Posts Tagged ‘Renee Watkins’

Using Professional Associations as a Recruiting Tool

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Social and professional online networking has quickly become an important tool in the Human Resources arsenal for connecting with a larger pool of passive candidates for future job openings. Often, recruiters can narrow their search within these tools by focusing on specific groups or associations to which these candidates may belong or are following.

Using_Associations_for_Recruiting

There are a number of professional associations that focus either on a specific industry or role common across all industry verticals. Many of these associations are large enough to have a national following, with local chapters having regular discussions and expanding membership. Typically, such associations can be divided into one of two groups, functional and technical. Some examples are:

Functional Associations:

  • AAA (American Accounting Association)
    For Accountants, Finance Specialists, Controllers, etc.
  • AMA (American Marketing Association)
    Dedicated to serving the educational and professional needs of marketing professionals
  • CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals)
    Worldwide professional association dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of research and knowledge on supply chain management
  • CAI (Capital Associated Industries)
    For members of CAI, we offer the opportunity to post to our job boards, through myCAI, our members only online community which reaches 2,700+ HR and business professionals throughout North Carolina.
  • SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management)
    Largest organization for HR professionals including HR Generalists, HR Managers, HR Diversity, HR Business Partners, Compensation, Benefits, Employee Relations, and University Relations

Technical Associations:

  • ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
    Known for Mechanical Engineering, but also collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, standards, and certifications
  • INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering)
    Dedicated to the advancement of systems engineering
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
    The largest engineering association in the world with a focus in Electrical and IT/Systems Engineering

Professional recruiters can identify such associations by talking with their existing employees to determine which groups exist and, more importantly, to separate the more “serious” groups from those that may be less organized or less followed.

From here, recruiters can use such group memberships to zero in on their top passive candidates and perhaps engage them directly regarding a current job opening. Proactively, recruiters can begin to assemble a pool of passive candidates to approach with future job openings.

For example, you could add to your search criteria the phrasing “cscmp OR Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals”. Add to this the words “bio OR profile” to eliminate job postings and get the equivalent of a resume or CV. Finally, incorporate “manufacturing OR materials” in order to target specific areas of industry.

Proficiency in mining exactly the results you are looking for will allow you to get the jump on your competition, undoubtedly looking for the same type of candidates in much the same way. By narrowing your search the first time, you can make direct contact more quickly and start a rapport that could lead to the hiring of top talent for your organization.

Candidates with similar skill sets tend to hang out with each other and travel in the same circles. This tendency to form tight bonds with each other, promote online discussions and participate in online associations can be used to your advantage as a recruiter.

renee

Renee Watkins is on  CAI’s Advice & Resolution Team.   A seasoned HR professional with practical hands-on experience in various human resource functions, Renee provides solutions to retain and motivate outstanding workforces.  She also specializes in counseling and advising management for best practices, processes and strategies to support employee morale and organizational effectiveness.

Using Effective Recruiting Sources

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

sources

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares the findings of a CareerBuilder survey that reveals where employers should be wisely spending their resources on recruiting sources.

According to a CareerBuilder survey of over 1,600 of their clients, job candidates, on average, use eighteen (18) sources when looking for a new job.  Understanding which of these sources are used most often will give employers insight as to where to invest their recruiting time on job posting sources.

Most companies typically do the same things when it comes to getting the word out regarding job openings.  There are employee referrals, internal databases, job boards, etc.  No secrets or surprises here.  So, which sources are having the most success?

Forty-three percent (43%) of those surveyed find the most success posting on Job Boards.  Thirty-two percent (32%) find the most success by posting on Career Sites. Seven percent (7%) have more successful hires coming from Employee Referrals and two percent (2%) are more successful recruiting candidates through an Agency.  Other sources combined to make up the remaining 16%.

However, according to Leadership IQ’s latest research, the most successful companies are finding their best people in what they call “The Underground Job Market” through employee referrals and networking.

As an employer, now that you have this information, what can you learn from it?  In order to ensure the best possible formula for recruiting success, an organization must have a multi-faceted strategy for sourcing candidates.  An internal database, or pool, of qualified candidates you have already spoken with and vetted is one of your best sources.

However, you should also make sure you post openings on targeted job boards and career sites.  This will attract candidates for your current opening. Establish an employee referral program which rewards employees for finding and recruiting qualified candidates for an opening.  This will encourage participation and engagement from your existing employees, as well as serve to preserve your corporate culture.  People are prone to associate with and recruit people who they are most compatible with.

