Client Resources

If you’re an employer, navigating the labor market can be challenging. But at Johnson Service Group, we are here to simplify things. Here is a collection of hiring process recommendations, overviews of the current landscape of the labor market, industry news, and much more. At JSG, we work hard, we work together, and we work for you.

How To Offer Sustainable Workplace Perks

How To Offer Sustainable Workplace Perks

“Workplace perks” have been a long-standing topic in the world of hiring. During the candidate-driven market of 2016-2020, they became a last-ditch effort for many companies to secure talent from a limited pool. However, when the Coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, and the world came to a halt, work perks were turned completely upside down. Suddenly, no one cared about free snacks or foosball tables. This rapid shift has left managers scratching their heads, wondering what they can offer employees to attract top talent and remain sustainable through economic and cultural changes. Here is a quick glimpse into the workplace perks that today’s candidates are looking for.

Flexibility

If the COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that flexibility is king. As millions of workers worldwide were thrown into remote-working situations and difficult decisions, a company’s ability to be flexible became invaluable. Company leaders such as Simon Berg, CEO of software company Ceros, understands this new demand better than ever. “I was an everyday-in-office kind of guy, and it felt like that was how I’d build culture and connectivity between myself and the team.” However, now that he can spend more time with his family, his company’s values have shifted. He wants the company culture to hinge on allowing employees more “autonomy, mastery, and freedom in their life.”

To attract top talent moving forward, companies will need to examine the flexibility of their work environments. Can you offer remote working options, even just a couple of days a week? Do you allow your employees to make exceptions for extenuating circumstances (i.e., kids at home sick, doctor’s appointments, etc.)? Most importantly, do your employees feel trusted and empowered to make the right decisions for themselves and your team?

Cash Stipends

Some of the most popular workplace perks of yesteryear revolved around food and beverage options: in-house baristas, extensive cereal bars, unlimited snack options, and even catered lunches. However, with the shift to remote working, these perks were instantly irrelevant and foolishly surface-level. But, everyone loves free food, right?

Instead of focusing on providing an unlimited stream of snacks, consider offering your employees a cash stipend for lunch. It’s still a fun perk, but it gives your employees more freedom with how they use it. Or, seek out a local coffee shop to partner with and coordinate an employee discount. This is a great way to ensure you’re stimulating the local economy while keeping your team caffeinated.

Wellness Reimbursements

The past year has left employees feeling anxious and depressed. Investment in your employee’s mental and physical health is a workplace perk that will pay dividends. Amidst the pandemic, companies are putting the focus on mental health to try and combat feelings of isolation and depression. For example, Starbucks is giving employees and their family members 20 free counseling sessions per year. And Target is offering free access to both mental and physical health-focused apps such as DaylightSleepio, and Wellbeats.

Offer your employees reimbursements for the health resources they need. From counseling to gym memberships, that may look different for everyone. Providing a wide array of options shows employees that you care not only about their work but also about them as a person. Can you partner with a local gym to provide discounted memberships for employees? Or offer a reimbursement for virtual memberships while we are all cooped up at home. 

Still unsure of which workplace perks are the best fit for your company? Ask your employees. Conduct a company-wide survey asking people for feedback, or task a small focus group with coming up with innovative ideas. Your perks are only valuable if your employees deem them so!

For more hiring tips, explore our client resources.

The Easy 5-Step Strategy To Hire Remote Employees

The Easy 5-Step Strategy To Hire Remote Employees

Implementing a great hiring process is difficult enough, let alone a process to hire remote employees while your whole team is working remotely! Our best advice is to keep it simple. Focus on what matters, and let the rest fall away. For guidance, follow our easy 5-step strategy to hire remote employees.

Write A Great Job Description

It all starts with a great description. If there isn’t enough information in the job description, you will get an influx of unqualified resumes. On the other hand, if your job description includes a laundry list of complicated qualifications, you could deter talented candidates who don’t meet every single unnecessary qualification. For a remote position, be sure to detail the remote-work situation throughout, even if it’s just temporarily remote. You want that to pique the interest of the right candidates!

Additionally, use the job description to entice candidates. Share insight into your company culture, a glimpse into the day-to-day tasks, and information about benefits and perks. If it’s a permanent remote position, explain the support you provide to remote employees.

Define Your “Must-Haves”

In an incredibly competitive job market, you might receive hundreds of applications for one opening. Thus, it’s essential that you define your absolute must-have non-negotiables. Limit these to one or two of the most important qualities. That way, you can prioritize candidates that meet your most critical needs. For a remote position, this should include common remote work skills and experience.

