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Via Forbes : The Secret To Hiring Top Talent? Look Beyond Hard Skills For High Character

When hiring managers look exclusively at hard skills, like academic background, technical skills and accomplishments, they risk hiring someone who is difficult to work with or has trouble adapting to other ways of doing things. That’s why hiring managers need to assess prospective new hires based on a blend of both their hard and soft skills.

Screening for traits like empathy, mentorship ability, self-awareness, humility, curiosity, resilience, flexibility and creativity will help improve your company’s chances of finding people who will fit in your culture and contribute to it. If a person has high emotional intelligence, they will know more about the firm, its challenges and how they can be a part of your company’s solutions for success.

To identify people with high character, ask these questions:

Question No. 1: “What three traits would you want to be remembered for when you retire?”

The goal here is to inspire a conversation that leads to a response with greater depth. This question evokes storytelling, giving the candidate space to talk about values that won’t always come across from viewing a resume. It nudges them to think more about “eulogy virtues” versus “resume virtues,” per David Brooks.

Question No. 2: “Tell me about a time when you mentored someone and helped that person shine when you didn’t get any credit for it.”

This open-ended question could help you discover whether this candidate is trusted by others and has the ability to inspire and educate. It could show if he/she is patient, empathetic and enjoys building people up.

If in their answer, the candidate focuses on how much they enjoyed seeing another person grow and enjoyed watching that person develop, it’s a strong indicator of leadership potential. On the other hand, if they focus strictly on how the person stumbled or on how they were never thanked for helping, you might find that person is less suitable for a leadership role.

Question No. 3: “Tell me a time when you inspired other people to follow your vision or your idea. Did other people need to be pushed to help? How did you motivate them to follow you?”

A savvy interviewer will look for traits that are predictors of success and weed out people with negative traits. Knowing how a person operates when given a chance to lead prompts a person to tell a story that reveals his/her leadership style.

Do they force their ideas on people or do they tap into others’ common interests, values and subconscious desires to build buy-in? Does this candidate motivate others by example, or does he/she achieve results through intimidation? Does this candidate value the contribution others give to reaching collective goals?

Question No. 4: “Tell me about a time when you experienced failure. How did you manage it? What efforts have you made to work on that weakness?”

A candidate’s answer to this question will give you insight as to whether or not he/she is resilient. It will also indicate whether he/she is able to accept constructive feedback and is amenable to growth. If a person balks at this question, it may indicate discomfort with learning from mistakes. That’s a red flag that they would make a potentially difficult employee.

Question No. 5: “What efforts have you made to increase your knowledge or ability in an area that interests you and could benefit your firm?”

This answer will provide insight into a few things: Is this candidate growth-oriented? Will they be likely to seek opportunities to grow both professionally and personally? If so, you may have discovered someone who will want to learn more when they’ve landed the role.

Without negating the value of hard skills, there’s a limit to how much employers should focus on them when seeking to build an effective team.

Managers who seek emotionally mature employees who aspire to learn, grow and adapt to your culture will ultimately improve your chances of retaining employees. If a candidate is interested in learning how to do things your way and is excited to contribute to your firm, they may become one of your highest performers.

Investing in good people takes time, but in the long run, it will give you the competitive edge you need to thrive in your industry.

Via Charlotte Business Journal : What millennials look for in an employer, and why you should care

Much has been written about the rise of millennials (born 1981-1997) in the workforce, and you’ve likely noticed their numbers increasing at your office. In fact, according to Pew Research, as of 2015 this group surpassed Gen-Xers to become the largest generation group in the working population. Roughly 1 in 3 employees today is a millennial and by 2025 this group will compose 75 percent of all workers.

With those statistics, it’s clear that employers need to understand this group better, and Deloitte’s Millennial Survey is a great place to start. The study, incorporating over 8,000 millennial workers in 30 countries, yielded some great items to consider from an employer’s perspective. Here are our top three.

