HR Jobs Are Changing – and So Are Their Salaries

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Due to the increased integration of and reliance on technology, every part of a business is changing, and that includes HR.

Indeed, HR has evolved immensely over the past decade. Technological advancement has spurred a wave of new HR jobs, such as the “chief people officer” and the emergence of “people” teams. Rebranded and refreshed, these jobs do not represent mere title changes, but changes in responsibility, qualifications, and even salary.

We investigated some of the positions in the burgeoning people function and compared them with their old HR counterparts. If it’s true that people vote with their wallets — and companies with their  budgets — then the increased salaries of people operations professionals may be indicative of how much more highly valued these new pros are compared to their old HR predecessors.

Here’s what we found:

‘New HR’ vs. ‘Old HR’ Salaries

1. Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) vs. Chief People Officer (CPO)

Average CHRO salary: $117,762

Average CPO salary: $147,228

CPOs and CHROs are the top executives of their HR teams. While both positions are high earners compared to other HR pros, the average CPO significantly outearns the average CHRO.

2. HR Director vs. Vice President of People Operations

Average HR director salary: $95,866

Average VP of people operations salary: $111,894

While both are responsible for overseeing their teams, HR directors and VPs of people operations do have some differences between their respective responsibilities. Occupying a more strategic and people-focused position, the VP of people operations is more highly compensated than the HR director.

3. HR Manager vs. Manager of People Operations

Average HR manager salary: $72,626

Average manager of people operations salary: $82,326

Despite the similarity of their titles, the HR manager and the manager of people operations earn quite different salaries, with the newer manager of people operations earning almost $10,000 dollars more per year.

4. HR Coordinator vs. People Operations Coordinator

Average HR coordinator salary: $43,850

Average people operations coordinator salary: $53,474

Typically occupying more administrative, entry-level roles, both HR coordinators and people operations coordinators are among the lower earners of their respective teams. However, the trend does continue here, with the people operations coordinator significantly outearning the HR coordinator.

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How Significant Are the Salary Differences?

From the data above, it is easy to see that newer people operations jobs are earning more than traditional HR roles, but how significant are the differences really? The graph below provides a more concrete visualization of the people -vs.-HR salary gap by tracing both the raw differences in salary and the percentage-wise differences:

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In terms of raw salary, the most significant disparity is the $29,466 difference between the top executives’ salaries. The smallest raw salary difference is between the operational positions, which have a gap of $9,624.

In terms of percentages, the greatest difference again exists between executives, with the CPO earning 22.24 percent more on average than the CHRO. The salaries of those in middle management positions have the lowest percentage differences at 12.52 percent. Despite having the smallest raw salary difference, those in operational positions have the second highest percentage difference, with people operations coordinators earning 19.78 percent more on average than HR coordinators.

Overall, the new HR jobs are earning 17.5 percent more than their older counterparts. As we’ve seen in the graphs above, this can translate to many thousands of dollars per year.

Why Such a Wide Salary Gap?

It seems crazy that a title change alone could warrant such varying levels of compensation — but we’re not just talking about title changes. Rather, the key drivers of the salary gap are the new responsibilities and skill sets associated with people operations roles.

As technology has become more fully integrated into all aspects of the organization, business functions have changed radically — especially HR. Previously associated with the enforcement of rules and regulations and administrative duties such as payroll and benefits, HR is becoming in the age of technology a more strategic department. Today’s HR pros rely more on data and analytics to meet employee needs and drive progress toward key business goals.

We can more clearly see the differences between old and new HR when we compare job posts for a CPO and a CHRO. For the CHRO, the main responsibilities include ensuring compliance with company policy, overseeing sourcing and candidate evaluation, and coordinating training and development programs. On the other hand, the CPO’s responsibilities focus on aligning people strategies with business objectives, developing company culture, and driving employee engagement. The CPO job post also calls for candidates who are analytical and business savvy, while the CHRO job post emphasizes project management skills as a key qualification.

For anyone involved in HR, the differences in both responsibility and salary between old and new HR roles warrant sustained attention. Having a better understanding of how HR is evolving could give you a leg up and ultimately help you earn more.

Data for this post was aggregated from LinkedIn and GlassdoorA version of this article originally appeared on the SelectSoftware blog.

Phil Strazzulla is the founder of SelectSoftware.

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5 Things Everyone in the Workforce Needs to Know About Medicare

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Employers and employees may be at odds with regard to how old is too old to be working. According to a 2018 report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, employers see age 70 as the cutoff, whereas employees cited 75 as a solid retirement age.

No matter your personal opinions, the reality is there are hundreds of thousands of workers ages 70, 75, and even 85 and up in the workforce today. The increased number of older workers in the workforce complicates one of the reasons so many Americans seek gainful employment (aside from income, of course): healthcare benefits.

Many people know that individuals become eligible for Medicare coverage at age 65 (younger individuals can receive Medicare due to disability), but that’s the extent of most people’s understanding. As more and more workers extend their careers past 65, they’ll need a deeper knowledge of how Medicare works and how it interacts with employer-sponsored coverage.

Here are five things employees of all ages should know about Medicare:

1. Medicare Comes in Four Parts

Medicare isn’t a “one-and-done” plan; it’s actually pretty expansive. When you break it down into its individual parts, it’s a bit easier to digest:

  1. Part A covers care in hospice, hospital, inpatient, and skilled nursing facility settings. It also covers certain at-home health services, but not long-term assisted living care.
  2. Part B covers care provided by doctors, health aides, and part-time skilled nurses.
  3. Part C, also known as “Medicare Advantage,” is purchased from private insurers and combines Parts A, B, and usually D. Individuals with Part C cannot also have supplemental Medigap insurance plans.
  4. Part D covers prescription drugs.
  5. Medigap is supplemental optional coverage that helps cover the out-of-pocket cost gaps Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover.

