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Come Recommended's Best Advice for Employers in 2010


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Best blog posts of 2010 for employers, as chosen by Come Recommended's staff.

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Come Recommended's Best Advice for Employers in 2010

  1. 1. © 2010 by Come Recommended, LLCCopyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution3.0.> Please feel free to post this on your blog or e-mail it to whomever you believewould benefit from reading it. Thank you. 2
  2. 2. HOW TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN YOUR GEN Y EMPLOYEES & OTHER GENERATIONS Originally Posted on Nov. 22, 2010 by Katie FarrellIt can be tough to get along with the variety of different people you meet in theworkplace–sometimes even tougher for a young professional. Many members of GenY are just getting started in their professional careers as interns or entry-levelemployees, and your guidance as their employer and mentor is important to theirsuccess in the workplace.So, when you’re seeing an obvious disconnect between Gen Y employees and othergenerations, how do you bridge that gap? And how can you ultimately make thegenerations understand one another? Here are a few suggestions:Discover what drives each generationFirst off, realize that not all members of each generation can fall into the broadgeneralizations of the group. However, many do, and those generalizations arebased on values, morals, reactions to the job market and economy, etc.These include: • What is this generation most concerned about? 3
  3. 3. • What does this generation expect in a workplace? • How does this group prefer to work? • What do they expect from their co-workers, boss and superiors?Offer multiple ways of learningBecause each generation grew up with different technology and learning skills, theyeach tend to prefer a different method learning. Gen Y tends to resort to the Internetor other tech-based options, whereas members of the Baby Boomer generationmight prefer looking something up in a reference book.Come up with ways to have the generations collaborateWorking together comes naturally to Generation Y, as they have worked in groupsand teams since their childhood. Figure out a way that Millennials can interact withother generations (such as mentorship programs or team projects) in order for eachindividual to better understand the other.Encourage feedbackIf you have an internal social network, encourage employees of all generations tocommunicate their concerns and comments on the site. If you don’t, come up with a 4
  4. 4. system of feedback that allows each generation to voice their opinion in order toalleviate concerns in your workplace. 5
  5. 5. CREATING A SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY FOR YOUR GEN Y EMPLOYEES & INTERNS Originally Posted on Aug. 23, 2010 by Katie FarrellThe stories don’t seem to stop about people posting ludicrous things on Facebook orTwitter — and then being fired for it. As an employer, you need to have a cleardefinition of what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate when it comes to socialmedia so that your employees know the line.What do you include in a social media policy, you ask?Tiffany Black on wrote the following: 1. Remind employees to familiarize themselves with the employment agreement and policies included in the employee handbook. 2. State that the policy applies to multi-media, social networking websites, blogs and wikis for both professional and personal use. 3. Internet postings should not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the company or to any third party that has disclosed information to the company. 4. If an employee comments on any aspect of the company’s business they must clearly identify themselves as an employee and include a disclaimer. 5. The disclaimer should be something like “the views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of (your companies name).” 6
  6. 6. 6. Internet postings should not include company logos or trademarks unless permission is asked for and granted. 7. Internet postings must respect copyright, privacy, fair use, financial disclosure, and other applicable laws. 8. Employees should neither claim nor imply that they are speaking on the company’s behalf. 9. Corporate blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, etc., could require approval when the employee is posting about the company and the industry. 10. That the company reserves the right to request the certain subjects are avoided, withdraw certain posts, and remove inappropriate comments.Basically, when constructing your social media policy, you need to includeguidelines for any type of communication that you’d like to control. This includes,but is not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, your website, and manymore. Think specifically about each medium/site and what types of guidelines youmay need to create to keep your organization and employees on the same page. Youmay also need to include disclaimers about employees posting inappropriate orcompany-related information on their own time, if you perceive it becoming aproblem.As you probably already know, social media can do wonders for your business–ifyou use it correctly. Don’t be afraid of employees using these sites to promote yourbrand. Instead, have clear expectations from your employees as to how they need toconduct themselves on these sites. 7
  7. 7. 3 WAYS TO GAIN MORE EMPLOYEES THROUGH YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYEES Originally Posted on Nov. 08, 2010 by Katie FarrellYour current employees can be a powerful recruiting tool. They already work foryou and can explain the benefits they receive to their contacts who may beinterested in an opening. They also won’t refer someone to work with them everyday if they don’t already like the person, which can be a huge factor in hiringsomeone. If you involve your current employees in recruiting new talent, you’ll mostlikely get a better pool of candidates for your openings than through traditionalrecruiting methods, such as posting on a job board.Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions:Create a referral program. Offer an incentive for current employees to refer theirfriends and acquaintances for your openings. Instead of spending money on job ads(which typically yield a large amount of unqualified applicants), offer that money tothe person who refers the person who gets hired. You can also look into usingreferral sites that already have this program set up for you and have your currentemployees sign up.Referral programs can be especially beneficial for small businesses. BusinessWeek wrote the following about employee referrals: 8
