“Employers are in the best position to attract active Candidates. Recruits want to talk to the Employer. Make it easier for them.” David McKnight, NotionPath
There is a huge battle going in the marketing place and it’s not just for customers – it’s for the best talent. Outside Recruiters can bring value when the search is for passive candidates, but before you “invest” in one find a great team member and have them follow the 5 steps outlined below.
1. Use an ATS (Application Tracking Software).
If you hire more than 3 employees a year this software can save you time, improve the organization, quality, and make it easy to share your opening. If you do NOTHING else on this list – do this. There are affordable online solutions your team can be using in minutes – the one I use and recommend is JazzHR – https://www.jazzhr.com/notionpath/
2. Indeed (this applies to most other Job Boards too)
Most Employers are using Indeed. It is the #1 Job Board. But with so many other employers using it, posting may only show up on the first page for a few hours. To greatly improve results:
The title is key to search-ability – use common titles based on how a candidate would find your role – not sure – ask Indeed.
Sponsor your post – set a budget each day to ensure your post is near the top of the list…monitor your results on the Indeed admin page.
When sponsoring be sure to TALK to an Indeed rep – they can provide consulting support and configure your search to maximize results that you can’t do on your own.
3. Employer Branding and your Website
Most candidate will check out your website before applying. Does your site include at least one page to describe what it’s like to work there? Culture, the team, work environment, mission, vision, values – what you want them to know about working with YOUR awesome company.
4. Use Social Media
Yes, it makes a difference. Many ATS’s (software in #1) has built-in ways to leverage your company’s social media – it takes seconds. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and for younger entry-level roles – Instagram. Post at least once a week….Wednesday morning.
5. Get All of Your Employees (and their Freinds) Engaged in the Hunt.
Referrals from your employees are by far the best way to find good talent. Make sure they all know what roles you are seeking. Ask them and make it easy for them to share on their social media networks to greatly increase exposure. They don’t have Social Media – fine – give them a short email copy with a link to the posting – done.
Want more Ideas for eliminating your hiring challenges delivered to your inbox – subscribe today!
About NotionPath and David McKnight. 25 years of experience serving employers building teams. Levering that experience as a c-Level leader to help employers improve their internal attraction, recruiting, selection and retention processes. #1 Issue facing most Employers today. For Wisconsin employers when you need to reach passive candidates in Accounting, IT, Software/Web Development, Executive Level leaders – David can bring one of Wisconsin larges network of professionals and 25 years of finding great talent to your organization. www.notionpath.com
The number one challenge for employers today is to recruit and retain top talent. The news around the country is clear – employers will face shortages of top talent.
Let’s face it, candidates are in the driver’s seat today. They have choices and want and expect more from their employer. It’s not a one-way street – quality team members make the difference in today’s competitive business world. Generally, people are the most expensive resource but we often give more business planning to capital investments, new business development efforts, and strategic planning.
Is your HR Manager part of the Strategic Planning Process?
Does leadership talk about Culture at your workplace?
Do you have tools to help evaluate candidates other than managers gut feeling?
Do you have an Employer Branding strategy?
Do your employees and managers value your Employee Review process?
If you answered no to these questions then keep reading.
The first step in moving forward is to understand the challenge. The process. What are areas that drive results? Measurable results! Matter of fact, many of these process measurements would be leading indicators – a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that if achieved will correlate with other business goals including profits.
The Team Building Lifecycle. While there is help out there for employers to get better, generally companies are on their own with this. No two organizations will have an identical process – no one size fits all approach works.
TEAM BUILDING LIFECYCLE – 10 Steps
1. Strategic Alignment – Your company’s mission, vision and core values set the stage for your team building process. Each of your key objectives should clearly address the need for talent. Your strategic plan is your road map to help your HR team and Managers clearly understand what their Talent Management efforts are and align with key objectives.
2. Culture – May be the most talked about business objective discussed today. Sometimes difficult to understand or change. The older a company is, generally the more established it will be. Culture is about intent. While the culture will ultimately be decided by the “team” the owners or leaders of an organization can influence it a great deal by intent.
