direct consulting associates
#GivingTuesday is known globally as the day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. It is celebrated each Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the US, and focuses on kicking off the charitable season. As companies are looking to wrap up their end of year and get a jump on their first quarter of hiring, they are also looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. And with today being #GivingTuesday, now is a great time for organizations to take a look at their social responsibility and the ways in which they are giving back to the community.
There are countless ways to give back, build social responsibility, and in turn, boost your company culture in your organization. Whether it is monetary donations, volunteering, or participating in charitable events, companies can make a huge impact in their communities. Here at Direct Consulting Associates, we do our best to give back in the community and believe it positively impacts our company culture. For example, each year we participate in Race for the Place, a benefit held by the Gathering Place, a Northeast Ohio organization that provides programs and services free of charge for individuals touched by cancer. In addition, we work to fill boxes full of toys to donate to the Leprechaun Foundation, a charity that gives toys to children in Cleveland area hospitals.
When job candidates are looking for a new job, they take into consideration numerous factors. They want to make sure that they are making a move to a reputable company that is respected in the community. Organizations that are socially responsible are more attractive to potential future employees. If a company is building good relationships in the community, that jobseeker is going to hear good things about the company. If employees feel good about their company and enjoy working for a good organization, those feelings are going to show to others in the industry as well.
Another benefit of doing charitable events is bringing your organization together. What makes a company great to work for is employee morale. As a company, you want your employees to feel great about where they work. You build strong connections with your employees when you go beyond your normal work day. Increasing morale increases overall productivity. You want to differentiate yourself in the market and this is one way to achieve that. Being unique keeps employees and customers loyal to your company.
Social responsible companies have a competitive edge over those that are not.
Getting out in the community also helps for networking. You might be standing next to someone at a soup kitchen that could add value to your organization and vice versa. Meeting people in your local area will help get the name of your company known and you can help others that you meet along the way.
So, on #GivingTuesday, take a second to think about what your company can do to get out and lend an extra hand. There is always something to be done and people are always looking for help.
Last year several new recruiting tactics were introduced. This year, we’ve seen them adopted and implemented. And many of these modern methods will shape the hiring process in 2019.
We’ve analyzed many of these new tactics and technologies. Some are fleeting trends soon to be forgotten. But some of these new methods would be worth implementing. The following 7 recruiting trends are the methods we believe will continue into 2019.
Earlier this year, Google announced they were moving to mobile-first indexing. Search engine optimization may not have been a top priority of recruiters in the past, but this update is worth acknowledging.
Google makes changes for two reasons:
- To benefit the searcher’s experience.
- To adjust to searcher’s habits
Today more candidates are conducting their job search on a mobile device. But that doesn’t mean the industry is following suit. Although mobile platforms have been around for quite awhile, many recruiters haven’t adopted this change.
In a recent study, 45% of job seekers said they use mobile to hunt for jobs at least once a day. And 89% of job seekers use mobile platforms for job search. Today, 16% of applications are submitted via mobile. To be effective, your recruiting strategy should allow candidates to easily interact on a mobile device.
Say goodbye to paper resumes
Speaking of applications, the future is signaling the end of the paper resume. Organizations are beginning to place more importance on soft skills. Beyond a paper document, social media profiles and video submissions can more accurately demonstrate a first impression.
For the company hiring this means keeping up with trends and being able to accommodate these technologies.
For job seekers, this means this means developing an integrated personal brand through social media profiles, digital portfolios, and even a personal website (if appropriate for the position).
Develop an attractive online profile
If companies want to attract top talent they need to portray an appealing environment. Social media is used to demonstrate corporate culture. Research shows that 79% of candidates review social profiles during their job search.
The reality of working for your company should be accurately portrayed across your social media. Strengthening employer brand was listed as a priority by 60% of organizations. Your website, social media, and online reviews should provide an accurate depiction of the company culture.
Realize the impact of artificial intelligence
It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but artificial Intelligence is impacting the job market. The UK has already experienced the impact. In 2017, 66% of UK office employees requested the assistance of AI to accomplish their daily work.
This technology will impact the roles HR departments need to fill. Working with the assistance of AI will change the skills required of employees. Within the next fifteen years predictions indicate that 50% of employees will rely on the assistance of AI.
Consider flexible working conditions
The Gig Economy has impacted the job market in multiple ways. Not only are more workers moving to freelance positions, this trend is changing their expectations.
Research found that 65% of employees would pursue contract work if given the opportunity. This can be attributed to the many perceived benefits of such roles such as working from home. A 2016 survey reported that the ability to work remotely impacted 68% of candidates decision.
