Category Archives: Job Seekers

Secrets to Successful Job Posts in LinkedIn Groups

Promoting terrific job opportunities is serious business. And nothing is more serious about business than LinkedIn, the professional networking site.

LinkedIn

With over 200 million members—in 200 countries—LinkedIn has truly become a global phenomenon. More than 2.6 million businesses now have LinkedIn Company pages, making it a valuable resource for employers, employees and job seekers.

LinkedIn Groups can play a significant role in your recruiting strategy as millions of potential employees add their profiles each year.

LinkedIn: A Matter of Trust

The biggest reason for LinkedIn’s popularity is trust; users look to if for accuracy and veracity. In a recent survey of LinkedIn users, 47 percent say they rely on the site for real word of mouth info on brand experiences; 87 percent trust LinkedIn when making critical business decisions.

This reputation for truthfulness makes LinkedIn a natural for recruiters and candidates—both active and passive—to turn to when looking for quality job posts and genuine career advancement.

LinkedIn Types and Relationships

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Network with Professionals in LinkedIn Groups

One of the most popular LinkedIn features is LinkedIn Groups. Groups are where professionals with similar interests, or in the same industry, can share content, place job posts, establish business contacts, and shape reputations as industry experts.

LinkedIn Groups are ideal for employers to network and recruit exceptional talent. Fostering LinkedIn contacts is an effective way to refer potential employees and establish contact for difficult-to-fill positions.

It is just like face-to-face networking, but considerably easier and with a significantly larger reach.

Several Ways to add Job Posts to LinkedIn Groups

As a member of a group, you have three options:

Even though LinkedIn gives a company different ways to promote job posts, the most effective is the commercial job posting service. Remember, for this method, there are fees involved.  The cost for a job post depends on the geographical location. To find out how much it will be for a single job post, go to the Post a Job page. Then enter the location of the job at the bottom of the page.

Employers can also buy a 30-day listing for a job post, or purchase a discounted 5- or 10-pack of job credits.

The Job Discussions Tab

Group members can share and discuss job posts from outside the LinkedIn job post service in the Jobs Discussions tab of the group. A job post on the job discussions tab is easy; simply copy and paste the short-URL into a post in LinkedIn Groups.  Job seekers can follow the link back to the original job post to apply.

The job post link will refer interested candidates to the company website or other location, such as posts through Ovation Technologies. Ovation helps you broadcast posts to a wide range of social networks (including LinkedIn), as well as job boards, social media and more.

Although there is no charge for posting on a group’s discussion tab, timing is limited. The page automatically removes the job post after 14 days.

Best Practices for Job Posts in LinkedIn Groups

  • If you can, put a LinkedIn share button on every job post. This way, all interested parties—even those who not right for the position, but know someone who is—can pass it on to others in their network.
  • When using the discussions tab for job posts, it is essential to avoid appearing to spam the group. Group managers and administrators monitor all posts and have the ability to move, cancel or reassign job posts they consider spam. Too many unrelated job posts and you risk being dropped from the group.
  • LinkedIn Group members with good reputations, those regularly engaging in the group, will have the most successful job posts. Your best bet for participation is to start by asking and answering relevant questions, post related content and participate in discussions. Your standing in a LinkedIn Group is crucial, and can be vital to having a job post looked on favorably. A good group member will gain exposure to a larger audience of qualified professionals.

Yes, a good reputation on LinkedIn Groups means work. However, a long-term recruitment strategy for your business is certainly worth the effort, especially when you find your next superstar employee!

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craigslist hiring nightmare

Hiring on Craigslist is a Nightmare

It’s no secret. Hiring on Craigslist can be a nightmare.

You spend an hour or two creating a job description using specific keywords and language in hopes of attracting the right candidates for the job. You spend some more time getting the details neatly formatted, take one more look for final edits,  then (finally) submit your job ad.

You wake up the next morning, get a cup of coffee and sit down at the kitchen table, ready to check a few emails before heading to the office. As you pull up your inbox, you almost spit out your coffee!

