Are you Losing Top Talent to Your Competition?

April 20th, 2016

There’s only one thing more disheartening than saying goodbye to a talented employee – saying goodbye and then watching that employee sign on with your toughest competitor. After all the closely timed parallel rollouts and the tug-of-war over market share, the late night brainstorming sessions and team-building exercises, it’s galling to watch one of your best players switch sides. But this business isn’t a game for your employees; it’s a livelihood. They don’t come in every day and cheer for the company the way they cheer for their favorite soccer team. They come in here to make money, build their careers, and take care of themselves and their families. So if you’d like to inspire loyalty and keep them onboard when the road gets rough, you’ll need to take action.

Don’t assume that a family atmosphere means family loyalty.

Your employees have families, real families, and they care about those people more than they care about you. So if you aren’t paying them what their skills are worth, don’t expect an atmosphere of love and friendship to keep them from looking for work elsewhere. Love or no love, Every time you say no to a raise request, you take a gamble. Think carefully and conduct some research before you do this.

But a family atmosphere definitely helps.

At the same time, a fair wage should only represent one pillar of your retention strategy. The rest of your efforts should focus on making your workplace safe, clean, and respectful. And this starts with your culture. Do you actively encourage friendly collaboration or hostile internal competition? You don’t have to go to extremes, but the first usually fosters more loyalty than the second.

Listening matters.

Your employees will inevitably come to you with requests for accommodations that you can’t provide. But if you can’t afford to wave a wand and replace the ancient printer, reduce the workload, or fix a broken workflow system, you can still listen. Do your best to understand the problem. Listen carefully and respectfully so employees will come to you later with problems that are well within your power to solve.

Engage in last minute rescues.

There’s nothing wrong with making a bid to retain an employee who’s heading out the door. When your talented experts give notice, spring into action. Quickly assemble a counteroffer (even if you denied them a raise just last month), and make this right. If you can’t convince your employee to change her mind, ask for an exit interview so you can determine exactly what when wrong and how similar departures can be prevented in the future.

For more on how to attract and retain top performers and encourage them to reject offers from your competitors, contact the North Carolina staffing professionals at Personnel Services Unlimited.

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How to Use Keywords to Keep Your Application Out of the Garbage!

April 14th, 2016

When you submit your resume to a potential employer, it probably won’t end up in the hands (or on the screen) of a reviewer right away. Most employers use a system that deposits resumes into a database immediately upon receipt, and that’s where they tend to stay until they’re actively called up and drawn out via a strategic keyword search. So how can you make sure your document appears in the results of such a search? Here are a few tips that can help you choose the best keywords and use them to your advantage.

Look for clues in the job post.

Read the text of the job post carefully. Chances are the keywords that will be used to search for resume matches are right there in the post. Use them in your document where appropriate, and use the exact wording that you see. For example, if the post says “CPR certification required,” make sure your resume contains the phrase “CPR Certification”, not just “certified in multiple areas including CPR.”

Use as many different keywords as you can.

It won’t help you to repeat the phrase “CPR certification” 10 times in your resume. Once will be enough. In the meantime, look for ways to use other distinct words and phrases that might help you.

Insert key phrases seamlessly.

There’s almost no chance you’ll be offered a job (or an interview invitation) based solely on an automated scan of your resume. At some point in the process, your resume will certainly end up in the hands of at least one human reader (if you make it that far). So make sure this reader isn’t turned off by robotic language and keywords that have been awkwardly inserted where they don’t belong. If you have to choose, always prioritize clarity, readability, and accuracy over keyword use.

Don’t stretch the truth.

Don’t use “clever” strategies to pack your resume with keywords where they don’t belong. Eventually your document will be reviewed by a human reader, and you’ll end up in the recycle bin if you engage in trickery by using phrases like “I don’t hold CRP certification, but…” or placing your keywords in white text so you can fool the scanners.

Don’t neglect your cover letter.

Cover letters are often subject to keyword searches as well, and your letter may be examined first. Make sure you emphasize keywords in the opening paragraph of your letter and the summary section of your resume.

For more information on how to help your resume stand out in a crowded applicant field, reach out to the Belmont job search and career management experts at Personnel Services Unlimited.

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