Blog, Human Resources

Finding the right employee can be difficult in even the best of circumstances. Poorly thought out search criteria can make the job that much harder by making it difficult to determine who the best available candidate is. Whenever you’re looking to fill a position, consider the following before you make a hiring decision.

 

Define Job Requirements or Qualifications

 

Be careful that your job requirements aren’t exclusionary or discriminatory towards other cultures or religions. For example, a rule that your employees must be clean-shaven. This would prevent you from hiring someone from the Sikh community even if you did not intend for it to do so.

 

To avoid issues with discrimination, be proactive about designing job requirements in such a way that only the absolute essentials are included: things that are required to do the job. This will ensure that your requirements fall under “bona fide” or government approved and will protect you from lawsuits and unflattering publicity.

 

Prepare a Detailed Job Description

 

A good job description will communicate the role’s responsibilities as clearly as possible to job seekers. It also allows them to get a better understanding of what their most important duties will be, and how they will be asked to prioritize. Ideally, the job description should also establish how the goals of the position contribute to the overall mission of the company.

 

A clear, detailed, well-written job description is not only useful for discouraging applications from less qualified applicants, but it can also help hiring managers better identify who has the most desirable characteristics for the job. For example, companies can learn more about where an employee might need more training by gauging their attributes against the job requirements.

 

Tailor Your Interview Questions

 

Avoid using the same tired old questions and instead draft specific questions based on the most important criteria outlined in your job description. You want to leave the interview with a good idea about how well the candidate will perform in the role and whether they will be a good cultural fit for your organization. You want to avoid using generic questions, so that they don’t just end up giving you the answers you want to hear.

 

Establish Employment Tests

 

Thorough background checks will protect you and your company from litigation over negligent hiring or a “failure to warn” if the employee ends up doing something violent or controversial. You have a duty of care to your employees, which means you can be held accountable if you hire someone who harms or threatens them. Aside from running the standard criminal background checks, it’s always a good idea to conduct a Google search for their LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter accounts. By doing so, you may get some insight into what type of personality the candidates have and the kinds of associations they maintain. Some firms also utilize credit checks to better gauge how stable a person is in making important decisions.

 

Strong search criteria will allow you to quickly identify who has the most desirable traits by providing you with a system where the most important attributes are properly emphasized and the vetting process naturally requires the candidate to showcase the knowledge you need them to have. As your criteria becomes more and more well defined, the hiring process will become proportionately easier as well. Save yourself some work later by putting in the effort to develop the right criteria early.

 

Salman Allidina | Contributing Writer

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Blog, Human Resources

Finding the ideal candidate to join your company is a challenging task, but it’s gradually becoming easier thanks to advancing technology that not only speeds things up but helps with much of the minutiae of hiring. While many tried and true hiring tactics are still a must, like interviews and checking references, there’s been enough progress to save HR from wasting time on the wrong candidate.

Targeted Ads

Have you ever had those moments when you’re browsing the web, or just spending time on social media, when suddenly an advertisement appears for a product you’ve only thought or talked about? Imagine a potential candidate suddenly finding your job posting in the same manner. Although the reaction ranges somewhere between invasive and kismet, there’s no denying the potential reach of targeted recruiting ads.

These ads are one of the most useful tools in your hiring arsenal. If a potential candidate is on a hiring website, chances are that they know the type of job to search for, and your goal is to get to the top of the list. The simplest way is through targeted ads. Include the industry, job type, requirements, job description, and keywords, then let the algorithms do the rest.


SEO

You have targeted ads to direct potential hires to your website, and that’s great. However, according to a CareerXroads study, 98% of these visitors will leave your site almost immediately. Don’t let this stat dissuade you. The issue isn’t caused by a poorly written job description, it’s that it’s not the job that they’re looking for. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to solving this dilemma.

Your targeted ads are making the rounds, being seen by many eyes, just not the ones you need. Good SEO increases the visibility of your recruiting ads, and there are several ways to do this. First, make sure your website is mobile-optimized. Almost everyone who’s looking for a job is doing so on mobile devices at least in part, so it would hinder your chances of finding good prospects by not ignoring mobile users.

An additional way to improve SEO is by making use of effective social media strategies. Post on Facebook and LinkedIn Recruiter, all the while building an audience through engagement. Post relevant articles and actively respond to comments. This strategy both builds your company’s online presence and ensures that the right eyes are on the job ads you post.


