Almost every day I am asked about the lack of qualified applicants. There are generally lots of applicants but very few keepers. Keepers would have the following:
-Semi-stable job history
-Limited background issues
-Actually show up to interview and work
Since I have owned my staffing company for the last 13 years there are several constants in the job market.
1-No one can follow directions. Simple job postings with easy to follow steps cannot be followed. Applicants routinely call with questions that are clearly answered in the posting. Providing a rudimentary resume is a huge chore. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually read the document before sending it.
2-If your company is not reaching out to Millennials via the internet, you will be working at your company by yourself. Having a good website, social media pages etc. allow folks to check your company out prior to sending in an application. A bad company reputation can steer applicants away to your competitors. Are your sites mobile optimised? 40% of our internet traffic is via smart phone.
3-Loyalty and work ethic have changed. Gone are the days of an employee working until retirement at your company. You should be ecstatic for someone that makes it 2 years! In the next several years, Millennials and Gen Z will make up over 50% of the workforce. This is not your Father’s workforce. They value more time off, access to offsite work, more positive reinforcement and rapid advancement.
Knowing that these factors exist, how do we proceed? Adjust your hiring parameters. Plan for more training and development. More importantly, cross train to provide variety and backup for when your workforce eventually leaves. Don’t try to swim against the current, you won’t make it and be miserable in the process.
Recently I saw a Facebook post regarding our youth education matching the skills most companies want in employees. Guess what? Employers and youth education are not on the same trajectory.
In our school system, a ton of emphasis is put on the GPA which has lessened the importance of social or economic skills. Think I am wrong?
Do you think someone below the age of 21 could tell you the difference between a socialist and capitalist? They can’t because it was never taught or explained in a historical perspective.
Have you seen the interviewers standing outside of major universities asking students questions? Most of these folks can’t identify a picture of Ben Franklin. Nice way to waste $100,000+ on school. Shocked? I ‘m not, I see these people every day in my staffing company.
Today’s schools are a politically correct, sanitized, bubble like atmosphere that is not real world. If you call someone a bad name, you are labeled a bully and punished.
No one is trained to deal with unpleasant issues. When you get chewed out by the boss today, you can’t run to the teacher, its HR. We are teaching our children that it is ok to show minimal effort because everyone gets in line for their participation trophy. Guess what? Not in real life…
If you are the parent concerned that your youngster is not getting enough proper social stimulation, try some of these ideas courtesy of my father.
- All adults are greeted (standing) with a handshake and a sharp look in the eye
- Put phones and electronics away and discuss current events or subjects in school
- Challenge youth to think for themselves and not take media reports as gospel
- Teach youth how to dress for a work environment
- Pot is not legal everywhere and if your drug test comes up positive you won’t get hired
- Not everyone is college material. Help your kids decide where they fit in. AND support them.
- Teach sound financial practices early
Regardless of our technological advances, not much is sold or managed through email, text or Snapchat. If your product is, then you have a commodity and the next innovation will put you out of business.
Millennials need to be reminded that personal relationships matter in business the same way as they do in your social life. People buy stuff from people they like or are like them. Putting the phones down and actually talking to a person is a dying act. Learn how to communicate. You may find that, in the long run, your GPA may mean very little but, if you have the right people skills, your bank account won’t.
Over the years, I have left thousands of messages on cell phones. I identify myself, the company and slowly leave my phone number. I expect most people would agree with this process. But…some jobseekers think I would rather…
1- Listen to their 4 year olds personal message
2- Listen to their favorite song before the message
3- Listen to the computer generated 6 0 2 4 7 7..
Impressions count. Create a brief but professional greeting that your grandma would love. Just make sure to have her listen to it. Answering your phone is a different set of issues. Here are some job killing practices.
2- Who Dat calling me!
3- Kid yelling in earpiece, while you are talking
4- Talking to me while the car window is down and driving 50mph
5- Not listening to your messages but calling back a missed call with “who called me?”
6- Boyfriend answers, thinks I’m your other boyfriend.
Sending out hundreds of resumes without planning ahead for a interview call back is just plain dumb. Your poor manners on a call back could result in you missing out on an opportunity, not to mention thousands of dollars in income. Take the time to think ahead and be ready for the opportunity to show employers you are ready to work for them.