  8. 8. Traditional recruiting methods usually fail small companies. Broadcasting openings on job boards sometimes yields a flood of applicants who don’t qualify, and the number of responses can overwhelm small firms, says Dennis J. Ceru, a Babson College professor of entrepreneurship and a consultant to small and midsize companies. Paid recruiters can find good candidates, but at a high cost—typical fees are 20% or more of the position’s yearly salary. Ceru says the price may be worth it to fill a top position such as a chief financial officer but not for ordinary hires. Instead, most small companies prefer to find candidates through referrals and networks of people they trust. To do this effectively, entrepreneurs need to articulate what they want in job applicants, says networking expert Diane Darling. “People don’t know what you need. They just can’t read your mind,” she says. She also suggests small business owners keep an open mind about who might refer good candidates. Sometimes unlikely social connections can refer good employees, although Darling cautions business owners always to check professional references, even when a trusted friend recommends someone.Share job openings with employees first. Once you have an opening, share it viayour internal network or listserv. Because they’re working for you, employees liketo be “in the know” before the general public. Encourage them to refer theirqualified contacts to the position.Involve current employees in your social media outreach. Invite youremployees to retweet your openings, share them on Facebook, recommended themto their contacts on LinkedIn, etc. With employees playing a part in the hiring 9
  9. 9. process, they’ll be more interested in the role being filled with someone who’s agood fit. 10
  10. 10. DO YOU HAVE A CANDIDATE BILL OF RIGHTS? A RECRUITER’S MANIFESTO? Originally Posted on Nov. 01, 2010 by Katie FarrellWhen someone applies for a job at your organization, how do you give themfeedback during the hiring process? Do candidates often feel neglected, out-of-the-loop, frustrated?In tough economic times, it’s often difficult to follow-up with every person whoapplies for an opening at your organization. However, an important part of thehiring process is communicating with candidates. If you don’t, they’re likely to feelirritated, disappointed, and may even resort to bad-mouthing your organization.You may want to think about drafting up a “candidate bill of rights” or “recruiter’smanifesto” in order to clearly define your hiring process and change yourcandidate’s experiences for the better. Basically, these documents will provide astructure or a set of promises for candidates that recruiters or HR departments willfulfill. This would allow your recruiters and HR department more transparency withcandidates, and also give them a process to follow for feedback and follow-up.On Talent Anarchy, Jason Lauritsen said a recruiter’s manifesto could include thefollowing: 11
  11. 11. • We will acknowledge you. It might not always be in the way you hope for, but we will make sure your communication doesn’t go into a black hole. • We will let you know that we received your application through an automated email. • I will listen to you and answer your questions to the best of my abilities. • We will follow up with you after interviews to let you know the decision. • We get over 4,000 applications every year. We hire 200. While we’d love to hire every person who applies, we just don’t have enough jobs. Despite that, we will try to make the process as positive as possible despite the fact that most people don’t make the cut. • I will know enough about the position and the hiring manager to help a candidate decide if they are interested in the job.A post by Kevin Wheeler on in 2009 outlined the following aspects to beincluded in a candidate bill of rights: • Honesty and authenticity • Accuracy • Complete information • Process • Status • Confidentiality 12
  12. 12. 5 WAYS MILLENNIALS WILL CHANGE THE WORKFORCE Originally Posted on Jul. 06, 2010 by Annie KohanekMillennials aren’t simply looking for work – they’re looking to change the world.Millennials will undoubtedly become a major force and alter the dynamics of our 9to 5 lives. Thanks to Ryan Healy from, here are some of theways the rising generation will create change in the professional world. 1. They’ll shorten the workday. Don’t confuse a shorter workday with less productivity. Millennials are a generation of multi-tasking and hard work. They’ll figure out how to cut down the number of work hours while still getting more work accomplished. 2. They’ll bring back administrative assistants. Who said only CEO’s need administrative help? The previous generation might have seen administrative assistants as a luxury, but this generation knows about the value of time. With the amount of time most people spend filing, mailing checks, and setting up meetings, even a part time, or better, viral assistant can actually save their company money. 3. They’ll find, and eventually become, real mentors. Millennials are all about career development and learning from experience. However, this idea of a strong mentor can be lost on the previous generation who had none of their own. Millennials come into the workforce looking for leadership, but also understand the value of working together. Don’t be surprised when you see a younger employee working side by side with an older staff member – one picking up new technology while the other learns how to navigate and avoid the world of office politics. 4. Discussing salaries will be completely normal. Thanks to the internet, transparency is king. Social media forces companies to open their doors and show the outdoor world what’s happening. Millennials take it for granted. This generation 13
