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Keeping Quality Employees During Organizational Changes

Organizational changes are a necessary part of any company. The needs and objectives of all businesses evolve over time, and with those changes come shifts in the number of employees needed, the types of employees needed and even the locations of said employees. When organizational changes take place, however, it can be difficult to retain the high-quality employees that are a part of your company. Many people assume that important titles and higher salaries are the biggest draw, but that is a common misconception. Money plays a factor, of course, but employees also appreciate an enjoyable work environment, flexibility in their daily schedules and a firm understanding of where they stand in the company.

Outline Their Position Clearly
The number one complaint that employees specify during and after major organizational changes is that they don’t understand where they fit in the new structure. When employees don’t see their value or their position in the structure, it can feel overwhelming. This is often when quality members of a company look elsewhere for more clearly defined roles. In order to keep employees, it is important to clearly outline their new position, as well as how it relates to others within the company.

Specify Clear Objectives and Long-Term Goals
Employees, just like all humans, want something to work towards. As soon as organizational changes are implemented, they should have specific objectives. These might be quotas for sales over the next 90 days, but they should also be long-term over the next two or even five years. This helps them feel like a more permanent part of the business.

Create Opportunities For Flexibility
One of the key ways to appease employees after an organizational change is to give them greater opportunities for schedule flexibility. It has been shown time and time again that employees who are able to work from home one or two days a week complete just as much work, but feel happier about the privilege. Flexible hours are another alternative that might work for your employees.

Keeping high-quality employees can be a struggle at all times, but it is especially challenging after organizational changes. These tips can ensure that you keep your most valued staff.

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Top 5 Warning Signs on an Applicant’s Resume

Every hiring manager has a different checklist of what they are looking for in a potential employee. You might be searching for someone with years of experience in a big firm, or you might be looking for an applicant that has mastered social media for a marketing position. The first way to find information about applicants is through their resumes, but it is also the first place to dismiss applicants entirely. Here are the top five warning signs on an applicant’s resume that you shouldn’t ignore.

1. Generic Resume
If the resume you are reading looks like it could have been sent to any employment agency, it probably has been. Skip over the generic resumes, because this means that applicants are probably not specifically interested in the position they are applying for. Choose instead individuals who have customized their resume to reflect the career that they are truly passionate about.

2. Spelling Mistakes or Typos
Many individuals argue that if the job doesn’t require writing, then spelling shouldn’t matter on a resume. However, not properly proofreading something as important as a resume shows that the applicant does not pay attention to detail.

3. Unprofessional Resume
An unprofessional resume could range from one with a big picture of the applicant, to one that has a juvenile email address. It is also common for applicants to try to stand out with large fonts or cheesy introductions. Don’t dismiss creativity, but seek out tasteful and interesting resumes rather than ones that stand out for all the wrong reasons.

4. Long Resumes
One of the most common problems for applicants is creating unnecessarily long resumes. Although two pages is still considered to be acceptable in most cases, skip over those that take up three or more pages. This length means that applicants can’t prioritize what is most important.

5. Unexplained Career Gaps
In most cases, short career gaps less than three months are planned or due to the economy. However, be wary of applicants who don’t explain long gaps between jobs. Those who do have gaps should explain their reasons – whether that might be pregnancy, military service or online certifications.

It’s not always easy to whittle down a list of candidates and find the right employee. By eliminating those resumes containing these five warning signs, the process will be much simpler.

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The Importance of Employee Retention in a Healthy Economy

Human Resource metrics can reveal information that can help your organization identify the causes and patterns of employee turnover. Employee retention is again becoming a problem for employers. During recent economic trouble, employees were staying put, but now, the economic climate is improving, and employers must take a serious look at how to retain their best talent.

In November of 2011, an online survey indicated that more than 84 percent of employees wanted to find new jobs. This survey was conducted on a cross-section of 1,000 people across the United States and Canada. Another survey conducted by Mercer revealed a shocking revelation: Workers planned to search for a new job. The initial survey was done in 2005, and the numbers indicated that 23 percent of workers wanted to search for a new job. In 2010, the numbers had jumped from 23 percent to 32 percent.

Human Resource professionals must measure voluntary turnover versus involuntary turnover. In short, turnover simply means the number of employees that stay in an organization versus the number that leave the organization. The focus should primarily be on the voluntary turnover. Employers have to take a serious look at retention. Some turnover is healthy; it helps weed out the low performers and trouble makers, but how does an organization know how much is healthy?

HR professionals must benchmark the turnover in their organizations to determine what level of turnover is harmful to the business. One way to improve retention is to improve hiring practices. Hiring the right people is a significant way to improve employee retention. Bringing candidates in for a multiple-interview process can produce better hires.

HR professionals must keep an eye on those employees that are most likely to leave. This requires being in sync with the morale and engagement of top performers. Exit interviews are one important way to get feedback on why an employee is leaving the company.

Research has indicated that an exit interview done immediately after leaving the company will be more negative than one done several months later. There is more emotion involved immediately after exiting the company. Employers must look at the data of retaining top employees. Employee turnover is costly, and it impacts the bottom line of the organization.

