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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.

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.

September 2020 Jobs Report

September 2020 Jobs Report: the U.S. Gains 661,000 Payrolls

The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 661,000. That is the fewest gains since May and much lower than economists’ expectations of around 850,000 payrolls. Regardless of expectations, the unemployment rate continued to decline from 8.4% to 7.9%. Although slower than predicted, the U.S. economy is still on the path of recovery, even as COVID-19 cases continue to surge. Here is an overview of the September 2020 Jobs Report.

September Jobs Report overview

Despite all odds, employers around the nation are continuing to add jobs, although at a slower rate in the last three months. Hiring started to cool in July, with the growth of nearly 2 million positions. There are still roughly 10.7 million Americans out of work than before the pandemic hit in February. However, we have made huge strides over the last seven months when employment fell by more than 22 million, and the unemployment rate hit an all-time high of 14.7%. Fast forward to today, the unemployment rate is sitting at 7.9%, and has been consistently declining since April. Moreover, the number of unemployed Americans declined by 1.0 million to 12.6 million unemployed persons.

The labor force participation rate slightly declined by 0.3%, to 61.4%, which is 2% lower than it was back in February. Additionally, average hourly earnings bumped up 4.8%, to $29.47.

The impact of the coronavirus

As the country continues its battle with the coronavirus, the labor market outlook is a little precarious, despite consistent growth over the summer. Last month, the U.S. surpassed 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, and this morning, it was confirmed President Trump tested positive for the virus. This is the final jobs report before the November election. Hopefully, our battle with the virus continues to trend in the right direction, and more employers can create jobs.

Job gains by industry

The industries with the largest employment growth are leisure and hospitality (+318,000), retail trade (+142,000), healthcare and social assistance (+108,000), professional and business services (+89,000), transportation and warehousing (+74,000), manufacturing (+66,000), financial activities (+37,000), information (+27,000), construction (+27,000), wholesale trade (+19,000), and mining (+1,000). Government payroll declined by 216,000 and private education fell by 69,000.

Revisions from the previous jobs report

Over the last two months, total nonfarm payroll employment gains were revised. In July, payrolls were revised up by 27,000, from +1,734,000 to +1,761,000, and in August, payrolls were revised up by 118,000, from +1,371,000 to 1,489,000. With revisions over the last two months combined, employment was 145,000 more than previously reported.

Are you ready to harvest more jobs this fall?

More employers are gaining confidence in the labor market and jumpstarting their hiring efforts. Plus, seasonal hiring is about to be kicked into high gear as employers will go on a hiring spree to keep up with seasonal demand this fall. If your team is ready to revive your hiring efforts, JSG is here to help. We have a solid grasp on the market and a strong pipeline of candidates that are ready to work. Reach out to us today, and let’s work together to fill your job vacancies.

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!

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

Should I Stop My Jobs Search Because of COVID-19?

Should I Stop My Job Search Because of COVID-19?

There’s a lot of uncertainty around the country, thanks to the coronavirus. Nearly 158 million Americans in over 16 states are being forced to work from home, while millions of other workers are facing layoffs. So, if you were thinking about pursuing a new career path before the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be a little discouraging. However, don’t let this outbreak stop your job search altogether. Things may look a bit different, and your interviews may move from face-to-face to video formats, but many employers are still actively hiring.

Many employers are ramping up hiring efforts

Hundreds of employers in a few different industries are kicking their hiring efforts into high gear, including grocery stores, shipping centers, and the food services industry. For example, Amazon is looking to hire nearly 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers across the nation. They are even increasing hourly pay by $2 to accommodate those working amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Big pizza chains are currently hiring thousands of permanent workers. Pizza Hut is attempting to hire 30,000 new employees, while Domino’s is aiming to increase its staff by at least 10,000. Grocery stores and pharmacies are in massive need of new employees to accommodate their surging customer base. CVS, for example, is estimating it will add 50,000 new staff members.

Obviously, there are thousands of small and large companies that are struggling at this time. However, that doesn’t mean hiring as a whole has halted due to the virus, and thus, you shouldn’t postpone your job search just yet.

There’s still competition out there

If you’re serious about your job search, now is definitely not the time to pump the brakes. According to SHRM’s President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, JR, “There will be an end to this. If you take yourself out of the process, someone else may take that job you would get.”

There is no telling how long the effects of the virus will last, but President Trump is hopeful that the majority of “non-essential” businesses will be back up and running by Easter Sunday (April 12th). That may be an optimistic timeline for us to return to business as usual, but that’s only a couple weeks away. In other words, don’t let the virus stop you from submitting your application. If some states are only in lockdown for a couple more weeks, they will be looking to jumpstart their hiring efforts again. Therefore, if you try and wait out the storm, you may miss out on some great job opportunities.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel

This coronavirus is scary, and there is currently no telling of the economic or social impact of the virus. However, we will get through this together. Some positive news on the virus: Hubei, the Chinese province and the COVID-19’s “ground zero,” is preparing to lift most of its lockdown measure on Wednesday, March 25th. This is proof that we can and will overcome this together. Stay calm and stay healthy.

March 2020 JOLTS Report

March 2020 Jolts Report: 7 Million Job Openings

Despite all the ruckus generated by the Coronavirus outbreak, the latest JOLTS Report released this morning. The BLS reported an impressive 7.0 million (+411,000) job openings on the last day of January. Throughout the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.8 million and 5.6 million, respectively. The quit rate also remained at 2.3%, showing that Americans are still confident in their new job market prospects.

