Tag Archives: hiring

How Do You Hire Mature Millennials?

Asian millennial woman selfieI continue to get complaints about how the Millennials are not responsible employees who can be counted on to show up to work and act professionally.  I hear things like:

  • He asked for a day off the first weekgraphicstock-group-of-friends-millennials-sitting-in-pinewood-using-digital-devices-social-addicted-phubbing-technology-concept_rpxae5qYkb
  • She showed up in shorts that were so short her bottom showed
  • She played on her phone and ignored customers
  • He was 2-hours late and didn’t call

While the Millennials do like to have their fun and many have not been prepared for work like their predecessors were, it is certainly possible to find good Millennial employees.  The Millennial generation is very large–over 71 million in the U.S. and growing—and many of them are very responsible, mature people.  You just have to find them.  You can do this using good selection methods.

1. Start with a job description.

Every good talent management system begins with an accurate job description.  This means researching within your organization what knowledge, skills, behaviors, and other characteristics are necessary to be successful in this role.  If it’s an existing role, ask the manager(s), people in or previously in the roles, and others who interact with them what knowledge skills, behaviors, and other characteristics have led to success and failure in that position.

For example, if it’s an account manager position, you might hear things like:

  • Professional demeanorPretty operator
  • Customer service oriented
  • Good communication skills
  • Develops relationships with customers and with coworkers
  • Knowledge and skill with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software

You’ll need people to expand on specific knowledge and behaviors that make up these categories.  For example, what does having a professional demeanor mean?  It might mean:

  • showing up on timegraphicstock-multiracial-business-people-working-together-connected-with-technological-devices-like-tablet-and-notebook-teamwork-business-working-concept_BTebaVJYyZ
  • calling ahead if you’ll miss work
  • wearing appropriate clothes
  • being well-groomed
  • using respectful language and not curse words.

If it’s a new role, or if you just want help getting started, search for the job the US Department of Labor database of job descriptions.  You can also ask others in different organizations for their experiences.  If maturity is needed for success in the job, it will show up in your research.

2. Include Maturity in your Job Posting.

Write a job posting that includes the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics that are necessary for the job.  Maturity would fall under “other characteristics.”  If maturity is extremely important, put it front and center in the job posting, as in

  • “looking for mature people of all ages who show up on time, are dependable, and work well with others.”

By putting it out there, you are encouraging applicants to self-select to apply if they are mature or skip this job if that seems too much for them.  Hopefully, the applicants are self-aware enough to see whether they are mature, but this may not be the case.

3. Screen Applicants for Mature Behavior

There are many tests and methods to screen for mature behavior.  Whatever you choose to use, make sure you are consistent with all of your candidates so that you get good data and you are not introducing bias into your hiring practices.

I like to put people to the test right away with a few hurdles they have to jump to be worthy of an interview.

  • Require candidates to email you by a certain deadline with a cover letter and People on laptopsresume. You can give them instructions for what to include in their letter, such as why they are a good candidate for the job.  You can see if they meet the deadline, if they follow instructions, and how professional their letter is.  Is it proofread or full of typos, formal or in text speak, did they do their homework to learn what the job is about or is it generic, and so on…?
  • Email candidates who meet your criteria and have them set up a call with you. See how professionally they interact to set up a time that works for you.  Are they cordial, flexible with your schedule, reliable to call you at the number you give them at the agreed-upon time, etc.?
  • Invite them to a face-to-face interview. See how they dress and behave with you and others during their visit.  Did they arrive early to be sure to be on time, are they wearing appropriate clothes, do they look you in the eye, do they treat other staff members respectfully, and so on…?

Multiracial business people working outdoor in townThere are many other things you can do to screen candidates for maturity in your hiring process to make sure you are getting Millennials on your team who are mature, responsible, respectful employees.  To learn more, contact us for a free consultation.

 

What Does a Bad Hire Cost You? 3 Tips for Hiring Good People

working-with-laptopWhat does a bad hire cost you?

Research shows a bad hire can cost your company at least 30% of their salary, but there’s more than just money at stake.  Your personal success is on the line too.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you working too many hours because you’re covering for an ineffective employee?
  • Is a single employee dragging your whole team down?
  • Are you getting pressure from above to deliver more than your team can accomplish?
  • Are other teams performing better than yours?
  • Is your boss telling you to be tougher on your employees?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should consider what action to take.  Whether you choose to give the person a chance or let them go depends on a number of factors.  However, you can learn how to avoid this situation in the future by following a better hiring process.

No one is perfect, so the key is to hire someone who has or is able to develop the necessary skills and characteristics to succeed at the job.  Determining that requires a systematic, objective process.

It’s worth investing time and money into a solid assessment of job candidates.  It pays for itself when you have a successful employee and it avoids much greater costs when you don’t.  Plus, it helps protect you against unfair hiring practices that could bring about even costlier litigation.

3 Tips for Hiring Good People

1.      Create a detailed job description

A good assessment process starts with a detailed job description that includes specific behaviors and characteristics necessary to be successful at the job.  For example, an engineering job description might include: “operates computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment.”  A logistics manager’s job description might include: “maintains metrics, reports, process documentation, customer service logs, and training or safety records.”

2.      Choose predictive assessment methods

Whether you conduct interviews, tests, or job trials, it’s important to do them in a systematic and objective way.  For example, structured interviews with job-relevant questions are better predictors of performance than casual interviews that differ between candidates.  A test of emotional intelligence might be a good fit for candidates for a team leader position.  With tests, however, it’s important to have a qualified person read and interpret the results.

3.      Train people how to assess candidates

Invest in assessment training for those involved in the hiring process.  Teach employees and managers how to interview and how to rate candidates.  Help them understand what questions are good and which ones are either ineffective or illegal.  Walk through the job description with them so they know what they’re looking for in a successful candidate and make sure they ask the same questions to all candidates.

