Jazz Notes https://notes.jazz.co Bridging the gap between recruiting and performance. Mon, 02 May 2016 17:08:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rising Wages Linked to Shortage of Talent https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/29/report-confirms-accelerated-growth-wages-retain-talent/ https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/29/report-confirms-accelerated-growth-wages-retain-talent/#respond Fri, 29 Apr 2016 19:16:12 +0000 http://notes.jazz.co/?p=5029 The competition for top talent continues to be fierce among U.S. private sector companies, according to the latest quarterly report […]

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The competition for top talent continues to be fierce among U.S. private sector companies, according to the latest quarterly report published by ADP Research Institute, an affiliate of payroll services provider, ADP. Report findings demonstrated that the U.S. labor market improved in the first quarter of 2016, with faster wage growth in almost all industries and across all age groups.

Analysts suggest the rising wage growth appears to be a reaction from employers in an attempt to retain high-performing employees in a tightening labor market. Over the past year, full-time job-holders (individuals who stay in the same job) saw an increase of half a percentage point in wage growth, while full-time switchers (individuals who jump from one full-time position to another) saw a slight decrease in wage growth. Although this increase in wage growth is significant for full-time holders, job switchers still maintain higher overall wage growth.

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Source – ADP Workforce Vitality Report

The index, which measured total wages paid to U.S. private-sector workforce, grew by 3.2 percent compared to a year ago. Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of ADP stated, “The findings may be a signal that continued employment growth is leading to a smaller pool of available talent, in turn motivating employers to increase wages to retain experienced workers.”

The assessment is shared by HR consultancy Mercer, who recently published the 2016 Global Talent Trends Study. Mercer’s study shows that 9 out of 10 organizations anticipate the competition for talent will continue to increase in 2016 – with more than a third expecting that increase to be significant.

“Employers are experiencing ever-growing competition for labor. At the same time, unemployment remains high in many countries around the world. The issue goes well beyond lack of available talent,” said Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner and and President of Mercer’s Talent business. “It’s a lack of the right talent where and when it is needed to drive competitive advantage and deliver business results. For talent that has analytics skills, inspirational leadership capability, and a global mindset, demand continues to exceed the supply.”

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How To Answer The Most Common Interview Questions https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/27/most-common-interview-questions/ https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/27/most-common-interview-questions/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2016 18:20:29 +0000 http://notes.jazz.co/?p=4987 So you’ve made it past the resume bots and screening stages to land an in-person interview. Congratulations! Now comes the […]

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So you’ve made it past the resume bots and screening stages to land an in-person interview. Congratulations! Now comes the time, perhaps your only shot, to impress the hiring manager and get an edge on your competition.

To help you nail your interview, we’ve put together a short list of the most common interview questions and how to answer them so you’re prepared for the big day. Let’s go through the line-up!

  1. Why you do want to work here?

In this situation, the interviewer wants to make sure you’ve given the opportunity some thought. They’re also looking to make sure you’re not blindly sending your resume just because there is a job opening. Make sure to highlight the homework you’ve done on the company, your intrinsic interest in the role, and why you’d be a stellar fit. Here’s an example, “I’m interested in this position because I wholeheartedly believe in your mission, and am aligned with your values as an organization.”

  1. What is your biggest weakness?

Now this is a tricky one. Some people will make the mistake of trying to disguise a weakness with a badly spun positive. For example, “I’m too much of a perfectionist,” or, “I’m a workaholic!” The truth is, interviewers have heard these responses more often than not, and would rather you just be honest. A successful response to this question requires two parts:

  • Describe your weakness. Be authentic and pick a weakness that not only aligns to the job, but is fixable. Example, “I turn into a bundle of nerves when speaking in public.”
  • Demonstrate your recovery. You can do this by talking through the steps you’ve taken to improve this weakness. Example, “I’ve started doing mock presentations with friends and family to get more comfortable speaking in large groups.”
  1. Why did you leave (or why do you want to leave) your current position?

In this scenario, most employers just want to ensure you’re loyal and have integrity. If you’re unemployed, be honest and depict your reason for leaving in a positive fashion: “I was a valued member of the team but was let go due to widespread budgetary cuts in the organization.”

If you’re currently employed, focus on what goals you have for your next position: “After a year in my current role, I decided I wanted to be a part of a company where I have a clear growth trajectory and professional development opportunities.”

