Some companies have a reputation for being a great place to work – Facebook and Google are the two most popular and well-known examples. But a company doesn’t have to be a huge multi-billion dollar enterprise to be a great place to work. Small, medium and large businesses of all industries have a lot to offer their employees. What can we learn from the top companies’ practices to create an environment that employees love working in every day? Let’s start with these 6 factors:
- Benefits. Number one on many job seekers list, good benefits are mandatory for companies to be considered a desirable place to work. Health, dental, massage, eye care, family plans, a pension plan, vacation days and sick time… the list goes on.
- Salary. Right next to benefits is how much money the job offers. A competitive salary will draw in top quality applicants and keep workers happy. Being stressed about finances or covering basic needs is not going to make an employee happy about their company.
- Flexibility. Being able to telecommute, work from home a few days a week, or work flexible hours can help to handle everyday stress and contribute to a healthy work-life balance. A company that can be flexible with its hours is one that cares about its employees’ well-being. Giving time for people getting over a personal tragedy or getting adjusted after maternity leave shows the company has a lot of empathy.
- Management. The people you work with every day have a huge effect on how you perceive your company, and how satisfied you are with your job. A boss from hell can make your life miserable, no matter how good a pension the company offers. Incompetent managers, micro-managing, unclear corporate structure or too many managers can all lead to a toxic workplace. On the other hand, a manager that communicates well, listens to his/her employees, and provides helpful feedback and advice will increase productivity, employee retention and help create a positive environment.
- Training. Training should be ongoing – starting with teaching new hires how the company works and what is expected of them, and continuing with improving the skills and knowledge of long-term employees. Opportunities for growth and learning are something most people look for to feel satisfied in their career. Paying for workers to attend workshops, conferences or courses to upgrade their certifications or degrees benefits both the company and the employee.
- Small perks. Creating an everyday office culture that give benefits to workers provides a sense of overall happiness and good will. Little things like weekly free lunches, a stocked beverage fridge, family events or a daycare show an appreciation for employees and make a workplace less stressful.
- Corporate responsibility. While the above points are all great ideas, it is important to consider the company’s products, services, stance on major topics like sustainability, and their treatment of clients or customers. Being able to respect a company’s overall vision and high-level decisions are key to retaining employees that will be proud of who they work for.
A win-win situation is in a salary negotiation is when the candidate feels valued, the employer feels they are getting value and both feel they are in a long term relationship, not short term ‘settling’, whether for a low-paying job on one side, or an overpaid unknown on the other. Salaries affect the entire organization on many levels: financial, staff morale, work culture and quality of employee among others. Review the organization’s pay system and methodology on a regular basis to ensure you are staying current.
- Know what type of salary the candidate will expect, whether asking in the job posting, or by learning how much they earned previously while reference checking. Don’t be blindsided by what a candidate asks for.
- Research the typical salary range in the industry, job level and location. Know if you are offering more or less than the going rate. The candidate will likely have done this research as well.
- Expect tough negotiations from more experienced, higher level candidates – and after all the scrutinizing, fact-checking and interviewing this stage of the process needs concentration. Know your highest number and all salary information before going into negotiations. Even if the salary isn’t negotiable, prepare to discuss benefits, paid time off, tuition assistance, signing bonus, car allowance, cell phone, and any other possible perk
- Clearly communicate those benefits to any candidate: people value perks and benefits such as health care as much as a higher salary. If they are not clear on what is being offered, they may ask for a higher pay.
- Even if you have to start over with a new candidate, stay within the organization’s limits. This will potentially save years of headaches, both financially and among staff who may feel slighted.
- What are the company’s expectations for the new employee? Instead of risking overpaying by having expectations that are too high, have a salary review in 3 or 6 months to discuss performance and possible pay increases.
- Think long term: perhaps in today’s economy you can get away with paying highly skilled people less, but they will always be looking for better opportunities down the road.
- Consider work culture: competitive environment, or team atmosphere? The pay system has a huge impact on how employees interact and treat one another.
- What are the HR strategies? Are you tasked with attracting an elite, highly skilled workforce? You may need to offer higher than the industry standard. If cheap labour and a high turnover is not a problem, than pay less.
- Consider pay as an incentive to motivate staff. Carefully weigh everyone’s base salaries, wage
- increases and bonus pay. By rewarding one worker will you be de-motivating others who have worked hard? Or by rewarding everyone equally, do you lessen the motivation of a star employee?
- Have a clear pay philosophy. Don’t publicize individual salaries, but make the reasons and methods behind determining pay transparent and consistent.
- One successful method is to have set salary ranges for each level within the organization. More qualified, experienced and skilled employee will earn at the higher end of the range, while newer employees will likely start at the low end. These helps keep everyone on the same footing, while allowing for salary increases and negotiations within a particular range.
Remember that no one wins if one party ‘loses’ the salary negotiation. Either the company is paying too much, or the employee is unhappy with their wage. Always strive for a win-win approach.
HireGround Software Solutions is attending both the BCHRMA (www.bchrma.org) and HRIA (www.hria.ca) Conferences in Vancouver and Edmonton, respectively. We invite anyone interested in more information on either our Applicant Tracking Software and related HR tools or the HireGround Job Board to stop by our booth. We will be in booth 312 at the BCHRMA Conference and in booth 223 at the HRIA Conference. If you wish more information on our ATS products, please visit www.HireGroundSoftware.com to view a complete listing of our product line with contacts. To see more information on the HireGround Technical Job Board visit www.HGcareers.com.