3. Pay and Benefits – The key to pay and benefits is transparency combined with fairness. Giving new and existing team members a clear understanding of their income opportunities and company benefits.
4. HR and Hiring Managers Preparedness – The process of effective sourcing and interviewing candidates is part art and part science. There are some amazing tools – very affordable – that can add significant benefit to marketing, communicating, managing and ensuring you are picking the most qualified candidates. Effective tools for comparing candidates on behaviors, emotional intelligence, intelligence, and other factors. Often these same tools can bring more value in professional development and performance reviews.
5. Managing Outside Recruiters and Employment Agencies – When you do need to get help from outside it’s important that your company maintains control of the process. After all, they are your candidates. Make sure your recruiter, not just the sales person, has a clear picture of the roles they are recurring for. Ask your recruiter to visit your office/facility, meet your hiring managers and understand your culture.
6. Employer Branding – Another area commonly misunderstood by employers. Many employers assign the Employer Branding to the Marketing team. While it’s true that many of the tools of Employer Branding are in the Marketers tool belt the difference is that your audience is totally different. Not customers but candidates. HR and hiring managers need to help drive that understanding. Just like Marketing generally works closely with the Sales team on customers.
7. Onboarding – Another area often not given enough attention. The first few days a candidate joins often will define whether it’s a good relationship. Matter of fact, most employers have a 90-day probationary period and it’s in everyone best interest if they are successful…let’s own that.
8. Employee Reviews – Reviews can be hard for managers to complete. Take enough time to make them meaningful, and on time (did I say on time). This process done right can be a huge opportunity to get employee engagement and meaningful process improvement. To be effective it needs to be goal specific (aligned with company goals), communicated often (at least quarterly), address meaningful ways for professional improvement to occur (inside or outside of the company), and gives them a voice in setting those goals.
9. Professional Development – Building on the employee review process, every company for every role should identify how employees can learn and grow. This does NOT have to be an expensive commitment but more about your leaders and HR organizing tools, materials, books, training, outside resources, and inside mentoring (mentoring is huge by the way). It shows you are invested in your people.
10. Retention – No good recruiting process can be successful if retention sucks. It’s like a leaky bucket… you can fill it up but wait a while and you’ll be back filling it up again. Build a relationship with your team members by understanding what motivates them, what inspires them inside and outside of the company. Look for alignments – how achieving company goals and help them achieve their goals.
Entrepreneurs are a breed of business professional that help drive vision, innovation, growth, and ideas. Not always thinking of themselves as a leader but often finding themselves being or expected to be a leader. Once an idea takes off it usually is fueled by our most important resource – people.
Three Things Every Entrepreneur Whats
#1 Move Faster
The entire startup culture is built on this foundation…be the first. The fastest (or at least a fast follower) gets the prize. By definition entrepreneurs are innovators. Maybe not the first one with an idea but, the one who, in the relentless pursuit of it, is the first to make it better (ie. Steve Jobs and the iPhone).
#2 Be Smarter
Here is where Vision, Innovation, Execution, and all the buzz words come to play. Pick one or two and focus. The smarter entrepreneur wins. My experience has been entrepreneurs are smart as hell and always in pursuit of learning more.
#3 Build Better Teams
OK, you have the first two going for you…now it’s time to make it happen. That in most cases require more people. A team. And not just any team – the best team. Also full of smart, fast moving, innovative, and did I say – really smart people. The process to build such a team can be some good luck, good friends…but eventually, both run out. Then what?
For many Entrepreneurs, this is where things get hard. More people mean more problems. More complaining, disagreements to resolve, communication problems. Ugh. Eventually, you may even feel like vision and innovation get taken over by the need to be the “parent” in your office.
Then there is culture – seemingly develops on its own…not always the way you envisioned it.
So, are there ways to more reliably build a great team? A thriving culture, embracing problems as their next challenge, aligned with the company goals, and as a team also working to move faster and be smarter. I think there are. From Recruiting to Retention to Employee Engagement and focused on what we all want…shareholder value.
