Does your Company Culture Attract Candidates?

May 30th, 2014

Your recruiting strategy is a sophisticated, multi-faceted effort designed to source and attract the highest level of talent available in the local or global marketplace. And you have most of the basics locked down. Your recruiters are highly trained, your social media marketing efforts are aggressive and well-targeted, and you know how to make the most of your referrals and in-house promotions.

But are you overlooking one of the most important staffing tools at your disposal—your company culture? A great culture and a thriving team of happy, engaged employees will speak volumes to potential candidates. Nothing makes a workplace more appealing than an existing team of people who love it here. At the same time, nothing raises questions and drives candidates away like a culture of burned out, underpaid, under-supported, or hypercompetitive zombies. Here are a few ways to build and leverage the first while avoiding the second.

1. First, respect your employees. Before you can use your culture to market your company, you have to have something to sell. To find ways to get from where you are to where you want to be, distribute surveys. Ask your current employees what they like about this place and what they’d like to see changed. Encourage their feedback and listen carefully to the information they offer.

2. As you start turning your workplace into a thriving, productive environment, encourage your employees to spread the word. Ask them to “like” the company and make positive remarks on social media. Offer incentives for these small gestures.

3. Get them to bring their friends on board. Offer hiring and signing bonuses and encourage referrals for job seeking friends and family members.

4. Solicit honest testimonials. Use these written testimonials in your marketing material, online accounts, and efforts to engage new applicants and recruits.

5. Open up your company culture to the rest of the world. Sponsor community service activities like literacy programs, stream clean-ups, pet adoption programs and blood drives. Give your workplace a public face and personality.

6. Pay attention to your employees’ long term needs and ambitions. Provide mentoring programs, professional training, tuition reimbursement, and opportunities for growth within the company. The more loyal and long term your relationships become, the better chance you’ll have of attracting and retaining top talent.

For more information on how to build your staffing program and elevate your company culture from the inside, reach out to the staffing experts at PSU.

Prevent Future Problems by Creating an Employee Handbook Now

May 23rd, 2014

Your company is growing every day, and your tiny team of loyal employees has doubled and then doubled again. Your client base is expanding and so are your staffing needs…and as you search for a bigger office location, you’re also looking for tools and strategies that can help you manage teams on a much larger level than before. As you do this, take a moment to execute a simple step that can help you head off future problems and keep your management tasks under control: Draft an employee handbook. Here are a few ways a handbook can help you sidestep trouble.

1. A handbook keeps employees on track and on task.

Each handbook will begin with a clearly defined job description for a given employee’s specific position. From her first day onward, she’ll have a written document in hand that defines her job and her mission within the larger organization. Sometimes rapidly growing companies experience mission creep and disagreements about the nature and purpose of specific employee relationships, but with a handbook, this is not as likely.

2. A handbook clearly outlines all policies covering employee behavior.

This can also help prevent confusion and disputes later over dress code issues and personal conduct in the office. There’s nothing more unproductive and unprofessional then a drawn-out, undefined battle over an inch of hemline or a questionable message on a T-shirt.

3. A handbook makes safety rules clear and accessible.

Clarity and accessibility are the cornerstone of effective safety rules. And if each employee has access to all the safety polices that impact his or her job, they can be held accountable for violations (which will be less likely to take place).

4. A handbook outlines all policies that cover IT issues.

Company network access, internet access, the use of personal devices, and the sharing of company information can all be covered in the handbook with clear rules and written consequences for breaking them. The same applies to the use or abuse of other company resources.

5. The handbook helps managers make coaching, transfer, and termination decisions.

If your managers aren’t sure how to handle a struggling employee, they can always ask for help or consult HR. But a handbook can answer some of these questions by providing guidelines on documentation and other disciplinary steps.

For more on how an official handbook can help you stay in control while your teams grow and your company expands, contact the staffing experts at PSU.

Three Indispensable Job Search Branding Tips

May 9th, 2014

“Personal branding” means using the basic techniques of business marketing to help potential employers keep your name in mind after they skim your resume and move on to the next one in the lineup. Just a few little moves can help you stand out and make your personal story a little more compelling and a little easier to remember later on. Like a catchy commercial jingle that runs through your head all day long, the right hook can grab and keep a manager’s attention.

Branding may not have much to do with your actual skills sets and qualifications for the job; it just involves a set of moves that tie your professional details together into a seamless and appealing whole. Start with these:

1. Harp on single, simple theme.

If you’re an engineer but you were a baker during an earlier chapter of your life, pitch yourself as “the engineer who used to be a baker”. Your dual skill sets and diverse experience are rare (no other candidate will share this unique story). And if you can explain how these two qualities overlap and inform each other, your message will be hard to ignore.

2. Choose a color.

Choose one color that can be subtly woven through your entire job search process, from the layout details on your resume to the tie or scarf you wear to the interview. Keep in mind some of the color associations that we share as a culture. For example, red: passion. Yellow: a sunny demeanor. Green: creativity. Blue: calm and emotional control. Purple: dignity. Orange: friendliness and extroversion.

3. Choose a tone.

Keep your tone professional but consistent throughout your resume, cover letter, and interview. And no matter which tone you choose, make sure it aligns with your chosen color. For example, if you’re a “green” creative candidate, keep that theme alive in each of your written and spoken communications as well as your visual presentation.

4. Keep your online information consistent.

When employers type your name into a search engine, the first few results will probably include your social media profiles, personal website, and blog. So use these platforms to tell a coherent story about who you are and what you can do.

Contact the staffing experts at PSU for more on how to send a strong branding message and find the right position for your skills and needs.

How to Become a Career Mentor

May 2nd, 2014

You’ve been working in your industry for several years now, inching your way up from the lowest level, making mistakes, bouncing back, asking the right questions, and climbing the ladder rung by rung. You know you haven’t gotten this far on your own—Plenty of others have helped you along the way by offering advice and setting a successful example. And now that you’ve arrived, you’d like to give something back by acting as a mentor for someone else.

If this describes you, you’re on the right track. Helping someone else is a great way to enhance your own career, and chances are, you’ll learn as much from your mentees as they do from you. But before this happens, you’ll have to establish a strong mentor relationship in the first place. Here are a few ways to get started.

1. Look around. Are there any younger or less experienced employees who you interact with on a daily basis who may already see you in this light? If so, take steps to formalize this arrangement. Ask them if they’d like to commit to weekly or monthly meetings, reading assignments, and feedback sessions. Let them know your reasoning, and let them know that you see potential in them and would like to help them reach their goals.

2. If you don’t see an obvious choice for a mentee, consult with mangers or company decision makers and encourage them to help you or to pair you with a younger employee who may be looking for professional guidance from a personal source.

3. Keep the relationship focused on your mentee’s goals, not your own goals or the goals you would like them to have. Before you pontificate or offer answers, make sure you listen carefully for the questions that interest your mentee the most.

4. When you don’t know, say so. But when you do know and you do have the answers, speak up. Be generous with your wisdom. Draw valuable information and helpful narratives from your own experience.

5. Document the relationship and your mentee’s progress as well as you can. In terms of growth and professional progress, milestones aren’t really real until they’re written down. Use your documentation to help set the course for future sessions, and call upon your records before you write recommendation letters, share testimonials, or help your mentee land a promotion or new position.

For more on how to build a relationship that can help both you and a mentee move your careers forward, contact the staffing and career development experts at Personnel Services Unlimited.

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