Candidate Emotions to Consider when Making a Hire

July 13, 2016

By Matthew Cohen, Energy & Sustainability Practice Leader

When a hiring manager makes an offer to a candidate, they think about a number of factors such as salary, benefits, start date, counteroffers and a multitude of statistical information to put an offer together for a prospective employee.  In many cases, hiring managers get lost in the numbers when making an offer to a candidate and don’t focus on the emotional side of a job change. Most of us think of a candidate making a job change as simply changing a line item on their resume when in reality any time a candidate makes a job change they are also making a significant life change as well.  This life change brings with it a number of emotions and thoughts to consider when hiring a new employee.

Below are three emotional changes that hiring managers need to consider before making an offer to a candidate:

  1. Relationship with their current employer- It is important to understand their emotional connection with their current company and boss when making an offer to a candidate. Does the candidate have a personal relationship outside of work with their boss or fellow employees? This can be a key factor when a company makes a counteroffer to a candidate.  Often times, the counteroffer can be purely emotional which can be difficult to overcome.
  1. Candidate’s family thoughts- When making a life changing decision, we often look to our families and/or spouses for support and guidance. Asking a candidate what their family thinks about their decision to make a job change is crucial, especially if they respond by saying they have not told their family yet.  This can be a red flag and it should be encouraged to ask a candidate to tell their family of their decision, they may not always be on board.
  1. Revisiting the “Why”- Understanding why a candidate is making a job change is crucial when making an offer to said candidate.  We have established that making a job change is an emotional decision, therefore it is important to understand and underscore what has caused that person to make a change beyond just dollars and cents.  This can help in a counteroffer situation when you can revisit the emotions of why they were interviewing in the first place.

So while candidates express that changing jobs is exciting and challenging all at the same time, it can also be right up there with life’s highest stress factors such as moving, the birth of a child, new marriage, divorce, etc. Understanding the emotions your new hire is going through and helping them make a successful transition will pay off in spades.

Meet Generation Z Part II…How to Attract & Retain Them

May 18, 2016

In Part I of “Meet Generation Z”, we mentioned that they are the next generation to enter the workforce and according to Wikipedia, some sources start this generation at the mid or late 1990s or from the mid-2000s to the present day. Right now, they comprise about 7% of the workforce, but by 2019 it is estimated that 30 million will be employed.

As more information about Gen Z emerges, it’s most interesting how they differ from other generations when it comes to being happy at work . What will it take for your organization to attract and retain them?

  • Create a young professionals employee group. Starting an employee group for Gen Z will engage and empower these individuals to become future leaders by providing personal and professional development opportunities. Within this group, encourage networking and civic involvement.
  • Provide the latest and best technology. Gen Z is accustomed to having the latest and greatest technology. They’ve been raised on smartphones, laptops, desktops, iPods, etc. and using multiple screens are the norm. Therefore, to get their attention and keep them happy, continuously invest in new technologies and provide Gen Z with the tech tools that will engage them and make them more successful.
  • Provide a career path that is tailored to them. As we know, the HIT Industry is exploding which is creating all kinds of employment opportunities. In order to attract and retain Gen Z, offer them a broad range of areas within your organization where they can specialize and succeed. Think about tailoring positions that leverage Gen Z’s quick adoption of technology and their desire to move up quickly.
  • Expand flexible work hours and remote connectivity. As the tools and technology evolve, make it part of your culture to allow remote participation in meetings. Think about embracing Web-based video conferencing and on-line meetings, if you haven’t already.
  • Offer coaching and mentoring. Gen Z expects your organization to offer formal coaching and mentoring programs. They will especially need training in interpersonal skills and communication.  They are so accustomed to communicating through the use of technology, that most could use pointers on how to have an effective face-to-face dialogue.
  • Refresh your rewards and/or recognition programs. Gen Z professionals need more rewards and recognition programs than any other generation. They look for accolades on even minor accomplishments. You will need to reward often and keep changing the rewards program to keep up with their expectations.

Generation Z is quickly approaching and they’re ready to live and compete in the digital world like no other. This technologically savvy and extremely innovative generation feels that they can achieve anything and they will expect your organization to support them and provide growth opportunities or risk losing them.

What are your thoughts about Gen Z in the workplace?

