The Benefits of Video Interviewing

Photo Source: Wowzer

Recently, I have come across the company, Wowzer, which specializes in video screening and interviewing. Being a remote recruiter, I was extremely interested in learning more during their recent webinar that took place this January. At first, I assumed it was generally going to tell me about the features of their service but I was thoroughly impressed by the fact that video interviewing can go beyond screening candidates. In addition to this benefit, it can also be utilized for employer branding.

Some interesting take-aways from this webinar:

  • Video recruiting can cut down time: recruiters are overwhelmed with resumes and often need to take time to call these candidates before they determine if they meet the basic requirements. Video interviews with predetermined questions can allow candidates to pre-record their answers and help recruiters cut down phone screen time.
  • Video recruiting can cut down costs: instead of flying out potential employees and paying for hotel rooms, video recruiting can help employers get a better feel for candidates before determining if they can make it to the final interview stage. Essentially, it can even cut out the need to fly out candidates for a face-to-face.
  • It can help everyone be on the same page: having a recorded interview can allow hiring managers, HR, and recruiters to all review the same thing. This can cut down biased opinions, help reduce missed information, and document things accurately. This way, everyone can make more informed decisions based off of the SAME interview, rather than reviewing notes from those who interviewed the candidate. It can help make the interview process fairer for candidates.
  • Candidates can be stronger interviewers: sometimes resumes and phone interviews don’t present candidates the best way possible. Some candidates are superstars during face to face interviews. Video interviewing can help even out the playing field and give these candidates the option to put their best foot forward.
  • It can help brand your company: video doesn’t need to just be used for candidate screening. Companies can pre-record videos or even do live interviews of their company, the culture, and so on. This can help create transparency of the organization, allow companies to personalize their employer brand, and help build engagement efforts to attract candidates.

I’ve always heard of video interviewing but never realized how much more it had evolved over the years. The benefits seem to be increasing by the day and as technology allows recruiters and HR professionals to be more mobile/remote, this can be a fantastic option for them to do their job effectively while cutting down time and costs.

More Links:

Wowzer

Video Tips to Attract and Identify Talent

Video Interviewing Research Report by Sarah White & Associates

Leaders: Find the Connection

Today’s post might be a little more about opinion than it is facts- and that’s completely fine with me because sometimes we need a little thought provoking blog post to get us all thinking. As I thought about some of the best and worst leaders I’ve dealt with over the years, I considered some of the qualities I appreciated in the leaders I truly felt strongly for. There are a few people in my life that had made me believe in them and their goals. Call me a skeptic- but this is something that’s hard to accomplish with me. And I’m sure many of you have dealt with the ups and downs caused by the economy, so there are probably plenty of you out there that are feeling the same way. So what qualities of a leader made you not have your doubts about them?

For me, it’s all about a leader that can take the time to find the connection. In my crazy and idealistic mind, I truly believe that everyone has something to relate to with someone else. Tiny things or “Hey! We’re practically twins!” things are what can really help build a relationship between others. Sometimes, leaders almost seem unattainable because of their status or how busy their schedules are that many of us never really get to know our leaders for who they are and they don’t get to know us, either. So how can we put our faith in our leaders if we feel like we’re following blindly? Will this person lead us over a cliff? And how can leaders expect to gain the allegiance of their followers if they don’t even know what their followers value?

Ok, I get it- leaders are busy but that’s no excuse for them not to make a periodic presence to help build a connection. Whether you are running a 2 person start up or a Fortune sized company, you need to make the effort. Relate to people, find the connection, and make them feel like “my leader really gets me.” I don’t care if it’s every day, once a month, or once a quarter- you need to make that effort. Unfortunately, over the last few years, the changes in the workforce have weakened loyalty among employers/employees. If the loyalty and devotion isn’t there, then how can you expect to get the best out of your workforce? Are they 100% in or are they 50% in and 50% securing other options if things go sour?

The best leaders are the ones that get involved. They’re not always the singer on the stage in front of their loving fans. They’re the ones that dive into the crowd and get in the middle of all the action. They take it all in, listen, and emerge themselves in the bigger picture.

Leaders- isn’t it time we did this together?

