Navigating Gen. Z’s Demands: 4 Tips for Negotiating Job Offers With the Newest Members of the Workforce


As a recruiter, you know you need to stay on top of the latest workforce trends if you’re going to keep engaging top-tier talent. And the trends change often: Each new generation that enters the office has its own priorities, and that affects how you sell opportunities and negotiate offers. Millennials, for example, are well known for valuing work/life balance and flexible work arrangements.

But the latest generation to hit the scene — Generation Z — is driven more by salary, and their expectations can make negotiations particularly challenging.

See, recent research from Clever found that Gen. Z-ers prioritize money-based incentives above the more intangible perks millennials often seek. To complicate matters, Gen. Z’s salary expectations are also higher than the national median salaries commensurate with their experience levels. In more concrete terms: The average Gen. Z undergrad expects to be earning a salary of $57,964 one year out of college, but the national median salary for recent grads with bachelor’s degrees and less than five years of experience is only $47,000.

This puts recruiters in a difficult situation: They need to find ways to successfully negotiate with Gen. Z candidates even when they cannot meet these unrealistic salary expectations.

What can a recruiter do to win over Gen. Z-ers when salary isn’t open to discussion? Here are four simple tips to help:

1. Show Them Value Beyond Salary

Gen. Z may want money, but there’s more to a job than the biweekly paycheck, and an effective recruiter will help Gen. Z candidates see beyond salary when assessing the value of a job offer.

Companies have more to offer great candidates than high salaries. For example, an excellent benefits package can go a long way in winning over Gen. Z-ers. Outstanding health care, stock options, commuting benefits, wellness perks, and even tuition reimbursement can all be highly valuable to money-conscious Gen. Z candidates.

2. Help Them Meet Their Career Goals

Take some time to really get to know what your candidate wants from their career. Not only does this help keep the candidate engaged, but it can also yield valuable insights you can use to make your job offer more enticing.

For example, Gartner found that 23 percent of Gen. Z candidates feel career development opportunities are a top attraction when evaluating job opportunities. You can create a better offer by taking the candidate’s career goals to company leaders and asking them to commit to helping the candidate reach those goals. For instance, leadership may agree to provide the candidate with two annual development course opportunities with options for bonuses upon completion.

For more expert recruiting insights, check out the latest issue of Magazine:

3. Bring Managers in for One-on-One Discussions

You may be the lead on negotiating, but that doesn’t mean you should be alone in the process. Manager input is essential to crafting an offer that both the Gen. Z candidate and the company find amenable.

Any candidate you hire will have their future at the company directly affected by their manager — especially in terms of that career development Gen. Z-ers want.

The Gartner study cited above found that an employee’s manager has more influence on the kind of development they receive than anyone else. Bringing the candidate’s future manager into negotiations can help get your new hire’s career development started on the right foot, and these early interactions can build trust between the company and the (eventual) new hire.

Give candidates the chance to talk with their potential managers about their career goals, and let managers show candidates how they’ll take steps to ensure those goals are met.

4. Map Out Their Future With Your Company

Just like every generation before them, Gen. Z-ers want to find meaning in their work. They care about how their work impacts others, and they want to build meaningful relationships with their coworkers. Show Gen. Z candidates that your company can give them these things — both today and in the future.

For example, you could offer candidates a chance to meet and chat with their potential team members, either in person or via video. You could share with your candidates details about initiatives in development that will change the way they work. Consider also sharing stories of other employees who held the same role this candidate will have: How did those employees grow with your company?

Show your Gen. Z candidate that your company can be a strong, long-term career choice, and they’ll be more likely to lower their salary demands.

As a final note, Gen. Z-ers may like the money, but they’re also very big on diversity and inclusion (D&I). According to an EY survey, 63 percent of Gen. Z-ers feel it is important to work on teams of people with diverse education and skill levels, and 20 percent feel it is most essential for teams to include people of various cultures. Be sure to highlight your company’s D&I initiatives throughout your interactions with Gen. Z candidates to further drive home the point that your company is the right place for them.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of video interview solution Spark Hire. Connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

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You Are the Valuable Asset: How to Be a Brain Instead of a Set of Hired Hands


I remember what it’s like to be on a job search. Early on in my career, I would scour the newspaper ads; later, I would search all of the job sites for anything that looked remotely like a place that might hire me. I would adjust my resume to try to trick employers into seeing that I was qualified for the job. I would apply for as many jobs as I could in a day, then stand by, hoping someone would think I was a fit. When someone reached out, the game was on. Could I convince them to hire me?

It took me many years of feeling inadequate to hit rock bottom. I had just lost two executive-level positions in 20 months because I had accepted roles that were not even close to fits for me. At the time, I didn’t really know what a fit was for me, because I wasn’t aware of my talents. I just figured that once I landed a job, I would scrap and scrape by until I learned what it took to be successful. This tactic worked for the first 15 or so years of my corporate career, so I figured it would always work. The problem was that even when I was successful, I never knew why. I always felt like an imposter.

