Congratulations, You Hired the Superstar Employee! Now What?

You’ve done your job well – created a fantastic job description, identified viable candidates, conducted interviews, extended a strong offer of employment and hired the absolute right person for your open position. Congratulations! Your job is done, right?

Wrong. SO wrong.

Successful recruiting is just the beginning.

ctd blogYou must bring your new hire into your organization and give them the tools to do their job in a thoughtful, meaningful way. Effective employee onboarding is absolutely essential to the success of your employee and your business. Here’s why:

In a recent article entitled, “Onboarding Best Practices That Benefit New Hires and Your Business”, Zenefits HR Services outlines the benefit businesses derive from the investment in employee onboarding:

  1. It boosts productivity. Studies show that a strong onboarding program can boost new hire productivity by 70%.
  2. It helps your employee retention rate. Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82%.
  3. It increases employee engagement, which has been shown to contribute to employee happiness, retention and productivity. In fact, highly engaged employees had 147% higher earnings per share than their competition.

So what does a successful onboarding process look like?

Every company is different, and every culture is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all formula. The onboarding process requires thought in its development, preparation in its execution and commitment for the long term. Consider the following areas:

Security/Legality
Proper paperwork should be provided and completed so that your new employee is assured of compensation, benefits and insurance enrollment. Consider providing this packet of paperwork in advance so that the employee’s first day isn’t entirely spent filling out monotonous forms. Call it pre-boarding, if you will!

Tools and Resources
Computer systems, workspaces, passwords, office keys, login credentials. Make sure it’s all set up and ready to roll. Your new hire needs to feel taken care of, right off the bat.

Welcomes/Introductions
Welcoming a new hire is the responsibility of your entire team, not just HR. Consider your company culture and design a welcome that gives new employees a feel for what is in store for them. Have some fun with it! Some ideas, courtesy of Greenhouse:

  • Send an email to the company introducing your new hire. Don’t just limit it to their education and work history—include some additional information about their hometown, favorite sports team, go-to karaoke songs, spirit animal, etc.
  • Make a welcome sign and get everyone from the department (or company) to sign it. Decorate the new hire’s desk.
  • Offer a catered breakfast for the entire class of new hires, team, or office (depending on your company size and budget). Encourage employees to properly welcome and get to know the new hire.

Ongoing Assimilation/Connection
Onboarding isn’t just a first-day event. It’s a process. Foster long-term assimilation of your new hire into to your business, and connectivity with your employees and clients on an ongoing basis. More great ideas from the Greenhouse article, “Think Outside the Box—19 Fun Ways to Onboard New Employees”:

  • Hold a Q&A with a class of new hires and one of the company co-founders to address all questions about the company’s history, vision and direction.
  • Start a buddy program that partners new hires with current employees to give them a familiar face around the office and an opportunity to learn how things work beyond your department.

And lastly, don’t disregard the human factor. Starting a new job can be overwhelming, and everyone processes and acclimates differently. Pay attention to your new hire and the cues they give you. Take the time to get to know them, and guide them through the onboarding process accordingly.

Take the time to successfully onboard, and a happy, productive employee will be your result. Time well spent, indeed.

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Dallas Right Now: August Events We Love

Are you sweltering yet? We are! August is here and here in a big way! Thankfully we have a few ideas to get you out of the heat and having fun in DFW. kayla picnic

2016 Olympic Games – Grill your favorite steak, pour an iced cold beverage and settle into your air-conditioned living room to cheer on our USA athletes as we celebrate the 2016 Olympic Games!

Star Trek or The Secret Life of Pets– Cool off inside one of the metroplex’s great theaters with a cold Dr. Pepper and large popcorn!

NorthPark Auto Show – Want to get a head start on the State Fair Auto Show? Head to NorthPark Center where you will see Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Hennessy Ferrari, Cadillac and other luxurious 2016 and 2017 models. Also on view is an Indy 500 car from Texas Motor Speedway and David Yurman’s custom MV Agusta Brutale motorcycle for a limited time at NorthPark.

til Midnight at the Nasher – Relax and kick back at the Nasher where you can listen to live music starting at 6 p.m., listen to Gollay at 7 p.m. and watch the film, Brooklyn, at 9 p.m.! Now that’s a nice evening in a spectacular setting!