  13. 13. doesn’t have the same qualms about privacy and information the way the older generation might. It’s incredibly easy for young staff members to compare salaries with each other and with other companies – not out of spite, but to make sure5. Leadership will be a team effort. Not that Millennials disregard authority, but everyone is getting a fair treatment. rather, the dynamics of leadership will change. Millennials value teamwork and group thought. When a future executive Millennials makes a decision, they’ll reach out to other employees for feedback. Not because they doubt their choices, but rather, they value as much thought and energy as possible to make the best decisions. 14
  14. 14. JOB INTERVIEWS CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR BRAND Originally Posted on Sep. 16, 2010 by Nikita PatelA friend of mine went on one of her very first job interviews at a reputable firm thisweek. She was expecting to be interviewed by a high executive who wouldpresumably shower her with the company’s accomplishments, as well as outline herday-to-day responsibilities, should she get the job. However, she came out of theinterview with a terrible view of the organization. Why? Her potential boss wasunprofessional, unprepared, and disheveled.For Generation Y, it’s hard enough getting your foot in the door, but having to dealwith an employer that doesn’t even care that a candidate not only preparedthemselves, but also took the time to be there is bad form. My friend now has a badtaste in her mouth when it comes to what she thought was an organization at whichshe could excel. She commented that she would rather work at a coffee shop thanwork at a firm that doesn’t acknowledge the fact that she was there for a veryspecific reason.Employers remember, just because you are doing the interviewing doesn’t meanyou aren’t going through an interview, as well. You will be portraying more than justyourself, after all. Here are a few things to remember when going through theinterview process with Generation Y: 15
  15. 15. 1. Be prepared. This is obvious, but it is surprising how many people inmanagement positions aren’t ready to conduct job interviews. Whatever the reason,if you are investing your time in a person, you may as well know who you could beworking with. Even something as simple as skimming their resume and doing aquick Google search would at least give you something to talk about. At the sametime, go over the position itself. Candidates will surely have questions about the job,and not knowing what is to be expected of them is just uncalled for. As my friend putit, awkward silences and not knowing important information on the management’spart shouldn’t be the highlight of an interview.2. Word travels fast. In the age of social media, your image can be skewered in lessthan the time it took to conduct the interview itself. Although I would never call outan individual company, this blog post in itself is a testament to how fast badbehavior can be reported. If you take a laid back approach on how you conductyourself, expect that the candidate will report this not only to their friends andfamily, but to their entire professional network, as well.3. You represent your brand. You may be the only person a candidate will everinteract with before a decision is made about the job. Don’t you want this to be apositive one? Do you want to be seen as company that is uninformed? Do you reallyneed to have your cell phone on and answer calls during an interview? How you actis going to translate to how you mange. My friend actually received a secondinterview request but will not be pursuing it. This is largely due to the fact that thepeople in charge are not those that she can see herself working with. This particular 16
  16. 16. firm that claims to know what they are doing, but they are actually asunprofessional as they come.Bottom line: Interviews shouldn’t be easy, but they also shouldn’t be a brandnightmare either. Take time to research the candidate, know what you are talkingabout, and have a genuine interest in someone who probably lost sleep preparingfor this. You need quality candidates and how you interact during an interviewcould send them running for the door. 17
  17. 17. WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE A RECENT GRADUATE Originally Posted on May. 24, 2010 by Annie KohanekSitting on your desk are two resumes – one of them is a person with ten years ofwork experience and the other is a recent graduate with the adequate number ofinternships and work experience expected from a 21-year-old. Taking away anyother extenuating circumstances, who do you hire? Many readers will vie for theformer candidate, but before you make your final decision, here are some reasonswhy hiring the recent graduate would be the sound choice.Recent graduates are a lot more tech savvy. Yes, when one thinks of theMillennials one thinks of text messages, Facebook, Skype and the general constantoverload of non-personal interaction, but the truth is, having someone like this canbe a huge benefit. Not only do they know their way around a computer, but theirknowledge can be hugely beneficial when trying to come up with creative ways toexpand your business viral.The Millennial generation is an international generation. More than half oftoday’s graduates have traveled overseas, and a quarter have spent time studyingabroad. Trust me, the globe feels accessible and is not intimidating for the recentgraduate. Combined with their technological ease, not only do they have a strongercommand of cultural differences, but they know how to access the world. 18
  18. 18. Recent graduates live and breathe competition. Getting into college has neverbeen harder, and the expectations for today’s graduates have never been higher.Recent graduates are expected to have multiple internships, work experience,strong grades and a healthy extracurricular life – way tougher than any previousgeneration. They are used to hard work.Millennials are ready to work 24/7. Ask one of your co-workers to get to you onSaturday, and you’ll probably get a look of surprise. Not twenty years ago the idea ofbeing accessible to the office on the weekend was unheard of. With smart phones,emails and texts, Millennials simply expect to be reachable and able to work anytimeof the week.Recent graduates lack previous professional baggage. Those who have workexperience have developed their own work style and can make it difficult tounderstand your expectations. Recent graduates don’t have any expectations: theywant to work, want to learn, and since they don’t have a routine, will simply copyyour work style. That couldn’t be a whole lot harder. These graduates are out of school, eager to apply theirIf nothing else, a recent graduate has a lot fewer expectations and is eager toknowledge, and are going to be a whole lot more reasonable about money thanthose who are changing jobs in the hopes of higher salaries. 19