In March of 2016, the bottom fell out of my life and career. My inability to understand my talents and gifts — and my lack of internal value and worth — caused me to finally run out of luck. I lost a general manager role in a small St. Louis defense company, and that began a journey of understanding myself at a deeper level than I’d ever imagined possible. I was forced to reevaluate everything in my life; I came to understand not only what went wrong, but also what had gone right so many times to make me successful for so many years until it all fell apart.

In my book, The Imposter in Charge, I detail my entire journey from feeling like an imposter in all aspects of my life to the time that enabled me to rebuild my life based on my own desires, strengths, talents, and unique perspective. I realized after my awakening that the cause of all of my pain and suffering was that I never fully understood I was the scarce, valuable asset. Instead, I viewed the jobs and positions as the valuable assets. Once I changed my outlook, my entire life changed as well.

Recognizing Your Personal Genius

There are 7.7 billion people on planet Earth, and every single one is unique. Every person has talents, strengths, and gifts they can use in their life to drive growth in their circumstances. Let’s call this our “genius.” It’s up to each of us to put ourselves in a position to best utilize our innate genius to create what we want to create.

Each of us also has skills that fall into a category we will call our “weaknesses.” It’s also up to us to ensure that we do not put ourselves in positions where our weaknesses are required to be strengths for us to be successful. By taking the spray and pray approach to job hunting and simply saying yes to the first or best offer we get, we put ourselves in a precarious position prone to failure.

Here is a term I hope you get super familiar with as you shift from seeing the opportunity as valuable to seeing yourself as valuable: “return on investment” (ROI). Executives and business owners drive their businesses based on ROI. In order to justify a $50,000 spend, the investment must return a multiple — say twice, three times, or even 10 times the investment. When you feel like you are a commodity and the position is valuable, you’ll likely not understand the return you create for the employer.

But if you flip the script, and if you know yourself deeply — including your talents, gifts, strengths, and weaknesses — you can see that you are valuable and that ROI begins with deploying your talents in a role that will allow you to return extraordinary value. I would like to suggest that when you interview with a prospective employer, instead of matching your skills to their requirements, take leadership of the conversation and express your genius. Tell them all about how you’ve maximized ROI on your genius skills in the past and how you can create value for their company with your genius.

Emphasize Your Genius on the Job Hunt

I remember when I was looking for a mill operator at one point. The team that needed the mill operator was struggling to perform as a team. I was also looking for one of the existing employees to step into a leadership role, but they all shrank from the opportunity. I interviewed a prospect named Frank. He made sure I understood that he had zero mill operation experience, but every team he’d ever worked on became a tighter unit because of his leadership, work ethic, and people skills.

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Frank had an optimism and drive about him that I loved. I told him I would find him a spot, because I hire leaders. He never tried to sell me on the fact that he could learn the mills (which he eventually did). Frank knew his genius and made sure I knew what it was, too. He wasn’t going to force himself into a position for which he wasn’t suited, but he turned every question I asked back to his leadership skills to make sure he kept the spotlight on the skill set he possessed that would be an asset to the right organization.

I brought Frank in as an assistant to the existing mill guys, and a few weeks later, he was running the production team. Frank knew he was more valuable than the position, and I would encourage you to be like Frank. Shift your perspective from trying to get a job to recognizing you are an asset to the right organization. You have more power and significance than you might realize. The right organization will be blessed to have you, and you will create powerful ROI for that organization.

When you create an ROI and truly recognize your value, you’ll realize that you’re not easily replaceable. Sure, if you accept a position that can be done by anyone without thinking, you accept a certain potential for replaceability. However, when you use your mind to solve problems with your unique genius, you cannot be easily replaced. Instead of being a set of hired hands, you’ll be a brain, and brains that create a return above what they receive cannot be easily replaced.

As a small business owner, I am constantly on the search for talent. If someone wants a job, I will not simply create a job just for the sake of hiring them — but why wouldn’t I hire someone who communicates the problems they solve and commits to a return on the investment I make in them?

Communicate your value and know that you can create ROI, and you’ll realize that you — not the company or the job — are the valuable asset. You’ll become the most sought-after investment all business owners desire: a problem-solver who intends to add to the bottom line.

Don’t be someone who views themselves as an expense and just does as they’re told. Those people are everywhere. Be different. Be you and know that you are the asset — the most valuable asset in the world.

Mike Kitko is a United States Marine veteran and a former Fortune 500 executive business leader. Connect with Mike on MikeKitko.comTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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Here and Now: Why Continuous Performance Conversations Are More Effective Than Annual Reviews


Employees like feedback. In fact, 96 percent would like to get feedback from their managers regularly, rather than have to wait for an annual performance review.

And as it turns out, sitting down once or twice a year to discuss goals, behavior, and advancement isn’t an effective method of performance management anyway. Instead, a continuous performance management process is a much better way to keep employees engaged, productive, and thriving.

Performance Management Is Evolving

Take a look at your performance management system and ask yourself: “Why are we doing this?” If your current method isn’t helping you get the most out of your people or increasing engagement, then it’s certainly not the best system for determining pay and promotions.