We don’t anticipate the entire workforce to quit their traditional jobs for contract work. But the popularization of these non-traditional roles has changed employee expectations.
Take note of virtual reality
There’s no shortage of video interview software. As we previously mentioned, video is able to demonstrate a more accurate first impression.
Video interview doesn’t seem like it will be going away. Additionally, virtual reality and augmented reality platforms are being used for interactive hiring needs. Rather than answering the usual questions, virtual reality shows how candidates respond in practical settings.
Develop Talent Relationship Management
With an already competitive job market, Talent Relationship Management (TRM) has become an increasingly important recruiting tool. Unfortunately, many HR departments have overlooked the importance of cultivating the existing relationships within the organization in order to attract new talent.
History has shown that 40% of companies’ best hires come from within. One study showed that utilizing TRM resulted in a 4% higher offer acceptance rate. Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) shouldn’t be overlooked. Rather, it should be implemented alongside TRM in order to recruit the best candidate.
In order to recruit the right candidate, you have to employ modern hiring methods. Simply posting a job and waiting for the resumes to pour in may not work anymore. Today’s job market requires a more proactive approach from both the recruiter and the candidate.
Finding top talent requires staying up-to-date on these trends. Depending upon the size and capabilities of your organization, you may not be able to adopt all these trends. But you should be aware of the expectations. As an organization, identify the weaknesses within your current recruiting methods and be willing to implement needed changes.
Applicants come with a new set of priorities. They expect more than a paycheck and solid benefits. The shift in philosophy has forced companies to implement flexible working conditions.
However, adopting these changes can be difficult for companies. The pressure has caused concern for many leaders. But to implement a successful work from home program, an organization needs be aware of the benefits and the obstacles they may encounter.
Know the obstacles
Before your organization begins to provide flexible working conditions, there are potential obstacles you should be aware of.
First, don’t assume every employee wants to work remotely. It may sound appealing to roll out of bed and shuffle to your computer in your slippers each morning. But you may discover this is not the general consensus among your staff. Many employees still enjoy the social interaction provided by a traditional office setting.
And don’t assume every employee is cut out for it. Some people thrive within traditional settings. Removing the stability of an office environment could be detrimental for some. Managers are often your best resource to know whether remote accommodations will work. Typically, they know their team better than upper management.
Technology will play an important role in establishing a successful work from home program. The last thing any company wants is for an employee to become an island. Implementing the appropriate technology to maintain communication will be important.
Aspects of company culture that came naturally before may become difficult to maintain. Consider how you will maintain comradery while your team is still under one roof.
Consider the benefits
It’s understandable to have reservations about a work from home program. But the cost savings alone can make it a no-brainer. Studies have shown than an employer can save $10,000 per employee each year by allowing employees to work remotely.
In addition to the cost savings, it gives you access to a larger talent pool. Facilitating employees working from home will allow you to attract employees who would be unwilling to relocate.
5 steps to implementing a work from home program
When your organization is ready to implement the program, there are five steps to consider.
1. Test it
There are plenty of companies to analyze to know whether your organization can accommodate remote working conditions. Analyzing similar companies who have tried it before may provide your answer. But no matter how well you plan, you’ll encounter unforeseen obstacles.
Before you dive in completely, identify a couple employees who would be willing to test it out. There initial feedback will allow you to prepare a full roll out.
2. Have a timeline
From the initial trial period to complete implementation, there will be details you’ll need to work through. But you should develop a timeline. This will keep the plan on track and also answer the questions that will arise: “When can I work from home?”
3. Work out the details
Allowing your employees to work from home will require new protocols. You might discover it’s not as simple as providing a laptop and access to your company server.
Teams working in different parts of the country will have to rely on different applications to provide seamless communication. Maintaining clear communication between employees will be important.
As you work through the details, be sure to protect your company culture. It can suffer if regular events aren’t scheduled. There won’t be any more water cooler talk amongst a remote workforce. Foster communication through regular company outings or retreats. And if geography isn’t a limitation, consider Friday happy hour or midweek yoga sessions.
4. Determine times of availability
A simple method to maintaining communication is establishing availability. There should be an expectation among employees as to when they will be available.
As an organization, you can choose whether those hours are the same for everyone and if the hours need to be static throughout the week. Depending upon the organization’s flexibility, you may decide to allow employees to choose their appropriate hours. But whether those are traditional hours or flexible, the rest of the organization should be aware.
