The Two-Minute Resume Review: Where Skills Meet Results

Many of us who have chosen to navigate the constantly variable — and often unpredictable — waters of human resources are familiar with the common components of the resume. Most applications ask for them, many demand them.

With all of the resources available for candidates to search and reference for resume preparation, there is really no excuse for the submission of a sub-standard presentation of their career snapshot. The action verbs that are trending, examples of job descriptions, requirements and templates galore are literally at the fingertips of those who sit in front of a search engine. Knowing that all of these tools are at the disposal of the applicant should imply that the resume quality would be somewhat less variable among the candidate pool. So, should we even spend time on the details of what was once the only passport to the next round of the process? In short, absolutely.

The candidate who leverages the components of the application process to tailor their resume to your posting should migrate toward the top of the pile, simply because they’ll waste less of your time. To help decipher those detail-oriented applicants, here are five ways to cut through the fancy verbiage and get to predictive results, section by section:

1. Objective: “To obtain a position in…” This section can provide insight to the candidate’s maturity in the job market — it should be obvious that they’re seeking a position, so restating that concept is a waste of space that could be used further outlining their qualifications. Assessment: Skip it.

2. Education: It’s always perplexed me when I see this section toward the top, as if the candidate believes that promoting the formal aspects of their training is worth making note of first. The degree displays the candidate’s ability to learn and demonstrate proficiency in a controlled environment. Where they went to school outlines their professional network and perhaps the “culture” of learning they experienced. If the position requires a bachelor’s degree, we shouldn’t see high school graduation information as it just takes up space. And, unless specifically called for within the posting or they’re applying for a scholarship, GPA isn’t as relevant as applicants would like it to be. Assessment: Skim it.

3. Experience: Review for merely a restating of the job description, but hope for a collection of results achieved. Working backward from their most recent position, candidates should describe their experiences in terms of what they actually accomplished, not what they were responsible for. For instance, seeing the bulleted phrase “Responsible for leading a team of 15 employees to success in plastics production,” sounds important. But, were they actually successful? If the candidate has the necessary experience but fails to make their results clear, either place them in limbo until all have been reviewed or advance and target results in the behavioral interview. Assessment: Review for results.

4. References: Candidates should be selecting references specifically pertaining to the job for which they are applying, and if your hiring process requires personal and professional references, they should be included the application. The removal of required references from the resume allows the candidate more space to describe their qualifications as opposed to someone else’s contact information. The astute candidate will avoid this repetition and optimize their space. Assessment: Skip it.

5. Skills and certifications: Given the increasingly standard requirement of the bachelor’s degree, this section will often generate the most relevant substance for candidate evaluation. Unfortunately, applicants will often focus most of their efforts into a robust description of experiences and minimize the skills categorization. A candidate’s ability to demonstrate enough self-awareness to define what tools are in their toolbox will provide the hiring manager with an insight into how they may align with the responsibilities of the position, regardless of their experiences.

The increasingly popular preferences for certifications such as the PHR, PMP, SHRM-CSP, display the higher emphasis on specialization and proven skills acquisition — all accompanied by a third-party validation. This is where candidates can draw on their previous organizational experience to promote the skills obtained as well as the formal and professional experience. For example, if I see a candidate list the “Texas FFA Association” anywhere on their resume, I should expect a skills section including advanced record keeping, public speaking and communication, efficient conduct of meetings, emotionally-intelligent leadership, etc. The intuitive candidate will highlight this degree of proficiency through maximizing the skills they bring to the table as they relate to the position. Assessment: Of crucial importance — read it.

The resume’s relevance can be determined by the organization’s desire to seek insight into the candidate’s attention to detail, coupled with the hiring managers’ understanding of the relationship between skill sets and results. Experience in one position of the same name doesn’t guarantee success in another, as the cultural aspect of an organization may be enough to force a new hire to draw a little deeper into their arsenal of resources. Their resume should describe those resources in enough detail to provide a baseline for the behavioral interview, at which point you will have enough to dig a little deeper into how they’ve applied the skills to achieve results.

Two minutes spent on the resume can lead to hours saved in unfulfilling interviews and disappointing hires. Skills coupled with past results are a definite predictor of future success, and the prepared candidates will make this understanding abundantly clear.

Source: http://bit.ly/2ych2Rn

5 WAYS TALENT ACQUISITION IS DIFFERENT FROM RECRUITMENT

The terms “recruitment” and “talent acquisition” are often used interchangeably and thought to mean the same thing — a lexicon used to describe the multitude of processes involved in the finding and hiring of candidates. Yet, recruitment and talent acquisition are not the same thing. Understanding the differences between them and adapting your hiring process accordingly can help you hire top talent better.

Let’s begin by defining the two terms.

RECRUITMENT

A linear process that involves searching for a specific candidate to fill a specific position. Recruitment is reactive: a position is vacated or created and a new person must be found to fill it. The core function of recruiting is to find candidates for existing jobs that are currently available.