57 resumes are waiting in your inbox.

After the daily commute, you settle in to your office. Again, you open your inbox. Suddenly, the number of resumes has now climbed to 85, all in the matter of an hour or so.

You start to feel a bit overwhelmed. Determined to make way through this daunting stack of resumes, you reluctantly open the first resume at the top of the list.

And this is what you find:

bad resume

Does this look familiar? Photo via FunnyorDie.com

Obviously this is a gross exaggeration but it makes a solid point.

You spend the majority of your time filtering out applicants who are completely unqualified in the first place. The endless stack of resumes consuming your inbox is plagued with candidates who either have no relevant experience, unrealistic salary expectations, or simply those who use a “shotgun approach” and blast out resumes to any company that is hiring at the moment.

You’ve made a valiant effort so far, but your’e running out of time because you need to choose at least 5 applicants for a phone interview by the end of the day.  So after only getting through half of the resumes, you decide to cut your losses and wind up choosing only from the resumes you were able to scan through.

The result of all your hard work?

You rarely end up with the best candidate for the job.

This unfortunate result is not because all applicants are unqualified. Most likely, it’s because a candidate you “should have” hired was either lost, languishing at the bottom of the stack, or their resume was glossed over due to mental fatigue.

So how can you prevent this?

At Ovation, when it comes to screening resumes, we believe in the 80/20 Principle. You should spend 80 percent of your time focusing on the best 20 percent of applicants. With the 80/20 Principle, your company will arrive at the best possible hiring decision,

Ovation’s dynamic hiring tool puts you in charge! Ovation makes the 80/20 Principle possible by automatically vetting and ranking each incoming application, based on your custom criteria.

Resumes are no longer crammed in your inbox based on “first come, first serve”. Instead, they are neatly organized and placed in order by “best-fit,” so top candidates (those that deserve to be noticed) rise to the top.

Finally… Hiring on Craigslist doesn’t seem like much of a nightmare anymore.

8 Ways to Eliminate Hiring Bias During Interviews

Finding the perfect candidate has always been a challenge. Hiring bias, by emotionally and subjectively judging candidates, does not make these complex hiring decisions any easier.

hiring bias during job interviewIn a competitive marketplace, the best way for business to thrive is by hiring the right people. A candidate that is not a good fit can have a negative effect that ripples throughout the entire company.

Not only can poor hiring be responsible for things like lost sales, revenues or profits, they can also potentially affect the efficiency of the whole workplace.

Hiring Bias Is a Major Problem

Hiring bias is a problem that hamstrings the process. In the end, prejudice in hiring hurts everyone—the company, its employees and reputation.

Prejudice in hiring is nothing new. However, prevalence of hiring bias—a hiring manager allowing emotion to influence the outcome of an interview—has turned into a substantial problem for companies of every size. Businesses are clearly at risk when they continue noncompliant hiring and interview procedures.

Hiring Bias on the Rise

In the 12-month period from October 2011 to September 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received nearly 100,000 claims of prejudice in hiring. One can only imagine the number of incidents that go unreported. With more charges making way to the EEOC, and millions of dollars in fines assessed to irresponsible companies, hiring bias has arrived in the federal spotlight.

Benchmarking Helps Curb Prejudices

One way to help reduce bias in hiring is by benchmarking. Companies use benchmarking to define job descriptions clearly as a way to rank each candidate objectively—eliminating the majority of subjective judgment that leads to charges of prejudice. This modern benchmarking process identifies competencies, behaviors, and motivators required for each one of the jobs a company looks to fill.

Benchmarking is a powerful tool which ensures your business will hire the best candidates—fairly and objectively. Here are 8 tangible ways you can combat hiring bias in your organization.

Eight Ways to Eliminate Bias in Interviews:

1.  Be crystal-clear on the jobs you need to fill.

It is necessary to start with a complete, clearly written job description, knowing exactly why the job exists and how the company measures success in the jobs. Hiring managers should also know the history of the position and how each of the jobs fit into the company’s overall business strategy.

