April 2017 Prosperity at Work E-Tip
Economics & Job Creation:
“THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — March 2016”
“Why Tending Your Career Is a Lifelong Pursuit”
“Physicists create ‘negative mass'”
“Reduction of post-traumatic stress symptoms associated with noninvasive technology”
“How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong People”
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HCS has created the Prosperity at Work proposition which focuses on creating prosperous relationships between companies and their employees (associates). HCS assists companies in improving bottom line profitability by efficiently planning, organizing and implementing optimized, practical and value-added business solutions.
Economics & Job Creation:
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MARCH 2017
The unemployment rate declined to 4.5 percent in March, and total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 98,000,
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services
and in mining, while retail trade lost jobs.
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 4.5 percent in March, and the number of unemployed
persons declined by 326,000 to 7.2 million. Both measures were down over the year. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (4.0 percent), Whites (3.9 percent), and
Hispanics (5.1 percent) declined in March. The jobless rates for adult men (4.3 percent), teenagers (13.7
percent), Blacks (8.0 percent), and Asians (3.3 percent) showed little or no change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and
In March, the number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks declined by 232,000 to 2.3 million. The number of
long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed over the month at 1.7 million and
accounted for 23.3 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed was
down by 526,000. (See table A-12.)
The labor force participation rate remained at 63.0 percent in March, and the employment-population ratio, at
60.1 percent, changed little. The employment-population ratio has edged up over the year, while the labor force
participation rate has shown no clear trend. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time
workers), at 5.6 million, was little changed in March but was down by 567,000 over the year. These individuals,
who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or
because they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)
In March, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier.
(The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available
for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 460,000 discouraged workers in March, down by 125,000 from a year
earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work
because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force in March had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
(See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 98,000 in March, following gains of 219,000 in February and 216,000
in January. Over the month, employment growth occurred in professional and business services (+56,000) and in
mining (+11,000), while retail trade lost jobs (-30,000). (See table B-1.)
In March, employment in professional and business services rose by 56,000, about in line with the average monthly
gain over the prior 12 months. Over the month, job gains occurred in services to buildings and dwellings
(+17,000) and in architectural and engineering services (+7,000).
Mining added 11,000 jobs in March, with most of the gain occurring in support activities for mining (+9,000).
Mining employment has risen by 35,000 since reaching a recent low in October 2016.
In March, employment continued to trend up in health care (+14,000), with job gains in hospitals (+9,000) and
outpatient care centers (+6,000). In the first 3 months of this year, health care added an average of 20,000 jobs
per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 32,000 in 2016.
Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in March (+9,000) and has increased by 178,000 over the
past 12 months.
Construction employment changed little in March (+6,000), following a gain of 59,000 in February. Employment in
construction has been trending up since late last summer, largely among specialty trade contractors and in
Retail trade lost 30,000 jobs in March. Employment in general merchandise stores declined by 35,000 in March and
has declined by 89,000 since a recent high in October 2016.
Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing,
information, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3 hours in March. In
manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours, and overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.2
hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by
0.1 hour to 33.5 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 5 cents to $26.14,
following a 7-cent increase in February. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 68 cents, or 2.7
percent. In March, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by
4 cents to $21.90. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised down from +238,000 to +216,000, and the
change for February was revised down from +235,000 to +219,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January
and February combined were 38,000 less than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports
received from businesses since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. Over
the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 178,000 per month.
“Why Tending Your Career Is a Lifelong Pursuit”
It’s easy to get comfortable in your career, especially when all is going well. But James G. Ward, an executive coach, corporate consultant, and author of ‘New Directions,’ a newly published guide to career management, said that could be a big mistake.
Gone are the days when someone might spend decades perhaps even an entire career, at a single company. And if any lessons were learned in the fallout from the Great Recession, it is that no job is 100 percent safe and no one will attend to your career interests better than you.
“The reality is that we as individuals have to take control,” said Mr. Ward. “You’re really the CEO of your own company. And you have to make those CEO decisions that are in the best interest of you and your career. If it works with one particular employer for a long period of time, that’s great. But often it doesn’t, and these days you see people having multiple careers, even different professions, in their lifetime.”