2. Eligibility Is Not So Cut and Dry

You become eligible when you turn 65 years old. This is the Medicare fact most know. (Younger individuals receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits for 24 months can also receive Medicare.)

That said, there are a few other, often overlooked requirements for those who qualify by age. Applicants must have paid or been married to someone who has paid 10 years’ worth of Medicare taxes, and they must be a US citizen or permanent US resident for the past five years.

3. Medicare Might Be More Affordable Than Employer-Provided Coverage

Many people want to keep their employer-provided health insurance after age 65 for reasons including spouse and dependent coverage, as well as the belief that employer coverage is better than Medicare. However, employees may discover the benefits of switching to Medicare if they crunch the numbers and compare prices.

In some cases, Medicare can be much more affordable than your employer’s plan. For example, the average annual deductible for employer-provided single coverage is $1,573, while the Medicare Part B annual deductible is significantly lower at $185.

Along with lower deductibles, you may see additional savings when comparing annual premiums, out-of-pocket costs, or prescription drug coverage. Medicare can provide a customized approach to healthcare for older workers, especially in comparison to the one-size-fits-all plans offered by many employers. The different parts of Medicare, along with supplemental coverage, could give an older worker with specific healthcare needs some key advantages.

That said, employer plans vary significantly from employer to employer, so some older workers could see benefits while others may not notice any significant differences. The most important thing is to take a closer look before choosing between Medicare and employer-sponsored coverage.

4. Medicare Enrollment Isn’t Automatic for Everyone

Medicare enrollment isn’t automatic for individuals who work past retirement age. If you are working when you turn 65, you should take some time to evaluate your employer healthcare against Medicare’s offerings. Rising deductible costs and other out-of-pocket expenses are leading many workers to choose Medicare once they become eligible. Make note: Medicare’s initial enrollment period is a seven-month window. It starts three months prior to your 65th birthday and goes on to include your birth month and the three following months.

If you miss your initial enrollment period, your next chance to enroll is January-March of the upcoming year, with coverage starting in July. Along with the delay in coverage, you may have to pay a penalty. For each year someone should have been enrolled in Medicare, the lifetime Part B penalty adds another 10 percent to the Part B premium. There is a Part D penalty, too, which multiplies the months they should have had Part D by 1 percent of the national base beneficiary premium ($33.19 in 2019).

5. Even With Employer-Provided Insurance, Signing Up May Not Be Optional

If you work for an organization of less than 20 employees, you are required to sign up for Medicare once you turn 65. This is because Medicare becomes your primary payer, and your employer becomes a secondary payer, which means your employer plan only kicks in after Medicare’s contribution. In short, that means if you don’t sign up for Medicare and wind up having healthcare needs, you would need to pay out of pocket for everything Medicare would have covered before your employer plan kicks in.

Employees at larger businesses are not required to use Medicare when they turn 65. They have the option to continue with employer-provided coverage. However, the penalties outlined above do apply for workers at large companies if they miss their Medicare enrollment windows upon retirement. Specifically, they will face the Part B penalty if they don’t sign up within eight months of leaving their job, and the Part D penalty occurs even sooner. People must receive Part D coverage within 63 days of losing their prior prescription drug coverage to avoid the penalty.

As with anything in life, it pays to be in the know — especially when it involves something as incredibly important as your health insurance. Equipped with this Medicare information, employees should feel empowered to make the coverage decisions that work best for them.

Tricia Blazier is the director of healthcare insurance services at Allsup.

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#ZohoRecruitChat Roundup: the Candidate Experience, the Rise of the Machines, and the Future of Recruiting

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Yesterday, applicant tracking system Zoho Recruit sponsored a fascinating tweetchat on recruiting in the age of artificial intelligence and automation. Participants included our own Recruiter.com CEO Miles Jennings (@milesj), as well as other industry experts like Genesys Talent CEO Carla M. Tibbitts (@CarlaTibbits), CV-Library Founder and CEO Lee Biggins (@LeeBiggins), UK Recruiter Managing Director Louise Triance (@louistriance), and Zoho’s Christian Blood (@blood_christian).

Below, we round up some of the most insightful commentary from the chat:

Leveraging Automation to Improve the Candidate Experience

AI’s Impact on Hiring Cycles

Will AI Replace Recruiters?

Will AI Drive People Out of Jobs?

Recruitment in the Next Decade

What It Takes to Be a Successful Recruiter of the Future

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A Surefire Way to Lose the Candidates You Want: Going Slow When You Should Go Fast

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It’s a situation that plays out thousands of time each day in the corporate world. It goes something like this:

Hiring Manager: Hi, Rick. It’s Debra Jones. I’m calling to say I’m disappointed we have not seen any new candidates from you in a while. We need to get somebody ASAP!

Recruiter: Hi, Debra. I’m glad you called. I’ve been wanting to follow up from the call I placed to you last week on the two candidates, Thomas Smith and Cynthia Lee, whose assessments both came back very strong. I was hoping to get some feedback from you on how their interviews went.

Hiring Manager (incredulously): Well, I’ve been swamped. I’ve not had time to think about them. You know I think these assessments and the detailed level at which we are interviewing these candidates is taking far too long.

Recruiter: Funny you should mention that. I just put together a little time study on the last 10 candidates we proposed, showing where we wasted time and where we invested time. Can I take you through it? I think you will find it insightful as to how we can get offers to qualified candidates faster.

