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Via Inc : This CEO Shares the Secret to Attracting and Keeping Top Talent Even When the Market Is Stacked Against You

Getting the right people on the bus is one of the hardest parts of leadership. This entrepreneur discovered how to entice them in and make them want to stay.

Today’s hiring market can seem impossible to business leaders. With record low unemployment, how can the average company compete for top talent? And if they’re lucky enough to locate and hire top talent, how can they keep them around long enough to build a dynamic company? Timing and can make this process even harder if your company is located in an area where most of the talent pool is focused in other sectors, or if you have the misfortune of running a company in a sector about to experience a huge downturn.

YPO member Yat-Pang Au knows how to attract talent even under difficult circumstances. He founded his real estate investment company, Veritas Investments, in San Francisco in 2007, just before the market crashed. He also located his company in the heart of the technology mecca of the world, where talent comes hoping to work for the next Facebook, not in real estate. Despite the challenges, Au grew Veritas into one of the largest apartment owner-operators in the San Francisco Bay Area, with nearly $2 billion in assets under management. Au has an impressive pedigree, with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Berkeley, a masters in information networking from Carnegie Mellon, and an MBA from Harvard. Veritas also owns SF GoGreen, one of the largest providers of solar energy on multifamily buildings in San Francisco. Before Veritas, Au held executive positions at several technology firms. He is a member of Coalition for Better Housing, San Francisco Apartment Association, Bay Area Council, and the National Multi Housing Council. He was also named Multifamily Executive Magazine MFE’s 2017 Executive of the Year. Au also sits on the board of the Hong Kong Association of Northern California, and of Self-Help for the Elderly, which works to improve quality of life for seniors from low income, minority communities.

On an episode of my podcast 10 Minute Tips from the Top, Au shared how he attracts the right talent in perhaps the most competitive employment market in the country:

1. Put the Tech Aside

When you’re looking to hire in a market like San Francisco, “I’ll be honest with you, it’s very competitive to attract top talent,” laments Au. Veritas has chosen to take a more holistic view of candidates. Sometimes, this means the technical skills fall to the wayside. “We’re putting an emphasis not just on the technical fit for the candidate, but also on the cultural fit of the candidate,” Au explains. He goes on, “It’s really allowed us to be able to attract not only the best and the brightest, but also the best fit for the organization.” It might take a non-traditional approach for your company to be able to locate and attract the right person for the job.

2. Robust Onboarding

Once you’ve attracted good candidates, you need to get them in the door and get them acclimated. “Every person that we onboard…we have them take a personality test…We go through and help them understand whether there’s a fit on both sides.” The goal is to have the new employee set up for success from the very beginning. The rewards for Veritas have been significant: “Attrition is a lot less because we’re able to onboard the right people earlier on and frontload that hiring process,” Au says.

3. Coach on Staff

It’s difficult enough to find the right people. So when you do find them, you want to make sure you hold onto them. “One of the things we’ve been able to offer in order to attract talent, in addition to our culture, is that we have an executive coach on staff for all members of the team,” says Au. “Anyone that desires to spent time with him has the opportunity to sign up for a schedule time.” He explains that the goal is to provide “self-awareness, coaching, and development,” for executive and front line employees. The employees at Veritas have taken well to this benefit: “Throughout the year, I’d say probably we get an 80% adoption rate. It’s a pretty high amount,” Au shares. The whole company reaps the benefits of what employees learn from the coach. “Members of the team who are going through career development and growth are able to build in management and leadership skills they need in order to progress within the organization,” Au explains.

4. Manage by Walking Around

Even with great employees who are a good cultural fit, managing is a challenge. Au asserts that “[You need] a general management mindset to be able to lead teams.” Building coaching into the routines of managers and future managers means the whole company improves. Au holds his team to a high standard, explaining that managers “need to have the courage and audacity to be incredibly transparent with care, to hold one another accountable, and also to realize that this is an organization that believes in a meritocracy, so performance counts.” Au shares, “I manage by walking around,” and especially likes “walking side by side with an employee.” It’s an opportunity to be available to answer questions, ensure alignment, and significantly, give “recognition and gratitude shout outs.” Don’t underestimate the power of a public pat on the back!