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“Can I Tweet You My Resume?” The Tension Between Social Media and Professionalism

There is no question that marketing a business in today’s world involves some kind of social media outreach. Whether you are recruiting interns via tweets, using hashtags to draw awareness to a new advertising campaign or hoping that a popular video uploaded to Facebook goes viral and spreads the word about your brand, you can’t avoid social media. If you are searching for a job, you might think seriously about erasing your Facebook profile before you start sending in applications. However, there are ways to utilize social media platforms like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook and still maintain a professional online appearance.

Keep LinkedIn Completely Professional: No Cat Memes or Funny Pictures Here
Although employers don’t expect applicants to be professional in every single aspect of their lives, LinkedIn is still one social media platform where professionalism should be embraced wholeheartedly. Keep your resume up to date, truthful and free from grammatical errors. Skip updates about unrelated topics, and don’t spend time chatting with friends or sharing political views. Facebook and Twitter are still acceptable places to express personality, but a LinkedIn profile should remain 100-percent dedicated to your career objectives, goals and job search.

“Like” Less on Facebook: Your Friends Will Understand
You might be surprised at what comes up when you click “like” on Facebook. Even if you carefully delete any unprofessional photos and limit who can post to your wall, the things that you click to “like” can still pop up when employers search through your profile or look at your recent activity.

Apply For Jobs Traditionally, Follow Up Using Social Media
Social media can open new doors to job opportunities, but don’t push too hard with nontraditional methods. If you see a job advertised on Twitter, don’t engage in an abbreviated conversation online with a hiring manager. Search for the company, click to see job openings and proceed through the traditional channels. If several days pass without a confirmation, a follow-up Tweet or private Facebook message might be acceptable.

Although social media obviously has a place in marketing, in business advertising and in finding new employment positions, it is still important to maintain professionalism. These tips can come in handy whether you are holding onto you existing job or looking for a new one.

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Business Casual Communication: The Art of Relating to Employees

Learning to effectively communicate with staff is an essential step towards maintaining a successful business. In fact, a broad range of employee issues including performance, attendance, productivity and morality can all be tied back to communication. These five tips will help your company master the art of relating to employees:

Schedule biweekly check-ins. Having informal one-on-one conversations every other week with staff that report directly to you can be a great way to track their progress and get employee feedback. If an employee is experiencing an issue with a shift lead or coworker, you can identify the problem early and address it before it becomes a major issue. This is also a good time to communicate to the employee what is expected of them.

Have team meetings. Having weekly or daily team meetings is a great way to begin a shift. During this meeting, take some time to discuss the shift goals, operating plan or challenges for the day. This meeting should be brief, no longer than 10 or 15 minutes, and it should focus on communicating important events to employees, keeping them focused and motivating them for the shift ahead.

Hold Quarterly Q&A sessions. Once each quarter, consider holding a company-wide meeting where employees from all levels can openly ask questions. If employees seem reluctant to participate, try allowing them to submit questions anonymously prior to the meeting.

Email Often. While communicating in-person is a much more personable approach to relating to employees, email is another option that should be utilized. When working with a large number of employees, it can be challenging to plan meetings that each employee can attend. Sending electronic memos to staff and department leaders allows you to bypass this issue.

Be accessible. Streamline employee access to the human resources department by providing a single email address that they can send inquiries to. Once this process is established, let employees know that their opinions matter by providing a specific time frame for their response.

Creating a culture that is straightforward and transparent about all aspects of the business, including challenges and financial information, may boost employee moral and potentially reduce turnover.

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Growing a Diverse Company: Dos and Don’ts for Attracting Talent

With today’s workforce growing at an unprecedented rate, attracting and retaining top talent is becoming increasingly competitive. Not only that, the popularity of social media platforms is changing the way businesses communicate with potential candidates. Here are some simple dos and don’ts for attracting top talent in your industry.

Identify what you want. The first step in recruiting top talent is identifying exactly what your company is looking for. Work with multiple departments to ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of what qualities the candidate must have and which duties they are expected to perform.

Remember to be flexible. Showing potential candidates what your company can offer them is just as important as what they can offer you. While compensation is a primary concern for most candidates, other factors such as room for growth, personal development opportunities and advancement opportunities are equally important. Offering perks like flex-time, personal development workshops or job skill training can help your company attract better talent.

Make a strong impression. Your current employees and work environment make up the first impression that potential candidates have of what working with your company will be like. If your employees are unhappy, that sends a negative message to potential talent and may drive some highly qualified candidates away from your company. On the other hand, if your employees appear happy, they are more likely to envision themselves working for your company.

Do not underpay your employees. With high unemployment rates and fierce job competition in many industries, it may be tempting to underpay new employees. While this may work for a while, the employee will likely leave the company once the job market begins to recover, and they are offered a better position.

Do not be passive. Once you have posted a position to your company website, it is time to get out and pursue the talent that you are looking for. Do not sit and wait for them to come to you. Social media websites including Facebook, LinkedIn and even Twitter offer great opportunities to take the search beyond your geographic area and reach global talent.