A single approach to recruiting is not enough to make you successful.  There will be specialty jobs which require very targeted approaches, including perhaps the support of an agency.   There will also be jobs requiring a certain level of soft skills in addition to education and experience.  For these, you may find yourself “smiling-and-dialing” to locate the right candidate.

Lastly, there are two important considerations to remember when putting these strategies to use.  The first is, a recruiting technology is only as good as the people who use them.  Make sure your team is well-trained on getting the most use out of career sites and job boards.  As with any technology, if you do not use it correctly, it will not work for you.  The second thing to remember is to accurately measure your source for each hire.  These statistics will tell you and your management, which strategies are working well and help to drive budgets for investing deeper in certain strategies.

Should you need assistance developing a new approach or validating your existing one, please contact Tom Sheehan on our Advice & Resolution team at (919) 878-9222 or tom.sheehan@capital.org.

 

Giving Thanks At Work Beyond Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares the many reasons why employers should be giving thanks – and not just around Thanksgiving.

As Thanksgiving approaches, it is typically the time of year when we take a moment to count the blessings in our life and give thanks.  Often, the word “thankful” seems less than adequate to express how we truly feel and does not completely convey our gratitude.  There are so many things for which we should be grateful.  In fact, we should try to take stock of the sources of gratitude in our lives and demonstrate our gratitude on a daily basis – not just at Thanksgiving.

Begin a practice to take time out of each day and tell those around you that your life is better because of them. Naturally, we always appreciate our significant others, our children and special friends.  Many share their thanks and gratitude to colleagues at work.  When did you last thank a fireman or police officer? Have you acknowledged a member of the armed forces lately?  There are those you do not see every day that also deserve your thanks.

Even good leaders can forget to acknowledge the contributions of their followers in the workplace.  Taking your team’s work for granted can strain a relationship over time.  In a much quoted Gallop survey, they found that fewer than one in three American workers could strongly agree that they had received praise from their supervisor in the last seven days.   In an uncertain economy and competitive job market, it is essential that our workforce, business partners, clients and suppliers hear directly from us that their contributions to our success are recognized and appreciated.  Take time to say “thanks.”  It is such a simple thing to do and yet so meaningful to the recipient. A genuine thank you is priceless.

Experience has taught us that when you acknowledge and appreciate the people around you, they work harder, perform better and care more about the people around them in return.  The simple and meaningful act of showing gratitude can have a powerful “ripple effect” in both business and in the daily lives of those who directly and indirectly support your success in life.  Adrian Gostic and Chester Elton, authors of The Carrot Principle, conducted a 10-year motivation study, in which more than 200,000 employees and managers were interviewed. They found that when managers are considered to be effective at ‘recognizing’ their employees they:

• have lower turnover rates than other managers

• achieve better organizational results

• are seen to be much stronger in goal-setting, communication, trust and accountability

This Thanksgiving, remember to extend a special thank you to your coworkers. Not only will it mean a great deal to them, but they will likely return their gratitude in kind! With a simple “thanks”, you will be building a sense of gratitude and appreciation that can outlast the Holiday season and ultimately embed itself into your company’s culture.

For further information as to how or why you could be showing gratitude in the workplace, please give our Advice and Resolution Team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Are You a Micromanager or a Macromanager?

Thursday, September 24th, 2015
Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares some tips for adopting a Macromanaging mindset when overseeing employees. 

Are you a Micromanager?  Do others consider you to be?  Hopefully, the answer to both of these questions is “No.”  The term Micromanager is widely thought to be one of the most unflattering labels you can have if you manage people.  Micromanagers typically involve themselves so deeply into the smallest details of every project they manage it actually inhibits productivity and creates a very unpleasant workplace for the team as a whole.

Granted, not being a Micromanager is better than being a Micromanager.  But is there something even better?  Yes!  A Macromanager.

Macromanagers deal with employees more efficiently, taking advantage of their individuality and contributing strengths to the overall team.  Macromanagers provide a work environment which allows a team to work together and empowers them to not only make decisions, but to also make mistakes and to learn from both.  This creates a bi-directional feeling of trust, while maintaining a sense of employee engagement and generating results.

