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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted December 22, 2017 by

What employers should learn from NECC’s professional development plan for teachers

 

The New England Center for Children (NECC) invests in their employees’ education and overall professional development as a retention strategy. We spoke with Kait Maloney, Recruiting Specialist at NECC, who shared about their professional development plan for teachers, how it is important to them and how that retains their entry-level talent.

(more…)

Egnaging millennials should be a priority of every manager and employer. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted June 27, 2017 by

10 inexpensive ways managers can better engage millennials

The reason many employers struggle to recruit, retain, and engage millennials is because they don’t focus on educating and training managers on how to better engage with millennials.

In fact, a Gallup Poll titled Millennials: The job-hopping generation, found that 29% of millennials are engaged at work, 16% are actively disengaged, and 55% are not engaged.

That should be troubling for employers. After all, according to Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau data, more than one-in-three American workers today are millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015). And in 2015 millennials surpassed Generation X (born between 1965 and 1984) to become the largest share of the American workforce.

So employers listen up – now, more than ever, is the time to find a way to ensure managers engage millennials. According to the Forbes article, nine tips for managing millennials, millennials want a job that provides these key factors: (more…)

Posted June 22, 2017 by

10 ways employers can turn struggling new hires into rock star employees [infographic]

Performance improvement tips for entry-level employees

It’s a rewarding feeling for employers, HR professionals, and recruiters to attract that rock star entry-level employee. But it’s also as equally deflating when that recent college grad or other new hire isn’t working out. Many questions arise. Why isn’t this entry-level employee working out? What went wrong? There could be many reasons – a poor onboarding program, communication gaps, unidentified skills gaps, or a culture clash could be among the many potential reasons new employees struggle.

But before an employer considers terminating a struggling new hire – resulting in a costly hiring mistake – there are a number of steps that should take place, to help this entry-level employee improve, and eventually, make an impact. (more…)

Female boss yelling at employee at work. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted January 26, 2017 by

Disciplining and terminating employees: A guide for first-time managers

 

For many managers, especially first-time managers, giving candid, constructive feedback is the toughest part of their jobs.

And that’s why disciplining and/or terminating employees is so difficult for recent college grads and entry-level managers, says Don Maruska, founder and CEO of three Silicon Valley companies author of How Great Decisions Get Made and Take Charge of Your Talent.

“Many supervisors shy away from giving effective feedback because they fear how employees will react,” says Maruska, who earned his BA magna cum laude from Harvard and his MBA and JD from Stanford, and also previously led projects for McKinsey & Company, a trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential businesses and institutions. “When they finally give the feedback, they often have built up such frustration that the feedback becomes an unproductive battle rather than a positive step forward.”

Because many managers lack the proper training, preparation, or confidence disciplining or terminating an employee, they may ignore the situation. That’s the wrong approach.

“Don’t let the sun set without giving feedback on any performance that isn’t on target,” says Maruska. “That may sound like a tough standard, but every day that goes by only makes the situation more difficult.”

Tips for disciplining an employee

Lois Barth, a human development expert, career/life coach, motivational speaker and author of the new book, Courage to Sparkle, says managers should look to educate and create consensus versus simply just disciplining an employee, or scolding them for poor performance or breaking company rules or policies that don’t quite warrant termination. When there is a situation when you have to discipline someone, focus on their behavior versus them as a person, says Barth.

“As a manager, when you can call out their behavior versus their value as a human being, people will feel less defensive,” says Barth. “Instead of punishing the employee, use your authority as a leader to educate them on why that policy is in place. When people can wrap their mind around the why they are usually pretty good with the what.”

Maruska provides this highly effective formula for providing feedback when disciplining employees that yields constructive results:

Intention: State your intention clearly in terms that show what’s in it for the employee and the firm. For example, “Sam, I want you to be a productive and successful contributor to our team’s growth.”

