Tag Archives: human resources

6 Low Cost/ No Cost Recruiting Efforts

Attracting the Best on a Budget

By Jeremy Eskenazi

Jeremy Eskenazi

Recruiting can be challenging in any economy. When times are good, top candidates have many options, and when times are bad, employed people don’t want to make a move. As with any challenge, it’s important to tackle it strategically, and your recruiting professionals are no different. When it comes to acquiring talent, having your sourcing strategy and process in place should happen before you even need to hire someone.

You may be wondering why you would need to know your search strategy before you need candidates. With the market quickly fluctuating, it’s important to know where to look, and what type of talent you will be looking for because as much as you want to snap your fingers and have amazing candidates appear, it often takes a lot longer than that.

Once your talent acquisition strategy is in place overall, you can start to think about where you would find the kind of talent you and your recruiting team determined your business needs to continue to be successful. To help you get started, here are some low-cost/no-cost sourcing channels that could be considered as part of a recruiting strategy:

Think about where you would find the kind of talent you and your recruiting team determined your business needs to continue to be successful. Click To Tweet

Referrals

Employee referrals (ER) are the number one source of candidates by far—and usually rated the best quality source. ER programs don’t always have to have a monetary reward, though many do, and the best focus on recognition and simplicity.

Recognizing employees for their referral quickly is the key. Instead of monetary rewards, think about other less costly rewards that focus on the recognition. Try not to put too many rules or barriers to participate in the process and be sure to have a process to recognize referrals immediately and follow up with them to ensure success. If you pay a reward, consider paying it immediately upon hire and consider alternative ways to pay including branded debit cards or check ceremonies.

Job Boards

Job boards are great for attracting active candidates. Ensure that your team’s postings are well written from a candidate’s “What’s in it for me” perspective. Don’t use company acronyms and slang. Check out and “borrow” great postings using the job board’s search system. Make sure your posting is easily findable and is refreshed regularly. Resume databases are quite expensive, and because of this, they aren’t suggested if you are focusing on low-cost resources. However, there are some other alternatives to this option including the use of free or “niche” job boards.

Social Networking

Social networks provide a great opportunity to find more passive candidates who may not be applying to your open job postings. Using social networks only help your recruiters find possible targets to contact—you still have to call or contact these people! Keep this in mind when you are planning your recruitment strategy. Since time is limited, focus on the best resources:

LinkedIn: First, make sure your team members are easily found. Their profiles should be complete and “public.” Change the settings in LinkedIn to ensure that they are searchable in Google. There are places on profiles to include links to websites for your company and other information. Your team should thoughtfully ask and answer questions in LinkedIn answers to be more findable.

Use LinkedIn Groups to join and start groups, and you can post jobs here for free! Invite people who can expand your network to find the type of people you want (like your hiring managers). You can use these LinkedIn sources to build a call list to actually call or e-mail them directly (outside of LinkedIn). LinkedIn “InMail” is limited and more expensive.

Facebook: Facebook is still targeted at a slightly younger audience. It’s harder to find sources on Facebook, but your team can use regular searches to find their co-workers, classmates, and others to get beyond their own network. Search for Friends on Facebook or leverage it to find candidates to join Facebook pages that are appropriate to you and your jobs. Facebook company pages are also great ways to attract candidates.

Twitter and Instagram: It is even harder to find people on these platforms, but a lot of posts are public and searchable. Use these sites to broadcast your jobs (video job descriptions starring current employees or your CEO are a popular low-cost option) to relevant people or talk about your company’s culture.

Blogs

Search relevant online blogs for subject matter experts and sources of candidate referrals. Find blogs by using Google Blog search and review the “About me” section. Look at their blogroll to find others who share the same interest. Discussion groups are great places to search too—you can simply review their content and decide if you want to pursue.

Google

Googling for candidates is an even more specialized skill, one that is free, provided the recruiter has the skill to do it well. There are great resources out there to learn how to do this even more effectively. Remember, the lowest cost solution may not always be the best resource to actually save money if it ends up taking an unskilled person triple the time to complete the task!