2.  Start with an extensive phone interview.

After benchmarking a job description, and establishing a ranking system using objective qualifications, begin the process with a 30-minute phone interview prior to an in-person meeting. Not only will this support the rankings, but also it will help reduce anxiety when the candidate actually comes in for a face-to-face interview.

3.  Wait at least 30 minutes in the interview before deciding.

Before you make any decision during an interview, wait about 30 minutes after the interview starts. This delay will help reduce the impact of first impressions. This will allow time to discover that the good may not be as impressive as you first thought, and the bad is not so terrible.

4.  Do not do-it-yourself; have a hiring team.

A second interviewer—or group of interviewers—removes a lot of emotion from the process, with fewer opportunities for bias in filling jobs.

5.  No one person on the hiring team gets a full “Yea” or “Nay.”

Both benchmarking and candidate ranking make hiring less subjective. In the interview, use a similar procedure. If using two interviewers (or more), each should be responsible for ranking two or three different factors. After the interview, team members use evidence and facts to support their rankings.

6.  Be harder on the people you love.

Often, when an interviewer likes a candidate, they relax, ignore negatives and start asking “softball” questions. Do not be afraid to ask well-liked candidates questions that are more difficult. Dig a little deeper into their experience and qualifications.

7.  Stick with the facts.

Stop using emotionally-charged words to describe the interview—words like “think,” “feel,” “good” (or “bad”) personality and “soft skills.” These, and other words, hint at emotion and prejudice—a path leading to charges of favoritism. If hiring managers uses those words frequently, it is a hint they are not applying the right filters during the interview. When employers stick with facts and concrete evidence, they remain objective and avoid claims of prejudice.

8.  Take time in the interview.

Hiring and interview tools, such as Ovation’s candidate ranking feature, can speed up the overall process considerably. That does not say an employer can shorten interviews. Each member of the hiring team should individually spend 30-40 minutes with the candidate, or organize a group interview lasting at least an hour. To arrive at a fair hiring decision, simply add up the rankings from each interviewer.

Bias Begins With Human Nature

We are all human, and we naturally seek out evidence supporting our initial reactions to a candidate. They also filter out contradictory information, sometimes unconsciously. Reducing bias in hiring begins by recognizing that bias is a part of human nature.

Technology Removes Bias In Hiring

Ovation Technologies’ innovative hiring tool takes the guesswork out of the hiring process. Benchmarking transforms a standard description of jobs into a set of key accountabilities within the organization. Ovation prioritizes and weighs key accountabilities, using them as the focal point for an interview.

Ovation grades candidates, providing reference points to define the appropriate candidates for the selection, interview and coaching process.

Using technology to rank candidates objectively, taking the time in making a hiring decision and requiring interviewers to justify assessments with evidence allow every company to take one more step toward eliminating hiring bias.

Searching For the Perfect Driving Job

Ask anyone in the trucking industry to describe the perfect driving job; you might not hear the same things twice.

The trucking industry is a fast growing one with a high turnover level. Keeping drivers happy by listening to their needs lowers turnover and makes for better working conditions and more productivity.

A happy trucker is a productive one

What is the perfect driving job? Is there such a thing?

Asking people in the trucking industry to describe the best driving job, and you will probably get a different answer every time.

For some truckers, the perfect gig is a good seat behind the wheel of a rig with plenty of power, enough clearance, a good set of chains, nice CB, good radio and a cab that cleans up easy. Other drivers look for things like benefits, expected mileage and operation area.

After deciding to be a driver, there are a number of puzzles to solve. What may be the perfect opportunity for one trucker might not suit someone else. There is a wide variety of positions available in the trucking market, so the best driving job for you depends on a combination of your skill, knowledge and experience.

Start by thinking of what type of truck driving job you want. Simply getting behind the wheel is not enough. You want to be happy with long or short hauls and know which one is more preferable for you.