Performance management used to be an annual occasion for providing constructive feedback and establishing accountability, but companies are beginning to reconsider what an optimal performance management strategy looks like — and they are realizing that the annual method falls short.

Think about it: Your employees want regular feedback, but if they have to wait for a formal review before any discussion takes place, the feedback they receive will no longer be relevant. What’s the point of feedback if your employees can’t use it to adjust their performance in the here and now?

Formal reviews are an expensive process: A company with 10,000 employees can lose $2.4 million to $35 million worth of working hours every year to the performance review process. And yet the ROI is often minimal at best. A key aspect of performance management is the benchmarking of future goals and the steps an employees must take to achieve them, but more than a quarter of employees say they don’t have these conversations with their bosses. If employees aren’t receiving the kind of feedback they need to improve their performance, businesses can’t expect to see much benefit from their performance reviews.

What’s Going Wrong?

To better understand why traditional performance management systems don’t deliver value, let’s look at some specifics. What, exactly, isn’t working?

1. Managers Aren’t Giving Regular Feedback

Managers often miss opportunities to show praise or coach in the moment. By the time they get around to these items at an annual review, the situations to which they refer are too far in the past. The feedback — positive or negative — is too late to be of any real use.

2. The People Providing Feedback Don’t Actually Manage the Individual Under Review

It’s common for reviews to be conducted by the HR department or upper management — people in supervisory roles who aren’t actually working day to day with the individual receiving the review. If the person giving feedback doesn’t typically interact with the employee, the feedback will either be based on secondhand information or come from a bird’s-eye view. Either way, the feedback will be neither accurate nor productive.

3. Managers Don’t Know How to Evaluate Performance 

Many managers never receive training on how to assess performance, give feedback, or craft an employee developmental plan. As a result, conversations become awkward, stilted, or even totally useless from the employee’s perspective.

4. You’re Trying to Squeeze Too Much Into One Meeting

Trying to review a full year’s worth of performance in one conversation means there’s a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time. This leads to important topics getting merely cursory mentions, and critical talking points can slip through the cracks.

What to Do Instead

Now that we know what’s broken, we can take steps to fix it. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Praise and Address Problems in Real Time

Don’t pass on opportunities for performance conversations for the sake of protocol. Timely recognition of a job well done shows employees that you’re keyed in, and as a result, engagement may get a boost. Conversely, stepping in when a coaching moment presents itself allows you to give employees practical input they can immediately apply to their work.

2. Put Immediate Supervisors in Charge of Moment-to-Moment Coaching

You don’t necessarily need to remove upper management or HR reps from performance management altogether, but when it comes to feedback regarding day-to-day performance, it’s best for immediate supervisors who work with the employee daily to deliver the message. Employees will be more apt to take feedback seriously when it comes from supervisors with whom they have an existing rapport, and these supervisors can give more relevant feedback because they have a firm understanding of what the employee’s job is really like.

3. Train Your Managers on How to Give Feedback

Open communication between employees and managers is integral to a successful performance management system. Therefore, it’s critical that your managers actually know how to deliver genuinely productive feedback and feel comfortable doing so.

4. Use Formal Reviews to Focus on Major Points

There’s still a place for annual reviews, but their purpose needs to be reworked. Instead of being about employee performance today, these conversations should focus on the employee’s career goals and future development. What does the employee want, how can they get there, and what does that path look like? Annual reviews are much better suited for these long-term, high-level goals, whereas specific performance measures are better addressed in real time.

A good performance management system should help employers get the most out of their workers while also giving workers the tools they need to grow toward their own goals. To achieve such a system, you need to make your performance management process an ongoing part of employees’ professional lives, rather than a yearly event.

A version of this article originally appeared on the ClearCompany blog.

Sara Pollock is head of the marketing department at ClearCompany.

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A Silver Lining to the Student Debt Crisis: 5 Advantages of Offering Your Employees Student Loan Benefits


The employment paradigm is changing. The old notion that an employee is just a cog in the company machine is no longer accepted at face value. Now, the best employees are looking for organizations with people-first orientations, organizations that emphasize the value they can provide their employees.

While it’s not a crazy concept that employees want to be seen as humans, it does mean some organizations have to change how they approach benefits and perks. But this also presents an important opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves.

Today’s workforce, primarily made up of millennials, is dealing with a student loan debt crisis. With the student loan debt surpassing $1.5 trillion among nearly 45 million people, the life of the modern worker is largely defined by their student loans.

As an employer, you have the ability to offer benefits that can ease the student loan burden. As more and more companies are extending their benefits packages to include holistic financial wellness programs, it’s no longer a question of whether you should offer student loan benefits, but a question of how quickly can you get a program started.

You have the power to significantly improve the personal lives of your employees — and give your company culture and employer brand a boost — by providing student loan repayment assistance. Here are just a few of the benefits you stand to gain:

1. You’ll Be Seen as a Leading Employer

US student loan debt has reached an all-time high, $600 billion greater than our national credit card debt. If you take steps to help employees alleviate their debt, you become a leading employer setting a positive example for other companies to follow. At the same time, you’ll catch the attention of talented workers looking for companies that take care of their people.