  19. 19. THE ALTERNATIVE INTERVIEW Originally Posted on Aug. 19, 2010 by Nikita PatelThe days of the traditional interview may be over. With an infinite amount of “how-to” learning resources, many candidates are mastering the job interview before theyeven step into the door. Here are a few ways you can not only surprise yourpotential employee, but also find out what their true skills are:Building blocks. Have your job candidate look at a set of building blocks or LEGOsfor two minutes, then quickly ask them to recreate the structure themselves. Thistechnique may sound futile, but it actually shows how the interviewee paysattention to detail, how quickly and effectively they can memorize, and how they canperform under pressure. In the real world, your employee may only have a fewminutes to absorb a lot of information. You want a candidate who can not onlyretain information, but those that can also understand it.Marketing plan. No matter what industry you are in, your employees will bemaking some sort of plan for your product or brand. To test how well yourinterviewee can handle this, ask them to make a marketing plan for the buildingblocks or LEGOs. Instruct them to come up with a name for the product, theassumed risks and benefits, a target market, competitors, and a slogan. As with theprevious tactic, have your candidate perform these tasks in a short amount of time.This approach shows how well the interviewee can strategize on their feet as well as 20
  20. 20. their critical thinking skills. You want someone who can perform the task in thecompleted time, but more importantly, someone who can create a marketing planwith substance.Presentation. Lastly, have the candidate present their plan and product in aformalized setting. This will make you aware of their presentation and publicspeaking skills (skills that many people claim they have, but actually fall short ofwhen the time comes to perform them). In an actual work environment, creating apresentation in a matter of hours is very realistic. Your potential employee will haveto work in a fast pace while at the same time producing quality work. You want tofind out if they have the skills you need sooner rather than later. 21
  21. 21. HOW TO WRITE A NEWSLETTER THAT RETAINS GEN Y EMPLOYEES Originally Posted on Nov. 29, 2010 by Katie FarrellEmployee newsletters can be a powerful tool for keeping in touch and distributinginformation. Young professionals grew up receiving various newsletters andpromotions in their e-mail daily, so you’ll need to make sure your newsletter standsout in their inbox in order for them to actually read the content you want them toabsorb.A few factors to consider before starting a newsletter: • Frequency: How often will it publish? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Quarterly? • Purpose: What are you hoping to accomplish through distributing a newsletter? • Audience: Who will be receiving the newsletter? Will you make different • Content versions for different people? • Benefits: What does your audience benefit by reading it? • Visual interest: Does your newsletter “pop”?For Gen Y employees to get something out of your newsletter, you’ll need to createsomething that grabs their attention. Several ways to do so: 22
  22. 22. Interactive content. Include a poll, survey or open-ended question you’d like themto answer. Getting them involved by asking for their opinion will increase the timethey spend reading the newsletter.Transparency. Share insider news and other information that will make Millennialsgain trust in your company and its mission. Have the CEO or president write a shortblurb about goings on with the company. Include monthly statistics or financialinformation.Inspire and motivate. An article on suggests motivatingemployees through your newsletter: • Learn about something newsworthy that one or several employees did. This may require digging for facts among co-workers and customers. If your company routinely invites customer comments, this can become a prime source for hero stories. • Use direct quotations from employees, co-workers and the customers affected. The greater the number of direct quotes, the greater the story’s overall credibility and impact. • Take photos of the employees and customers to accompany the story. Photos further enhance both credibility and motivational impact. 23
  23. 23. 3 SIGNS YOUR CANDIDATES AREN’T WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE Originally Posted on Nov. 11, 2010 by Nikita PatelCompetition for jobs is the fiercest it has ever been, and as an employer, you need toknow if your candidates are as strong as they say they are. Yes, their resumes maybe chocked full of accomplishments and experience, but how do you know if theycan follow through with what’s on paper? References may be the traditional methodto be sure, but here are some other ways you can tell:Their social media accounts are lacking or non-existent. Whatever industry youare in, candidates need to have a strong grip on popular social media platforms. Ifthey haven’t updated their Twitter page in three months, don’t blog regularly, ordon’t own a LinkedIn account, you may want to pass. You should also look at therange at which they are updating their accounts. For example, many people onlyupdate their social media platforms when they are looking for a job, then drop themcompletely once they get what they want. What does this say about the value ofcommitment to your candidate?They have huge gaps in their resumes for no apparent reason. The timebetween college and career is an understandable time to be without a job, but thereare simple things that a candidate could have been doing while they perform theirsearch, like blogging, volunteering, or even traveling. A candidate who keeps busy 24
  24. 24. when it’s not required is someone you can probably count on to selflessly performtasks because they want to, not because they have to.They don’t have experience in multiple industries. Whatever profession you arein, chances are you will be working with multiple industries. It is so important tohave a well-rounded employee on your team because they need to be able to relateto different clients, atmospheres, and situations. Working in different industries, butstill practicing the same core profession, will truly show that a potential employeewill be able to handle an array of responsibilities, good and bad. 25
