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Assessing and Hiring for a Good Company Culture

Culture can make or break a company. While good culture leads to high retention and happy workers, bad culture can lead to stress, burnout, and high turnover. A healthy company is a balancing act. Below are a few tips on how to walk that tightrope.

Assessing Your Current Culture

There are a few ways to analyze your current company culture, depending on how much you trust your intuition. If you do trust your intuition, you can simply start paying attention to your employees’ attitudes when they are at work. Are they talkative and energetic? Or are they sluggish? If you want more of a deep dive into the inner thoughts of your employees, send out an anonymous survey. Ask about their general attitude when coming into work and provide a place to suggest improvements and voice issues. A survey allows employees a place to speak their minds freely and (hopefully) respectfully.

Hiring for the Right Culture

You should keep the assessment of your company culture are the forefront of your mind when hiring, so you can build a team that supports a healthy workplace. To “test” for a good culture fit, it can be helpful to have some of your strong office personalities help in the interview process. If you have a couple of current employees who help set a great tone for the workplace, have them interview the candidate. These could be casual conversations, just for them to get the general vibe from the potential employee.

Maintaining Morale

The most important way to maintain a healthy company culture and morale is to listen to your employees. If they have suggestions for improving the work environment, listen to them! They know better than anyone what it is truly like to work for you and would know how to create a happy workplace. As times change quickly, it is critical to stay open and shift with the ever-changing overall attitude toward work as a society.

Though seeing your company culture from an outside perspective can be challenging, I encourage you to take the time to do some reflection and even survey your employees. Happy employees stick around. Be a company where people want to stay!

Why You Should Phone Interview Everyone

Okay, maybe you shouldn’t phone interview everyone, but what about those people on the cusp? The candidates whose resumes you review and think, “they’re so close but….” Our recruiting professionals have partnered with hundreds of clients and talked with thousands of candidates, and their biggest tip for staying competitive in today’s hiring market? Invest 15 minutes into a phone interview. Don’t simply discount someone because they don’t check every box. You could be missing out on incredible candidates with great attitudes, motivation to achieve, and passion for your work.

Your wish list might be unrealistic

When you craft a job description, you include all skills and experiences that you think are necessary. But have you ever stopped to take a closer look at what are your true must-haves? JSG Senior Vice President, Perry Paden, elaborates, “In today’s market, clients need to realize that the candidate that meets all the must-haves and the wish list may not be obtainable in today’s market. When a client looks at a resume and doesn’t see a particular skill, does not mean the candidate doesn’t have the skill or possess the ability to learn it quickly.”

Not everything fits on a resume

Many professionals’ careers are complicated webs of qualifications and experiences intricately woven together to make them who they are today. A simple resume can’t always display hundreds of projects and those subtle nuances that make all the difference. “You shouldn’t discount candidates based only on a resume because that doesn’t show the full picture!” shared Hayley Kancius, Recruiting Team Lead at JSG. “Often, people have been told to have a 1-page resume, and it can be challenging to fit 5+ years of experience and qualifications on 1 page.”

There’s always more to the story

A resume only tells a portion of someone’s story. Matt Owens, Business Development Manager at JSG, clarifies, “From a recruiting standpoint, we deal with a lot of hiring managers who focus a lot on employment gaps and/or job-hopping and don’t want to interview someone based on that. We fight for them since you never know the circumstances. Someone could have had a child and wanted to be home with their baby, medical reason, or just wanted a year off to go find out what they want to do, travel, etc.”

“Resumes only tell half of the story, and it’s up to you to complete the rest!” Kancius agreed.

People are more than their resumes

Many factors make a person hirable beyond their qualifications on paper. Kancius explains, “People have special projects, volunteer experience, and skills that are sometimes left out of a resume. Plus, you can’t show personality on a resume!”

Owens elaborated, “Some of the best resumes in the world don’t translate to being a good fit. (Soft skills are huge in the business world!).”