Will you be involved in the pickup and unloading process for loads you carry? Perhaps you will be an owner-operator. Will you want to move up, becoming a manager in the future? Knowing what equipment you will use, as well as pay, expected mileage, home time and operation area.

The answer to all these questions will help you find a company that suits your requirements.

In the eyes of some drivers, the perfect driving job is all about pay. Even if a job pays well, other drivers think a fantastic job should also include health benefits. Many drivers in the trucking industry see driver training as a “meat grinder,” where the only drivers to succeed are those who are better at it and enjoy driving the most. Others see training as an indispensable part of a career.

The most popular features of the “perfect” driving job:

  • Pay and benefits
  • Home time
  • Management to employee relations (and vice versa)
  • Customer relations
  • Equipment maintenance and upkeep
  • Mobility (how a driver spends his or her time—spending time driving or just sitting around)

It is not about how terrific a job sounds on paper. It is about the way a company treats employees. With driving in the trucking industry, a perfect job is about the amount of money earned, compared to sitting around waiting. The value in a trucking job is the actual work required, time spent away from home, benefits, equipment and maintenance.

As in virtually every industry, the worst jobs, ones with the highest failure and turnover, are with companies where owners look like they have no idea what they are doing.

What makes a perfect trucking job? When management understands what it is like to be on a work floor, warehouse or on the road. Passing judgment is much more effective when supervisors understand how a decision affects the rank-and-file.

Even in the cases of managers promoted from warehouse operations, there are many with utterly no idea of the transportation end of the business.  Frequently, new rules and regulations come down to a driver, making it much harder for them to do the job. Solving many of these problems could only be a matter of dispatching more efficiently to reduce (or eliminate) wait time at warehouses. Just a small increase in efficiency for the consignee or consignor could make an inferior trucking job considerably better.

If there is one thing many drivers will agree on, you do not choose a career as a trucker. The career chooses you. The majority of truckers simply drive for the passion of driving.

Think Employee Lawsuits Can’t Happen to You?

Think again.

Discrimination in hiring can be costly when employees sue.When dealing with hiring issues, “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t mean to do that” are excuses that don’t get too much sympathy in court. Discrimination in hiring and firing are serious issues that can be very costly for your business. When cases go to trial awards can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because punitive awards are often tacked onto actual damage amounts. Fortunately, most cases are settled out of court somewhere in the middle of what a claimant asks for and what and employer believes is fair. The real winners are, you guessed it, the lawyers.

 So…what kinds of discrimination are common?

 Discrimination comes in many forms.
  • Age discrimination laws are designed to protect workers over the age of 40.
  • Race and ethnicity discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodation in the workplace of disabled workers if the disability is known to the employer.
  • Several States have passed legislation that prohibits practice of excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for job vacancies.
  • According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a undue impact on racial minorities,

 OK….How do I protect my company from discrimination actions?

Avoiding lawsuits, penalties and fines in employment related matters requires a framework of compliance measures put in place at your business and constant monitoring of your company’s compliance. That is one of the key benefits provided by human resource (HR) professionals.

You can employee in-house HR professionals or you can outsource that function. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) provide the HR functions on an “as needed” basis. PEOs can help establish the proper framework including employee handbooks, sensitivity training as well as procedures to deal with discrimination issues as they may develop.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is an excellent resource for HR professionals to stay abreast of the laws and regulations surrounding the employer/employee relationship. They also have HR certification programs that result in Professional Human Resource (PHR) and Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certificates.

Hiring Professional Truckers: Seven Ways to Get the Best!

It’s not fuel costs that are a problem with the trucking industry. It is the lack of qualified big rig operators.

Job seekers for the trucking industry come from several sources. Transportation job boards and trucking schools provide job candidates.

Seven best practices to get the right drivers for your trucking jobs.

One of the most critical issues recently facing the trucking sector has been, oddly enough, not fuel costs or rising insurance rates.

The biggest problem is a lack of drivers.

Even for businesses not directly related to the trucking industry, the shortage of qualified operators is distressing news. At the very least, it means a company has to be even more aggressive in recruitment efforts. That is if they want any chance of hiring the right people.