  25. 25. 5 WAYS TO HELP YOUR GEN Y EMPLOYEES SUCCEED Originally Posted on Oct. 25, 2010 by Katie FarrellYoung professionals are often recent graduates (or still students) and excited aboutlanding their first internship or entry-level job. As an employer, you want theseyoung pros have the ability to grow at your organization. Maybe some of them willstay and climb up the ladder. How can you retain them? And — more importantly —how can you help them succeed?Create a mentorship program. With many Millennials growing up with “helicopterparents,” (parents who pay extreme attention to their child’s needs, experiences andproblems), they are used to receiving guidance and feedback quickly and frequently.If you are unable to provide this much feedback, a great solution is to set up youryoung professionals with a mentor (higher-level employee to help guide them).Their mentor can field questions and concerns they may have, and also help theyoung pro navigate their way in the working world.Ask for input and ideas. Are you asking your Gen Y employees how to better yourorganization? Many Millennials can provide fresh ideas when it comes totechnology, work processes or tasks. Come up with a procedure for fielding theseideas — such as compiling them in a wiki or internal social network — and respondaccordingly when there is one you could implement. 26
  26. 26. Provide challenges. Millennials grew up with the latest technology, and many ofthem didn’t have parents who understood how to use it. So, they figured it outthemselves. Gen Y enjoys being challenged and, although they realize not all taskswill be enjoyable, need a challenge or become easily bored in the position.Be flexible. Older generations may feel like Gen Y doesn’t have a good work ethic,but the reality is that many members of this generation take much pride in theirwork — they just do it differently. For example, maybe your Millennial employeeworks better at 8 p.m. than 8 a.m. If you can find ways to provide flexibility, such astelecommuting or flexible work hours, consider implementing them into yourworkplace.Create a fun, employee-centered workplace. Young professionals want to enjoytheir work and their workplace. This is why so many large organizations (think:Google) are starting to provide a more fun atmosphere for their employees.With so many Millennials entering the workforce, it’s important to take a hard lookat your organization and evaluate how you can help young professionals succeed.Do you really know what motivates this generation? For more information onGeneration Y in the workplace, download our infographic loaded withstatistics here. 27
  27. 27. HOW TO MAINTAIN HAPPINESS IN THE WORKPLACE Originally Posted on Sep. 30, 2010 by Nikita PatelFor many people, getting up and going to work everyday is more of a chore thananything else. Sometimes the reason for this is that people in management positionstreat their employees with the same thought in mind: they are just there to workand nothing beyond that.However, a recent Forbes article suggests that unhappiness at work causes morethan just discouragement. People who hate their jobs are “more prone to healthproblems, less productive and a general drag on others.”So, what can you do as an employer to make things better?1. Get to know your employees. It’s as simple as having lunch together, or takingsome time after work to get to know someone who you will be spending a lot of timewith. You know what they are like on paper, but what about their personalities?What is their background? What do they personally want for themselves in the nextfive years? How will this job help them achieve those goals? Answers to thesequestions will help you get to know your employee on a personal level, which canoften translate into getting to know their work personalities. 28
  28. 28. 2. Identify their learning style. The sooner you find out your employee’s learningstyle, the better their work will be. Some people hate public speaking. Some don’twork well in groups. Certain employees work better when directions are given inperson, not through e-mail. Obviously, people may have to do things they don’t loveto do at times, but if you can give them tasks in such a way that fits them best, thequality of their work will improve.3. Be transparent. There are some things that you can’t let your employees knowfor multiple reasons. However, there are many aspects of your job that you canengage them in. Ask what you can be doing better, get feedback on projects, seewhat your team would like to be doing differently. Let your employees know thatthey have an impact on your personal growth, as well. This will show that they dohave a significant role not only to the company, but to the future of the team. It willmake them feel important and hopefully give them more incentive to want to dotheir jobs. After all, the happier your employees are, the more productive they are. 29
  29. 29. WHY THE “PURPLE SQUIRREL” SHOULDN’T BE A RECRUITING FOCUS Originally Posted on Dec. 20, 2010 by Raquel GonzalezAccording to Urban Dictionary, “The term ‘purple squirrel’ is a recruiter’s term forthe elusive candidate, with exactly the right qualifications and experience, to matchthe client’s role.” The term is synonymous with the term “ideal candidate.”But are your squirrel-y requests being filled?Even though we downplay the need to capture a “purple squirrel,” many employersforget that this mystical creature doesn’t exist (for unreasonable requirements). Inorder to avoid too much focus on the most talented candidate, we need to look for acandidate that is best for the tasks, position, and corporate culture. Withoutreasonable focus, spending too much time seeking a “purple squirrel” can create ared item on your ROI spreadsheet.In addition to outrageous requirements and wasted recruiting dollars, here’s whythe “purple squirrel” shouldn’t be a recruiting focus:Unreasonable requirements may intimidate that perfect candidate 30
