Honesty really is the best policy, as companies turning to increased transparency have found out. Sure, lavish perks and incredible flexibility help. However, transparency gives that extra oomph to help your organization attract better talent.
Basically, employees are tired of being treated like nameless resources who only need to know what they are told. Increased transparency shows trust. It shows that an organization recognizes everyone’s maturity and potential to contribute. In turn, employees feel worthy. Job candidates brought in for interviews pick up on this. Furthermore, employees are more likely to spread the word about the company. Transparency acts as a prescreening process of sorts.
Here are two ways your company can become more transparent.
- Have your CEO or upper-level management write personal blogs. Not only does this humanize figures who may otherwise come across as distant or mystical, it gives employees a transparent look into these CEOs’ lives. CEOs are occasionally insecure and clumsy—just like everybody. Plus, opening up one’s mind or heart in a blog is a sign of personal strength and courage. Many employees appreciate that.
- Talk about the guiding philosophies behind your organization and how these are upheld through hiring, training, and beyond. Brands such as Zappos are very upfront with how they handle these process, and as a result enjoy a wealth of applicants.
- Social media is a great way to open up about your brand, how it works, and its guiding principles. While this is good for branding, it also helps give potential applicants a clearer view of your organization and even offers them an opportunity to interact with it before they even apply.
- Educate frontline employees, who are the most likely to talk about your organization to a potential applicant. If these employees have a strong grasp about how and why things are done the way they are, then they will share this with applicants.
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There is no doubt that an interview tells a company a lot about you. In turn, there is a lot you can learn about a company based on its interview process. Here is what you should look for when being interviewed by a company and what these things tell you about the organization in question.
Does The Interviewer Talk More Or Listen More?
An interviewer who takes over the conversation raises a red flag about the company, particularly if most of the chatter is “sales speak” to persuade you of the company’s merits or to explain its background. A poised interviewer puts enough trust in you to assume you have done the work, and dominating the conversation is indicative of one of two things. First, it may show that the company itself does not believe in its value, so it must talk itself up. Second, if the interviewer does not trust you to already know about the company, that risks coming across as patronizing.
What Is The Degree Of Transparency?
A company that gives every effort to keep applicants informed of requirements and where they stand is indicative of a company good to work for. It likely is how the company conducts business in general and how it treats employees—fairly and as valued resources. Is the interviewer talking about what systems they use, as well as what software and tools? Are they detailing not just about expectations but how they track and determine if you are meeting those expectations?
Are Certain Subjects Not Brought Up?
Speaking of transparency, another red flag is when an interviewer skips certain subjects. Inquiring about the day to day responsibilities is an important question to ask recruiters, but what if they don’t give a satisfactory result? For instance, if you never got a clear picture of your daily responsibilities or if they seem intentionally vague about them, it is cause for concern. If the interviewer can’t provide a clear description of the day to day tasks that are involved with a particular position, then you may end up taking the job and finding that it has nothing to do with what the original job description.
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Companies are hungry for quality talent, which is to a job seeker’s advantage. Flex staffing is one way companies will choose to distinguish themselves in 2015.
What Exactly Is Flex Staffing?
Flex staffing can be one thing or a combination of many factors. In general, here are examples of flex staffing:
- Telecommuting options, either part time or full time
- Flexible hours for arrivals, breaks and departures
- Vacation time at employees’ discretion
- Using temps for deadline projects and usually for less than a year
- Using contract workers
Changing Work Force
American workers are more mobile and more connected than ever. Physical, full-time presence in an office is less and less necessary for many companies. Organizations that recognize this come across as flexible and with the times. Companies who cling to strict staffing protocols without compelling reasons risk coming across as fussy and old-fashioned. In fact, for a company to project an image of being worthy and attractive, it practically must offer flex staffing.
Shows Trust In Employees
Flex staffing is a way for a company to convey it trusts its employees to know what is best for them. It is a way for a company to become quality-oriented rather than rules-oriented. The focus is on completing quality work on time rather than meeting arbitrary hours. Under this protocol, employees who spend much of their time slacking off and have little to show for it are forced to produce excellent work or risk a pink slip.
Indicates an Ability to Adapt
Using temp and/or contract workers shows that a company is willing to step up to the plate when staffing needs demand it. In the past, companies may have either forced extra work onto already burdened workers or bloated their bottom lines by hiring permanent people for finite projects. A company that adjusts to include non-traditional workers shows a capability for innovation, sleekness and quick movement.
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Millennials are dynamic, tech-savvy and eager to develop, making them valuable assets for employers. Just as valuable: Millennials care about making their mark and are willing to work hard and put in the necessary hours. Since they are 18 to 30 years old as of 2015, they could very well be the future of your company, which means that attracting and retaining millennials should be a priority for your business. To do so, offer millennials more opportunities for growth. Here’s how.
Engage in Dialogue
Talk with Millennials, either current employees or prospective employees, about where they see their careers going and how they might apply future education or training. Based on the feedback, your organization could offer leadership development tracks or invite a Millennial to participate in a project that is both stimulating and personally challenging. Millennials are eager to work long and hard as long as they find value and satisfaction in their labors.
Emphasize that management is always open to ideas. Keep an open-door policy and approach employees yourself to glean ideas. Also open the floor to ideas during meetings. Even better, present a problem or issue a few days ahead of time to give all employees time to think it through and prepare reasoned yet creative solutions.
Encourage Creativity, Which Leads to Growth
Millennials often think outside of the box and n come up with creative ideas, even if the solutions do not always work or are not applicable. Here are some ways to encourage creativity.
- Actively solicit ideas from everyone.
- Use brainstorming sessions and emphasize that there is no judgment.
- Practice strategies such as short-term staffing swaps or cross-shadowing in various job roles.
- Pay for a class in a field such as creative writing, painting or more.
- Support educated risk taking. Do not punish employees if an idea goes wrong.
- Develop worthwhile ideas; back up your talk through action.
- Allow employees to set up groups to raise money for various charities the company approves of.
Show Them That Their Professional Growth is Important to the Company
Talk to Millennial employees (and applicants) about possible future positions that they should strive for. It has to be apparent to a Millennial what the next step is in their career with your organization.
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It can be a lot harder for small to medium sized businesses to attract top talent, especially when it comes down to a recruiting budget. This can often leave them at a disadvantage when compared to larger companies. In order to find and bring in talented applicants without breaking the bank, there are a number of things that you can do.
Review your internal processes. Does your business have an exciting vision you can “sell”? Are you open to retired people coming out of retirement? Other ways to attract top-tier candidates include offering flexible schedules, telecommuting, working from home, letting employees set their hours, paying for some day care, offering on-site day care and more. How about collaborating with international workers to obtain their visas or offering ownership stakes in the business? Adjust your internal processes to offer benefits too good to pass up. Essentially, focus on creating a great brand that makes applicants want to work for you, even if you can’t pay as much as bigger companies.
Referrals: Ask other business leaders for names and contact information of potential candidates. You can even put a “Candidate Referral” button on your website. An additional benefit of this strategy is that it draws people who sought out your business or service.
Networking: Use traditional networking via former and current colleagues, friends and the like. Also turn to LinkedIn and niche-specific job boards. Post in very specific groups about attributes of the candidate you are seeking. Also take advantage of professional organizations and groups.
Staffing Agencies: An important benefit of staffing agencies is that they quickly place well-screened applicants for interviews. They often have comprehensive lists of applicants fitting your criteria, and they deal with all levels of talent. You can even work with them so that they perform searches for you and become a recruiting partner of sorts. They may have access to some audiences or demographics that you do not.
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