Technology

Technological advancement in this field continues to increase at a surprising rate. Resume screening programs can help filter out the less qualified candidates while giving prominence to the stronger ones. The program does so by matching requirements and skills needed to each resume. In other words, it does the job of the recruiter.

Automated interviewing tools can also streamline the interview process, making it more efficient. They can analyze important data that factors into a good interview performance, such as facial expressions, speech patterns, and word choices. Once again, doing your very job for you.

Before you panic about a robot uprising, remember you’re the one at the helm implementing these strategies to find the best recruit. Remember that these tools and strategies are always advancing, you just need to be the one strategizing their uses.

 

Alex Correa

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Blog, Human Resources

Older generations have always been critical of the younger ones. From Socrates referring to youths as “bad-mannered tyrants with a lack of respect for their elders” to current young people being blamed for killing countless industries – the toxicity is real.

The current generation receiving the criticism flack is the “millennial,” currently between 21 and 37 years of age. The accusation that they’re the reason for the collapse of several businesses isn’t unfounded. They just can’t afford diamonds, houses, and sometimes even cereal. This comes as no surprise, as millennials carry an average debt of $42,000. As these debts soar and inflation continues to rise, it’s likely the deaths of once-booming industries won’t end any time soon. On the surface it appears as though millennials are doomed to fail, but is it all bad?

The average Canadian lifespan, as of 2011, is nearly 82 years. Compared to the 57-year average in 1921, Canadians are living approximately 25 years longer than previous generations. It was once believed that as people aged, they became more politically conservative. The millennial generation proves that it isn’t age that makes one conservative, but wealth – and millennials don’t have much of that. There’s a reason why money isn’t everything for the younger generation; they prioritize work that’s ethical and makes a social impact over a big paycheque, are more politically engaged, and more educated than any preceding generation (thus the heavy student-loan debt). Despite what some baby boomers might tell you, millennials are hard-working and motivated, making them an asset in the workplace.

Passion is what drives millennial ambitions. Previously, working hard at a job you hated wasn’t frowned upon. Now, you can work just as hard at a job you hate, just like your parents and their parents before them, and still struggle to make ends meet. Suddenly, working as a teacher might be just as risky as pursuing dreams of being an actor or painter.

But the ideal life is no longer built around a picket fence and a 9-to-5 job with benefits. In fact, millennials are dominating their side hustles, and putting their passions into overdrive on top of their regular work week. In the U.S., more than half of millennials are starting apps, freelancing their talents, or trying their hands at things like YouTube channels.

With all of this time and energy going towards work and passion projects, more and more members of this generation are waiting longer to have children, which also has its benefits. Having children later in life has proven to make you a more patient parent, and also makes you more likely to raise emotionally healthy adults. And, with people living into their eighties, waiting to have children doesn’t mean sacrificing time you get to spend with them.

All in all, millennials take a lot of criticism from previous generations, but obtaining multiple degrees and working longer hours doesn’t leave much time to dwell on those judgements. And eventually, we’ll turn our attention towards the entitled kids of the next generation.

 

Jasmine Cormier

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Human Resources

Beyond having the right product and service, it’s vitally important that every organization ensures that its employees are all good fits. Employing staff who are ill-suited to their jobs will cost your company time, money, and effort. However, with the proper tools, training, and direction, a new hire is a premium capital investment, and your company’s most valuable asset. 


While the world is increasingly driven by technology, nothing can replace old-fashioned experience and intuition, meaning your human resources department is required to ensure your greatest success in this regard.


With that in mind, here are some pointers to help you yield better results when seeking the perfect hire for your company.


Establish the Need to Hire
A proactive and strategic HR department will always ensure that the company has the right quantity and quality of people to keep the business running. In cases of manpower requisition, HR and management must be able to answer the two key questions before initiating recruitment:

  1. Is the vacancy created due to internal movement such as a resignation, maternity/paternity leave, demotion, or termination?
  2. If none of the above, is it due to business expansion?

Since hiring is an overhead expense, return on investment (ROI) should always be taken into consideration. It’s also crucial to examine your existing workforce, as you might have a potentially qualified internal candidate who’s long overdue for a promotion. Review employee profiles and records or announce vacancies internally. You can also check for underutilized personnel that can fill open positions. Only once you’ve fully exhausted your internal resources should you proceed with the search for an external candidate. Management, with the assistance of HR, may opt to promote from within or divide up the required duties within the department or the broader organization to save time and money while increasing employee motivation.