Resume Mining Services

Instead of buying expensive resume database access, consider using a “Resume Mining Service.” These services offer a low-cost solution on a per-job basis or in packages of jobs. The work they do is simple: they source and scour internet online resume databases for actual resumes and provide those resumes to you, usually overnight. Most services can offer an additional resource to do quick telephone screens on the resumes submitted.

Sourcing can be stressful, but with a game plan, and a little creativity, you can find the best talent with little, or even no budget. Good luck with your sourcing efforts!

Jeremy Eskenazi is an internationally recognized speaker, author of RecruitConsult! Leadership, and founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique Recruitment/Talent Acquisition Management and Optimization Consulting Firm. Jeremy is not a headhunter, but specialized training and consulting professional, helping global HR leaders transform how they attract top talent at some of the world’s most recognized companies. For more information on Jeremy Eskenazi, please visit www.RivieraAdvisors.com.

Bolster Your Company’s Culture with 7 Skillsets of No Fail Trust

By Jason O. Harris

Jason Harris-your people

Each day you walk into your office, are you giving consideration to what type of culture you are cultivating? Are you and your team of leaders aware that your actions will dictate whether you are cultivating a culture of compliance or culture of connection, commitment, and community?

Daily, you are faced with important decisions, and how you handle those decisions as well as how you interact with your team, will dictate the culture. Your organization’s culture will ultimately determine what kind of experience your customers and clients will have.

If you were to be placed at the helm of a multimillion-dollar Air Force cargo jet or a commercial airliner, under stress and other challenges, there is an absolute necessity for cohesiveness, communication, and commitment in order to be the high-performance team required to operate these jets. You already have a great team, but is your team ready to handle their job along with the stress of combat? This is where it is critical to have the right skill sets that will enable you and your team to Trust the Training, Trust the Process and Trust the People

In order to cultivate cohesiveness, connection, and commitment in these fast-paced, high-performance teams, there are seven critical skill sets that are always present and encouraged.

If you or your organization are ready to soar to new heights, take a look at the seven skill sets and decide how you can apply personally and within your organization.   

1. Professional Knowledge 

Professional knowledge is critical and is the foundation to any high-performance individual and team.  When your people are equipped with the professional knowledge essential to their jobs, it makes it easier to empower them and trust them to make decisions when things get challenging. Think about a professional pilot and consider how knowledgeable you want them to be. Would you consider your team trained to have that level of knowledge, to execute their job when hundreds of lives are on the line?

2. Situational Awareness 

Situational Awareness (or SA) is the ability to understand and comprehend environmental elements, events, and possible scenarios as it applies to time, space, and the collective comprehension of their possible interpretation. There are multiple types of SA to include individual, team, and organizational SA. In order to make the right decisions at the right time, it is critical that SA be present. SA has been cited as being fundamental to successful decision making in aviation, healthcare, emergency response, and many other high-stress environments. The lack of SA, according to scholarly documents, has been a driving factor in accidents attributed to human error. In order to keep your operation performing at its best and being positioned for continued improvement, your people need to have collective SA for any threats that might harm the operations. What kind of training has been put in place that helps to cultivate and reinforce this skill set?

3. Assertiveness 

Assertiveness is defined as confident, forceful, self-assured behavior. Further, assertiveness is being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. When it is time to make business decisions and the fate of your organization is on the line, like flying a commercial airliner with hundreds of passengers on board, it is imperative that your people are trained, ready and willing to speak up and assert their voice to avert a disaster. When the success of your organization is on the line, your people need to be empowered to speak up and assert themselves, appropriately, to ensure the operation continues smoothly and, in many cases, in order for the operation to improve. Can your people trust that the leadership team will be ready to listen and acknowledge when they speak up and assert themselves for the greater good of the organization?