Don’t feel alone. I believe that the number one challenge facing all employers today is building and maintaining great teams. “Our People Make the Difference” is not just a catchy slogan or tag line…it may very well be the difference in being a success or even surviving.
The challenge is blending branding and HR – recruiting and marketing. Developing a clear voice of what it’s like to work “with” your company and why you are different – not a customer perspective but candidate perspective. How they can connect with your mission, your vision, your passions. Employers need to commit to creating a relationship with passive candidates – those that are gainfully employed today, usually the top 20% are, but open to watching what your company is doing and they may want to as well.
Want some ideas…visit the NotionPath Blog and read a few of our posts. If you work in Wisconsin and may be open to a career change, one of the “passive” candidates but too busy working to search, check out NotionPath Reverse Recruiting process – we’ll work for you.
Culture is getting a lot more attention these days. Primarily because finding top talent is getting harder, turnover is high and everyone is looking for reasons to attract, retain and differentiate. Many employers are trying to define, or redefine their culture.
The disconnect seems obvious.
#1 Lack of Alignment
The alignment was missed in the hiring process – either the candidate did not understand what they wanted or most likely the company was not clear what their culture is. If it was even discussed in any meaningful way. It leaves a void for HR and Hiring Managers to effectively attract or screen candidates for alignment on the company’s culture.
#2 Lack of Definition and or Execution
Companies that struggle to be clear what their culture is (beyond mission, vision and core values). Or if it is defined, at least in the mind of the leadership, but isn’t being communicated clearly to the team so individual or entire groups of what could be well intending employees don’t get it and lead their fellow team members astray.
A strong well define and communicated culture will hold everyone in the company accountable to that definition…but all too often a weak or unclear culture leaves much to uncertainty and turnover.
Getting on Track
Entire books are written on helping organizations define and communicate their culture. There are a couple thoughts I’d like to share if you find yourself in need of defining, refining or improving communication culture.
First the company owner, CEO and top leadership CAN heavily influence or even define culture, however, by definition culture is the sum of the whole…the personality of the company. At it’s foundation it’s about emotion and the leaderships ability to both be emotional and live it too. A companies Mission, Vision and Core Values should all be alighted with Culture and the emotion and energy that fuels it.
The culture should support your companies Purpose. Why your company exists. Then define how the culture supports its purpose and what you are going to do to empower people to support that culture.
People Centric Cultures
A key differentiator and value creator can occur when the culture is focused on people and how people drive and empower the organization. Whether that’s collaboration, continuous improvement, innovation or other key competencies that drive value creation, it’s the people – a cross-functional multiple behavioral team, leveraging individuals and their talents.
Leadership has a huge role in setting communication culture, but it is a full contact sport. To get traction with an organization culture – to make a difference – the team needs active and engaged participants. So I ask…
How do you support your companies culture?
If it’s not clear to you, who will you talk to to help you understand it.
If it needs to change, how?
Can you describe the culture you envision and connect it to emotions?
How can your companies culture better support what you are passionate about?
If you lead people, do you talk about your company’s culture?
If you hire people, do you have questions in your interview process that help identify if candidates have what it takes to align with the company’s culture?
In the comment section below…share what you can do TODAY to change, improve, communicate your companies culture.
Start with the Individual before focusing on a Team
There is no “I” in Team – Are you kidding…that’s where it starts.
All of the rush these days is about Team Building and defining Employee Engagement based on how the team works together. Let me be clear….teams are important….employee engagement is critical…having a friend at work builds engagement…but are we forgetting about the individual? It’s my belief that stronger individuals make better team members. Stronger individuals are able to contribute and be more engaged.
Avoid Isolating Individuals
Matter of fact, I believe that pushing people into teams, team activities, making them attend company functions as a way to improve employee engagement can actually WEAKEN or DISENGAGE your employees. For those of you that had your company send the “team” to an outdoor adventure course for rope or pole climbing…was there at least a few that would not participate? And worse, some based on the peer pressure fought through the fear to avoid being singled out. What kind of team is that?
