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Posted July 11, 2019 by

5 Things to Consider Besides Salary

5 Things to Consider Besides Salary

Of course, it’s important to earn a living wage. And, while a great salary may top your “wish list” when job hunting, there are other important factors to consider. In fact, some aspects of a potential job can have a much greater impact on your overall satisfaction and long-term happiness than a paycheck. For instance, if you have children or crave work-life balance, flexible hours may be a significant benefit. If you love to travel, more vacation days can help you pursue your dreams.

Surveys show that employees rate the following factors as “extremely to very important” when deciding on a position.          

1. Interesting and/or challenging work, with room to grow.

In a 2018 poll by Korn Ferry of nearly 5,000 professionals, the top reason people were looking for a new job was boredom. That’s right they were bored! If you think about how many hours you spend at work, you can see how continually doing mundane tasks can take its toll over time. Most people want to be engaged in their job and challenged by new experiences. Based on interviews with employees at companies that have been designated as the Best Places to Work, “Doing things that I enjoy and am good at” ranked as the number one reason for loving their job. Having “learning or growth opportunities” was also rated highly. In addition, the Society for Human Resource Management found that 59% of employees think that opportunity for personal growth and advancement was a very important job aspect.

Furthermore, nearly 60% of Americans would take a job they love over a job they hate, even if the preferred position paid half the amount of salary they would earn at the job they dislike! (Lexington Law)

So, as you consider prospective positions, be sure the job responsibilities include tasks that truly interest you. Not every aspect of a job can be exciting, or even interesting, but overall, the position should entail something you enjoy doing and excel at. Also, be sure to ask about opportunities for continued training and growth, which will not only challenge you, but may result in a bigger paycheck down the road.

2. Organizational culture.

It goes without saying that a company with a toxic or dysfunctional culture is not going to be a great place to work. Not surprisingly, research shows that a negative atmosphere can reduce productivity and increase turnover, while a positive culture can improve performance, attract and retain employees and make a company more competitive.

While there has been a great deal of momentum around changing the face of corporate cultures over the past 10 years, Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” report reveals that only 33% of employees in the U.S. rated their workplace culture as positive or engaging. There is obviously room for improvement.

Start by looking for a company that has taken the time to develop a mission statement and a set of values and that actually puts them into practice. In short, a mission outlines what a company stands for and defines its purpose. According to Forbes, mission-driven employees are 54% more likely to stay for five or more years at a company and 30% are more likely to become high performers. In summary, a great work environment can boost morale, motivate you, and enhance your quality of life.

“Culture” shouldn’t just be a buzzword for the company. And, it doesn’t always mean that the company has ping-pong tables and meditation rooms! A positive company culture is one that encourages teamwork and collaboration; offers opportunities for growth; and places a high value on its employees. They may also serve the community and encourage employee participation in that outreach. In short, there is no single rubric for company culture. However, you can get a sense of whether that culture is a good fit for you by researching the company, asking questions in the interview process, looking for comments on social media and, if possible, talking to other employees.

3. Accessible leadership.

Although this often goes along with a positive culture, having access to leaders and developing good working relationships with them is key to employee satisfaction. According to the Harvard Business Review, 60% of employees surveyed said their relationships with their supervisor or manager positively impacts their focus and productivity at work and 44% said it impacts their stress levels, leading to higher productivity and satisfaction overall.

Accessible leadership makes employees feel valued. It involves listening to employees and making them feel heard, acknowledging their feedback and doing something about it, recognizing employees for a job well done and giving credit where credit is due.

It can be difficult to get a feel for the leadership of a company prior to working there, but you can ask questions about reviews and feedback opportunities during an interview. In these days of social media, you can also often find comments from employees. Other indicators: Has the company been named as one of the best companies to work for? Have the company’s leaders received recognition for their direction?