How can you become a Macromanager?  How can you make the transition all the way from Micromanager to Macromanager?  Try implementing these four traits of a Macromanager:

Focus on The Big Picture – Micromanagers get too deep in the weeds of a project rather than looking at things from a 10,000-foot viewpoint.  To be a good Macromanager, focus more of your energy and attention on the organization’s direction and strategy for the future.  In doing so, you can develop creative ideas on how to get there and trust your team to use their collective strengths to work out the details for success.

Understand Your Audience – Micromanagers tend to micromanage everyone, even those who do not need it. Macromanagers may occasionally need to provide more detailed guidance to a team member who is less experienced. When you see that team member begin to “get it,” step back before entering “Micromanager Mode.”  Have a stronger member of your team work with and mentor the less experienced employees.

Observe – Watch the progress of your team, keeping your distance.  As an experienced manager, you will recognize the cues that tell you when to engage and when to hold back.  Your responsibility is the successful completion of the project overall, so you should always be involved as a manager, mentor, advisor and member of the team.  Successful people surround themselves with successful people.  Give your team room to succeed and let them know you are there if they need you.

Welcome Feedback – Find a way to ask questions regarding progress without coming across as “interfering.”  As the manager responsible for overall success, you have the right and the responsibility to know what is going on.  Make sure your team understands you are not there to judge or to criticize, but to offer help and observations if and when needed. Open communication should be encouraged.

As a manager, you have larger responsibilities to the organization.  If you ever find yourself getting too deep into the weeds of any one project, you should ask yourself, “What should I be doing in my job that I am not doing?”  Chances are there is something else you should be focusing more time on.  Your employees will thrive and progress more quickly with your guidance rather than your direct involvement.

If you have any more questions regarding the importance of macromanagement, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.

 

How to Keep Your Employees Excited About Coming to Work

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares some helpful tips to keep your workforce engaged!

Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

Actions often speak louder than words, and the simplest, unexpected and sincerest actions at the proper moment can make a significant difference in someone’s day.  Everyone appreciates being recognized in a tangible way with additional compensation or a certificate of appreciation for a job well done.  Studies have shown, however, employees equally appreciate a heartfelt “Good Morning” from a manager to make their day more pleasant.  Here are a few other simple things to get your employee excited about their job and the organization they are a part of:

 

  • A Pleasant Beginning – employee attitudes throughout the day are influenced with how their day starts. Something as simple as “good morning” or a smile from a supervisor can set the tone for the rest of the day.

 

  • Take An Interest – take an interest in their lives, acknowledging a sick relative or a graduating son or daughter. Employees are people first, before employees.

 

  • Pay Special Attention – recognize your employees for doing a good job and offer to help them grow. Likewise, be candid with your employees when they are not measuring up and offer to help them improve.

 

  • Show Flexibility – offer a work shift change or additional time off to an employee who is dealing with a temporary change in their personal life to give them time to adjust.

 

  • Demonstrate Consideration – start a meeting later if an employee is running late to work due to traffic or a sick child. Consider your own feelings if the situation were reversed. Respect given is respect gained.

 

  • Sensitivity Matters – help employees who need a change at their workstation to be more comfortable. A change in office climate or a new chair can show how much you notice their environment and how much you care.

 

  • Be A Part of the Team – show up to employee group functions such as group lunches, birthday celebrations or after-hours gatherings to which you are invited to attend. Supervising the team includes being a part of the team.

 

  • Keep Your Perspective – do not take your stress out on your employees. Put things in perspective, take a deep breath and smile. If you remain at ease, they will remain at ease also.

 

  • Open Your Door – maintain an open door for your employees to come to you with a problem or idea. Listen intently, and offer a solution or advice if you can. If you cannot help, show appreciation for their coming to you. If they have a good idea, help them to move it forward.

 

  • Say Thank You – thank your team members as often as you can for the job they do. Expressing your appreciation will lift your team to new heights, and success will follow.

 

If you have questions regarding employee engagement, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.

Exploring Why Employees Stay With Your Company

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins encourages you to think about your employee retention efforts.

Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

Every organization would like to see a high rate of employee retention over a long period of time. What is the best way to achieve this goal? We spend time and effort to understand why employees leave when they give us notice and by then it is often too late to react. Perhaps if we first understood the reasons an employee chooses to stay with the organization it would help us to better reinforce those positive factors and drive retention rates upward across the workforce.

“Stay” interviews are becoming a popular norm among companies taking a pro-active approach to employee retention. If you are relatively new at conducting stay interviews, consider one of the suggested formats below to get you started:

Manager One-on-One

Anytime a manager takes the opportunity to speak one-on-one with a team member, you have invoked one of the most powerful tools for increasing employee retention. Employees want to work for an organization that demonstrates concern for their welfare and happiness in the workplace. Work with managers to encourage such “interviews” and present them with a set of employee engaging questions as a guide.