Ask The Right Interview Questions

Now, more than ever, behavioral questions are instrumental to the hiring process. In the current job market, don’t be afraid to dig deep with candidates! Have them explain how they react to common remote work situations like frustrating Zoom calls, technology struggles, or unclear lines of communication. How they answer will be a great indicator of how they work remotely. Additionally, ask questions specific to your team or company culture to really cover all of your bases.

Check Their References

When you hire remote employees, it is entirely appropriate to request references that worked with them in a remote capacity. Making this specific request will grant you the opportunity to get a first-hand account of the candidate’s true ability to work remotely.

Extend An Offer Promptly

There are some incredible candidates on the market today; however, they won’t last long! Talent with remote work experience is in high demand, and your competition could sweep them out from under your feet. Make sure your interviews are effective so you can extend an offer and hire remote employees quickly.

Looking for more hiring advice? Explore our hiring resources here.

job market turned a new corner

Has the Job Market Turned A New Corner?

Is the job market turning over a new leaf? According to the Labor Department, more Americans voluntarily left their jobs in September than any other month since the pandemic. Despite the number of coronavirus cases skyrocketing, job openings are increasing, and the number of layoffs is declining. So, has the job market turned a new corner? Let’s take a closer look.

3 million voluntary quits

The US Department of Labor reported this week that the number of people who voluntarily quit their jobs increased to 3.0 million in September. That is the most voluntary quits in the last 7+ months. Additionally, the number of available jobs rose to 6.44 million, and layoffs and discharges decreased to 1.3 million (down 0.9%).

So, in what industries are people quitting their jobs? Increases in voluntary quits were noticeable in the accommodation and food services industry, construction, and professional and business services. The confidence with workers in these industries is also reflected in the latest Jobs Report, showing that these industries have the most significant employment rebounds.

A pandemic-low unemployment rate

The unemployment rate also hit a pandemic-era low last month of 6.9%, down 1% from September. The number of job gains also well surpassed economists’ predictions with the addition of 638,000 nonfarm payrolls. “The rebound continues to have strong momentum, more than people were thinking,” said John Briggs, head of strategy at NatWest Markets. “Private payrolls blowout, the participation rate went up 0.3… People are coming back into the economy, and [the unemployment rate] still went down a full percentage point.” The combination of more job openings and lower unemployment levels is a prominent indicator that the labor market is rebounding.

An unexpected startup boom

Moreover, in a surprising turn of events is a boom in American startups. Business applications crashed when the virus first hit, but the third quarter of 2020 produced the highest number of applications on record. So, as unemployment levels reached an all-time high, thousands of Americans put on their entrepreneurship hats. The largest area for new business formation is online retail, which is interesting because the coronavirus has crushed traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

However, will this spark in startup formations fill our country’s significant unemployment void? As of now, it looks like the job market is turning a new corner. Time will tell, but this boom of optimism is really refreshing as we quickly approach the end of the year.

What You Should Look For In A Mid-Level Employee

What You Should Look For In Mid-Level Employee

The talent market is crowded right now, and hiring managers are overwhelmed (to say the least.) Many companies are seeking assistance in narrowing down their prospects to hire only the best employees. However, that can be tricky when assessing the mid-level range. When hiring for a mid-level position, you’ll receive resumes from candidates across the board. Some may boast stronger education, while others have experience that speaks for itself. How can you ensure you’re hiring a candidate who will be talented and loyal to your company? Here are a few things to keep an eye out for when hiring a mid-level employee.

Drive To Succeed

You may be surprised that our first point isn’t “related experience,” but hear us out. There are millions of candidates on the market right now. Some may be overqualified; some may be pivoting their career. Not all candidates will have matching experience. Don’t get hung up on line-by-line qualifications on paper. Simply look for candidates that have the drive to succeed. Have they worked their way up throughout their career? Can they provide concrete examples of times they’ve gone above and beyond?

The Ability To Talk Through Situations

Behavioral interview questions were made for mid-level employees. These candidates aren’t so well-rehearsed that they have an answer for everything, yet they have enough experience to walk you through situations they’ve encountered throughout their career. Craft behavioral interview questions specifically tailored to your mid-level employee role. Dig deep to find out how a candidate would react in different situations and don’t be afraid to push them a little out of their comfort zone. How a person responds will be a great indicator of how they will work under pressure if hired for your position.