An employer contribution to employee student loan debt is perhaps the most well-known student loan benefit, but there are other options as well. For example, if you can’t afford the price tag of making contributions directly, you could offer a voluntary student loan repayment benefit instead.

2. You’re Helping Employees of All Generations Achieve Milestones

Millennial and Gen. Z workers are less likely than previous generations to make major life purchases, such as homes and cars. That partly has to do with the financial burdens they’re already shouldering — like student loan debt. Put simply, these monumental purchases come at too high a cost for young workers to pay on entry-level salaries when they also have all this debt to contend with.

For more expert HR insights, check out the latest issue of Magazine:

And contrary to what you might believe, millennials and Gen. Z-ers aren’t the only generations struggling with student loans. All generations are making sacrifices because of this debt. In fact, student loans are even getting in the way of retirement for many baby boomers.

Debt relief will equip employees of all generations with greater purchasing power. Milestones like marriage, buying a house, sending a child or grandchild to college, or even saving for retirement will finally be within your employees’ reach.

3. You’ll Attract Top Talent

The low unemployment rate has created a hyper-competitive marketplace in which the battle to win talent has only intensified. Student loan benefits are a key factor in developing the competitive edge your company needs to stand out.

Only 4 percent of companies currently offer student loan assistance, but nearly 90 percent of recent graduates consider this benefit when assessing potential job opportunities. The employers actually doing something to help employees solve this very real problem will be the ones to attract the next generation of top talent. Student loan benefits are currently a differentiating offering, but it won’t be that way for long.

4. You’ll Increase Retention

Getting incredible people to join your team is only half the battle. The most successful companies also focus on keeping those top-notch employees around.

Approximately 41 million people voluntarily quit their jobs in 2018, and that number is expected to grow to one-third of all US workers by 2020. Employers can take control of this situation by offering student loan repayment assistance.

This additional benefit may seem like an unjustifiable cost on first glance, but consider the power it can have in keeping exceptional employees on board. When you help employees tackle their student loan debt, they’ll feel authentically cared for by your company. This, in turn, fosters a stronger sense of loyalty and motivates employees to keep working for you instead of a competitor.

5. You’ll Improve Your Company Culture

Happiness is contagious. A happy team builds a productive and positive company culture that promotes camaraderie and collaboration.

Student debt, however, is a major barrier to building such an optimistic community. More than 85 percent of people report that student loans are a significant source of stress, and one-third of people say student loan debt is the biggest stressor in their lives.

Your employees don’t leave this stress at the door when they come to work every day. It affects their moods, their relationships with coworkers, and even their performance on the job. However, if you eliminate some of this stress through repayment assistance, it has less of an impact on their personal and professional lives.

Offering student loan assistance speaks volumes about your nature as an employer. By approaching your employees as humans first, you set a standard for how they should be treated, both in and outside of the workplace.

And, because student loan repayment benefits don’t have to align with open enrollment, you can set this new standard immediately.

Shann Grewal is vice president of IonTuition.

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Going Mobile: 3 Ways Recruiters Can Meet Candidates Where They Are


Identifying the best candidates to fill your job vacancies is not an easy process in the best of times. In a market where talent is scarce, it becomes even harder. As a 2018 study by ManpowerGroup notes, 45 percent of employers are struggling to find top talent today.

In light of these circumstances, it is no longer enough to send a general email blast to a pool of potential candidates and hope to get some responses. Recruiters and hiring managers need to be far more strategic about how they connect and engage with individuals if they are to find the high-caliber talent they seek today.

Many recruiters still rely on Boolean searches to look for talent. If a match occurs, the recruiter will then usually draft a generic message — void of personality or candidate-specific details — and send it off. This strategy is not only time-intensive and tedious, but it also rarely gets the right candidates engaged. Top-tier candidates do not have the time for template emails that are more about the recruiter’s needs than the job seeker’s.

Instead of continuing with such an out-of-touch process, recruiters must invest more time in developing real relationships with candidates. This is the only way to source candidates who really have the qualities they need to thrive in a given role. Building such relationships means more than just laying out a job’s expectations and responsibilities — it involves engaging candidates on their terms, selling the role as a great fit for the candidate, and nurturing them throughout the entire process.

Going Mobile

By approaching candidates how and where they want, recruiting teams better position themselves to reach their ideal targets. Given the centrality of smartphones to the average candidate’s everyday life, recruiters should be taking steps to make mobile a bigger part of their talent strategies.

According to a survey of Glassdoor users, 58 percent of job seekers conduct their searches through mobile, and 35 percent actually prefer applying from their phones. This makes sense: Our society is primed for instant gratification, and job searches are no exception. Recruiters, then, need to tailor their engagement efforts to these mobile job seekers, whether they’re the 52 percent who conduct late-night job searches or the 73 percent who want job opportunities texted to them.