Via Exhale Lifestyle : 4 Tips To Make Sure Your Resume Lands in the ‘Yes’ Pile

Job hunting sucks. There, I said it. It’s a process that requires you to try to put your best stuff on display, with a high probability of rejection.

If you’ve reached the point where you are just blindly firing off applications to anything that looks promising, I get it, but in the long run, the best way to find the right fit is to spend a little more time, send out fewer resumes and tailor your pitch. (Unless you’re a freelancer, and you may want to think about ditching your resume altogether.)

It’s a candidate’s market. We’ve been hearing for months that the job market is great, that recruiters are desperate for candidates, and that, if you’ve ever considered changing jobs, now is the time.

Of course, what we hear in the news, and the actual experience of people out job hunting is quite different. Jobs rarely fall out of the sky like rain, even in a “good” job market. Whether the market is hot or cold, you still need to make sure you do the fundamentals right.

Let’s think about it from the recruiter’s perspective.

In a tight job market, when you post a job you get a giant pile of resumes, and 90 percent of them are super-qualified for the role.

In a candidate’s market, when there are more jobs than applicants, you still get a giant pile of resumes, but now only 10 percent are super-qualified for the role.

In theory, that should make the job easier, but in practice, talent acquisition experts will tell you that they still spend the same amount of time looking at each resume. The process doesn’t really change.

Here are four tips to make sure your resume lands in the yes pile.

Read the Job Description

I know, I know, I’m a skimmer, too. I look at job postings, skim down to the bottom to see if they posted a salary, slap together a generic cover letter, and click send. But, I know I shouldn’t. Rather than blasting your resume out in a generic way to every posting you see, take a few minutes and really read the posting. Notice whether the description focuses on any key areas or elements of experience. Look for ways that your background perfectly matches their needs. Highlight those so you can address them in your application.

When you read a job description, you’re also looking for red flags. Job postings that talk about “fanatic dedication” or “comfortable with rapidly changing priorities” should come right off the list. No matter how much you would like to get out of the frying pan, hopping into the fire is always a bad idea.

Customize Your Cover Letter and Your Resume

We all know we’re supposed to write a custom cover letter, and there are plenty of great online resources for how to do that. But, you may never have thought about customizing your resume. You don’t need to write a custom resume for every posting, but you may want to change the bullets under your current job to highlight the most relevant experience you have.


While entry-level jobs are often general, the further you go in your career, the more specialized you typically become. This can cross a variety of ways of working, from industry experience to specific software packages you know well, and beyond. In an ideal world, recruiters want to hire someone who can walk in the door and be productive right away.

When you take the time to scrutinize the posting, you’ll find names of processes, tools and other tidbits of experience. Don’t make recruiters search for that information, do the work for them and make it easy to find. Since these things may vary from posting to posting, you’ll need to take the time to make those changes specific to each role you apply to.

Be Unique … But, Not Too Unique

If you’ve ever watched audition episodes of shows like American Idol, you know that they are either really good or really bad. It’s great to be yourself, and to highlight the ways that you are a great fit for the job. It’s also appropriate to mention some things that make you different. But beware of going too far. Google “weird things on resumes,” and you’ll find lots of examples ranging from inappropriate to flat out bizarre. Don’t be that girl.

Via Forbes : Authentic Attire: Do You Know Your Leadership ‘Style’?

In today’s increasingly digital age, what we wear is more important to effective leadership than ever. Thirty years ago, the average person probably wouldn’t have recognized Michael Dell, 1989’s Inc. Entrepreneur of the Year, walking down the street. Today, however, with the rise of social media and an image-driven culture, it would be hard to miss Mark Zuckerberg in his signature hoodie, Kevin O’Leary in his pristine suit and tie, or Iris Apfel in her thick round glasses. More and more, I’m realizing that CEOs, entrepreneurs and thought leaders must understand the importance of being recognizable by their signature styles.