Hiring Manager: I don’t have time for that. Just send me more candidates!

The cognitive dissonance between what hiring managers want and how they behave hits the corporate recruiting universe like a tsunami. In this ultra-tight labor market, ghosting candidates and their recruiters simply does not cut it when it comes to identifying, properly vetting, and hiring quality personnel.

What Is Going On, and What Can You Do About It?

In summary, employers are in a rush to find candidates, but hiring managers often delay the process unnecessarily once those candidates have been identified. This is the quintessential “go fast to go slow” behavior. While I won’t even attempt to describe the psychology behind this, I will outline some common excuses I’ve heard from hiring managers, along with the associated cognitive dissonance for each:

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Lest anyone think this is a bash session on hiring managers, my clients read this column, too! I am simply pointing out incongruent behavior that happens way too often. It prevents hiring managers from interviewing and hiring the best candidates by simply wasting time. Keep in mind that candidates are perishable assets! The goal of this article is to help you evaluate where you are currently wasting time and where that time can be better invested in the hiring process.

My recruiting contract with my clients stipulates they give me initial feedback on each candidate within 24 hours. In spite of having this in writing and getting their sworn agreement to do so, I am still disappointed with the poor responsiveness of my clients’ hiring managers in providing timely feedback on candidates. Many recruiters have had this exact same experience.

Think of it this way: In hiring, like in most sports, speed wins! Moreover, if a recruiter is not serving up the types of candidates you are looking for, then your fast feedback will serve as a calibration mechanism that allows the recruiter to dial in on the qualifications and experience you are looking for. The adage “‘No’ is great, ‘yes’ is best, and ‘maybe’ does not work” applies well to this situation.

‘Have You Heard Back From the Hiring Manager?’

That is the cry of the interested candidate! When time is wasted in the recruiting process, it frustrates the candidates. They have no idea where they stand. After the initial interview — usually conducted by phone — hiring managers often wait days before giving feedback to either the candidate or the recruiter about what the next steps, if any, may be.

The fundamental principle here is to get back to the candidate quickly with some feedback, even if that feedback is simply to let the candidate know you need a few more days to think it through. Have integrity in your commitments. If you say you are going to touch base in two days, then make sure you touch base in two days. No exceptions. In these early stages of the recruiting process, you are setting your candidate’s expectations for what it will be like to work with you. Set your best example of accountability. Besides, you need to be sharper than the other companies to which your candidate may be talking.

There is another important point that needs to be made here: If a candidate is not chosen, you need to let them know and provide some feedback to help them in future hiring processes. Getting back to all of your candidates, whether selected or not, is a classy move, and it will instill goodwill toward both your company’s brand and your own personal brand. The hiring manager should deliver the feedback here, as doing so will help build their feedback muscles, although your recruiter can help you out in a pinch. In addition, some of these silver-medal candidates may become excellent choices for future openings, which is why fostering great candidate relationships is so important.

Finally, this must be said: If you jerk a good candidate around, you will permanently sour them on your company. It is much better to be decisive and leave the door open for further discussion in the future. Remember, the candidates are interviewing you as well. They are watching how you conduct your business.

‘It’s HR’s Fault; The Interview Process Is Too Long and Difficult’

When a candidate accepts a job with another company or opts out of the process, the most common complaint I hear from hiring managers is that “the interview process is too long and difficult!” Keep in mind that in a tight talent market, most of the A players are happily employed, so the risk that you are talking to a B player or — worse — a C player grows greater. Vetting is critical!

The vetting process is one part of the recruiting process where you don’t want to skimp on investing time. You only want to hire either a full-fledged A player or an A potential. Hiring a B player or worse will be a bad hire that reflects negatively on your abilities as a manager and leader.

Specifically, your vetting process should include:

  1. A detailed behavioral-based interview with your entire team. I highly recommend the Topgrading process.
  2. A validated and easy-to-understand psychometric assessment to analyze your candidates’ behaviors and motivations. I highly recommend something like the Caliper assessment.
  3. Detailed 45-minute reference interviews with three prior direct supervisors to confirm performance claims, behaviors, leadership development opportunities, and compensation status.

Done properly, the entire vetting process can be accomplished within a few days. For example, once the hiring manager does the initial phone screen interview, we send the candidate the career history and psychometric assessments on the same day. When we get these back, the candidate moves to a Topgrading interview with the entire management team. Having the entire team interview the candidate at once and then make an immediate “go or no-go” decision following the interview actually speeds up the process versus having the candidate individually interview with each executive. As part of this process, we also have the candidate provide their reference contacts during the interview.

When the candidate sees the management team interact with each other in the interview, they get a good idea of your culture and how they will fit in. It may seem counterintuitive, but A players love the rigor of this process while B and C players drop out, which is actually a good thing.

All told, we are often able to get a candidate an answer on their drive home from the interview. Inevitably, our thoroughness, speed, and decisiveness leave a positive impression.

In one more critical step, you must conduct at least three reference interviews with your candidate’s prior direct managers. We ask the candidates to set these up, and it is amazing how quickly A players get them scheduled. This is because there is no professional risk to a prior manager in validating an A player.  On the other hand, if prior managers are less than enthusiastic about a candidate or are guarded on your probing questions about results, those are red flags that you are looking at a B player or worse!

In recruiting, speed wins. Don’t make the mistakes so many other hiring managers make. The more time you waste, the more likely you are to drive away all the best candidates. Keep in constant contact with your candidates and keep the process moving. Invest your precious time in the vital vetting process. Doing these things will ensure you are bringing a pipeline of A players into your organization!