4. Open communication/transparency.

Transparency and open communication fosters trust, and employees who trust organizations are more likely to be engaged in their everyday work life (TalMetrix). This makes sense when you consider that we are all more likely to trust someone when we feel they will share necessary information with us. Again, open communication is a big component of a positive company culture, but it’s important enough to be considered separately.

Some aspects that contribute to open communication and transparency are annual performance reviews, keeping employees informed about company performance on a regular basis, clearly communicating the company’s mission and values, creating an atmosphere where employees can voice concerns or make suggestions without fear of repercussions, and holding team-building activities.

Again, you can get a feel for a company’s communication style by asking questions during an interview about how often reviews are done and whether there is a forum for employee feedback. Companies that value open communication will also typically communicate this well on their website.

5. Employee health and work-life balance.

The 2018 Global Talent Trends study by Mercer revealed that a large number of employees value flexible schedules more than salary. Flexibility was more important for parents, with 84% naming it the number one factor to consider in a job. Meanwhile 80% of surveyed employees said work-life balance was the most significant factor. Of course, the two are closely related.

In today’s digital world, it’s much easier for companies to allow flexible work schedules as many jobs can be accomplished anywhere via computer. Remote workers are, in fact, a growing population.

In addition to flex hours and respect for work-life balance, employees who are most satisfied with their job site “wellness initiatives” as important. Companies that promote and encourage healthy habits show that they care about employees as people. The Global Talent Trends study found that 50% of employees would like to see a greater focus on well-being at their company, including physical, psychological and financial wellness.

Companies that are committed to the health and wellbeing of their employees often offer a variety of wellness programs, such as on-site health screenings, lunch and learn sessions, on-site gyms, mental health days, standing desks, and more. Typically, these programs are featured on their websites or other recruiting materials.

What do you value? This is the question you need to ask before embarking on your job search. While there is no guarantee, finding a company that shares those values is more likely to lead to long-term job satisfaction. 

Posted May 24, 2019 by

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Compete for Top Talent in a Tight Job Market

When it comes to recruiting top talent, it’s always been a challenge for smaller businesses to compete with large, well-known companies. While large organizations have name recognition, big marketing budgets and fully-staffed departments dedicated to human resources and talent acquisition, smaller companies must find more creative ways to attract and retain high-quality candidates.

In today’s tight labor market, this challenge has become more formidable. Consider this: In June of this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there are 6.7 million jobs open in the U.S. and only 6.4 million available workers to fill them. Low unemployment coupled with a shortage of talent in many areas, has made hiring a tough job for companies of all sizes, but particularly for small- to mid-sized organizations.

According to a 2018 report from Vistage International, a peer mentoring organization for CEOs, business owners and executives of small- to mid-sized companies, 61% of small and mid-sized businesses expect to increase their workforce in the next 12 months. In addition, a recent CareerBuilder survey found that companies across the globe are looking to revamp their hiring efforts to fill both temporary and full-time positions in 2019. The same survey found that 44% of businesses are planning to hire full-time employees and 51% are planning to hire temporary employees. But roughly half of all the hiring managers surveyed said they are unable to fill much-needed positions due to a lack of qualified talent.

The heightened competition for talent has increased salaries and benefits across many industries, as well as the number of company perks. In this highly competitive environment, smaller companies, who are not able to offer the same type of compensation and benefits packages, must find other ways to grab the attention of job seekers and find the best candidates for open positions. Some proven strategies include:

1. Form Relationships with Candidates

The first step in forming relationships is to “get social.” Smaller businesses must have a strong presence on LinkedIn and other social media. A Pew Research Center survey found that 79% of Americans who were looking for work used the Internet to view job listings, learn about companies and apply for jobs. Of those, 34% said online resources were their most important tool.