TALENT ACQUISITION

Instead of a linear process, talent acquisition is a cyclical approach that’s geared towards building relationships, anticipating future hiring needs, and creating a sustainable pool of candidates. It’s a more strategic approach that develops and nurtures a talent pipeline with a long-term view.

Now that we have defined the terms, here are the elements that differentiate talent acquisition from recruitment.

  1. Planning and Strategy
    Establishing a solid talent acquisition strategy needs a lot of planning. Unlike recruitment, talent acquisition requires a deeper look at the nature of your business and an understanding of future workplace needs.It’s a forward-thinking approach, looking through a wider lens, that takes into consideration the local and global labor markets. Since talent acquisition doesn’t happen in a vacuum, the process involves more planning and strategist.
  2. Workforce Segmentation
    Talent acquisition depends on understanding the different work segments within a company, as well as the different positions within those segments.Not only do you need a thorough understanding of your company’s inner workings, you must also know the skills, experiences, and competencies that each position requires for success.
  3. Employer Branding
    More than ever before, brands are going beyond attracting consumers to attracting talent. Ensuring that your company’s brand is clear and attractive is a main element in talent acquisition.This involves fostering a positive image and company culture, and establishing a good reputation based on quality products and services. A solid brand attracts top candidates while giving them a look inside at what it’s like to work for your company.
  4. Talent Scoping and Management
    Top talent comes from many different places. Through talent acquisition, you’re researching and recognizing the different places where you can source candidates.Once you’ve established contact with potential candidates, you have to maintain and build those relationships. All of this is done with the understanding that most of these candidates will not fill positions right away but rather down the line.
  5. Metrics and Analytics
    Finally, no talent acquisition strategy is complete without using key metrics to conduct proper tracking and analysis.By collecting and analyzing pertinent information, you can continuously improve your recruiting process and make better hiring decisions, ultimately improving your quality of hire.

One thing to note is that recruitment is a part of talent acquisition. However, to only engage in recruitment is a bit like putting the cart before the horse. All of the elements listed above are necessary in order to implement a strategy that will allow companies to attract, recruit, and maintain top talent.

Source: http://bit.ly/2yiAIHn

What you must do to get a job !!

Gone are the days, where one used to stay in the same organisation for years together. Employees change jobs regularly depending on greener pastures available elsewhere. Therefore, organisations have also started taking interviews seriously in the hope of landing skilled and stable employees who can prove to be valuable asset in the long run.

More and more people analytics is being used to help organisations identify the right person for the right jobs. In order to ensure that you crack interviews in 2017, here are a few skills that you can use:

1. Build the right resume: The primary objective to a resume is to get you to the next stage i.e. the interview process. It should be properly structured with primary objective in mind. To move ahead from other resume’s one might want to add additional sections like: Objectives/ Long Terms Goals/ How I can add value/ Achievements etc. Get creative so that your profile stands out from all the others out.

2. Prepare in advance: The interview needs preparation which very few people understand. Very few times, do we come across employers who do their homework before taking the interview. Generally, they start with “tell me something about yourself” while they quickly skim through your resume hunting for their next question. This is the question that you should prepare for and rehearse before you go for the interview. Take time and prepare an interesting and engaging response which will tilt the balance in your favor from the start!

3. Research the company and the person: This is, by far, the most important step that you should carry out before you venture out to present yourself. Go through the company website to look at the organisationculture and products. Look whether they are financially sound. It is also important to see whether you can find out something about the person who will interview you.

4. Be tech savvy: Computer skills are becoming more and more important with each passing day. Your target should be to become an expert with using technology to your advantage. Brush up your MS office Skills and for people in marketing, learn about digital marketing. You can showcase these in your resume and Interview which will again help you stand out.

5. Clean up your social media accounts: Many people now-a-days are stalked by the HR department on social media. Be careful at all times what you post and what it conveys. Keep all your accounts clean of any objectionable comments.

6. Lead the interview: You might not know it but there is always a way to lead the interview. Answer questions in such a way so that the interviewer is curious to ask the next question on the same subject. There are times when you might be asked about your experience on some project or elaborate on your achievements. You can lead these questions to areas that you are most comfortable discussing. This way, you can put your best foot forward and impress the interviewer(s).

7. Ask insightful questions – Many interviewers give you an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview. You could do some preparation for this also. Ask insightful questions about the role and the organisation. Also, try to judge from their response whether they are favorable towards your candidature or against.
Lastly, always be well dressed, relaxed and confident. These characteristics show through and add to your personality.

Source: http://bit.ly/2z0xrcW

Employer Brand vs. Talent Brand: Why the Difference Matters

Maybe you’ve heard (or even used) the term “employer brand” without being completely sure what it means and how it’s different from the concept of “talent brand.” If so, I won’t tell anyone—and I’m here to help clear things up.