Meet Generation Z Part I

May 4, 2016

Who are they and what are their work expectations?

Barb Miller (2)The next largest generation is ready to enter the workforce this month. The generation has been coined “Generation Z” or “Gen Z.”  Gen Z refers to the group of people born after the Millennial Generation. There is no agreement on the exact range of birth dates however, according to Wikipedia, some sources start this generation at the mid or late 1990s or from the mid-2000s to the present day. As of this month, they represent 7% of the workforce but by 2019 it is estimated that 30 million will be employed.

This generation is the most digitally connected and they have no concept about life before the Internet, mobile devices, digital games, or iTunes. This screen based generation utilizes technology as a tool to communicate, share information, be entertained, receive and complete school assignments, obtain breaking news, and so much more in every aspect of their lives.

What do hiring managers need to know about Gen Z’s arrival in the workplace?

  • They expect leadership to be transparent. Because Gen Z knows the power of sharing and openness, they want leaders to be honest and forthcoming. There will be no place to hide for inept leaders.
  • They want leaders to provide immediate results. Gen Z is used to real-time information and moving at a fast pace. They want leaders to offer exposure to new projects as well as show them how to attain a high level position in a short period of time.
  • They have an entrepreneurial spirit. 72% of Gen Z expects to create and run their own startups at some point in their career (HRCloud.com). This means heavy competition. Organizations will not only have to compete against each other for talent but against entrepreneurial startups.
  • They may help companies derive possible cost savings. Expect a savings by hiring Gen Z.  Since they’re transient and want to work remotely from any location in the world, you’ll probably save on office space, infrastructure, and relocation.
  •  They expect higher education. For the most part, when talking to Gen Z, they plan on traditional college careers but it’s as much for the social benefits and networking connections as it is for honing IT skills. After graduation, most plan to gain higher education and many plan to accomplish this through online learning.
  • They plan for idealistic generation. They want to change the world, feel that their work has to be of value to society, and love the idea of volunteer work, which many are already doing.

No doubt, Gen Z will have a strong influence on the workplace and affect both HR and technology initiatives. Employers need to find business solutions and processes that will work for this generation as they enter the workplace.

Are you a member of Gen Z or a hiring manager? If so, share a story about Gen Z entering in the workplace.

Internet of Things (IoT) & The Talent Rush

April 15, 2016

Internet of Things (IOT) is emerging as the next technology mega-trend across the entire business spectrum. The IoT is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data. While IoT has been in the industry for several years, we will witness more things being connected to the Internet every day. According to Gartner, the IoT installed base will grow to 26 billion units by 2020.

The wide range of IoT uses will be sold into various markets such as medical device, factory automation sensors, industrial robotics, sensor motes for increased agricultural yield, automotive sensors, and infrastructure integrity monitoring systems for diverse areas, such as road and railway transportation, water distribution and electrical transmission.

With the IoT revolution, the demand for new positions and skills required to build the IoT is skyrocketing. The rush for talent includes a high demand for software developers, software engineers, hardware engineers, solutions architects, cloud architects, integration architects, information security analysts, computer systems engineers, cloud and product engineers, and commercial and industrial designers.

In addition, exactly what skills are needed? Hiring managers for IoT positions are looking for excellent communication skills, creativity, big data knowledge, security knowledge, artificial intelligence knowledge, and the ability to collaborate with people in different industries.

With the increasing Internet of Things technologies and jobs, there are also new ways for students or professionals to gain the skillsets needed for IoT industries.  Select universities such as the Global University of Engineering, Santa Clara, California has bachelor’s degree programs in IoT and UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University have introduced Master’s programs related to data science.  Additionally, MIT offers an online IoT course and University of Wisconsin-Madison has an Internet of Things Lab dedicated to students in order to learn, research, and experiment with IoT technologies.

Not only are there opportunities for students to become IoT proficient, but companies are also finding ways to keep employees trained and up to speed with the Internet of Things.  General Electric, for example, opened a software center in 2011 to train data specialist to consult on company Internet project and Cisco is revising its IT and OT training in light of IoT.