Late Nights at the DMA – While our country’s greatest athletes go for the gold, stay late at the DMA and explore the connection between sports and art with tours, films, and more. Strive for glory and compete in our DMAzing Race for a chance to win your own gold medal. Friday, August 19th from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey:  Circus Xtreme – See high-wire wizards, powerful strongmen, BMX trick riders, trampoline daredevils, inconceivable contortionists, a high-flying human cannonball and a bungee aerial skydiving display provide thrilling entertainment for circus goers, all at the American Airlines Center until August 14th!

Reunion Lawn Party – If you haven’t caught the lawn party at Reunion Tower yet this summer this is your last chance! The lawn at Reunion Tower is put to good use with a stage for live music, plenty of food trucks for grub and grass to go around for your picnic blanket. August 27th at 6:30 p.m.

PokeWalk Dallas at Klyde Warren Park – If you’re still playing Pokemon Go at this point, we applaud your level of commitment. We can’t blame you for wanting to be the best trainer out there and neither can any of the other trainers in Dallas, so a PokeWalk is in order to commemorate the glory that is Pokemon Go. Trainers will meet and mingle, and, of course, catch ’em all. Details here!

Coldplay in concert – Head out to AT&T Stadium on August 27th for a memory-making evening with English rock band Coldplay, back in DFW in support of their 2015 album, A Head Full of Dreams.

Have a fabulous August and enjoy the last few days of summer before school starts!

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Building a Rad Resume

team breakfastYour resume needs to make it past numerous gatekeepers, including Internet filters, HR specialists and recruiters. Before it gets to a hiring manager or a director, you have been vetted multiple times. Follow these rules to make it past the masses and to the interview.

Link it in
Your contact bar should be simple, easy to read and even easier to navigate. Update your information, making it clickable. Use a hyperlink for your email address, so it’s one fewer steps for a hiring manager. Also, include links to relevant and fitting social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter. There is no need to include your full address – city and state is enough.

Spice it up
Move “Times New Roman” to your trash can, and replace it with an updated (yet still standard) typeface. Modern examples include Cambria, Calibri or Georgia. Monster expands on the list offering Verdana, Garamond, Book Antiqua, Arial Narrow, Didot and Trebuchet MS as alternatives. You can use stylized typefaces in moderation, if the job allows for more creativity. Show your personality and style by using a script or decorative font style. Keeping your profession and industry standards in mind, consider adding a pop of color. A gender-neutral orange, blue or green is a great option for your name and title bars.

Delete the objective
You’re applying for a job. The objective is implied. Get rid of the objective statement or section; it’s just a waste of space, and it will make you look outdated. If you have the extra space, add a two-sentence description of yourself. This summary can include years of experience, major achievements or impressive titles. Think of this as a teaser to your bio, and remember brevity is key.

Remove the obvious (or not so obvious)
The Ladders gives a list of 16 things you should delete from a modern day resume, besides the objective statement. Be sure not to include: a head shot, inappropriate email addresses, multiple phone numbers, personal details (like nationality, political affiliation or spiritual beliefs), current employer’s contact info, references or salary history.

Give specifics
Include examples of the work you did at each position, not just the title. What were your responsibilities and how did you make an impact on your company? If you achieved specific goals or results, mention them. Did you manage or participate in any special projects?

Write for the future, not the past
Forbes says, “a resume is a marketing document, not a historical record. Your current career goals should always determine which parts of your story to highlight and which to minimize.”

Channel your inner fourth-grade grammar teacher

  • Do not make spelling mistakes. Just don’t do it. Use spell check. Ask someone to proof your finished document. Use Google to check the context, definition and spelling of a word. There is no excuse.
  • Check your grammar. Read your resume out loud, slowly … twice. Make sure it is coherent and your commas and periods are in the right place. Speaking of periods, make sure you have a complete sentence before you add one to the end. Write complete thoughts and avoid any slangs or shortened, texting-style words.
  • Don’t write your resume in first person. Do a document search, and make sure the words I, me, us or we have not been found. To maintain professionalism, resumes should always be written in third person. Try to keep it neutral. If you are struggling, just use an “implied I,” or begin your sentence with a gerund. Check out Grammar Girl for a few more tips on writing.