Coined in 1996, employer brand is a relatively new niche that falls under the larger umbrella of talent attraction. While talent brand and employer brand have some areas of overlap, these two terms have several key differences.

Most of those differences are tied to the voice of your potential hires, or your audience. Make no mistake, you have lots of audiences. In fact, I always say that there are at least three sides to every story. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these concepts distinct and why they’re both important to your business’s reputation as an employer.

The benefits and risks of employer branding

An employer brand is all about storytelling. It encompasses how you want your organization to be perceived and the specific messaging you use when sharing information about your company.

Companies have a great deal of control over their employer brand marketing, which can sometimes cause problems—like when multiple companies turn to the same messaging again and again. Do these phrases sound familiar?

  • Our people are our greatest asset.
  • We have amazing benefits and perks.
  • We offer career development and progression.
  • We’re the most innovative company in our space.

These seem like great claims at first, but after the 27th time a prospective employee hears the phrase “We have the best people,” it can start to lose meaning. This is what I like to call ‘Employer Branding.’

It makes matters worse if these claims turn out to be inaccurate, which happens more often than you might think. Even if an organization’s leaders mean well, they can develop a warped view of their employees’ experiences.

And when companies attempt to sell an inaccurate or inauthentic brand to potential employees, it could cost them in both the long-term and short-term when it comes to talent attraction, employee engagement and employee retention.

Your talent brand is forged by honest voices inside your organization

According to TalentBrand.Org*, your talent brand is “the honest story of life as an employee inside your organization, as told by the employees in parallel with the company.”

So how can you make sure your idea of your brand lines up with the reality of what employees are saying? That’s where a holistic view of your reputation comes in.

While your employer brand can be shaped and honed by your organization’s leaders, talent brand comes directly from employee experiences and feedback.

In other words, your talent brand is not what one website or channel says it is. Current, past and even prospective employees shape your talent brand through social media posts, review site comments, direct network conversations, face-to-face interactions and referrals.

On Indeed’s Company Pages, for example, you’ll learn what people are saying about your company’s culture, management, pay, benefits, work-life balance, job security and advancement opportunities.

This feedback from real employees provides a valuable touch point and reality check for company leaders who want to make sure their employer brand accurately reflects employee experiences. Again, this is just one piece of the Talent Brand puzzle that you need to examine.

The value in the overlap

Companies can get the most from their talent brand and employee brand identities when they consider these two concepts together. That’s why Indeed’s Company Pages feature employer-created videos and social feeds alongside reviews and ratings directly from employees.

How do I know which channels are important enough to monitor? I look at where I’m getting the biggest sources of candidate traffic.

Bringing these two types of branding together helps you visualize the overlap between the way you view your brand and how employees see your company. This area of overlap can shed new light on where the heart of your brand actually lives.

By focusing on the aspects of your brand that employees truly appreciate, you’ll get a stronger sense of which of your company’s unique perks and attributes you should amplify and share more widely, to attract the types of people you’re looking to hire.

And who knows? It may even mean you can swap out that “we have the best people” line for something that’s a much better fit.

Source: http://indeedhi.re/2zhPSgm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Spot a Bad Recruitment Agency

During the tough times of an economic downturn, when unemployment numbers skyrocket, job seekers need all the support and guidance they can get. Unfortunately, it is a fertile period for bad recruitment agencies to ply their unethical tricks. However, there are some indicators of bad recruiting practice which, when known, will help you spot and avoid unscrupulous recruitment agencies with poor performance standards.

Is There A Fee Involved?

If your recruitment agency attempts to charge you a fee for their recruiting services warning bells should sound immediately. Recruitment agency fees are paid by the company that hires you. You should never sign a contract in which you agree to pay the recruitment agency for something your new employer should be paying for, no matter how great their spiel about a “grand scale can’t fail personalized recruitment campaign” sounds.

Is Your Consultant Less Than Well Informed?

Then why are they a recruitment consultant? Recruitment is a high pressure sector in which competition is fierce. If consultants don’t appear to be knowledgeable about a job sector or specific position they’re not doing their job properly, which can indicate that the recruitment agency has substandard training programmers or just plain poor standards when it comes to performance. If they’re not doing their best, you’re not getting the best opportunity to find employment.

Are They Easy With “Being Liberal with the Truth”?

Then what else will they be easy with? There are many stories on the internet and questions asked in forums about recruitment consultants who say it is fine to lie during an interview or on your CV about your personal or professional history. This basically makes you as unethical as the consultant. Stick to the truth and leave the consultant to come unstuck one day.

Have Your References Become Their New Business Leads?

This can be tricky to find out, but it is a good sign that a recruiter is more interested in generating large volumes of business leads than focussing on getting you into your desired job. Contact your referees after your recruitment agent has called them and ask if they put forth any other business propositions to them. If they did, think about getting a consultant with a little more focus on your requirements.

Are They Embarrassingly Overconfident?