Observation: Describe what you observe in objective terms. Think through your feedback so that you can deliver it in ways that identify behavior rather than challenge the person’s worth. For example, “When the sales reports arrive after noon on Friday, our team can’t get the results out in time for the sales people to plan next week’s priorities.”

Request: Make it simple, short, and direct. For example, “Sam, will you give me a plan for how you can reliably deliver the sales reports by noon each Friday?”

Confirmation: Be clear about your agreement. For example, “I’ll look forward to your plan by the close of the day tomorrow. OK?”

Tips for terminating an employee

Terminating an employee can be stressful and nerve-wracking for first-time managers. Managers who have access to HR departments, or legal resources within their company should utilize those resources before terminating an employee. It may even be beneficial to have HR lead the meeting, and/or be present in the room during the meeting. HR can also provide the terminated employee with information on paperwork, issue the final paycheck if applicable, and provide any other legal, contractual information, or papers to sign. If it’s a small company, don’t hesitate to ask the company owner or other leadership to be in the room when terminating an employee. Eric Meyer, a partner in Philadelphia-based Dilworth Paxson LLP’s labor and employment group, recommends at least two people be present during any termination meeting. The reason, says Meyer, is so one person can take notes of what is said. If there is litigation, this will avoid a dispute about what was actually said.

In some cases, a termination is obvious, and warrants nothing more than a straight-forward statement, simply saying “thank you for your work, but we have decided to terminate your employment.” Be prepared for the employee to be frustrated, especially if they don’t feel it’s warranted.

If the conversation goes deeper, do not attack the individual.

“Terminations get messy when the terminated employee feels that his or her self-worth is on the line,” says Maruska. “You need to separate performance from the person.”

If feedback is given during a termination meeting, especially if an employee is let go through a layoff, or because the company is downsizing, highlight the strengths of the employee, and tell the employee you’d like to support them in their next step or opportunity. “This is not only more humane but also quicker and cheaper than making the termination a contest of wills,” says Maruska.

And finally, practice before you go live with either a discipline or termination meeting. Being straightforward and clear can be a tough transition for recent college grads, especially new managers who are now managing friends, so find opportunities to practice giving feedback with another manager, colleague, or friend. Focus on your tone, body language, and non-verbal cues to come off polished and professional. Most of all, be confident in your delivery.

Having difficult conversations is difficult. But it’s part of what it takes for millennials to be a good manager. Follow these tips and prepare now to succeed later when terminating or disciplining and employee.

Want more management tips and career advice? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Posted January 17, 2017 by

Realistic expectations: Master these 7 traits to become ready for a move to management

 

Some employees, ready or not, are promoted into management roles as a reward for succeeding in their previous job. Others, through education and professional training, get hired into management roles. No matter one’s road to a management job, there is no one-size-fits-all guide that determines when one is really ready to be a manager.

“Unfortunately you can’t teach management in 10 minutes,” says Jayne Heggen, President of Heggen Group, a management consulting firm.

But whether one is a first-time manager, new manager, or seeking a career in management, there are certain skills, traits, and attributes that all good managers have. Mastering these traits can help all managers succeed in a leadership role. Here are seven traits managers must master to successfully prove they are ready to move into a management role:

1. Be willing to change: Many new managers get promoted because they are good at doing a job, says Heggen. Realize that what worked as an individual contributor won’t necessarily work now. “New managers need to understand their own tendencies and learn when they need to change their management style based on the person and the situation,” says Heggen. Adjust and adapt based on individual and team characteristics.

2. Understand mistakes will happen: Mistakes will happen and that’s okay, says Karen Young, the award-winning founder and President of HR Resolutions, a full-service human resources management company. “What’s important is how the mistake is handled,” says Young. “Are you prepared to accept ownership of your mistake? Are you prepared to go to your boss and say this happened, caused by you or your staff member, and this is how we are addressing it? It’s important to create a safe environment for your employees – one in which they feel comfortable coming to you with mistakes.”