Here’s a more in-depth overview of the latest JOLTS Report

  • Job Openings: 7.0 million
  • Hires: 5.8 million
  • Separations: 5.6 million
    • Quits: 3.5 million
    • Involuntary: 1.7 million
    • Quit Rate: 2.3%
  • Net Employment Gain: 2.1 million

Starting the new decade strong

This is the first JOLTS Report of the new decade, and overall, it’s a good sign of what’s to come in 2020. The number of job openings increased by nearly half a million, and the number of quits held firm. Job openings grew for total private (+370,000) and edged up for government (+40,000). Additionally, throughout January, job openings increased in finance and insurance (+65,000), the federal government (+38,000), and mining and logging (+8,000).

The net employment rate also is looking very optimistic. Over the past 12 months (ending in January), the number of hires amounted to 70 million, and separations equaled 67.9 million. As a result, the net employment gain as of January 2020 was 2.2 million. Now, if you pair this with this month’s Jobs Report with +273,000 jobs, things are looking good for the labor market right now.

A look back to 2019

Last year, there was a total of 69.9 million hires, which is an increase of 1.3 million from 2018. Also, the total number of separations rose by 1.7 million in 2019, to a total of 67.9 million. In other words, there were substantially more hires AND separations last year, showing how strong the job market was throughout the entire year. Additionally, the number of quits rose for the 10th consecutive year, reaching 42.1 million. That’s up by 1.8 million and nearly two-thirds of the total separations last year. On another positive note, layoffs were down by 64,000 in 2019, another example of the strength of the labor market.

Need some help navigating this job market?

As you can see, the proof is in the pudding. The job market is looking fantastic, thanks to the latest JOLTS Report, and 2020 is off to a strong start. Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty in hiring due to the COVID-19 virus, but the majority of employers are still struggling to attract the talent they need. If that sounds like your company, give us a call. Our recruiters are working diligently to help our clients source the talent they need to keep business operations running smoothly. Let’s connect and see how we can work together.

Modern Women Makes Strides In The Workforce

Modern Women Make Strides In The Workforce

It’s Women’s Rights month, and we have something to celebrate in the staffing industry! Over the past 15 years, modern women have made huge strides when it comes to establishing and growing their careers. In fact, according to a recent LinkedIn study, 23 different jobs have flipped to hiring majority women. This is a tremendous step in the right direction. But what has been driving this change? Here are three things that have significantly impacted the gender hiring landscape recently.

Modern Women Making Strides In The Workforce

Leading The Pack

With modern technology, barriers to entry to entrepreneurship and innovation are smaller than ever. So, as long as you have the drive and the inspiration, you can achieve anything. Just ask Spanx Founder, Sarah Blakely. “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else. This has opened the doors for many females to gain traction and stand out amongst the crowd by merely doing great work.

Early Education

Since the diversity-lacking tech boom in Silicon Valley, many companies and educators have sought to inspire young girls to dream big. Organizations like “She Can STEM” focus on shining a spotlight on women in STEM careers, so girls can be inspired to have a future in the industry also.

Universities are inviting girls to campus to participate in STEM events put on by campus groups. Duke’s recent Capstone event included looking at flies under a microscope, creating 3-D animations, and learning first-aid skills.

Diversity Initiatives

Most companies have instilled some level of diversity hiring initiatives. Of course, everyone must abide by diversity hiring laws. Still, there are further steps that outstanding companies are taking to ensure they are making unbiased hiring decisions and hiring the best candidate possible. For example, Intel offers up to $4,000 in bonuses to employees that refer a woman.

Be part of the movement

Want to join the movement? Talk to a Johnson Service Group team member about how we can help you achieve your diversity hiring initiatives. You, too, can contribute to the growing statistic of gender equality at work!

social media

Should Employers Screen Candidate’s Social Media?

According to a 2017 study by Careerbuilder, nearly 70% of employers screen their candidates’ social media activity. And given the steady growth of social media since then, it’s safe to assume that number only continues to grow. However, in a world of online information, a lot of questions begin to arise surrounding this controversial topic. Is it even legal to screen based on a candidate’s social media? If so, is it ethical? And even further, is it causing you to miss out on qualified talent? We’re breaking these questions down to give you an in-depth look into the role that social media plays in today’s recruiting practices. 

Is it legal?

So, technically viewing any public social media is legal. You can’t fault anybody for that! However, it gets tricky when it starts affecting your hiring decisions. Employers must abide by laws prohibiting discrimination when it comes to employment practices. Even a quick glance at a candidate’s social media exposes you to the risk of making judgments based on protected classes. These include but are not limited to color, race, sex, religion, or national origin. You may even fall victim to your own unconscious bias, walking a thin line of legality. 

Is it ethical?

Many employers are of the mindset that if something is public online, it is part of your personal brand. Thus, if they hire you, your brand becomes an extension of the company’s brand. While this may be true, it’s important to tread carefully with judgments based solely on social media presence. There have been a few controversial cases over the last few years where candidates were not hired because of something seen on social media.

Remember the viral story from 2019 about a girl who was not only turned down for a job but publicly shamed on a company’s social media for posting a bikini-clad photo on her personal account? While this action was technically not illegal, it certainly was not ethical. In fact, it caused the entire company to implode – completely deleting its website and social media accounts altogether.

Is it limiting your talent pool?

Legal and ethical ramifications aside, judging candidates based on their social media presence alone could be causing you to miss out on incredible employees. In order to grow, companies must diversify their talent pool based on experiences, personalities, and skillsets. By reserving judgment until a candidate has completed a full hiring process, you have a greater chance of hiring a more diverse team.

Therefore, it’s not in an employer’s best interest to screen a candidate’s social media during the hiring process. However, if a clean online presence is important to your company or a specific position, it is perfectly okay to set rules and boundaries regarding personal social accounts for onboarded employees. (And P.S., if you’re a candidate, it’s a good idea to clean up your social accounts anyway – just in case!)

Interested in reading more insider takes on employment and hiring? Check out the JSG blog!