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Make It or Break It: Onboarding

The onboarding process can often be overlooked. You have won over the candidate, and it is now their first day on the job. Now what? An all-encompassing onboarding process is vital to helping employees feel prepared for what they just signed up for (a job with you!) and keeping them around.

Provide a Schedule

People like to know what to expect when going into a new experience. Giving employees a basic outline of their first day or week can ease nerves and show your awareness of their needs. This also ensures they are ready and on time for different onboarding processes. Giving new employees a schedule also allows them to prepare for various aspects of their new job and come ready with any questions or concerns that they may have.

Supply Resources

Provide employees with what they need on the job as soon as possible. Employees like to see that their new company is not only excited but also prepared for them to join the team. If appropriate for their position, provide some kind of booklet/binder that outlines their responsibilities with basic instructions. This gives them the autonomy to start acquainting themselves with how things are done at your company.

Introduce Coworkers

It is important that your new employee feels like they are part of the team. Introduce them to their coworkers, so they know who is who. This way, they will know who to reach out to when they have questions or need assistance with their work. If possible, have some employees take the new hire out to lunch sometime during their first week. This creates a more relaxed and sociable environment for employees to get comfortable with one another.

Giving employees a solid base the begin with sets them up for success at your company in the long run. Good onboarding means prepared employees. Prepared employees are happy employees.

Balancing Your Job Search with Your Education

Finally launching yourself into the career you have literally been preparing years for can be pretty intimidating, especially when you are attempting to job search while finishing up your degree. Never fear! You are in one of the best stages to be searching right now.

Use your Resources

Campuses are packed with resources to launch you into your field—career coaches, professors with connections, and other students. Use this built-in community to your advantage! Ask for help with refining your resume. Discuss career options with your professors. Discover who your classmates/friends have connections with, and try to speak with anyone who could offer you insights. For the most part, people love sharing their wisdom and experience with others. Do not be afraid to ask for help or advice.

Set Goals

Instead of aimlessly shouting into the void, define precisely what you want to achieve. Would you like to be signed with a company by February? Shoot for that goal! Maybe you want to have interviewed with at least three companies by the start of your last semester. Write it on a post-it note, stick it on your wall, and know what you are aiming for. Set realistic goals. If you aim too high and keep falling short, you will only get discouraged and fall even further behind.

Schedule Smart

Instead of just finding time when you can in between classes and assignments, schedule time in your week to dedicate to your job search. This can fall in line with setting goals or be time-based. You can schedule your goals (e.g., apply to one job each week) or set time aside (e.g., 2 hours per week working on building connections and job searching). Giving yourself these windows of time or small goals to accomplish can make a huge difference in the ground you are covering in your job search. This time can also make you feel more productive since you can quantify your time spent working to reach your goals, even if you do not see immediate results.

Remember: It only takes one! Sometimes the job search can feel endless. Don’t let this discourage you. Dedicate your time and resources wisely and find the job that works for you!

Employees Want These Benefits in 2023

It is crucial to cater to the needs and wants of employees, as they are getting more particular about who they work for and the benefits they offer. If you are not keeping up with their expectations, employees may begin to jump ship. Be the company that draws people in and keeps them around!

Hybrid/Flexible Schedules

This is one of the few benefits a company can offer which costs NOTHING. If the nature of your company’s service allows for remote work, allowing remote or hybrid options could greatly benefit you and your employees. Not only do employees tend to be happier with more flexible schedules and locations, but allowing hybrid/remote could save you money in the long run (e.g., energy costs, office space rental, etc.). Check out this recent article about the benefits of implementing a hybrid schedule for your employees.

Paid Parental Leave

Employees want to feel comfortable having children without worrying about income suddenly halting while their expenses are skyrocketing. Offering paid parental leave can help keep valuable employees of yours around. If you are unable to offer extended paid leave, offering more flexible schedules for new parents would be greatly appreciated by employees. If you are typically an entirely in-person or hybrid office, allow new parents to work fully remote for a certain amount of time after their child’s birth or adoption. This will enable employees to be present with their children while maintaining their job responsibilities.

Educational Support

Employees may be considering furthering their education. This can majorly benefit YOU! You may want to contribute to their tuition or permit flexible hours to allow employees to attend classes. According to Investopedia, employers that help fund their employees’ continued education are more likely to have “increased employee loyalty, reduced turnover, increased productivity, and an employee pool with the skills needed to take on new projects and move into leadership positions.” By supporting employees in these situations, you retain their talent, ensuring that the investment in their education pays for itself!

Employees stick around when they feel supported by their employer. Offer your employees what they need, and both parties will benefit!

Advantages to Hiring Recent Graduates

What is black, white, and red all over? A recent graduate’s resume with all of the blood, sweat, and tears they put into it! Recent grads are fresh off the press and eager to start working in the field. What are the advantages of bringing them on to your team?

