Six Job Skills to Recruit for in New Hires

July 20th, 2012

The old ways of scanning resumes in search of the perfect job candidate are producing fewer real results in today’s ever-evolving work force. It’s not enough to simply seek out signs of intelligence or “book smarts” by way of GPA, affiliations, and honors program memberships. In fact, the companies that are making the grades these days are the ones who employ people who can think outside the box a bit—in defiance of traditional understanding.

If you can’t trust the tried and true markers of good employees companies used in hiring practices, what can you trust? What skills do you need to seek out in your new recruits instead?

1)   Passion. This is by far the most important trait or characteristic to look for in employees. Without passion, very little else matters. Passion is what will drive employees to deliver results time and time again. They love the product, love the challenge of creating products, and love coming to work every day. They will fight to make the products they believe in. More importantly, they’ll fight to make the products the right way from the very start because they believe in them.

2)   Integrity. It really matters today more than ever. You don’t want a staff filled with people who make big promises and never deliver. It’s more important to have good people working for you who promise small but hit the mark every time rather than a whole factory filled with people who promise big but never seem to give you the goods.

3)   Attitude. Nothing makes an office or factory a more pleasant place to work than having a staff that has the right attitude about their work and each other. With companies moving away from offices to cubicles, attitude is more important than ever before. There is less privacy and more opportunities for dissension to cause big problems in the ranks.

4)   Empathy. Employees need not only be able to get along with other employees but also need to be able to empathize with the customers who are buying the products too. This will help them design and deliver products that can meet the needs of the widest possible range of buying customers.

5)   Discipline. This is a skill that’s harder and harder to find in today’s marketplace—at least when it comes to the people in the job market—but it’s one that continues to be vitally important. Discipline, self-discipline in particular, means that you’ll never have to worry about driving your staff in the direction you need to go. They’re going to drive themselves. They’re going to keep plugging away until they get it right rather than giving up in frustration or getting sidetracked by distractions along the way.

6)   Adaptability. The workplace is changing today at an alarming rate. Quite frankly, you need employees who can not only keep up but also adapt and excel with the rapid changes and new technology the world is throwing at them.

There are other traits and skills you may prefer or need in your specific industry. However, these overall skills are invaluable in the workplace regardless of industry and will mean more to you, as an employer, when push comes to shove and deadlines approach, than any GPA or honors citations ever will.

Find your best candidates by working with Davis Staffing for skilled employees ready with today’s best attitudes and abilities.

What Workers Want from Bosses this Summer

July 6th, 2012

Summertime is often the time when HR departments are actively searching for new candidates to fill temporary and permanent assignments. Additionally, as current employees are more frequently dreaming about taking vacations at the beach, supervisors are trying to maintain staffing numbers by boosting employee morale. Knowing what workers want from their employer this summer can help to retain greater numbers of employees, and help make the workplace more productive.

So, what are many employees looking for this summer? A recent employee poll revealed that 78 percent of working parents value flexible work arrangements to care for their families, while another 62 percent of all workers agreed having a flexible schedule is a major perk. In fact, many employees reported they would take a pay cut in order to have more flexibility in their work schedules.

Having the ability to work from home at least part of the week, or being able to leave early on Fridays is another factor that employees want to have more work-life balance. There are certain job tasks that are more friendly to telecommuting, and this is something that all employers should look at closely. In some cases, it can even save your company money by reducing office use.

It’s clear that in order to keep employee happier during the summer months, employers need to be thinking outside the box in terms of offering incentives. Here are some suggestions:

  • Give all employees the option to work remotely during the summer, if their job duties allow.
  • Provide a work environment that is casual and flexible so employees look forward to coming in.
  • Have fun corporate events like catered lunches and after-work parties to let employees relax.
  • Develop an incentive plan for employees who achieve their goals in the summer months.
  • Offer employee development classes and training on-site to encourage skill and team building.
  • Encourage employees to schedule their summer vacation times in advance.
  • Design flexible work plans to allow remote employees to set their own schedules.

Your workplace can be a fun environment in which to encourage productivity and attract more talent to your team. Use the above tips to make your company a place where your employees will want to spend their summer.

Get help with your summertime staffing needs in the Southland Chicago area by working with the Davis Staffing team today!