A Rolling Stone
Career planning, according to this former human resource executive, goes far beyond simply getting a job. “It’s a lifelong endeavor,” said Mr. Ward. “And career planning and career strategies are part of life.”
The financial sector is where Mr. Ward made his career. He was head of human resources, Asia Pacific, for the investment bank Salomon Brothers and global head of HR for Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), among other roles.
Mr. Ward, who lives in Newport Beach, CA, left the corporate world in 2010, and has been working as a consultant ever since. In addition to executive coaching, he keeps his hand in talent management as well as executive compensation work with a focus on investment management. He earned his certification as an executive coach through a year-long program at Columbia University.
In his early days in human resources, Mr. Ward said he would often be skeptical when he received a resume from someone who had held several jobs, a few years here, a few years there. “I’d say, ‘They’re a rolling stone; I don’t want to hire them; there’s no loyalty.’ Today, the average college graduate will change jobs twice in the first five years. It’s a different world.”
Consider a 40-year-old executive in financial services who found himself displaced eight years ago because of the economic crisis, said Mr. Ward. The industry has, in large part, been reshaped, particularly by outsourcing, and today there are simply fewer jobs to be had. After looking a couple years — if they could hold out that long — many had to face the facts that it was time for a change.
“For people who find themselves in that situation, it’s a good time to rethink what they’re going to do,” Mr. Ward said. “How do you take the skills that you have accrued over the last 15 or 20 years and redirect them into something that could potentially be of interest and financially rewarding and give you some personal satisfaction?”
The possibilities are endless. Mr. Ward tells of one friend, a technology executive who found himself unemployed after 20 years with the same company, who now happily runs a Mailboxes, Etc. store. Another individual he knows does contract marketing work, in which he’ll work for a year, then take a few months off before starting a new gig. For other people, the answer might be a job in a different field altogether.
‘Gigging’ as a Top Adaptation Strategy
As workers seek more flexibility and employers embrace agility in all facets of their organizations, contingent work will exert more and more influence over companies. As we head toward a fundamental shift in the composition of the workforce, companies will need to continue to adopt new strategies and integrate new technologies to engage external talent and turn it into a true business differentiator. But make no mistake, across the world the traditional notions of labor, work, and talent are being altered.
To get to that new place, however, you have to look ahead rather than back. Undeniably, losing a job can take a psychological toll. But Mr. Ward tells his clients it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Nor is it uncommon for forces out of one’s control to leave even talented people hunting for work. Sometimes, it’s the economy. Other times, companies get sold. Or, businesses sell off or shutter divisions. There’s any number of scenarios.
Knowing When to Move On
And while it’s not unusual for people to dwell on asking, “Why me?” Mr. Ward sees little value in it. “I encourage people just to move on, see yourself as a commodity of sorts, that you’re a composite of a lot of different skills and life experiences,” he said. “The first step is to let go of the past and embrace the future.”
That starts with taking time to look inward and evaluate yourself and consider what you’d like to do moving forward. “It’s taking a serious internal look,” said Mr. Ward. “What are my skills? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? How do I repackage myself, rebrand myself? It’s a process that can take several weeks if not longer for some people.”
Gwen Sabo, co-founder of Olive Avenue Search in Burbank, CA, agrees that it is important for those who have been laid off or otherwise find themselves unemployed through no choice of their own to avoid rushing into the search for a new job. One’s financial situation plays a part, of course. How much time one takes depends on the individual. Maybe it is several weeks, or for some, several months.
But people need time to fully take in and adjust to the sudden change in their situation, which can be a shocking psychological blow. In short, job loss is a form of rejection, and it can leave a person unmoored. “You do change,” Ms. Sabo said. “And you are affected in a way you can’t imagine. When you’re in this state of mind, which is normal and appropriate, it’s not the best time to ask for a really important informational meeting, for instance, because you’re not at your best.”
So, catch your breath, she suggested. “Check in with what you’re feeling and what may come next. I promise that if you take the time to kind of feel how things are new and different and changed, you will be a far more effective job seeker and far more creative. You’ll also be much more attractive in your outreaches and in your presentations and thoughtful about how you frame the story of your availability.”