3. Conflict identification and resolution: The ability to identify and head off conflict is an important trait new managers need to develop, says Liz Sophia, Senior VP of Marketing for Hodges-Mace, an employee benefits technology and communications company. “New managers tend to shy away from conflict and are more passive aggressive in dealing with employee issues,” says Sophia. A good manager will identify issues upfront and work quickly to resolve them. Conflict resolution is best done in person when available. If not, via phone. Don’t use email or text to solve issues/problems.

4. Hold employees accountable: A manager must hold employees accountable, says Young. That means team members must understand expectations, and follow through on those expectations. As a manager, you’ll have to correct mistakes along the way. When doing so, remember to praise publicly, and constructively criticize privately. “Fixing another’s mistakes is often easier and quicker if you do it, but you, as the manager, have accomplished nothing by doing that,” says Young. Learn how to manage without cramping the style of team members.

5. Learn how to manage up: Managing up is a manner in which a manager works with their boss to effectively get the training, support and resources needed for the position and department. For example, if you want to add a full-time employee into the department, do not go and say “we’re sooooo busy, everyone’s stressed, no one can get their job done.” That’s what the whiny manager does, says Young. Instead, back up requests with proof. Saying something like: “if we added an additional employee, we would save $X.XX in overtime, employee A would be able to begin to make outbound calls to generate more business; employee B would be available then to assist me with Project C.” Always make a business case.

6. Lead by example: You have to be willing to lead by example, says Sophia. If there is no policy around working from home, yet you tend to work from home yourself, it sets the wrong tone for your employees. If you overreact and treat other team members poorly, others may follow that lead. You also have to be mature enough to handle confidential information and not leak it or use it to strengthen your position. Managers set the tone and positive attitude/image of the team/department. Don’t portray negativity or hostility.

7. Strong communication skills: This seems like a no-brainer, but just because one is a manager doesn’t mean they are a skilled communicator. “Knowing how to communicate with different audiences is key,” says Sophia. Communication also includes, tone, body language and non-verbal communication cues. Understand how these affect people’s view of how you are communicating with them. A smile can ease tension, and make one feel more relaxed. A frown, or scowl, can intimidate. These non-verbal cues can change the message greatly.

Mastering these additional skills are also key to proving one is ready to become a manager, says Sophia:

  • Be humble and accept input from others.
  • Be willing to admit your mistakes, but learn from them and don’t repeat.
  • Give your team and peers proper credit for their ideas/contributions. A simple hand-written thank you note goes a long way.
  • Know that you don’t have to be perfect in all areas, but make sure that you have folks on your team who compliment your weaknesses.
  • Acknowledge your areas for opportunity/growth and nurture them – invest in yourself professionally.

Becoming a good manager takes time, practice, and the ability to continually learn and adapt. Mastering these seven traits is a good start for the aspiring, or newly hired manager wondering if they are ready to manage.

Are you a new manager looking for more management tips and advice? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Posted November 17, 2016 by

Multi-tasking is not a skill: How it’s slowing career growth for Millennials

Man working from home in office, using computer and telephone

Man working from home in office, using computer and telephone. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Multi-tasking seems like a great idea in concept. And many recent college grads and Millennials see multi-tasking a skill employers covet. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone who can complete many tasks at once, right? After all, Millennials are the best-educated generation in America’s history – surely their brains can handle killing two birds with one stone. Nope! In reality, multi-tasking is like playing guitar while making spaghetti. Both outcomes are going to be disastrous, and one stands a much better chance at nailing that solo and impressing a dinner date if they would just tackle one task at a time.

That’s the message from Chris Butsch, author of The Millennial’s Guide to Making Happiness, a positive psychology book for young people driven by humor, science, and stories from Millennials around the world.

“There’s overwhelming evidence that our brain doesn’t like to multi-task,” says Butsch.

Butsch explains further:

“First off, our brains, like our laptops, have a limited amount of processing power. When we open too many programs at once, the whole system slows down, and each individual task takes much longer to process.”