Not necessarily. Despite the push to pay higher minimum wages by Do-gooders and those in the Government, something even more basic is causing these changes. This is the free market at work. Remember that from your basic economics class? (if you had one) Low supply (workers) causes prices to rise (wages).
Do you think Starbucks is offering 4 year online college degrees because of the goodness of their heart? Of course not. The bean (haha) counters at Starbucks looked at the turnover in employees and the quality of the available workers. Then they put a price tag on that lack of service and sales. That obviously was a big number since they can afford to put in a big, expensive new benefit for existing and new employees. In the end, the company will reap larger profits for the shareholder. That is guy/gal that invests and takes a risk with his/her capital with Starbucks stock. Sponsoring these types of programs will no doubt have young people lining up to apply and interview. The company will get to cherry pick the best workers and other companies will have to create similar programs to compete for a shrinking qualified workforce.
Many employers expect that you won’t leave them in a lurch by actually being courteous when you leave. Even if you hate the company, you should offer a notice. Depending on the circumstances and the job, some employers might let you go immediately. I was in the financial services business and when you gave notice, you were escorted from the building. But enough of my issues. Here are some facts to ponder.
- Not giving notice can come back to bite you. You cannot use people as a reference. If I checked up on you, and you quit without notice…I won’t hire you because you will do the same to me.
- Coworkers can talk to vendors etc. about your naughty behavior. Blocking you from doing business with them.
- The boss you stiffed eventually could be your boss again! Guess who will be getting the boot as soon as he/she takes over?
When employees go through a temp service, they forget how many employer contacts the company has. Do you think not giving proper notice will move you to the head of the line for positions next time you need help? Remember, hiring managers talk, and if you want your resume discussed in a good light, take the simple step of giving a proper notice. Your career will thank you later.
- Stable job history, meaning a minimum of jobs in the last 5 years
- Administrative folks with QuickBooks, and good customer service skills
- Mechanics, Hvac, Commercial Drivers and Machinists
- Sales with a proven background of results.
- Clean backgrounds and a clean driving record (DUI’s and tickets keep you from driving company vehicles)
- Applicants that can communicate well, follow simple directions and dress appropriately
- Can you be at work every day and on time
If you are someone that has had many short-time positions, many employers will skip over your resume. Employers are looking for some longevity. From their point of view, if they have to take time to train you, they expect you to give them time to properly groom you for promotion. If you find yourself at a dead end job, take the time to explore opportunities at your current spot. Ask about additional training or the requirements you need to grow. You may be surprised to find your best option right under your nose.
Every year we go through the process of evaluating what will happen in the wide world of employment. Below, I have listed some items that will be more than trends in 2015.
- Traditional Job Boards are dying. The Monsters, Jobing.com, Career Builder etc. are being slowly eclipsed by Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and to an extent Craigslist.
- In order to attract candidates, your website and company must be on full view throughout the internet. Savvy job hunters look for what is on the internet and what is being said about your company.
- Healthcare cost increases will decrease jobs. Forcing more people to work two jobs to maintain a family budget.
- More companies will outsource labor to contractors that can be laid off at a moment’s notice.
- Wages will continue to be stagnant on the low blue collar level positions but skilled job searchers will have more opportunities to increase income and promotions.
- Going to college for many folks will be a horrific waste of time and money
- Companies will have to train workers for most jobs. The poaching of employees has run its course and is no longer a viable alternative.
- If you can sell, this will be a great year for your career. Locating quality sales people is one of our hardest jobs.
- The non-sexy jobs such as Truck Driving, Machinists, Plumbers, HVAC techs among others will attract more young people as an alternative to traditional schooling.
- Low gas prices really help our economy but not as well as higher wages. Wage growth is stagnant and fuel prices could be anywhere in 6 months.
Many folks call into our staffing company inquiring about open positions. Unfortunately some are disappointed because we do not have the time to read off all the positions we may have open. We give out our website and instruct people to read the posting and follow the directions on how to apply. Most companies that have jobs cannot commit the time to explain all openings for the following reasons.
1- Companies do not have the internal staff to outline open positions.
