The Almighty Referral: It’s All About Who You Know

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It’s no surprise that many companies offer compensation for employee referrals when they account for nearly half of new hires (even at a 4% application rate). According to Jobvite, 67% of employers and recruiters said the recruiting process was shorter, and 51% said it was less to expensive to recruit via referrals. Sales positions are the most common roles hired by employee referrals, followed by engineering and customer service roles.

Here are a few reasons employee referrals significantly benefit your workforce:

A-Team. Like-minded people attract like-minded people. Your employees know what kind of company they work for and who would thrive best in that environment. They also know that anyone they refer is a reflection of themselves so they recommend only the most viable candidates. Employee referral programs not only show higher engagement of current employees but also encourage long-term engagement of those hired from that referral.

Timing. Applicants hired from employee referrals will start their positions almost twice as fast and those who applied through a career site. This means everything when you have to hire a quality candidate in a pinch!

Productivity. Statistics show that those recruited through employee referral programs yield higher rates of productivity than those recruited via job boards or career sites.

Turn Over. Employee referrals tend to stay longer than those hired through job boards or career sites. Over three years longer to be exact—which will save you both time and money.

While job boards and career sites provide a mass quantity candidate pool, employee referrals yield more qualified applicants. If your organization doesn’t offer an employee referral program, consider implementing one. Even small things like recognition awards, bonuses, and prime parking spaces could attract and entice more A players for your team.

Chris Barton to Present at the Chester County Human Resources Association

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Later this month, Chris Barton, the Founder & Managing Director of Barton Career Advisors will be presenting at the Chester County Human Resources Association’s September Breakfast Meeting. As a recruitment leader at the Outside-In Companies & founder of a talent management company, Chris is just the guy to present The 27 Factors Influencing Talent.

Tickets are available from CCHRA for members, non-members, students, and those in-transition. As an Adjunct Faculty Member at Villanova University (the sponsor of the seminar on September 26), Chris developed a full curriculum on the topic for the MS HR Development Graduate Program. He has transformed the subject matter into to a very informative 1-hour presentation.

When: Friday, September 26th » 7:30–9:30 AM
Where: Whitford Country Club
600 Whitford Hills Road, Exton, PA 19341
Price: Members: $25; Non-members: $40; Student & In-trans: $15.00
Credit: This program has been submitted for HRCI approval.
Register Here.

About the Topic
The 27 Factors Affecting Your Talent Strategy: Defining the talent picture that will support the strategic objectives of an organization is perhaps one of the most vexing challenges facing today’s HR professionals. Over the past two decades there have been marked shifts in the perspectives of individual jobs seekers, organizational complexity, trends related to globalization, the nature of the employment relationship, rising healthcare/employment costs and a host of other factors. Finding talent is more challenging than it has ever been. There are 27 complex factors that affect the talent strategy picture in today’s marketplace.

About Chris Barton
Chris Barton is the founder and Managing Partner of outplacement and career transition firm Barton Career Advisors and a Group Leader for the OutsideIn® Companies which includes recruitment solutions firm CBI Group and contingent workforce firm Placers. Chris is a former Fortune 100 financial services executive and has more than 20 years of experience working with professionals of all levels at some of the nation’s top companies. Chris is a highly sought talent expert, HR consultant and speaker.

Are You a Sales Person or Are You a Consultant?

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Salespeople and consultants have a lot in common. While both strive to improve their client’s business performance, each take a different approach to providing their client with the best experience possible. Here are how salespeople and consultants differ when it comes to how they approach the overall client process:

A salesperson asks for the order. A consultant is helpful along the way, making little problems disapear and providing insights and information that guide the buying process.

A salesperson chases the customer. A consultant thinks ahead and has the time scheduled because of the value they can create with the insights and information they provide.

A salesperson can’t get customers to call them back and often quits on the 3rd, 4th, or 5th effort. A consultant understands human nature and the modern workplace and they know it is their role to be visible and to connect appropriately with their customer.

A salesperson asks, “Do you need anything else or do you have all the information you need?” A consultant knows what the customer needs and wants and they offer it up.

ID-100163128A salesperson asks what the next step is. A consultant shares all of the steps with the customer in advance.

A salesperson cannot understand why a customer did not buy. A consultant advises the customer that their solution is not the right one. Yet gets them to the right solution anyway.

A salesperson is a stereotype. They are selfish and take orders. A consultant is also a stereotype. They are selfish, guiding, disruptive, and knowledgeable.

A salesperson is not on sales quota. A consultant earns their clients but wins in the long run.

Are you a salesperson or a consultant? Which would you rather be?

Should You Let Your Employees Work from Home?

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Last year, when Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer proclaimed that employees would no longer be able to work from home, the great debate began of whether or not remote employees help or hinder business productivity. Many employers started questioning what their employees were really doing at home and if it was ultimately costing their business money.

However, Telework Coalition research showed that productivity rose 22% for those who began working remotely. Gallup also recently reported an interesting statistic that those who work remotely from time to time are over 18% more engaged than those who don’t. However, engagement steadily decreases the more time is spent off site. Be careful!

At Placers, our employees can Earn the Right to work remotely either on a one-day-a-week schedule or on occasion. We believe that if planned and executed correctly, a remote schedule is an excellent perk and incentive to help motivate employees and boost morale.

Here are a few tips for having success when offering remote work days as a perk:

Plan. Create a schedule that works for everybody. If you’re in a smaller office environment, schedule remote days so that each team is represented and not all members of one team are working from home on one particular day. Create a weekly meeting for each team so that all members are on the same page and each person is aware of their responsibilities and deadlines.