He continues: “Researchers estimate that when we multi-task, our IQ drops by 15 points and our productivity drops by 40%. That doesn’t mean that we’re doing two tasks at 60% and 2 x 60 = 120%; it means that two, 1 hour-long tasks will take three hours and 20 minutes if done at the same time, and the quality of both outcomes will be significantly worse. (more…)

Posted October 25, 2016 by

Decoding your paycheck: What recent college grads should understand

Money saved for college with a small graduation cap

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Recent college grads and entry-level job seekers are often excited to get that first paycheck. But they are also shocked when they suddenly realize the amount of that check may not be what they thought it would be. Remember when Rachel from Friends sees her first paycheck? (“Who is FICA and why is he getting all my money?“) Understanding how to decode your paycheck can help recent college grads become fiscally responsible.

“Educating yourself on how to read your pay stub and understand the information it contains can be the key to effective money management and proper budgeting,” says Brian Michaud, Senior Vice President, Client Service, ADP TotalSource.

Below, Michaud helps decode your paycheck, and understand just where all your money goes:

Gross and Net Pay
The two main components to understand are Gross Pay and Net Pay:

  • Gross Pay: Gross pay is the total amount of wages you’ve earned for the pay period (a pay period is determined by your employer). This is typically bi-weekly or monthly. It’s your regular pay plus any other wages you earn, such as overtime pay or bonuses. Your taxes are based on gross pay.
  • Net Pay: Net pay is the amount of money you actually receive on payday, or your “take home pay.” It’s your gross pay minus all deductions and all federal, state, and local taxes.

The basic components of a paycheck

  • Federal tax: When you are first hired by your employer, you are required to fill out a Form W-4. This form covers any tax that you may owe to the Federal government come tax time. It is deducted incrementally from each paycheck, and varies depending on how many exemptions you claimed.
  • State tax:  If your state has a tax, this amount is deducted from your paycheck the same way as Federal tax to cover the amount of tax that you may owe to the state when your tax return is filed.
  • Local Tax: Although rare, a local tax is sometimes applied to employees of certain cities, counties or school districts. For example, if you live in New Jersey, but work in New York City, you will be required to pay not only New Jersey state tax, but also New York City tax on your earnings.
  • FICA:  FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act and refers to amounts deducted for Social Security and Medicare taxes.
  • Retirement Plan Contributions:  Plans such as 401(K) or 403(B) retirement savings plans will deduct the percentage you decide to contribute from each paycheck.

Here are a few items that you might find on your paycheck stub:

  • Insurance Deductions:  This is the monthly payments for such types of insurance as health (medical and dental) and life insurance.
  • Leave Time:  This includes vacation hours or sick hours. Most employers will detail how many hours have been used to date, and how many hours are remaining for the calendar year.
  • Childcare Assistance: If offered by your employer, this amount may appear on each paycheck as a pre-tax benefit.
  • Year-to-date (for pay and deductions): The year-to-date fields on your paycheck stub show how much you have paid toward a particular withholding at any point in the calendar year.
  • Important Notices: Employers often use the paycheck stub to communicate important pieces of information to their employees, such as wage increases or notifications about tax filings.

Related: How the new overtime laws will affect interns and recent college grads

Understanding pre-tax contributions/savings
In a 401(k), you contribute “pretax” dollars, which means your contributions are taken from your paycheck before your income is taxed. This matters because, with that contribution set aside from the total paycheck before taxes, a smaller amount is taxed thereafter. Depending on your tax bracket, this could lower your taxable income while simultaneously saving money for retirement.