Rick Crossland is author of the The A Player and a certified Scaling Up coach. More resources are available at www.aplayeradvantage.com.

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5 Things HR Pros Should Be Doing Instead of Admin Work

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HR professionals at small and mid-sized businesses are drowning in paperwork and repetitive administrative tasks. What they should be doing instead is looking for opportunities to automate so they can focus on the important stuff, like strategic business-building activities.

Generally, HR resources at small businesses are limited. The full scope of administrative tasks like hiring, onboarding, benefits management, and time tracking often falls to just one person — on top of any other business responsibilities they may be expected to bear. This task load eats away at the limited time these team members have to provide strategic organizational support.

To solve this crisis, HR pros must turn to HR tech to help them streamline their day-to-day tasks. Here are five things HR pros should be doing instead of admin work – and why it’s so important for business leaders to support bringing HR administration online:

1. Focusing on Hiring

The unemployment rate is at its lowest point in nearly 50 years, which means qualified candidates are more difficult to find than (virtually) ever. When a great candidate does enter the job market, they’re typically snatched up quickly. Experts say the best of the best are usually hired in less than 10 days. Certainly, no HR pro buried under mundane paperwork will be agile enough to grab these prospects.

What can HR professionals do to compete for this smaller pool of talent that disappears fast? You basically have three options: you can lower your hiring standards, increase pay, or dedicate more time to pursuing top talent.

Our organization chose the latter, and it has paid off. We used to follow the standard routine of responding to new candidates by email, usually within 2-3 days of receiving their application. When we ditched the email responses and started personally calling each candidate within hours of their application, our hiring metrics improved substantially.

Again, overburdened HR pros don’t have time to make instant phone calls to every candidate.

2. Improving Employee Training and Personnel Support

To fill the skills gaps that nearly every company is dealing with today, HR pros must be able to prioritize updating employee handbooks and manuals, improving professional development efforts, and increased team-building efforts. Today’s employees are also drawn to personal feedback and coaching now more than ever, which means HR professionals can add real value to an organization by implementing regular one-to-one meetings that fulfill candidates’ needs for development.

Regular, documented one-to-one meetings between managers and their direct reports are our organization’s primary mechanism for consistent coaching and feedback. One-to-ones benefit HR, too: The process allows managers to collect ongoing documentation about issues while providing team members with regular opportunities to share their ideas or concerns.

3. Enhancing Company Culture

Employees perform their best work when the culture is great, and many workers would even switch jobs if it meant joining a better culture.

Building a strong organizational culture is the kind of work many HR professionals enjoy and feel adds the most value, but it’s also a time-consuming, long-term kind of project. As such, culture often gets put on the back burner as the daily tasks pile up. By automating away administrative responsibilities, HR can spend more time creating cultures where people want to work and can thrive.

4. Staying on Top of Compliance Issues

Compliance pressure is a consistent challenge for HR leaders at small and mid-sized businesses. It can be a struggle to stay current with changing regulations, and organizations operating in multiple states must navigate particularly complex legal webs.

However, like culture-building, compliance requires significant, sustained attention. Menial tasks like payroll and time-tracking only detract from the time HR pros could spend on staying up to date on state and federal compliance matters.

5. Updating the Employee Experience

New technology is not just altering the scope of HR — it is affecting every segment of every business, regardless of industry. Moreover, candidates scrutinize the technology and workflows used throughout your hiring process. A clunky and inconvenient experience will cause candidates to drop out of the running.

HR professionals should consider carefully whether the company’s technology is up to date and whether it’s helping or hindering employees in getting their tasks done. This of course includes hiring technology, but also the systems workers have to use every day in your organization.

Tech is yet another area many HR leaders would love to improve, but they can’t seem to find the time for it in light of other pressing business needs. Yet the employee experience is the foundation on which the company’s continued success is built — so making time to prioritize it can have a big payoff.

HR professionals are crucial to keeping small and mid-sized businesses going and growing, but they’re not delivering the most value if their days are characterized by endless paperwork. When you automate and streamline HR administration, you give your HR pros the opportunity to fully contribute to organizational success.

Alex Tolbert is the founder and CEO of BerniePortal and Bernard Health.

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.
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What Civilian Organizations Can Learn From the Military About Flexible Work

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The world of work is changing rapidly, and an employer’s desire — as well as its capacity— to keep pace may affect its ability to retain quality employees.

Flexible work arrangements are becoming more common, with more than half of employers offering some type of flexible option to workers, according to SHRM. Moreover, SHRM also found that 55 percent of employees cite workplace flexibility as a key component of job satisfaction.

Typically, employer-offered flexible work arrangements fall into one of three categories:

  1. Compressed workweeks are the most straightforward of all flexible work options. Instead of working 40 hours over five days, an employee works 40 hours in four days or fewer, then has the remaining days off.
  2. Schedule flexibility is a process in which an employee works 40 hours a week, but not in the traditional 9-5 time frame. Some employees will put in an earlier 7-3 shift, while others may start later and work an 11-7 shift. As with a compressed workweek, employees are still expected to put in full-time hours at their job site. The key difference is the employee has more choice over when those hours are worked.
  3. Telecommuting or remote work offers an employee the opportunity to work from an alternate location, usually their home. When an employee telecommutes, they remain in direct contact with the office through emails, instant messaging, and telephone. Remote work is often combined with schedule flexibility. At times, remote employees may need to come into the office for mandated activities, such as meetings.