Full time but flexible

All work and no play is not the right way for employers in terms of appealing to millennials. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the study is that this generation values flexibility above all else. Employers who find ways to increase flexibility are rewarded with improved organizational performance and employee retention. Two-thirds of the respondents stated that their employers are presenting flexibility in one of the following forms:

  • Flex time: Employee has some degree of choice in when they work.
  • Flex recruitment: Employer presents diverse employment terms/arrangements.
  • Flex role: Employee has some control over their job composition.
  • Flex location: Employer offers work from office, home or other location arrangements.

A recent Inc. piece points out some additional items to consider in terms of workplace flexibility. Although a common fear is loss of productivity, 22 percent of millennials say they’d work more hours and 82 percent say they’d be more loyal if they were offered flexible work options. As for the retention alluded to above, 32 percent of millennial workers say they’ve left a job because the employer wasn’t flexible – that’s almost a third – and certainly a significant number when you consider the high cost of employee turnover.

Making a difference

Of the millennials surveyed, 77 percent stated that they are active in causes and/or charities. Among that group 30 percent are volunteers/organizers. Another 30 percent join or make donations to charitable groups and 23 percent participate in raising funds or collecting items.

What does this mean for employers? Simple. If you want your millennial employees to be engaged, you need to consider providing opportunities for them to make a difference. Millennials are passionate about changing the world around them and there’s no denying that this digitally savvy, social and connected generation has actually changed the face of charitable giving – remember the Ice Bucket Challenge?

It’s also worth noting that millennials don’t just want to give personally, they want their employers to as well. A Fortune study found that nearly two-thirds of millennials are more likely to want to work for a company that gives to charity. Similarly, they’re also more likely to buy the goods or services of a company who engages in social causes versus one that doesn’t.

Bottom line: this generation wants to make a difference. By sharing in their passion, and letting them lead the charge, employers are more likely to be viewed favorably by their millennial staff and increase the likelihood that they’ll stick around.

Straight talking, diverse and inclusive

Finally, millennials want their workplace to be one that is hallmarked with open, honest and easy to understand communication. They also want it to be a place where new and/or different ideas are encouraged and respected (coincidentally, the Deloitte survey found that millennials seek the same attributes in their political leaders). In terms of work environment, millennials are broadening the description of workplace diversity.

According to Forbes, where previous generations focused on religion or demographics to create a diverse workplace, millennials consider individual identities, unique experiences and viewpoints to define diversity and seek to do more than just fill workplace quotas. The generation is similarly reshaping views on inclusion. Where prior generations place emphasis on fairness, equity, tolerance and acceptance, millennials are moving towards a deeper connection. They value the exchange of ideas via cultural connections, are attracted to environments where true teamwork is embraced and are driven by their shared successes and overall business impact.

It’s clear that millennials are an integral part of today’s workforce and they’re changing the status quo. Employers who seek to understand the unique attributes of this generation and provide opportunities to nourish their passions, enrich their workplace experiences and provide for growth and development, could be well on their way to future – and sustained – success.

Via IT World : 5 tips for speeding up the hiring process

If you’re losing out on top tech candidates, you might want to speed up your hiring process. Here’s how to ensure you remain competitive without compromising the quality of your hiring experience.

Tech skills are in high demand — and tech candidates with the hottest skills can land multiple job offers at once. If you’re looking to fill a tech skills gap at your business, you need to make sure you work fast to extend a final offer before someone else does. But you don’t have to “compromise quality” to speed up your hiring process, says Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network.

“Companies that care about culture may still conduct various rounds of interviews to determine culture fit. However, given we’re in a tight labor market, hiring managers understand they need to move fast to get top talent,” he says.

Here are five tips to help speed up your hiring process, so you won’t risk losing out on the top candidates in your market.

Keep in contact

Ensure that every candidate has a clear understanding of the interview process and expected timeline. Make sure to reach out early if there’s software they need to download for a video chat, if they need to submit a portfolio or if you need references. And always check in with candidates when the process or timeline changes, says Gimbel.

