Thursday, June 30, 2016

If Your Interview Were Like a First Date



When was the last time you went on a first date? The last time you felt the butterflies of a great match, and were on your best behavior to ensure the other person felt the same?
For some of you, it may have been a while. For others, it might have been last week. But no matter how long it’s been, you likely still remember the “rules” of dating and how to always put your best foot forward. Yet, despite that knowledge, you may not even realize how similar a first interview can actually be to a first date. Up to and including the nervous butterflies at your realization that this is the job you want.
So, if your interview were like a first date, what would you need to do in order to end it with a kiss… or a job offer, as the case may be?
Make Eye Contact: It’s normal to be nervous at a job interview, but part of making that great first impression is making an actual human connection. That means eye contact and reciprocal communication. Shake hands, remain engaged, and look your interviewer in the eye!
Smile and Laugh: Sure, job interviews are more serious endeavors than first dates. And they don’t usually include the benefit of alcohol to help ease any social anxieties you may be feeling. But that doesn’t discount the value of a genuine smile and well-timed laughter. Obviously, you don’t want to spend your entire interview cracking jokes. You want to answer the questions you are asked and prove your commitment to this role. But you also want to engage with the interviewer in a way that leaves them thinking you’re someone they would like to work with. And no one wants to work with a candidate who stiffly answers questions and refuses to crack a smile in the process.
Express Your Interest: There are a lot of “rules” that go hand in hand with dating, and one of the most often repeated is something about not showing too much interest too soon. But we all know how good it feels to have someone we are interested in express a subtle interest in us as well. The same is true of a job interview. Hiring managers don’t want to extend an offer to someone who just casually decided to show up to the interview; they want employees who truly want to be working for them. You can differentiate yourself as one of those potential employees by asking questions about the position and finding ways to show off your knowledge of the company during your conversation. Don’t play hard to get; hiring managers aren’t in it for the chase.  




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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sweeten the Deal



There is nothing worse than going through the hiring process, finding a candidate who feels like an ideal fit, and then making an offer only to be told they have decided to go another direction. It’s like hitting a wall, being forced to take 12 steps back and re-evaluate everything. And the biggest issue is that from that point forward, no candidate ever seems as appealing as the one who got away.
One of the best ways to avoid this situation is to have a streamlined hiring process that allows you to make fast decisions when the right candidate comes along. Too much time passing between an interview and an offer just gives your candidates the chance to explore other opportunities, which as you’ve probably learned, can result in your company losing out.
But even quick offers can fail if they aren’t the right offers. Extending a competitive salary offer is obviously important, though it’s not the only way to appeal to the talent elite who may already be getting wooed elsewhere.
Here are some perks you should consider including in your hiring packages to sweeten the deal; because a competitive offer is one that is hard to say “no” to.

Medical Benefits
It’s no secret that healthcare in this country is becoming a growing concern among most Americans, and with good reason. Costs have risen at a frightening rate over the last 20 years, and many families struggle to pay premiums and deductibles. While having a quality health care plan isn’t necessarily an incentive directed only at your top recruits, it is one that can help you draw in the best talent across your organization. Next to salary, potential employees are most likely to ask about health care—be sure your plan is one that measures up.

Flexibility
A growing number of workers today suggest a healthy work/life balance is a priority of theirs. Obviously, not all positions are created equal, and flexibility in the work place isn’t always possible. But when it is? Allowing for non-traditional work schedules, or the ability to work from home occasionally, can be a huge incentive for employees hoping to have it all. And what’s more, plenty of companies are starting to realize that allowing for that flexibility actually results in higher productivity and quality turnout.

Paid Time Off
Along with achieving that ideal work/life balance, most employees care a great deal about their paid time off. And research has continuously found that allowing for that time off boosts morale and productivity, making it a no-brainer to craft hiring packages that are generous in this perk.
Other incentives might include tuition reimbursement or a moving allowance, depending on your employee’s personal circumstances. And while providing a competitive offer right out the gate is important to sealing the deal, many of these things can be negotiated in a counter-offer if your candidate doesn’t seem as impressed as you might have hoped.
One trick to keep in mind: when presenting the offer (or counter-offer), highlight the total compensation being offered in the package. Not just the salary, but also the monetary value of all the benefits included. This will help your candidate to understand the true worth of what is being offered, which can sometimes dispel any hesitancy they may be feeling.



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Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Toxic Worker (And How You Can Keep Them Off Your Team)



What do you think of when you hear the term “toxic worker”? Someone too lazy to do his or her job? A person who is known to have conflict with co-workers? Or an employee who refuses to follow authority?
Sure, all of those things could certainly lead to a toxic work environment, but a new Harvard Business School working paper explored in The Washington Post has found a new toxic worker to fear: The rule follower.
That’s right. According to the data collected from more than 50,000 employees at 11 companies, it is often the employee who seems most intent on adhering to the rules that you should be avoiding. These were the workers most likely to be fired for extreme behavior.
The reason is that these workers tend not to play well with others. Their rigidity when it comes to the rules puts them in a position of being overly confident about their own abilities, and likely overly critical about the work of their peers.
The irony? They also tend to be corrupt, often drastically eschewing the rules in practice that they boast to adhere to so stringently in conversation.
From a financial standpoint, avoiding these workers is key; doing so can actually save your company over $12,000 annually, compared to the over $5,000 saved by hiring a superstar employee instead.
But how do you best avoid them?

Open the Door for Employee Referrals
One of the best ways to avoid hiring a toxic worker is to go into that hiring with as much information as possible. Oftentimes, you may find that your current employees are the best resource of candidates who could be a good fit. Particularly the employees you already value as being the superstars they are. These employees have been networking with their peers for years. They know who is looking, and who is worth working with.
Offering an incentive for referrals that result in new hires lasting 90 days or longer could help your company to tap into that resource.

Ask the Right Questions
The survey found that when asked about rule following, the strongest employees were those willing to admit that sometimes, certain rules needed to be broken in order to do a good job. Those toxic employees, however, remained strict on their rule-following standards, regardless of the question at hand. Consider asking interviewees how they would address a task that comes with guidelines that could hinder final product quality. Their answers may tell you all you need to know.

Don’t Skimp on Reference Checks
It’s true that most companies won’t tell you much when it comes to reference checks anymore. Many shy away from sharing the gruesome details of a past employee’s work history, mainly for fear of being sued in the process. But you can often tell plenty just by following up on dates of employment and whether or not a former employee would be eligible for rehire. When those dates don’t match up with the ones reported to you by the applicant (or simply boast of a lot of job hopping over the last few years), and whenever you get a firm “no” on the second question—it’s always worth digging a bit deeper to determine if this is really the candidate you want to be hiring.




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