Communicate. The biggest key to ensuring that remote employment works is to have Open Book communication. At Placers, we use several tools to stay connect. From conference calling to Google Hangout, we make sure that we check in with our teams daily to provide a systematic approach to knowing what’s going on in the business and with each other.

Trust. The biggest issue with letting your employees work from home is whether or not you trust what they are actually doing behind closed doors. Some studies have shown that people do laundry, run errands, and even play video games during their remote time. If you trust your employees and they are self-sufficient, then letting them work from home should not be an issue. Be wary of giving the privilege of working remote to those who need to be closely managed or those who frequently miss deadlines.

All in all, incorporating a remote schedule into your business depends on the work environment and the culture of your company. If your team can actively communicate and trust one another to be productive in the comfort of their own home, then give it a try!

How to Save a Disengaged Employee

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by Greg Moore, Customer Relationship Manager

Think back to the last time you hired someone new into your organization. You went through a process, perhaps a lengthy one that that, to select and to onboard this new employee. Conversations were filled with high hopes and great expectations. She seemed delighted to be part of the team and you were happy to have someone with her skills join the organization.

After the initial euphoria ends, the focus is on the needs of the business and the contributions of the new employee. If all goes as planned, she will fit in well and make solid contributions to the success of the enterprise. That’s why you hired her, right? It’s great when it works.

Unfortunately, for some, the “honeymoon” is brief and within a few months performance issues become apparent. Regardless of whether the issues started revealing themselves “on your watch” or if they have been ignored in the past, they can’t continue to be overlooked. Whether the issue is tardiness, absenteeism, low productivity, or any of several others, it is important to begin documenting the poor performance as early as it is detected. You should hold conversations with the employee to ascertain what could be driving this behavior. Ideally, something can be discovered that will rectify the current condition and put the employee back on a good path. If not, a record of these performance discussions might become extremely important. It is even possible, should things truly deteriorate, that these documents could find their way to a courtroom or other venue.  So, document well and write for a broader audience.

Make no mistake, your goal as a manager should be to turn around the employee’s performance and help her find her way back to a maximum level of productivity. So, while the reality of the matter is the exercise of documenting any and all performance conversations could become crucial at some future date, any manager’s first efforts should go toward trying to assist this employee. You want her to succeed and you need to find out why that is not happening.

Here are some simple steps to take to make the meeting with this employee as productive as possible:

  • Hold the meeting in private without distractions and interruptions.
  • Include a third party in the meeting who could be a good listener and help offer suggestions. This person can’t be someone who is viewed as threatening by the employee.  It could be someone from Human Resources or another manager. It is not a “representative” – that is, someone who is there to speak for her and negotiate. That is a different type of meeting.
  • Assure a comfortable setting. Coffee, soda, water – whatever. Everyone should relax a bit.
  • Introduce the meeting with a simple statement such as, “Molly, I have been concerned about some things and I wanted to talk it over with you and see if we can find a better path.”
  • Prepare and present examples of the poor performance.
  • Allow the employee ample time to respond. Let her speak without interruption. Even if what you hear sounds like excuses to you – let her speak and “get it out.”
  • Document what she is saying, taking good notes as she speaks, and summarize her comments back to her saying, “So, Molly, what I hear you saying is……”
  • Ask the employee for improvement ideas – what can she do to improve?
  • Close the meeting with at least one or two clear next steps that will be taken.
  • Agree to meet again and select the time for the next meeting right here while in this meeting. This allows little confusion as to timelines – we will meet again at this time to discuss progress on these issues.

Sound easy? Sometimes. Let’s hope that all she needed was some direction and a little nudge. If not, well, more on that in a future blog.

Outside-In® Summer Reading List

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Summer reading is a part of the fabric that defines my free time as well as my summer vacation. The challenge is to decide how to recharge and rejuvenate with that precious time off. Do I really want to read an industry publication or study for that upcoming webinar to keep continuing education credits flowing? It’s not that I don’t like my industry or chosen profession, I just need space and time to decompress. The more space I can create or make more time to think, the more likely I am to find new ideas and thoughts that help with my day-to-day work!

However, sometimes it’s hard to get away without our smart phones tethered to our hand 24/7—we all have to find some compromise, right? The very device that lets you order pizza while on vacation or text the teenagers to find out when they will be home is the same piece of technology that pings every time there is a new email and some work issue that either ruins your vacation mood or requires immediate attention!

I once heard the pile of unread business magazines, articles, books, and white papers on your nightstand or work station referred to as the tower of guilt! I, for one, feel good when I take that pile of work and plow through it. Sometimes I read three or four books at the same time in rotation just to change topics for the sake of staying current. However, this is not the approach I like to take for summertime reading.

So if you’re trying too hard to work and want to recharge while coming back with a new perspective on your business, here are my top three must reads:

ID-1001841481. Anything by Gladwell. Malcom not only sees the world differently, but he does the research to back it up. Try The Tipping PointWhat the Dog Saw, or my all time favorite, The Outliers. If you want to think about your business place in a different way, try escaping to the world that Malcom creates!

2.  How to Win Friends and Influence People. So many smart people know something about their field of study or the technical aspects of their profession yet few invest in their relationships.  No books exists that is more time tested for helping you with tools and tips for great human relations skills!

3.  Zen and the Art of Happiness. Everyone gets down in the dumps from time to time. As Dale Carnegie is for great human relationships this book is for realigning your perspective on your daily life. Things happen to us each and everyday, it is what we do next that matters.

If you have a book that recharges and lifts your energy while helping you reflect and improve your business or your leadership persona please let us know!