Posts Tagged ‘Employment’

The Recruiting Process: Balance Your Needs with Those of the Job Candidate

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Industry

Sometimes employers become overly egocentric when it comes to recruiting, deciding that in a weak economy they have the pick of the litter when it comes to job seekers. However, job seekers are often no better at focusing their resumes around the old-fashioned idea of an objective and expecting employers to meet their personal needs by offering them their dream job.

The fact of the matter is that recruiting needs to be a give-and-take situation. That doesn’t mean one side gives and the other takes. It means there should be a balance on both sides.

In the article, “The Importance of the Give-and-Take Job Interview,” writer and human resources consultant Deborah S. Hildebrand suggests

… job seekers (and employers) should focus on creating the type of give-and-take environment that naturally lends itself to a quality fact-finding session. Because that is what job interviews are supposed to be all about. It’s just business professionals gathering information.

In a truly idyllic job interview, both sides would feel confident in what they bring to the table and be able to discuss openly the benefit of what they each offer. It would be, as Hildebrand suggests, a more level playing field.

For employers, writer and speaker John Picoult sees it this way in his article, “Does your Hiring Process Sentence Applicants to Hard Labor?” Employers need to consider how their company treats customers and apply these same rules to job seekers. After all, customers are just job seekers on their day off.

Consider this: if you make the shopping experience uncomfortable or difficult for customers, they are likely to stop patronizing your business, right?

The same principle applies in the recruiting arena. If it’s unreasonably difficult and onerous for candidates to interact with your firm, they’ll be inclined to look elsewhere for employment. (And no matter what the state of the job market, talented people will always have other alternatives.)

Making the recruiting process as free of stress and friction as possible should be your goal. It’s our goal. That’s why we offer a complete recruiting software solution for your applicant recruiting, sourcing, and tracking needs. Check out PCRecruiter for more.

How Much Do Employers Expect You to Work After Hours?

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Industry

We live in a society where the line between work and free time is too easily and too often blurred, but most employers still don’t have a policy in place to deal with working after hours.

Technology and Its Impact on Employees During Nonworking Hours,” a new report from SHRM, found that a large majority of employers don’t have anything in writing dictating what their staff members can and can’t do when working outside of the office.

However, most typical employees still feel guilty if they don’t respond to emails at night or on the weekend, even if doing so is not technically part of their job description. That’s because most companies rely on organizational norms, not written policies, to dictate such behavior.

“Employers are not creating policies that delve into employees working outside of the traditional workday,” Evren Esen, manager of SHRM’s Survey Research Center, said in a press release. “Whether an employee responds to email at night or during the weekend is usually linked to organizational norms. If there is such an expectation, then employees are likely to follow suit.”

Some highlights of the report include:

  • Only 21 percent of companies have a formal policy in place regulating the use of wireless communication devices during non-working hours.
  • About 26 percent of organizations have an informal policy in place, while 81 percent of those rely on managers to relay rules to employees.
  • Of the companies that don’t have any policy in place dealing with working after hours, 87 percent allow employees to set their own limitations.
  • Employers are more concerned about how much their employees are working after hours if the work is being done on a company-owned device.

Ultimately, employers should make it a priority to develop an after-hours working policy, whether the employee is using company-provided equipment or not. Companies that have no policy in place could be leaving themselves open to lawsuits for not paying proper overtime.

Layoffs Drop Significantly in June

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Industry

As everyone anxiously awaits tomorrow’s employment numbers, a separate report is showing that companies are making the lowest number of layoffs in over a year.

The most recent report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that employers made 37,551 layoffs during June, a whopping 39 percent decrease from May, and marking the lowest number of job cuts in the last 13 months.

Although we’re not out of the woods yet, this is a huge step in the right direction, and offers a glimmer of hope at a time when many people are predicting that the economy is still getting worse.

“Even with recent signs that the economy is headed for another summer slump or worse, including the first contraction in manufacturing activity in three years, employers appear reluctant to shed too many workers,” Challenger CEO John A. Challenger said in a press release. “While it does not take long to shrink payrolls, it can take a significant amount of time to rebuild them, particularly as reports of the growing skills gap becomes more widespread.”

Even more encouraging is that the biggest job cuts in June were in education, just in time for schools and universities to wrap up things for the summer. And even that industry’s 6,569 layoffs were down 36 percent from last year.

“Continued weakness in the recovery will further delay hiring, which will, in turn, further delay the full recovery,” Challenger said. “Whether or not we see an  increase in job cuts depends on the length and severity of the recovery’s slowdown.

“However, barring some major economic catastrophe, companies in  the U.S. are likely to hold steady for the remainder of the year,” he added. “We probably  will not see a major ramp up in hiring or firing; certainly, not before the November elections. Even after the election and regardless of who wins, it  could be several months until companies understand the full implications of  the outcome and how to plan for the future.”

Check out the full report for more info on what industries and states are seeing the most layoffs, the top reasons companies are letting people go, and the industries planning to hire in the coming months.

A Look at Employment and What’s Ahead

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Industry

Is the economy headed for another meltdown or are we just experiencing a hiccup in the national recovery?

That’s what experts are asking after after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest employment numbers for May at the end of last week, which were much lower than the anticipated addition of 150,000 jobs.

Overall, the nation added only 69,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.2 percent. There were a total of 12.7 million unemployed people, with the number of long-term unemployed people rising from 5.1 million to 5.4 million.