  30. 30. As college recruiting is being revolutionized, and passive candidates are casuallybrowsing the job market, a job description that describes a “purple squirrel” mightbe a bit intimidating.Are your qualifications and requirements reasonable? Do you make it clear toapplicants that they can still apply if they meet some, but not all of yourrequirements? With companies targeting superstar college students, and takingthem off the market before competitors get to them, you should evaluate your jobpostings. Is that passive squirrel suitable for your messages?Your jobs are still unfilledAre you expecting too much from employees after a record-setting unemploymentrate? According to a recent article on, “The job crisis has brought anunwelcome discovery for many unemployed Americans: Job openings in their oldfields exist. Yet they no longer qualify for them.”While requests for the “purple squirrel” are on the rise, employers shouldn’t holdjobs vacant while they seek multi-skilled employees. Active and perfect-for-the-taskcandidates are out there but they may need a little in-house training or an initiativeto boost their skills. Open communication with all applicants allows you to gain abetter view of how willing and able the non-squirrel candidate is to meeting yourneeds. 31
  31. 31. You may attract overqualified and under enthusiastic candidatesHigh qualifications call for highly experienced candidates; is that worth your time ormoney? “Purple squirrel” syndrome can have your recruiters attracting the wrongcandidate – the overqualified candidate. An overqualified candidate, which has morethan the required skills and considers your job a step down, is an easy “purplesquirrel” hunter’s target.They can easily fall into your database when you’re searching for that multi-skilledcandidate, but will they stay? For some reason or another, your offer may seem as amore attractive endeavor than their current position, so why wouldn’t they treatyour opening as a stepping stone? Be sure to question whether that candidate is aptto become vulnerable to recruiters or seek other opportunities. 32
  32. 32. WOULD YOU CONSIDER A REVERSE MENTORSHIP? Originally Posted on Dec. 02, 2010 by Nikita PatelHave you ever been in a meeting and been far too confused with Web 2.0 productsand social media jargon? What about reading an article and seeing icons that read“Tweet,” “Share,” or “Stumble” and been entirely lost? You’re not alone. The way wecommunicate has changed, and businesses have adapted. Unfortunately, manyhaven’t and they are the ones that are left behind. However, what if you could getsomeone to nurture your skills to be on par in the new era of communication? Moreimportantly, would it matter if they were considerably younger than you?A recent Mashable article addresses this new trend: Millennials that guide membersof organizations who are older so they can better advance themselves. According tothe article, this form of leadership is called a reverse mentorship. The reversementorship is designed to help marketers with the obvious knowledge gap that hasoccurred since the boom of social media, and who better to engage them than thosewho discovered it first?Sound strange? It shouldn’t be.Just like any form of learning, information can come from all kinds of sources, youngor old. The key to making this sort of mentorship work is the same as anyrelationship: it’s a two way street. While they can help you with Twitter chats, you 33
  33. 33. can help them learn key marketing tools that will never go out of style. Furthermore,there is no need to be apprehensive or even cynical by receiving help from someonewho is from Generation Y. If anything it can give you that edge against yourcompetitors by expanding your knowledge base.After all, this generation isn’t going anywhere. Listen to what they have to say, itmay surprise you. 34
  34. 34. HOW TO SAVE MONEY WITHOUT SACRIFICING TALENT Originally Posted on Nov. 04, 2010 by Nikita PatelA friend of mine is the poster child for the perfect entry-level employee. He’s hadfour internships throughout his college career while maintaining a near perfect GPA,volunteers for various charities, and paid his way through college expecting a well-deserved first job. However, like most recent graduates, he’s struggling to find workin his field. Though he still believes he will find something, his enthusiasm and hopefor his career has diminished significantly. With this sort of trend on the rise, areemployers jeopardizing the future of their companies by putting off hiring thosequality candidates?Though most employers have slashed budgets, there are still ways to give entry-level employees a meaningful experience without draining your funds. Here arethree suggestions that would not only help you, but also give experience to recentgraduates who are just itching to join the workforce:1. Go virtual. Virtual positions could save time and money, as suggested by arecent Forbes article. Furthermore, with the technology that is available, thetraditional office structure may not be necessary if your company is not reliant on it.You can also give someone a taste of real work experience without either of youhaving to leave your homes. Everyone wins. 35
  35. 35. 2. Ask old interns to help with major projects. If past interns have had a goodexperience with your company, then they may be your best asset in the future whenyou need help. Think of large workloads like a charity event or end of the yearreports. You may need that extra manpower, but don’t have time or money to trainthem. Past interns already know the ins and outs of your company, so they wouldn’tneed a 360 degree run-through. You also know what areas they excel in, so you canforesee what projects to hand them.3. Hire temps. Temporary workers can work wonders for your organization if youcan allocate funds for a set period. This works in the employer as well as theemployees favor: Employees get to enhance their knowledge by practicing the skillsthat they are good at and there are no surprises when the time comes for theemployer to let temps go. Though it may be only for a short time period, both partiesbenefit and some experience is better than no experience. 36
  36. 36. 8 REASONS YOUR GEN Y EMPLOYEES LEAVE & HOW TO KEEP THEM Originally Posted on Oct. 18, 2010 by Katie FarrellGeneration Y or “Millennials” are the future of your workplace. You may alreadymanage Gen Y employees and know that their expectations differ from previousgenerations.When managing and hiring a new generation of young professionals, it’s essential toknow the main reasons why they might leave your organization and how to keepthem around for longer. Here are eight reasons, including practical solutions forretaining them:1. Lack of advancement options. Millennials are typically well-educated and tech-savvy. They expect the opportunity to advance at your organization in exchange forworking hard and sharing their knowledge. How to keep them: Developadvancement paths for your young professionals. Once they’ve proven themselvesat their first position, consider how you can promote them, offer higher pay ordifferent benefits to keep them around.2. Not enough feedback or rewards. Gen Y has received constant feedbackthroughout their school careers, so they expect to know how they’re doing onprojects and assignments right away. How to keep them: If your organization only 37
