions and see how well they match up to actual expectations for each role. If they’re drastically misaligned, it’s probably time for you to reassess what each role requires so that when you post a job, it outlines exactly what you want, and will help you find the most qualified person for the job.
3. I’ll Leave Recruiting to the Experts.
If you find yourself too busy to manage the candidate search, turn the work over to the professionals. Public Relations recruiters can help you fine tune your job description and find the best candidates in your industry much faster than you posting to a job board and sifting through hundreds of resumes.
4. I’ll Be Aware of the Competitive Marketplace.
Another reason for turnover happens when you’re not paying your staff competitive salary. It’s not always what you think an employee deserves to be paid; it’s more about what others are paying for that same role. Check around to see what other companies in your area are paying for the same roles to ensure you’re offering fair compensation to new hires and can attract the most skilled folks.
5. I’ll Invite the Right People to the Interview Process.
Maybe you’re not the best (or only) person who needs to interview potential candidates. The manager and team members that this role will work with will have a better sense of what the department needs skill-wise, so it may be a smart idea to invite them to sit in on the interviews.
6. I’ll Sharpen Up My Employee Feedback Process.
If you want to keep from having to hire new employees every few months, consider providing your staff with better feedback on their work. Holding year end reviews can help you share insight with each employee on how well she’s doing and help guide her to doing her best job at work.
Being proactive and attentive to your hiring needs can help you avoid having issues in your employment strategy.]]>
But is a flexible program right for your company? Here are some considerations to factor in.
For some companies, a flexible work program means working from home or otherwise out of the office one or more days a week. For others, it’s about job sharing or working unconventional hours.
Decide what flexible looks like to you. What works best for your employees and your company’s needs? Also, talk to your staff. In a FlexJobs survey, more than half of those polled said they would be more productive and focused working from home. They know what makes them more productive, so getting their input will help make your flexible work program more successful.
These days, it doesn’t require a complex and expensive technology infrastructure to get employees telecommuting. If your employees have laptops and mobile phones, that’s all they need to work virtually.
Software like Skype, cloud-based storage, and web-based CRM systems help your staff work as a team without having to be in the office.
It’s important to understand what your expectations should be in terms of accountability once you can’t physically check in with an employee whenever you walk by her office.
Sara Sutton Fell, CEO & Founder of FlexJobs, says how your organization measures staff accountability is important.
“Do you rely on ‘face time’ as a key measure, or are you more focused on the completion of assigned projects? Is there regular communication by phone, email, or in meetings? Flexible work options work better when productivity is measured on results and with a high level of communication between colleagues,” Sutton Fell says.
Once you determine how employees will need to be accountable when working virtually, find the tools that will make the job easier.
Time tracking tools like Harvest help you keep up with which projects your staff are working on, and the time they spend on each.
Online calendars like Google Calendar allow you to get visibility into each employees’ schedule and plan meetings accordingly.
Video conferencing tools such as Skype help you connect with your staff, if only virtually.
Depending on each employee’s role within your company, as well as whether most of her work needs to be on-site or not, you can determine how much and what type of flexibility to offer, says Sutton Fell.
“...look at what percentage of your employees’ workdays are spent working independently by themselves or by phone, email, or Internet. It is that percentage of time that could be marked to offer flexibility, such as telecommuting or having an alternative or flexible schedule, because with technology, those tasks could be done from anywhere and at any time.”
It can take a major mind-shift to get your entire staff, from management down to new hires, on board with a flexible work situation. As Sutton Fell says, “most workplace cultures are of based on 20th century workplace ideals, technologies, and societal norms, rather than 21st century ones.”
The most important buy-in you’ll need to succeed is that from management and execs. Once they understand the kinds of expectations they’ll need, they can ease into understanding how flexible programs can benefit the company. And once your staff has been trained on using technology that allows employees to be effective off-site, you’ll see more enthusiasm as they get into a new rhythm of work with their team members.
Flexible work programs do work for many companies. The key is smart planning and managing expectations. Plan for the bigger picture, and get everyone on board, and you’ll achieve your goal of more autonomy and flexibility in the workplace.]]>
Here, we offer you some help to ensure that your year end reviews are beneficial both to you as the manager as well as to your employees.