Last year, an article noted that successful people often wear the same thing every day. Steve Jobs was well-known for his turtlenecks and sneakers; Barack Obama wears only blue or gray suits; French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld wears pencil skirts and a blouse; shoe designer Manolo Blahnik sports a bow tie nearly every day. The article credits decision fatigue for these choices, but these “uniforms” have another effect, contributing to the allure that has turned these leaders into legends. Obama was arguably the first “celebrity” president since JFK (with Michelle Obama a celebrity and fashion icon in her own right), and CEOs and other thought leaders are now attaining a celebrity status that was once reserved for Hollywood’s elite.

Today, image is increasingly important to leadership, and authenticity — not perfection or luxury — is increasingly important to image. The age of the suit-and-tie executive is over. Clara Gaymard, the head of G.E. France, famously met with French President Francois Hollande in a leather biker jacket; the Patagonia vest has become a power symbol in its own right, and some executives are now spending over $1000 on high-end sneakers.

People are more willing to embrace leaders who are dressing down, as long as their style seems to reflect their personalities. In one experiment, subjects were asked to rank people’s leadership ability based on what they were wearing. The study found that those sporting suits and ties didn’t always rank highest. Instead, the study concluded, people tend to identify with leaders who look like they do. Those who favor jeans and t-shirts, for example, will rank a Mark Zuckerberg-type higher.

That trend is spilling over into the general workplace. According to one survey, over 60% of companies now allow business casual attire at the office. And after years in decline, jeans are making a comeback; when Levi Strauss’s IPO debuted in March, the stock priced significantly higher than anticipated.

Thought leaders don’t always need to wear clothing that reflects his or her self-image. Sometimes, as they say, clothes can make the man (or woman). While this sometimes involves formal dressing, one study found that formal dressing led to a greater feeling of power and proactiveness. “Dressing well” in today’s society does not always mean dressing up, but rather dressing in a way that induces confidence. Research has time and again found that clothing can boost self-esteem and confidence and can even be used to combat depression. Confidence, in turn, can make people more engaged and assertive. One study released earlier this year found that high-confidence leaders had more energy, were more willing to make bold changes and were rated as being more inspiring than low-confidence leaders.

Color, a critical element of fashion, has often been studied by psychologists. Red, for example, has long been considered a power color for women, black is associated with prestige, and darker shades of blue have a calming effect. But recently the intersection of psychology and fashion is becoming a respected field in its own right. According to the New York Times, F.I.T. now offers courses in psychology, students at The London College of Fashion can major in the psychology of fashion, and the University of Delaware offers a course called the Social Psychological Aspects of Clothing.

Clothing has long been associated with identity, a concept that is perhaps stronger today than ever. When a person puts on a piece of clothing, they are often wearing the emotions, ideas or identity attached to it. A study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that the symbolic meaning of clothing is often linked with the physical experience. In one experiment, “wearing a lab coat described as a doctor’s coat increased [the subjects’] sustained attention, compared to wearing a lab coat described as a painter’s coat …”

Thought leaders should not dismiss the importance of style in today’s workplace and culture. Dressing for thought leadership does not mean dressing expensively; it means dressing with purpose and authenticity. And rather than being a superficial decision, clothing decisions can help form self-image, establish identity and promote confidence.

Via Inc : 9 Things Every Intern Must Make Sure to Do

Want to make the most of your internship opportunity? Don’t skip these important steps.

If you’re a summer intern, your internship may be ending in the next few weeks. If you’re a fall intern, your internship may be about to begin. Or maybe you’re planning on an internship sometime in the future.

One way or another, you need to know: How can you get the most benefit out of your internship? Make sure to leave the best impression? What should you make absolutely sure to do before the internship is over?

Inc.com put this question to a large crop of current and former interns, many of whom had just landed jobs at the companies where they interned. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Make sure you have a goal.

Yes, your goal is to successfully complete your internship, impress your supervisors, and perhaps land a job offer. But you also need your own personal development goals about what you will learn and accomplish during the internship.