Conduct Job Analysis

Envision what you want and define your labour needs in clear terms. This tool is not only used in recruitment, it could also be a realistic basis for training, wage and salary administration, and job re-engineering. The output of job analysis is a well-crafted job description, which should be the foundation of a competency-based recruitment strategy. It clearly defines the scope and responsibilities of the job as well as relationship with other positions and departments. It should be up-to-date and include the reporting structure, challenges and opportunities, and qualifications.


Map Your Recruitment Platform

The goal is to have a systematic hiring process that will aid HR and management in attracting the best candidates for the job. The more qualified candidates you have, the more likely you are to find the ideal person for the position. Utilizing the details in the job description, management and HR will create job specifications, a salary range, and a hiring timeline. For employee morale, make sure to advertise the position internally; internal placement is a great way of motivating employees to perform well. If it’s to be an external hire, the reasons why should be clearly explained and communicated. One of the advantages of internal hiring is that culture fit – one of the top considerations in hiring – shouldn’t be an issue. When an internal candidate is offered the new position, a transition timeline with their current supervisor should be planned.


If there are no qualified internal candidates, HR can proceed to external sourcing, which should incorporate both traditional methods like posts on job boards (both online and offline), job fairs, campus recruitment at colleges and universities (if appropriate for the position), and social media. For more high-profile positions, HR should be trained on how to find skilled candidates who may not be openly searching for a new job.


Effective Screening and Selection

Most job postings will be met with a flood of applicants. To simplify HR’s job, setting criteria and preparing structured interview questions will aid in efficiently separating the best candidates from the pack, almost like a hiring scorecard. Effective HR should accomplish the following:

  1. Screen resumes by matching information to the job checklist.
  2. Conduct phone interviews with candidates who meet certain predetermined criteria (say, three out of five items on the checklist). The best of the phone-interview performers will be invited for a face-to-face interview. Again, based on internal scoring. HR should present the short-listed candidates to management.
  3. Verify credentials of the top three to five candidates by checking references (some industries also include a credit check as part of this process) and present the findings to management for the final hiring decision.

 

Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment; it should always be tailored and catered to the type of business involved. By implementing the above tips, however, you’ll ensure that your organization is on the right track.


Business photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com
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Blog, Human Resources

Have you ever questioned the fairness of your management practices? An obvious gauge of how you’re doing is the relationship you have with your staff and how often you’re the subject of HR interventions. But some bosses get away with unfairness, without a word, often because employees are intimidated or fear for their jobs. For all those in a managerial role, here are some unfair practices that you need to identify and cease, in order of severity.

Illegal Practices

That’s right, illegal practices – because discrimination, harassment, and the denial of employees’ rights are against workplace fairness and equity legislation.

Have you ever limited, segregated, classified, or deprived staff of opportunities “based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and pardoned conviction?” Have you been directing any intentionally offensive and improper conduct toward an employee? Have you withheld from your workers any of their legal entitlements, including a fair wage and public holiday pay?

If you’ve engaged in any of these unfair practices, you may have broken the law. You’ll be required to give an account when one of your employees takes union or legal action.

Unprofessional Practices

A tier below criminally unfair managerial behaviours are those that are unprofessional and inappropriate. Managers can be unfair in how they display nepotism or favouritism. Getting along with some staff better than others is only natural, but a line is crossed when managers recruit, promote, or give preference to less qualified employees based on the fact that they’re related, have a personal friendship, or share a common affinity.

Other inappropriate practices include taking credit for an employee’s work, unjustified exclusion from important projects or meetings, and denying well-deserved promotions or raises without explanation. Managers can also demoralize employees by publicly shaming or teasing them. All of these damaging behaviours can lead to staff lodging grievances against your organization.

Unhelpful Practices

The third category of unfair behaviour includes those that are simply unpleasant and unhelpful. Each person has different personality traits and cultural influences as well as insecurities, sensitivities, and varying levels of social/emotional intelligence. People can rub each other the wrong way and have different ideas of what behaviour is acceptable in the workplace.

