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Companies Need Jobs, Employees and Scheduling – Friday Distraction

Staffing and scheduling go together for business success. When one isn't working right, a lot can go very wrong. The right technology can efficiently help.

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Weird Job Titles: The Year in Review

Weird and wonderful job titles have been making headlines for some time now. The tech world in particular provides a rich source of exotic monikers applied to jobs that might otherwise sound a bit less thrilling. Few companies may have a Security Princess like Google, or a “Galactic Viceroy of Research Excellence” as Microsoft once did, but it’s not unheard …

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Are External Forces Changing Organizational Values

Changing organizational values doesn't happen overnight. But, sometimes, employees are looking for or expecting more. Can companies respond adequately?

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How to Leverage Company Benefits to Recruit and Retain Top Talent

One-third of organizations have increased their overall benefit offerings in 2016, according to a research report compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). As recruiting and retaining top talent continue to become increasingly difficult for employers, robust benefit packages play a key role. When salaries and perks (think: free lunch) are nearly equal from company to company, employees are likely to opt for the company that offers the best benefits and greatest opportunities.

Medical and financial benefits aside, employees are looking for lifestyle and career benefits. SHRM reported that the top reason employers increased benefits in 2016 was to remain competitive in the marketplace—and the three biggest focus areas for change were in the health (22%), wellness (24%), and professional and career development (16%) categories. Robust benefit packages that include career development, health and wellness, and flexible working options provide a platform for employers to stand out. Nearly one-third of employees look for external positions because they desire “overall better benefits,” second only to higher compensation.

The type of benefits you offer speaks volumes on how you treat and support employees, which always manifests by way of your external employer brand. It’s not enough to say “we have great benefits,” because “great benefits” are now table stakes. Companies have mastered the art of talking about perks, from catered lunches to team building activities. Failure to talk about the real support and development opportunities you offer to employees might translate to missed opportunities. So how can hiring managers and recruiters promote employee benefits to help with recruiting and retention?

#1: Kick “industry standard” out of your vocabulary

When recruiters and hiring managers list their company’s benefits and summarize with the catch-all phrase, we offer “industry standard” benefits, it’s not enough. When all else—compensation, vacation days, and perks—are even, offering a standard benefits package won’t help your company standout enough to secure commitment from a top employee. Even though it might be tempting to default to a quick response, it pays to provide more detail about the benefits your company offers, in length, during the interview process.

And even more importantly than providing a laundry list of benefits (but kudos to you for that list!), explain how these benefits fit in with core company values. For example, if you offer flexible work arrangements and flexible hours, explain that these arrangements support your company’s value of work-life balance. If you provide a gym membership or showers at work, talk about how it enhances company culture or creates opportunities for employees to get the exercise they desire in a convenient way.. When recruits begin to see how your benefits support their shared values and interests, they’ll see the benefits you offer are much greater than “industry standard.”

Employers hoping to keep a competitive edge are offering more than the “industry standard” at every stage of the employee journey, including at severance – according to a recent study by RiseSmart. If you’re on the cutting edge of severance offerings, use those benefits to differentiate your company form the competition.

#2: Talk about goals in the recruiting and interview process

Before an employee is even hired, find out what they’re looking for in their employer and what their short and long term goals are. Ask questions like, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and “How are you hoping your employer will support you along your career journey?” Employees, many of whom are seeking opportunities for career development and continuing education, need to know you plan to invest in their individual career goals.

A Career Builder survey found that 45% of employees, regardless of generation, plan to stay with their employer for less than two years. During their tenure, they expect to benefit and grow with each new role and and at each new company. It’s important to convey to prospective employees that you invest in each individual employee, regardless for how long they plan to stay in the role for which they are being hired.

#3: Amplify the employee voice

Remind employees early on that they have a voice to share about company culture and employee benefits. Glassdoor, for example, recommends employers invite new hires to reflect on their first few months at the company. Whether this leads to internal feedback or a public review, it can assist efforts aimed at creating a positive employer brand.

L’Oréal recently launched a #LifeatLoreal hashtag to encourage employees to share photos of their experiences at work. The campaign all stemmed from the idea that people would trust their peers on social media when it came to L'Oréal being a great place to work. Employees posted a wide variety of pictures, including snapshots of various benefits and perks in action—such as flex days and catered lunches. Encourage employees to share the experiences they enjoy the most on the social channel of their choice.

#4: Keep employees engaged with benefits

On average, salary is only about 70% of an employee’s total compensation. When employees don’t take advantage of the benefits offered by the company, it’s equivalent to leaving 30% of the total compensation package on the table. Employers who keep employees engaged with benefits are more likely to see benefits manifest as part of the employer brand. An employee is highly unlikely to leave a Glassdoor review that mentions a positive benefit if she has never actually utilized the benefit.