Once you’ve figured out what those goals are, share that information with your manager, advises Julia Landon, intern at communications agency Hotwire. “You’ll go so much further if everyone’s on the same page,” she says.

2. Ask lots of questions.

This one piece of advice got repeated over and over–some former interns even said they wished they asked more questions while they had the chance. “No question is a stupid question,” says Melina DiMambro, marketing and research intern at JMJ Phillip Executive Search. “This experience is to help college students get a glimpse of what an office job looks like since there isn’t class in college that teaches you what being in an office is like. If you don’t know how to do something, ask! If you want to know more about why someone chose to do something in a certain way, ask!”

In fact, there’s a definite danger in not asking enough questions, says Yasmeen Arami, PR Intern at Shift Communications. “Asking how to do something and doing it right is a lot better than doing something wrong, and having to redo it. Your superiors will wonder why you didn’t ask for direction to begin with.”

3. Request more responsibility.

While you’re asking questions, some of your questions for your immediate supervisor should include questions about increased responsibilities you can take on, career paths in your industry, and what you need to do to land a permanent job at the company if that’s your goal.

“I’d definitely advise interns to find some way to do hands-on work with their company’s main product or service, especially if they were working on something separate,” says Peter Svartz, intern at advocacy software company Phone2Action. “If you’re directly contributing to the company’s output, you create a costly gap when you leave. Find as many opportunities as possible to integrate your work with your employer’s bottom line.”

4. Take notes. All the time.

“Constantly hand write notes,” advises Paolo Garland, intern at Jill Schmidt PR. “This is the best way to impress your supervisor because you will be able to look back and go over what has previously been talked about and you can help remind people what was discussed, especially on conference calls.”

5. Meet as many people as you can.

Current and former interns all said you should take advantage of as many opportunities to network as you possibly can. That means joining the rest of the team at after-work functions, attending industry events as often as possible, and meeting one-on-one with both management and peers at your company–even those who work outside your chosen area. Make sure to connect on LinkedIn with everybody you meet so you can stay in touch and make contact in the future.

Don’t limit your networking efforts to upper executives, advises Lauren Holbrook, who completed an impressive seven internships before becoming account coordinator at Matter Communications this spring. “While sitting down with company executives can be fun and insightful, it’s just as important to connect with the entry and mid-level employees. These are the jobs you will end up in next, and these employees can provide valuable feedback to elevate your work beyond what’s expected of an intern.”

6. Be totally professional.

Many interns reported that it can be a shock to college students when they encounter the expectations of the professional world. “At school, if you don’t do your homework, no one is impacted by that except you,” says Sara Ahmed, intern at Leadership Africa in Washington, D.C. “But if you don’t finish a task at work, that can put off a lot of people’s schedules. It could impact a client.”

In addition to completing work on time, experienced interns advise: Stay off your phone and social media during your workday; dress very professionally–ideally for the job you aspire to; and always, always be on time or early for work. If an emergency arises that forces you to be late, make sure to contact the office as soon as you can.

7. Learn when to speak up and when to step back.

It’s a delicate balance. Most interns recommended learning to speak up in meetings, raise your hand to take on new projects, and voice an opinion that can help you stand out in your colleagues’ and managers’ minds. On the other hand, there are many times when it’s better to listen and learn.

“My supervisors commended my ability to both rise to the challenge and to recognize when it was time to step back,” says Chelsea Bendelow, who just started a job as account coordinator at Sage Communications after completing her internship. “This is not meant to disregard the importance of initiative, but reinforce the value of an intern who is capable of learning and growing from the experiences of others rather than constantly proving their competency. The individuals you work alongside have invested years, sometimes decades, into their careers and you are just getting started.”

8. Build a portfolio.

“If I could go back as a brand-new intern, I would take the time to track my impact,” Holbrook says. “Identify expected key metrics from your contributions as an intern and track those numbers regularly. For example, identify the percentage increase of how you drove social media engagement, business revenue or volunteer recruitment from day one. These statistics add immeasurable value to your portfolio for future career opportunities.”

If you’re not sure exactly how your work contributed to the bottom line, then ask. It’s always a good idea to find out how your specific work fits into the bigger picture of your organization’s goals.