This kind of isolation, lack of respect for the individual…happens in offices and plants every day…sometimes team members are being branded as “not a team player”. Company parties, activities, events, “social” events…all pushed by leadership as acceptable if not expected ways to build teams and engagement – can and often do contribute to isolating employees.
Empowering the Individual
Now the question is, how do we connect, understand, empower individuals? It starts with listening to them…one at a time. Finding ways to connect with them. Bridge the companies “Purpose” with their own personal “Purpose”. Guess what employers? Most of your employees may have a “personal” purpose that trumps your companies “Purpose”. Now what? Fire them to screen out everyone that doesn’t share the company purpose as their own? Good luck with that strategy. It’s about alignment. HELP your employee accomplish their “purpose” and guess what….they will help you achieve the company purpose.
Discover Purpose Alignment
My suggestion…don’t hire or assign someone to be a “fun” ambassador but instead give an insightful good listener in your company, maybe the owner, CEO – big companies the whole executive team, the role to work with all of your hiring managers, people supervisors, to ensure that your COMPANY understands each employee as an individual, discovers their “Purpose” and give them one afternoon a month to connect with that purpose and let us know how we, the leadership, can help. Watch your team grow.
Two aspects of employee engagement to consider:
1) Emotion leads to Alignment
Connecting with your people on an emotional level is critical to empowering and getting alignment. In business the Marketing and Sale team understands that. They understand it’s about people and finding ways to connect with their emotion. Same for your employees. How? Check out Paul Herr, Employee Engagement expert, check this link to see how McFarland State Bank, building on a strong culture, is achieving exceptional results.
2) Information leads to Engagement, and a conversation.
Information is power….and alignment, awareness, feeling of being on a team. For years I’ve spoke about created structures that aligned Marketing with Human Resources. Similar content but different messaging. You don’t talk to clients like you would your employees – very different voices.
However, your employees want to hear, learn and engage about what your organization does. Turn them into advocates. Empower them to be. Give them a way to engage leadership. This communication strategy, engagement, can also work for other channels you may have – outside sales team, agents, consultants, and investors. Leverage your marketing materials, media, and create both awareness and engagement to be in the know.
If you are looking for a solution – think mobile – especially for diverse teams. This type of communication – short announcements, quick feedback – is ideal for mobile.
The number #1 reason employees quit/checkout – their boss. As a “boss” most of my career I understand the challenge. Not suggesting I’m perfect either. But are you learning from your mistakes? Maybe more importantly, are you actively helping your leaders learn?
Sitting on the Roof – Leading
Very early in my career I worked for a business owner of a restaurant. I was promoted to shift leader then manager. He was opening new stores and was starting to build his management team. I remember one day as he took me aside. He noticed that I had learned all aspects of the business and ran myself in circles being there for all of my crew. While he appreciated my energy he knew that it was not sustainable. He told me something that stuck with me all my career. He said that if I was effectively leading the store. Creating leaders and key members, that the team would run itself. If I could do that he didn’t care if I sat on the roof.
As the Owner or CEO I think one of your primary focuses should be on developing leaders within your organization. At all levels. Continuously. If that’s not in your skill set or your other skills are better applied to different areas of your business…then find someone who is able and empower them to own your companies’ leadership development plan including succession planning. If you don’t have that person on your team yet – then start with finding a leadership coach to help build your skills, your teams, and help identify your leadership development lead.
Two areas to focus on in that role – communications and expectations.
There is no one size fits all approach for developing leaders. While all leaders should have good communication and people skills – some are better at leading people – others processes. It’s important to have that distinction to help clarify the next part – expectations.
Effective communicator with their team – this includes listening, empathy, yet being clear with your expectations. There is great value in being a strong leader – just do it and be real.
Attention – people and process require your time. Be Present. Close the laptop, turn off the phone, be engaged in the conversation.
Building relationships – the foundation of leading is building strong relationship so you can motivate and empower.
Connecting Emotionally – feelings do matter. One of the most challenging aspect of leading is creating an emotional connection and understanding how emotional connection influence your team. As a Process Owner – how will it make your team members feel to meet the goals of that project? Ask them. Have them write it down and give I to you. When goals are met celebrate and read it back to them!