The brash, in-your-face antics of some recruitment consultants can drive you mad. Being overconfident to the point that they guarantee you the job is a sure sign that much of their business approach is hot air. Nobody but the company making the hiring decisions can guarantee you the job. Again, look for consultants who are honest from the start. After all, they are your initial representation to what could be your next employer.

Does Your Consultant Apply Too Much Pressure Toward Certain Jobs?

The role of the recruitment consultant is to find you a position that meets as many of your career aspirations as possible. It is not the role of the recruitment consultant to steer you away from your career interests and toward open positions from which they know they will earn more commission. You should always feel that you share a solid relationship with your consultant and that they are working in your best interest at all times.

Have You Been Asked Too Many Information Gathering Questions?

It is important to be wary of consultants who ask you too many questions which provides them with detailed information about your past employers or companies you have approached regarding employment. This is simply thinly disguised lead generation your consultant will use for other candidates.

Believe it or not, some unscrupulous consultants will ask you to name the companies you have sent your CV to, so that they can avoid sending it again, which they claim may damage your chances. The consultant now has a list of companies currently recruiting, which they can send other candidates to, increasing your competition.

Remember That It’s Not All Bad Out There

If you follow the simple guidelines above and look out for the highlighted indicators of bad practice there is no reason why you won’t find a good and ethical recruitment agency, which in turn will help you to find the employment you seek. As a last point, always remember to ask around about a recruitment agency’s reputation, as they are often built on candidate experiences and word of mouth.

Source: http://bit.ly/2gICwy7

12 Things to Never Do During A Phone Interview

These days, phone interviews are an unavoidable part of the job interview process, and for good reason: They save everyone involved time and effort. But that doesn’t mean that phones require zero energy on the part of the candidate. Yes, you should spend more time preparing for an in-person interview, but many companies treat phone screens as the official first round of the hiring process. That means candidates are expected to go into them prepared with as much information about the company, position, and their own skills and strengths as possible.

We asked HR pros about their top phone interview pet peeves, they had no shortage of advice to offer. Apparently, it’s quite easy to mess up your phone interview. But here’s the thing; it’s also not hard to come across well if you keep some key things in mind.

1. Never Take The Interview Somewhere Noisy

It might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised what interviewers say they can hear in the background of their phone interviews—everything from barking dogs to screaming children. “Prepare for the interview by securing a quiet space in advance, even if it means escaping to your car parked in the garage,” advises Chere Taylor, founder of Fulcrum HR Consulting. “If you can lock your home office door, by all means do it. We’ve all been there and sometimes things just happen, but the more time spent anticipating what could go wrong, the better prepared and organized you will appear to the interviewer and the greater likelihood of success.” That doesn’t mean that if your washing machine beeps once in the background all hope is lost, but the more effort you put into being in a quiet place, the more focused you’ll be.

2. Don’t Talk About Your Personal Life

…Unless you’re directly asked a question about what you like to do in your off hours. “The point of a phone interview is to focus on getting to know a candidate’s  work experience and goals,” says Mckenzie Roark, campus talent specialist at Lithko Contracting. “A recruiter is trying to qualify them to see if they are the best fit for a role, and learning about their personal life doesn’t help. For example, when asked where you see yourself in five years, we don’t want to know that you hope to be married or that you want to buy a new house. That is nice but that isn’t relative to anything professional.”

3. Resist The Urge to Multitask

It might be tempting to cross something off your to-do list while on a phone interview, but recruiters and hiring managers can easily tell if your attention is elsewhere. “My number one pet peeve is people who decide to multitask while on the phone interview,” says Dan Krupansky, Talent Acquisition Manager at PrimePay. “I have heard candidates washing dishes, making lunch in the microwave, going for walks, letting their dog out, and grocery shopping during the interview. I even had one person use the bathroom and flush the toilet while speaking with me.” Needless to say, this doesn’t reflect well on your level of interest in the position you’re interviewing for.

4. Skip The Money Conversation

To put it bluntly, it’s simply too early in the process for you to be the one who brings up salary expectations. “Chances are if a candidate is participating in a phone interview, this is the first time they have talked with the company, and the first call isn’t the appropriate time to talk about ‘what’s in it for you,’” says Justina Strnad, the Talent Acquisition Manager for Shiftgig. “Trust me, if you are a great candidate and make it to next steps, the hiring team is going to be very transparent about what’s in it for you later on!”

5. Never Put Your Interviewer On Hold

Phone interviews don’t take that long, and there probably isn’t anything else going on that is really truly so urgent that you need to pause your interview. “Do not put me on hold to take an important call that just beeped in,” advises Jeremy Payne, head of people operations at Remote Year. “I am your important call. If you are expecting extremely urgent news (like information about a family illness), be sure to preface that in the early minutes of the interview, so the recruiter is aware of the situation and so you can work with them to reschedule if that interruption does occur,” he says.