You don’t want to nitpick over every detail in a review, such as coming in a few minutes late once or twice. Decide what criteria are important — and this might be different for each employee — and set a benchmark to measure against.
For example, if you want your PR Manager to boost media mentions of your company, identify what point she’s starting from. Perhaps it’s 20% more mentions over last year’s numbers. The more numbers you use in measuring, the more exact you can be in your review.
Mike Steinerd, Director of Recruiting at Indeed, says the more specific a review, the more useful it is for the person being reviewed, and the more likely it will lead to improved performance and morale.
“Reviews should include specific examples of great performance or areas for improvement,” he says, “If there is no formal review structure, create a transparent process – divide the review into competencies (specific skills) and behaviors, clearly defining how much weight each competency and behavior holds, so employees know exactly how they are evaluated.”
Don’t file away employee reviews to gather dust! Take out last year’s (and perhaps even reviews from previous years) and look at what your goals were for each employee. Discuss whether those goals have been reached, and if not, what is keeping her from achieving them.
Many employees agonize over that looming year end review because they fear your criticism. Make it clear that in no way are you there to berate them, but rather to help them improve. And sprinkle in some positive observations so each employee knows you’re paying attention — not just to her errors, but also her accomplishments.
Steinerd also stresses the importance of more than one person chiming in on the review. You can get a 360 view of how an employee responds to her boss and interacts with her peers if you solicit feedback from those who work with her the most.
“This not only ensures that more than one point of view is included, but also helps employees feel that their reviews accurately reflect their work.”
If you’ve offered a few pointers for the employee being reviewed to work on, give her a reason to want to improve. Discuss the possibility of a larger raise once she meets milestones you establish together, or being promoted, once she accomplishes several goals.
The purpose of year end reviews is to ensure that you and your staff are aligned in your efforts to make the company successful. By helping each employee understand her areas of weakness, you can help her become a better employee. While that certainly helps boost your company’s productivity, it also helps her grow professionally. If she sees a clear-cut career path at your company, she will want to work harder for you.]]>
Why You Need a Plan
Consider how long it's taken you typically to hire the right candidate. It’s not a fast process. A typical search could take anywhere from two weeks to three months (or more!) to fill, depending on the difficulty of the search. Add to that the interview process (calculate another two weeks if you really push it through quickly) and at least two weeks for your new hire to give her notice.
Your best case scenario is getting someone on board in 4-6 weeks from launching your search, though it can take much longer. Having a plan in place can help you make sure work still gets done in the office, even if one of your key employees is gone.
Step 1: Decide Who Else Can Do the Work
If you have departments at your company, chances are someone else can pick up the slack if one employee exits. Cross-train your staff so that each can take on additional tasks of her co-workers. That way, if you find yourself short an employee, you don’t let the work level fall.
Step 2: Create Training Manuals
Every role you hire for should have a training manual. Primarily, the purpose is to help onboard a new hire, but if someone else needs to temporarily take over responsibilities, this will be a big help. The manuals should outline all tasks this person is responsible for, and include passwords for websites she commonly uses, as well as detailed instructions.
Step 3: Ask for an Exit Plan
If you have an employee put in her notice (typical, but you shouldn’t necessarily expect it), ask her to make it easy on you to get someone new in. Have her responsibilities changed? Can she update the manual? Can she make sure someone else takes over all of the current projects she has going on? If she is a good employee, she won’t mind doing this for you.
Step 4: Look at Temporary Options
If you’re slammed in the office and can’t afford to be short a staff member for the weeks it will take to search for, hire, and train someone new, consider bringing in a freelance hire. Freelancers can help keep the clients happy while you search. And who knows, she may even turn into your fulltime hire.
Step 5: Talk to Your Recruiter
If you frequently use a recruiter, she’ll have a sense of how long it will take to bring on a new employee, and may be able to make suggestions on what to do if you’re short a team member. If the recruiter specializes in the industry, she could quickly identify potential candidates and may even know someone immediately for you to start the interview process.
Step 6: Talk to Your Team
You’re putting undue stress on your team when one employee leaves and you don’t explain your plan to bring in someone new. Talk to your staff and explain that the process for finding the right hire will take time, and ask for their patience. They may even know someone to recommend.