For those who are new to our job board and have a in excess of 15 positions to fill, we offer a one month trial on the HireGround Job Board free of charge. The HireGround Job Board focuses on the energy, mining, engineering, manufacturing, construction, and other skilled trade industries.
Our Applicant Tracking Software is a ”best of breed” recruitment software with full function for managing the intake of your jobs for one or more divisions. There are many unique configurations available for a host of needs for a host of industries or variable company sizes. We pride ourselves on our excellent support and service.
We look forward to seeing you at one or both conferences.
Hiring for the IT industry comes with it’s own tricks: computer-savvy tech support and programmers have their own lingo and live in a completely different world than those not in IT; the IT industry is it’s own culture, from languages (HTML, C++, VisualBasic…) to sense of humour to dress style to acceptable attitudes.
Hiring those the IT industry has two major niches: those who specialize in IT, and the IT workers. Those who specialize in IT include salesmen, directors, SEOs, Marketing specialists… you know, people who could do well in any industry but chose to go into IT. The IT professionals are the computer programmers, app developers, network analysts… the ones who get nitty-gritty with the hardware and software that make up technology. Hiring IT professionals can be a little tricky.
IT professionals are in high demand: their knowledge and expertise are specialized and very focused – it has to be. Each area of the IT world could be a world in and of itself – that’s what makes hiring for it so tricky. People who can not only understand this world but also work well with those outside it are of great value: it’s not the kind of thing a person could pick up in a few hours on a free Saturday night (not that we’d want to).
But there are a few guidelines that, if you stick to them, will wield fabulous results when hiring IT workers:
- Willing to learn: if your candidate enjoys their area of IT, be it programming or network analysis, that’s great, but make sure they are willing to learn. This means they will likely keep up with industry trends, the latest and greatest. IT is an ever-evolving field: those unwilling to keep their skills up aren’t going to survive, and will likely bring down the company they work for.
- Actively listen: it’s an unfair stereotype of the IT industry, but the concern still stands: if your candidate thinks they know it all and can do everything, beware! Every employee needs to have humility and accept their limitations. If an IT candidate doesn’t actively listen, they will be difficult to integrate into the workplace.
- Ask questions: this adds on to active listening, but deserves mentioning on it’s own: unless your candidate is a new grad, beware if s/he doesn’t ask questions. New grads tend to be easily intimidated, being unfamiliar with the corporate world, and that’s okay: it’s the seasoned professionals that should be asking questions. They should be just as interested in making sure the position is right for them as you are in filing the position with the right person!
- Express themselves: IT professionals are generally great at taking direction because they like to solve problems. Where they flounder a little is in communicating, especially when they are dissatisfied with something. Typically IT professionals will try and let something that dissatisfies them blow over, so even a little expression of themselves is huge for an IT professional: don’t expect a lot in this area, and make special note when an IT professional does express their concerns!
- Sense of humour: Most IT professionals have a great sense of humour, and is often necessary in the industry because of the technical nature of IT, so be careful of those that don’t have a sense of humour; they can often be embittered easily, and embitterment combined with lack of expression is a dangerous thing.
Those are the top five things we consider to be important guidelines for anyone hiring an IT professional. Are there any that you’ve come across that you would like to see in this list? Let us know in the comments below
“People want someone that they can open up to and being too professional can cause awkwardness between recruiter [or hiring manager] and candidate. They want to know that you are truly listening to them and not just there for the business. If a candidate tells you that they don’t want to relocate and you later send him information on a job in China, he WILL spit on your grave.
This is not to say that you should change your personality in order to be a better recruiter. If a candidate mentions that he is all about harpooning whales and that is not your thing, simply change the subject to find something different to connect with. If harpooning whales is also your forte, then you have something to talk about that will cause the candidate to trust you and all others to be scared of you. Recruiting is about connecting to a person and trying to find the right fit for him. Lying in order to accomplish this does not build trust.”
Thanks Michael Stoyanoff over at the ERE Community for this expert about “Creating Good Candidate Karma“.
First impressions are important; I don’t think this is a big shock to anyone reading this blog. But just as you would want candidates to remain truthful on their résumé, in the interview, and on the job, candidates want you to be honest when you write the job posting, conduct the interview, and manage them in their position (if that is what you end up doing).
Don’t forget – your candidate is also a customer. If they have bad experience with your company, they’ll vent about it their friends and family, turning those potential customers off of your business too.
While uncertainty in the job market continues to persist, 52 percent of employees report they were approached by another employer with a possible job offer within the past 12 months, according to a new study from Right Management. Right Management is the talent and career management unit within Manpower, a global provider of employment services.
The firm analyzed responses from more than 3,000 individuals throughout North America via an online poll conducted in partnership with LinkedIn.
“Our findings suggest there’s some movement in the job market and that employment prospects are beginning to improve,” said Owen Sullivan, chief executive officer at Right Management. “This is further confirmed by research from Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey, which showed that as many as 18 percent of U.S. employers anticipate an increase in new hires during the third quarter.”
Read the entire article on Talent Management