Can your people trust that the leadership team will be ready to listen and acknowledge when they speak up? Click To Tweet

4. Decision-Making

Decision-making is the process and action of making choices, especially important choices, by identifying a decision, gathering information, and assessing alternative possibilities. When you look at decision-making and its application to your environment and how it relates to high-performance teams, you need to be ready and able to make important and significant decisions. Sometimes these decisions will have to be made in very short order, without supervision. In order to make these time-sensitive decisions, your people will need to be empowered, knowing that they are prepared and trusted to make decisions that can be very critical to the operation and success of the organization. Consider what you can do to equip, prepare, and empower your people to make the right decision, in a moment’s notice, at the right time.

5. Communication

Communication is defined at the exchange of information or news. When it’s crunch time and critical decisions need to be made, whether in flight at 35,000 feet in the air flying at 600 mph or when a major deal is on the table for your organization, communication is absolutely essential. When it’s time to make decisions, given the time-critical scenario, you want, need and expect your people to communicate. Have your people been empowered and trusted to communicate the critical information at the right time and right place?

6. Leadership

Leadership is defined as the act of leading a group of people or an organization. Every organization, especially high performing organizations, need true and authentic leadership. They need leadership that is effective at all levels of execution. Leadership in your team and organization has to be further defined as the people that influence others to accomplish the team and organizational objectives in a manner that makes the team more cohesive and more committed to each other, the mission at hand, and the organization.

7. Adaptability 

Adaptability means being able to adjust to new conditions. When your organization or team is moving at the speed of success, it is imperative that members are adaptable. The organization has to empower its people to be ready and prepared to adapt to many different scenarios. When flying commercial jets across the world, there is likely to be some turbulence and there is likely to be some weather formations along the route. In order to get to the intended destination safely, the crew has to be adaptable to go over, under, and around the turbulence and thunderstorms. Being adaptable can only happen when the people have been empowered.

The next time you walk into your office, you should be clear on the culture you are cultivating!  The seven skillsets laid out will support the cultivation of a culture of connection, commitment, and community. When you start to implement these seven skills sets your team will begin to soar to new heights, you and your team will begin to Trust the Training, Trust the Process and Trust the People!

Jason O. Harris is a leadership and trust speaker, consultant, and certified character coach. As a decorated combat veteran, Jason brings unique perspectives gained from his battlefield experience to your organization. Jason’s No Fail Trust™ methodology was crafted from his own harrowing, life-altering experiences, and conveys the importance of cross-generational communication and mutual trust. Jason enjoys working with organizations and leaders that are no longer willing to settle for cultures of compliance and are ready to build and cultivate cultures of commitment. For more information on Jason O. Harris, please visit www.JasonOHarris.com.

Finding and Leveraging External Communications Professionals

By Anne Connor

service provider

Cassandra works at a firm spearheading a park renovation project and was tasked with producing a community outreach survey in a nearby city. After hiring a copywriter who specializes in public relations to draft the text, the city indicated that the questionnaire would also need to be distributed in Spanish and Vietnamese in order to maximize participation among the neighborhood’s residents who were not proficient in English. Cassandra thought she had found the solution because she had two bilingual coworkers who could render the English text into those languages. Everything was going according to plan until the engineer manning the hotline given in the survey started receiving calls from residents she could not understand. To make matters worse, many of these same residents attended the project’s informational open house, only to find that there were no interpreters available to assist them. They not only expected to be able to communicate in the language they felt the most comfortable with, but it turns out they also had questions about the ambiguous language in the translations. The situation caused major confusion, requiring Cassandra and her colleagues to work overtime to clear things up.

Communications is a tricky business, especially when you’re dealing with foreign languages. That’s why many companies—both large and small—turn to outside experts to support their communications and language needs. Whether you’re looking to hire a freelance translator or a full-service communications firm, here are five tips for selecting the right service provider:

1.Define your needs

This first step actually starts by defining the needs of your target audience. Who are they and how do they communicate or consume content? Think about how you will communicate with them from beginning to end. For example, if your website is going to be translated into Spanish, then customers will expect a Spanish-speaking contact person to answer their questions either orally or in written form. Outline your requirements. Do you need help with advertising, content development, digital or social media, marketing, public relations, strategic communications, or all of the above? Perhaps a freelance marketing copywriter or copy editor is all you need to take your website copy up a notch. More comprehensive communications campaigns will likely require the services of a communications firm or consultant with expertise in multiple media channels. Some consultants even offer media training services for your staff to help them look and sound professional in TV commercials and radio spots.