Suggestions for recent college grads

  • Have a conversation with your parents: Determine what your taxation status is. Based upon the timing of your job, you may still qualify as a dependent for their taxes. Have a conversation regarding the standard dependent deduction vs. filing on your own based on the timing of getting the job, says Michaud.
  • Review benefits: Along those same lines, make sure that you are reviewing benefit offerings with your parents.  If you are under 26 years old, compare the cost and benefits offered by your parent’s plan to your employer’s plan, and what is available on the public health care exchanges. You might qualify for a credit on the exchange, says Michaud.
  • Calculate withholdings: Make sure that you calculate appropriately for Federal, State and, if applicable, Local tax withholding. Review your taxation calculations and ensure that you don’t under or severely over withhold. Federal taxation and state taxation can have very different rules and rates.

Many recent college grads are only concerned about the bottom line of their paycheck – the take home pay. But understanding where your hard-earned money goes, and how to maximize savings, is a good start for recent college grads planning for the present and future.

“Knowing where your money is going can help you stay on top of your finances and make the most of your hard-earned paycheck,” says Michaud.

Want to keep up on the latest career and job search tips and trends for recent college grads? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connecting with us on LinkedIn, TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Brian Michaud, Senior Vice President, ADP TotalSource®

Brian Michaud, Senior Vice President, ADP TotalSource®

About Brian Michaud, Senior Vice President, Client Service, ADP TotalSource®
Brian Michaud is senior vice president of ADP TotalSource®, ADP’s Professional Employer Organization (PEO).  He and his team manage the company’s Human Resources Business Process Outsourcing (HRBPO) practice for small to midsized business owner clients, which delivers HR management, benefits administration, time and attendance, and payroll services as one Human Capital Management solution. Michaud started with ADP in 1991 as a sales representative for its Small Business Services business and joined the TotalSource business in 1999.

Posted October 12, 2016 by

Ask Matt: Recent college grads shouldn’t let helicopter parents hinder their job search

Helicopter parents in the job search; Tips for recent college grads

Photo from StockUnlimited.com

Dear Matt: I’m responsible for hiring entry-level employees for a large company, and I am amazed at how many recent college grads have their parents reaching out to us on behalf of their children – they even show up at interviews! I thought helicopter parents were only involved at the youth and high school level. But we’re now seeing it in the business world. Can you remind your readers and all recent college grads that parental involvement shouldn’t take place in the workplace?

Matt: By one definition, a helicopter parent is a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. Helicopter parents are also prevalent at the youth and high school level, often hovering over their children and every decision involving those children at youth or high school activities, in school, or with friends.

And now, helicopter parents are invading the workplace. Yikes! It’s true.

“Believe it or not, recruiters and hiring managers are seeing a surprising influx of parental involvement in the job search, recruiting, and interviewing process,” says Brandi Britton, district president for OfficeTeam, the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled administrative and office support professionals. “As a staffing firm, we’ve heard our share of helicopter parent stories and experienced some unique situations with moms and dads ourselves.”

Today’s working parent can be a great resource for that recent college grad seeking job search advice, or with connecting them to members of their professional network. But they shouldn’t accompany their child to job interviews, contact employers on behalf of their child, or listen in on speaker phone or Skype/Facetime during the interview. Those are all things that are happening today and all things recent college grads should be sure to avoid to land that first job, or move forward in their career.

According to a survey of 608 senior managers by Office Team, 35 percent of senior managers interviewed said they find it annoying when helicopter parents are involved in their kids’ search for work. Another one-third (34 percent) of respondents prefer mom and dad stay out of the job hunt, but would let it slide. Only 29 percent said this parental guidance is not a problem.

The reasons for mom and dad getting involved are simple, says Britton: Recent college grads may not have as much job search experience and therefore turn to their parents for guidance.

“The job search process can be extremely challenging and daunting,” says Britton. “Parental support and advice throughout the process can help you stay positive and on track.”

