Don’t Scare Them Away: An Easier Hiring Process will Attract Better Candidates

September 28th, 2012

You’re looking for a new employee but you don’t know where to begin? The first step should be to audit your current hiring process and evaluate if there are any changes or streamlining that can be done. The easier it is to interview with your company the more confident candidates will feel and you’ll be better able to gauge their abilities. Make your process easy to navigate and you will see returns. Here are 6 simple steps to improving your hiring procedures.

  1. Establish the difference between applicant and candidate. Many individuals become frustrated with the application process. They feel like they have spent so much time filling out application paperwork or sending resumes to an online “black hole” only to never hear back. Make sure that people understand that the application is the first step in the process. Let them know that their information will be reviewed and that qualified candidates will be contacted.
  2. Make the job description accurate. It is frustrating for a potential candidate to see a job description online that describes them perfectly but not feel like they were considered for the position. Part of the onus on this is certainly on the applicant – if they feel they are a fit for the position they should customize their resume to reflect it. However, if you are specific about the skills you are seeking in the job description you will receive more qualified candidates from the start.
  3. Communication between hiring managers and recruiters. There is a saying “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.” Many candidates feel like they get caught in the middle between members of the hiring team who seem unable to provide consistent answers to questions. Make sure that the managers communicate with the recruiters about what they need before the first candidate is ever brought in.  If everyone on the same page the experience will be much more pleasant.
  4. Create an order to the process. Make sure the steps of the interview and hiring process are in a realistic order. It does little good to have a requirement for college GPA but not check the records until after the candidate has been through four interviews and you’re ready to make an offer. Establish the flow of the procedures before you even begin to look at resumes.
  5. Use Skype or Google+ Hangouts. When you’re interviewing candidates who live elsewhere, you should utilize technologies that make communication easier. By using free online video conferencing services you can create a comfortable experience that will not only make the candidate feel like you’re serious about meeting with them but can also can give you the opportunity to assess their body language and communication skills.
  6. Stop looking for perfection. Many hiring managers will have a vision in their mind about what the perfect candidate looks like. They want very specific skills and experience. While you don’t need to compromise on everything it is best to eliminate the need for perfection up front. Many really good candidates are disqualified because of something relatively small and trainable. If a candidate checks most of your boxes and you feel as though they will get along personally with the team, you may want to take the leap.

Are you looking for ways to make your hiring process better? Contact Meador Staffing today to see how we can help you!

10 Things Every Business Should Know About Healthcare Reform:

September 26th, 2012

10 Things Every Business Should Know About Healthcare Reform:

 

(1) Tax Credits for Small Employers

Employers with fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages of less than $50,000 may claim a tax credit for the cost of providing insurance which began with 2011 tax returns.

(2) Dependent Coverage

Health plans that cover dependents now have to cover dependents on a parent’s plan until their 26th birthday.

(3) W-2 Reporting

Businesses with 250 employees or more in 2011 must begin to report on 2012 W-2’s the aggregate value of health benefits provided to each employee including medical, dental and vision coverage. Employers with fewer than 250 employees fall under the requirement beginning with W-2s issued Jan. 2014.

(4) Health Care Premium

For small employer and individual health insurance plans, at least 80% of all premium dollars collected are spent on health care services and health care quality improvement.

(5) Requirement to Inform Employees

Beginning in 2013, employers must provide each employee with written information on the employer health plan, health exchanges, available subsidies for insurance and guidelines about how to purchase insurance.

(6) Simple Cafeteria Safe Harbor

Beginning in 2011, simple cafeteria plans for small businesses include a safe harbor from nondiscrimination requirements if the employer averaged 100 or fewer employees during either of the 2 years preceding 2011.

(7) Employer Play or Pay

Beginning in 2014, employers with more than 50 employees will pay a per-employee penalty fee if they do not offer health coverage or if they offer coverage and at least one full-time employee receives a premium subsidy.

(8) Tax on “Cadillac” Plans – 40% tax

Beginning in 2018, there will be an excise tax on any “excess benefit” of employer-sponsored coverage. This is currently defined as more than $10,200 for individual coverage or more than $27,500 for family coverage.

(9) Automatic Enrollment

Employers with more than 200 employees must automatically enroll employees in employer-sponsored plans.

(10) SCOTUS Decision

The law has been upheld by The Supreme Court. So now, there is no question about implementation. You must act now to be in compliance. These laws can only be repealed by 2/3 of the house and senate and then the president has an opportunity to veto thereafter.

ABM Insurance & Benefit Services, Inc.

Copyright July 2012

Job Searching While Employed – Stay Under the Radar

September 21st, 2012

We all know sometimes it is necessary to keep a job even if the situation is not ideal. At the same time, looking for a job while working can put you at risk of violating company policy and being fired if your employer finds out. There are best practices when it comes to searching for a job while still employed. Here are several suggestions to make your job search easier and more discreet.