Lawrence Creatura, a stock portfolio manager with Federated Investors, told the Associated Press:

“The jobs report was just bad … What we’re seeing is that the job market, post-financial crisis, has not been able to reignite itself. It hasn’t been able to set off that chain reaction where an improving economy creates more jobs, and more jobs improve the economy, creating more jobs. That hasn’t started yet.”

Most major industries didn’t see a lot of movement in terms of employment, with employers in the healthcare, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade industries being the only ones to add a significant number of jobs. On the downside, the construction industry took a turn for the worse.

Unimpressive Numbers

Including the May employment numbers, the U.S. has added an average of 96,000 jobs during each of the last three months, which is down from the 245,000 average gain between December and February.

In addition, experts point out that the main reason the increase in unemployment was so small is because a lot of people stopped looking for work, so they’re no longer counted among the unemployment rolls.

And even worse – the BLS revised its employment numbers for March and April, dropping them from 154,000 to 143,000 and from 115,000 to 77,000, respectively.

Sheila Dewan at The New York Times notes:

“Economists can explain away a month or two of dismal numbers, but a three-month run is difficult to ignore. The economy now seems to be following the spring slowdown pattern of the last two years — a bright spot of accelerating growth followed by a slump. The news on Friday even raised mentions of a possibility that dogged last year’s forecasts but did not come to pass: another recession.”

Of course, the weak employment figures are having an effect on the entire global market as well, especially since they came shortly after other data that points to weakening economies in Europe and Asia. Financial markets from Wall Street to Germany took a dive today.

A Few Positives

The good thing is that a few key industries did continue adding jobs during May:

  • Transportation and warehousing – The industry added 36,000 jobs over the month, with ground passenger transportation accounting for most of that gain.
  • Healthcare – With an addition of 33,000 workers, the healthcare industry continued its ever-growing trend, with much of the employment gain coming from the ambulatory healthcare services sector.
  • Manufacturing – One of the most important industries to our economy, manufacturing added 12,000 jobs last month, with employers in fabricated metal products and primary metals hiring the most workers.

Mostly Negatives

Aside from the overall paltry employment figures, the BLS report found that most industries saw little to no change in employment, while one of our most significant industries actually lost workers.

The construction industry, which along with manufacturing has long been a primary indicator of the overall health of the economy, lost 28,000 jobs during May. Payrolls were cut in specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction.

Most of the other industries that we pay close attention to on a monthly basis – professional and business services; mining and logging; retail trade; information; financial activities; leisure and hospitality; and government – all saw little or no change in employment last month.

Looking Ahead

In reality, the economy sways back and forth so much that it’s hard to predict what effect the May employment numbers will have in the next several weeks and months.

As Tim Duy wrote over at Forbes:

“Two thoughts come to mind. First, I have said it before and I will say it again: If you become either too optimistic or too pessimistic about the path of the US recovery, you will almost certainly be slapped down in a matter of months.


“Second, this summer is looking like a carbon copy of 2011. The US data is turning softer just while the European saga is heating up. This time, we have some additional icing on the cake, with emerging markets faltering as well. And that black box that is China could be in free fall for all we know – commodity prices and cash outflows are pointing to some real distress.”

Many experts think that if legislators in Washington, D.C. don’t do anything to help the economy improve at a faster rate, the Federal Reserve will be forced to step in

Sandra Pianalto, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, told the Wall Street Journal:

“Right now I feel that our accommodative monetary policy is appropriate given my outlook. I always want to balance the risks and costs of doing more. I have an outlook for inflation to remain close to our 2% objective through 2014. It’s important to take a balanced approach on what more we can do for broader economic growth. We need to make sure that we maintain our stable price objective so you have to balance those two objectives.”

Applicant Tracking Should Focus Less on Candidate Work History

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Industry

It’s common practice for employers in certain industries to place a strong emphasis on a potential candidate’s work history in order to prevent high turnover numbers. It’s long been thought that candidates who have held several positions in a short period of time will make worse employees and will be more likely to quit.

However, a recent white paper by Evolv shows that work history has very little effect on a candidate’s abilities or likeliness to stay in a position. That means one of the factors employees place a strong emphasis on – in their applicant tracking systems, in the interview process, and in the hiring process – is mostly wrong.

The white paper, entitled “Does Previous Work History Predict Future Employment Outcomes?“, looked at applicant data and employment outcomes of 21,115 call center agents.

Key findings of the white paper include:

  • Almost half of all applicants had two or three jobs in the last five years, while 45 percent had none or one job, and 7 percent had four or more jobs.
  • 56 percent of applicants said they hadn’t held any jobs for less than six months.
  • Survival curves, or the probability that agents reach a given point in time, were almost identical for all groups, regardless of the number of jobs held in the last five years or the number of short-term positions.

“These results indicate that an applicant’s previous work history is actually a poor predictor of employment outcomes,” the white paper notes. “In fact, there is other assessment content that is much more strongly predictive of both attrition as well as performance on the job.

“Clearly, a more nuanced understanding of the applicant as well as his or her personality, aptitudes, work style, technical skills, and fit for the position are necessary to make more informed recruiting decisions,” the paper continues. “Previous work experience must be viewed holistically and placed within a much broader context in order to ensure that a given employer is recruiting the best possible talent.”