Do you have any tips for answering other common interview questions? Let us know!

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How Recruiting Software Can Help Small Businesses https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/26/recruiting-software-helps-smbs/ https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/26/recruiting-software-helps-smbs/#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2016 14:10:22 +0000 http://notes.jazz.co/?p=4977 In the game of hiring, Recruiting Software is your best friend. Today’s companies depend on quality recruitment tools to facilitate […]

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In the game of hiring, Recruiting Software is your best friend.

Today’s companies depend on quality recruitment tools to facilitate the entire hiring process — from sourcing candidates to rating interview responses. Even if you’re a small business, it most likely pays to integrate your hiring in one streamlined application.

First, quality recruiting software allows you to pull from a larger applicant pool. Instead of manually posting on a variety of job boards, you can use one platform to instantly spread a listing throughout the web. This will ensure that you reach the most people possible, and then receive applications from a larger number of qualified candidates. It’s definitely worth the initial investment.

The best software services provide around-the-clock access, so that even when hiring managers are fast asleep, the platform is still responding to candidate inquiries, collecting data, and keeping the entire department in the loop. Likewise, collaboration between departments is key, and a great recruitment platform lets you do this without breaking a sweat. With a service like Jazz, candidate profiles are easily accessible, so that multiple managers can provide feedback and have a real dialogue about an applicant’s viability.

The best recruiting tools allow you to create a branded portal, so that your job posting stands out among thousands of similarly formatted pages. With a sleek company logo, a stately font, and a little bit of color, your page will feel professional and personable, attracting applicants with serious talent. For startups without much brand recognition, this is a perfect forum to cultivate some buzz and spread the word.

Similarly, great recruiting software should include classy application templates, which you can tailor to your company’s specific needs. Since every position is different, a quality hiring tool will boast advanced customization features for postings, so you don’t miss out on the ideal candidate.

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Tips for Assessing Employee Performance https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/22/assessing_employee_performance/ https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/22/assessing_employee_performance/#respond Fri, 22 Apr 2016 17:51:23 +0000 http://notes.jazz.co/?p=4968 Here’s how you can keep tabs on employee performance: It’s important to check in on employees regularly and see how […]

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Here’s how you can keep tabs on employee performance:

It’s important to check in on employees regularly and see how they’re performing. A rigorous talent assessment should span productivity, punctuality, attitude, and dress/grooming, among other variables. There’s no “right” way to assess employees, but a few important traits will cover most of your bases.

More than anything else, an employee’s productivity is the best indicator of their overall performance.

  • Are they completing projects on time, and to a high standard?
  • Are they committed to improving their skills and growing within the field?

If the answer is yes, then the other facets of their performance will not be as consequential. Quality of work tells you SO much about an individual — whether they care about the job, how much they want to contribute to their team, and how dependable they are in general.

Next, your talent assessment should factor in an employee’s attendance record. If they’ve developed a bad habit of coming to work late, or they are often wandering the office, it’s time to address these issues. Even if a tardy employee turns in their work on time, their behavior may start to influence other team members in a negative way. During the performance review, casually bring up this issue and ask how the employee feels. If they have a good attitude about the company, they’ll do their best to come to work on time and not expect preferential treatment.  

Finally, personal presentation and habits can tell you a lot about a worker’s performance. Many companies expect their employees to stick to a professional dress code — no jeans, no overly revealing clothing, and no inappropriate logos. Furthermore, employees should have enough respect for themselves (and their team) to take decent care of their appearance. Good grooming and regular bathing are essential to a productive work environment. As far as bad habits go, your assessment should take gossiping, excessive Internet use, and disruptive behavior into account.

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Unique Resume Designs that Help You Stand Out https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/20/unique-resume-designs/ https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/20/unique-resume-designs/#respond Wed, 20 Apr 2016 20:28:43 +0000 http://notes.jazz.co/?p=4961 We all know that a great resume is essential when searching for a new job, but most people don’t take […]

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We all know that a great resume is essential when searching for a new job, but most people don’t take the time to personalize their CV. With today’s technology, creating a classy digital resume is easier than ever, and you can tailor it to your specific field. For example, graphic design and other creative industries expect to see some originality in your resume, including graphics, cool typography, or an unconventional presentation. Other industries are more conservative, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to Times New Roman. Here are a few tips to bring your resume into the limelight: 

Cleaner is Better

Nobody likes to decipher a cluttered resume. If you can’t read the career history and education sections at-a-glance, there’s probably not enough white space between lines of copy. It also helps to select fonts that are legible and simple, without being dull. To inject a little excitement into the page, choose a warm color that you think would work well as a subtle accent.  