Alternatively…

If your team is strapped for time or just not interested in learning this skill, hire an outside firm to do the assessment for you.  It doesn’t cost that much and it can save you a bundle in the long run.

Are you hiring the job candidate or their parent?

parent-at-interviewIncreasingly, parents are getting involved in the job hiring process.  This presents a challenge for employers because you don’t know how much of the candidate you’re getting vs. their parents.

Things parents do for their adult children today:

  • Go to job fairs and open houses.
  • Write resumes and cover letters.
  • Fill out job applications and send them in.
  • Call employers to set up interviews and follow up.
  • Attend lunches and interviews.
  • Negotiate salaries with employers.
  • Decide which job to take.

Too much parental involvement in the job hiring process is detrimental to both the candidate and the employer.  The employer needs to assess whether the candidate is qualified and is a good fit for the job.  The applicant needs to assess whether the organization and job are a good fit for them.  When parents take over, neither side gets an accurate picture of the other.

What can employers do to move parents to the sidelines?

  • Make it a policy not to talk to parents during the hiring process.
  • Discourage candidates from involving their parents.
  • Politely but firmly refuse to speak to parents when they call or show up.
  • Put your no-parents-during-hiring policy on the website for all to read.

A bad hire is detrimental to both the employer and the employee.  Too many times I’ve heard employers complain that the person they hired “looked great on paper” and had “all the right things to say” in the interview, but wasn’t able to perform once hired.  This is a bad situation for the employer but an awful situation to be in for an employee.  Failing at your job, especially your first job, has long lasting effects on self-esteem.  It’s better for everyone involved—including parents—if the employee is hired for a job they can and want to do.

How can employers tell parents to back off?

Pushing parents away can be touchy for both the parents and the candidates.  How do you do it without losing good candidates?  Here are some suggestions from College Recruiter: How Employers Should Deal with Helicopter Parents.  One of the suggestions is mine.

 

The Truth Inside the Fluff: Catching Lies on College and Job Applications

resume-2-1616792-640x480Have you noticed that people today will stop at nothing to get your attention?  It’s hard to know where the truth is inside all the fluff!

How do you know if you should hire someone, for example?  It takes a lot of work to sift through the marketing spiels people manufacture for their resumes.  On paper, it looks like the person can save the world in a single bound.  You hire them and find out they can’t even save an Excel file.

How many people lie on job applications?

I did a search to look for statistics about lying on resumes and guess what I found instead?  A plethora of articles on how to not get caught lying on your resume.  Wow, lying has become so commonplace that people offer public advice on how to do it better.  The little  research I did find is consistent with these observations.  “A new survey from CareerBuilder of more than 2,500 hiring managers found that 56% have caught job candidates lying on their resumes.Continue reading The Truth Inside the Fluff: Catching Lies on College and Job Applications

Millennials: Your Reputation Is Key

By Joanie Connell

Last week I received a call from a lawyer who wasreputation up in arms about a Millennial he had just hired. But don’t stop reading because this is not a Millennial-bashing blog post. Millennials, this post is for you, to help you develop one of the most critical pieces of your attractiveness as an employee—your reputation.

The lawyer is a solo practitioner and he hired a college grad who is interested in going to law school to assist him. Literally, on the first day of work, the young woman said she was interested in other opportunities to get more experience in different types of law. When the lawyer questioned her further, the woman said she was, indeed, looking for other jobs and she might move home (to a different city) in a couple of months if she couldn’t find a good apartment here.

The lawyer hadn’t offered her the job lightly and he had said he was looking for a 1-year commitment. It was a big decision to hire her over anyone else and he had a big need to fill, being a single-person firm. He was investing a good deal of time in training the woman as well. To have to replace her within a few months would impact the business significantly.

It’s no secret that Millennials have a high turnover ratesome reports are as high as 60%. Others report that Millennials measure their job tenure in months, not years. I’ve also seen the Millennial work ethic described as a “self-centered work ethic.”  No matter how you put it, Millennials are seen as having one foot out the door.

The problem for Millennials is that you only have one reputation to maintain and you are getting a bad one. This is not only an overarching view of an entire generation, but a view of you, yourself, individually. If you switch jobs capriciously and mistreat employers in the process, you will lose credibility in the workplace. Reliability is a deal breaker. I, personally, don’t care how smart, well-educated, or experienced someone is if they are not going to show up. Seriously, what’s the point?reputation 2

The point is, it’s not only about you. Millennials, I know you get this because you have the reputation of being the most socially responsible generation yet. You understand that you are part of a larger system of Mother Earth and what you eat, buy, or do affects people on the other side of the planet. What you do also affects people closer to home. And despite what you think, people notice what you do (even if it’s not posted online).

Given the high turnover rate among Millennials, the lawyer in this case wondered if hiring a new college grad was the way to go. He also wondered if hiring a new college grad from a good university was the best idea. He contemplated hiring someone from the local community college who might need the job more and appreciate hard work and commitment. He observed that the privileged woman didn’t have a solid work ethic, need for a job, or understanding of the big picture. (The woman also asked, within 3 weeks of employment, if she could take a vacation day to go to the beach.)

This is just one lawyer, but he is not alone in his experience. I have numerous stories like this one. Millennials, take this as a wake-up call. You need to build your reputation to be employable. I can tell you right now that the young employee in this story won’t get a positive recommendation from her current employer. After a point, college grades and letters of reference from professors don’t carry any weight. It soon becomes all about what you can produce, the quality of your work, and how reliable you are in getting things done. Your reputation is key.

Stereotyping is bad and ageism is illegal. Hopefully, employers won’t base a hiring decision on a generation’s reputation, but they will base it on yours.