The Internet of Things has been called the next Industrial Revolution. Businesses will be the top adopter of IoT solutions with 95% of CEO’s saying that their organizations will be involved in IoT someway over the next 3 years.  Such rapid adoption and growth requires the right talent with the right skill sets. Therefore, the talent rush is on.

Top 10 Reasons Why Good People Quit

February 3, 2016

According to the US Department of Labor and Statistics, turnover can cost an organization 33% of an employee’s total compensation including both salary and benefits. But the impact is not only financial it also affects employee morale. Therefore, it would be prudent for hiring managers to focus on reducing turnover rates but in order to do that they must first understand the reasons why employees quit.

There have been many studies and articles written on why good employees leave their current positions. There’s an infinite number of reasons. However, from our experience, these are “Top Ten” reasons why good employees quit:

1) The job was not as expected. All too often the job changes from the original description and what was promised during the interviewing stages. It becomes painfully clear to the new hire that their new company played the bait and switch game which ultimately leads to mistrust. The new hire is now thinking, “What else are they lying about?”

2) Work/Life imbalance. There are times when management demands that one person do the jobs of two or more people. This is especially true when a company merges, downsizes, or restructures resulting in longer hours and possible weekend work. Employees are often forced to choose between a personal life and a career.

3) Mismatch between job and new hire. No matter how much you love the candidate, don’t hire them unless they are truly qualified for the job and they mesh with your company culture. Too many times, hiring managers try to fit a square peg into a round hole especially when it comes to a sales position.

4) Management freezes raises and promotions. Money isn’t usually the first reason why people leave an organization but it does rank especially when an employee can find a job earning 20-25% more somewhere else. Make sure your wages are competitive and your benefits package is attractive. Resources like www.salary.com can provide accurate and appropriate information.

5) Feeling undervalued. It’s human nature to want to be recognized and praised for a job well done. And in business, recognizing employees is not simply a nice thing to do but an effective way to communicate your appreciation for their efforts and successes while also reinforcing those actions and behaviors that make a difference in your organization.

6) Lack of decision-making power. Too many managers micromanage down to the finest detail. Empower your employees and allow them the freedom make suggestions and decisions. Often, the word “Empowerment” is a ‘catch-all’ term for many ideas on employee authority and responsibility; but as a broad definition it means giving employees latitude to do their jobs and placing trust in them.

7) Too little coaching & feedback. Many managers have no clue on how to help employees improve their performance. In addition, many managers put off giving feedback to employees even though they instinctively know that giving and getting honest feedback is essential for growth and in building successful teams and organizations. Your role as a manager is to help your people find the right behavior, not just tell them what to do.

8) Management lacks people skills. Remember that many managers were promoted because they did their first job well, but that doesn’t mean they know how to lead others. People skills can be learned and developed but it really helps if a manager has the natural ability to get along with people and motivate them.

9) Too few growth opportunities. One of the most common reasons employees express for leaving their jobs is lack of challenge and potential for career growth. The most successful employers find ways to help employees develop new skills and responsibilities in their current positions.

10) Loss of faith and confidence in corporate leaders. With employees being asked to do more and more, they see less evidence that they will share in the fruits of their successes. More often than not, when revenues and profits are up, employers are still thinking competitive wages but employees are thinking bonuses, stock options and creative development opportunities.

The Value of Research In Executive Recruiting

January 20, 2016

By Adam Ulmen, Researcher, DRI

The executive recruiting industry is faced with the ever-growing challenge of identifying and securing top talent across industries. The ability to allocate sufficient time toward appropriate tasks has plagued talent search professionals for years. A common set of questions facing recruiters looks something like: “How much time to spend looking for qualified candidates, how best to search for said candidates, how many candidates should be identified to make placements, how many hours should I spend on the phones each day to be successful…” and so on. There never seems to be enough time in the day to finish everything that needs to be done, however this problem can be alleviated with the development of a sort of support structure; a proper research team.

The value of investing in research cannot be overstated. Implementing a dedicated team of research specialists into an organization is an exceptional way to take your firm to new heights. Many recruiters in the industry find themselves juggling candidate sourcing, research, business intelligence, and new business development on a daily basis, just to name a few. A major value that dedicated researchers bring to a team is that the researcher can take a massive burden off of the recruiter’s shoulders. Research teams can take on all of the candidate sourcing, database building, and other related activities for a team of recruiters, thus freeing up substantial time for the recruiter to focus on the primary activities that result in providing a superior recruitment experience for all parties involved.

