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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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Leading During Shaky Times



Over the last 20 years, our economy has seen a lot of drastic changes. Those changes have affected nearly every industry operating around the world, leading to layoffs and extended unemployment periods that have created uncertainty and struggles for all.
The unmanned and robotics industry is no different. We are subjected to the same ebbs and flows of the economy as everyone else, while also dealing with the burden of having to wait for regulations to catch up with what our technology is capable of on the aerial side of things. Then there are government cutbacks, and small growth for small business in a playing field that is still so very new. That all translates into shaky periods for our industry, where no job is guaranteed and where employees often have a chip of uncertainty on their shoulders.
Anyone can be a leader when times are thriving and work is plentiful – but it takes someone truly notable to lead, and lead well, during shakier times. And it is those leaders who will nurture the strongest teams, and command the best of the best, through both good times and bad.
So how do you become that leader?
·         Lead with Honesty: If you want to be the type of leader others will follow, you have to first earn their trust – which means always holding yourself to a standard of honesty that is unimpeachable. Yes, there may be times when it is best to keep certain details from your employees, but you never want to lead in a way that has you lying to those employees. Don’t make promises you aren’t sure you can keep, and don’t sugarcoat details when it is clear your employees know the score. Be up front and honest whenever possible, even when the news you have to share isn’t great, and you will build a team that believes in what you have to say.
·         Lead with Compassion: Being a leader in shaky times is scary, and stressful, and oftentimes downright frustrating. You can feel helpless, and in that helplessness, you can sometimes become cold and bitter – a personal preservation mechanism that has you shutting down in order to protect your own mental well being. But a valued leader is one who resists that urge to shut down and instead remains compassionate about the plight of his or her employees. That doesn’t always mean you can make changes that improve that plight, but it does mean you remain open to and aware of the experiences of those working for you.
·         Lead with Wisdom: Being a leader isn’t always fun. It sometimes means making hard choices and occasionally even being the bad guy. But as long as you make those hard choices with wisdom and reason, you will still retain the respect of even those who are most damaged by those choices. Layoffs happen. Work hours get cut. And not every project will be approved. A leader who is leading with wisdom doesn’t play favorites, though, and always defaults to logic and reason when the tough choices are being made.

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