Category: Recruitment

Small Businesses Recruiting Challenges and How to Overcome Them

In the US, small and medium-sized businesses are the principal source of employment. SMBs employ more than 50% of workforce and generate more than half of the nation’s GDP. When it comes to recruitment, finding skilled employees is a barrier for small businesses. In this article, we will discuss some of the recruiting challenges faced by small businesses.

  • Finding a skilled candidate: According to the survey conducted by Robert Half, 60% of SMBs are facing difficulty in finding skilled candidates. This is because skilled candidates are demanding high pay and for SMBs, it is difficult to afford. If small businesses are unable to hire skilled candidates the other alternative is to hire unskilled candidates and train them. But, some of these unskilled candidates get trained properly in your company and after a period of time they switch to a bigger organization.
  • – How to overcome this situation?
    SMBs should create better career opportunities for employees working in their organization. They should clearly define the benefits to the candidates for working with their organization. This will help them to hire skilled ones.
  • Maintaining employee morale and productivity: Employee morale is important, as it directly affects the organization’s productivity. The reason may be because of complex HR policies, not accepting responsibility for mistakes, setting impossible goals, threatening their jobs, improper performance of management systems, poor economic conditions, etc.
  • – How to overcome this situation?
    Maintain an open-door policy for the employees. This enables them to share their concerns and questions with the management. Conduct regular staff meetings to ask them questions like how they are finding the workplace, whether they are facing any issue. If you think their concerns are reasonable and valid, take necessary actions to solve them as quickly as possible.
  • One or two people managing everything: In SMBs, one or two people take care of all employee related activities, which is not a good idea. In fact the need for people in HR department is more because they are the ones that search for suitable candidates, they do all the administration related work, manages and maintains employee wage and benefit programs, etc. With all this work load, they fail to manage the gap between the employer and the employees.
  • – How to overcome this situation?
    As a small business owner, you should identify the job requirements for specific HR position, then describe roles and responsibilities accordingly. If the job description is not adequately conveying the position’s requirement or if it is too broad, the candidate will be confused and will not be able to carry out the work properly. You can also contact a recruiting agency to find an ideal candidate for the job opening.
  • Improper infrastructure for recruitment: HR department is responsible for attracting, retaining and developing high skilled employees in the organization. But without a proper recruitment infrastructure, it would be difficult for the organization to do this. The reasons may be lack of skilled or experienced HR team, not maintaining proper applicant tracking system or the lack of sources to attract targeted candidates.
  • – How to overcome this situation?
    Maintain a skilled HR team. Have a proper applicant tracking system and proper sources to do the recruitment process efficiently and effectively will help in hiring the right candidate.
  • Top officials not involving in recruiting process: With SMB owners and its top officials having the charge of focusing on core business activities, they have little time to spend with the HR team to discuss issues relating hiring of candidates. They just inform the concerned HR about the requirement and sometimes the HR team is not able to choose the right candidate.
  • – How to overcome this situation?
    If you want skilled employees in your organization, then you need to allocate some time with the HR department to discuss the issues on how to choose a candidate. This will improve the quality of the recruitment.
  • Poor cultural fit: Employers should look into two aspects while recruiting a candidate. First, whether the candidate is having the capabilities of building the organization. Second, whether the candidate will fit into the organizations culture. Most SMBs do not consider this quality of the the candidates. It will negatively impact on the organization.
  • – How to overcome this situation?
    To overcome this situation, you need to hire a candidate on a temporary contract. In the first few weeks of joining your organization, monitor the candidates performance such as how he/she is behaving, work ethics, attitude, etc. After the completion of contract period, based on the employees performance you can reduce the probation period or make him/her a permanent employee.

It is not that there is lack of qualified candidates or shortage of talent. The challenge here is to come up with some new ideas that will attract talent and retain candidates. Small businesses should get rid of old processes that are ineffective in hiring candidates and should change the way they search for skilled candidates. (more…)

Importance of Having Exempt Employees for Small Business Success

Hardworking employees are one of the biggest and strongest assets of every successful company. When it comes to small businesses, the role of such employees becomes even more crucial due to the availability of limited resources.