What traits do you value most when you look at your current team? We’d be willing to bet you’d list a variety of soft skills like passion, self-motivation, and communication. So, when you add your next employee, why not prioritize those same traits? “There are a tremendous number of candidates on the market that may fit the attitude, desire, and drive to make an impact, and if companies would invest in a 15-minute conversation, I think they would be surprised they may have uncovered a great employee. A team member that can adapt, has a thirst for knowledge and mentorship, and will impact a company’s bottom line,” Paden explains.

Have a conversation

As you seek to compete in an unprecedented hiring market, it can only benefit you to take a deeper look. Kancius concludes, “Hopping on the phone and taking a few minutes out of your day to prescreen a candidate is always worth the time.”

Still not convinced? Think of it from a different perspective as Owens explains, “As a hiring manager in my previous employment, I always wanted to interview someone. My philosophy is I always test drive a car before buying, no matter how good it looks on paper….why wouldn’t you do the same with a potential employee?”

We understand that you’re busy and can’t spend all day conducting phone interviews. That’s what we’re here for. Partner with JSG to fill your critical roles, and we will help whittle down candidates to the best fit for your company, team, and position. We look beyond the resume and have those conversations, so when we submit a candidate, you can trust that they will be a great fit. Ready to get started? Contact us today!

Employees Are Quitting In Droves, Here’s How To Keep Yours

Over 4.2 million Americans left their positions in October. (That’s around 2.8% of the overall workforce in the United States!) Simultaneously, job openings bumped up close to a record high at 11 million. This leaves many companies struggling to stay afloat following an already impossibly difficult year. If you want to avoid falling victim to the great resignation, beat your competition to offering your team members what they really want. Here’s how to keep your employees from quitting.

Reevaluate Wages

A steep rise in inflation has completely negated any economic progress employees might have made in the past year. So, as prices increase around them, employees are quickly feeling left behind. Now is the perfect time to do a salary audit and bring employees up to market prices.

Offer Flexibility

Many workers are still feeling the pressures of child and family care amidst the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. Others still experienced a taste of remote work and increased work-life balance that has left them wanting more. Offering work flexibility – remote, hybrid, or fluid hours shows that you listen to employees’ needs. Need advice on how to implement it at your company? Check out our post here.

Don’t Let Your Team Get Behind In Hiring

This might seem counter-productive, but the further you get behind in hiring, the more your current employees feel it. Many are burdened by balancing their former peers’ workload on top of their own. So, hire quickly to replace key team members! Some great ways to do this are partnering with a recruiting firm to discover talent, requiring less experience right off the bat, and making offers virtually over video.

Workers have more job listings to browse than ever, and employers are making incredible offers as they are desperate to hire. So, to avoid losing your best employees, make them an offer they can’t refuse before they even try to leave! Looking for more hiring and retention advice? Browse our client resources here.

3 Ways To Retain Talent In Today’s Competitive Market

As a record-breaking 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, employers are scrambling to retain talent. It’s challenging enough to hire the employees you desperately need, let alone keep the ones you have and value. So, let’s focus on how to stop the hemorrhage of talent first and foremost. Then, we can help you hire the team members you need to reach your goals.

Audit Salaries & Make Adjustments As Needed

Amidst “The Great Resignation,” many employees are seeking out better compensation. With as many as 10.4 million job openings, they have plenty of options! Your competition recognizes this and is increasing compensation packages to match demand. Thus, don’t wait for an employee to quit to entice them with a counter-offer. Conduct a company-wide salary audit, compare with comps in the area and at each level of expertise, and adjust salaries as needed.

Try Out A Hybrid Work Environment

If your industry and work allow, test out a hybrid work environment. The COVID-19 Pandemic proved to thousands of employers that not only did employees enjoy working from home, but it was also effective. Eliminating commute times, allowing for a better work-life balance, and fewer in-person meetings have led many to want to continue this trend.

