Category Archives: Competitive Edge

How to Hire the Right Person During an Economic Downturn

How to Hire the Right Person During an Economic Downturn

For some hiring managers, an economic downturn can be an exciting time: there’s a greater applicant pool, more interest in the positions offered and a greater number of resumes making it into their in boxes. However, this can be a bit overwhelming – especially because it’s still essential to know how to hire the right person for the job.

Fortunately, the basic theory of how to hire the right person for the job does not change much in an economic downturn. Even though there are more applicants – more resumes to skim through and more interviews to schedule – there are key things to look for.

When it comes to how to hire the right person for the job, you’ll find that there are a number of great tools at your disposal:

  • Requesting specific information or formatting when you place the ad – “Submit a cover letter, chronological resume and three writing samples,” for example – will allow you to determine whether or not applicants are good at following directions. If you receive an experience-based resume, a letter of reference and no cover letter, you’ll know that you can move on to the next applicant.
  • Focus on those applicants who show an affinity for the position and who seem to know a bit about your company; those who have taken the time to research your company are likely to be more committed whereas others who send what appears to be a blanket cover letter addressed to “Whom It May Concern” (especially if your name and title are available) may not be the best candidate for the job.
  • Your current staff. As a hiring manager, ultimately the decision about how to hire the right person is yours to make, however there are advantages to involving additional staff in the interview process. After all, those who are “in the trenches” are going to be able to get a sense of whether or not the person is a good fit for the team and the position in question.

The more that you are able to look beyond the huge stack of resumes that is threatening to take over your desk and to focus on your business, the better the position that you will be in. By making an effort to focus on more than just the response that you get to your hiring ad, the better the chance of bringing the right person onto the team.

When it comes to how to hire the right person, in other words, you are going to want to be sure that you are focused on the position and the company and finding those applicants that will be great additions to your team. Building a strong company, after all, is something that requires strong, committed workers who act as a team; when you hire a new person for the company – regardless the level of the position you need to fill – strengthening the team should be among your top priorities, especially in an economic downturn.

Copyright 2009, Cecile Peterkin. All rights reserved.

How a Corporate Mentoring Program Prepares Employees for Success

How a Corporate Mentoring Program Prepares Employees for Success

In business, making sure that you are taking steps to ensure your company’s continued success is important. One of the best steps that you can take when you want to know that your staff members have what it takes to keep things running smoothly is to implement a corporate mentoring program.

Rather than a more traditional training program, you’ll find that a corporate mentoring program:

  • Ensures that new employees ,whether they are new to the business or simply new to a specific department , know to whom they can turn whenever they have a question.
  • Enables continuity in the ways in which your customers or clients receive their services. With employee mentoring programs, what you are going to find is that more experienced staff are helping those with less experience to learn more about the ways in which things are done and why they are done a particular way. Though it’s also true that a newer staff member may be able to contribute better ways of doing things, with a corporate mentoring program, sharing resources and tools happens naturally.
  • Encourages communication about strengths and discussion of key projects.
  • Allows relationships to build and for members working within the same department to form strong teams.

Team building is an essential step when you want to prepare your employees for success. Employee mentoring programs help each staff member to learn more about the company and to become a part of a team. By taking the time to celebrate the strengths of key staff members while helping those who are new to the department to learn more about why things are the way they are, you can be sure that you’re creating an environment in which staff members are comfortable turning to one another.

Knowing that you have focused on creating strong teams with a corporate mentoring program is going to allow you to know that your staff have ongoing support. Additionally, you will find that members of the team are able to look at more efficient ways of completing projects, can communicate more effectively with one another and can better identify strategies that will improve the services that your company provides to your customers and clients.

In other words, by looking into the benefits of employee.

mentoring programs and focusing on the best way to bring such a program into your business, you can rest assured that your clients and customers are getting the attention that they deserve. You’ll also know that your staff members are on-board and are committed to your company’s success.

A corporate mentoring program, therefore, in one part training program and one part investment in the future of your business. When you know that your staff members are receiving the guidance and support that they need and that everyone on the team is focused on creating a better atmosphere, you will also find increased job satisfaction and, along with it, less of a need for training. As a result, you’ll know that everyone on your staff is ready to rise to the occasion and to contribute to the continuing success of your company.

The Battle for Talent is Heating Up, Are You Ready?

The Battle for Talent is Heating Up, Are You Ready?

This is an interesting time in the history of business – workplace dynamics are in the midst of a huge shift. Baby Boomers in their 60’s are running into the challenges of managing the very different needs of those in the Y generation. In fact, so much focus has been placed on these two sizeable generations colliding in the marketplace, that the generation in between them, Generation X, has been largely forgotten.
As Boomers begin to plan for retirement and Gen Y enters the workforce, freshly developing their skills and experience, who will businesses look to for leadership in the interim, but Generation X?
The problem for businesses? Gen X is the smallest generation of the three, which means the talent pool for effective managers is much smaller than the generation before them. Between the ages of 33-46, Xers have the skills, knowledge and experience to take over leadership roles from Baby Boomers but will they want to work for you? And if so, how will you retain them?
To make sure your company has the competitive edge in hiring and retaining these leaders, you must get to know the mind of this Breakfast Club Generation and what they value, how they learn and how to best utilize their strengths in the marketplace. Companies also need to begin to implement leadership training programs tailored to the needs and desires of Xers, creating mentoring and job shadowing programs that will help retain this generation.
The Mind of Generation X
Unlike their predecessors, who were driven by a need for security, Gen X is driven by the desire for autonomy and change. Independent risk takers, Xers take more chances than those who came before them – even leaving the stability of a long-term job to take a chance on something new.
Gen X has a completely different outlook on careers and the workplace. This is a generation that watched their parents be downsized after a lifetime at a “good job,” and they have not forgotten that sobering lesson. Companies no longer have the luxury of employees who spend 30 years, unquestioned in their employ. Xers do not rely upon employers for their long-term stability. They value an environment that is stimulating, that lets them have a say in their work life and future.

This generation also watched their predecessors work tirelessly, at the expense of family life, only to be turned out into the cold. Because of this, high on a Xer’s list is a healthy work/life balance. Generation X defines their level of success by how well work fits into the demands of their home life and will leave in order to keep that balance equitable.
How to Attract, Retain and Train Gen X for Leadership
* Adopt generation specific recruitment materials, training and management approaches
* Create opportunities for growth within the organization
* Make them partners in success, encouraging creative solutions and autonomy
* Give them a voice, soliciting opinions frequently
* Develop a practical retention policy based on the needs of Gen X
* Offer flexible schedules and work from home opportunities to help Xers achieve their desired work/life balance.
In order to successfully cultivate and retain the leadership qualities of Generation X you have to consider the value differences between the generations in your career coaching style. Understanding these differences in lifestyle, workplace philosophy, and work ethic can build a bridge for the future of your organization.
Copyright, Cecile Peterkin. All Rights Reserved.