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Build your Network Before You Need It

During typical Twitter banter this week, a message from Susan Avello really stuck with me: build your network before you need it. It was simple but an effective statement that inspired today’s blog. Whether you are a job seeker, employed, generating leads, or building partnerships- it’s important to proactively build your network. Life and business change fast, you need to always be one step ahead.

Why should you spend time and effort building your network? Simple:

  • It puts you on the map: it allows people to get to know you and consider you for job openings or as an option to do business with you. Warm leads made easy.
  • It’s a quick resource: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been able to pick up the phone and get some insight quickly because of the fact that I networked with people beforehand. And this resource was even more useful than simply researching online, because I was able to get answers to specific questions I had.
  • You’ll be prepared for instability in your career: lay-offs, downsizing, termination, or glass ceilings are all situations that we’ll potentially run into in our lives. Networking can help you keep a pulse on what companies are hiring, who to contact about specific jobs, and allow recruiters to locate you for their pipeline.
  • Build relationships and credibility: building relationships with people can allow them to see that your experience and skills are credible. Impressing them in this way and staying in the front of their mind can allow them to recommend and refer you with confidence rather than someone else.

There are so many great uses to networking. Yes, it takes time and effort and at times it can be a little overwhelming. But the truth of the matter is, the benefits will help you and help save time in the long run. It’s best to build this up ASAP rather than scrambling later when you need it.

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Taking Initiative for Your Professional Future

Being involved with Gen Y, and seeing how the economy has affected career growth and mobility for recent grads and early careerists; I can’t help but notice some of the pain points they regularly voice. One of the biggest gripes they express is the lack of room for internal mobility. Along with this, many of these individuals also feel as if though there are no opportunities for them to learn, train, shadow, or develop in a way to prove to management that they are worthy for more responsibility in their current role or that they are worthy of promotion. But for those who feel this way, it’s important to realize that just because management hasn’t presented these opportunities doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Sometimes, you need to take initiative to develop your own professional skills and opportunities.

When I’ve mentioned this to individuals, I’ve had many people respond, “Why would I put in all this time and effort if I’m not getting compensated for it? Most of the time it goes unnoticed so what’s the point?” Regardless if those things seem to initially be true, you must remember to take a step back and see the big picture. Taking initiative doesn’t just help you potentially get a raise or promotion, it helps you grow.

Each new project, task, or innovative idea you allow yourself to be a part of will give you so much and will only help you get better and better. You will gain new skills, learn how to overcome challenges more effectively, and really get an idea of what you are passionate about and good at.

Most importantly, the things you do can be a tangible part of your experience. Maybe you’ve done something relatable outside of work on a side project or hobby, but it was hard to prove to your employers that you had the experience. Taking this initiative can give you the experience in a work setting so you can put it on your resume, help build up your portfolio, and have a witness (your employer) be able to prove what you’ve done and refer you.

So, before you claim that doing something a little extra isn’t worth it, think about what you gain in the long run. You are giving yourself the ability to be attractive talent for your current or future employer. That’s the best kind of investment.

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Why Isn’t Your Company Retaining Employees?

Working in talent acquisition has allowed me to talk to multiple candidates, day in and day out. Some candidates are currently working and open to opportunities, while other candidates are unemployed for specific reasons (either voluntarily or not) and aggressively seeking. While talking to candidates, I like to take the time to ask them why they voluntarily move on from their current employer. I had always assumed that majority of the time it would have to deal with financial reasons, but I soon discovered that compensation was one of the least common reasons that were provided. Needless to say, I was interested in learning more.

Here are some of the most common reasons that I come across when inquiring about a candidate’s decision to voluntarily quit (in no particular order):