Next is managing expectations. You can have a strong “connection” with your team but if they are not clear what you expect from them…well, it’s not going to happen. Expectations manifest in three ways – Trust, Accountability, Results.
Let’s look at these, but Flip it – from your teams perspective of or expectations of you.
Results – be clear on your expectations. CAREFULLY pick your goals, the leader must have direct responsibility to achieve that goal (profit, everyone’s goal – but usually driven by a few key leaders), identify measurable goals, break down into monthly/quarterly milestones.
Trust – requires you to trust first – employees cannot learn to be trust worthy if you don’t show them.
Accountability – empower them to achieve, be mindful of micromanaging – big deflator of accepting responsibly, be open to new approaches to solving the challenges – use Results/Goals to get clear
This topic, “Leadership”, may be the most written business topic of them all. Reams of research and methods exist. If you have not heard of Servant Leadership that may be a topic worth investing some time in.
Are you working towards sitting on the roof? What’s your measure of success for a leader?
With Thanksgiving upon us, it is clearly a great time to be thankful for our family and friends. What better way to do that than spend time with them, eating, celebrating, talking. My wish is that everyone reading this has that opportunity.
As 2017 comes into sight it is time for business owners, executives, leaders, supervisors to put time and effort into our goals and objectives for 2017. It is our view at NotionPath that the #1 challenge for businesses in 2017 will be Attraction and Retention of their People.
You most likely have seen this list before. The Question is, do you have a strategy in place to address these challenges.
Top 5 Reason People Leave
#1 Their Boss
#2 Their Colleagues
#3 Company Culture
#4 Rest and Relaxation
#5 Professional Growth
Are you giving a People Centric focus to your Key Objectives, to Culture, to finding and building differentiators to to be wildly competitive in your space? It starts with attention on your people.
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” – Simone Weil
Developing effective leaders and team members is the linchpin of every business. Culture is a HUGE opportunity to create differentiators. This requires an investment in time and attention. An investment that should yield a clear ROI.
In conclusion, the goal of this post is to plant a seed of encouraging us to give attention to our people…our employees, direct reports, team members – those we serve, including our own self-care. Join me over the next five weeks for my series “What Are You Giving Your Attention To” sharing ideas to consider for your 2017 Strategic Plans.
This is the time of year when many organizations begin to reflect on the past year and make plans to improve in the next year. That Strategic Planning process takes many shapes depending on the organization. For many it means weeks of preparing, sometimes months, while for some it means a few hours to tweak what works and keep going. The right process isn’t in the planning process but in execution of it. A weak plan executed well is still better than a great plan not executed well.
2015 has been a year of discovery for me in helping a successful company, Iconica, find the ingredients to being wildly successful. Iconica is a group of Architects, Engineers, and Construction professionals who have a clear vision of their value proposition, and who are there because of their passion for it. There is still much more opportunity to be discovered by tapping into that passion.
Many of you may have heard of Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why. It’s a good reminder for helping your organization to dig deeper to the purpose, to find out exactly why you do what you do— the root and purpose for your existence. Matter of fact, if you are a client or prospect of Iconica you may hear us ask you about your “why.” We feel that knowing your “why” is critical in helping us align our services and our team to ensure the success of our projects. You can see Sinek’s compelling explanation here.
Another excellent resource I discovered this year is a local Madison, WI author – Paul Herr’s book Primal Management. http://www.primalmanagement.com/. Paul tosses out much of the research from the last 40 years of Employee Engagement, and explains that it is emotional drivers that really influence why employees are engaged or not engaged with your organization. I believe that not only is Paul onto something— that he cracked the code— but that emotion drives your clients decisions to buy from you. Emotions can be a catalyst to working with your entire community: business partners, vendors, contractors, other organizations, and people in the communities where you live and work.
Emotions? That’s a hard thing for many organizations and their leaders to get their heads around. They struggle with how to make it actionable, and how to give their teams a clear vision of how emotion can impact their organizations in a positive way— or better yet, in a potentially transformative way.
To help with that, Primal Management identifies 5 Social Appetites.