  37. 37. does “the annual review,” consider giving feedback more often to keep your youngprofessionals interested in their work. All it takes is a simple, “Great work!” (orother feedback) e-mail to let them know what you thought.3. Poor relationship with upper management or mentor. Maybe yourorganization doesn’t have a mentorship program yet, or maybe upper managementdoesn’t quite understand how to communicate with Millennials. Either way, this isan important aspect of why many Gen Y employees leave their jobs. How to keepthem: As number 2 said, feedback is a great way to keep Gen Y employees interestedand on-task. It’s also a way to constantly communicate with them. Another thing tobe careful of with young pros is talking down to them. Gen Y does not appreciatethis and will likely want to leave if it happens too often.4. Salary/benefits not up-to-par. This generation knows what they’re worth.They’ve spent years in college, years gaining experience and done their researchabout other’s compensation before interviewing with you. How to keep them: Betransparent about their pay and benefits and encourage discussion with youngprofessionals. If they can advance quickly, let them know how their pay or benefitscan change once they’ve been with your organization for a period of time.5. Poor relationship with co-workers. As with any generation, some Millennialswill leave their job because they don’t get along with their co-workers. They, too,find it hard to stay in an environment that doesn’t seem right for them. How to keep 38
  38. 38. them: Encourage communication and collaboration between co-workers byassigning team projects. Many Millennials are used to this dynamic from school.6. Work is not stimulating or meaningful. Gen Y expects to work for anorganization or company they believe in. They also hope to do work that isstimulating and challenging. How to keep them: Keep Gen Y workers challenged byswitching up their tasks from time-to-time and asking them for ideas. Give them thelead role on a project or task.7. They feel like they’re not being listened to. If you have a large company, thiscan be tricky. It’s hard to listen to every employee’s ideas, but many Millennials havegreat insights into new technologies to save the company money/time or new waysof running processes. How to keep them: Encourage them to share ideas via acompany internal network. Develop a specific page for ideas and be sure to look itover often. If you spot any idea that could work, praise them for their feedback anddiscuss how it might be implemented.8. Poor fit with the organization, culture or position. This is an important aspectof the interview — you don’t want to hire a young professional for their talent alongwithout considering their fit with your organization, culture and position. How tokeep them: Discuss ways to help with the situation if they’re already working foryou. If you’re still in the interview process — don’t hire someone you know won’t bea good fit. 39
  39. 39. WILL SOCIAL MEDIA SCANNING BE THE FUTURE OF CANDIDATE SELECTION? Originally Posted on Oct. 28, 2010 by Nikita PatelA recent article suggested that the future of hiring will be heavily determined by acandidates social media sites, more so than their perfectly tailored resumes andcover letters. The key is that particular scanning programs will be able to piecetogether a combination of a candidate’s online presence. In turn, this will be used todetermine what kind of employee they could turn out to be in the future.That’s right, these programs can actually let you know the future personality of youremployee based on their past.In theory, this isn’t anything new. Human resources professionals have been able todetermine what kind of employee will fit with a team based on past experiences. Asa result, those past experiences will predict future experiences. However, isimplementing a program that can “tell the future” based on today’s online presenceethical?To most, the answer would be yes and no. A large portion of employers already usesocial media as a way to weed out candidates. Using a social media scanningprograms to determine what kind of employee a person will be in a year, or evenfive years, shouldn’t be a shaping factor in the hiring process. Why? People change. 40
  40. 40. A good number of employers can surely say that they themselves are not the peoplethat they were five years ago, and if they were hired based on that, they wouldn’t bewhere they are today.If used, these programs should be only be utilized as an additional tool (and not theonly one) to help find the perfect candidate. However, knowing that social mediascanning programs exist can help you pick out the sort of candidate you are lookingfor, not necessarily one that they will become, the latter of which is never aguarantee. 41
  41. 41. HOW TO DEAL WITH AN INFLUX OF CANDIDATES Originally Posted on Sep. 23, 2010 by Nikita PatelWith the job market as concentrated as ever, it has become nearly impossible foremployers to get back to every single candidate who applies for a job. The usualtactic is the “thank you for applying” confirmation email since replying to everysingle applicant can be a daunting, and usually an ignored, task.However, implementing a system that gets back to most of the candidates can bebeneficial not only for your company image, but also to the applicant since it cangive them some sort of peace of mind.1. Newsletter. The easiest way for employers to keep in contact with candidates isto invite them to sign up for the company newsletter. Encourage the job seeker tokeep the company in mind by receiving the latest information, from the opening of anew office to a change in the way you to business. You can also link your socialmedia accounts to the newsletter as a way to keep the conversation going.2. Manage good candidates. Understandably, there may be hundreds of goodcandidates for only a few positions. However, why lose contact with the ones whodidn’t make the cut this time? Keep a list of qualified candidates who applied forprevious openings and send them updates when something else comes up in thefuture (obviously give them the choice of opting-out of these messages since they 42
