Thursday, December 3, 2015

Creating Loyalty: The Gift That (Really Does) Keep on Giving


 
‘Tis the season to be jolly… and to further engage the loyalty of your employees.
You didn’t know that was part of the song, did you?
In all seriousness, quality retention strategies are crucial for a company’s success. Having any open positions costs you money, not only in lost labor, but also in the time and expense involved in filling those roles. And when a company is experiencing a lot of turnover, morale amongst the employees who do stick around can be abnormally low; hindering productivity and diminishing the corporate culture you’ve worked so hard to establish.
The good news is that this time of year is perfect for boosting that morale and increasing loyalty all around—but you can’t be a scrooge if you want to take full advantage of what the holidays can mean to strengthening that employee bond. Luckily, engineering that loyalty isn’t just about money. Here are a couple ways (both monetary and free) you can show your loyalty around this time of year, hopefully cementing theirs in the process.
Bonuses: A holiday bonus is one simple way to say, “We appreciate you and all you do.” A good company-wide bonus, particularly when unexpected, can absolutely boost morale and increase loyalty. Unfortunately, not every company is in the black enough to be able to consider significant monetary bonuses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find other ways to brighten your employee’s spirits. Additional 401k contributions can be meaningful, or personalized gifts chosen with your employee’s hobbies and lifestyle in mind. For instance, gift certificates to a local waterpark for those with kids, or to a nice restaurant for those who might enjoy a night out with their significant other. 
Company Celebrations and Recognition: Recognizing this time of year as a time for fun and celebration can go a long way. This is why holiday parties, staff lunches, or similar are so important; they provide opportunities for your staff to bond in celebration, rather than over impending deadlines and stress. They are also a great time to recognize those who are contributing to your company’s success, and to provide them with the accolades they deserve. Though, even without a celebration, company-wide recognition e-mails around the end of the year can be a great boost.
Time Off: A really simple way to boost morale around the holidays is to give an extra day or two off…or even a few well-timed early dismissals. If Christmas falls on a Thursday, for instance, consider making both Christmas Eve, and the Friday after, company closure days. Not only will your employees appreciate that extra family time, but realistically—anyone coming in that Friday would likely have been distracted anyway. So you save yourself from paying for a distracted workforce. And the beauty is, for small companies who have autonomy to make those decisions – extra time off doesn’t impact your budget.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fantasy Draft Pick: A Guide to Scoring the Top Talent You Need



We all know that succeeding in the robotics and unmanned industry is only possible with top talent on your side. We also know acquiring that top talent is no easy feat. There aren’t enough quality engineers to do the work that needs to be done, and those that are in the workforce are in high demand. As soon as you find an applicant you hope to bring on board, you’re confronted with the challenge of competing against the multiple offers they’ve already received.
So how do you walk away with the top draft pick, securing a team geared towards success?
Act Fast: Weighing your options and taking your time is no way to win this game of competitive hiring. If you want to stand out, and land that top talent, you have to be willing to act fast. That means having a streamlined hiring process that involves filling openings within two weeks. It means making an offer within 24 hours (48, at most) of the right candidate walking through your door. And it means avoiding things like tiered interviews that can slow the whole process down. If multiple people need to have a say in the final hiring decision, conduct phone interviews to weed the potentials out, and then invite the top 3 applicants in for one interview with all the powers that be. Point is, act fast or you could lose out.
Offer with Intention: It used to be that you could low-ball an offer, knowing the potential candidate would come back with a different number and negotiations would begin. Now, offering low is tantamount to saying you don’t value what this candidate has to offer. If you want to stand out, and to be the organization that top talent strives to work for, you have to offer with intention. That means knowing the average pay scale of every one of your open positions, and being willing to offer on the high end of that scale for the candidates who are likely getting plenty of other offers at the same time. Think of this like bidding at an auction; if you go too low, you’ll be out-bid in the first round.
Prioritize (and Sell) Your Corporate Culture: Of course, it’s not all about money. Candidates care about the atmosphere of where they are going to work as well. Which is why breeding a positive corporate culture, and creating a name for yourself as an organization where people want to work, is important. Value the employees you have now, create opportunities for growth from within, and be open to flexible work arrangements that allow for a better work/life balance. Most importantly, talk to your employees about what would make them happier in their current roles. Because having a happy staff is the best way to build up that reputation as a great place to work.  


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Top Three Occasions When a Recruiter Can Help



Let’s face it: filling open positions is a time consuming, and sometimes expensive, task for companies to take on. That’s why turnover is such a widely discussed concept – because keeping your own turnover down can improve productivity and the bottom line.
But every company has roles to fill at some time or another. New positions are created, employees move on, and some retire – it is inevitable that there will always be at least some level of turnover. And for a lot of positions, that may not be the end of the world – it’s possible you have the perfect applicant sending you a resume on the first day the job is open.
What about when that isn’t the case, though? Here are the times when it might be best to consider joining up with a recruiter to fill your open spots.
·         Hard to Fill Positions: If you need to hire a new secretary, chances are that you can post to a few local job boards and easily get 20 resumes from qualified applicants. But what about when your CEO is preparing to retire? Filling a high-responsibility job (or any position that requires an extensive amount of education, for instance) can be a much more cumbersome task because there simply aren’t as many qualified applicants to choose from. Which is where a recruiter comes in. A quality recruiter knows where to look for the right applicants, and likely already has leads on those who might be the perfect fit. They can help remove some of the guesswork for you, and put you face to face with the right applicant for the job.  
·         Out of State Candidates: Similarly, there are some roles that just seem to be a beacon for out of state candidates. This happens most often with positions that require a certain level of expertise that only a handful of applicants might meet. Recruiters are skilled at expanding that recruitment net to out of state locals, and know where the most qualified candidates likely already reside – increasing their ability to focus your search to those areas. They can also help with the logistics of arranging out of state interviews and ensuring you don’t waste your time (and money) on applicants who aren’t a solid fit.
·         Short on Time: The truth is, not all supervisors have the time to commit to conducting a quality job search. Posting on job boards, sifting through resumes, conducting initial phone interviews – it all adds up to a lot of time that could probably be better spent focused on actual job tasks. So why not utilize a recruiter who does those things for a living? Sometimes outsourcing is the smartest way to ensure your resources are best utilized.
One of the biggest arguments against hiring a recruiter is often the expense involved, but the truth is – a good recruiter can actually save you money by minimizing the amount of time a job is open. Getting qualified, loyal employees into those positions faster, and having a professional on hand to do most of the vetting for you, means increased productivity and time for your hiring managers to stay focused on the task of actually doing business.


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