1. Cooperation – that warm family feeling
2. Competency – feeling of self-esteem
3. Skill Deployment – elevation experienced by a win
4. Innovation – curiosity and the feeling of eureka pleasure
5. Self-Protection – feeling of security
To help you process these ideas into actionable thinking and apply them to your organizational stakeholders,Clients, Employees and Community, I composed the information below. As you review this keep in mind that like any behavioral assessment – people are people, and many of us have multiple emotional drivers. Finding a key one or two gets us closer to being in alignment, and helps you to better serve your team.
Finding the Emotion in Clients, Employees, and your Community
Clients To be effective in cooperating with clients it does take trust and relationship building. But once aligned on a cause and solving big problems or creating incredible products, that synergy is a great way to create value…and get paid for it.
Employees Many people are strongly aligned with wanting to be part of a team, and are very good at it. Behavioral assessments like DISC are very good at identifying that trait.
Community Of the five, it may be the emotion which is most aligned with your business partners and greater community. How can we work together to better tackle bigger problems…serve more clients?
Clients Let’s face it— for some customers it is about making them not just “look” good— but better. You deliver products or services that make them feel better about themselves and their organizations.
Employees Being part of a team it’s important that your employees feel good about their accomplishments. And, some of you KNOW there is a healthy “I,” or “It’s about me” component. As long as their goals are aligned with your business goal – embrace it.
Community Business partnerships typically have this emotion as a key component. Professionals want to align themselves with other professionals to make them feel and look better.
Clients It’s my view this is a huge driver of why clients would pick you. They want to WIN. Money, success, prestige… Winning can be defined in many ways. They pay you because they believe you can deliver better than your competition. The key here is understanding why they want to win so it doesn’t become just about the “how” or “what” but that it goes deeper— to help them feel as though they are winning.
Employees Anyone that has invested years of their life in school or learning a profession and skill seeks some level of emotional satisfaction of applying those learned skills to win. If your employees talk about their favorite sports teams and giving each other a healthy hard time – then chances are you have employees who KNOW the feeling of winning and want to align with a team that WINS often.
Community We generally pick our partners because they fulfill a role to help us win more clients. They help improve our bench. Leverage that to help your partners invest more in you and your organization— at the same time— help them FEEL that YOU and YOUR organization will help them achieve their goals too.
Clients This emotion for your clients may depend more on if your product or service helps your client create something. And think about that deeply because many clients are looking for ways to be more innovative. Where ever possible engage your client into your processes and connect your WHOLE team in the emotion that is driving your client.
Employees Curiosity isn’t just for the “creative types.” Accountants, technicians, detailed minded employees play a role of ensuring that your innovations make sense, are profitable, manage risks, and that they happen. That eureka feeling can be very powerful to pushing down decision making and adding fuel to new ideas.
Community For organizations like Iconica, a commercial builder, clearly our key partners are huge to our ability in the design and execution stage. Getting alignment is often the key to execution. Get your partners engaged WITH your client— to carry the same vision and be VERY curious about ways to deliver exceptional value…leverage that eureka feeling as THE common goal.
Clients One way to think of Self-Protection is to manage risks. Bring to your clients the processes and knowledge to cover your clients best interest. The bigger the project typically means the bigger the risks. Have very open and direct conversations with your client to KNOW their business and emotional risk. At the top of the list may be making the wrong decision in who they hire – address that issue upfront.
Let’s face it while many of us want and hope to experience various emotions defined above, the bottom-line is we bring a paycheck home and NEED to feel secure we can keep doing that. Especially in the times we live in today and for many, the fear that the last few years have created in us. I think this is a core emotion for all of us, and employers that can talk directly about what it takes to be a “secure” organization can put the power to be a partner into making that happen.
Community Aligned also with the need to work together and bring home a check, it can be a little harder to share this emotion. It can sound like a weakness to say I need you, or we need each other. The sooner you can…the sooner you can have the conversation on how to work together.
In providing you with this information it is my hope to help you and your team engage each other in ways you may not have yet. It’s my belief that creating an emotional alignment offers a change to build on success. A chance to find that emotion and to… believe.