Embossing and Framing

Here’s a way to show creativity in a corporate field: design a monogram logo for yourself, and place it at the top of the page. This embossed logo can use your initials and a sleek design style, so that it feels professional without being stuffy. To tie your application together, you can use the same monogram on your cover letter and any other attached materials.

For a minimal touch, try adding a small border around the resume page. This allows you to keep the body conservative, while still incorporating color into your design.

Use Recognizable Logos

Finally, one way to “humble-brag” on a resume is to use actual logos from previous companies you’ve worked for. The rest of the Experience section can be listed in simple bullet points, but the logos will give your career history an air of prestige. On a digital resume, it’s as easy as dragging and dropping an image file.

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How to Choose the Best HR Software https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/19/choose-best-recruiting-software/ https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/19/choose-best-recruiting-software/#respond Tue, 19 Apr 2016 15:13:49 +0000 http://notes.jazz.co/?p=4946 The HR software arena is saturated with new companies, and they all contend to have the best recruiting tools on […]

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The HR software arena is saturated with new companies, and they all contend to have the best recruiting tools on the market. Of course, this is impossible, but how can you gauge which recruiting software offers more features and customization? Is the interface simple and streamlined? Will it result in better candidate sourcing, and therefore more talented hires? There are a number of factors that contribute to an overall software package. Here’s the top characteristics you should explore as you evaluate your options:

1. Customization

First, quality recruiting software should have custom job posting features, which allow you to easily allow you to create posts for internal career pages. From there, you can use the same template to spread your listing to as many external boards as you like. Employees can also refer friends and former co-workers to a job post, provide a recommendation, and expedite the hiring process with a potentially great candidate. This is a more advanced, integrated approach to job listings, and it generally produces better results.

2. Features

Next, your ideal HR software should have a robust analytics platform, allowing you to quickly compare candidates, look forward to future hiring needs, and keep an interactive checklist to ensure that all hires meet Equal Employment Opportunity conditions. This will allow you to obtain a big-picture view of candidate profiles as you need, which can continue to be used for performance assessments once a person joins the company. Sifting through applications, screening candidates, conducting interviews, and then wrapping-up the onboarding process all takes time, but good software will seamlessly guide you through each step.

3. Automation

Finally, the best recruiting software should automate many aspects of the interview stage, providing data-rich templates that rank candidates on interview questions, allow managers to compare notes, and then draft timely emails with good or bad news. A handy scoring system can help you rank candidates on an intelligent rubric, with additional text boxes for hiring managers to provide detailed feedback about each interview. In short, the best HR software integrates every facet of the hiring process, while providing enough room for expert opinion and collaboration.

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A New Approach to Performance Management https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/11/4938/ https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/11/4938/#respond Mon, 11 Apr 2016 13:49:28 +0000 http://notes.jazz.co/?p=4938 Looking Forward: A New Approach to Performance Management Over time, businesses have found that rating people on a strict rubric […]

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Looking Forward: A New Approach to Performance Management

Over time, businesses have found that rating people on a strict rubric is a faulty approach to performance management. It feels cookie-cutter to employees, and it doesn’t inspire them to take positive steps for their future. Instead, we need to start thinking about a new system that is practical, positive, and more human.

First, this performance management system should be adaptable, so that managers have the flexibility to give constructive criticism in the moment. Quarterly and even monthly performance reviews allow employees to slip through the cracks, but a real-time approach is more appropriate for today’s fluid companies. Employees are constantly learning new skills and contributing to a variety of projects, so rigid management styles are largely inefficient.

Instead, managers should be checking in with their teams every week, but in a relaxed manner. They should ask if their employees need help, and what each team plans to do in the upcoming week. No strict protocols, no sterile paperwork, and no stilted dialogues from managers. This gives teams more freedom to be productive and inspired. They should feel in control of their destiny, and performance management should act as a helpful guide along the way — not a dictatorial presence.  