  • Expand your network on line. It isn’t unusual for individuals to build up their LinkedIn networks even while they are working. LinkedIn a personal profile, but it is common to use them for networking for your current employer. Do everything that LinkedIn suggests to make your profile 100% complete including adding a photo and asking for recommendations.
  • Face to face networking events. Don’t discount in-person events. Even if you don’t explicitly state that you are looking for a job it is always good to meet as many people you can and build your network. The more people you have in your web the more opportunities you have in the future.
  • Don’t be public about your intentions. It is best not to announce that you are looking for a new job on any public or even semi-public social networking sites. Even if you mentioned it casually on your Facebook page you just can’t control how people are going to respond.
  • Don’t respond to confidential ads. The chance of a confidential post on Monster or Career Builder being from your current employer is slim; but the possibility exists and taking the risk can put you in an awkward position. Only apply to jobs where you can research the company before sending your resume.
  • Don’t go to job fairs. Trying your luck at a job fair just to see what is out there is a precarious proposition. Job fairs in your town are likely to attract many of the largest employers including clients and competition of your current company.
  • Don’t expect your coworkers to keep your secret. Lots of people say, or think, they can keep a secret. It simply isn’t worth finding out the hard way that someone can’t. Don’t talk about your job search while you are on the job.
  • Chose your references wisely. As you provide references to interviewers, you want to make sure that you control the message. Talk with your network of previous employers and coworkers to manage the process. Don’t even provide a phone number to your current employer and you can even politely ask that they not contact them until after you’ve given notice.

Are you looking for a staffing company who understands the best practices of the job search? Contact Meador Staffing today!

Interviewing Entry Level Candidates

September 14th, 2012

Interviewing entry level candidates requires completely different assessments than interviewing experienced employees. Someone just out of college or who has never worked in your industry before will not be able to reference certain information. Here are several ways you can get the most out of an entry level interview.

  1. Provide Prompts. It is quite possible that an entry level candidate has never interviewed in a professional setting before. Manage expectations – both theirs and yours. Tell them what you want to hear in an answer such as “give me an example of a difficult class project you worked on.”
  2. Assess their organizational and time management skills. These are universal traits. These are also not aspects that a young adult can learn if they don’t already possess them. Ask them questions about balancing school work with a part time job.
  3. Assess their problem solving skills. This is another example of a skill that cannot be learned. If a young adult or other entry level candidate has not learned to deal with conflict or is unable to problem solve without panicking, they may not be a match for a corporate position, even an entry level one. Ask them how they might have dealt with an awkward customer at a part time job or if they’ve had to defend their position in a paper or project.
  4.  Assess communication skills. Every business wants their employees to be effective communicators, both in written form and in person. This will be easy enough to determine based on their effectiveness at interviewing. Pay attention to grammar and language usage. Ask the candidate to send over either a short cover letter before your first meeting or a follow up thank you note afterward.
  5. Assess soft skills. Soft skills are essential building blocks of a successful employee. They encompass many of the aspects above but also things like being able to work well with a team, being reliable and on time, and be able to process information from various, and often differing, sources. These are the most difficult to evaluate in an interview. Even though you’re assessing things that may not be apparent in a short interview, ask them concrete questions. Have they worked with a team before; sports for instance? Do they have trouble being somewhere on time?
  6. Assess their motivation. Finally, you need to understand how motivating the entry level employee is. It is a huge red flag if someone does not express an interest in moving up within a company. Ask them questions about their previous achievements in school. Ask them questions about what types of projects they are excited to work on to determine what inspires them to do better work.

Are you looking for a staffing partner who understands how to evaluate soft skills for new employees? Contact Meador Staffing today to see how we can help you!

Use that Alumni Network

September 7th, 2012

Looking for a job after graduation can seem difficult. Many recent graduates are experiencing issues with the current job market and they are the highest group of unemployed or underemployed individuals in the economy today. There are some things you can do to help improve your chances; such as reaching out to your University or College Alumni groups. Many alumni look for ways to give back to their school and by tapping into their network you can give them an opportunity to help in a tangible way. They may be willing to give you career advice or even help you with a job in their organization. Here are some suggested ways to network.

  1. Your school’s career center. This office typically maintains a database of the alumni willing to mentor students. You may be able to source specific alumni who work in your industry, shared a major programs, or who live in the area of the country that most interests you. The career center may also sponsor alumni events where former students come to the university to meet with and talk with current students. Take advantage of every alumni program the university offers.
  2. The alumni office and newsletter. Your university has outreach programs for their former students. Become involved in this process. If you can volunteer or work at the alumni center you will have access to individuals who may be willing to share their experiences and expertise. The newsletter also often includes highlighted alumnus and will feature their accomplishments. Read this and touch base with someone who inspires you.
  3. Geographically centered alumni associations. You may not choose to stay in your hometown after graduation. Many other people had the same thought. Alumni, especially from larger schools, will form associations in their towns to network. Reach out to those groups and express your interest in their town. Not only can you learn about the area, but you may also learn about jobs and industries.
  4. LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the best professional internet networking site available. You can easily find informal groups that can connect you to alumni in your city or in your field. People on LinkedIn are there to make connections so use that network as much as you can.

Are you a recent graduate looking for more job search tips?  Contact Meador Staffing to help you navigate today’s market.