What Workplace Qualities Do your Employees Value Most?

January 22nd, 2016

If you’re like most successful managers, you understand that a strong connection exists between productive employees and happy employees. You know that if you work hard to keep your employees safe and motivated, and you demonstrate respect for their talents and their time, then they’ll be more likely to show your company the same respect in return. You’ll retain high-value workers by cultivating long term relationships with them, and you’ll attract a more talented pool of candidates as your reputation begins to climb.
But what can you do to launch this upward spiral? What traits should you cultivate in order to attract and retain the best employees?

Flexibility

Some studies show that modern workers, especially at the mid-career level, value time even more than they value money. Of course you’ll still need to pay your employees what they’re worth, but consider adopting a flexible approach to work hours as well. As far as possible, allow your teams to shape their own schedules and work remotely if and when they need to. As long as the work gets done, it shouldn’t matter where or when this happens.

Fairness

If you aren’t paying attention to who gets the credit for hard work and great ideas, you should be. Maybe you can’t be bothered to take a close look at interoffice politics and gossip, but if so, you may be missing opportunities to praise and reward the real contributors, not just the loudest shouters. Fairness should be a top priority when it’s time to distribute workloads, assign projects, or grant promotions.

Connectivity

Consider allowing your employers to connect their own devices to the company network or log in to the network from anywhere they choose. Make sure employees are properly compensated for work they conduct or data they consume using their own contracts.

Opportunities for growth

In addition to compensation, you’ll need to take care of your employees by looking out for their futures. Create opportunities for growth within your organization by building long term hiring pipelines. And in the meantime, encourage learning by establishing a mentoring program, providing in-house training, and offering tuition compensation for employees who would like to further their educations.

Respect

The basic equation is simple: if you give respect, you’ll get respect. And for employees, this means respect for their thoughts, their ideas, and their needs. Keep a close eye on how much your teams are actually being paid for each hour of their time; if they’re salaried employees working 60 hour weeks and making 30,000 dollars a year, this is unacceptable. Understand the link between how much they contribute and how much they’re paid.
For more on how to boost your reputation and gain access to the best employees, reach out to the experienced staffing team at PSU.

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How to Determine Appropriate Compensation

November 6th, 2015

You’ve completed a resume review and several rounds of interviews, and you’re ready to reach out to your chosen candidate. You have a primary contender in mind, plus two back-ups if your first says no, and all three are likely to fit the position and serve the company well. Now that you’ve found your candidate (and runners up), it’s time for the next step: assembling your offer. You need to open the negotiation by presenting a number that’s high enough to close the deal, but not high enough to leave money on the table. Here are a few moves that can help you identify that number.

Conduct research first.

A quick trip to the internet (and your own in-house experts) will start you down the right path. This move is by no means conclusive; the internet may set an average compensation bar for a candidate with this amount of experience, but that doesn’t mean your job is done. Popular salary sites can do two things: they can present you with a wide ballpark estimate, and they can provide a sense of what your candidate knows and expects. (Both of you will surely visit the same sites.)

Recognize that the candidate and the company use different metrics to determine salary.

Your salary offer will be based on two primary factors: the rarity of candidate’s skill sets (her replaceability), and the monetary value she brings to the company. If her actions bring a flood of revenue, some of that revenue should be returned to her. And if her skills are hard to find, you’ll need to stretch to keep her on board. But recognize that her metrics are different than yours. Unlike you, she’ll also be factoring in the cost of her commute, her childcare needs, the other offers she’s fielding, her previous salary, and the amount she needs in order to live the life she wants.

Ask for previous salary figures, but don’t expect an answer.

Ideally, most employers would like to pay their candidate exactly what she made at her last job, plus one dollar more. This usually represents the minimum offer that can be placed on the table. Anything less and the candidate will simply walk away. Anything more may be unnecessary to landing a yes. But recognize that if you ask for this data point, the candidate is not obligated to respond. Most savvy candidates will offer a preferred range instead.

Pay more to get more.

Nickel-and-diming your candidate may look like a thrifty move on the surface, but the long term matters more than the immediate moment. Unhappy employees disengage and eventually leave. But if they’re paid well, unhappy employees often stay, struggle through the hard times, work to impress difficult bosses, and search hard to find value in the enterprise. Err on the side of retention, and make sure that your offer is generous enough to keep your new employee loyal when the going gets rough.

For more on how to crunch the numbers and arrive at a salary offer that bring your candidate on board—and keep her there — contact the staffing team at PSU.

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Watch Out for These Job Search Mistakes

May 1st, 2015

As you strike out in search of a new job, you’ll need plenty of confidence, a beautifully edited resume, and network of friends and professional contacts who you can turn to for support, leads, and guidance. You’ll also need to stay on your toes and watch out for these common pitfalls. Job mistakes like these can be more damaging than you may realize, and even experienced job seekers aren’t immune. Watch your step and keep your eyes on the road ahead.

Phone Trouble

During your modern job search, your phone can serve as a guide, an information resource, and a close companion who can get you out of a pickle if you get lost on your way your interview…but watch out. When it comes to reaching your professional goals, there’s a right time and a wrong time to place your entire destiny in the hands of your device. Take hard copies of your resume with you to your interview—don’t rely on your phone to transmit vital info to a person sitting two feet away. And ideally, you’ll want to keep your phone tucked away and silent during your meeting. Never hold up your phone and look at it during a conversation with another person if you’re trying to get that person to hire you.

Lazy or Slow Responses

It may not seem fair, but response times don’t take place on an equal playing field. Your recruiter is under no obligation to respond to your emails and phone calls quickly…or at all. After all, she’s working for her employer clients, not for you (that’s why she isn’t charging you for her services). But you, on the other hand, ARE obligated to respond, and your answers should be complete, polite, and respectful as well as fast. If she asks you for something, provide it immediately.

Arrogance

Generations ago, points were given (consciously or unconsciously) to job candidates who burst through the door with a swagger, made demands, or gave off an aura of entitlement and expectation. But times have changed, and if you don’t know the difference between confidence and arrogance, now is the time to learn. If you act as though the job is yours before you receive a formal offer, prepare to stay on the market for a long time. To earn respect, show respect first.

Waffling

By the same token, it’s hard to convince someone to hire you or take a chance on you if you seem uncertain about what you actually want. You can’t control the decisions or destinies of other people—that’s arrogance. But you can, and should, control your own destiny at all times. Be clear with your employers about what you want from your life and your career, and ask plenty of questions to determine if a given opportunity will align with your needs.

For more on how to make the right impression and shorten the path to your dream job, reach out to the staffing team at PSU.

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