  42. 42. may have already gotten another job). You already know that these candidates couldprobably work well with your company, which would save you time in the long run.3. Keep job seekers updated. The last thing that you need are hundreds of follow-up calls and emails after a position has been filled. Do everyone a favor and send outan e-mail when you have found your ideal candidate. Job seekers could be waitingpatiently for you to contact them well after they need to be, which wastes their timeand also puts your company in a bad light. Be different and show that you care.Candidates will have a lot more respect for you if you keep them informed. 43
  43. 43. HOW TO TRANSITION YOUR GEN Y EMPLOYEES FROM COLLEGE TO CAREER Originally Posted on Sep. 09, 2010 by Nikita PatelFor Millennials, landing a first job can be exciting, overwhelming and at times, evenfrightening. Once they have actually gotten one though, the transition betweencollege and career can be even more difficult. The days of waking up at any hour,freely surfing social media sites, and having barely any responsibility could soon bereplaced with an unexpected reality. However, the shift from student to professionaldoesn’t have to be so painful, especially if Millennials are given specific tools to helpthem succeed.Here are a few ways you can introduce them to the working world:1. Create an introductory packet targeted specifically to Generation Y. Having awelcome packet is always useful for the new employee. Take this one step furtherand position it towards your Millennials. Create welcome videos that show yourwork environment and what a typical day is like. Include social media resourcesthey can use as an outside research tool so that they can still be using the sites, butin a professional manner. If your company is in the communication or marketingindustries, it may be a good idea for your employees to be skilled with design, soPhotoshop, InDesign, or Dreamweaver tutorials would be a great way they could usepolish their creative sides, while still learning on the job. 44
  44. 44. 2. Use your Millennials as internal consultants. Chances are, your targetaudience will fall somewhere in the Generation Y age range. Who better to adviseyou on the latest trends than your Millennial employee? Advice should always bebacked up with research, but the direction that your employee could give you wouldnot only be a good stepping stone, but it will also give a sense of importance andwelcome for your Millennial.3. Social media. Confused about how to integrate a social media policy into yourcompany? Look towards your Generation Y employee. They were the first toembrace many of the applications, so they can weave their way through them withease. Let your Millennials help your team build a social media policy that will workfor your company. Be open to their opinions, but also let it be known that theapplications need to be used in a way that will benefit your business, not to wastetime. That way, you will be giving your new employee a project that they arefamiliar with (and probably will enjoy), while at the same time easing them into acareer. 45
  45. 45. 4 BENEFITS OF HAVING YOUR OWN INTERNAL SOCIAL NETWORK Originally Posted on Sep. 13, 2010 by Katie FarrellAn internal social network is an exclusive website for you and your employees toshare information and ideas with secure logins and restricted access. Internal socialnetworks can be built with many features, depending on what’s best for yourcompany and its needs. For example, some include: blogs, activity feeds, wikis,videos, profiles, etc.If you don’t already have an internal social network, you’re probably wondering:Why do I need one? What are the benefits?Here are some of the big ones:Increased collaborationA great benefit of an internal social network is the ability to collaborate — evenoutside of work. Employees can reply to ideas or post their own. How many timeshave you thought of something innovative or amazing at night, and then by the nextday, you can’t remember what it was? With an internal social network, you canshare and comment on each other’s ideas from anywhere and at anytime. 46
  46. 46. Easy connectivityWhen it comes to Generation Y employees, they’ve been using social media and e-mail for years and expect this type of connectivity at their jobs. Having a socialnetwork for employees easily connects everyone in one place and provides aplatform that young professionals are already comfortable using. A social networkalso allows employees to see everyone’s ideas (and develop them), unlike segmentedconversations in e-mail.Better productivityIf your internal network is utilized in a way that helps employees communicate andcollaborate, it can lead to better and increased productivity in your workplace. Thiscan make a huge different in workplaces that tend to be segmented by departmentor have some employees who telecommute, as well.No privacy worriesSure, you can utilize existing social networks and restrict privacy to only youremployees, but do you want to risk that someone else might be able to access yourcompany’s ideas? Probably not — which is why investing in an internal socialnetwork can really pay off. 47
  47. 47. By 2015, Generation Y will be the largest generation in the workforce. Bycombined. We know small businesses (and nonprofits) do the majority of the hiring2020, there will be more Gen Y workers than Baby Boomers and Generation Xin the U.S. So, we’ve cooked up a service just for you!If your organization is: • A for-profit with 100 (or fewer) employees or is a nonprofit of any size • Looking to hire an intern or entry-level (2 years experience or less) employeeThen, for $150, we will: • Help you craft a description that will both appeal to Gen Y and clearly demonstrate what you are seeking in a candidate • Attract candidates to the position • Evaluate candidates based on the position description and their qualifications • Narrow down the selection for you to 2 or 3 top candidates • Provide you with a complete portfolio on each as to why you should hire them TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SERVICE TODAY! 48