The amount of time saved on the recruiter’s end is significant when a research support structure is in place. Conservative estimates might place overall time saved between 1-2 hours per day, per recruiter, as the researcher is dedicated to taking on those time-intensive activities that the recruiter used to have to do on their own. Researchers may also conduct a lot of the legwork involved in the day to day operations of a recruiting team from something as simple as keeping updated records all the way to helping with new business development and new technology management and implementation. Taken together, these research activities time-savings translate into the recruiters being able to invest more time in building relationships with clients, providing employment and business solutions, and generating direct revenue activities which, in turn, results in a more successful practice.

What Are Some Skills it Takes to be a Successful Researcher?

Excellent Communication: In order to be a successful researcher, excellent communication skills are paramount. You need to know what is going on with your team and be able to react accordingly to ever-changing priorities. If you don’t know what is going on, how can you be an effective part of the team?

Creative Thinking: Many of the tasks a researcher undertakes require a great deal of consideration and thought. Oftentimes, you will have to get creative when trying to accomplish goals, such as when a search is especially difficult. There is always an avenue to your goal, you just have to be able to think outside of the box sometimes to find it.

Perseverance: Sometimes things get exceptionally difficult and there seems to be no clear end in sight. It is these times where being able to rise up against adversity will set your levels above your competition in this industry.

Ability to Dig Deep: In recruiting research, the bulk of the job is to find the best candidates to fill job searches. It is also your job not to simply plug in some keywords and throw resumes on the recruiter’s desks. It is a far more difficult task than that. A researcher needs to dig deep and go through the process of utilizing all of the resources in order to uncover the cream of the crop. This gives your team the best chance of completing the search.

Understanding of Research Methodology/Technology: A good recruiting firm will have extensive resources available to their team. These resources include technologies to help find candidates as well as training to develop the research skill set. Being able to understand how to best approach research and utilize technologies/established methods is invaluable to your success as a researcher.

Independence: While researchers are assigned searches to work on, there can be a large degree of independence required of you to carry out those searches. Micro-management aside, you will need to be able to establish a work regimen that is organized and goal-oriented in order to be the best researcher you can. You need to be able to work alone with little guidance, as well as with your team.

Expert Knowledge: Perhaps the most important thing a researcher can do to ensure success is to develop exceptional knowledge of their field. Knowledge truly is power, and being more than conversant in your field will set you leagues above the competition when it comes fulfilling your responsibilities.

If you find the career of researcher interesting, let us know.             We always look for top talent to join our companies of DRI & DCA.

Importance of Cross Training in the Workplace

October 21, 2015

By John Yurkschatt, Director of IT for DCA

While cross training is popular in sports and a great way of developing fitness, there’s another type of cross training that has become popular in business that is beneficial to the fitness and overall health of both companies and employees.

Businesses should think of cross training as a disaster recovery plan.  Implemented correctly, it will help a business to run smoothly in the event there is an absence of one or more key players.  Whereas, employees should think of cross training as a way to become more valuable to the company.

Let’s look closer at the cross training benefits for employers as well as employees:

For Employers:

Mitigate risk.  With cross training, organizations are better equipped to recover quickly from disruptions and handle transitions gracefully.  To be specific, employees will be able to easily step into other roles to make sure the job gets done especially in the event that a key employee leaves.

Discover leaders.  Cross training can uncover some people’s hidden talents.  Companies may see an employee not only be able to learn and perform new duties but emerge as a leader and motivator to others.

Enhance teamwork & boost morale.  Cross training helps employees to appreciate each other’s jobs and recognize all the duties of their co-workers that they may have overlooked before.

Higher efficiency & productivity. Cross training forces teams to refine processes by making them take a hard look at the way they do things as they train others.

Recruiting tool. Today’s young workers want greater satisfaction from their work. They are geared toward seeking employment that allows them to learn new skills. Therefore, employers are more likely to attract and keep good employees.

Derive Cost Savings.  Depending upon the business, once employees have been cross trained, a company may not need to hire as many workers.  Additionally, employees hone and increase skills enabling them to work in multiple areas. The business should see costs go down and efficiency go up.