2. Begin your search

Communications is an artform—one that can vary from industry to industry. Look for professionals with proven experience in your company’s field or with your project’s requirements. In today’s connected world, you don’t always have to hire someone local. However, before looking too far away, consider how doing so might affect your bottom line. Start with your local Chamber of Commerce for audiovisual media production companies or check out The Society for Editing (ACES) to find local copywriters and/or copyeditors. The Public Relations Society of America is a useful resource for finding a nearby PR company.

Briefing your service providers properly can often make or break your project’s success Click To Tweet

3. Be prepared

Briefing your service providers properly can often make or break your project’s success. While preparing to interview specialists or full-service consultants, gather five pieces of information needed to adequately assess, quote and execute your job. Obviously, you should expect communications professionals to do their homework, but even the most specialized firms will need your help to get to know your company, your needs, and your objectives. Make sure they understand your industry jargon—the language your target audience speaks. Take a “more-is-more” approach and in the long run you’ll save time, money, and embarrassment.

4. Ask questions

If you’ve picked out proven experts, then you’re already on the right track, but don’t make assumptions. Question the offers you have received and ask the service providers to walk you through their processes. If your project involves multiple languages, ask how the providers intend to deliver. Do they partner with professional language service providers adept at managing multilingual translation (written communications) and interpreting (oral communications)? By asking all the right questions, you’re more likely to avoid unpleasant surprises and steer clear of awkward situations—especially those that could damage your reputation.

5. Stay Engaged

Your job doesn’t stop once you’ve hired a communication professional or firm. Though it is important to let the experts get to work, make sure you follow their progress and are highly responsive to their questions every step of the way. View your relationship as a collaboration and make them feel part of your team. And once the project is over, ask for feedback and ideas. What other opportunities do they see to further your business goals? The answers just might surprise you!

Had Cassandra followed these steps and consulted with professionals throughout the process, she would have likely leveraged their expertise and avoided an embarrassing and costly situation.

Anne Connor is a Spanish- and Italian-to-English translator and language-services professional with over twenty years in the business. She holds a BBA in Business Law from Temple University in Philadelphia and is an active member of the American Translators Association. The American Translators Association represents over 10,000 translators and interpreters across 103 countries. For more information on ATA and to hire a translation or interpreting professional, please visit www.atanet.org.

Avoiding Days of the Living Dead

Addressing Workplace Zombies and Promoting Engagement One Person at a Time

By Kate Zabriskie

Kate Zabriskie-zombi sotry

Zombies in the workplace are soul-sucking, money-draining, productivity-killing entities that chip away at an organization’s spirit and its engagement levels one convert at a time.

These creatures often look like the rest of us, but deep down they’re cancerous beasts that can potentially drive a business to ruin.

So what’s a manager to do? Recognize the problem, know its source, understand why action is essential, and then do the work required to create a zombie-free workplace.

Knowing Your Zombies

Although zombies come in many varieties, most resemble one or more of the following:

Zombies in the workplace look like the rest of us, but deep down they’re cancerous beasts that can potentially drive a business to ruin. Click To Tweet
  1. Negative zombies—Often the easiest to spot, they complain, moan, and express their dissatisfaction regularly. Some will use humor to disguise their disgust, but they are nevertheless contagious and a threat to the uninfected.
  2. Minimum-contributor zombies—They do the basics but nothing more. You will never see them looking for work or volunteering for projects. Furthermore, many act as if they are doing you a favor when you ask them to perform a task they get paid for doing.
  3. Status-quo zombies—These change-averse creatures dig in their heels and fight the future. They are happy with everything the way it is and take no initiative to implement new ideas. The most dangerous of this variety will even resort to sabotage if they feel threatened.
  4. Shortcut zombies—They find ways to cut corners and circumvent processes. Their choices frequently expose the organization to unneeded risk. Worse still, when these zombies are in charge of training others, they pass on bad habits and poor practices.