While these flexible work arrangements often work quite well for organizations and their employees, they present a limited picture of how flexible work can be implemented. Moreover, not every kind of workplace is capable of offering these arrangements, which may not mesh well with the organization’s processes or the kind of work the company does.

Organizations in need of alternative approaches may do well to consider how the military, a highly specialized field, is able to grant its personnel flexibility.

Flexible Work in the Military

Flexible work is not common in the military yet, but two branches — the Coast Guard and the Air Force — do offer different types of flexible work to both military civilians and military personnel.

The Coast Guard authorized flexible work starting in 2009. The Coast Guard’s flexible arrangements include a compressed work schedule and three different models of flexible scheduling.

The Coast Guard’s compressed work schedule is fairly standard, permitting people to work four 10-hour days as opposed to five eight-hour days. Using a compressed work schedule does make an individual ineligible for a flexible work schedule.

The Coast Guard’s three flexible work schedules are Flexitour, Gliding, and Credit Hour. Beginning any of these programs does not require additional paperwork and training, simply the approval of a commander.

Flexitour creates a schedule which establishes core hours during which a participant must be present for duty. It then identifies flexible hours a participant can work, including arrival and departure times. Once these hours are agreed upon by the leader and the participant, they become fixed. Under this system, participants must notify supervisors of their arrival and departure times. In order to qualify, an applicant must prove that their Flexitour schedule will not disrupt work operations or impede accomplishing their unit’s goals. This program is open to service members and civilians.

By contrast, Gliding allows participants to make daily changes to their arrival and departure times. When doing so, the participant is obligated to start and stop work within hours defined by their leaders. Other than that, Gliding works similarly to Flexitour, with leaders and participants establishing set hours during which the employee has to be at work every day. This program is open to service members and civilians.

The final flexible work schedule is Credit Hour, in which employees get credit for hours worked over their basic schedules. Over a two-week period, a person can earn up to 24 credit hours. The employee can then use these credit hours to shorten the lengths of other workdays. This program, unlike Flexitour or Gliding, is not applicable to military members.

In 2010, the Air Force created its own flexible work program, called the Telework Program. Like the Coast Guard, the Air Force offers four options, but that is where the similarities end.

While the Coast Guard does not require additional paperwork or additional training for its flexible work arrangements, the Air Forces does. Flexible work participants are required to get a signed DD-2946 and complete Office of Personnel Management Telework 101 training.

The Air Force’s four types of telework are Routine, Situational, Emergency, and Unscheduled. The names are largely self-explanatory. Routine telework occurs as part of a normal schedule. Situational telework occurs when an employee needs to work on a special project or on a short-term assignment. Emergency telework is performed when a crisis occurs and forces an employee to work from home. Unscheduled telework occurs when government offices are closed, or when an emergency means people cannot go to their usual work locations.

Why Flexibility Is Worth a Try

Flexible work schedules of any type have the potential to improve the lives of employees. Not having to go into work every day can save them valuable time and money, and getting to work from home allows them to spend more time with family. For night owls or early risers, flexible schedules allow them to work at times when they are at their optimal performance, rather than at arbitrarily scheduled times.

Companies also stand to win with flexible working conditions. According to SHRM, workers tend to be more satisfied and more productive when they have access to flexible work arrangements. Moreover, retention improves, which cuts down recruitment and onboarding costs.

That said, it is not always easy to implement flexible work schedules — for civilian or military organizations. For example, there are aspects of military service which are not conducive to flexible work conditions. In operational units, where people train together frequently, flexible work conditions are difficult to implement. Leaders particularly need to be available for their personnel, and to be present at meetings with their commanders. However, some staff positions, such as those which do not serve in operational units, may be able to use flexible working conditions. Military leaders must be willing to try flexible working conditions to see what works well and what must be discarded.

The same can be said for civilian organizations in industries where flexibility is harder to implement. Flexible work arrangements clearly have benefits, so rather than dismissing them outright, companies should explore alternative options that may better suit their organizational rhythms and requirements.

As the military and civilian organizations alike look to increase retention, they can learn from the military branches that already utilize flexible working conditions. The Coast Guard and Air Force have strong retention rates, and can pass their best practices and lessons learned on to the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and even civilian organizations going forward. This will enable the military and civilian organization to retain talented leaders and dedicated personnel in ever greater numbers.

Kevin Johnston is a contractor and technical writer working for the Headquarters Marine Corps Talent Management Oversight Directorate. The views expressed within this article are his own.

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.
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The 5 Skills Every Recruiter Needs to Master

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Recruiters are the beginning of every great team. They scour talent pools to find organizations the perfect A players according to the company’s needs. Without a stellar team of recruiters, you wouldn’t have the top-level executives, leaders, and employees your organization depends on to succeed.

In today’s world, being a recruiter is one of the hardest jobs out there. There are more open jobs than people to fill them, which has created a fierce war for talent. In such a tight market, companies want the most skilled and driven recruiters on their side. Does your team have what it takes to recruit, hire, and retain A players? Make sure your recruiters have mastered these five skills:

1. Sales and Marketing Chops

In order to understand how to win over talent, today’s recruiters must be well versed in both sales and marketing. With so many organizations competing over so few candidates on the market, recruiters need the right strategies to capture the attention of A players and convince them to consider a given role.

Remember: Candidates have options in this market. If your recruiters don’t present unique offers in a quick, compelling, and clear manner, you’ll lose prospective talent in the blink of an eye. Make sure your recruiters know to emphasize the perks, benefits, and opportunities today’s talent craves. For example, 47 percent of candidates say they’re looking for companies with great work/life balance, according to Glassdoor. You can make that a central component of your pitches to woo more candidates.