A manager can think it’s okay, or even motivating, to be excessively critical, sarcastic, or passive aggressive to their employees. Other managers may unintentionally be hostile or unreasonable while under pressure or even due to issues in their own personal lives. However, it’s no excuse. If you have knowingly or unknowingly engaged in these kinds of behaviours to your employees, cut it out, raise your professional game, and resolve to be a more fair manager.

 

– James Paik 

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Blog, Human Resources

As a manager, you have an important role as a leader. You are responsible for maintaining order and generating success within the company. Your management techniques set a precedent among those you work with, so it’s important to make sure you use the proper techniques.

Paint the Big Picture

Regardless of the ranking of your management role, first and foremost you must define your projects and business goals. Make a list for all the different things that need to be done, along with the actions that employees must take. Without defining and enforcing the company objectives, there is no clear direction as to what everyone should be working towards.

Evaluate Worst-Case Scenarios

Be prepared for anything. Whether you lose a business partner or company data, make sure you have a plan. What flexibility have you implemented within your business plan? What can and cannot be sent back to the drawing board? Since we never know when the unexpected will hit us, it’s best to factor in worst-case scenarios while scheduling and planning.

Stay Organized

If you aren’t organized as a manager, your team won’t be either. You’re the go-to person when certain items are missing or if someone needs direction or help. If you forget about important contacts or lose track of important dates, you’ll lose time. Whatever organizational tools you may be using, remember that they will be the backbone of the project goals.

Establish Boundaries

As you constantly communicate with particular clients, employees, and co-workers, there’s no doubt that you will eventually develop a relationship with them. Although it’s human nature, you cannot let your professional guard down. It’s not difficult for people to sense when a manager is closer with some colleagues than others. You don’t want people within your company to feel left out or mistreated. Draw a fine line between what is professional and what is personal. Don’t jeopardize your job or the success of your company with personal dilemmas or office drama.

Consistency

Deadlines change, and your clientele may increase, but your work ethic should remain consistent. Don’t be a manager who is reliable on some days and isn’t on others. The more you do this, the more you hold employees back. Just as you need your employees to be consistent, return the same courtesy to them as well.

Trust

As a company lead, you must always be accountable for your actions. Everyone in the company is interconnected. If you’re providing false information to one employee, it will eventually travel to another, and so on. The worst thing is for your clients and business partners to notice these inconsistencies or inaccuracies. Don’t break trust between the people you work with.

 

– L. Shabudin

 

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Blog, Human Resources

Finding a work-life balance isn’t easy. It’s imperative for an individual to have their employer’s support to achieve this. A person can only do so much if their job is demanding most of their time. In some cases, businesses consider the number of hours an employee spends at work or the amount of time they take off to be a direct reflection of their commitment. Thankfully, more and more organizations are recognizing that people need a work-life balance to be more productive. Helping your staff attain this goal will not only improve their daily operations, but also decrease the organization’s turnover rate. Some benefits a business can offer to aid its workers are:

Flexible Schedule

Create a program where employees can take a day or half-a-day off by working extra hours during the week. This will assist your staff to have some time to work on personal tasks, be with family, or have an extra day before the weekend. 

Telecommuting

Allow your staff to work from home. It doesn’t have to be every day, but some days during the week will help. Nowadays, technology provides the option to authorize employees to access the company network from home. They can also communicate with coworkers and managers from anywhere in the world, as long as an internet connection is available. This will give flexibility to their schedule and allow for less time commuting.

Paternal Leave

In most countries, parents are entitled to a maternity/paternity leave when their baby is born. The length of the leave will depend on the employer and government laws. But what most companies don’t offer is a leave that allows parents to take time off when their child is sick or for other emergencies. Employees always appreciate when management understands their needs and provide priority to family matters.

Lights Out Program

Establish a day during the week when no one can work overtime. This policy will ensure that staff members who often work extra hours take a much-needed break.

Vacation Time

Make sure your employees don’t work for longer than two years without taking a vacation. According to a study, around 40% of Americans don’t take vacations. To avoid this, provide all the necessary tools, like work back-up, to complete jobs before their absence.

Facilities

If your business can afford it, provide childcare and fitness amenities at work. These onsite services allow your employees to spend less hours commuting and more hours taking care of their children or themselves.

Supporting your employees to achieve a work-life balance will entail happier and healthier staff. Not to mention, higher productivity and lower turnover for the company. Create a win-win situation for everyone.

 

– Viviana Sanchez 

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