A Culture Fit

“Culture fit” has been a hot topic in hiring this year. Many have accused the term of perpetuating hiring bias. However, keep in mind that you define what culture fit means in relation to hiring for your position. Hiring for culture fit typically means assessing candidates based on their alignment with your team and company’s values, beliefs, and behaviors. And for a mid-level employee, it’s often a crucial metric for success. To hire for culture fit, be upfront about your culture early and often throughout the hiring process. Include it in your mid-level job description, explain it during the interview, and detail it well in your offer-package. That way, candidates gain a clear understanding of what you stand for, and they can make an educated decision accordingly.

When hiring a mid-level employee, look beyond the resume. Of course, you need someone with experience, but soft-skills will be what sets a winning candidate apart from the rest. 

Looking for more hiring advice? Check out our articles on hiring senior-level and entry-level employees.

What You Should Look For In Senior-Level Employees

What You Should Look For In A Senior-Level Employee

Senior-level employees can bring a wealth of talent and stability to your company. They are essential to establishing your company culture, leading your lower-level employees, and pushing your growth goals. That is why it is vital to seek out talented candidates that will drive your company to success. Here are three things you need to look for when hiring senior-level employees.

Strategic Vision

By the time you become a senior-level employee, you have had at least a few years of experience in the working world. Whether this position will be a management role or straight senior-level, you need someone with vision. A vision for themselves and their future, and a vision for your team and company’s success. During the interview process, be sure to ask questions related to vision and goals such as “where do you see yourself in five years?”

Passively Looking

Historically, the best senior-level employees are not actively looking for a new position. This is why it’s beneficial to partner with a recruiting firm to source and hire your senior-level talent. We have connections with your competitors, and we’re used to selling the latest and greatest, even if your candidate is currently happily employed. However, we are experiencing challenging times, so there are millions of incredible candidates actively on the market today. As a result, don’t just count a candidate out because they are currently unemployed.

Versatility

Senior-level employees will most likely be working with a variety of personalities in your workplace. From the Executive suite to temporary interns, your senior-level employees need to work well with everyone. They should demonstrate versatility in their communication and leadership styles. To assess this, it will be essential to check references thoroughly. For management roles, don’t be afraid to request a subordinate reference to better understand a candidate’s management style.

Hiring for a management-level position varies significantly from company to company, team to team, and even position to position. Always look for professional maturity, including the ability to tackle a variety of tasks and personality types.

Looking for more hiring advice? Check out our articles on hiring mid-level and entry-level employees.

4 COVID-19 Hiring Trends

4 COVID-19 Hiring Trends

There’s no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has changed almost everything about our day-to-day lives over the past year. So, it should not come as a surprise that COVID-19 has significantly impacted hiring trends. If you’re trying to land a job or hire a new team member in 2020, you must understand these four COVID-19 hiring trends.

Remote Hiring Process

Following months of mandatory stay-at-home orders, companies have had to pivot to remote working scenarios. In fact, many have extended their remote work policies through the summer of 2021. As a result, they have also moved their hiring process online.

As a candidate, this means you need to be prepared for a hiring process that will be entirely online. Brush up on your video interview skills, refresh your LinkedIn, and make sure your technology is up to par.

Increase In Remote Positions

Now that hiring managers are more comfortable with having a remote team, they are also changing some positions to be fully remote. If you have wanted a remote position, now is your time to shine! LinkedIn data shows that remote job listings have increased by 2.8x since March 2020.

As a candidate, this means you need to show off your remote working skills. Just because more companies are hiring for more remote candidates doesn’t mean they will hire just anyone. They will be looking for candidates with remote work experience and advanced remote working skills.

Faster Hiring Processes

One of the benefits of COVID-19 hiring trends and entirely remote hiring processes is that they tend to go much faster! It is much easier to schedule remote interviews. Additionally, there are a lot of incredible candidates on the market right now, so hiring managers are more likely to move quickly to secure the talent they need.

As a candidate, this means you must be ready to move! If you have scheduling issues or don’t make a hiring process your priority, there’s a good chance you could lose out on the position to someone more accommodating.

Increase In Temporary Hiring

Because of how COVID-19 has affected the economy, some companies are wary of bringing on permanent employees. This is why temporary contract workers are a perfect fit for 2020. Hiring managers can hire talented candidates on a temporary basis, and maybe even convert them to permanent employees down the road.