For jobs in the trucking industry, the cloud has come to the rescue.  Cloud-based technologies have risen to meet the challenge of driver shortages for both the trucking and related industries.  Software-as-a-Service has developed programs specifically engineered to assist companies in solving their trucker talent crunch.

The cloud has made recruitment, screening and hiring on-the-road talent both quick and convenient; some websites even have “employer” tabs, which allow a recruiter to fine-tune hiring to meet specific needs.

On these specialty websites, you—the employer—can be able to post relevant listings and openings. The convenience of cloud-based hiring keeps budget-conscious businesses from over spending on recruitment—in time, energy and money—all the while getting only the best candidates for all levels of job openings.

There are three basic realities you should know about hiring drivers:

  • You should focus your efforts on hiring a specific type of driver you want or class of trailer you want them to drive.
  • All drivers must be thoroughly vetted, to have the proper licenses or are otherwise certified: CDL’s (Commercial Driver’s Licenses) are required for all kinds of CDL jobs.
  • You need to recruit drivers through various sources—local, regional or national. Never put all your hiring eggs in one basket.

Seven best practices for hiring short- or long-haul drivers, as well as heavy equipment operators:

1     Always screen and perform background checks for any jobs requiring  driving.

Truck drivers do a lot more than transport your product. They are specialists that will maneuver massive, potentially dangerous machines over hundreds or thousands of miles of road. When choosing recruiting companies, they must require candidates go through rigorous background checks and testing.

2     Always have a large pool of candidates.

The best truck drivers for your job opening begins with certified candidates. The right recruiting websites can provide a pool of applicants, from which you can choose the best for all your truck driving job openings.

3     Advertise CDL jobs in industry-specific publications.

For  Commercial Drivers License (CDL) jobs, openings should be listed in leading print and online trucking magazines. Online job sites must also be used to bring in quality candidates for truck driving jobs. Lists of influential trucking publications are an ideal place to start; post job openings in national, regional, or local publications or upload to industry-specific websites.

4     Recruit through big-rig trucking schools.

Trucking schools an excellent source for drivers, they are filled with students who are determined and ready for further experience. Students are there with a genuine effort toward beginning a career in trucking. The majority of schools will also provide job placement in national or local trucking companies, as well as various other positions operating heavy equipment.

Start with directories of different truck driving schools and training programs. This is ideal for employers to get certified truck drivers and other heavy equipment operators.

5       Attend industry events.

Another suggestion for filling CDL jobs is attending trucking industry events.  Presence at national, regional and state events will give a great deal of recruiting possibilities. Check with online listings for dates and times conferences. For example, there is an annual Mid-America Trucking Program, compete with a Recruitment Facility. This provides event-specific support for candidates considering trucking jobs.

When attending these events, don’t forget a pile of specialized company brochures. All data should clearly list the benefits of pursuing a truck-driving job with your organization. Put your promotional items in truck-stop kiosks, as well. Don’t forget, you have to go where the people are.

Successful hiring for truck operator jobs is a combination of finding the right applicant, someone with a variety of formal licensing, a safe driving record and experience driving the type of vehicle that you need him/her to operate.

6       Be competitive, more than just pay.

Two common grievances from long-haul truck drivers—lack of income and too much time away from family. If you cannot be competitive on wages, certainly look for creative compensation. One outstanding advantage would be to ensure drivers can make it home on most weekends.

7       Remember laws on driving times.

There are state and federal laws that restrict consecutive hours truckers can drive in a 24 hour period.  They were established for a significant reason—safety! Long-haul drivers get tired and less alert after several hours of driving. Pushing the limits will put themselves and others in danger. Make sure all candidates are aware of the various Department of Transportation rules, and that they follow them closely. Your business cannot afford the liability for weary truckers.

The need for trucking employees is growing and is very competitive  To hire the best, simple hiring practices can increase your chances your trucks on the road with reliable, well-trained drivers.