Try hosting monthly or quarterly Q&A sessions to discuss available benefits. When you roll out a particularly hefty benefit, such as a new 401K offering, or an update to parental leave policy, give employees ample opportunity to ask questions. You could also share success stories from employees who have taken advantage of a particularly niche benefit, such as an hour of free lawyer services, to showcase how the benefit is used and encourage other employees to check it out.

#5: Benefits are the forgotten negotiation tool

If you are a hiring manager or recruiter engaging with a candidate, think beyond salary, or equity. Everything is negotiable, from vacation days to health insurance choices. Savvy employees, especially as the war for talent continues to heat up, will use benefits as negotiation tools—but don’t shy away from doing the same thing on the employer side. It’s often easier to offer more benefits than to secure additional salary for an employee.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your full complement of benefits, including your severance benefits. Prospective employees may feel more comfortable about joining a company that will take care of them, in the event of a downsizing or restructuring event. You may want to consider offering perks like outplacement and career transition services to employees who leave voluntarily as well as those who are involuntary subjects of a layoff. Knowing that you are invested in their career, even after they leave, will help you create a workforce of dedicated, engaged, and satisfied employees.

The world is small and everyone is connected. When you invest in employees, it leads to a positive employer brand. In the new Employee Relationship Economy, former employees will someday become vendors, customers, brand evangelists, recruiting references, or even boomerang employees. In a world where the employee/employer relationship is no longer finite, it’s important to convey your full support for employees’ career endeavors at every stage of their career journeys -- beginning early in the recruiting and interview process.

In every recruiting conversation, highlight your dedication to each employee’s career. When you frame up your organization’s benefits in context of how they fit in with the employee’s journey, it’s easy for the candidate to see how your company would support his journey. Communication about employee benefits can go a long way in the recruiting process—and will have a direct impact on your employer brand. If you offer much more than “industry standard,” you should be screaming it from the rooftops. Your current and prospective employees deserve to understand just how committed you are to their personal and professional journey.

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Onboarding Is Successful When Expectations Are Met

Onboarding new hires is all about setting expectations. If you don't, you can expect disengagement and disappointment from employees and managers.

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HRExaminer Executive Conversations Recap

What is outplacement? Who uses it? What’s the human element? How does technology fit in? How did it begin and how has it evolved? How does RiseSmart compare to its competitors? John Sumser, principal analyst at HRExaminer and Karin Bootsma, VP Marketing at RiseSmart explore these, and other questions around human capital management on the HRExaminer Executive Conversations Podcast. Listen to the podcast in its entirety here.

To give you a flavor of the podcast, here are 5 highlights from Karin and John’s lively conversation.

#1 The evolution of outplacement

Outplacement has its roots in post-World War II America where people who didn’t have a job felt shame and often hid their unemployment from friends and family. To provide the support that transitioning employees needed at that time, traditional outplacement firms opened offices so individuals could get dressed for work and go to an office to look for a job. The outplacement provider would provide group coaching sessions and individuals had access to a typewriter and a telephone.

Fast-forward to today and those outplacement organizations that established their business model back then haven’t changed that much. “RiseSmart has really disrupted this industry by delivering service virtually, so it’s instant, it’s quick, immediate for people to get going. Even a week delay in getting started can be quite impactful for people,” stated Karin.

According to Karin, “34% of Americans have absolutely no savings whatsoever set aside for emergencies. A layoff is one of the three most disruptive things in people’s lives, according to research – after death and divorce.”

#2 The stigma of unemployment and the need for best practices

The notification period of a layoff event is stressful for the transitioning employees as well as for the managers delivering the notifications. To make the process as stress-free as possible, it’s important to provide the right training for managers prior to the event. Layoffs can be an emotional event for those impacted by the layoff, the managers giving the notifications, and those remaining at the company. Karin recommends following these three best practices:

  • Plan the communication
  • Provide the proper training for managers
  • Offer outplacement services to get people back to work quickly

Planning the communication before the layoff ensures that everyone in the company is delivering the same message. Managers and HR teams should be prepared to deliver messaging with empathy and understanding. Having scripted responses in place gives individual leaders a way to speak to employees without the anxiety of trying to figure out what to say and how to answer questions.

Manager notification training takes the guess work out of notification day logistics – such as finding a place that provides enough privacy for people to express their emotions and take the time to compose themselves before facing their colleagues.

“The more planning HR can do, the better the whole transition will be for the impacted person given the emotional rollercoaster they will experience over the next days, weeks, or months,” suggests Karin. “That brings us back to the importance of acting quickly and getting people back on their feet and providing them transition assistance to give them a soft landing – so they don’t feel completely lost.”