2- Most applicants will not qualify for current openings
3- Almost always you need to submit an application or resume before a conversation will occur
The need for quality employment is very large in this economy. But do not waste your time just randomly calling into employment services if you have not at least looked at their website before contact. You will be able to apply for more positions using this approach and will not be frustrated at the lack of information provided by phone. If positions say “open interviews” and you qualify for the job, JUST GO. Most applicants need to practice interview techniques and this is the best way to understand the interview process. Just calling out of the blue will only frustrate and inhibit you from finding a quality position.
YES! Unfortunately, you have to wade through the vast amounts of BS postings to find the good ones. If the posting includes verbiage that sounds too good to be true, skip it and move on. Some companies include too much information that no one reads or sounds like it came out of a human resources manual. BORING! I have some simple advice for jobs seekers who want to navigate Craigslist to find a job.
1- READ THE POSTING. If it says send a resume, send a resume. If it has open interviews, go in. Don’t call and ask how to apply. If you do call they are only going to tell you to follow the directions in the posting.
2- If you do not have the requirements for the job, don’t’ apply. Your resume will just get deleted.
3- Keep a record of who you sent resumes to. Soooo when they call , you’ll avoid acting like a doofuss and mess up the chance to interview. What company? When? What does it pay? Result: hang up
4- Since Craigslist is the equal of the rotary phone of todays internet , make sure to list what position you are applying for. The hiring manager then knows what to look at. Make it easy to call you. AND quiet the yelling kids or Judge Judy on the TV.
5- You want to make $35,000 a year? Don’t apply for jobs that pay less. This happens all the time. Know your bottom number in advance.
6- Missed a call on your phone and it went to voice mail? Don’t call back the number of a company and say “someone called me from this number”. There actually might be more than one person working there. Don’t have voice mail? Plan on a long unemployment.
7- Check to make sure your number and email address is correct. Many folks in our company have missed out on a job because of this error. Actually call yourself off of your resume.
Craigslist can be available resource in your job search. It is a cheap method to locate employees. Don’t be the person who lost the job because they didn’t take 10 seconds to think before they dialed the phone.
I saw an article written by CareerBuilder that caught my eye today. It included a list of items that SHOULD NOT be included on your resume. Some of the items like spelling I have already covered on this blog. There were two interesting items that we need to omit also.
A Photo– This is not a common practice and many HR folks don’t want to be accused of age discrimination so they simply move on. Meaning, they delete them. I have never hired a person in 11 years with a picture on the resume. Enough said.
Your Keen Sense of Humor– Writing witty phrases into your resume only makes you look desperate and your attempt at humor might be misconstrued by the reader. Stick to the facts of your background only.Have several people read your resume so you can change any language that may make your resume a candidate for the delete button.
A majority of job seekers will complain they cannot find work, no one is hiring or employers are all jerks. The one item that might be keeping you from getting a job is actually showing up for your interview appointment. Our internal records indicate that up to 50% of applicants no show an appointment at our company. These numbers hold true for blue and white collar jobs. This is after going through these steps.
-An email that confirms the appointment and a link to fill out an online application
Why are you applying for these jobs anyway? If you cannot make a simple appointment how good a worker could you be? I have wondered about this for my entire 11 years owning this company. It may be due to the staffing industry having somewhat of a bad reputation with some applicants.
I always tell job seekers to attend any interview regardless of your opinion or what you may think you know. The job posting is only a small part of the actual job. You may find the perfect fit by just showing up. Another benefit is most of us have unadvertised positions that you may also be interested in.
Since most folks are awful at interviews, never miss an opportunity to practice and get better. Remember that most people hire people they like, and just showing up is half the battle.
With many folks still jobless, staffing companies can be a great resource to get placed in a good company. The problem is that most applicants forget that we are paid to prescreen and select candidates that match our client needs. Here are some things to remember.
1-Remember a staffing company can help you find a job. Being difficult or not following the guidelines will only result in you being ignored
2-Staffing company interviews are “real” interviews. So you need to treat them as an interview. We don’t have to find you a job.
3-Staffing companies are overloaded with applicants and resumes. Follow the directions on how to apply. Don’t have a resume or your correct job history? Better have them.
4-Are you applying for a job you have no experience doing? You will find yourself getting blackballed for jobs you actually are qualified for.
5-Like most places, staffing professionals hire people they like. TIP. Many of our jobs are not advertised so if you interview well you could be considered for something else. We get paid to find good people. Keep that in mind.
