ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

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

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 October 28, 2016 by

Oven-ready hires: The problem of matching available skills to our demands

Oven ready dishGuest writer Martin Edmondson, CEO and founder of Gradcore

It feels like there is an ever-growing consensus among employers that university graduates should emerge fully formed, perfectly skilled and immediately work ready. The phrase ‘oven ready’ graduates appears far too often for my liking. It oversimplifies what is ultimately a very complicated issue: How do you match the supply of skills and people with the demands of the economy, when both are moving targets? In other words, how much should employers compromise when searching for the ideal candidate? How much should they training should they assume?

 

This is such a significant issue in the UK that the government has created a ‘Teaching Excellence Framework’ for universities. One of its goals is to tackle “skill mismatches” in the economy. (Go figure that the same government is now limiting their own access to skilled talent via immigration clampdowns.)

Every employer presents unique circumstances. So it’s critical for employers to examine their fundamental approach to hiring with a few questions such as:

  • What characterizes the hires you make that are successful, and those that are not?
  • What is the most critical factor for fit with your organization – skills, values, attitude etc?
  • How recently did you evaluate what is really important in the people you hire?
  • If all the evidence says that those people are not available for that price in this place, which one of those variables are you prepared to change?

Here is the challenge: So many employers are seeking candidates with the skills that are in shortage areas. This is typically around digital and software roles where there is a major disconnect between employer requirements and the quality and quantity of graduates available. Employers (and policy makers who are trying to solve these problems) should try one of the following:

1. Grow your own

This is the long game, but often one of the most successful approaches if you have the time. Recruit graduates who have the core attributes or values that suit your organisation, but need to develop their skills further. Then put in place the structured training that will develop them. This could be in house training, or delivered under emerging models such as degree-apprenticeships.

2. Think differently

Stop looking at the really obvious candidates. This could be described as the Blue Ocean approach, getting away from where everyone else is fishing. Recently I saw a very interesting post from a company called Talla about mapping resumes using neural networks. This visual approach helps you to appreciate that people who superficially have seemingly different backgrounds are actually remarkably similar. Each of the dots below is a resume. This shows how different titles share characteristics:Point graph of title descriptions on resumes

 

 

 

 

 

3. Up the budget

Sometimes you simply need to either increase the budget in order to reach a wider audience, or increase salary to attract the necessary skills. While it’s never ideal, there are clearly certain economic realities that are hard to escape.

Underlying all of this is a bigger societal question, which will be answered differently in different countries:

Whose job is it to make a person employable?

Is it the role of the education system and teachers? Employers? Parents or the state? Or are we all solely responsible for our own development? All play a part, but the prevailing national answer to this question goes a long way to deciding the expectations employers have of graduates and vice versa.

 

Look forward to discussing this and lots of other topics around college recruiting at the College Recruiter Bootcamp in Washington DC on December 8.

martin-edmondsonMartin is the CEO and founder of Gradcore, a social enterprise focused on graduate employment and employability. Martin has more than 15 years of experience in graduate recruitment and Higher Education. He founded Gradcore, and over the last decade has led a wide range of graduate recruitment and employability projects. These include running global graduate schemes for a range of large employers, delivering employability performance improvement in universities, and chairing the UK and European Graduate Employment Conferences. Martin was a member of the steering group for the ‘graduate recruitment in SMEs’ report for the UK government and has written for a wide range of newspapers and websites. Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

Posted January 31, 2014 by

Career advancement: What it is and how to achieve it

Climbing career path; career advancement

Climbing career path; career advancement. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Career advancement is one of the most important elements for employee satisfaction and retention at a company. According to Victor Lipman of Forbes, clear opportunities for career advancement are an “especially powerful” employee motivator. Speaking of his observations as a manager at multiple companies, Lipman notes, “At times when career paths were clear, individuals tended to be more motivated, with tangible goals to work towards. At times when career paths were dim or nonexistent, individuals tended to be less motivated, less focused, more uncertain. […] That’s why it makes good business sense for organizations of all sizes to spend time developing and maintaining thoughtfully structured career path systems.(more…)

Posted November 04, 2013 by

Job Interview Questions – What should YOU be asking?

Recruiter with a male candidate during a job interview

Recruiter with a male candidate during a job interview. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Job interviews are nerve wracking, especially for graduates who are attempting to get their first foothold on the progression ladder. The preparation, the research and the interview process to secure a graduate position can be intense and leave you feeling drained once you finally reach the end of the interview.

Whether you think the interview has gone well or not, most people just want to get out of there as quickly as possible, and many make the mistake of thinking that the final question “Do you have any questions for me?” is simply a closing statement to give you permission to decline, shake hands, thank them for their time and leave. (more…)

Posted October 10, 2013 by

Employers Proposing Perks to Recruit Professionals

Group of various professionals

Group of various professionals. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

In order to recruit the best talent to fill their needs, some employers have decided to offer perks as incentives.  So, what are they bringing to the table to attract professionals?  Learn more in the following post.

Many employers are pulling out all the stops to recruit employees with in-demand skills, a new Accountemps survey finds. Nearly half (46 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said they are improving benefits in order to attract top talent. Almost as many (45 percent) are raising salaries, and another 42 percent are investing in training and development for promising workers. More than one-quarter (26 percent) of CFOs indicated their companies are bringing in temporary staff to bridge the skills gap. (more…)

Posted August 05, 2013 by

Where Are The Jobs For Millennials?

Tru Pettigrew

Tru Pettigrew, Founder of Tru Access

Many millennials are struggling to find jobs upon graduation. Even more are struggling to find jobs in their field. There are a host of reasons that have been discussed and explored as to why this is the case. Why are so many driven young men and women armed with Bachelors and Masters degrees finding themselves unemployed or underemployed? (more…)

Posted May 15, 2013 by

Risk, fresh employees, and hiring approach

Adnan ul Haq

Adnan ul Haq

Article Summary: The higher is risk, higher is profit. If this is right then why fresh employees are not being considered by organisation in hiring procedures? Risk is associated in every decision organisation make so why not take a bold decision?

The common phrase our ears are familiar within the business environment is “the higher is the risk, the higher is profit”. There is paramount level difference between theoretical stance and practical implications. We notice that every management and administration of profit motive organisation’s prime objective is to keep motivating their employees by making them risk initiators. (more…)

Posted August 10, 2012 by

Workers Want Direction in their Career Paths

Employees seem to want more guidance on how to take their careers to the next levels.

For workers, “show me the way” can be just as important as “show me the money,” new research from Accountemps suggests. In the survey, more than half (54 percent) of workers interviewed said knowing their career path is very important to their overall job satisfaction. Nearly one-third (31 percent) of respondents feel this feedback is at least somewhat important. (more…)

Posted May 08, 2012 by

Gen Y Believes Training and Development is Most Important Employee Benefit

In case you didn’t know this as a current employer, the younger generation wants more than money.  They value the opportunity to learn and grow as employees.

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers’ survey of over 1,200 CEO’s, and a separate article, revealed two very important pieces of information you should be aware of: (more…)

Posted June 04, 2011 by

Creative Ways To Pay Your Interns

Intern ProfitsLately, there has been a lot of buzz about the ethics behind hiring interns for unpaid positions. If you decide that you want to hire interns for unpaid positions then you must be able to pass the Department of Labor’s test for unpaid interns. However, if you decide that you want reward your interns for their work, then there are many more ways to pay them instead of just a salary. Some of the best alternative payment methods that many small business owners use are bonuses, perks, and training. (more…)