9. Say ‘Thank you.’ A lot.

Many current and former interns recommended going out of your way to thank the people you work with for the opportunity, as well as thanking clients, co-workers, and anyone else you worked with along the way. Many recommended handwritten thank-you notes as a great way to let people know that you really appreciate what they’ve done to help you. “Be thankful and be genuine!” advises Anya Mourovannyi, associate account executive at Antenna and five-time former intern. “People will rarely remember what you did or said, but they will most likely remember how you made them feel.”

Via ProofHub : Importance of Time Management in the Workplace

Time – one of those things working professionals can’t get enough of.

Whether you’re a newbie or veteran, you always need another hour to tick tasks off from your to-do list.

It’s difficult to take control of every single minute of your day especially when there are too many distractions around. Since childhood, our parents and teachers have advised us to spend time and money wisely. In this article, we are going to take you back to the importance of time management but with a little spinoff. Today, we would be talking about the importance of time management in the workplace.

Before delving straight to its importance, let’s first see what time management actually is:

What is time management?

Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of the time spent on specific activities to work smarter than harder. It is a juggling act of various things that help you increase efficiency and strike a better work-life balance.

Improving your time management at work allows you to enhance your performance and achieve your desired goals with less effort and more effective strategies. However, failing to manage time or poor time management skills at work can result in:

  • Missed deadlines and appointments
  • Procrastination and lack of focus
  • Lack of professionalism
  • Inefficient workflow and low work quality
  • Unwanted stress
  • Poor professional reputation
  • Strained workplace relationships
  • Financial penalties
  • Work and life imbalance

P.S. Time is an irreplaceable asset. It is more valuable than money, especially in today’s fast-paced, overly-competitive business world. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. Be sure that you spend your time where it matters most to you.

Benefits of time management in a workplace

There are many advantages that come along with proper management of time. In your professional life, time management can benefit you in the following ways:

1. Deliver work on time

Allocating a finite time period to tasks help you complete them on time. It also helps you to manage your workload in the most effective way. When you have time-boxed tasks, your brain gets rewired to follow the structure and accomplish those activities within the desired time-frame. Thus, you can easily deliver work on time if you have managed your time well.

2. Provide a better quality of work

As a dedicated employee, you are expected to provide work of certain quality and standards. With the proper utilization of time and prioritization of activities, one can easily provide a better quality of work. Prioritization helps you focus on important tasks by keeping them in the highest priority which enables you to work on them with full attention and focus. Hence, the quality of the work is improved.

3. More productivity and efficiency

It is no secret that effective time management skills make you more productive and efficient as a working professional. These skills are helpful in helping you finish tasks as early as possible without compromising on the quality of work. Your overall productivity often goes for a toss when you’re working on unimportant tasks but effective time management skills let you tick off tasks that are both important and urgent on time.

4. Much less procrastination

“I will do it later” – This is an excuse that we all have made at some time. The meaning of time management is not just about doing more in less time but also to reduce the urge to delay and procrastinate over important tasks. Applying good time management tricks enable you as a founder, leader, or employee to work smarter rather than harder. It instantly eliminates procrastination by ensuring that you’re familiar with the tasks added in your to-do list and when it needs to be finished.

5. Less stress and anxiety

There are times when employees feel overwhelmed due to too much work on their plates. This can not only hamper your productivity but also take a toll on your overall health. Excessive stress and hypertension can lead to heart diseases, depression, obesity and more. Knowing what to do we can reduce unnecessary stress and tensions from your life.

6. Improved quality of life

Effective time management skills don’t just benefit your professional life but can also improve your life outside of the office. If you keep things under control on the professional front, you get more time to focus on your personal life and relationships. Knowing the fact that tasks and activities are on track will bring a sense of calmness in your personal life. As you feel calmer and less stressed out, your quality of life improves automatically.

7. More opportunities and career growth

Being punctual with your work will not only increase your effectiveness but will also help you earn a good reputation at work. When managers and seniors know that you always complete your tasks on time, it could lead the way for more promotional opportunities at work.