5. Identify which jobs can work remotely
Unfortunately for some, not all jobs can be done remotely. Some positions are just more suitable for an office setting. Define what roles will be available for remote work to set the expectation.
There are different factors to consider when implementing a work from home program. If your company decides to provide remote working conditions consider these five steps to ensure it works for both the company and the employees.
Managing your LinkedIn profile like a digital Rolodex could lead to countless missed professional opportunities.
In spite of the many social platforms, LinkedIn remains the ideal social network for business professionals. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, more than 90% of recruiters rely on the platform to find candidates. And today, it’s used in nearly every industry.
Each year the platform continues to improve its interface to remain an invaluable networking resource for professionals. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you’re marketing yourself effectively on LinkedIn. Here are 7 ways to have an effective LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is a powerful resource. But, to make the most of the social platform, you’ll need to be socially active. Being an active user means engaging with your contacts by liking, sharing, and commenting on their activity.
However, it can be difficult to interact with your contacts throughout the day. One of the simplest ways to be active is to download the mobile app. The LinkedIn app provides an easy-to-use interface that makes networking a breeze.
Another part of being active is to ensure your profile remains current. Continually update your profile with projects you’ve worked on or presentations you’ve given. You can share your work by writing articles or posting pictures and videos. The goal is to provide content that will benefit your connections and make them want to interact with you.
Becoming a member in groups is another way to be effectively active. LinkedIn will allow you to join up to 100 groups. Once you join a group you become connected to the members within the group. This causes your profile to show up in more search results when someone is looking for your skillset.
Write an effective tagline
Your tagline, also known as your headline, should be optimized and captivating. It will default to your current job title if you don’t change it. But this is what potential connections and hiring managers will use to find you. To ensure it’s optimized, include words that you want to be discovered for.
Rather than allowing it to default to your current job title, use the 120 characters to give the reader a snapshot of who you are. Provide a brief description that is both interesting and engaging. A captivating tagline will motivate them to click on your profile link to read further.
In addition to your tagline, use keywords throughout your profile. Include keywords you want to be targeted for within your headline, your position titles, summary, experience descriptions, projects, certifications, publications, and anywhere else they can be placed.
Currently there are more than 11 million active job listings on LinkedIn. If you want to be considered for a new opportunity, you’ll need to include those words within your profile. Recruiters use keywords to search LinkedIn for the job description they’re trying to fill.
Look through jobs you’re interested in, and make note of the specific skills and words used within the descriptions. Sprinkling those words throughout your summary and experience sections will help you connect with your desired opportunities.
But don’t stuff your profile with keywords. Injecting too many keywords is going to be obvious, and demonstrates poor communication skills. It will be obvious to the reader that the profile was created only for LinkedIn’s search engine optimization.
Discover your niche
How are you going to stand out among the millions of people on LinkedIn? At first, this may be overwhelming. But the solution is to select your desired niche. Identify yourself as specifically as possible.
You’ll be lost in the crowd if you simply market yourself as a manager. To attract the attention of a hiring manager, present yourself as an IT Security Manager with a CISM Certification. Distinction will make you standout and make you a more attractive candidate to the appropriate hiring managers.
Make sure your profile is complete
Don’t be satisfied with an incomplete profile. Complete all sections, including education, certifications, and interests
A complete profile will provide better position within search results. Be sure to include your information for all the applicable profile sections. As you complete your profile, contemplate your personal brand and the impact of the information you provide.
Consider the details that will help you standout among the competition. Include any certifications you have, projects you’ve been a part of, or foreign languages you speak.
Consider your images
There are two images within your profile you should pay special attention to: your profile image and your background image.
Your profile image says a lot about the rest of your profile. It’s often someone’s first impression of you. Your photo should be professional and appropriate for your industry.
The profile picture provides a personal connection for recruiters and hiring managers. An unprofessional or missing photo can seriously impact your job search. The image increases the likeliness of your profile being viewed by 40%.
In addition to your profile picture, use a background photo for additional personal branding. Use a photo that you have the rights to and communicates what you stand for. The size of this photo is 1400 x 425 pixels and should be a .jpg, .gif or .png file.
Get recommendations and endorsements
Having the recommendation of your peers is one of best ways to improve your profile’s social standing. It may be uncomfortable to request a compliment from a colleague, but offering to reciprocate the favor can make it feel more natural.
Don’t overlook the importance of endorsements. LinkedIn provides you complete control over your them. You can select the skills users can choose to endorse you for. You can also delete any undesired endorsements.