Advice on Attracting and Retaining Generation Y Employees

June 21st, 2012

If your organization is striving to attract one of the most technology-savvy groups of candidates in the job market, then making a plan to recruit Generation Y employees should be a part of your strategy. Generation Y, also known as the “Millennials” is the group of mid-20 to 30-something candidates who were born around the boom of the Internet and the gaming industry. These candidates are highly-skilled with many areas of science and technology, and generally possess above-average creative ability. These are the folks you want on your team to take your company into the future.

While your organization hires all age groups and backgrounds in terms of recruiting, it is beneficial to consider how Generation Y can add long-term value to your company. It’s always a good thing to mix young and mature employees, with Generation Y being a vital part of succession planning. However, Generation Y’ers can be difficult to attract and retain because they are looking for entirely different things than other candidates. Many are seeking exciting projects to work on, fun work environments, rapid career advancement, and recognition for their efforts.

Read on for some helpful advice on attracting and retaining the best Generation Y employees.

Develop a casual and fun work environment.  One major component of being able to attract and retain a young workforce is a fun and casual work environment. Set up a modern work place with areas to work and play. Include recreational spaces, gaming and television areas, and casual break areas so that employees can feel at home. Allow a looser dress code to encourage employees to focus on work not fashion. Hold frequent company events and activities that include music, food, and entertainment.

Offer on-the-job learning opportunities. Many Generation Y employees are either fresh out of colleges or internships, looking for additional ways to enhance their knowledge. Create mentoring, training and educational programs using the latest education technology – like video classes and virtual workshops. This can provide many additional benefits to employees who lack work experience, and can be very appealing to youthful candidates.

Encourage and respect the individual.  Generation Y is perhaps one of the most concerned groups in terms of wanting to be valued and respected for individuality. Make it a priority to respect all employees regardless of experience or background. Work with your other employees to make sure Generation Y’ers have equal say on projects and company goals.

Develop a wide-range of incentives. While you may think your company benefit and compensation program is the best out there, for Generation Y employees it may not be enough. For younger workers, having access to such perks as free meals, community event tickets, and rent subsidies can be significant. Take the time to offer many different choices in benefit plans to work well for all employees.

Make teamwork a priority. Instead of stuffy offices with meetings behind closed doors and employees stuffed into cubicles, create a collaborative and open work environment. Generation Y workers like to feel as if they are an important part of the bigger picture, so make sure they know this. Develop effective teams and encourage all to share ideas.

To attract Generation Y employees, hold job fairs at local colleges, post jobs on social media sites, place advertisements in college and community entertainment classifieds, and encourage employee referrals from your current staff. Or work directly through a quality staffing agency, like Davis Staffing, for temporary and contract workers in Chicago Southland and Northwest Indiana.

 

Online Brand Management: Protect Your Company’s Identity

June 7th, 2012

In the world of business, your reputation is everything—especially the way today’s business market moves. The problem is that rumors, whispers, grunts, and grumbles today move at the lightning fast speed of the World Wide Web. In other words, bad news spreads fast on the Internet. Protecting your corporate brand can be a full-time job in and of itself. The bigger the brand; the more protection it requires.

It’s not only prospective clients who pay attention to your online reputation. It’s prospective and current employees as well. People want to work for a company where current employees are generally happy with the state of things. Those who already work for your business love sharing bits and pieces gathered from the rumor mill around the water cooler. Bad news and misinformation can do a lot of harm to morale in the workplace.

Taking Control of Your Company’s Brand Reputation

It’s not always easy to know where to begin when it comes to getting things under control concerning the reputation of your business brand. But, it’s something that must be done. These tips will help you take matters into your own hands and get the results you’re looking for.

1)   Find out what’s being said about your company. This is something that can be accomplished with a simple “Google” search of your company’s name along with key words of phrases such as: reviews, complaints, workers, salary, employees, and careers. You must know what’s out there in order to address potential problems within your company or rumors on the Internet about your company.

2)   Encourage people who are happy working with your company to post online about their positive experiences working for your business. It really doesn’t take much more than to ask your employees. Everyone who works for your company has a vested interest in protecting and defending its reputation. The more people who post positive experiences with your company, the greater the likelihood will be that those results begin to carry more weight with the search engines than the negative results.

3)   Create your own online presence. Start a company blog, create a Facebook page, and begin a Twitter account. Each of these things allow you to control the script about your company that’s being played out across the social network. It puts you in the driver’s seat.

Once you begin to retake control of your online brand presence in order to secure your company’s reputation you should begin to see more favorable results in your recruitment efforts. You’ll be able to bring in top-tier candidates for positions that are available and morale within the ranks will improve day by day.