Time to Reflect, Reinvent and Redirect
For many, that reflective time also helps people see that they weren’t completely satisfied with their job in the first place. Having some time away from working can be a tremendous opportunity to explore other career possibilities. “If you have a bit of a cushion and you’re prepared to go several weeks or months in this kind of retrenching mode, I’m going to bet that over 50 percent of the people say, ‘What else can I do?’” said Ms. Sabo.
And given that we’re in a more robust economy, there seems to be much more opportunity available. “This idea of repositioning, reinventing, redirecting is legitimate. We’re all living so much longer. We’re going to have a lot of jobs in a lifetime. So maybe this is a blessing. Maybe it’s a time to think what else one can be doing,” she added.
Once your future plans are ultimately decided, Mr. Ward then calls for a multi-pronged approach to make it reality: research, informational interviews, networking, and social media should all play a part. “Don’t just attack one avenue,” he said.
Challenges are going to come.
Perhaps most daunting will be those individuals who throw roadblocks in your path saying “No.” There might be a lot of them. “Don’t give up,” said Mr. Ward. “You’ll uncover lots of interesting things in your journey, but people need to accept that there’s going to be some rejection. Also, appreciate that it is a journey and will take time. Stick-to-itiveness and determination are so important. It’s not accepting defeat and moving forward with boldness and determination that will pay off in the end.”
Among the biggest mistakes those who are looking to reignite their careers make is to rely on tread worn, unsuccessful patterns of behavior. Mr. Ward tells of one out-of-work attorney he advised who only looked for positions through job boards, which got him nowhere. That client, he said, was averse to much social interaction and felt uncomfortable using his contacts and getting out in front of people. Following Mr. Ward’s advice, the lawyer jettisoned the job boards and made some adjustments that eventually helped land him a good position.
Workers Seek New Opportunities
According to a newly released survey by CareerBuilder, more than one in five workers are planning to change jobs in 2017. It also found that 35 percent of workers are regularly searching for new job opportunities, even though they’re currently employed. “Whether it’s unemployed people trying to find their way back to the workforce or those who are currently employed attempting an upgrade to greener pastures, a new year makes many people set their sights on job hunting,” said Rosemary Haefner, the organization’s chief human resources officer (CHRO). To keep your top workers, she suggested you keep a pulse on what they’re seeking and to poll your employees from time to time to learn more about their goals and motivations and how they want to be treated
Time to Self-Review
But even when you are employed and content in your job, it’s essential to continually evaluate yourself and the direction your career is going, both short-term and long-term. That self-review could be quarterly or annually, Mr. Ward said, but take time to keep assessing your goals. Be loyal and respectful to your employer, of course, but pay attention to your own future as well. “Just understand that changes happen and you have to do what’s right for you,” he cautioned.
Too often, Mr. Ward explained, people lack a backup plan. Regardless of how long you have worked for an organization, it’s critical to know what you’ll do should the company be sold, for example, or your department or your job is eliminated.
Building a network, constantly improving and updating your skills, improving your professional standing in the market, even just updating your resume, are all part of being prepared. Even having a hobby, like carpentry or collecting art, could provide career options should circumstances change. “It’s about keeping yourself viable and not getting complacent,” said Mr. Ward.
Angee Linsey, managing director of Linsey Careers in Seattle, WA, which specializes in recruiting talent in marketing and communications, also provides career coaching services for those in the sector. She strongly agrees that it’s vital for individuals to tend to their careers when they’re actually in a job rather than scrambling to make up for lost ground when they are displaced.
Nurture your network, she said. But come at it from an honest, positive place rather than having selfish, ulterior motives. Many people detest the word “networking” and all the discomfort it can invoke. “So don’t call it networking,” she said. “Call it having meaningful conversations. Look for connections with people who you are actually interested in and hopefully they’re also interested in you. Those are the kinds of relationships that will help you and that will connect you with that future job.”
Strengthening those connections takes time and proceeding with intention. “Networking to me feels transactional,” Ms. Linsey noted. “I’m talking about relationship building over the long term. And that takes actual effort. I recommend that you take one hour a week and just spend time reaching out to people in your network. And I don’t care what you’re talking about. Connect with people because you’re genuinely interested in them as a human being or in their professional endeavors. Keep that network alive because you don’t want to reach out only when you need something.”