Allow For Flexible Schedules

Along with a hybrid work environment, many employees discovered they like setting their own schedules. Productivity time varies from person to person. If we’re allowed to dictate our own schedule, employers can take advantage of that. Some employees may want to start working at 5 AM, while others prefer to burn the midnight oil. Gone are the days of the standard “9 to 5” workday.

If you want to remain competitive in today’s job market, you have to start with retaining the talent you already have. Then, as word gets around about how awesome it is to work for your company because of how much you value your employees, your open positions will dwindle. Now that we’ve created a game plan to retain talent, are you ready to hire? Explore the rest of our client resources for more ways to keep the employees you love and hire the employees you need.

How To Survive The Great Resignation

Have you heard the term “the great resignation” floating around? According to Microsoft, over 40% of the global workforce has considered leaving their employer in 2021. This phenomenon has been referred to as “the great resignation.” Employers are struggling to retain staff, and with 10.4 million job openings in August, hiring is as competitive as it gets. So, how do you endure as an employer? Follow these guidelines to survive the great resignation, hire the employees you need, and retain the team members you love.

Simplify Your Application Process

When candidates have to rehash their qualifications repeatedly throughout your application process, they go elsewhere. Simplify your application process by requiring only a resume. Partner with an ATS that automatically parses information from a candidate’s resume into your database. Additionally, eliminate any excess requirements like an online application, cover letters, assignments, or an extensive list of references. The easier it is to apply to your job, the more applications you will receive!

Speed Up Your Hiring Process

Great candidates will not wait for you to make up your mind about who you want to hire. In the current market, people are receiving multiple offers at competitive salaries. So, if you find someone you like, make an offer! Don’t shy away from offering during an interview. Your hiring process needs to be as expedited as possible. Additionally, come out of the gate with your absolute best offer. This is not a time to lowball. To beat the competition, you must meet (or exceed) the candidate’s salary expectations.

Cater To Candidate’s Priorities

Above all, the most significant piece to retaining your current employees and attracting new ones is simple. Give them what they want. In addition to adequate salaries, workers are looking for impressive benefits, flexible work schedules, and remote work options. Assess your resignations and exit interviews to understand why people are leaving your company. If you’re losing more people of color, overhaul your diversity and inclusion programs. If your employees continually note salary as a reason for leaving, do a full audit of your team’s salaries and implement change.

In conclusion, these trends will only continue as we head into 2022. Candidates are in the driver’s seat, and they expect all the creature comforts of a luxury vehicle. During the great resignation, companies that don’t adapt will get left behind. Looking for advice on how to stay ahead of the curve? Get exclusive access to our client resources here.

4 Candidate Red Flags 🚩 That Should Make You Think Twice Before Hiring

When interviewing candidates, it’s easy to pick up on obvious signs that this person isn’t your next employee. However, there are also more subtle red flags that typically signal a deeper issue. During your next hiring process, keep an eye out for these four candidate red flags.

Showing Up Late To An Interview

If someone shows up late to an interview, it means one of two things. Either they always run late, or they are unprepared. A team member who is chronically late can affect the productivity of the whole department. However, we say lack of preparedness is even worse. As long as you provide the correct information such as phone number, zoom link, or physical address, the candidate should be on time. Of course, there are always extenuating circumstances. But as a general rule, showing up late to an interview is a huge red flag.

Not Knowing Anything About Your Company

Speaking of being unprepared, there are zero excuses for knowing nothing about your company in today’s modern world. With unlimited access to job descriptions, websites, social media, news stories, and even employee profiles on LinkedIn, your candidate has all your company information at their fingertips. A lack of understanding of your business shows that the candidate is not invested in your position. They are simply looking for a job, any job.

Having A Victim Mentality

If a candidate repeatedly throws previous companies, managers, or peers under the bus, they will likely inhabit a “victim mentality.” These candidates rarely take accountability for issues or mistakes, even though both are common in the workplace. When your first meeting with a candidate is riddled with negativity, lack of ownership, and deflection, just imagine what they would be like as an employee. You can easily discover this trait by asking behavioral interview questions. Do not ignore this glaring red flag.