Employees in critical roles like executive, administrative and professional are important for small businesses success because people in those roles perform crucial duties in the organization such as managing the business, framing and executing important management policies and performing non-manual tasks that require independent judgment and discretion.

For a small business to reach its goals in less time, they need employees in crucial roles to work hard at least during the initial years of the business, or during project delivery time. If the employees in these roles are enrolled under regular employee, according to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), they are entitled for minimum wage and overtime pay, which is one and half times the regular rate of pay.

This kind of laws not only prevent the companies to discourage long working hours, but also make it difficult for the company to achieve its objectives on time.

Exempt Employee Act
To prevent such instances, you can make use of ‘Exempt Employee Act’ under which FLSA provides exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for employees who are employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales roles. A few sections under the act also exempt certain computer employees.

Eligibility for exempt employee status
Job title alone do not determine exempt status. For an employee to get qualified they should pass certain tests with respect to their job profile and salary according to Department’s regulation. Though job profile varies from one job to other, a common rule is exempt employees should be paid on salary basis and the minimum salary should not be less than $455 per week.

Only for ‘white collar’ employees
According to FLSA, only ‘white collar’ employees who satisfy the job profile and salary tests become eligible for exemption. The exemptions do not apply to ‘blue collar’ workers who do manual labor whose work involves repetitive tasks with their hands, skill and energy like that of employees in production, construction, maintenance fields and in occupations such as carpenters, mechanics, plumber, etc. These employees are entitled only for minimum wage and overtime pay.

The Act is also not applicable for employees in various public service departments like Police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics and other First Responders.

Benefits of having exempt employees
Exempt employees in the afore mentioned roles can enjoy a more flexible work environment than non-exempt employees, who typically finish their work in the scheduled shift.

  • – FLSA prohibits the employer from requiring the exempt employees to “punch a clock” or work in a particular schedule, or make up the time lost because of absences. So, whenever required, the employee can stretch extra hours, work on weekdays and holidays.
  • – At the same time, the department also doesn’t limit the work an employer can expect or require from an employee.

How exempt employees make you win?
Back in 1987, Amgen, an American multinational biopharmaceutical company headquartered in California was ready with its breakthrough product – all the background work was done – the invention, testing, trails, everything is done and the product is ready. Only thing pending is the approval from FDA. But before applying for approval, they need to document the details. Otherwise the approval gets postponed just like what happened with another biotech company, Genentech.

But documenting is not a small process. They need to prepare a detailed report which typically contains 1000s of pages, which takes a great effort and long time. Within this span of time, any of their competitors may secure the approval. So, there were two challenges before them – one was to prepare the report with perfection and other was to submit it before anybody else.

For this the Amgen FDA application team that started its work at their office soon shifted to Simi Valley to avoid unnecessary distractions. At that point of time, nothing was more important for them except the challenges, so they became “Simi Valley Hostages.”

All the employees in the team would work in the morning, have a brief lunch break, would work till 6.00 p.m. After a short dinner break they worked in the night. The schedule repeats until the close of the project. This way they worked for 93 continuous days without any personal life and finally created a 19,578 page document, shipped it off to FDA, and got approval.

Imagine how tough it would be for the company if the team of employees are non-exempt. The point we are trying to drive home is you may face such challenges in your business. For small businesses, deadline for a project delivery is a challenge. Unless you have hardworking, committed team who are exempt, you will not be able to deliver results on time.

If you are still having non-exempt employees in key roles, better late than never, convert them into exempt and leverage the talent effectively. (more…)

Necessary Skills Required for a Manager

A Manager should be a skilled person for small as well as large businesses. Managers manage the entire team and run the business by increasing the profits. Managers should have the capabilities to take the right decision at the critical situations. Managers at the business operations need more skills for proper planning, decision making, controlling, directing and problem solving.