Don’t Let the Ship Sail Without You
Jobs can change fast. Technology is perhaps the greatest game changer. Too many people keep their head down and focus on the work in front of them and in the process fall behind the rest of the field. “Pay attention to the competitive landscape,” said Ms. Linsey. “This happened in marketing and communications over the last five years: Jobs that people did five years ago don’t exist anymore, and jobs that people are doing now didn’t exist five years ago, because of technology, social media; there’s so many factors. If that ship is sailing and you missed the boat, it’s going to be hard to catch up. If you have to take some night classes, or whatever it takes, stay current.”
Surrounding yourself with great talent will also make a big difference. Bringing in people who were brought up with digital technology is the most obvious example. “At the executive level, make sure you’re hiring ridiculously smart people below you,” said Ms. Linsey, “because the people that are coming up through the ranks are natives in skills that, let’s be honest, (older people) are not. As a company leader, I’m going to make sure the people I bring on know stuff I don’t know, so I can learn from them.”
Building one’s own brand is also part of the process. Mr. Ward encourages clients to keep a journal to help synthesize their feelings and thoughts. Identifying your values and how they translate to your work also helps you hone in on how you see yourself as well as how you want the world to see you.
“It’s the attributes that you want to display,” he said. “It’s behaviors. Let’s say you’re a forensic accountant and you pride yourself on being a thought leader. How do you get that brand out from a messaging standpoint? Maybe you’re going to take a leadership role in your professional association. Or internally at your organization, maybe you’ll volunteer to lead projects. It’s getting that outward message out.”
Be Mentally Tough
Mr. Ward himself is a triathlete, which informs much of his thinking about job hunting and career management. He’s far from the best athlete in any given triathlon, he admitted, but he thrives on the competition and the psychological stamina it demands and helps develop. There’s also something to be said for the discipline and perpetual effort that’s required to improve.
“I’ve learned through my recreational interest in triathlons what it means to be mentally tough,” he said. “And I think that’s very important in career planning and career strategy. When you think about successful athletes, they didn’t get where they are just through a lackadaisical, haphazard approach to their training. With job hunting, you have to approach it in the same way that you approach an athletic endeavor.”
“If you’re 45 years old and you’ve been displaced and you’re in transition trying to find your next opportunity, you have to be mentally tough because it’s a challenging world. You may find that you get that next opportunity right out of the gate. But other times it’s six, eight, 12 months. You have to be mentally tough.”
Contributed by Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor and Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief — Hunt Scanlon Media
“Physicists create ‘negative mass'”
Washington State University physicists have created a fluid with negative mass, which is exactly what it sounds like. Push it, and unlike every physical object in the world we know, it doesn’t accelerate in the direction it was pushed. It accelerates backwards.
The phenomenon is rarely created in laboratory conditions and can be used to explore some of the more challenging concepts of the cosmos, said Michael Forbes, a WSU assistant professor of physics and astronomy and an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington. The research appears today in the journal Physical Review Letters, where it is featured as an “Editor’s Suggestion.”
Hypothetically, matter can have negative mass in the same sense that an electric charge can be either negative or positive. People rarely think in these terms, and our everyday world sees only the positive aspects of Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Motion, in which a force is equal to the mass of an object times its acceleration, or F=ma. In other words, if you push an object, it will accelerate in the direction you’re pushing it. Mass will accelerate in the direction of the force.
“That’s what most things that we’re used to do,” said Forbes, hinting at the bizarreness to come. “With negative mass, if you push something, it accelerates toward you.”
Conditions for negative mass
He and his colleagues created the conditions for negative mass by cooling rubidium atoms to just a hair above absolute zero, creating what is known as a Bose-Einstein condensate. In this state, predicted by Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein, particles move extremely slowly and, following the principles of quantum mechanics, behave like waves. They also synchronize and move in unison as what is known as a superfluid, which flows without losing energy.
Led by Peter Engels, WSU professor of physics and astronomy, researchers on the sixth floor of Webster Hall created these conditions by using lasers to slow the particles, making them colder, and allowing hot, high energy particles to escape like steam, cooling the material further.
The lasers trapped the atoms as if they were in a bowl measuring less than a hundred microns across. At this point, the rubidium superfluid has regular mass. Breaking the bowl will allow the rubidium to rush out, expanding as the rubidium in the center pushes outward.