It’s also important for small businesses to have a well-developed LinkedIn profile. These profiles are free and offer great exposure. They help candidates find businesses that they would otherwise never know about. LinkedIn also serves as a free resume database, allowing job seekers to search though hundreds of candidates and reach out to those who are a great match. Keep in mind, however, that LinkedIn is far more popular amongst Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers than Gen Z’ers and Millennials. LinkedIn’s own statistics indicate that only 1.5% of Gen Z’ers and Millennials use LinkedIn even on a monthly basis.

In addition, forming a relationship involves being more “hands on” throughout the recruiting process. Provide company updates or news and check in with candidates via a personal phone call or email. During the interview process, include executives and managers who may be working with this person. This shows the candidate that they’re valued enough for the CEO or other executives to take the time to speak with them.

To relate with younger candidates, it’s also important to adopt a mobile-enabled application process, which means that not only must it be possible to apply for a job using an Android or iPhone, but that it’s easy to do without having to use third-party services such as “Apply With LinkedIn.” Most candidates either don’t have those third-party services, don’t know how to use them, or don’t want to use them.

Mobile devices are increasingly becoming more entrenched in our everyday life, especially within younger populations. According to Glassdoor, 89% of job seekers say their mobile device is an important tool for job searching and 45% use it to search for jobs at least once a day.

2. Attend Networking Events and Job Fairs – and Seek Referrals

When you’re shopping for caviar, but you have a fast food budget, you must work harder to find candidates. Simple job postings rarely do the trick. Even with a small staff, it’s worth the time and effort to attend networking events and job fairs. While the big company names draw candidates to an event, it puts you in good company. Not only do these events expose you to candidates who don’t know who you are, it allows you to present your company “in person.” Talking with someone face-to-face and conveying your enthusiasm and passion for your workplace and the position are more effective than a job posting. Of course, that means sending the right person to represent your company at job fairs and other events! Make sure they’re representing your company in the best light possible.

A Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study found that 39% of job seekers rated initial contact with a company as making the biggest impact on their impression of an organization. You can capitalize on this by presenting a friendly, but knowledgeable face at job fairs, taking the time to really get to know candidates and what they want, and following up with personalized emails – something that larger companies are unlikely to do.

Small businesses can also broaden their reach by working with the right partners, such as recruiting agencies, co-ops, chambers of commerce and professional networking groups, which may result in listings in professional directories and word-of-mouth referrals.

Finally, look inside your company. Your employees can be your most passionate advocates. In fact, research by Deloitte found that employee referrals are the number one way organizations find high-quality hires. Fifty-one percent of companies surveyed named employee referrals among their top three most effective sources. Let employees know you have open positions and encourage them to share job postings with family, friends and professional associates. You may also consider offering a small bonus to employees who recommend someone who is hired. Of course, the more you rely on referrals, the less diverse your workforce will be — and numerous studies prove that diverse workforces are more productive.

3. Build and Maintain College Campus Relationships

The first step in working with colleges is to carefully research which schools are the best fit for your organization — including majors, quality of programs, student population, school location, etc. Once selected, the most successful university relations and recruiting programs take a long-term approach, building and maintaining relationships. Work closely with the career center staff to learn about a college’s culture, student demographics, degree programs and traditions. Then take it a step further by getting to know other key contacts, including faculty and administrators.

Even when your company is not hiring, be sure to maintain these relationships. Look for ways to stay involved: Can you offer a co-op or internship program (internships are a highly-effective way to find full-time hires and increase retention)? Can you volunteer to help with mock interviews or critiquing resumes? Can you speak to students about skills that employers are looking for?

Another factor to consider is whether you need to target candidates by which school they attend (or attended) at all. A rapidly increasing minority of employers, both large and small, are using workforce productivity data and discovering that the college an employee attended is poorly correlated (and sometimes even negatively correlated) with the productivity of the employee. Why? Reasons vary, but one explanation is that those who graduate from elite schools rarely stay with their first employer for as long as those who graduated from second- or third-tier schools.