Few necessary skills for managers are:

Team oriented:

Managers should interact with the employees and executives, discuss with them about the work and also work with them.

Strong interpersonal and communication skills:

These skills are very essential because as a manager you have to interact with your employees and your customers. Managers need good communication skills for handling the situation and motivating their employees.

Good system skills:

Now a days technical skills are necessary to every one similarly managers require the computer skills especially on MS office. They can check the company performance with these technical information.

Good presentation skills:

As a manager the project presentation is compulsory. So, managers should acquire the good presentation skills. Managers requires professional presentation skills for creating more impression.

Problem solving skills:

Managers should have the good problem solving skills because they are the experienced persons and they have proper experience, so they should be able to solve the problem easily.

Manager should be optimistic:

Manager must interact with the others and meet to explain about the productivity. Start the day with the optimistic mindset, start work with the right attitude.

Manager must take the wise decision which provides benefits to company. A manager should respect his team members and motivate them. (more…)

Tips for Effective Group Discussions During the Interview

Group discussions became an important part of most of the job interviews these days. They are playing an important role as they showcase the skills of the person and tells the interviewer how effective the candidate is in expressing his views and expressions on a particular topic. It also shows whether the person is either dependent or independent in his views and opinions. It gives a wide scope for the interviewer to know more about the topic. Instead of concentration on the main subject the interviewer tends to focus on the logic and the intelligence the candidate is using to bring a solution to the mentioned question or the stated topic. Here are few tips which could help you to achieve success in the group discussions.

In group discussion every person needs to be a self starter. No one will be there to tell you it is your turn and ask you to speak. Don’t wait for everybody to complete, it is always impressive when you are the initiator. Even though somebody took the chance of leading the discussion, what you are planning to do, never hesitate or get downhearted as you missed the chance. Instead take it as a positive note and try to either support the person and expressing your view from a different angle of the topic.

Always remember group discussion is not a debate, you cannot argue on whatever the other persons are saying. It is a platform to give your views on the given topic. If you really object and do not agree with what the other person is saying, then try to project it in a polite way. Say them in the cool words, saying that ‘I do respect your opinion, however, I have my own views and let me explain what I meant’. This kind of approach and reaction to the other persons statement, makes the interviewer feel that you can deal the issues in your own ways without hurting others. At any point of interview if you find the discussion is going out of track, take the lead to bring it back which shows your responsibility.

Finally, give a conclusion to the discussion by framing all the views of the people or just by expressing your opinions which reflects that you are concluding on the behalf of the team. This shows your leadership quality. (more…)

Know About the Recruiter Before You Hire

May be you are in a confusion after looking at the title. Let me make you clear about that first. Hiring a recruiter means, hiring a recruiting firm to carry the process of recruitment for your organization. Many companies either due to lack of time or lack of expertise tend to outsource their recruiting processes to the companies which can provide right candidates at the appropriate time. This is generally called as recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and is carried out by the people who are no way related to the company. However, in assigning such a responsible task to the people who do not know anything about your company is a risky job. Here are few suggestions which could be helpful you in hiring a right RPO.

Ability to build relations: The first and the foremost quality which the recruiter needs to build is the ability to find and build relations with great people. They need to get out of their place to know about different levels of people and also to know about the professions that might be useful for their firm and for the people who they are working for. They can use best of the technology to establish relations and to maintain them consistently.

Good knowledge about the existing market: The RPO should be able to explain the present market trend and how they can quantify the supply of talent for a particular job. They have to maintain a data to match them according to the present requirement and are supposed to spend less time on the commonly available candidates.

Show Competence: The RPO’s are supposed to stand potentially competent as the competition in the mentioned fields are always rising with the increased rise of requirement. They need to establish a core set of metrics that show that they have added value, improved quality, profits and all other factors which show that they are different from the rest of the fellow competitors.