2. The Ability to Locate Top Talent

This skill may seem like a no-brainer, but locating top talent is getting harder to do as the talent pool shrinks and companies grow more competitive.

In the past, recruiters could take the traditional route of posting a job and waiting to receive a decent amount of applicants. Today, recruiters who take the traditional route can only scrape the bottom of the talent barrel. The A players companies want and need to succeed aren’t necessarily actively looking for jobs. More often than not, they’re happily employed already. To attract A players, recruiters have to move proactively to find them and pique their interests.

What are your recruiters’ follow-up skills like? You may not have considered this question before, but follow-up is key if you want your company or clients to stand out to prospective employees. If a recruiter builds a candidate up, brings them in for an interview, and then never calls them again, that is going to leave a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth. Follow-up is crucial, whether a candidate gets the job or not. It shows that the company cares. If your team lacks follow-up skills, it can create a bad reputation for your business and push talent away.

3. The Capacity to Turn Passive Candidates Into Active Candidates

Once your recruiters have located top talent, they need to turn those passive candidates into active candidates. That means telling these candidates what they’re missing out on.

Recruiter will want to highlight what their company or client does better and can offer, including the benefits that would be of interest to a particular candidate, cultural perks, and more. Your recruiters will have to be persuasive enough to pull these candidates from a job in which they are comfortable and get them excited about a new opportunity. This is a big leap for many top candidates, and recruiters need to understand how to nurture and persuade passive talent if they are to convince anyone to make the jump.

4. Data Interpretation and Application

Are your recruiters collecting, interpreting, and leveraging data to enhance their strategies? If not, it’s time to make a few changes to how your team runs.

With the right talent management software, recruiting teams can build data-based talent pools to track and find the perfect hires for every position. Recruiters can source passive candidates and reach top talent much more quickly and with much less effort. Plus, recruiters can use the data they collect to analyze the effectiveness of their current strategies and revamp as needed to hit goals, improve results, and deliver a stronger candidate experience.

5. Passion and Drive

Are your recruiters passionate about finding the right candidates for the right roles? Does their enthusiasm rub off on candidates and get them excited about the role, too?

Exceptional recruiting teams possess the motivation and competitive drive to win over even the most hard-to-reach passive candidates. But simply possessing passion and drive is not enough — recruiters must also be able to communicate their passion and drive effectively to prospects. Being personable and relatable increases the recruiter’s — and, by extension, the company’s — appeal to candidates. Passion drives your recruiters to pursue top talent, but communication is what really hooks candidates.

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

Sara Pollock is head of the marketing department at ClearCompany.

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.
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#Hiring102: Building Effective Teams Is an Art

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“Elementary, my dear Watson.”

Time and again, recruitment gurus have stressed the need to have a hiring process that is inclusive, unbiased, and focused on ensuring a potential candidate fits right into the company’s culture.

But how do you measure the effectiveness of a process like this? Well, two factors determine its success or failure: One is a new hire’s progress at a company, while the other is the company’s retention rate.

To be more elementary about it, recruitment is all about finding good talent and building good teams.

A company’s growth relies heavily on its employees. Thus, having a strong recruitment process is a must. Though access to the best technology is not a limitation anymore, navigating your way around competing companies and changing candidate demands requires some necessary tweaks to your strategy. The journey of an applicant to hire consists of several critical stages, including awareness, application, assessment, analysis, and acquisition.

Awareness: Creating the Right Channels for Recruitment Marketing

Most modern recruiters follow the mantra mentioned above, but sometimes attracting the best hires depends heavily on getting the awareness stage right. This stage is key to ensuring that candidates who are interested in possibly applying for your jobs learn enough about your company and its culture to decide to click “submit” on an application.

How do you create awareness? Start by exploring the media channels your candidates use most, and then publish your job openings where they matter the most, e.g., niche job boards, social media networks, professional networks, mobile applications, online communities, and passive talent pools, among others.

Application Process: Building a Diverse and Inclusive Talent Pipeline

Switch to an applicant tracking software (ATS) that allows you to manage multiple job postings from a single interface. Make sure to set up web forms across job boards and aggregators so candidates can find your jobs, apply to your jobs, or even just send a query.

Recruiters must also utilize a centralized vendor portal where third-party recruitment agencies and vendors can contribute candidate profiles to certain job openings. This creates a talent ecosystem where the right candidates find the right jobs, which is ultimately a win-win for all stakeholders.

Analysis: Candidate Relationship Management (CRM)

A hiring process that aces CRM is a definite win in today’s market. Recruiters must ensure that candidates are kept engaged and informed throughout the interview process. Recruiters must be able to interact with candidates directly on their social profiles and schedule automated emails to engage them and continuously communicate valuable information about the process — whether or not the candidate is still a prospect.

Assess: Evaluate Both Skills and Personality

Experts from the recruitment industry have insisted that modern recruiters should evolve into “skill hunters” rather than remain dependent on job boards, but is that enough? Long-term employee retention can be guaranteed only when a candidate aligns with the company’s vision and can clearly identify a path for career growth within the organization. The answer, then, is that an analysis limited to only skill sets is not enough.

Acquisition: Provide Value, Not Just Money

When taking on a new job, candidates expect more from a company. They expect more from their recruiters as well. Recruiters must dedicate time to researching a company’s work atmosphere, employee benefits, ongoing education, provision for parallel work, study opportunities, and travel potential.