#3 The RiseSmart solution

“We’ve really embraced our mission, which is one of outcome-driven career transition with a focus on the results as much as the journey,” said Karin in response to John’s questions about RiseSmart. She went on to explain RiseSmart’s unique approach to outplacement and career transition. “Because the industry historically focused on grief counseling and workshops, our mantra is personalized services,” she explained.

Each person that goes through our program is assigned three people: a dedicated coach available anytime, a resume writer who will focus on personal and professional branding, and a job concierge that hand picks jobs – a service that goes above and beyond what you can find on job boards.

We also have a technology component. One of our platforms, Spotlight™, is where our participants can go to get information and job search tips as well as webinars. Spotlight uses our SmartMatch™ technology to help participants find their own jobs using our semantic technology.

We have a separate platform, Insight™ that provides HR teams with visibility into what happens when their employees leave the company. With Insight, HR teams can see how quickly their employees are transitioning to new jobs and how they feel about the impact event and their experience with our outplacement services. Given this information, HR can make decisions about how to improve their processes and calculate the ROI on their outplacement investment.

Included in Insight is the Alumni Sentiment Rating – a sort of net promoter score that allows HR departments to keep a pulse on how people are feeling about the company post-layoff and to make decisions to help protect the employer brand.

According to Karin, companies are starting to realize that technology alone is not the answer. Today, talent acquisition, recruiting, and outplacement companies are offering solutions that blend technology and human elements.

“At RiseSmart we have phenomenal technology for HR as well as for the people that we help, but we also have that human layer to help people in their transitions,” explained Karin.

“I don’t think anybody else has that level of data about what happens to people when they are let go. That seems pretty important,” comments John.

#4 The employee experience

“You were talking about the employee experience and being about to understand that better. Will you tell me a little bit more about that?” John asked.

“Because transitions have become such a natural part of the work environment, we feel that employers should embrace transition and recognize that a workforce that’s bonded by strong company culture means that their former employees will become brand ambassadors, or reference for customers, recruiters, cheerleaders, and all those functions,” explained Karin. “So, if you accept that as true, we believe that these relationships will make or break the leaders of the future, which is why we see an employee relationship economy on the rise and one where we think HR stewardship is critical.”

As the work environment continues to change, employees need to build trust and treat employees with dignity, and respect – providing the right transition support is part of that. Employers need to demonstrate that they not only provide growth and development opportunities during the employee’s tenure with the company, but they also provide the transition assistance out of the company that will leave the door open for individuals to return as an employee, customer, or recruiter for the organization.

#5 Outplacement, redeployment and mobile workforces

According to Karin, “In today’s day and age, all companies are going through transitions. The inflow and outflow of talent is accelerating. Whether people are moving out of a company or through a company, we help them – we focus on redeployment as well.”

Even when individuals are transitioning into different roles within the company, they still need the career coaching, interview training and personal branding services traditionally reserved for those employees leaving the organization. A lot of companies are focused on internal mobility because there is so much institutional knowledge that existing employees possess about the culture of the company, the industry, and the business itself. Offering organizations a way to redeploy their talent into different roles reduces the costs associated with lost productivity, layoffs, recruitment, and onboarding.

Early in the podcast, John noted that in the outplacement industry, providers are dealing with people and their lives in transition. In response, Karin noted, “I think companies are starting to realize that technology alone is not the answer. The answer is really in perfect blend between technology and the human element.” When your business is making sure people are able to find and land a job to support themselves, their families, and the community, there is a lot of responsibility to provide the best services and to personalize the process. You can listen to more of Karin and John’s conversation on HRExaminer Executive Conversations, here.

 

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Indeed Resume Employer Subscriptions: How the New Model Will Work

In today’s hiring landscape, it pays to be proactive when sourcing talent. To help recruiters take control of their hiring efforts, we launched Indeed Resume, a database searchable by industry, education, title and location in 2011.

Since then, Indeed Resume—which is completely free for job seekers to create or upload their resume—has grown enormously: up from one million searchable …

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How to Spend the Last Two Weeks of the Year

Organization will set you free. The last two weeks of the year are a perfect time to get organized. Plan, schedule and organize to prepare for the new year.

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Technology Is Part of Your Employment Brand – Friday Distraction

Your employment brand helps attract top candidates. Kronos shows us that, in today's digital age, your technology can be a big part of your employment brand.

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The Culture Series [Part 4] – Implementing an Inclusive Culture

An inclusive culture can offer a competitive advantage. Diversity training programs are a great start. But the leadership team needs to be the champion of diversity.

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