For Employees:

Growth opportunity.  Cross trained employees may be considered for a promotion faster than others.  Employers may find that an employee has a special talent in a different role.

Increase employee satisfaction.  Employers that cross train have noticed a decrease in employee boredom and stagnation and an increase in productivity and value.

Develop new skills. Cross training allows your employees to build their professional, technical, and soft skills. By building their skill sets they feel more confident and valuable to the organization.

Build teams & relationships.  Cross training gives employees a chance to build new relationships with people they might otherwise never have contact with. These relationships will help with teamwork and gain a better understanding of the bigger picture.

Higher motivation.  Recognition in the form of training and development works wonders for employee motivation because it’s proof the company is investing the necessary time and resources for employees to acquire new skills. An employee who believes their employer is genuinely concerned about their career development, is likely to exhibit an increased level of job satisfaction and motivation.

Cross training can be used in almost any position in almost any industry.  If you have cross training experience or story, please comment below.

5 Qualities Candidates Look for in a Company

By Sydney Arnett, Marketing Specialist, DRI & DCA

Last month, Glassdoor.com announced its seventh annual Employees’ Choice Awards, honoring the Best Places to Work across the United States. Companies on the list exemplify those with a strong company culture and happy employees, as well as an engaged work.

While these two things are great for improving morale and productivity, they’re also incredibly powerful tools for recruitment marketing and attracting new talent. According to Glassdoor Career Trends Analyst Scott Dobroski, “Company culture is among the top five factors people consider” when weighing a job offer.

To attain the best candidates in today’s rebounding job market you need to be able to market your employer brand and attract job seekers. So what are common traits of companies with an engaged workforce and strong company culture, and how can you make sure your company is a “Best Place to Work?”

  1. Continuous training and professional development – A 2014 Deloitte study found that, in the last year alone, corporate budgets for training and development have risen by 15 percent. To begin, try implementing a weekly training meeting, send some employees to a conference, or organize a mentoring program.
  2. Recognition of personal accomplishments and milestones – Another key component of engagement is employee recognition. Make employees feel valued and appreciated for all of their hard work and contributions to the organization as most employees want to be recognized by their managers for their hard efforts. Companies that fail to implement reward systems do their employees and their culture a disservice.
  3. A fun environment – For many employees, engagement means having a little fun at the office once in a while. Creating a positive work environment that includes fun ways for employees to interact will go a long way in engaging employees. Whether this means having an occasional birthday or holiday celebration in the office, or a more formal annual retreat, employees will have something to look forward to other than the daily grind.
  4. Value employees’ opinions – Employees want to feel valued and respected. Make employees feel involved and empowered to make a difference in the organization.
  5. Offer some flexibility – Employees appreciate having a say over when they work. Allow employees to work from home on an as-needed basis and/or permit flexible work hours for employees to deal with personal matters when they come up.

Post any other qualities you look for in a company when job hunting.

How Millennials are Changing the Workplace

By John Yurkschatt, IT Director of Sister Company DCA

In 2014, Millennials comprised 36% of the workforce. By 2025, they will make up 75% of the workforce. Compared to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, the Millennials have a very different view of what the workplace landscape should look like and therefore, come into the workforce with different expectations. We’re already seeing some companies, including our own, that have adopted new techniques for hiring, motivating, managing, and retaining this young talent. Eventually all companies will need to adjust and prepare for this emerging demographic and shift.

On the whole, millennials are hard workers. But what do they really want in the workplace? Here’s our list of the 7 ways they will reshape the future of work:

Emphasis on Technology.  As the most technologically literate generation, millennials find it important that employers keep them connected with the latest and best technology including mobile platforms. In fact, many companies now offer online pre-interview questionnaires and video interviews. Not only is the video interview process a cost-effective and convenient way to screen candidates, it also highlights the company’s use of technology and can help draw in top talent.

Corporate Culture and Meaningful Work are Paramount. Millennials say that meaningful work is a key factor when accepting a job. They want to know that their work will have a positive impact on their co-workers, manager, and on the company at large. In addition, millennials are especially fond of volunteering whether for skills-based volunteering or company volunteering days.