As a candidate, this means you’re more marketable if you’re flexible. By sharing that you’re open to contract positions, it makes you more valuable. Be sure to list any previous contract or temporary positions along with any applicable skills.

Have you seen an increase in these COVID-19 Hiring Trends? Whether you’re a candidate looking for a position, or a company interested in bringing on talent, contact us today!

What You Should Look For In Entry-Level Employees

What You Should Look For In Entry-Level Employees

Now is a great time to hire entry-level employees. There are some incredible new grads on the market that are eager to jump in and make an impact on your organization. However, it can be intimidating to hire someone with little to no experience. But instead of piling on unnecessary requirements like meaningless years of experience or a laundry list of hard skills, look for these three things.

Strong Work Ethic

Recent findings show that 85% of managers believe that work ethic is crucial for employees to have. Rather than focusing on experience, look for employees who will simply work hard. To determine if a candidate has a strong work ethic, look at their past. Do they have volunteer opportunities listed on their resume? Did they hold a job or internship throughout high school or college? Then, when you get to the interview stage, ask them to explain their work ethic and style. Listen for cues that will tell you they are the kind of person who goes above and beyond, someone who is self-motivated, and will dive in and get stuff done.

Willingness To Learn

Hear us out on this one; it can actually be advantageous to hire someone without experience! A great entry-level employee will come in as a sponge and soak up all of the knowledge that your team has to offer. In order to judge a candidate’s willingness to learn, ask them a behavioral interview question. Here’s an example, “Let’s say we teach you how to perform a task that will be part of your everyday duties. However, you think there is a better approach to that task. How would you handle this situation?” The candidate doesn’t necessarily have to say they would do it your way, but you want them to be open to trying different strategies or talking it out with you.

Time Management

According to a recent survey, only 13% of managers think that time management can be taught. This means it should be moved to the top of your hiring priorities! An entry-level employee needs to be self-motivated and able to prioritize. With excellent time management, work ethic and willingness to learn will follow suit. To assess a candidate’s time management skills, ask them how they prioritize multiple projects at a time. Take it a step further with a behavioral interview question about a time they had to juggle a lot of tasks at once, or even have them explain a time they missed an important deadline and how they handled it.

We hope you’re ready to rethink your entry-level job descriptions! By limiting your requirements to unrealistic expectations, you miss out on incredible candidates with little to no experience. Interested in more ways to take your hiring to the next level? Explore our client resources!

3 Ways Companies Can Offer Flexibility For Employees

3 Ways Companies Can Offer Flexibility For Employees

As states across the country start to establish plans for fall education, many companies are finding themselves needing to adapt. As such, you need to offer options and provide flexibility for employees. Everyone is juggling work, assisting their kids with home learning, and following appropriate social distancing guidelines. Here are three ways you can accommodate your team member’s needs while still allowing for maximum productivity.

Implement Work From Home Flexibility

Dozens of major companies have announced that employees won’t be going back into the office until at least 2021, including Scotiabank, Google, and Indeed. Others like Facebook, Slack, and Zillow have communicated that employees don’t ever have to come back to the office in the same capacity. Due to ever-changing lockdowns and changes to the school system, many companies are forced to come to terms with a new future of work. Whether you offer full-time work from home options or flexible workweeks, your employees need it now more than ever. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained in a memo to employees, “I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

Expand Your PTO Policies

The pandemic has changed how we think about PTO. Former policies consisting of five days of sick time will not fly moving forward when the minimum quarantine time for Coronavirus is 14 days. Provide clear communication about new sick policies to your team often. Make sure they understand proper protocols if they do need to quarantine or take time off to recover.

Establish boundaries

Recent research shows that since the beginning of the pandemic, the average workday has lasted 48.5 minutes longer. Your employees are feeling the pressure of a global pandemic, an economic recession, and increased childcare demands. By setting clear boundaries (everyone logs off at 5 pm, no matter what), you can help your team avoid burnout.

By offering flexibility for employees, you demonstrate your investment in the team. Interested in more management and hiring tips? Explore our client resources!

Stay Productive While Working from Home

How to Stay Productive While Working from Home

Are you still working from home? If so, you are definitely not alone. Millions of workers across the country have been working from home for over four months. Some of us are thriving in our new work environment, while others may be feeling burnt out. The days are blending together, our kids will likely be going back to school soon, and the lines between work and home are getting a little blurry. As a result, your productivity may be a bit lackluster. If this sounds like your current situation, here are a few tips to stay productive while working from home.