6-In our experience, 50% of the people no show interview appointments. Showing up in half the battle
Staffing companies can be a good resource and valuable practice to finding your next job. If you want people to help you in your search, you must be professional regardless of the circumstances. You never know who your next employer may be.
In the attached article link from Bloomberg you can see some of the topics I have been preaching to customers about the labor market. Some highlights:
1- Employers still think there are a multitude of available quality workers.
2-Employers are trying to pay the same wages from 5 years ago and can’t find staff to fill the need.
3-The long term unemployed (out of work for 6 months or more) are providing an alternative to find workers.
4-Employers will need to start training new workers because the days of hiring seasoned workers and paying a budget wage are over.
The true wild card for employment is the full implementation of Obamacare in the fall. As the full brunt of this program hits the market place, how will it affect the budgets going forward? From my chair I believe we are in for more part-time workers and reduced positions overall. This will lead to a sluggish labor market for the foreseeable future. Regardless of what the polished labor numbers put out by Washington appear to be.
It has taken awhile but I am finally seeing the signs of a labor shortage. More calls from dormant clients and increased demand for across the board hires. The real news is that if the overall economy was really healthy, we would have real systemic employment issues. That being said, why do we have a labor shortage when there are so many people out of work, on food stamps and various welfare programs? Our workforce has become entitled to getting everything for free. If you don’t like your fast food job, picket outside for an unrealistic higher wage. Barely passed high school? Get into debt and go to college for a liberal arts degree. Many of today’s workers cannot make appointments for job interviews, remember to take a shower before looking for jobs, or wonder why being on time is a big deal. Below is one my favorite responses to why folks left a job…before having another one.
“I have worked for this company for 6 months and I have not received a promotion”
Our current economic system is based on handouts and dependence not entrepreneurship and hard work. Not everyone is going to get Bill Gates rich in this country but you will definitely not assist others to get wealthy by taking what Bill Gates has. That is a short term view of a long-term problem. Until we stop having our Government solve all our problems, we will continue to have a society the will dependant on those that produce. For those keeping score, that number is decreasing rapidly.
A recent article in a SHRM Talent Bulletin mentioned the fact that some States are passing laws prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their salary histories. There is currently a bill in Congress to ban this practice nationwide.
The Bulletin mentions that employers should start thinking about the elimination of these questions going forward.
Many feel additional laws will eliminate anything that may influence the decision process. That could not be farther from the truth. You cannot legislate common sense no matter what you do. Rules and regulations have made it almost impossible to help or coach any applicants because of the fear of a complaint or lawsuit. Pretty soon you will just have to grunt questions throughout the interview process.
In our practice, it makes sense to ask these questions depending on the position and the person. Will someone be satisfied making $30,000 when the last job paid $50,000? That is a legitimate concern since an applicant may jump at the first offer at the old salary. The staffing company is then left holding the bag on that decision.
Government efforts are better focused on helping job seekers be prepared through education, job training and making it easy for a business to hire, not putting up roadblocks for business to hop over.
Now that the first wave of Generation Z is in the process of leaving school for the labor market, Carlsbad, California-based CareerCast has compiled a list of the best jobs for this group of young people born from 1995 through 2010.
According to the report, this demographic accounts for 25 percent of the total population. As baby boomers retire and Generation Z employees enter the workforce, the American workforce is growing demonstrably younger.
This group of young workers has been exposed to technology from birth, which means they are cut out for professions such as computer and information systems analyst, information security analyst and software developer, some of the hottest jobs for this group.
Some of these jobs pay more than $100,000 a year and have high growth outlooks, according to the report.
With billions of dollars spent on today’s online marketing communication: Text , Snap Chat, Facebook, Twitter etc. you would think businesses would think about who is actually answering the office phone. Why is this money being spent when the first actual person contacted in your organization is a total dimwit? The money lost on this poor reception could pay for your whole online media campaign.
We are routinely asked to locate a receptionist at the lowest paid entry point in the company. This person will be looking at their Facebook feed while your new prospective customer rots on perma-hold. Or is talking to the telemarketer because he “sounds cute” while your top customer’s service problem is transferred to the breakroom. Unsure about your situation? Have someone test your First Responder and see how it plays out. It might save you a boatload of cash.
Momentum Specialized Staffing
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