Identifying the Source

To rid an organization of zombies, you must understand how you got them. Each zombie has a creation story. These are the most common:

  1. The ready-made zombie story: People who were really zombies when someone interviewed them, and they got the job anyway.
  2. The we-did-it-here zombie story: Unlike the ready-made zombies, these zombies were created after they joined the organization. They were discouraged, taught to fear, or worse.
  3. The retired-on-the-job zombie story: These zombies should be long retired, but because of a need to complete a certain number of years of employment before receiving some financial reward or other benefit, they’re still in the workplace and just going through the motions.
  4. The abandoned zombie: Abandoned zombies are employees who could perform well if they didn’t feel as if they were the only ones who cared. After struggling alone, these poor creatures eventually succumbed and now just try to survive.

Making the Choice Before It’s Too Late

When left unchecked, zombies can take over a department, division, or even an entire organization with relative ease. For that reason, it is essential that organizations are focused and vigilant in their approach to zombie management.

Organizations that fail to take the problem seriously may find that it’s too late. To escape havoc when zombies gain a foothold, good employees will often leave for safer territory.

Then, by the time management recognizes its predicament, a lot of talent has walked out the door, and what remains is not sufficient to do great work.

Taking Action

Implementing an anti-zombie initiative is no easy task, but it can be done and done well if you take the process seriously and stay dedicated to invigorating your workforce.

Step One:Be candid about your numbers. High turnover is a strong sign that there is a zombie problem. High absenteeism, poor output, and substandard financial performance are other clues. Think about what you would see if your organization were-zombie free and what numbers would be associated with that vision. Next, compare those statistics to the current reality and set some performance goals.

Step Two:Once you understand your global numbers, you should measure employee engagement. You can run a formal survey with a company that specializes in engagement or create one on your own. As with step one, the goal here is to get a sense of what’s working, what isn’t, and the breadth of your zombie problem.

Step Three: Next, ask yourself what are you seeing and hearing that you don’t want to see, and what are you not seeing and hearing that you do? After you know where the gaps are, think about solutions to address those shortcomings. If your zombies belong to the status-quo category, for example, consider putting in a process whereby everyone is tasked with finding two ways to improve his or her work processes or outputs.

No matter what you choose, be sure you have the stamina to stick with the zombie-eradication tactics you implement. Fewer activities done well will beat a lot of mediocre ones every time.

Step Four: Be prepared to let go of those you can’t save. Despite best efforts, some zombies simply can’t be cured. If you’ve done all you can, and they’re still the walking dead or worse, it’s time to say goodbye. If the termination process in your organization is cumbersome and lengthy, at a minimum, you must protect the uninfected and recently cured from the zombie holdouts.

Step Five:Recognize success and coach for deficiencies. Saving zombies happens one employee at a time. People, who are clear about expectations, receive proper training, get coaching when they miss the mark, and feel appreciated when they get it right or go above and beyond, are highly unlikely to enter or venture back into zombie territory.

Ask

  • Do managers “walk the talk” and model anti-zombie behavior?
  • Do employees understand how their work is connected to the organization’s goals? Can they explain that connection in a sentence or less?
  • Are employees held accountable for following established processes and procedures?
  • Do managers confront negativity?
  • Do managers encourage and reward initiative?
  • Do they meet one-on-one with their direct reports on a regular basis?
  • Does a strong zombie-screening interview process exist?
  • When good people leave, does someone conduct an exit interview to see if zombies are the reason for the departure?

The answers to those questions should serve as a starting point for encouraging engagement and avoiding everything from a small zombie outbreak to a full-blown apocalypse. You can never be too prepared.

Kate Zabriskie is the president of Business Training Works, Inc., a Maryland-based talent development firm. She and her team help businesses establish customer service strategies and train their people to live up to what’s promised. For more information, visit www.businesstrainingworks.com

five Reasons to Hire For Skill Over Experience

By John Carrozza

John Carrozza

When hiring a new person into your organization, it’s very likely that you will review their resume, CV or professional profile and assess how their experience might apply to what your team needs. This is a very logical approach to assessing talent.