Be confident on hiring: Last but the important thing is they need to maintain the quality of the hiring from the first hire till the last hire. With consistent contact with the host company they can get inputs on the job profiles they are looking for and also can use the same points in hiring process. Above all they should be confident enough in supplying efficient manpower so that the company can continue relations with the RPO.

Know How to Dress Up for an Interview?

Many people often ignore the fact that physical appearance and the way a person presents himself plays a major role in getting selected in a job interview. It is rightly said that first impression is what it makes the best impression. And that first impression can always be secured with the help of presenting yourself best in the way you look to others. This can be done by dressing up properly while going for the interview.

Proper attire always plays a supporting role during the interviews. It shows your seriousness towards the interview and builds your image as a person. A right attire is always the one that fits exactly to the body but not in a clinging manner. It is always better to use light colors and less patterned dresses so that the attraction never goes on to your dress and also make you look cool and calm. For men, a formal shirt either plain or small checked with a suitable pant is always a best option. When it comes to women, a formal dress with less designs preferably of cotton material makes them look connected.

Even though your interview has been scheduled on Saturday or Sunday, you will be respected if you wear a formal dress. Perfect dressing will always be an unsaid compliment to the person you are going to meet. Whatever might be the changes in the trend or in the fashion, the attire for the interview should always be a business formal irrespective of the ages. Hence, it is mandatory to wear a formal when you are going for an interview.

Apart from clothing never wear too much jewelery, especially in case of women who love to wear jewelery. The more simple you are, much better you look. Avoid all the unnecessary wear which look fancy and grab the attention of the people. A simple chain, studded ear tops, simple bracelet and a wrist watch are more than enough for women. Anyhow it is not mandatory to get ready with all these things. They are optional and the maximum limit for the jewelery. Coming to the perfumes and the makeup, never make your face as if you are attending a party or a function, this make you look weird to the interviewer. Make sure that your face is fresh and dry with moist lip texture and you hair is properly combed. Using highly perfumed deodorants and body sprays should be avoided as they may make the people irritated about you.

Nine basic Steps in Recruiting Process

If you are responsible for the day-to-day operations in human resources department then you have knowledge about the business functions. Recruiting starts with finding the right talent. Managing employees is also a part of recruiting. The following are some basic steps in recruiting process.

Job Opening: Decide who is going to conduct recruiting process. Small companies manage recruiting themselves and large companies go or recruiting firms for the same purpose.

Job Description: You should prepare a job description for replacement position and give the correct job description to the candidates.

Pay: Be clear about your budget for hiring a person for particular posts. Keep in mind, the range of the pay scale.

Advertising the position: You should advertise your vacancy to the candidates through online job board or in print media. Also check for internal candidates whether they are suitable for the current position or not.

Screening Process: Screening Process includes several steps, design each step effectively based on the requirements of the posts for which the interviews are held.

Interviewing Questions: Along with screening process, candidates interviewing questions should be based on the job profile. Create open-ended questions.

Lists of Interviewees: Create list of interviewees and explain their role while recruiting the candidates.

Check Reference: Always check reference and assign this work to one person, apart from his regular duties.

Decision time: Time required for gathering the candidates, interviewing and selecting the appropriate candidates should be determined in advance. (more…)

All about Clean Tech Recruiters

I had an opinion that the recruiting firm has only one type of recruiters. My view about recruiting firm has changed after visiting a recruiting firm, these firms has different types of recruiters for providing different services.

Recruiting is an unsolicited contact of business, which helps in selecting good candidates for different positions for their clients. For many businesses, recruiting is a far most cost-effective form for the companies but with increase in number operations, they are going for recruiting firms. Clean tech recruiter’s only deals with selections of candidates required by clean-tech industry. Clean tech recruiters focus is unique, which enables in recruiting the candidates with high technical knowledge as employees of their clients.

Careful preparation of selection process is essential because clean tech recruiters select the most suitable candidate for their clients and ensure the clients about the efficiency of the candidate that can also help them in increasing their productivity.

This information sets out the role of clean teach recruiters. It gives details of candidates and provides best employees for the company. (more…)