If a candidate can’t get into the office or if last minute travel plans interfere with a scheduled interview, avoid pushing it out to a later date. Make use of video chat services, like Skype or FaceTime — you can always plan to schedule a follow-up interview if it goes well.

Streamline your technology

If your business relies on multiple HR platforms or apps to manage candidates, consider consolidating logins and eliminating redundant apps or software. The more administrative redundancies or roadblocks that you can eliminate, the better.

Even something as simple as “logging in and out of systems” can slow things down, says Rosemary Haefner, CHRO of CareerBuilder. But it’s an easy fix if you can invest in a platform that “enables one login for multiple functions.”

Take time to research the latest HR tools and software to make sure you’re using the best choice for your business. New products and services are constantly released, so every few years you might find something that can replace multiple apps or services that were adopted in the past.

Simplify the application process

Today, candidates use mobile devices to find and apply for jobs, which means they expect a mobile-friendly experience. If your application process is confusing or tedious, you risk turning off potential applicants.

“Unclear application instructions, a career site that isn’t mobile-optimized or having to re-enter information from an uploaded resume are all contributors to a bad online candidate experience — a common problem that can cost a company more than just a few application submissions,” says Haefner.

Technology makes it easy to build an easier online applicant portal. You can even rely on services like LinkedIn or other job boards, which let applicants apply with just one click.

Make hiring a priority

Not every company has dedicated recruitment staff, but if a hiring manager is “juggling multiple priorities, deliverables and deadlines while interviewing for open positions,” it can stall the process, says Gimbel.

If you’re trying to hire candidates with competitive skills, you’ll need to shift workloads around to make hiring a top priority. Whether you outsource hiring to a third-party recruiter or lighten the workload of hiring managers, it’s one step that can help get candidates in the door as soon as possible.

Make use of references

Checking a candidate’s references is typically the last step in the hiring process — but it doesn’t have to be. Try reaching out to references earlier in the interview stage. It will give you a good idea of a candidate’s fit before investing too much time.

“References should be a crucial part of the hiring process, not a box to check off. When you like a candidate, start talking to references right away. References will either validate your opinion or tell you to walk away,” says Gimbel.

Even taking one or two steps to speed up your hiring process can make a difference in how quickly you can extend a final offer. You don’t have to rush vetting candidates, but if you can shorten the timeline, you stand a better chance of landing your top choices.

Via Silicon Republic : What will the future of recruitment look like?

A lot of thought goes into how the future of work will affect employees and jobs, but what about HR and the future of recruitment?

The world of work is changing, there’s no doubt about it. When thinking about the future of work and what it means for us as a society, the first thing we tend to think about is our jobs.

Will we still have jobs? Will technology affect those jobs? What will those jobs look like? But there’s another element to the future of work and that is the recruitment for those jobs.

Just as the roles themselves are changing, along with workplace practices and trends, so too is the way in which talent is recruited.

Even working within human resources (HR) is changing, and the challenges faced by recruitment staff must not be ignored when we discuss the future of work.

According to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends survey, talent acquisition is one of the key change areas of 2017, along with the need for organisations to focus on leadership, culture, and learning and development programmes.

Alison Gill is a senior manager in human resources at Deloitte. She said attracting and retaining top talent with the right skills to meet business objectives will continue to be a huge challenge for recruitment teams.

“More so, ensuring that top talent is the right cultural fit for the organisation is key to ensuring that you have a high-performing and engaged workforce.”

Gill also believes that building psychological and emotional connections plays a pivotal role in attracting and retaining top talent.

“Do people feel aligned with the organisational culture? Do they feel that they can learn, develop and progress? Can they make a positive impact at work? Are they being rewarded and recognised fairly? These are all key questions that organisations must address,” she said.

“Historically, recruitment was seen as a HR activity. Today, recruitment must be a business priority. At a time when employees are seeking out their next career move with an employer of choice, rather than the other way around, a strong employer brand is critical.”