  • No room for growth: one of the most common things I come across is the fact that candidates feel like they have hit a ceiling in their current role. Candidates have expressed that management does not take the time to help them define their career path and, therefore, candidates feel like that the only way to professionally grow is to look for a company that offers them a position that fits what they’re looking to reach.
  • No training opportunities/lack of training: candidates have mentioned to me that their employers’ training programs are seriously lacking or non-existent. Many candidates expressed their desire to work for a company that was well known for their training, development, and continuous learning opportunities because it can not only set them up for success at their current role, but it can help pave the way for a better professional future.
  • Not challenged: sometimes candidates are given an unrealistic job preview and learn that the job actually lacks the challenges they had thought it would have. On the other hand, some candidates have excelled at the current role that they are in but have no opportunities to move up or take on more responsibility. Regardless of the situation, employees are feeling unmotivated which is affecting their happiness at their current role and often causes them to look for something else.
  • Feeling underappreciated: some candidates put in extra work, time, and effort but feel like it goes unnoticed. This had caused candidates to feel underappreciated and also feel like their talents are not being appropriately noticed, especially when it comes to incentive or promotion. In these cases, candidates expressed their desire to find a company that is known to have great management that takes notice of each employee’s contributions.
  • Cultural issues: in some situations, candidates were painted a picture of a certain organizational culture only to learn that the organization does not practice what they preach. In other situations, changes in the organization may have caused disruption in a strong culture. Either way, candidates felt that their company culture no longer matches their personal values and have been more focused on finding a company that is better aligned with this.

So, employers, sometimes it’s not about the compensation, perks, and bonuses. Your employees might be looking to move on from you for deeper reasons than your financial offerings. Take the time to talk to employees and find out the things they value and need in an employer. Truly understanding this can help you create an employer brand that not only attracts talent, but retains your current talent to the best of your abilities.

More links:

The Real Reasons Your Employees Are Leaving You

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Maintaining the Work-Life Balance

Have you ever worked late or on the weekends? Have you incessantly checked your phone and emails while relaxing or involved in social events? Have work-related thoughts clouded your mind and disrupted your attention outside of work? Have you stopped a conversation with a friend or family member to take a call? I know I’m definitely guilty of all of these (sometimes even simultaneously). As technology becomes more widely and regularly used, this has become a common issue in the daily lives of the employed.

Overworking yourself can actually make you LESS productive at work than taking a break to breathe and rest your mind. Additionally, it can seep into your personal life, causing issues. So how can you keep your balance? Check it out:

Set Boundaries: technology and mobile devices make it easy for you to be available non-stop. You need to set boundaries. Turn your phone on silent outside of work. Only check your emails/voicemails for an hour a night after you finish your shift. Only respond to things that NEED to be responded to.

Schedule: I literally have a white board for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and to-dos. I work extremely hard to stick with that schedule. Having this schedule will make sure I don’t over-do it and actually reduce time worrying about whether or not I’m forgetting to do something. It saves a lot of brain power.

Prioritize: living in the instant gratification age could make it seem like if you don’t respond or aren’t present every second of the day that the world may end. It won’t- trust me. Deal with any fires that need to be put out. Then, prioritize whether or not something needs to be done ASAP or if it can be put on the backburner. Do this regularly to ensure you’re managing your time well.

Be realistic: we have become multitasking masters, which can sometimes make us believe we’re capable of doing the workload of 3 people all at once. It’s a nice thought but unrealistic. Sometimes you need to say no to people (do it nicely, though!) and if you do say yes to someone, make sure you set realistic timelines and expectations. Give yourself some extra time in case something more pressing comes up and cuts into your time. This can help you avoid the need to cram things in to meet a timeline you set.

Sometimes our lives make work and personal life blend too easily but you need to regularly take a step back and remind yourself that your brain needs a break. Do yourself a favor and follow the steps above and see if it makes a positive difference in your life.

If you like topics like this, be sure to join in #Tchat on Twitter on Wednesdays at 7pm EST.

More Links:

The Quaint Notion of the Work Life Balance

Work, Life and Peace

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Do You Show Your Employees Appreciation?

Many employers are still feeling the strain of the economy crash and as a result, have to be tight on their money and resources. Unfortunately, because of this situation, the employers feel like they can’t properly compensate their hard working employees in the way they generously have in the past. However, although they can’t necessarily afford bonuses, promotions, or fancy rewards like they may have been able to previously, there are still ways to show your employees that they are appreciated. These simple options could easily increase the morale of your employees.