Leadership Must be Transparent and Authentic. Transparency is one of the top four qualities that millennials look for in leaders so it’s no surprise that when they become leaders it is something they will make a priority. Also, this generation is able to smell phony and pretentiousness a mile away. They’re fed up with politicians and business leaders who don’t keep promises and are more concerned about personal gain than serving others. They want leaders with integrity.

Working from Home Will Become the Norm.  The Census Bureau reported that 13.4 million people work from home in America. That number will only continue to rise as more Millennials enter the workforce. They like the idea of remote connectivity and dislike the idea of being confined in an office from 9 to 5. They value a work/life balance but expect to stay highly connected and engaged with their employer and team.

Rewards and Instant Gratification Expected.  Millennial expectations for rewards and instant gratification are due to their emphasis on connectedness and communication. Technology has cultivated an expectation of quick responses and immediate appreciation for a job well done. However, this appreciation is not necessarily monetary. Instead, millennials want their ideas to be considered, appreciated and implemented.

Annual Performance Reviews Eliminated. Millennials want feedback in real-time or at the very least, on a regular basis. They aren’t willing to wait until an annual review to improve. In addition, they want to know what’s expected of them from the start.

Leadership Development a Must. Millennials have a strong opinion about how they will learn and develop leadership skills. Career coaching, mentorship programs, and rotational assignments are the most desired types of leadership training. Less important are the traditional types of training including e-learning, university courses and instructor-led classes. Millennials want to learn through experiences, rather than traditional training.

If you’re a Millennial, what other changes do you see coming in the workplace? Please post below.

2015 Job Seekers Have the Upper Hand

According to Forbes Magazine, 86% of workers in North America say they plan to actively look for a new job this year and for good reason…the job market has opened up. That means those who stayed in their current job roles for years due to a lack of choices and the security of a paycheck, now have the upper hand.

In fact, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced that 2014 was the best year for hiring since 1999 and that the unemployment rate fell from 5.8% to 5.6% (employers added 252,000 jobs in December). Better still, 36% of employers plan to increase their full-time staff in 2015, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

What does this mean for you? For the first time in 6 years, the job market is strong.  Job seekers now will find a greater number of opportunities available that will most likely offer better pay.  The hottest industries for hiring are information technology, financial services, manufacturing, and healthcare.

What hasn’t changed are the strategies you need to get noticed and considered for these opportunities. In DRI’s recent blog “Your 2015 Job Search”, I mentioned 8 ways to get noticed. Here’s 6 more strategies for you:

1) Update your resume in ways to capture attention.  You will be especially attractive if you expertise in those hard to fill positions.  Include all your specialty areas on your resume.  Remember to include any quantifiable results you have achieved. For example, if you increased customer retention by 20% over the years, make sure to highlight this accomplishment.  Also, add your social media links especially to LinkedIn so employers can find out more about you.

2) Get insider information.  The best job opportunities never get advertised especially if they’re high level.  You need to network and reach out to people who you know who work at the companies that are of interest to you. If you don’t know an insider, tap into your LinkedIn contacts or try to connect with someone in the know who can help you get considered for open positions.

3) Set up “Google Alerts” for companies of interest to you.  Be in the hiring loop by setting up Google Alerts for 3 to 5 companies at which you would like to work. This way, you’ll be on top of breaking news, job postings and business opportunities long before your competition without having to devote hours to research.

4) Download mobile job apps.  Mobile apps allow job seekers to search discreetly for positions anytime and anywhere and respond to postings quickly. There are apps that help with career planning, organize the job search process, alert job seekers to compatible positions, and can even upload and send resumes to recruiters.

5) Raise your profile and presence.  In and above being active in professional organizations, nominate yourself for speaking opportunities. This will raise your profile and capture the attention of employers.  Also, think about blogging on a regular basis to display your passion and knowledge.  You just may land a new job by being discovered digitally.

6) Be open to recruiters.  If a recruiter contacts you, be open to a discussion. They may be working on an active search that’s right in your wheelhouse and meets most of your “must haves”. But even if it’s not the perfect fit, recruiters also know about other available career opportunities. It doesn’t hurt to entertain a conversation. Also, help out a colleague if you can.  If you pay it forward, one of your colleagues might pay it back at a later date.

Are you among the 86% that are looking to make a job change this year?