Sure, it takes time to adapt to the constantly changing talent needs and the influence of technology on the hiring process, but if your strategy is future-focused and your fundamentals are on point, the right candidates will make their way to you.

Recruiting is hard and involves mastering the art of placing the right candidates with the right companies. You know what makes the whole process worthwhile? The satisfaction of building a great team.

This is the second of three posts in a special series from Zoho focusing on hiring lessons that are essential for every recruiter. In the first post, we broke down the basics of effective recruitment. Stay tuned for our third post, which will elaborate on the secret ingredient of recruitment. We also have a huge announcement coming up, and we would love to keep you notified. Learn more.

Recruiter.com regularly features reviews, articles, and press releases from leading businesses. This featured article may include paid promotion or affiliate links. Please make every effort to perform due diligence when selecting products and services for your business or investment needs and compare information from a variety of sources. Use this article for general and informational purposes only.

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.

Automate More: How Tech Can Help HR Pros Reach Their Full Potential

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HR professionals are one of a kind. Working in a fast-paced field, these pros are responsible for seeking new and innovative solutions to develop employees’ skills, improve performance, and boost productivity. Amid all that, when performance issues occur, it’s the role of HR to handle the situation the right way, in a timely manner and without complication.

Succeeding in an HR role requires a unique mix of skills. Whether you’ve been in HR for six months, six years, or six decades, it is important to continuously cultivate and refine your skills so you can manage all the daily tasks, to-dos, and even crises that can and will arise.

Here are the essential skills every HR pro should have — and some advice on how to leverage technology to keep those skills sharp:

1. Organization

For many in HR, each day is a constant flow of paperwork, meetings, projects, and lots of surprises. It can be hard to juggle everything at once, which is why organization — on both the individual and the departmental level — is key to HR success.

In HR, you have to expect the unexpected. Employees quit suddenly, scheduling errors happen, and new regulations with new compliance demands and deadlines come out of nowhere. Maintaining a well-organized workload means that when those issues do transpire, you’ll be able to tackle them with aplomb without having to abandon your day-to-day duties. Organization can also help prevent burnout: Unreasonable workloads are one of the top three contributors to burnout, according to a study from Kronos.

It helps to have the right systems in place, especially when it comes to technology. The more you can automate simple but time-consuming administrative tasks, the easier it will be to keep track of what’s on your plate while being flexible enough to respond to emergencies. Automation also frees you up to do more big-picture strategic work, which can lead to major gains for employees across the organization and for the business itself.

Keep Records in Check

One of the biggest challenges for HR pros is data organization. In HR, there is a lot of paperwork, employee info, and legal matter to keep organized. For example, HR pros can process 10-60 onboarding documents per employee, to say nothing of the documents required for performance reviews, benefits enrollment, and other typical employment processes.

Every HR pro knows the importance of retaining secure, organized employee records, but it’s not always an easy task. If your company is in the middle of a high-volume hiring period, it can feel virtually impossible to keep everything straight.

This is another situation in which automation may be necessary. Automating your recordkeeping can drastically reduce the amount of time you spend digging through paperwork to find what you need. You can also standardize every record, from employee schedules to performance reviews, thereby greatly cutting down on the number of errors and omissions you’ll need to fix later.

2. Communication

As an HR professional, you serve as a liaison between employees and their managers. Clearly, relaying information accurately and efficiently is a key component of your job. Moreover, open communication between employees and teams builds trust and makes people feel valued within the organization, which in turn leads to better performance. Effective communication can build stronger team relationships, empower healthier collaboration, retain more top performers, and push teams toward their goals.

Ask Specific Questions

Creating the right conditions for great communication to flourish can be hard. Still, it’s up to HR to build that environment.

A key part of being a great communicator is knowing when and how to ask the right questions. This is especially true for HR pros, who must often resolve conflicts, defuse escalating problems, and identify solutions to help teams perform more effectively.

Automated feedback tools can help HR pros ask more of the right questions to employees at scale. By soliciting feedback from across the organization at regular intervals, HR can more easily pinpoint and solve the challenges that keep employees from performing at their best.

Of course, all feedback cannot be done through automated tools. Face-to-face meetings with employees still matter. During such meetings, HR pros need to put their questioning skills into practice by skipping vague queries and getting specific. For example, instead of asking a struggling employee, “How are things going?”, you could try asking, “I’ve noticed you’ve been struggling with X. What can I do to help you improve?” Asking specific, pointed questions shows that you understand each employee’s role and are truly invested in helping them get back on the right track. As a result, employees will be more likely to open up, be honest, and ask for the help they need.

Give and Get Insightful Feedback

Feedback is great for your business, especially when it comes to employee performance. Employees need constant feedback if they are to progress toward achieving their performance goals.

However, only 58 percent of managers believe they give enough feedback. This is an opportunity for HR to step in and use its communication skills for the good of the organization.

Through a performance management platform, you can promote an environment of continuous feedback and coaching. Utilizing the best communication practices, you can offer real-time feedback to each employee while forging stronger relationships with staff members.

Speaking of feedback, be sure to make the most of exit interviews. This is your chance to get feedback from one of the most powerful sources imaginable: a departing employee. Be sure to always conduct exit interviews whenever feasible. As always, ask specific questions, such as “Did you feel you had the tools and resources to perform your job successfully?” and “What can the organization improve on?” The takeaways from these frank conversation can empower your organization to increase company morale and retain more employees.

3. Flexibility

What separates a good HR department from a great one? Flexibility.

In HR, every day is different from the last. Unforeseen challenges will arise, and you and your coworkers won’t always see eye to eye on how to tackle them. It’s essential you handle these situations effectively — otherwise, minor problems can become full-blown catastrophes.