Excitement for Work

Fresh grads are excited to begin work in the field they have now been training in for years. These hires will be productive workers, not to mention that they will also likely be relatively tech-savvy. It never hurts to have someone who naturally knows how to navigate new systems and easily takes on unfamiliar tasks. These recent grads will be ready to learn and be guided by the expertise of older, more experienced coworkers. This can lead to healthy symbiotic relationships between coworkers, trading wisdom and new ways of efficiently working with each other.

Fresh Canvas

Eager to learn more, new graduates are quick to pick up on how your company runs. Whereas experienced workers may have picked up some bad habits or be stuck on outdated ways of doing things, recent grads have yet to develop habits, for good or for bad.

New Perspective

Recent graduates bring a fresh perspective to your company that could update/improve your processes. When they come right out of school, they will be up to date on the most current practices in your field. Having employees with a range of skills and experiences can make your company more effective. You are more likely to have a range of understandings of your target populations, and their diverse knowledge can help you effectively reach the groups you are targeting.

New graduates can be a major asset to your company. Do not overlook them just because they are young or lack experience. These people can prove to be essential additions to your teams!

5 Career Fields for Women to Break into this Year

While women have made great strides in the past few years by entering typically male-dominated fields, a few still need more females to join the force. They provide great, exciting opportunities. Here are five fields that women should consider this year!

Piloting

According to NPR, only 7% of pilots are women! Companies like United Airlines are working on multiplying that number, offering more affordable ways to attend flight school and obtain your license. With companies making an effort to make a career in piloting more attainable for women (and people of color), it is clear that they are trying to broaden and diversify. Become a part of it!

Architecture

How often do you hear of the work of female architects? Chances are that the answer is RARELY. You can help to change that! If you are interested in design, architecture may be for you. You can enhance our cities and towns.

Upper-Level Finance

Though there are actually more females than males in finance and banking as a whole, there are few women in senior positions. Navigating your way to the top in finance can be difficult when you have few examples of people like you to look to for guidance. Companies like Ellevest and business schools like Meredith College work to provide women with resources that will make them successful in the field. Tap into these resources and climb to the top!

Construction

Currently at 14%, the space women take up in construction is on the rise. Now is the time to join! With roles from Purchasing Administrator to Project Manager, there are many pathways to take in construction. Organizations like the National Association of Women in Construction seek to support and gather women in the field to provide them with resources to bolster their success.

IT

Information Technology remains a male-dominated field. It is time to bring more women into Tech! Organizations like Women in Tech work to empower women in Tech/looking to enter into Tech. It is important that women and girls see people like them in roles that they desire. Joining Tech can be intimidating, but it will be worth it for your professional growth!

Entering into a field with few people like you can be intimidating. Seek support systems that want you to grow in your profession and break down those barriers!

Prioritizing and Testing for Soft Skills

We have said it before, and we will say it again: Possessing particular soft skills are a crucial part of a good employee. It can be difficult to scan for these soft skills in a phone call or an interview. Having a lengthy conversation with a candidate can only take you so far. How do we properly assess soft skills?

Field Test

Have your serious candidates do a field test or shadow for the day. While some positions may typically require candidates to perform a literal test of their skills (e.g., welding), having them shadow your employee(s) may also benefit your hiring process. Have your employees show them the ropes of how your company functions. See if they adapt, question, seek to learn, etc. Through this, you can assess how well they work with others, how they respond to criticism, and how well they adapt to new ways of doing things.

Previous Experience

Tap into what they have done and how they reacted to situations in previous positions. During the interview, you can ask about dealing with different situations and how the candidate responded. You can also ask them their preferences about collaborating with people, trying new things, and the like. They will give clues about how they work with others and react to challenges. While it can be helpful to specifically ask about their experiences that will highlight their soft skills, take things with a grain of salt. We all try to make ourselves sound flawless/perfectly flawed in interviews.

Online Assessment

Ask your candidates to complete an online strengths assessment! These tests have been around for many years. They can give you a good idea as to what your candidate’s strengths are, as well as where they may fall short. Once a candidate passes the first round of interviews, you will send them the test to complete. You can discuss the results with them in the following interview. Give them the opportunity to speak to how accurately they think it represents them.

Recognizing the right soft skills is key to choosing the right candidate. Now more than ever, we have the tools to test for them. Get out there and fill that role with the best candidate!

 

Benefits of a Hybrid Work Schedule

Work environments have changed drastically over the past couple of years. The ideal has quickly changed from free beer and nap pods to your kitchen table and taking the dog out to “go potty.” While there are major benefits to working from home, you may miss the in-person interaction between coworkers. We have adjusted ourselves to be “ok” with little to no human interaction through quarantine, but is this the best way to work? Hybrid may be the answer. 

Preparedness for Anything

A hybrid location work schedule allows for flexibility like none other. Employees have adjusted to working at home but are still accustomed to coming into the office. This allows for the flexibility for employees to continue to work without having to disrupt projects, use their PTO, etc. when plans change suddenly. When kids get sick, pet care falls through, or inclement weather would typically prevent them from coming into the office, they can choose to work from home if necessary. Likewise, if a project or meeting requires more in-office collaboration than usual, employees can come into work together in person as a team.