But…

“Although most parents mean well with their efforts, they need to know where to draw the line to avoid hurting their son or daughter’s chances of securing a job,” says Britton

Managers were also asked to recount the most unusual or surprising behavior they’ve heard of or seen from helicopter parents of job seekers. Here are some of their responses:

  • “The candidate opened his laptop and had his mother Skype in for the interview.”
  • “A woman brought a cake to try to convince us to hire her daughter.”
  • “One parent asked if she could do the interview for her child because he had somewhere else to be.”
  • “A father asked us to pay his son a higher salary.”
  • “One mom knocked on the office door during an interview and asked if she could sit in.”
  • “Parents have arrived with their child’s resume and tried to convince us to hire him or her.”
  • “A job seeker was texting his parent the questions I was asking during the interview and waiting for a response.”
  • “Once a father called us pretending he was from the candidate’s previous company and offered praise for his son.”
  • “Parents have followed up to ask how their child’s interview went.”
  • “A father started filling out a job application on behalf of his kid.”
  • “I had one mother call and set up an interview for her son.”
  • “Moms and dads have called to ask why their child didn’t get hired.”

When it comes to parental involvement in the job search, Britton provided the five biggest mistakes college grads make when involving parents in the job search:

  1. Parents should avoid direct contact with potential employers. They should not participate in interviews or call, email or visit companies on behalf of their children.
  2. Job seekers should be the ones filling out the applications and submitting resumes, not their parents.
  3. Helicopter parents should steer clear of involvement in following up after their child has applied or interviewed for a position.
  4. Having your mom or dad try to bribe a potential employer is a definite no-no. In our survey, one woman brought a cake to a company to try to convince them to hire her daughter.
  5. Parents shouldn’t be involved in job offer discussions, such as negotiating salary or benefits.

“Parents should absolutely not be included in their children’s job interviews,” says Britton. “The meeting is meant to be a discussion involving only the interviewer(s) and job candidate. “Parents participating in interviews can distract from the goal of making sure it’s a fit for the applicant and employer. The employer is evaluating whether to hire the applicant — not his or her parent.”

Employers usually appreciate candidates who are assertive, but when a parent is clearly handholding or answering questions for their child, it sends the message that the individual lacks initiative and independence, adds Britton.

Does this automatically eliminate a candidate?

“Not all employers will automatically take a candidate out of contention if his or her parents become too involved in the job search, but chances are that most hiring managers would be put off by this type of behavior,” says Britton. “Parents who become overly involved in their children’s job searches can cause more harm than good because employers may question the applicant’s abilities and maturity.”

Professionals need to take ownership of their careers – they’re responsible for applying to and ultimately landing positions. So how can parents assist recent college grads in the job search? Britton offered these additional tips on how parents can assist recent college grads in the job search:

  1. Uncovering hidden job opportunities: Family members and others in your network can be great sources for advice and help you uncover hidden job opportunities.
  2. Job search and interview preparation: It’s perfectly fine to tap your parents for behind-the-scenes assistance, such as reviewing resumes, conducting mock interviews or offering networking contacts.
  3. Access to professional contacts: Parents or those in their network can provide access to contacts at companies or alert you to opportunities.
  4. Resume and cover letter review: Have your mom or dad review your resume and cover letter to ensure they’re error-free and clearly showcase the most important information.
  5. Mock interview assistance: Prepare for interviews by practicing responses to common (and tricky) questions with your parents. They can also provide constructive criticism regarding your answers and delivery.
  6. Decision-making: Juggling a few offers? Children may want to get their parents’ opinions when weighing potential opportunities. But ultimately, it’s the job seekers decision, not the parents.

“Parents want the best for their kids, but being overly involved in a child’s job search can cause more harm than good,” says Britton. “It’s a positive for mom and dad to help behind the scenes by reviewing resumes, conducting mock interviews and offering networking contacts. However, ultimately, companies seek employees who display self-sufficiency and maturity.”

Want more tips and advice on how to successfully navigate the job search? Then stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Matt Krumrie

Matt Krumrie

About Ask Matt on CollegeRecruiter.com
Ask Matt is a new monthly career advice column that offers tips and advice to recent college grads and entry-level job seekers. Have a question? Need job search or career advice? Email your question to Matt Krumrie for use in a future column.