Format for the maximized space

  • Keep your resume as short as possible. This can be accomplished with columns, text boxes and careful use of all white space. Be intentional with paragraph breaks and spacing. Your page is precious real estate. Don’t ignore the rest of the page.
  • Format with bold words, small caps or all caps to make sections stand out from the main body. Guide the reader’s eye, by highlighting key specifics.
  • Also, don’t make formatting mistakes. Check spaces and tabs. Make sure typefaces are a consistent size. Money and Career CheatSheet says, “make sure everything is properly aligned and the spacing is consistent. Try to avoid “orphans” – those one or two straggler words that spill over into a new line of text, since they take up valuable space.”

Beat the robots
Money Magazine says, “many medium and large companies use software to weed out candidates. Your resume will need the right keywords to get through, so mirror the language of the job posting and pay attention to detail. Changing something as simple as ‘customer service’ to ‘client relations’ can get your resume approved or rejected.” Check out Next Avenue’s “24 Best Resume Key Words” for more to include.

Read and learn more
Money Magazine offers these tips to modernize your resume.

And if you have questions, contact us. We are here to help connect you with the right job and the right employer.

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Top Tip to Simplify Your Search for Top Talent

image1(2)In an articled titled “how to write good job descriptions that attract great candidates,” the author stated, “a job description is an employer’s sales pitch to candidates. You’ve got to make them descriptive enough to get a candidate’s attention, and interesting enough to keep it.”

LinkedIn offers five tips to writing the best possible job description: define both the job and the ideal candidate; write in a conversational tone of voice avoiding jargon and ‘corporate-speak;’ show candidates how important the role is to the company; use well-understood and simple job titles; and enlist technology to simplify the application process.

That is a lot to consider, but don’t be overwhelmed. Follow this simple outline by TalentMarket: start with a hook (to capture attention); answer what needs to be done (and why this position is important); give information on who would be the best person to do it; and tell them how to put their name in the hat.

A little more on being real

In today’s job market, honesty wins. You must say exactly what you need … and say it specifically. Every position requires individualized personality traits and work experience. If attributes like high energy, team player, intuitive or decisive are necessary, you must say so as soon as possible. Do not wait until the interview process (or even worse, once the person is hired). Use real words and real expectations. Avoid corporate descriptions that don’t have practical application. Be upfront, and you will be rewarded with a quality candidate who can meet the expectations.

Here’s an example: “You have to be quick in our office. If you hear something once, you need to remember it and be ready to for the next steps. This position does not offer a significant amount of oversight. You must be comfortable with making your own decisions and confident enough to execute your plan.”

Additionally, your word choice should represent the culture of your office. Write like you would speak in meetings, not what you’ve copy and pasted from a hiring manual. Keep in mind the formality and nature of the business. If you veer too far from that, you will encourage the wrong candidates. Stick to core values and write in a tone of voice that captures the daily environment at the office.

We love this examples from LinkedIn’s blog: “instead of writing, ‘we have a dedicated team,’ try something like, ‘our engineering team members are hardcore, full-out coders. Because, they know what they do every day makes a difference (plus, they love to code).” These words convey excitement and give a real sense of what’s it like to work there.

Use creative technology

Consider using a short, simple and personalized video to provide the description and advertise the opening. This allows potential candidates to basically hear everything you would share in the beginning of an interview. Potential hires will come into the meeting with an understanding of expectations and requirements, while knowing if they would be a fit to work that environment. And, candidates can vet themselves before a formal interview. If you choose to utilize this technology, it’s important to do the video well. You want an articulate, personality-appropriate person to be the face of the company. A little planning, and this can be done well and prove incredibly effective.  CIO says video descriptions are “ a major differentiator, and candidates definitely take notice.”

The rulebook

RecruiterBox gives a few basics rules: always have the job description vetted by someone who has already worked in that role to ensure you’ve provided a realistic and an accurate representation; keep the description between 700-2,000 words (or 500-1,500, as we suggest); and give as many specifics as possible like hours, telecommuting options, availability of an onsite employee lounge, gym or childcare, benefits and pay scale.

Lastly, as CIO points out, “Candidates are judging your firm on the tiniest details. Make sure you spell-check, do a grammar check and proofread your job description. Then, go back and do it again.

Have questions? We are here to answer them. Let us know how we can help you craft your job descriptions to ensure you get the right candidate in the role!

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