If you want a diverse, inclusive and productive workforce, you should supplement your on-campus recruiting efforts with so-called virtual recruiting efforts, which typically means advertising your part-time, seasonal, internship and entry-level jobs on sites like College Recruiter that primarily target students and recent graduates of all one-, two- and four-year colleges and universities.

4. Promote Company Culture

When you can’t compete with compensation, you can still attract top talent by promoting your company’s culture and perks. The good news for small businesses is that competitive wages aren’t the only thing that can attract employees. Younger workers consider overall culture to be a major contributor to job satisfaction, according to a Society for Human Resource Management survey.

You may not be able to offer a fully-stocked kitchen and exercise rooms ala Google, but flexible work hours, remote work options, monthly workplace events, professional development courses, community-involvement and other perks can be very attractive to the right candidates.

According to a 2018 study by SCORE, a business mentoring network in the U.S., employee perks not only attract better, more qualified employees, but they are also such a powerful selling point that they can boost employee retention and job satisfaction levels. In fact, SCORE reports that benefits and perks in the workplace are often more important to employees than higher pay. The percentage of employees who took the following perks/benefits into account when choosing an employer were:

  • Flexible hours – 88%
  • More vacation time – 80%
  • Work-from-home options – 80%
  • Student loan assistance – 48%
  • Free gym membership – 39%
  • Free snacks – 32%
  • Weekly free outings – 24%

If you offer special perks, be sure to promote them. A great way to do that is to include video in your marketing efforts. A small number of job boards, including College Recruiter, not only allow you to include video within your job postings, but even let you do so for free!

5. Highlight Intangible Benefits

There are many benefits to working with a smaller company, such as greater flexibility, more diversity in day-to-day responsibilities, less bureaucracy, closer relationships, teamwork and the opportunity to make a direct impact on the bottom line. These benefits can be particularly attractive to younger workers who value “hands on” work that results in meaningful contributions from the get-go.

In addition, top talent is drawn to companies that are innovative and offer opportunities to grow and learn. You can use this to your advantage by talking about how candidates won’t be “boxed in” by a role, as happens within many large organizations. The nimble nature of small companies allows employees to wear many hats, which can be very appealing and can often compensate for a lower salary.

Today’s candidates have far more power during the job search and are also job hopping more than ever before. To succeed in this candidate-oriented job market, it’s important for small businesses to develop innovative recruiting and hiring strategies to fuel growth.

Sources:
“Best Practices for Recruiting New College Graduates,” by Mimi Collins, National Association of Colleges and Employers, NACE, October 13, 2017.
“Recruitment Statistics 2018: Trends & Insights in Hiring Talented Candidates,” TalentNow.com, February 2, 2018.
Vistage International, 2018 CEO Report on Business Growth
“What’s More Important at Work: Better Perks and Benefits or a Higher Salary,” Biospace, June 27, 2018.
“7 Tips for Small Businesses Competing with Large Employers for Talent,” Collegeforamerica,com, Workforce Insights, June 28, 2017.

Posted May 13, 2019 by

Salary Statistics and What They Mean to You

First, the good news: The unemployment rate in the U.S. is the lowest it’s been since 2001, and the percentage of prime working age adults who are employed is the highest it’s been since 2008.1 Though this improvement in the job market hasn’t been consistent across all industries, job functions and regions, there appears to be an overall improvement.

While this is undoubtedly positive for both graduates seeking jobs and the economy, it presents a few challenges for agencies and employers, particularly small to mid-sized companies. Many positions are getting harder to fill and candidates now have more choices, and therefore, increased bargaining power, often giving larger employers an advantage.

Though location, benefits, flexible hours and work environment are important factors in a career decision, salary is still ranked as the most important influence. A recent survey by Glassdoor shows that 67 percent of job seekers pay attention to salary when scanning job ads, more than any other piece of information on a position.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered some statistics on average starting salaries for 2018 graduates to help with your recruiting efforts this year.