Here are some ideas to show your employees that you appreciate their efforts:

  • Give praise: let your employees know that you’re taking the time to notice their individual efforts. Give them praise for things they personally have done well in.
  • Share with others: it can make your employee feel good if you share your appreciation for them with others.
  • Say thank you: whether it is their duty or not, it’s always nice to receive a simple “thank you.”
  • Take a load off: maybe you can’t afford to give your employees a free day of PTO but you can always help lighten their load. For example, for an employee that put in exceptional work: delegate some of their tasks to others or take on some tasks yourself. Giving your employee an easy, light day can really make a difference in an employee’s day.
  • Set up an event: once again, maybe you can’t have a huge, paid-for event for your employees, but you can still do something for them. Set up times to do an inter-office potluck so employees can take a break at work, enjoy good food, and mingle with others. A small social event like that could increase happiness within the workplace.
  • Write a handwritten letter note: recently, I received handwritten card from my manager to let me know she appreciates all my hard work. It was a simple thing but knowing that she took the time to write a personal note to me really meant a lot to me.
  • Provide opportunity: promotions might not be an option right now but employees still will appreciate the opportunity for professional development. Give employees the opportunity to network with others in the company, to shadow for jobs they’re interested in, or to do different training/development workshops.

It’s simple but yet it still is effective. Employees will appreciate the effort you take to make them feel appreciated. You would be surprised at how it increases a positive environment and morale.

Links:

Employee Appreciation

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Getting Connected: Networking Communities

In past blog postings, I have written about topics involving social media communities and talent communities. Of course, I am very passionate about both of these types of communities but the main reason behind my feelings towards it is what these communities offer. If individuals get involved in these types of situations, many will be happy to find that the communities offer some incredible networking opportunities. Not only do they offer networking opportunities but they can also be a great resource for learning, development, and thought leadership. So, what can networking communities do for you?

Here are some potential networking communities you can explore:

  • Networking groups: Recently I discovered the website www.meetup.com. It’s a great way for people to discover specific groups who are meeting up in your area. There are plenty of groups meeting up for specific reasons, whether it is for business, certain interests, or generally just to meet people.
  • Professional clubs: professional groups that meet regularly are also a good way to network with people in different industries. For example, in Charleston, SC there is a professional club called the Charleston Young Professionals. They typically set up monthly events to allow people to have fun and also mingle for business contacts.
  • Social media: websites like Linkedin and Twitter are fantastic ways to connect with individuals. Discussion groups and chats that are based on specific professions, topics, or industries can also make it easy to casually connect with individuals.
  • Work events: surprisingly, work events can also be a great place to network. Sometimes in office settings people don’t have the time or ability to talk to people outside of their department or to individuals they don’t directly work with. This can be a great way to get to know about others in your company.
  • Conventions: conventions are a way to meet people who are in a specific industry or specific role. This will allow you to connect with people that could potentially be in the same industry/role as you. Therefore, it may be a quick way to form a bond.

Some of the benefits of networking:

  • Business connections: networking with individuals can help you find business connections that can assist you with specific business needs or business development.
  • Learning and development: networks can help open up opportunities to learn and develop. For example, social communities can present online learning, training, and development opportunities for those who want to extend their learning outside of what their company can offer.
  • Resources: networking can help you discover some really interesting resources. For example, when I was starting my blog I came across some useful reference material that helped me add something extra to my posts. It’s also a great way for people to discover job opportunities or companies that they may never have heard of.
  • Thought Leadership: networking groups can promote discussion, which can ultimately promote thought leadership. I’ve witnessed occurrences where a simple group discussion resulted in a solution that helped better a business and situation.

Since I’ve been networking in some of the ways mentioned above, I feel like I’ve developed greatly as a person. I could almost kick myself for not partaking in this sooner. The individuals I’ve met have been unbelievably inspiring and have helped pave the way to build my knowledge to grow personally and professionally. Being involved in networking communities has been one of the greatest decisions I’ve made. How about you?

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Employee Engagement for a Lifetime

With Baby Boomers heading out and Gen Y heading in, companies are starting to feel the pain of the generational differences in the workplace. Baby Boomers are known to be the loyal generation and would typically stick with their employer for many years, if not their lifetime. Gen Y seems to have a different plan in mind in the sense that they’re looking for a job that is meaningful and a company that has a culture that matches their personal values. In the pursuit to find these ideal employers, it has been a common practice for this generation of employees to leave their employers within the first two years. So how can you increase employee engagement to create a sense of loyalty? Simple—you must brand your company.