For more expert recruiting insights, check out the latest issue of Magazine:

Mobile-optimized engagement appeals to today’s candidates by allowing recruiters to interact with them via quicker, more customized channels. What does this look like in practice? The first step is making the entire recruiting process more smartphone-friendly by overhauling career pages and job applications to be mobile-optimized. Companies should also use text messages to expedite the process of scheduling interviews while keeping candidates in direct contact with recruiters.

How to Reach Candidates Where They Are

A more mobile-optimized recruiting process is necessary for engaging today’s candidates, but not all mobile recruiting strategies are created equal. Recruiters should use these methods to fine-tune their engagement approaches and craft polished messages that really connect with potential hires:

1. Practice Due Diligence

Figure out what makes each of your candidates tick. Look into their experiences and backgrounds. Ask them thoughtful, probing questions during the intake process. Dive deep into what brought this candidate to the table, what they can offer to your company, and what the proposed position can do for them.

Once you’ve gathered such in-depth insights, you can tailor your messaging so that it specifically reaches the right talent. Not only does this help you engage candidates who are more likely to be good fits, but the personal touch also informs job seekers that you are genuinely interested in helping candidates move forward in their careers.

2. Use Active Listening

Sixty-eight percent of respondents to a CareerBuilder survey said they believe the hiring experience reflects how a company treats its employees. That means your hiring process should make candidates feel seen, heard, and valued. If it does not, candidates may assume your company does not treat its employees well.

Active listening goes hand in hand with your due diligence. As you talk with candidates about their goals, strengths, and past experiences, be sure to make space for the candidate to share their own thoughts, feedback, and other information they want to disclose. The goal is to really empower candidates throughout the hiring process so that they will feel a sense of ownership. If the company is welcoming their past successes and ideas even before hiring them, a candidate will be more likely to seriously consider any job offer extended.

3. Don’t Keep Them Waiting

According to the CareerBuilder survey mentioned earlier, 55 percent of candidates will assume they didn’t get a job if a recruiter does not follow up with them within two weeks of applying. In short, you risk losing candidates if you don’t respond ASAP.

Most recruiters engage talent via common channels like LinkedIn and email, but don’t stop there. Ask candidates for their preferred channels and use those instead. The candidate will appreciate the convenience, and you’ll be able to respond to them quickly to maintain their interest.

The key to hiring in today’s talent market is to invest time in quality candidates instead of blindly spamming the masses. By engaging with candidates on their turf in a timely and personalized manner, recruiters can make the recruitment process more productive and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Madhu Modugu is the CEO and founder of Leoforce.

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The Heart-Mind Alliance: Find Your Core Values and Let Them Guide You at Work


What comes to mind when you think about your morals and values? Is it plausible to think these very basic principles could quite possibly be responsible for your perception of the world around you? What about the effect they have on your job or your work ethic?

Family development expert Stephen J. Bavolek defines our morals as a code of conduct with identified rights and wrongs; he defines our values as set of beliefs that have worth. Our values and morals were developed even before we were born by our families of origin, and we contribute a few minor tweaks here and there along the way.

These core beliefs are deeply rooted and highly individualized. They help make up and define who we are when no one is watching, and they have a serious impact on how effective or ineffective we are at our jobs. Regardless of the type of work you do or where you work, understanding this complex belief system that guides you is essential when it comes to meeting your goals and being successful in your career.

But how does one determine what one’s core values are? And how does one then use those values to become a better employee or boss? Here are three steps to get you started:

1. Understand Who You Are

Understanding who you are is the first step in uncovering your core values. Start by identifying your likes, dislikes, interests, etc.

Note that negative experiences can cause some individuals to struggle when they attempt to pinpoint a few positives about themselves. These same individuals, however, are very quick to identify and point out all the negatives about themselves. They also tend to say what they think others want to hear. In light of all of this, they are unable to be true to themselves and, by definition, are unable to ever really understand their core identities. This lack of self-awareness or self-confidence can deter an individual from becoming the best version of themselves.

How does this affect your career? By understanding who you are, you can consciously work to obtain a position or career that matches your core values. Such a career would be intrinsically rewarding to you, and you would have an easier time putting in the effort and advancing in that field.

Society can be very negative these days, and all the negativity around us can trigger a negative self-concept and a lack of self-esteem. The constant pressure we feel to be what society wants us to be is in direct conflict with who we would become if we were able to simply focus that energy inward. You cannot find yourself if you pursue the dreams of another.

For more expert career advice, check out the latest issue of Magazine:

So ask yourself: Who am I? What field of work would I be successful in? Once you know the answers, pursue them.

If you need additional guidance, it may be beneficial to complete an aptitude test of some sort in order to determine what field of work would best match your core values. That said, be sure to always listen to your intuition. It isn’t a gift you were given on accident.

2. Accept Who You Are

Once you understand who you are, you must accept it and the career path that matches it. This has to be done without exception or hesitation. More than that, you have to love yourself unconditionally.