To create negative mass, the researchers applied a second set of lasers that kicked the atoms back and forth and changed the way they spin. Now when the rubidium rushes out fast enough, if behaves as if it has negative mass. “Once you push, it accelerates backwards,” said Forbes, who acted as a theorist analyzing the system. “It looks like the rubidium hits an invisible wall.”
Avoiding underlying defects
The technique used by the WSU researchers avoids some of the underlying defects encountered in previous attempts to understand negative mass.
“What’s a first here is the exquisite control we have over the nature of this negative mass, without any other complications,” said Forbes. Their research clarifies, in terms of negative mass, similar behavior seen in other systems. This heightened control gives researchers a new tool to engineer experiments to study analogous physics in astrophysics, like neutron stars, and cosmological phenomena like black holes and dark energy, where experiments are impossible. “It provides another environment to study a fundamental phenomenon that is very peculiar,” Forbes said.
“Reduction of post-traumatic stress symptoms associated with noninvasive technology”
A closed-loop acoustic stimulation brainwave technology significantly reduced symptoms in people suffering from post-traumatic stress in a small pilot study conducted at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is published in the April 19 online edition of the journal BMC Psychiatry.
“The effects of chronic stress are killing people and the medical profession has not yet found an answer for how best to treat them,” said Charles H. Tegeler, M.D., professor of neurology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, a part of Wake Forest Baptist. “We believe there is a need for effective, non-invasive, non-drug therapies for symptoms of post-traumatic stress, which is why we conducted this trial.”
Nineteen volunteers who reported high scores on the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist, civilian version (PCL-C), a commonly used symptom inventory, were included in this single-site study. Of those, 18 completed an average of 16 sessions over a total of 16.5 days, with eight days of actual visits to the office, Tegeler said.
The intervention, high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM), focused on the brain, which is the organ of central command for managing responses to threat and trauma. Participants received a series of HIRREM sessions in which brain electrical activity was monitored noninvasively at high spectral resolution with software algorithms translating selected brain frequencies into audible tones in real time. Those tones were reflected back to participants via ear buds in as little as four milliseconds, providing the brain an opportunity for self-optimization of its electrical pattern.
As a closed-loop neurotechnology, the process did not require any conscious, cognitive activity by the participant, who merely relaxed and listened to the tones.
“It’s as if the brain can look at itself in an acoustic mirror, recalibrate its patterns towards improved balance and reduced hyperarousal, and can relax,” Tegeler said. HIRREM was developed by Brain State Technologies based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has been licensed to Wake Forest Baptist for collaborative research since 2011.
Participants completed the PCL-C, and 12 also had continuous recording of blood pressure and heart rate, before and after the intervention sessions. Changes in temporal lobe high frequency asymmetry were analyzed from baseline assessment through the first four sessions, and again for the last four sessions. Autonomic cardiovascular regulation was evaluated with analysis of heart rate variability and blood pressure modulation before and after the intervention.
After the sessions, 89 percent (16 of 18) of the participants reported clinically meaningful decreases in symptoms of post-traumatic stress as indicated by a change of at least 10 points from their baseline PCL-C score, Tegeler said. In the entire study group, the average reduction in the PCL-C score was 24 points. There were no adverse events reported.
There is ample scientific evidence that there is some brain asymmetry associated with chronic stress. This study is important because it also showed that there was improved balance in brain pattern activity and significant improvement in the autonomic nervous system function, as measured by heart rate variability and blood pressure modulation. All are relevant to a state of chronic stress, which now seems to affect so many people, Tegeler said.
“How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong People”
Constructing a company’s recruitment process almost always begins with the clarity, accuracy, and compelling nature of job descriptions. These documents, which formally detail the responsibilities, skills, and competencies a hiring manager seeks, lay the foundation for how efficiently the entire recruitment process will run.
Hiring managers use job descriptions to help clarify the needed role, while recruiters use them to set their sourcing and screening strategies. Candidates, of course, rely on them to ensure their skills match those sought by the hiring manager.