Jobseekers – How to Nail a Job Interview

How to Nail a Job Interview, dress neatly, firm handshake, eye contact, be prepared. For a successful job interview, job seekers should be prepared by researching the company and if possible the person who will interview you.Everyone knows that first impressions are the ones that count. But, do you know how to deliver a great first impression at a job interview?

The impression you give on a social level is slightly different than on a job interview. On a social level, your goal is to get a positive acknowledgement that the person you are meeting isn’t weird. Sounds funny but on a personal level, people are initially usually expecting a simple exchange of words and body language to establish normalcy and then look for areas of common interest. If the normalcy bar is reached, the people will invest more of their time establishing a relationship in another. Below the bar (weird level) and people look for the exit.

In a job interview, you are under review and being judged by one with the power to literally change your life. Sounds ominous but not to worry, remember, the other person invited you to interview because they want to hire someone. If you aren’t weird, have the right credentials and present a positive first impression, you have a great chance of nailing it and getting the job.

So let’s look at a few things you can do to better your chances:

(You are on your own with the weird issue)

Do your homework on the company

Job seekers should research potential employers before the job interview. Also, if possible, check out the LinkedIn profile of your interviewer.First, Google the company and explore their website. There are two reasons to research a potential employer. First, make sure the organization is somewhere you want to work. Is the chemistry right for you? If it isn’t, success in landing the job will likely end in a short stint at the company and too many short-term jobs on your resume isn’t good. Second, be prepared to ask and answer questions about the company.

  • If the company has a blog, read it. Look over the website and to get a feel for their products and how they market them. Look at their “In the News” section to be aware of major happenings at the company.
  • If you know someone who works at the company, talk to them about the other people there and the work environment. If you know who will be interviewing you, Google them and also check out their LinkedIn profile.
  • At the end of the interview ask the person if you could take a copy of the company’s handbook along to review. Salespeople call this “assuming the sale”.

 Relax

Job Seekers should relax and breathe deeply before a job interview. Meditation and breathing exercises along with listening to relaxing music helps the job seeker prepare for the interview.While a lack of preparation is one of the biggest sources of anxiety, a well-prepared attitude may be one of the best relaxation techniques available. A positive attitude is contagious, spread yours around. Successful interviewing is all about passion and emotion. People remember positive attitudes, but they never forget fearful or negative ones. Be aware of your emotions and anxiety and before the interview, listen to some music or do some breathing exercises to get into a relaxed frame of mind. Avoid nervous body language like crossing of the arms or clutching your hands in front of your stomach. Look at the interview as a fun experience and it will likely become one.

Here are a few tips from Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, that will help in a job interview

  • Offer a firm handshake
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Maintain good posture
  • Be respectful. “Yes Sir/Ma’am  No Sir/Ma’am” show respect
  • Give positive non-verbal communication (smile and nod head when in agreement)
  • Let the other person do a lot of talking
  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain about past employers

Dress appropriately

Professional dress makes a great first impression for the job seeker. Dress neat and appropriatelyRegardless of how many interviews you have been to or how many you have scheduled, treat each as the last one you will need to go to. Look the part of someone a company would want to hire. A good rule of thumb, often used by successful salespeople, is to dress one level above the person you will be meeting with. In today’s business casual world, that means dress shirts and slacks for men and dresses or pant suits for women. Business casual should be the minimum level of dress for any job. A business interview is not the time to wear your best club clothes.

An employer will appreciate that you have intuitively known the proper dress and grooming. A banking or investment firm will likely mandate more formal attire, so anticipate that and show up accordingly. At many startups and design firms, the college look of tee shirts and sneakers are common. However, they will appreciate the importance you have given to the interview if you show up in business casual.

Remember – Good luck comes to those that bring it

A job interview is about showing a potential employer that you have the required skills and attitude for the job. It is also about demonstrating to the hiring person that you come without baggage and will fit into the company’s culture and its plan for success. Treat the interview as an opportunity to share how great you really are.