Please hear me when I say it is not possible to truly succeed in your line of work if the career path you choose does not match your personality or core values. Because your neighbor is a bank manager does not mean you should be a bank manager (unless that is truly your calling). Sure, you might be able to do the work competently, but you will never truly excel at it.

Excellence is born from passion. True passion and love for what you are doing cannot be manufactured based on another person’s ideal of what you should be doing.

3. Listen to Your Intuition

Once you understand who you are and learn to accept it, take note of what your intuition is telling you. It is important that you take a personal inventory here so you can be sure that your heart is in alignment with your mind. Do not rush the process.

The heart-mind alliance is necessary if you want to stay true to your core values and be successful in what you do. Impulsive decisions can lead to unknowingly compromising your value system, resulting in unnecessary frustration and unaccomplished goals.

Do not sell yourself short. Be a leader, and be proud of who you are in the workplace. Your morals and values will be a guiding light throughout your career and your life as a whole.

Emeka Anyiam PhD, LMFT, is founder and CEO of Embridge Counseling Services. To learn more, please visit and

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5 Communication Mistakes Guaranteed to Drive Away Top Candidates


With unemployment hitting lows not seen in some time, companies have to be especially strategic when it comes to the recruiting process. An unrefined hiring process can scare away the best candidates or even increase turnover among the employees you do manage to hire.

That’s not to say your recruiting process should cater to the wants of any and every candidate, but you do need to make it inviting for those candidates who are most likely to be good fits for your company.

One key component of recruiting worth considering here is communication. How you choose to communicate with candidates can make or break your hiring process. If you want to get more top talent through your door, you need to eliminate these five communication mistakes first:

1. Impersonal Interactions

Establishing a human connection early on in the process is critical for keeping candidates engaged down the line. After all, no one gets excited about working for a company that only communicates via lifeless, computer-generated emails.

At the same time, however, few companies can afford the manpower required to respond to each and every candidate with a personalized, individually written message.

Luckily, there is a way to have more personal interactions with candidates without pouring too much time into the process: workflow automation. With an automated communication solution, you can send customizable messages to candidates that feel personal — and your recruiters don’t have to spend hours a day tapping out individual emails.

2. Generic Job Postings

There’s no faster way to drive away your best prospects than by posting a bad job ad. Whether they demand an unreasonable amount of experience or are stuffed with meaningless buzzwords, poorly written job ads indicate to applicants that your company either doesn’t know what it’s looking for or doesn’t care enough to put in the effort.

If HR alone handles your job posts, your ads are unlikely to be optimized — even if HR has the best of intentions. The department simply lacks the domain-specific knowledge necessary. For job ads that entice candidates and communicate realistic expectations, have the hiring team work closely with HR to develop ads that make sense for the particular field. Be sure to get feedback from people who already work in the same or similar positions: What information would catch their attention in a job ad?

For more expert recruiting advice, check out the latest issue of Magazine:

3. Interrogatory Interviews

Interviews are supposed to be two-way conversations, but more often than not, they end up as one-sided interrogations. Interviewers bombard candidates with questions that do little more than intimidate. People want to work for companies that value their voices — so make sure your interviews reflect that your company does.

Make space for candidates to ask their own questions — about the position, the organization, the team, and anything else that may be on their minds. Interviews should focus on the mutual interests and shared goals of the candidate and the company — not just on what the company needs from the candidate.

Plus, it’s impossible to truly get to know someone through a purely one-sided interview. Your interrogations won’t get you all the information you need to make the best decision. As a result, you may end up passing over perfect-fit candidates.

4. Too Many Interviews

Even if your interviews are constructive conversations, they can still be detrimental to your hiring process if you have too many of them. It’s a tight talent market out there, and the longer your hiring process takes, the more chances your competitors have to poach top talent straight from your pipeline.

Instead of putting candidates through endless interviews, make each interview really count. Before each conversation, clearly set out an objective for yourself: What are you hoping to learn about this candidate today? Also prepare any assessments you want to give or points you want to make clear. By consolidating the content of several interviews into one or two, you construct a more agile hiring process that still uncovers the data you need to make a decision.

5. Inconsistent Outreach

Everyone has had the experience: You applied to a job — perhaps you even got an interview! — but then the company seemed to disappear. Nothing but radio silence.

Whether that silence is ever broken doesn’t really matter. When you lose contact with an applicant like that, you’re demonstrating a lack of concern for their best interests. That kind of attitude will get you nowhere in today’s talent market.

Respond to every applicant promptly, regardless of where they stand in the process. Most rejected candidates would much rather know their status than be left hanging for weeks on end. Quick responses also eliminate the constant follow-ups from antsy candidates, thereby clearing your lines of communication for more important matters.

Ultimately, the key is to ensure that every step of the hiring process accurately conveys to candidates your values, culture, and way of operating. If your process truly reflects what kind of company yours is, you will have an easier time capturing the interest of candidates who are likely to be a good match.