Gill said it’s extremely important for businesses to be visible to candidates. In order to recruit top talent, companies need to show not only the type of work they do, but also what it’s like to work there.

“Businesses need to present a compelling offering, building meaningful connections that will satisfy candidates’ need for professional development and desire to make a positive impact on society,” she said.

Work-life balance and employee wellbeing will also play a key role in recruiting and retaining the best talent. Gill said that as the future of work edges closer to the present, recruitment teams will have an essential role to play now more than ever.

“The first step is attracting the interest of prospective candidates,” she said. “The recruitment process is merely the final stage of a carefully considered candidate attraction and engagement strategy. The war for talent is on!”

Via Reading Eagle : Office Space: Hiring tips for a competitive market

Even with the current job shortage, many small to midsized businesses are still facing the age-old problem of finding good people to add to their teams.

The Washington Post reports that “60 percent of small-business owners and managers say finding skilled workers is their company’s greatest challenge when it comes to hiring and managing staff.” The majority of the blame for this can be placed on today’s skills gap: the current phenomenon of a countrywide mismatch between employers’ needs and job candidates’ abilities.

And, with so little top talent out there, it pits small and medium businesses against large corporations in the hiring battle.

So what’s a business to do? Competing against big business and attracting quality workers can feel impossible, but it doesn’t have to. Small-business owners and leaders will need to put a little extra thought and effort into their hiring processes to continue to see success.

Recognize that pay

isn’t your strong point

The first thing businesses have to realize is that money will probably not be what attracts quality employees to their doors. Most small- to medium-size companies don’t have the budgets to compete against large corporations in the area of pay, and that’s OK.

“That’s where small businesses have the competitive edge,” said Steve Strauss, author and senior small-business columnist at USA Today. “If you offer a fun place to work, people like coming to work, they’re engaged: that makes a difference. They feel like they’re listened to and they like what they do. If you can give them that, you’re ahead of the game.”

According to Yast, an online time-tracking service, employees’ top reasons for staying with their current employer are because they enjoy the work, they have work-life balance and they feel connected to the organization. Small businesses are more likely to offer those benefits to their top candidates than their large business competitors.

Pinpoint and play

to your strengths

Identifying the assets you have to offer employees is the next step. An article from Fast Company magazine echoes that sentiment.

“By truly understanding what your team and potential candidates desire, you can better compete with the larger companies that appear to offer it all,” noted Fast Company. “Take a close look at what your team is truly passionate about inside and outside of work. Talk to them and get their feedback on what means the most to them.”

Business leaders can then take this knowledge and use it to attract the talent they need. And small businesses really do have something to offer top performers.

The Washington Post recommends pointing out to candidates that within a smaller company, they have more opportunities to develop as a professional while having greater visibility in front of, and access to, the leaders of the business.

Don’t limit your candidate pool

Just as business leaders are asking candidates to keep an open mind about what they want from an employer, they must also keep an open mind about the type of candidates they’re considering.

In an article on Forbes.com, Ken Sundheim proposes that employers should consider broadening their requirements to bring in more qualified applicants.

“The No. 1 thing that prevents companies from procuring the most talented people is overly stringent requirements,” Sundheim said. “The more specific the needs of an employer, the less applicant choices they’re going to have, the more expensive the employee is going to be and the longer the job search will take.”

Focusing on personality, culture fit and potential, rather than just strictly experience, education and skills, will greatly widen the candidate pool and allow businesses to find amazing employees they might have otherwise bypassed.

There are positives and negatives to every size and type of business, but constantly losing the hiring battle doesn’t have to be a struggle for smaller companies. Talking about what the business can offer, marketing its assets and loosening position requirements will allow small- to mid-size companies to square off with big businesses in the battle for top talent.

In the end, hiring the best candidate is more important to the success of the small business than the big, which means this is a battle small businesses have to learn to win.