6. Never Skip The Q&A

“After wrapping up a phone interview, it is typical that the interviewer will ask the candidate if they have any questions. I can’t stress this enough: ALWAYS ask questions,” says Roark. “If we have had a great phone interview and then we wrap up and they don’t have any questions for me, it pretty much ruins the whole interview. It tells me that the candidate is uninterested in the role, which in reality, might not be the case at all,” she notes. But surely, if you’re interested in a job, you can think of something to ask your interviewer.

7. Don’t Be Late

It seems basic, but surprisingly, a lot of people are late to phone interviews. “About a quarter of the people with whom I schedule phone interviews aren’t on time,” says Sophie Cikovsky, who handles U.S. recruiting for Infinite Global. “While this bothers me personally, it’s also indicative of someone who isn’t very detail-oriented,” she explains. “In order to identify this early in the hiring process, I started asking all candidates a few years ago to call me as opposed to calling them at an agreed upon time. That way if I hear from them at 1:13pm or 12:49pm instead of our planned 1:00 pm interview time, I have an early indicator that they might not be a great fit.”

8. Don’t Assume Reception Is Good

“Make sure you test your headset and connection before dialing in,” recommends Payne. “There is nothing more frustrating for a recruiter who has a structured interview guide in place having to repeatedly ask the same question over and over because they could not understand your answer due to static or dropped signals.” Test call a friend beforehand or even call yourself from a landline if necessary; it will take less than a minute.

9. Never Talk Over The Interviewer

You might be eager to get your point across or talk about your experience, but interrupting the interviewer is awkward and rude when you’re speaking on the phone, even more so than in face-to-face interviews. “Interviewing can be stressful and sometimes that stress manifests itself in speaking too fast, speaking too loud, talking over the interviewer, or attempting to answer the interviewer’s question before they have actually finished asking the question,” says Taylor. “Don’t do this.” There’s a big difference between being assertive and being aggressive, and interviewers can always recognize it.

10. Skip Filler Words

It’s tough not to say things like “um,” “uh,” and “like” in everyday speech, but these verbal habits become much more pronounced when speaking on the phone, says Chris Dardis, a recruiting expert and HR professional with Versique Executive Search. “In face-to-face interviews, they’re not as noticeable because there are other things like your hair, suit, or body language to distract people,” he explains. But in a phone interview, the only thing you have to go on is what you say and how you say it. “That’s why it’s so important to eliminate these words from your speech when doing a phone interview.”

11. Don’t Go In Blind

Not knowing anything about the company or job you’re interviewing for is way more obvious than you’d think. “Many people think that a phone interview means they’re getting away with something, that they don’t have to put as much effort into researching the role or company,” says Steve Pritchard, HR Consultant for giffgaff. And if you have your laptop in front of you during the interview to do a few quick searches, they won’t know the difference, right? Not exactly. “Seasoned interviewers will know whether an interviewee is researching while on the phone; they will take too long to answer the question and punctuate their answers with a lot of ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ as they type. The interviewer can often even hear the typing as they ask the question,” he adds.

12. Nix Long-Winded Answers

“The key to success during a phone interview is clear and concise answers,” says Dardis. “People’s attention spans tend to be shorter over the phone. You don’t want your future employer to lose interest in the conversation.” He recommends practicing answers to questions you know will be asked ahead of time in order to be clear on what you’re going to say. That way, you can prevent rambling before it starts.

Source: http://bit.ly/2gCaCrs

5 Powerful Steps to Improve Employee Engagement

Today more than ever, organizations rely on the energy, commitment and engagement of their workforce in order to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century. As a former Nany SEAL, I can assure you that one of the fundamental reasons we continue to dominate our battlefield and defeat a very dangerous and decentralized enemy is due to the fact that we have 100% employee engagement. We have ecosystems of empowered teams that are fully engaged and working in a “decentralized command” environment.

According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs – meaning that they are emotionally invested in committing their time, talent and energy in adding value to their team and advancing the organization’s initiatives. More Gallop research shows that employee disengagement costs the United States upwards of $550 billion a year in lost productivity. So one could see why this is both a serious problem that most leaders and managers face with today’s workforce – but also an amazing opportunity for companies that learn to master the art of engagement.

The current business environment, and the world in general, is moving faster than it ever has before. Organizations across the globe are faced with more change than most can handle – in order to compete and dominate their segment they are required to grow faster often giving them less time to focus on managing all of their financial goals. They are forced to grow quickly with fewer resource – to do more with less. Managers have to learn to excel in managing themselves, their teams and meeting organizational goals simultaneously.

It is a common understanding of a vast majority of leaders that the employees are a company’s most important asset. But in reality, that is only true when the majority of the workforce is fully engaged in their work. If not, they are either adding minimal value or actively working against the organization.

There are three types of employees in any organization:

Engaged (15% of the workforce). These employees are loyal and emotionally committed to the organization. They are in roles where they excel and where their talents are truly leveraged. They enthusiastically invest in their work and take on responsibilities outside of their job description. They are generally more likely to become emerging leaders and will stay with an organization much longer then disengaged employees.

