Don’t Let These Interview Traits Keep You From Getting Hired

January 27th, 2012

A job interview is a stressful event, and it’s all too common to let your nerves get the best of you. These nerves may give the impression that you have some traits that job interviewers want to avoid. By knowing what these traits are ahead of time, you can coach yourself to avoid displaying these traits and get through the interview with flying colors.

Let’s take a look at the top 4 traits employers don’t want to see in an interview:

1. The Shrinking Violet. While you may be nervous and anxious to please, no one likes a shrinking violet, especially if the job you are applying for requires a strong personality. Don’t be afraid to express your opinion in a confident manner, while being respectful and professional. Give the impression that you can handle yourself and anything that’s thrown at you.

2. The Yes Man. It’s only natural to want to agree with everything that is being said and to respond in the positive at every turn. However, job interviewers look at this as dishonesty and they can see through it. Don’t be afraid to admit you have faults – own up to them and be honest in every section of the interview. You’ll be rewarded for it.

3. The Negative Nelly. Never be disrespectful about past employers and experiences you may have had while under their employ. Job interviewers are smart enough to know that if you are derogatory about another company, chances are you’ll be derogatory about them in the future. Find a good and positive way to spin why you are leaving your old company.

4. The Buck Passer. Blaming other people for past performance problems will immediately put a bad taste in the interviewer’s mouth. Again, honesty is always the best policy. They would rather see someone who holds themselves accountable and isn’t afraid to be honest about their flaws, as well as their strengths.

By avoiding these top bad characteristics, you can ensure that you will come off as the safe and smart choice during your next interview.

Eliminate Burnout

January 26th, 2012

Has your life become too complicated? Between telephones, cell phones, voicemail, e-mail, and text messaging, we’ve never been more accessible–and more prone to interruption. Add job and family responsibilities, and it’s enough to make you feel overwhelmed!

Here are some ways you can eliminate burnout and get back on track: Read the rest of this entry »

Be a Top Employer in 2012

January 20th, 2012

Every year, employees across numerous national firms are surveyed to find out who the best employers are. Do you want to be included on that list in 2012? Here are a few ways that you can ensure your employees are happy, your retention rates are stellar and your company maintains an excellent reputation.

1. Offer on-site childcare services. The rising costs of childcare have many employees scraping by to make ends meet. If your workforce has a large concentration of mothers, this is an excellent service to provide. Overall, costs are nominal and employees can focus on their jobs knowing that their children are being well cared for and are close by if they are needed.
2. Provide better benefits for your employees. One of the secrets to great retention rates are the benefits you offer your workforce. Provide your employees with access to a group health plan, offer paid holidays and generous vacation time. Add in extras like a group life plan, 401k sharing and access to health savings accounts. In today’s competitive marketplace, you’ve got to be able to compete with the best and offering a well rounded benefits package is one way to do that.
3. Offer the option to telecommute. Even if it’s only a few days a week, employees appreciate the ability to work from home. In a recent survey employees stated that they would be willing to take a 10% pay cut in exchange for flex time or the ability to telecommute. While this doesn’t work with every position within a company, if you have key people you want to retain, offer them this option.

4. Listen to your employees. Poor management and a feeling of hopelessness can quickly move your employees to your competitors. Offer free counseling services and improve your management style. Create and maintain an open-door policy for your employees. Create brainstorming sessions where employees are encouraged to provide ideas to make the company better. If they feel they are a vital part of your operation, chances are they will want to stick around.

These are just a few ideas that will help turn your company into one of the top employers in 2012. Every company is different however. Ask your employees what they want and listen to their responses. Implement the ideas that are feasible and make your employees an integral part of your operation.

Weather Economic Hardship With Strategic Workforce Management

January 13th, 2012

In times of economic uncertainty, companies can have a difficult task ahead of them when it comes to handling scheduling and productivity. Lay-offs are an unfortunate necessity, and the staff that is left behind must be able to pull the weight of a much larger workforce.

In order to overcome these challenges, strategic workforce management is a vital skill. Here are some tips to help get you started.

1. Avoid over-pruning. Aggressive layoffs may help your bottom line immediately, but if you are removing key people, your whole operation may suffer. Prioritize positions and consider moving key persons to a shorter schedule if necessary to avoid cutting them off entirely.

2. Find other ways to cut your costs. If you have offered a very attractive benefits package, that is now costing your company dearly, consider removing some of these benefits or scaling them back. While employees may rely on these benefits, chances are, they rely on their jobs a whole lot more. Most will be understanding and see that it is better to lose a few benefits rather than their jobs.

3. Find ways to operate smarter. Increasing productivity is often the key to getting out of a slump. Find the position in the chain that needs the most attention – for example, sales. Ratchet up their production and avoid cutting this department unless it is absolutely necessary. Set up monetary performance rewards to encourage employees to produce more.

4. Improve your process. If you have had a lax operation where employees were not held accountable, change this immediately. Make a company-wide announcement that it will no longer be tolerated and enforce your new plan evenly and fairly. Most employees are smart enough to realize that they need to do their jobs, but some will need reminding.

These are just a few ways that you can strategically manage your operation, improve your workforce productivity and reduce economic bleeding within your structure.

3 Best Ways to Attract Today’s Top Tech Talent

January 6th, 2012

Tech companies face a common problem when it comes to staffing. This is an incredibly competitive field. You need to have a talented workforce, but if your company does not stand out from the rest of the crowd, you will not be able to attract the top talent your company needs to succeed.
This catch-22 situation can be avoided by implementing strategies designed not only to attract the talent you need, but also to retain that talent. Three very simple strategies can have tremendous results if they are applied correctly.

1. Offer the option to telecommute.
According to Dice.com, workers are more than willing to take up to a 10% cut in pay just to have the option to telecommute to their jobs. You can offer telecommuting options in a variety of ways. For example, you can give employees a set amount of days to work at home, or you can provide them with a 100% telecommuting position. If you are looking to attract talent outside of your local area, instead of expecting them to re-locate, offer them the option of telecommuting to work. This also translates into a powerful retention tool.

2. Choose the right places for recruiting.
Today’s tech world is evolving incredibly quickly. If you are relying on old methods of reaching new talent, chances are you may be coming up short. Utilize social media for your applicant search and get connected with the tech community on a personal level.

3. Keep your website current with tech trends.
Is your corporate web site trapped in a design that is staid and non-functional? Remember, if you want to attract the best, you have to be the best. Your company’s site is still your public face to the world. If it’s not compelling and exciting, chances are you may get passed over for a competitor who appears to have more to offer.
These are just three simple ways for your company to start attracting the cream of the tech crop. Just as you must stay on top of current trends to market your company’s products and services, you must also do this to market yourself to potential new-hires.