Anna Johansson is the founder and CEO of Johansson Consulting. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Master the art of closing deals and making placements. Take our Recruiter Certification Program today. We’re SHRM certified. Learn at your own pace during this 12-week program. Access over 20 courses. Great for those who want to break into recruiting, or recruiters who want to further their career.
Like this article? We also offer tons of free eBooks on career and recruiting topics – check out Get a Better Job the Right Way and Why It Matters Who Does Your Recruiting.

5 Things to Consider Before Hiring Your Next Recruiting Firm


There are 20,000 recruiting and staffing firms in the United States. But you knew that — it seems like they all contact you every week!

The point is you have options when it comes to selecting a recruiting partner for your next search. Perhaps too many options: It can be overwhelming to find the right recruiter, especially considering you need one because you’re so busy to begin with!

I have two pieces of good news for you:

  1. There are many hardworking, eager recruiters out there, which means there is more than one right answer when it comes to choosing the right one for your company.
  2. You can quickly generate a short list if you assess your options according to the five criteria below.

These criteria are based on my experience over the past 10 years advising the leaders of recruiting, staffing, and executive search firms (some you likely know) on their marketing — and on the 2,274 scheduled meetings (a real number as of this article) I’ve had over the past two years with company and HR leaders who are considering working with a recruiter.

1. A Fee That Makes Both Parties Happy

The average recruitment fee comes in around 22 percent, but it can be “fun” to see how low you can get an agency to go.

Sure you want a low fee — but do you want to be the lowest-paying client of a firm that works off commission? Be careful how far you negotiate a firm down. They’ll have to do something to save that money they’re no longer getting from you, and that could translate to cutting corners. They may chase the signed agreement and then not be motivated to actually fill the role.

No one wants to overpay, but if you have to negotiate hard to get to the fee you want, maybe that firm isn’t right for your needs.

2. A Guarantee That Makes Sense

A 90-day guarantee is the industry standard, and it’s troubling how easily some firms will drop their fees but refuse to extend their guarantees. Not. Even. A. Single. Day.

The amount of time a firm is willing to stand behind a placement can not only have a major impact on your recruiting budget, but it can also speak volumes about how they view your partnership. Figure out how long it takes you to truly assess the success of a new hire and make sure that’s your guarantee minimum.

For more expert talent acquisition insights, check out the latest issue of Magazine:

3. A Process That Is Built Around Your Search

Anyone can forward a resume. Make sure the firm has a process and resources available to find your candidates, not just any candidates. The recruiters should want to speak with you and your team to get a full understanding of what you’re looking for before they start submitting “perfect fits.”

Is a firm really going out and hunting for you, or is the firm giving you second and third looks at previously sourced candidates in the hopes of making a quick “close enough” placement? Resume recyclers come out of the gate looking strong — and sometimes the tactic even works! — but if your search dries up around week two or three, there may be no actual search going on at all. If you get five resumes on the first day and zero on the 14th, it’s time to move on.

4. A Partnership You Both Want

You will get the best from your recruiting partners when they feel respected. Recruiters want you to invest in your relationships with them. If you’re considering adding a fourth or fifth partner to a search, it may be time to rethink your entire approach. One or two firms with which you have strong partnerships will outperform a collection of countless recruiters over the long term every time.

If you don’t have the time to be a good partner, neither will your recruiters. Focus your loyalty on the firms that hold you accountable and allow you to do the same.

5. A Why That Makes Sense

This can be awkward. Sometimes it’s not the recruiting firm — it’s you.

No, wait! You’re great. Don’t get me wrong. It just feels, you know, like you were hoping the firm was going to fix something you really need to fix yourself.

There are times when working with a recruiting firm is the right move, and there are also times when it’s not. If you’re hoping a recruiting firm can help you pay top talent under market value, source an unrealistic set of skills, or overcome your reputation for a toxic workplace, you’re in for a disappointment. If there are structural issues keeping you from making the hire, address those first. Otherwise, you’ll only relive those challenges on a larger scale as your recruiters start submitting resumes.

Addressing each of these items in a way that makes both you and your recruiter happy is essential for a successful recruiting partnership. These partnerships may require some work to develop, but the right recruiter will save you time, work hard to keep you engaged, and be well worth the fee you mutually agreed on.

Patrick Cahill is the founder of #twiceasnice Recruiting.

Master the art of closing deals and making placements. Take our Recruiter Certification Program today. We’re SHRM certified. Learn at your own pace during this 12-week program. Access over 20 courses. Great for those who want to break into recruiting, or recruiters who want to further their career.
Like this article? We also offer tons of free eBooks on career and recruiting topics – check out Get a Better Job the Right Way and Why It Matters Who Does Your Recruiting.

Attract Top Talent With These 5 Essential Modern Office Features


Offices are changing. Gone are the days of cubicles and water cooler networking. Corner offices are passé, and old coffee makers just don’t cut it anymore.

The evolution of the office is about more than just design trends. Our office environments affect our health, well-being, and productivity. They change the way we work.

As recruitment and retention grow more competitive, job seekers are looking beyond standard salaries and basic benefits when evaluating job opportunities. The office environment you provide can be a massive differentiator with today’s top talent.