Not Engaged (67% of the workforce). These employees can be difficult to identify because they are often relatively happy and satisfied in their role. However, they do the bare minimum and are not invested in the company’s mission, vision, values or goals. They are less likely to be customer-focused and are not concerned about productivity or company profitability. These team members are both a threat and great opportunity – because with the proper approach, they can be transformed into engaged employees that thrive in the organization.

Actively Disengaged (18% of the workforce). We have all worked alongside these people. They are consistently negative, create a toxic environment, dominate their manager’s time and are usually vocal about their unhappiness. What’s worse, is they are often subject matter experts well-respected in their unique skillset. And because of that, they often have significant influence over others. These employees can easily spread toxicity throughout an organization and can rarely be transformed into true “A” players.

Most studies point to the fact that employee engagement has a direct impact on productivity and profitability. That seems self-evident, yet many managers still struggle to define, measure and improve engagement in their teams.

The Leader’s Role in Engagement

Leaders improve engagement by defining and communicating a powerful vision for the organization. They hire and develop managers that are emotionally invested in the organization’s mission and vision and give them the resources to build great teams with the right people in the right roles. They empower.

The Manager’s Role in Engagement

Great managers ensure they acquire and develop great talent – they get the right people on the bus and make sure they are in the right seats. They actively prioritize engagement. Their team’s activities align perfectly behind the mission narrative of the organization.

In many of my articles, I dive deep in to the methodologies, tools and strategies leaders and managers need to successfully navigate the murky waters of twenty-first century organizational transformation – for leading change. I showcase how to build a culture that is more nimble and adaptive founded on the principles of trust and accountability. The issue at hand is with such low engagement in the workforce, it is very difficult to create a culture of trust and accountability.

70% of organizational transformation efforts fall significantly short of realizing the company’s goals. Why? Because change is hard, takes longer and usually has higher hard and soft costs than managers and leaders generally plan for. Change can be intensely personal for employees, causes fear and can actually reduce productivity when approached improperly.

Humans are emotional creatures – and most managers hold the misconception that their team members are largely rational in their decision-making process. Yet studies show that we base 70% of our decisions on emotional factors and only 30% on rational factors. But this can also be a great way to improve engagement. Improving engagement is simple – but clearly not easy. Here’s how.

5 Powerful Steps to Improve Employee Engagement

How do managers know who is engaged? Their team members need to be able to confidently state the following:

  • I know what is expected of me and my work quality.
  • I have the resources and training to thrive in my role.
  • I have the opportunity to do what I do best – every day.
  • I frequently receive recognition, praise and constructive criticism.
  • I trust my manager and believe they have my best interests in mind.
  • My voice is heard and valued.
  • I clearly understand the mission and purpose and how I contribute to each.
  • I have opportunities to learn and grow both personally and professionally.

The steps for improving engagement aren’t complex, they simply must be prioritized. Which means engagement must be a core function of the manager’s role.

All else then falls into place.

Step 1 – Put Everyone in the Right Role

Again, get the right people on the bus and make sure they are in the right roles. This means that all talent acquisition and retention strategies have to be aligned with meeting company goals.

Step 2 – Give Them the Training

No manager or leader can expect to build a culture of trust and accountability – and much less improve engagement – without setting the team up for success. This means providing the proper training and development while removing obstacles.

Step 3 – Task Meaningful Work

Engaged employees are doing meaningful work and have a clear understanding of how they contribute to the company’s mission, purpose and strategic objectives. Again, this is why they first have to be placed in the right role. I’ve made the mistake of hiring great talent just to get them in the door – but didn’t have a clear career path or role for them. If you don’t sort those details out quickly, they will leave.

Step 4 – Check in Often

The days of simply relying on mid-year reviews for providing feedback are long gone. Today’s workforce craves regular feedback – which of course leads to faster course correction and reduces waste. Use both formal and informal check-in strategies – and use them every week.

Step 5 – Frequently Discuss Engagement

Successful managers are transparent in their approach to improving engagement – they talk about it with their teams all the time. They hold “state of engagement” meetings and “engage” everyone in the discussion – and solutions.

Again, these principles are not complex, but must be prioritized. Companies that get this right will drive greater financial returns, surpass their competitors and easily climb to the top of “the best places to work” lists.

How To Use Google As Your Resume!!

If you’re job hunting, you may be thinking the first thing you need to do is put together your resumé. That used to be true before the Internet. But these days, the new resumé is called Google.

What an employer finds out about you simply by Googling your name helps determine whether you get hired. And you’ve got to clean up what the employer finds before the company or nonprofit finds it.

There are four things you can do about this to boost your chances of getting hired: you can edit, fill in, expand and add to your Google resumé. I’ll provide details shortly.