Endorsements also provide a unique networking opportunity. Whenever LinkedIn notifies you of an endorsement say “Thank You” to your endorser. This is a great way to naturally start a conversation with someone.
Understanding the features of LinkedIn can impact the success of your job search. Knowing what areas to focus on will increases the opportunities of your profile being viewed by the right person.
Implement these 7 suggestions within your LinkedIn profile to help you connect with the right person in order to obtain the job you’re searching for.
Networking events sometimes feel like speed dating. Talk to as many people as you can until you find a mutually beneficial connection. It can be less than comfortable.
These events are created with the best of intentions, but trying to create organic conversation in a manufactured setting can be difficult.
The thought of networking will cause you to reach for a stack of business cards or hide in the coat closet depending upon your personality. Rather then shuffling through your forced mental script of rehearsed questions, consider the following 5 ways to be effective at your next networking event.
We don’t mean wearing a flashy tie. Be the man or woman who is remembered by what you say.
We’re all used to the standard, “So, what do you do?” line of questioning. Simply being prepared for these standard questions can leave an impression.
Come up with an honest answer that is engaging and makes the other person want to know more.
Donald Miller, best selling author and CEO of StoryBrand, gives the following example of a conversation between two people at networking event.
Other person: “So, what do you do?”
You: “You know how hard it is to make a healthy dinner every weeknight with all the stuff your kids have going on? Well, our company delivers homemade frozen dinners that are actually affordable, so parents can relax and enjoy time with their families at night.”
As Miller explains, this method works because you’re telling a mini-story with this type of answer. This also positions you as the person who can solve a specific problem. If the other person can’t work with you at the present time, they’ll be able to file your name away in their mental Rolodex as the person with a specific solution.
Vanessa Van Edwards, a human behavioral expert, and author of Captivate, tries to provide a “me-too!” moment for the other person in every conversation. “It makes us feel accepted. It makes us feel heard. And most importantly, it makes us feel calm,” she explains.
Genuinely showing you care goes a long way. During most of these events, you’re surrounded by people searching for what they can get out of the other person. But entering a conversation with the desire to solve their needs often results in mutual benefit. Maybe you’ll get their business or maybe you’ll just get the blessing of being able to help someone.
Show the other person you care by asking questions you actually want to know the answer to. Rather than the standard, “What do you do?” or “What brought you here tonight?” try the following:
What are you most excited about with your job right now?
What are you most excited about with your industry right now?
What’s the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?
How did you end up in your line of work?
What are you looking forward to this week?
Know where to stand
It may sound trivial, but the location you choose to stand in a room can make all the difference. Rather than backing yourself up into a corner, choose strategic high-traffic locations within the room.
More specifically, stand where people are walking away from – against the flow. Find a place where there is a natural traffic flow such as a few feet from the bar or hors d'oeuvres table. This will allow you to make eye contact and be in position to naturally engage other attendees.
Check your body language
In a recent interview, Van Edwards explained that you want to maintain open body posture. This shows the other person you are open to conversation and non-threatening.
A simple way to demonstrate open body posture is to show your hands. Van Edwards says this is a primal survival mechanism showing that we are not carrying a weapon. Conversational stature often causes us to place our hands in our pockets or fold our arms. Subconsciously this communicates that we are closed off or even untrustworthy.
It can be hard to avoid folding your arms as this can be a natural tendency for many. However, if you need to, hold a glass or folder to keep yourself from placing your hands in your pockets.
Have a plan of action
You can usually decide early on in the conversation whether you will want to stay connected with the person you’ve been speaking with. If you do, you’ll want to have a practical way to follow up. But if you decide that you won’t want to stay connected, you need to have a natural exit strategy.
If you desire to stay in contact, provide them with your business card and tell them you’ll be following up with them. Depending upon the conversation, you may be able to offer to email them a helpful resource.
However, if you realize you won’t want to stay connected beyond the conversation, you need to have a way to remove yourself from the conversation. Simply asking to be excused in order to attend to needed business before the next session can be a honest, natural method. You can also watch for a natural break in the conversation and cordially thank them for their time and wish them the best of luck with the remainder of the year. While you want to show genuine interest in the other person, you need to value your own time as well.
Depending upon the length of the event or conference, you may have several conversations, but you’ll only have one or two memorable connections. Once the event is over focus on the conversation that you see providing the most direct benefit.
Today, it’s easy to make connections, but developing relationships can be difficult. Developing these relationships requires you analyze yourself and be proactive. While searching for connections, you need to be the person someone wants to network with. Keep these five tips in mind to make the most of the next networking event you attend.