Recruiting the top talent in the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana requires more than just a branded presence. It means working with a quality staffing agency like Davis Staffing to find skilled employees.

Value Attitude Over Job Skills

May 5th, 2012

Knowing what type of questions to ask a potential job candidate is often the most frustrating part of the recruitment process. While many employers continue to ask the same types of interview questions, the answers given don’t provide you enough information about the employee’s attitude. According to Mark Murphy, as written in his book, Hiring for Attitude, “46% of the people hired will fail in the first 18 months on the job – 89% of the time, it’s because of attitude.” In order to avoid the mistake of hiring an employee based merely on his skills and job experience, evaluate your interview questions first. Including specific questions and instances related to your industry will help you discover if the employee has the proper attitude for the open position.

The Importance of Valuing Attitude over Job Skills

Technical skills can be taught, but attitude is something an individual has naturally developed; this is one of the primary reasons why attitude should be valued over job skills. The attitude of an employee will most likely not change; therefore it is crucial for you to determine a candidate’s attitude during the recruitment process.

There is no right attitude; this will change depending on your company and industry. In order to determine the attitude you are looking for, take the industry, unique company needs, and job title into consideration. For instance, one company may find an employee who is motivated by success to be an excellent attitude to have, while others like to recruit employees who show that they are creative and can solve difficult problems using unique methods.

The attitude of the potential employee must also mesh well with the attitudes of supervisors, management, and other employees. No matter what type of company you have or in what industry you are experienced in, employees need to work together as a team. In order for optimum success, having employees with attitudes that work well together is vital.

Why Typical Interview Questions are Ineffective

The typical questions asked in an interview — “Tell me about yourself,” “What are your strengths?” and “What are your weaknesses?” are all legitimate enough questions.  But the employee is often expecting them and has their answer rehearsed before the interview even starts. Typical and behavioral interview questions aren’t industry-specific and won’t be tailored to your specific company and product. For this reason, more unique and original interview questions are needed to determine the attitude of a candidate.

How to Assess Attitude in Candidates

Choose interview questions that go beyond the typical types of questions asked. They will provide more insight into the individual you are recruiting. For starters, you compile a list of important traits and attitude types that are essential for your company and industry, whether that be someone who is good at problem solving or a quick learner. Reword this list into interview questions that will help you gather what type of attitude the candidate has. For instance, if you ask the question “Could you please explain an instance where you were asked to do a task you were not familiar with?” you have given the employee a chance to explain how well they learn new things and how exactly they go about learning something with little instruction.

Assessing attitude gives you the ability to hire employees who will be a good fit for your company, rather than those who will bring solely experience and a certain skill set. While skills are important, more attention should be paid to the individual’s attitude and answers to your unique interview questions during the recruitment process.

For access to a pool of highly skilled candidates in the Chicago, Northwest Indiana and surrounding areas, be sure to get in touch with Davis Staffing today. We can help you select the right candidates who have the skills and attitude to help your company succeed.

What You Should Know About the NLRB

April 22nd, 2012

Any government agency that uses a set of initials in place of its name makes most ordinary citizens a bit nervous. They can spell bad news for people who don’t tow the line and follow the rules they set forth. The same holds true with the National Labor Relations Board, otherwise known as the NLRB. This organization was created as part of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.

The NLRB is supposed to be a completely independent agency of the government, and is in charge of overseeing labor union elections as well as investigating and eliminating unfair labor practices in union and non-union businesses. That’s the part that many business owners fail to realize.

With no union members on their payrolls, a lot of small business owners and managers are under the mistaken assumption that the rules set forth by the NLRB aren’t meant for them. That isn’t the case at all. In fact, most decisions made by the NLRB board impact all union, non-union, private-sector, and non-profit companies that employ one or more people. Very few of their decisions are limited to union employees alone.

The Impact of the NLRB on Your Business

Sadly, this is an instance where the things that you don’t know really can hurt you – a lot. First of all, congressional approval isn’t needed for the rulings of the NLRB board to become law. While the board itself is supposed to be apolitical, it tends to rule according to the political affiliations of the members. A Republican-leaning board tends to side with the companies more often than not, while a Democrat-learning majority often rules in a pro-union manner.

Here’s where things can get a little confusing. It’s common practice for the NLRB to reverse the decisions of previous boards. This means it’s up to the business owners to stay on top of what’s going on with the NLRB. Whether you’re privy to decisions or revisions, you’re ultimately still responsible for upholding the rulings sent down from the board.