Why Employers Reject Job Hunters
Almost all (91%) of U.S. employers have visited a job-hunter’s profile on social networks and more than 69 percent of employers have rejected some applicants on the basis of what they found. Things that can get you rejected: bad grammar or gross misspelling on your Facebook or LinkedIn profile; anything indicating you lied on your resumé; any badmouthing of previous employers; any signs of racism, prejudice or screwy opinions about stuff; anything indicating alcohol or drug abuse and any — to put it delicately — inappropriate content.

Also on Forbes:

What is sometimes forgotten is that this works both ways.

Sometimes (68% of the time), an employer will offer someone a job because it liked what Google turned up about the person. Things like the creativity or professionalism you demonstrate online; your expressing yourself extremely well online; the employer’s overall impression of your personality online; the wide range of interests you exhibit online and evidence online that you get along well and communicate well with other people.

4 Ways to Improve Your Google Resume
So, now, here are my four tips for improving your Google resumé to help get hired:

1. Edit Your Google Resume
Make a list of adjectives you’d like employers to think of when they consider hiring you. Then Google yourself and see what the search engine pulls up. Also, go over any pages you’ve put up on social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube and remove anything you posted there — or allowed others to post — that contradicts the impression you would like to make.

If you don’t know how to remove an item from a particular site, type or speak the following into a search engine like Google: “How to remove an item from [Facebook]” or whatever.

2. Fill In Your Google Resume
On sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, fill out your profile completely. Leave no part blank unless you have a very good reason. Most importantly, be sure to keep the profile up-to-date. There is nothing that makes you look less professional than having an obviously outdated profile.

Make your LinkedIn profile page really stand out when employers go browsing. Here are some hints on how to do it:

A photo is mandatory. Surveys have shown that not having your photo listed in your LinkedIn profile is a turnoff for most employers. The likelihood that your LinkedIn profile will get viewed increases 11 times if you include a photo. Make it a shot just of your head and shoulders, make it sharply focused and well lit, dress up for it and smile.

In the section called Job Title, if you aren’t searching for a career change and like what you’ve been doing but the title you have doesn’t contain the words a hiring manager would use to search for someone who does what you do, put in a slash mark and then add the title he or she would use. If you’re looking for a change, after listing your current job title, enter a slash and add the industry you want to find a job in so an employer’s search engine will pick you up.

In describing your past jobs or experience, don’t just make a list of tasks or achievements. LinkedIn gives you enough space to tell a story, so tell a story. Summarize some major achievement in that job and then tell a story of how you did it and what the measurable results were. List your skills: you increase the likelihood that your LinkedIn profile will be looked at by 13 times if you do.

In the Summary section, be sure to state whatever you think gives you a competitive advantage in your field.

Under Specialities, list every keyword you can think of that would lead a search engine to find you for the job you want.

Add links to any website you feel would help you stand out — for instance, your blog, if you have one and it’s solely devoted to your area of expertise and your Twitter account, if you’ve only been posting tweets that manifest your expertise in your field.

Join one or more LinkedIn groups related to your expertise. Post sparingly but regularly when the people in it are discussing something you’re an expert on. You want to get a name and reputation in your field.

3. Expand Your Google Resume
There are several ways to expand your presence on the Internet:

Forums: Professional sites like LinkedIn have forums, or groups, organized by subject matter. Look through the directory of those groups or forums, choose one or two related to your industry or interests and, after signing up, speak up regularly when you have something to say that will quietly demonstrate you are an expert in your chosen subject area.

Blogs: Start a blog if you don’t already have one, and update it regularly. If you don’t know how to blog, there are helpful sites like Blogger.com that give you detailed instructions. If you have a blog but it roams in terms of subject matter, start a new one that is more narrowly preoccupied with your particular area of expertis

Twitter: The advantage of Twitter is that it has hashtags and Google is indexing all those tags and tweets. Figure out which hashtags employers are likely to look for when they want to find someone with your expertise and experience.

4. Add to Your Google Resume
It will take any employer or HR department some time to sift through all the stuff about you that may appear when it does a Google search. You would help them by summarizing and organizing the pertinent information about yourself. You can do this by composing an old-type resumé and post it on the Internet (where Google will find it).

What Color Is Your Parachute: 2018 has detailed advice on the best way to craft a resumé. If you need additional guidance, search Google for the topic “keywords on an electronic resumé” or “examples of resumés” or “how to write a resumé.” This will turn up free resources and advice as well as professional resumé writers.

A final tip: Where you post your resumé makes all the difference in the world. If employers post their vacancy on a job board like Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com, they typically have to look through 219 resumeés from job hunters who respond before they find someone to interview and hire. If they post the vacancy on the employer’s website, they typically have to look through just 33.

However, if the job hunter takes the initiative to find a specific job rather than waiting to find a vacancy by, say, typing the name of that job into a search engine and then sending resumés to any companies whose name turns up, employers only have to look through 32 applications before finding someone to hire. If the job hunter takes even more initiative, chooses a company where he or she would like to work and gets a referral from an employee within that company, employers have to look through only 10 such candidates before finding someone to interview and hire.