8. More time for leisure and recreation

When was the last time you had time for yourself doing things that you really enjoy? Can’t remember, right? Fortunately, with good time management, you get more free time in your day to do the leisure and recreational activities that make you happy. Ultimately this helps you to create the perfect balance by working smart all day and having a reward of your choice in return.

5 Steps for better time management at work

Time management is not rocket science. Frankly, anyone can learn this art with a little practice and learning. So here are a few steps that tell you how to become a time management expert:

1. Plan

Planning plays an important role in time management as both go hand-in-hand with each other. You can make the most of your time only when it is thoroughly planned. When we talk about planning, you don’t necessarily have to follow a strict routine, instead, it means making smarter decisions of knowing the right time to do a task or an activity. The idea behind time management is to work smarter than harder and make time to do other things as well. Best-seller author Brian Tracy once said, “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy.”

2. Prioritize

Prioritizing your daily tasks is the key to successful time management. That said, many employees start their day with unimportant tasks or something that can be easily done later. Prioritization helps you realize that not everything you do is important. It is important to focus on your priorities to achieve success at work. Figure out the most important tasks and the ones that are urgent. This categorization will help you focus on what actually needs to be done. You can use various project management tools that help you set your priorities straight from the day a project starts.

3. Don’t multitask

Multitasking is one of the biggest time-wasting activities. Instead of accomplishing too many things, you end up achieving nothing out of them. The best way to utilize your time is to take one thing at a time and accomplish it before jumping to the next thing. Make a list of tasks that need to be accomplished in terms of their priority. Not only you would be able to focus better but there would be lesser distractions as well. And no distractions mean less likelihood of mistakes.

4. Cut off distractions

In our everyday life, distractions cost us many valuable hours in a day. Mobile phones, chatty coworkers, social media are some of the common distractions at work that almost cost us three hours a day. To not let these distractions eat up your time, it’s better to cut them off completely from your schedule. Take a moment to learn about the things that distract you. If social media and mobile phones are halting your productivity, set a fixed time in a day where you can check your social media.

5. Use a time tracking software

No one understands the importance of time management in the workplace better than a project manager, especially when you have to handle too many tasks and team members simultaneously. Many effective project managers use a time tracking software to stay on top of everything. Such tools are helpful in managing and tracking the time being spent on each task. If you are looking for such a tool, you can try ProofHub. It helps you to keep a record of every minute so that you can manage your time efficiently at work.

6. Schedule your break time

Taking regular breaks while working is an effective way to stay productive all day. But it’s effectiveness is subject to management risk, especially when you start taking too many breaks. It’s obvious that you can’t power through a big project or task in one go, you need a break. What’s even better is having a well-scheduled break time. Take a walk, so some quick stretches, or plug in earphones and listen to your favorite music, do whatever helps you to relax and gets back to work with energy later – but don’t take more than 10 minutes.

7. Find your most productive hours

The next time management hack is to match your highest priority work to your highest productivity hours. The basic idea here is to check in with yourself frequently to track when, where, and how you’re the most productive. Research clearly shows that our day is driven by cycles that affect how alert and motivated we are. For example, you might be at your highest brain capacity, with your best focus and attention, before lunch hour, and slow down significantly in the evening. So, if you have a project that involves critical decisions and complex thoughts, the best case scenario is to manage it in your “golden hours”.

8. Accept your limitations

Even with 110% effort, there will be occasions where you simply cannot get things done within the specified time frame. This is the point where you accept that there are limits to how productively and efficiently you can manage your time. For example, if you have got twice the normal workload in a day, outsourcing and delegation are your best shots. Don’t just assume that you can get everything done that you wanted in any given time frame. Remember, doing this will only make it harder to manage your time effectively.

In conclusion…

Effective time management skills can have a positive impact on your work and life in general. When you learn to take control of your time on a daily basis, you improve your ability to get things done, make better decisions and most importantly, gain ultimate control of your key priorities.

I hope this post will be helpful in learning about the importance of time management in the workplace.