How can you stay out of trouble with the NLRB?

  • Carefully monitor new rulings. How are they going to impact your workplace as they are being considered? (you can generally tell how a ruling is going to go by who is on the board at the moment).
  • Avoid any illegal activity, including discrimination against hiring union members.
  • Be aware of any previous NLRB rulings that are on the chopping block at any given moment and how those changes will impact your business as well.
  • Educate your employees and strictly enforce policies that are designed to promote the NLRB rulings in place.

 

Your best defense against serious legal troubles with the NLRB is to stay on top of things. Avoid even the slightest appearance of wrongdoing. Keep your business on the straight and narrow and the NLRB shouldn’t find any fault with you or how you operate your business.

Employers Using Temps to Vet New Hires

April 8th, 2012

Temporary workers are those who come in, do the job at hand and leave. They go from one position to the next, from one company to the next, filling in where there is a need. What you may not realize is that many employers are turning to these individuals and hiring them on instead of letting them go. This could be a sign that employers are gaining more confidence in the recovery of the economy and are more willing to open the door to new employees.

Test Temporary Employees Out

While employers are hiring, many are turning to temp agencies as a way of vetting those they do bring in. Instead of bringing in fresh, off the street talent they have to vet and feel out on their own, they are letting temp agencies handle that process on their time. As a hiring manager, you may be realizing the true benefits of doing just this.

  • Instead of going through a lengthy interview process and hiring process, some employers are cutting to the chase and hiring employees from temp agencies after those temps come in and work for them.
  • Employers can thus save money by not wasting it on employees who may look good on paper, but don’t work out in person. They can simply let the temporary go without any repercussions on their side.
  • All of the time doing background checks, interviewing and screening these applications is done for the employer, on the dime of the temp agency. That makes it far more affordable to bring on new employees without having to do all of the leg work themselves.
  • Often times, employers can pay temp staff lower wages than they would have to pay someone who was coming in for an interview off the street. Flat wages continues to be a big factor in the hiring market, but some are happy to just land the job.
  • Temps allow companies to expand and contract as they need to. This is often due to the increasing or struggling economic factors many businesses are experiencing. They can bring on staff and let them go easier without putting too much at risk.

Hiring is broadening as more employers are willing to take on new employees. According to some reports, the staffing sector added 45,000 jobs in February, after good January and December numbers. 1.86 percent of the US labor force is made up of temps, according to Reuters.

As a hiring manager, the use of temp agencies may be necessary to ensure enough staff is on hand at all times. Hiring through temp agencies is not anything new, but it is an opportunity for some companies to find key workers without as much risk. That’s what many employers are counting on.

Do’s and Don’ts of a Company’s Social Media Page

March 30th, 2012

Social media is all the rage these days – for many reasons. Businesses, of all shapes and sizes, need to incorporate social media into their business plans. With that in mind, however, there are certain things you should and should not do with your social media efforts. This is especially true if you plan to use social media as a means to reach out to new and highly qualified candidates for jobs you have available. Here are a few things you should consider when using social media if you want to appeal to a wider audience of potential employees.

What Candidates Wished Employers Posted on Social Media Pages

MiracleWorkers.com conducted a survey of healthcare workers which revealed that 40 percent of workers in the healthcare industry wished companies would post job listings on company pages. They’d also like to see more information about various career paths in their organizations posted on these pages.

WorkInRetail.com conducted a similar survey of retail employees and discovered they would like to similar information on job openings. But they had an additional request. 18 percent of retail employees responding to the survey also want organizations to list something fun about working for them as well as employee testimonials.

IT employees, according to Sologig.com are also looking to learn something fun about working for the company and hearing employee testimonials. 39 percent of workers in the IT industry are also interested in seeing job listings go social by appearing on company’s social media pages. They also want to know what types of products and/or services the company is working on too.

What Companies Should Not Do with their Social Media Efforts

There were several things that workers across the board (in all the industries surveyed above) agree companies should not do. Companies should not be sporadic in their social media updates. Businesses should not fail to respond to questions that are asked of them. They should also avoid company communications that read like advertisements.

The filtering of comments was another thing that really bothered job seekers in these industries. People would much rather hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about a company before deciding if they can live with the perceived negatives.