But it takes more than an open floor plan and cold brew on tap to keep employees satisfied. Here are five key office design features that will make your workplace stand out:

1. Parent’s Rooms

A parent’s room can take many forms, because it serves a number of incredibly important purposes.

As one example, more than 80 percent of mothers nurse their newborns and continue to do so for months after birth. At the same time, one in four mothers are right back to work just 10 days after giving birth (a parental leave issue in and of itself that merits its own article). You shouldn’t expect your best employees to hide in closets or bathrooms to breastfeed and pump; a parent’s room can be the perfect solution.

Additionally, new moms often face pregnancy discrimination and have to push for the most basic parental benefits. By offering a parent’s room, your company designates itself as one that will actually be there for its employees.

2. Gender-Neutral, Accessible Bathrooms

Inclusion and diversity aren’t just buzzwords. If companies want to walk the walk, they need to build offices that support the varied needs of all their employees. Restroom access is a necessity for each and every employee, and a lack of accessible facilities is a blatant disadvantage for your company in the talent market.

If office cubicles are obsolete, so are standard bathroom setups that only cater to the gender binary. Companies must offer bathrooms for people of every gender identity and all forms of ability. Such spaces don’t necessarily have to be the only bathrooms available in the office, but they do need to exist in some form.

For more expert HR insights, check out the latest issue of Magazine:

3. An Area for Children

Beer on tap and after-hour movie nights are great perks for entry-level workers, but as millennials — the largest generation in the workforce — age into parenthood, they’re looking for more perks that help them strike a satisfying work/life balance.

A child-friendly workspace is a dream come true for most parents, but it’s mostly that: a dream. As more and more coworking spaces start offering designated play areas, traditional offices will have to keep up. Setting aside in-house space for children will alleviate the stress your parent employees feel when there’s a last-minute snow day, for example, and it makes it easier for them to pop over to the pediatrician’s office for a child’s checkup during the workday.

4. Varied Workspaces for a Varied Workforce

Desks have been an office staple throughout the years, but they don’t necessarily meet the needs of today’s workers. The modern workforce is mobile. Rather than being tied to one spot, your employees want to be able to work on the go, wherever they go, in whatever environments are most conducive to the task at hand.

An adaptable workspace is one that allows employees to reconfigure their physical spaces to meet their changing needs, rather than forcing them to stay in one area. But what does this actually look like?

Offices should have a variety of closed conference rooms and open work areas, spaces designated for rest and relaxation, and well-lit areas meant for getting things done on your own or with your team. Remote logins, video conferencing tech, and robust network capabilities also give employees the freedom to work from anywhere within these versatile spaces. Increased mobility and an assortment of area types allow workers to find the best spots based on their preferences for collaborative meetings, quick calls, or heads-down projects.

5. Quiet Rooms

More than half of Americans report being stressed daily, and 83 percent of US employees report being stressed on the job. Providing employees with space to meditate, pray, and recharge can help reduce stress and sickness in your office while increasing employee productivity.

When designing a quiet room for your office, be sure to get input from employees of multiple faiths to ensure the room is respectful of all religions. It’s also critical to establish clear expectations for use of the quiet room to ensure employees are utilizing the space appropriately.

These are just some of the ways you can update your office with employee needs in mind. Creating a more modern workspace doesn’t necessarily mean pulling up all the carpets and getting rid of every feature across your floor, but reconfiguring your space for a rapidly changing workforce will undoubtedly put your company ahead of the pack when it comes to appealing to the talent of today — and tomorrow.

Ryan Lathrum is director of community and inclusion at BounceX.

Master the art of closing deals and making placements. Take our Recruiter Certification Program today. We’re SHRM certified. Learn at your own pace during this 12-week program. Access over 20 courses. Great for those who want to break into recruiting, or recruiters who want to further their career.
Like this article? We also offer tons of free eBooks on career and recruiting topics – check out Get a Better Job the Right Way and Why It Matters Who Does Your Recruiting.

Help Your Candidates Stand Out With These 15 LinkedIn Profile Tips


It may be a candidate’s market out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to place every job seeker in your pipeline. Even when talent is scarce, recruiters have to put in a little work to sell their clients on why a given candidate is the right fit for them.

As part of your placement strategy, you likely already take steps to help your candidates stand out, whether it’s by practicing mock interviews, helping them tidy up their resumes, or even offering feedback on their digital footprints. And when it comes to digital footprints, LinkedIn is king of the job-seeking world.

To help your candidates position themselves as viable hires in the eyes of your clients, consider sharing this new infographic from Fundera. These 15 LinkedIn tips can help your candidates put their best feet forward — and, by extension, help you make more placements:

15 Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Shine-infographic-v4

Master the art of closing deals and making placements. Take our Recruiter Certification Program today. We’re SHRM certified. Learn at your own pace during this 12-week program. Access over 20 courses. Great for those who want to break into recruiting, or recruiters who want to further their career.
Like this article? We also offer tons of free eBooks on career and recruiting topics – check out Get a Better Job the Right Way and Why It Matters Who Does Your Recruiting.