Unfortunately, many organizations are challenged to get this first step right. According to a new talent advisory benchmark report, ‘Let’s Talk: Focused Conversation Topics to Supercharge Recruiting Success’ by Allegis Group, perception gaps exist between employers and candidates in how effective each thinks the other is in managing this stage of the recruitment process. Compared to candidates, for example, employers are much more likely to think their job descriptions are always accurate (50 percent versus 35 percent of candidates) and are always appropriately detailed (44 percent versus 34 percent).
This misalignment creates an environment where employers risk hiring the wrong people. In fact, the Allegis survey found that seven in 10 employers said that employees are sometimes hired who lack the required skills. Employers reporting this outcome were significantly less likely to agree that their organizations’ job descriptions are always clear and easily understood (39 percent versus 61 percent), as well as appropriately detailed (35 percent versus 58 percent), compared to employers who say that employees who lack the necessary skills for the job are never hired.
All of this can negatively impact recruitment downstream. Employers who have hired people with skewed skill sets are more likely to have issues with the retention of quality talent (67 percent somewhat / significant issue versus 50 percent) and the amount of time it takes for an employee to be productive post-placement because the candidate did not have the skills needed (57 percent versus 40 percent).
Ensuring Expectations and Success
High performing recruitment organizations are 1.3 times more likely to ensure job expectations are realistic and 1.4 times more likely to ensure job expectations are clear. That’s important, considering accurate and clear job descriptions significantly impact a new hire’s success. When job expectations are aligned to the original job description, talent is nearly twice as satisfied with the recruitment process.
To write meaningful descriptions, consider relevant phrases and titles that resonate with candidates and accurately define the job. Convey the role’s clear purpose and its connection to business objectives. Set action-based outcomes and realistic performance expectations. Ensure job titles are self-explanatory and identify the role’s hierarchy clearly, including phrases about working relationships and reporting structures.
Viewing a job through an actionable lens ensures accuracy and completeness while also facilitating smooth expectation-setting with candidates. According to the report, high performing recruitment organizations are 3.3 times more likely to create job descriptions in tandem with 30-/60-/90-day plans. Only through the diligent process of revising and rewriting these two documents simultaneously can hiring managers ensure proper alignment and feel confident enough to then approach and engage a recruiter to initiate a candidate search.
Organizations need talented employees to drive strategy and achieve goals, but with an improving economy finding and recruiting the right people is becoming more difficult. While the severity of the issue varies among organizations, industries and geographies, it’s clear that the changing global economy has created a demand for new jobs, new skills and new capabilities – and organizations are scrambling to find the best workers to fill these positions.
High performing recruitment organizations always consider the candidate’s perspective when assembling job descriptions. They demonstrate this commitment by doing the following:
Include an Employee Value Proposition (EVP). High performing recruitment organizations are 2.6 times more likely to include clear EVPs in the job description, driving the second largest impact on candidate satisfaction with the recruitment process (32 percent impact) behind compensation. According to candidates, the most important aspects in a position include compensation (73 percent), culture/environment (49 percent), job responsibilities (46 percent), advancement opportunity (43 percent), skills development (31 percent), and schedule flexibility (27 percent). These figures adjust slightly when sourcing freelancers as they place more importance on job responsibilities (49 percent of total mentions versus 42 percent of traditionally employed candidates) and less importance on advancement opportunities (38 percent versus 46 percent).
Stand Out. Technology has made it easier for talent acquisition professionals to identify and contact potential candidates frequently. The survey found that candidates who are actively seeking a job receive 11.2 calls or emails per month. When candidates receive this level of solicitation, a strong EVP helps to elevate one opportunity over another.
Share Insights on Company Culture. Interestingly, less than one third of employers believe they provide insight into their culture within their job descriptions (31 percent always). However, candidates who say job descriptions always provide insight into company culture are nearly twice as likely to be very satisfied with the recruitment process (64 percent “very satisfied” when “always” versus 33 percent “very satisfied” when not “always”).
Culture is often the intangible success factor, but it doesn’t have to be. Job descriptions that showcase cultural values in action attract employees who have the best chances of long term success. For example, successful talent acquisition organizations construct descriptions that articulate the company’s purpose and mission, as well as what the company values. Affirming that employees are the company’s greatest asset or that a job offers opportunities for career growth and the chance to make a difference through diverse thinking resonates with job seekers.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media