Not Asking Questions

Finally, if a candidate fails to ask questions throughout or at the end of an interview: red flag. Curiosity demonstrates an investment in the position and your company as a whole. There’s no way you covered every aspect of the job in a short interview slot. So, a candidate that probes deeper is someone who truly wants to put themselves in that role and on your team.

These candidate red flags can help you avoid a painful and costly hire. However, have you considered what red flags your candidate is picking up on? Check out our article on job search red flags here.

These 7 Deal Breakers Could Be Costing You Candidates

Modern-day candidates have different priorities than even just a few years ago. And when a hiring process is less than ideal, they aren’t settling. Top talent will wait for an opportunity that matches their wish list and a hiring process that demonstrates they would be a valued team member. “Each touchpoint in the recruitment process vitally matters to job seekers,” explains Richard Wahlquist, ASA President and CEO. During challenging economic times, companies cannot afford to miss important details that prevent candidates from applying to their jobs or accepting job offers. Here are seven deal breakers that could prevent candidates from accepting job offers.

Inappropriate Interview Questions

Over half (53%) of U.S. people say that inappropriate interview questions would deter them from accepting a job offer from a company. These inappropriate questions can range from flat-out illegal to simply distasteful. So, what questions should you ask? Here are a few of our recent favorites.

Unrealistic Job Or Skill Requirements

51% of candidates simply won’t apply to a job that lists unrealistic job or skill requirements in the description. Consider dialing it back on your job description to cast the widest net possible for diverse and qualified candidates. You can always narrow down necessary skills later on in the job process.

Misrepresenting Job Duties

Similar to unrealistic requirements, candidates tend to feel tricked if the job turns out to be a complete 180 from what they first applied to. In fact, 50% of candidates won’t accept a job offer if they feel the duties have been misrepresented. So, even when simplifying your job description, be sure to keep it honest and in line with the actual job. (If you’re looking for more job description advice, check out what makes a great job description here.)

Aggressive Behavior Of Recruiter Or Hiring Manager

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and in the case of candidate pursuit, that certainly seems to be the case. 49% of top talent doesn’t want to be aggressively pursued or given unrealistic ultimatums. Instead, they value a recruiter or hiring manager who prioritizes their needs during a hiring process.

Not Responding To Questions About Open Positions

Job applications are a significant time investment for candidates. And for 38% of candidates, it’s a deal-breaker if questions go unanswered. If they reach out with questions during the application process, it leaves a lasting impact if they get an immediate and direct answer. Similarly, during the interview process, great candidates will come prepared with a list of important questions. They will value interviewers who take the time to answer thoughtfully.

Poor Follow-Up By Recruiting Or Hiring Manager

We’ve all heard horror stories from both sides of the desk regarding ghosting during the hiring process. 37% of candidates will be turned away from a job if the communication process is lacking. Be sure to layout clear next steps and follow through with timelines throughout the entire hiring process. (Yes, even if you’re turning a candidate down!)

No Face-To-Face Contact During Hiring Process

Admittedly, this one can be challenging amidst the recovery from a global pandemic. However, face-to-face interaction is still important to 30% of job applicants. If your area is still in some form of lockdown, you can achieve this via video interviews. To go the extra mile, allow your final candidates to meet the entire team on video chat so they can envision themselves as part of the team.

Interested in more interviewing and hiring tips? Explore our client resources here.

3 Ways To Effectively Narrow Down Your Job Applicants

In a candidate-saturated job market, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the number of applicants you receive for a job opening. However, there are a few things you can do to narrow down your job applicants effectively. Doing so will create a better application experience for candidates and a smoother hiring process for your team.