Next, the system should emphasize employee strengths, instead of focusing on their shortcomings. It’s a huge misconception that workers learn when measured against company standards and are then forced to meet them. People actually learn much faster when they recognize their strengths and try to improve in those areas. Similarly, management should encourage employees to build on their strengths, instead of expecting them to get better at tasks that they have no aptitude for.

Finally, performance management should focus on the here and now. That means not dwelling on an employee’s previous mistakes. Instead, managers should provide resources that employees can use to refine their skills on future projects.

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The Easiest Way to Source Top Talent https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/05/source-best-talent-possible/ https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/05/source-best-talent-possible/#comments Tue, 05 Apr 2016 14:25:16 +0000 http://notes.jazz.co/?p=4926 It all starts with the job description. To be successful at talent acquisition, you’ll need a job post with a […]

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It all starts with the job description.

To be successful at talent acquisition, you’ll need a job post with a stellar description. It should be chock-full of language that speaks directly to the people you’re seeking out, so they get excited about applying for the job. Of course, you’ll want to break down the position’s responsibilities into bullet points and list prerequisites for employment, but you’ll also want to market the job in an inspiring way. It’s easy to receive hundreds of applications from unqualified people, but the real test of a job description is how many genuine performers appreciate what you’ve written. Trust me, it’s worth the extra effort.

Talking Up the Role

Instead of just listing info about the position in a dry, boring manner, you should create a narrative for applicants, so that they envision how their involvement will help transform the industry. For example, you might want to write about the most exciting technologies, products, and standards that your company is embracing, and then link it to that particular job.

To gain some perspective, you should consult with your current team and see exactly what skills they hope to find with a future employee. Talent acquisition is also about offering something that other companies don’t have, and one of those things is culture. If your business provides free lunches, weekly in-house masseuses, or a full-fledged gym, make sure to mention that in the description!

Details Matter

Besides sharing the obvious benefits that your company offers, focusing on smaller details in the job post can have a tremendously positive effect. First, you should make sure that the job title is as universal as possible, so that potential applicants don’t miss out on your post. Avoid using unnecessary jargon, and try to utilize terms that describe the role effectively.

You’ll also want to make sure that the entire job description is free of spelling errors, because that doesn’t inspire confidence in talented people (or most people, for that matter). Finally, adding information about job start dates will also create some urgency for applicants.

Happy sourcing!

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Does Your Top Performer Have a Bad Attitude? https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/04/top-performer-bad-attitude/ https://notes.jazz.co/2016/04/04/top-performer-bad-attitude/#respond Mon, 04 Apr 2016 18:39:03 +0000 http://notes.jazz.co/?p=4919 Companies are not only built on hard work, but also on trust and mutual respect. Sometimes, an employee can be […]

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Companies are not only built on hard work, but also on trust and mutual respect. Sometimes, an employee can be incredibly productive, but also averse to authority. They might complain about upper management, spread negative rumors to their coworkers, or take offense to trivial business errors. If not put in check, their bad attitude can quickly spread throughout an organization and hurt team morale, so it’s imperative that managers use employee coaching to handle toxic individuals.

Spotting a Talented Bad Apple

Though some employees might lash out because they’re not feeling well that day, a “talented bad apple” is always complaining about their company. In doing so, they cultivate a negative team environment and make it harder for people to tackle collective goals. These high-performers might do wonders for monthly numbers, but they also alienate new co-workers by painting an unfairly cynical picture of the company.

Team members should have each other’s backs, and the talented bad apple will isolate certain employees and build alliances with others to further their nefarious goals. In short, their impressive output is not worth undoing your entire organization, and these bad apples must be addressed.

Handling a Bad Attitude

It’s difficult to find talented bad apples within a company, especially if your office spans multiple teams. Anonymous web surveys can help you locate toxic employees before it’s too late. They provide insight into an employee’s values and overall morale, which makes them an essential tool for managers. From there, employee coaching can help to remedy an attitude problem.

Once you’ve spotted a talented bad apple, try giving them a chance to clean up their act. Bring them into your office and ask to hear their concerns, but then explain that they’ll need to make a change. After a meeting like this, many employees will change their tune and you should see an improvement. If not, you may have to terminate the bad apple and prevent irreparable damage. Before taking this step, consult with HR and a labor attorney to make sure you’re on solid ground, and that you have documentation of the employee’s repeated bad behavior. No matter how talented they are, losing a bad apple is healthier in the long run.

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