Mental/Physical Health

The flexibility of hybrid work also allows employees to better care for themselves mentally and physically. If any employee feels mentally or physically unwell but still wants to work or not use their sick days, they can request to be remote and work from the comfort of their home to recuperate. In addition to this, employees have more flexibility to use their lunch breaks or the time they would normally use commuting to get outside, get exercise, or just get some sunlight. Because of the mix between office and home time, employees can be filled by the comforts and benefits of home without feeling isolated from their coworkers.

The hybrid schedule is something that many companies are making permanent. They have seen the benefits of giving their employees this flexibility.

Narrowing Your Job Search

Searching for a job can be extremely overwhelming. There are plenty of job postings vying for your attention. How can you weed through all of them to get to the postings you are actually interested in?

Find ideal positions

Look for positions that are your ideal (attainable) job, given your qualifications. Search for an open position at a well-known company. Note what the job entails. What are the responsibilities? Qualifications? You can use this as a base to compare other listings. It can be easy to apply to a position just because it has your desired title. Make sure that you are looking at the descriptions to weed out those with responsibilities that are undesirable to you.

Select key words

Within your ideal job position description, look for keywords that could narrow the pool of potential jobs. Instead of simply searching something like “social media manager,” you may look at a description and notice that it includes the words “designer,” “marketing,” and “analyst.” Include these words in your search when trying to narrow the results to find the best fit for you.

Work with recruiters

An excellent way to specify your search is to work with a recruiter at a staffing company. Recruiters have a pulse on what is out there in the job market that would require your qualifications while meeting your desired criteria. A recruiter can help guide you in the right direction and advise you on how to make yourself more desirable to their client. The recruiter knows their open positions well, so they will not throw options at you that are not a good fit.

We get it. The job search can be simply too much sometimes. Knowing how to search for jobs you actually want can be a game-changer. Use those tools!

Attracting the Right Candidates

When adding to your team, it is essential to bring in people that will strengthen your company’s brand. Bringing in suitable candidates before you even start the interview process can save a lot of time for both you and the candidates.

Determine your ideal candidate

Who exactly are you looking to hire? Going by “whoever feels like a good fit” can only take you so far. Do you want the wisdom of someone who has been in the industry for 40 years? Do you want the fresh perspective of a new college graduate? Determine what kind of availability you need or their willingness to work in-person/remote. When you know what you are looking for, it will be much easier to attract the right people and narrow your candidate pool.

Write effective job descriptions

Bring the right people in by writing a compelling job description. Choose your words carefully. Lay out your expectations clearly. Certain descriptor words used in job descriptions can unintentionally signal to the candidate that you are looking for only a man or only a woman. Check out this article about removing gender bias in job descriptions. Candidates respond strongly to words that they think describe them. Avoid the cliché “self-starter” or “team player” language—everyone uses those. Using language like “motivated to see change” shows that more thought was put into the description than just a bunch of clichés in a row.

Go where your people are

Find out what platforms your target audience uses most to job search. Look in geographical areas where your target is often living. If you are looking for experienced engineers and the closest large city has a considerable engineering industry, target your ads to that city. If you know your target population is more likely to respond to print ads than online Facebook advertisements, invest in the print ads. Are you looking for recent grads? Attend college or high school job fairs and get some face-to-face interaction with your candidates.

Putting in the work on the front end of the candidate search will save you time in the long run, and you will be more likely to attract your perfect fit! Need help with your candidate search? Check out how JSG can help you!

Tips for Staying Focused Working Remote

Are you considering accepting a remote position, but you are unsure how it will impact your productivity? Environments can majorly impact how you work and interact with your coworkers. Keep reading for a few tips on how to focus and perform well remotely.

Accountability

If you feel it would be helpful to have some accountability system in place to keep you on task, create one! Set hourly goals with rewards if that motivates you to get things done. Work alongside a friend, spouse, or coworker, virtual or in person. Set a specific place in your home that is “office space.” It can be challenging to get work done in a space usually intended for play and relaxation. Having a designated workspace allows you to get into work mode and get things done.

Balance

Setting rigid boundaries for yourself when it comes to work-life balance in a remote position is essential. Because you work in the same place you live and relax, it can be easy to go back to work just to check your email quickly or shoot an IM to your boss about the project you have been working on. RESIST THE URGE. If you have pretty hard-set work hours (8-5, 9-6, etc.), stick to those unless otherwise absolutely necessary. Set boundaries, turn off your computer, and live your life outside of work too!

Communication

If you need something to improve your work experience, say so! Maintain communication with your coworkers throughout the day. If you never go into the office, this can help you build and grow relationships with your coworkers that you might have if you did go into the office. In addition to basic communication, it is crucial to communicate your needs to your supervisor. If your equipment is not working properly or you need additional resources to work more efficiently, share this with them. It never hurts to ask, even if the answer is “no” or “wait.”

Working remotely can be a fantastic experience. It allows for flexibility and comfort. Keep up the good work, and put these tips to use!