Average Starting Salary Projections by Discipline/Bachelor’s Degree for the Class of 20181

1. Engineering $66,521 +less than 1% over last year
2. Computer Science $66,005 +less than 1% over last year
3. Math & Sciences $61,867 (Physics – $69,900) +4.2% over last year
4. Business $56,720 (Marketing – $62,634) +3.5% over last year
5. Social Sciences $56,689 +6% over last year
6. Humanities $56,688 +16.3% over last year
7. Agricultures & Natural Resources $53,565 no information available
8. Communications $51,448 -less than 1% versus last year

 

According to NACE’s Winter 2018 Salary Survey report, students earning engineering, computer science, and math and science degrees are not only expected to be the highest-paid graduates at the bachelor’s-degree level but will also be in the highest demand.

WHAT’S LOCATION GOT TO DO WITH IT?

While an entry-level Software Engineer in the San Francisco Bay area can expect an average salary of $109,3502, the same position in Michigan has an average starting salary of $64,544.3 This is just one example of the often-sizable differences you’ll find in salaries based on geography. As you might expect, the two major factors that determine these variations are demand and cost-of-living.

States with the highest cost-of-living, such as Washington D.C. and California must adjust salaries upward in order to provide “livable compensation” and attract talent, while states with lower cost-of-living, such as Mississippi and Arkansas will typically offer less in for the same position.

States with the Highest Cost-of-Living

  1. Hawaii
  2. Washington D.C.
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. New Jersey
  6. Maryland
  7. Connecticut
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Alaska
  10. New Hampshire

Source: The Motley Fool, “15 States with the Highest Cost of Living,”
Christy Bieber, July 5, 2018.

Demand for a particular job also affects salaries. In fact, job availability is a major factor for candidates when determining where to live. Based on research by U.S. World News and Report, the states with the highest overall job growth are:

  1. Hawaii
  2. North Dakota
  3. Colorado
  4. Utah
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Nebraska
  7. Minnesota
  8. Iowa
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Wisconsin

Of course, these rankings refer to overall employment. Demand for specific jobs may differ by state, as well. For example, web developers and solar panel installers are in high demand in California, while Ohio is looking for more registered nurses to fill open positions.                            


SAME OCCUPATION, DIFFERENT PAY?

In addition to geography, the salary for a particular job can differ dramatically. The most obvious reason is that no job is exactly the same, even if a position has a similar job title. Variations in job responsibilities, company size and requirements all impact pay for jobs within the same occupation. The wider the variations, the greater the salary ranges. Some of the factors that affect salaries in the same occupation include:

Education/credentials: In many cases, jobs that require advanced degrees or professional certification earn more than others in the same occupation who don’t expect these credentials. Employers who require more credentials typically offer higher salaries, even when the job title is the same.

Experience and skill: In general, the longer someone does a job, the more productive he or she becomes and can, therefore, command a higher salary for their expertise. Candidates who have in-demand skills also may earn more.

Industry or employer: Salaries for the same or similar job titles often vary by industry and employer due to working conditions, type of clientele, training requirements, and demand.

Job responsibilities: Not all Marketing Managers are created equal! There are wide variations in job responsibilities under certain job titles. In major corporations, for instance, this position may require managing a large department and a very generous budget, while smaller enterprises will have fewer people to oversee, smaller budgets and comparatively less responsibilities.

Competition and performance: Some occupations are extremely competitive, and therefore, must offer higher salaries to attract the most successful employees. Workers whose pay depends on their job performance also might have very high wages.

The occupations with the biggest differences in salaries/wages are:4

  • Arts, entertainment and sports
  • Healthcare
  • Management
  • Sales, business, and financial
  • Science, math, and engineering

As you look to recruit talent in 2019 and beyond, knowing what salary to offer based on your industry, job demand, geography and job requirements can help you attract and place the best candidates for every position.


1National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 2018 Winter Salary Survey
2PayScale, 2018.
3Indeed.com, 2018.
4U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018.