Source: http://bit.ly/2zkDpFh

Why These 3 Annoying Cover Letter Blunders Make Recruiters Cringe

With unemployment at an all-time low, many employers are complaining they’re struggling to find the talent they need. Meanwhile, millions of job seekers are frustrated by the lack of responses they’re getting from applying to jobs online. Especially when they take the extra time to write a cover letter.

Recruiters Say Most Cover Letters Stink

One of the most common things recruiters say when it comes to cover letters is, “You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” That’s because the majority of job seekers copy free templates off the internet. And sadly, these templates are pretty outdated. Given how many applicants recruiters have to go through to find candidates (the average is 100-plus applicants per position), they quickly become adept at skimming cover letters to determine if the applicant has sent them a dud. If they see one or more things that indicate the candidate’s cover letter is just like every other one, they’ll throw it in the trash. Having worked with thousands of recruiters, I can tell you, the following are the three worst things you can do in your cover letter.

1. “To whom it may concern.

Nothing screams “I’m out of touch” more than addressing the cover letter with this phrase. While you may not know the hiring manager or recruiter’s name, you can at least write “Dear hiring team” to make it a bit more personal.

2. “I’m a [insert bragging here].

If you met the recruiter face to face, you wouldn’t launch into a long monologue about how talented you are. That would be weird. And yet, people suddenly go into over-the-top self-promotion mode when they write a cover letter. The cover letter shouldn’t be about how amazing you think you are. Instead, it should focus on how you know the employer is exceptional at what it does. It’s your job to show the company you understand what it’s all about, and by default, would fit in with their corporate culture.

3. “If you look at my résumé you’ll see, blah, blah, blah.”

There is zero need to recap your resume in the cover letter. The recruiter is capable of looking over your skills and experience. Repeating yourself in the cover letter is a big waste of the recruiter’s time–something they don’t appreciate.

Want your cover letter to stand out and get recruiters to call you? Then you need to share something attention-grabbing. A strong opening line that generates curiosity, such as,

“I remember the first time I learned the importance of your product,” followed up by a powerful personal story that ties you to the employer’s mission is the best way to showcase you’re a match for their corporate culture. This is referred to as the disruptive cover letter technique, and it provides recruiters with refreshingly original content that makes them want to speak to the candidate who wrote it.

Don’t turn recruiters off with a boring, just-like-all-the-others cover letter. Instead, focus on creating something that engages the hearts and minds of recruiters–ultimately, motivating them to want to talk to the talented person who was wise enough to write something that’s both relevant and unique.

Source: http://on.inc.com/2fRwFd3

Competition Or Collaboration: Which Will Help Your Team Produce The Best Results?

It’s a question C-suite executives are asking with more frequency — perhaps because reported rivalries among White House staffers have them wondering about the most effective approach for their own leadership teams. Does encouraging rivalry result in everyone bringing their A-game?

When the executives I work with ask me this question, I answer by sharing a story from my own personal experience.

At one point in my career, I worked for an organization where the CEO created intense competition among the leadership team. He even hired two people to do the same job and didn’t tell them. His intention was to decide which one was best and to fire the other.

Did the tactic work?

Hardly. Instead it created a culture of back stabbing, in-fighting and resource hoarding. No one on the leadership team trusted each other. I watched talented people walk out the door, and then I did the same.

If you want to create a culture that will produce breakthrough results, collaboration trumps competition by a long shot. You want people to understand what their individual strengths are so they can pool those strengths and move toward a common vision.

Once collaboration is in place, people are much more trusting of each other, more willing to stretch themselves and more likely to create amazing results.

The opposite happens when competition starts showing up. People hoard systems, information and support staff. They’re less likely to share all kinds of resources — physical and intellectual. Those who see solutions for problems don’t share them until they can be sure they’ll get the credit. It’s impossible to get to the best ideas when people refuse to share and work through thinking together.

When competition is in play, people don’t trust each other enough to authentically create stretch goals that will enable everyone to grow beyond where they are now.

If you sincerely want a group of people to be high-performing together, you don’t want to create a culture of internal competition within the team.

That being said, I have seen other organizations who use healthy competition between teams to produce cutting-edge ideas. In these cases, two or three teams were charged with doing the exact same thing. They knew the other teams existed, but these teams didn’t share resources (budget, people or ideas) across the groups. Each team wanted to get to the end result on its own to be the winner.

This kind of competition between teams can create an intensity that generates powerful results for an organization. When you do this, you need to be transparent, and you want to clearly establish that they’re all working toward the same goal that will ultimately benefit the whole company and everyone in it. It’s also a good idea to let people know ahead of time that those teams will be shuffled up into new groups when the competition is over and then everyone will be expected to share best practices with each other.

Ultimately, you want to create a workplace culture where people freely share information, opinions and perspectives. The best way to achieve that is through building trust and emphasizing collaboration, not competition.

Source: http://bit.ly/2x1ASPH