More importantly, they want to see how the company responds to the negative. An aggressive campaign to respond in a positive manner to the perceived negatives shows that the company is interested in resolving the situation while filtering the content or removing the comments completely will make it look like the company is more interested in pretending it never happened than solving the problem.

Social media can be a real boon for businesses today – especially when it comes to attracting the ideal candidate. But using social media for recruitment requires consistent work and a consistent message to really attract the best of the best job candidates. Be prepared to make social media a key player in your company’s plan for recruiting today and in the future.

Importance of Hiring a Social Candidate – Not Just Someone Who Looks Good On Paper

March 14th, 2012

A social candidate is a professional who is able to interact within many social networks properly. A person who can work well with others is often times more valuable than the individual who has all of the technical skills, but lacks the ability to communicate his thoughts, needs and ideas with others. From the overpowering individual who does not realize working as a team is better to the shy person unable to communicate with the group, this lack of social skill can affect any work environment. You should be hiring a candidate who is stellar and that often means that his or her skills off the paper need to be just as good if not better than what their resume has to say.

How to Choose a Social Candidate

If you do not select a social candidate, you could be missing the best person for the job. Some equate hiring a candidate with all of the technical knowledge and no social skills like designing a racecar with all of the power possible but not putting in an effective steering and braking system. Rather, choose a candidate with the right skills – skills that can help the candidate to perform his or her job better. You will need a candidate with the skills to work with others.

What does a social candidate really offer? How can you tell he or she is the right person for the job?

  • He or she is self-aware. The candidate understands how the actions taken by the candidate affect others around them.
  • This person has a social intelligence. He or she understands the various methods for influencing other people’s perceptions and behaviors.
  • He or she has self-control. Even under a significant amount of stress, the candidate does not lose his cool. Rather, emotions and actions remain under control.
  • The candidate is sensitive to others. This indicates that the candidate can show sensitivity to others.

To find a social candidate for the job, you will need to ask questions and determine how the person reacted in the situations he or she was in. Is the candidate sensitive to others? You can often tell by discussing the influences on his or her career. Those that answer by including others around them during their career development are more sensitive to others.

You can often see the differences in the social skills of a candidate, too. Set up a luncheon for a group of candidates. Note how each individual interacts with others. Are they engaging or standoffish? Another option is to use personality tests or role-play to get a better ideal of the individual’s social skills.

When hiring a candidate for a job in which the candidate will represent the company, it is critical to choose an individual with social skills. One that is lacking could in fact hurt the company’s image or at the least reduce the productivity of the staff. Choose someone that can better the company through his or her ability to work with and through other people.

Happiness is the Ultimate Productivity Booster

February 29th, 2012

As an HR manager, it’s important to know what really motivates workers to be their most productive. In fact, managing productivity is one of the more important roles you play within your organization. You know it’s important to keep them happy. You understand that employees are generally more productive when they are happy. But, do you know why the happiness of employees in your company makes such a huge difference to efficiency? Here are just a few of the reasons why it’s a good idea to keep your employees happy.

Happy People Tend to have a Positive Outlook

This is double good news for your organization. Do you know why? It’s because the old saying about attitudes being contagious is true. If you have people who are happy with their jobs, happy to come to work, and happy in general. It sparks an entire wave of happiness within work groups that will spread like wildfire to the rest of the company.

Optimism is definitely something you want spreading through your company. It makes it a better place for everyone to work and keeps negativity, complaints, and overall pessimism at bay.

Happy People are Problem Solvers

Your organization doesn’t have time for people to stir the pot or create problems. We all understand that time is money. That’s why it’s great to work with people who are content, or dare I say, happy, in their work environments. They are not only less likely to complain and join in the controversy but they are also the ones who are most likely to seek solutions to problems rather than allowing the problems to slow them down.

People Who are Happy at Work Want to be There

This means they are less likely to call in sick or stretch the limits of their paid time off each year. That doesn’t mean that they don’t need to take their vacations and use that time to rest, relax, and recharge. It does mean that they are much more inclined to plan the time they need off ahead of time and give you plenty of notice.

Happy People are Healthy People

In addition to not taking sick time because they are sick of work, people who are happy with their employment situation also tend to be healthier people. There is less stress over the work situation. There are fewer instances of employee burnout.

Happy employees are not only productive members of the company but they are also generally pleasant people to be around. It’s worth going out of your way as an HR manager to make every possible attempt to keep the people who work for your company as happy as possible and to constantly strive to find new ways that are not overly disruptive or cost-prohibitive to keep employees happy.

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