At The Application Stage

One of the most powerful ways to narrow your candidate pool is during the application stage. This helps save you, your recruiters, and your applicants time. There are a few effective strategies to weed out candidates who may not be qualified. First, make sure your job description is specific. Include any and all must-haves, including qualifications, location, and experience. Next, don’t be afraid to ask for additional materials. Whether that’s a cover letter, portfolio, or writing sample, supplemental materials can significantly deter unqualified candidates from applying. We recommend asking for something that will add value to your decision-making process and take the time to factor those documents into your consideration process.

During The Interview Stage

Another great time to narrow down your job applicants is during the interview process. You can do this by asking well-crafted and intentional questions. Skip the usual “what are your weaknesses” and dig deeper to actually imagine candidates in your position. (To get you started, here are some of our favorite questions.) Additionally, aim to give interviewees a realistic view of what it’s like to work at your company and on your team. Yes, this includes the good, the bad, and the ugly! Cover challenges, expectations, and celebrations. This will help to weed any candidates out that won’t be a culture fit or are looking for something different.

When It Comes Time To Offer

Once you’ve made it through the entire hiring process, you may face a tough decision in this candidate-saturated market. To narrow down your choices, picture your top candidate in the position. How would they get along with the rest of your team? What does their long-term growth trajectory look like? Would they go above and beyond to push your team to the next level?

Additionally, don’t forget to factor in diversity initiatives, budgets, and future goals. When it comes time to offer, make a decision quickly and put your best offer on the table. While many people are currently looking, the job market is rapidly changing, and the best candidates are getting swept up swiftly.

These are just a few of the options you have when it comes to effectively narrowing down your job applicants. Doing so as you move through the hiring process will result in a better application experience and a more productive employee in the end. Looking for more hiring advice? Explore our client resources here.

Hiring Resolutions For The New Year

Ah, the new year. A chance for a fresh start, a time to implement changes, and an opportunity to reflect on what hasn’t worked in the past and how we can improve. Everyone loves to make new year’s resolutions to improve in the new year. And this year, we’re sharing the best hiring resolutions you can make in 2021 as a manager. These five resolutions will help your team start off on a strong note, even during these uncertain times.

1. Do not ghost candidates

Alright, hiring managers, we know this is a tough one. Especially in today’s market, you’re receiving an influx of qualified candidate resumes. So many, in fact, that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with! But hear us out; today’s candidates are desperate for open communication. They will respect you and your brand all that much more if they receive a simple automated rejection email. And as we’ve learned through economic times, both prosperous and dire, reputation is everything!

2. Streamline our hiring process

Many of you are probably still hiring remotely, making this resolution challenging. However, as your competitors start to regain speed throughout 2021, you will get left in the dust with a slow and antiquated hiring process. Instead, take this time to focus on improving your strategy – getting people face-to-face (or on video chat) immediately, reducing the number of required interviews, and sending a solid offer as soon as possible.

3. Write better job descriptions

Believe it or not, one thing that will help you attract better candidates (and reducing the number of resumes you have to sift through) is writing a stellar job description. Not too long, not too short, enticing enough to grab people’s interest, but simple enough to retain it. Does your current job description paint a vivid picture of your company culture? Do you share your company’s stance on hot button issues like diversity, equality, and benefits? Today’s candidates want to know all of this information upfront before they invest time in submitting an application.

4. Retain the great employees we already have

Yes, we know these are “hiring resolutions,” but if you do a great job retaining the talent you already have, it will make hiring new talent that much easier. Especially while working remotely, be sure to check in with your employees often. Ask them how they are coping – both professionally and personally. The first few months of the year can be tough on people, particularly cooped up in their own house juggling home and work life.

5. Ask for help when we need it

You can refer to this resolution as “work smarter, not harder.” When you’re balancing managing your team, working remotely, hiring great team members, and a global pandemic, it can be overwhelming. However, you are not alone. Let us carry the burden of hiring your next talented employees, so you can keep the focus on what you do best. Your team needs you now more than ever, and when we work together, you can be more available to them.

Partner with Johnson Service Group in 2021 to help you check off all of your hiring resolutions this year.

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.