Establish a schedule

You may have a little more flexibility while working remotely; however, you should establish a schedule and stick to it. Try to wake up at the same time and stick with a morning routine, whatever that may look like. Essentially, you should treat your day as you would if you were heading to the office. Wake up, make some coffee, do a quick workout, or whatever you typically do before making your way to the office. Establishing a schedule will help make your workday feel more consistent and boost your productivity all day long.

Create a to-do list the day before

One of the best tips for staying productive while working from home is to make a to-do list the night before. How many times have you woke up, got ready, sat down at your desk, and started stressing about what you need to accomplish? I know I have been there before. Instead of wasting time to figure out what you are doing, create a to-do list the night before of all the essential tasks you need to get done. That way, you start the day off on the right foot and already have a roadmap of your workday. It will help you stay productive while WFH and will make a significant difference in your day.

Tackle the most important things first

If you start making a daily to-do list, this should be easy! When you walk into “the office,” review your to-do list. Carefully decide which task you are going to work on first. One mistake many of us make is tackling the easiest tasks first to get them achieved. Research suggests that this gives workers a “completion high,” but also a false sense of productivity. A recent study of doctors in an East Coast emergency room found that doctors who completed more difficult tasks first were more productive in the long run. However, if you get a “high” from crossing things off of a list, break your more challenging tasks into milestones that you can cross off as you go!

Job Market Survival Guide

2020 Job Market Survival Guide

The job market is unpredictable right now to say the least. Hiring Managers and candidates alike are feeling lost and unsure of what the future holds. Companies need to staff their teams, while trying to navigate a huge influx of qualified candidates. Meanwhile, millions of incredible candidates have been displaced and are now juggling video interviews on top of already complicated application processes. Well, don’t worry. We’ve been hard at work monitoring statistics and analyzing the job market to craft resources that will help you maneuver your professional world.

Follow the links below to jump to the guide that best matches your professional status right now.

                                                           


Candidate Survival Guide 2

Chapter 1: Where Do I Start?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed applying to jobs when everything feels so chaotic. However, there are jobs out there! It just helps if you know where to look. Check out the industries and areas that are hiring most right now.

Jobs On The Rise In The Wake Of COVID-19

Best Places To Restart Your Career After The Pandemic

The Midwest Becomes Increasingly Attractive To Job Seekers

Chapter 2: Market Yourself

One of the best things you can do during uncertain times is to make yourself even more valuable. Take this opportunity to build up your portfolio and make yourself even more marketable.

3 Ways To Sell Yourself For A Remote Position

How To Show Off Your Quarantine Skills

How To Prove Your Value During Tough Economic Times

Making Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

Chapter 3: Nail The Hiring Process

With millions of candidates on the market right now, it’s essential that you stand out. Follow our tips to shine throughout the hiring process.

How To Get Hired In Today’s Job Market

How To Stand Out In A Sea Of Applicants

The Future of The Job Interview

What Is An On-Demand Video Interview And How Can You Nail It?

Chapter 4: You Did It. Now What?

Congratulations, you got the job! But, how do you start a new job from your own home? We’ve got you covered!

6 Tips For Starting a New Job Remotely

Hiring Manager Survival Guide

Chapter 1: Manage Your Current Team

We get it, it feels like your company is in crisis mode. Before you hire new employees, make sure your current team is thriving under these unusual circumstances.

How To Make Your Post-Pandemic Company Better Than Before

How To Support Your Remote Workers

Easing Back Into Office Life After Working From Home

Managing A Remote Team: How To Keep Morale Up

Chapter 2: Discover Great Candidates

There are some incredible candidates on the market right now, and you’d be remiss to not take advantage! Create a recruiting game plan and get started today!

How To Manage A Surge of Applicants

Your Diversity & Inclusion Hiring Playbook

How To Attract Job Seekers During COVID-19

Chapter 3: Switch Up Your Hiring Process

As the times change, so should your hiring process. Change up the way you hire so you can get great candidates in the door right away.

You Need To Interview Differently, Starting Today

4 Virtual Interview Red Flags

How To Hire Virtually & Offer A Great Candidate Experience

Chapter 4: Run The Welcome Committee

Once your new employees are on board, make them feel at home. (Even if they are literally in their own homes!)

How To Make New Employees Feel Welcomed Virtually

5 Ways To Have Fun At Work