However, when you look at how quickly the skills to perform each role are changing, only looking at past experience could leave you with a big skill gap. Hiring someone for their skills is a much safer, and longer-term bet, but it’s hard to change how you may have been looking at talent.

Hiring for skills means that your workforce is better prepared for changes your business may need to take in the future. Click To Tweet

There are many news headlines that share the warnings; we have enough bodies to fill the roles, but skills development is not keeping up with the demands of today’s businesses and tomorrow’s innovation. Even if unemployment rates are high, it does not mean you will have more available talent that your business needs. Hiring for skills means that your workforce is better prepared for changes your business may need to take in the future and are likely more adaptable to the future organization you are starting to envision.

To make sure you are not only attracting the best candidates, but know who they are when they’re right in front of you, here are five ways to approach hiring for skill:

Don’t get too caught up with ‘fit’.

Hiring for culture is extremely important, there is no debating that. However, hiring for what ‘fits’ today is extremely limiting. Think about where your business will be in three to five years and look at fit at that point. Every area of your business is likely evolving; make sure your talent acquisition activities are too.

Avoid the shiny pedigree appeal.

Many organizations today focus too heavily on sourcing efforts that target candidates with “pedigree appeal”—impressive or prestigious credentials or educational or employment backgrounds. In fact, these days it takes precedence over the thorough investigation your team should be doing to understand if candidates have the skills needed to do their job today and tomorrow. Make sure you are still using some good old-fashioned interviewing and assessment skills to learn what these candidates gained from their prestigious experience!

Leverage technology, don’t fully rely on it.

There are amazing tools today to search resumes for key words that can help you create a shortlist of candidates. Where the technology cannot take you any further is uncovering why/when/how do people entertain new career opportunities, and what they need or want before you start selling the job and the organization. Be sure to learn a person’s aspirations for growing their career and constantly enhancing their skill set.

Sharpen your assessment skills.

Further to number 2, knowing how to effectively assess candidates for desired skill sets based on prior accomplishments and results, and to coach hiring managers to do the same. Think about the skills the candidate has demonstrated and get an understanding of what they learned from their experience. You can do this by actively listening and interpreting for understanding, not just responding.

Learn the story of the skills.

Know where the value lies in the story of their experience and with at least two skill-based questions (with follow-ups) for each attractive experiential accomplishment in their background, you can get to the story of the skills. Coaching your team who participate in the interview process can help them put the skills in the proper context. An example of a skill-based question could be, “How did you build the skills you needed after a setback?”

Previous approaches may have had you looking for top commercial or consumer brands, or top international schools on a resume. Many have assumed that if they survived a period at that school, or at that employer, they would automatically be able to deliver what is needed in a particular role. Skill-based hiring has you looking for stories with keywords like: ability to communicate, learning new systems, managing relationships, interpreting situations, forming new ideas, strategic thinking, and respecting others’ input.

Many of these things are much harder to teach, change, or develop in candidates regardless of the industry they come from. These are the solid skills that can make an immediate impact and fit in with your culture, today and in the future. For consistency across all your interviews, a scoring tool to identify where the greatest added value would be, where the growth opportunity for each candidate lies and what your recommendations are can be a helpful way to later review the talent available to you.

Having a strong understanding of what you need each role to bring to your team today—and how their role may quickly evolve—will help you find strong candidates. These will turn into fantastic employees who are adaptable and will help bring your organization into the future. It may be tough at first to be able to evaluate experience and then go beyond that to focus on skills. Know that getting a start on this will give you a competitive edge as the battle to attract, develop, and retain your talent heats up.

John Carrozza is a Principal Consultant with Riviera Advisors, Inc., a boutique Recruitment/Talent Acquisition Management and Optimization Consulting Firm based in southern California. His career has been dedicated to helping Talent Acquisition teams perform at their best, and has previously done this at The Walt Disney Company, and consulting for Universal Studios Hollywood and DirecTV. In his spare time, John has dabbled in producing film, video and web content. For more information on John Carrozza, please visit: www.RivieraAdvisors.com