Typically, when people think of company branding they figure it has to do with attracting customers, shareholders, and investors. But it shouldn’t stop there. Your employees are your biggest asset and in order to retain their talent, you must brand your company to increase employee engagement. Below are some reasons on why internal branding could benefit your company:

  • Your employees will become your megaphone: I’m sure you’ve heard that word-of-mouth is your best referral/advertising campaign. Consider your employees as free advertisement for your company. Give them a good or bad experience, and they’ll be blasting that information all over social media, telling their friends/family, and so on. How will what they say affect your business? Give them a good experience and they’ll be sure to tell others about it.
  • Allow your employees to be internal brand ambassadors: It is extremely hard to fake conviction. Therefore, if you have employees meeting new hires, it is important to have them meet the individuals that truly love and believe in your company to really get your new hires excited about working there. Setting that first impression is key in employee retention.
  • Make an investment to get a great ROI: Investing in your employees is very important. Your employees want to feel like they matter, that they’re being heard, and that they have a future in your company. This investment will make them truly respect you, want to be dedicated to you, and want to work hard so you’re proud of them. This loyalty and dedication can be a good way to retain employees long-term.
  • Branding leads to employee engagement: Employee engagement is one of the hardest things for HR professionals to master in their organizations. However, if you create a brand that gets your employees excited to work for you, then engagement will come naturally. Employee engagement can increase levels of motivation, productivity, empowerment, accountability, and responsibility.

Company branding should be more than just the external. It should also seriously focus on the internal. After all, your employees are everything. They help you progress, innovate, and be successful. If you aren’t able to successfully and effectively brand in a way to attract and retain talent, then you may have issues down the line.

 

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Are You Sparking Engagement in the Workplace?

As always, employee engagement is a hot topic in the business world so #TChat decided to tackle this topic in last Wednesday’s chat. In this chat, the contributors and #TChat ambassadors took the time to really consider what engagement is, what sparks engagement, and what differences it would make for employees and the workplace as a whole.

First, what is engagement? Employee engagement is a management concept that believes if an employee is  fully involved in and passionate about their work/job roles, they will contribute in a way that will be in an organization’s best interest. Employees will work hard to help the organization progress and succeed. This engagement is considered to be measurable in a sense that an employee’s attitude and feelings can influence their willingness to learn, grow, and perform in a way that will benefit the organization. In a manager’s eyes, this is a dream come true. However, the reality of the situation is that many employees aren’t as engaged as management would hope. Why is this and how can we change this?

Some #TChat contributors mentioned the following feelings and thoughts about engagement:

  • Failure is ok: Trust in your employees, allow them to fail, and forgive them for their failures. The important thing is to allow then to try something that might be pushing their comfort zone. And most importantly, help them understand and learn from these failures. This can allow them to succeed in the future.
  • Remember “follow the leader”: Management and leaders need to be engaged, also. Employees look up to managers and leaders for guidance, for a connection, and to understand where they stand in the organization. It’s important for managers and leaders to have certain energy to them, display engagement and passion, and try to fuel engagement in employees by example. After all, to an employee, it’s not a good sign if their manager seems disengaged themselves.
  • Be there for your employees: the fastest way to understand what engages your employees is to recognize that each employee is different and require individual needs. Take the time to see how your employee thinks, feels, and processes different situations/information. From there, ask the employee how you can help them. Too often, management/leaders assume that every employee will respond to one course of action meant to engage them. This is not true. Remember that they are individuals and take the time to help them with their individual needs. It will make a difference.
  • Create a connection: stop with the suggestion boxes and anonymous surveys. It’s impersonal and quite honestly, you will never get the in depth information you need to truly understand how to engage your employees. Open up the ability to connect with your employees by having a real conversation with them. Listen, be open, make them feel comfortable, and be willing to get down to the core of the situation. To understand employees’ needs for engagement, you have to communicate. A piece of paper isn’t going to help you get the best response.

What steps are you taking to engage your employees? Do you realize that every one of them may have a different need? If so, what are you doing to ensure that you are taking the time to understand each of their individual needs? How are you helping them get the support they need to reach their highest level of engagement? Think about it.

If you enjoy topics like this, be sure to check out #TChat on Twitter on Wednesday at 7pm EST.

More Links:

#Tchat Recap by Kathleen Kruse

#Tchat insights on Storify

Talent culture

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