Adaptability is one of the greatest skills you can have in and out of the workplace. When you work with rather than against others, you may discover new solutions to daunting challenges, uncover new opportunities for employees and leaders, and influence transformational change in the workplace. Anybody can have great ideas, but only the flexible can implement them successfully.

See the Bigger Picture

The key to fostering a positive, healthy work environment is never to get too comfortable. You need to keep the big picture in mind so you know what is happening, what is coming down the line, and how you can respond to both.

Many HR and talent management teams are embracing technology to stay better connected with their employees and department teams. Such connections are key to keeping that bigger picture in view. By automating more tasks like payroll, employee benefits, and training, HR teams gain more time for real human interaction with employees. This, in turn, allows HR pros to be proactive in meeting the needs of both the employees and the business.

Employees expect you to be flexible, transparent, and engaged in their success. With the bigger picture in mind, you can make decisions to benefit individual employees while still considering what is best for the organization.

HR is an amazing field with an array of endless opportunities. However, if you don’t have the proper skills to succeed, you won’t get very far. Be sure to cultivate the skills of great HR pros, and don’t hesitate to leverage technology to lend a hand. In today’s fast-paced world, the right tech tools are virtually a prerequisite to HR career success.

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

Sara Pollock is head of the marketing department at ClearCompany.

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.

Creativity Can Be Taught: How Flexible, Social Learning Can Foster a More Innovative Workforce

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LinkedIn recently analyzed the profiles of users who were getting hired at the highest rates to identify the top skills companies are looking for in prospective candidates this year. One of the most sought-after skills of all, according to the analysis, is creativity.

While creativity is in high demand, it’s also in relatively low supply. Finding creative types can be a challenge, but part of the problem is that most of us misunderstand how creativity works.

The notion that creativity is an abstract ability you either have or don’t is a major misconception. Contrary to popular belief, creativity can be taught. To bring more creativity into the workplace, companies don’t necessarily have to look outside their own walls.

That said, creativity can only be fostered in current employees through engaging, dynamic training programs. Businesses that prioritize learning and development initiatives that emphasize creativity and adaptability above all else will gain a powerful competitive advantage in the age of automation.

Ditch the One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Traditional training formats like instructor-led classes, lengthy reading materials, and other one-size-fits-all approaches to learning will not do. If you want to encourage employees to think outside the box, you’ll need to get creative with your creativity training.

Consider leveraging adaptable training technology to facilitate impromptu collaborations, training sessions, and brainstorms. These are great alternatives to rigid, structured training programs when it comes to fostering creative thinking internally. For example, a shared digital platform where employees can participate in peer reviews or connect with colleagues in different office branches can establish an environment of social learning that supports the constant exchange of ideas. Take social learning into the physical world, too, by creating spaces in your office where employees can hold focus groups, work collaboratively, and safely ask questions.

Your most creative employees already want opportunities to contribute their knowledge and offer their input. Provide them with resources that facilitate and encourage interactive work and learning. This not only creates the conditions under which creativity can flourish, but it also helps employees establish themselves across the organization as subject-matter experts to whom other employees can turn when in need.

Give Employees the Tools to Carve Their Own Learning Paths

A big part of thinking creatively is being able to ask questions, challenge norms, and seek input from colleagues. Traditional training programs that focus narrowly on specific sets of tactical skills don’t teach participants how to do these things. On the other hand, learning technologies rooted in social learning can offer employees opportunities to ask questions, engage with their peers, and share their own expertise.

Businesses looking to foster more creativity must provide personalized, adaptive learning experiences that arm workers with the unique skills they need both to succeed in their individual roles and to make the most of their careers. Training technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can be especially helpful here.

For example, AI-powered training programs can identify an employee’s skills gaps or areas of interest, and then guide the employee to relevant courses based on these insights. This approach ensures the employee feels engaged in learning by allowing them to customize their process. Because the training program is tailored to the employee’s individual preferences and weaknesses, learning becomes truly meaningful, allowing the employee to embrace their own creative processes.

Traditional training programs centered on technical skills development don’t empower employees to take creative license in their learning. If employees cannot be creative in their training, how can you expect them to be creative in their everyday roles? Give employees a training experience that sets the standard for how they should operate in the workplace in general.

Training Should Be Accessible 24/7

Employees want to learn — particularly millennials, 93 percent of whom look for jobs that offer lifelong learning opportunities.

Critical to a successful training program of any kind is that employees view the program as a valuable resource instead of a time-consuming mandatory commitment. With on-demand training, you can encourage employees to leverage training where and when it makes the most sense to them (e.g., during their commute, vegging on the couch after work, etc.). This shift in approach allows employees to tailor not only the content of their training, but also the circumstances in which they engage in training. Again, that customizability is key to creativity.

Employees are no longer chained to their desks. They are on the move and can access content on their smartphones throughout the day, no matter where they are. In fact, 65 percent of all digital media is now viewed on smartphones. Employees want their training to be mobile-friendly, too, with 64 percent of workers saying mobile training content is “essential” or “very useful.”

On-demand, mobile-friendly training is more than just a matter of convenience. When employees know supportive resources are always a click away, they can be more confident about taking risks in how they approach their work.

Ultimately, learning programs that support social interaction and personalization are essential to fostering creativity at work. Employees already have a thirst for continued education and professional development. Organizations can meet that need while also training for a creative outlook, thereby producing a happier, more engaged, and more innovative workforce.

Nate Madel is head of enablement, global customer success, at Docebo.

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.