Human Resources One-on-One

Sometimes an employee may be reluctant to discuss certain issues with their manager. This is where HR can provide another opportunity for direct employee engagement. Do not wait for the employee to come to you. If they are reluctant to speak with their manager, they may also be reluctant to speak with HR. Make it a practice to reach out to employees on a regular basis and simply involve them in conversation regarding their thoughts on the company and their job.

Employee Surveys

To engage employees who are reluctant to speak openly regarding their concerns, provide an employee survey to give them an opportunity to anonymously provide their feedback. An anonymous survey will provide them a forum in which to be completely open and honest. However, also convey the fact the door to HR is always open to them with complete confidentiality and invite them to come forward and discuss in more detail. This will demonstrate your concern for their happiness in the workplace.

Focus Group

A focus group can be used to bring together a small group of employees who work in a similar role and ask for both positive and negative feedback on company activities. Sometimes it only takes one employee to start the conversation and others will jump in as part of the group. When employees feel they are not the only person with concerns, they are more likely to participate in an honest and open discussion.

Stay interviews should be conducted with key employees on a periodic basis and should not coincide with employee reviews. Remember, this is designed to promote your interest in their welfare and job satisfaction. Make sure to put the employee at ease and explain they are not being singled out as a result of anything they’ve done.

For some organizations, it would be impossible to conduct routine stay interviews with every employee, regardless of how great it would be to do so. It is very important to concentrate your focus on key employees who would create a negative impact on the business if they chose to leave.

Also, it is important to remember you will never be able to please everyone all the time. Some concerns may be aired that you are unable to address directly via policies or new initiatives. In these cases, all you may be able to do is listen and offer understanding.

Equally important however, is your effort to address concerns that can be resolved. If your employee has taken the steps required to voice their concerns to you, your efforts to take action will be how they measure their true value to the organization. If you fail here, your efforts to improve employee retention may have the opposite effect.

Be sure also to promote the positives you hear in a stay interview. If several employees mention the same reason they stay with your organization, put that in a newsletter or on the company website, preserving their anonymity of course. Always promote the positive as both a retention and a recruiting tool.

Stay interviews have been developed as a proven methodology for reducing turnover and the added expense of recruiting and training new employees to fill vacated positions.

Please call our Advice and Resolution team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 if you need help thinking through your retention strategy.

Showing Emotion is a Good Leadership Quality

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins discourages management and leaders from hiding their emotions and explains why.

Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

As professionals, we are taught and trained to keep our emotions in check when conducting a meeting or having a one-on-one conversation. The result can sometimes be the delivery of a message that seems a little too polished and rehearsed to be believable. These are times when a little more emotion is called for.

True emotion from our management is seen so rarely, when we hear it or see it, we are almost in shock. This reaction can make a message more powerful for us as it appears more genuine and trustworthy. Such a delivery can convey that the message is authentic and not trying to cover up anything behind the scenes.

Hiding our emotions may give the appearance of strength and control, but in reality it hinders our capacity to truly lead. Without emotion, we never really connect with individuals on their level. Employees who feel connected to management also feel an equal part of the company, with an equal stake in its failure or success.

Granted, there is also the other side of this coin. Being too emotional at a management level can sometimes cloud objectivity and lead to rash decisions that may negatively impact the company. It can be a very delicate balance, knowing how much emotion is necessary to connect with the workforce and how much is needed to be a strong leader when called upon.

To discover that balance, pay attention to your emotions. Ask yourself a couple of times a week, “How am I feeling right now?” Keep a journal of your emotions and try to identify what events or issues cause which emotions. Decide the importance of each and investigate how each emotion can be used to either connect directly with an employee or to advance forward in some decision process currently in play. Emotions, when used wisely, can be a powerful catalyst for change.

For more leadership tips, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team and 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Staying Connected with Remote Employees

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

remote employees

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares helpful tips for staying connected with your employees who work remotely.

More and more businesses are embracing the use of remote, or virtual, employees. Whether the opportunity to work remotely is provided as a perk, a recruiting tool or for cutting costs, it requires a different mindset on the part of both the employee and their manager to be successful.

Some managers would argue it is difficult to manage employees working on the same floor of the same building, let alone across the country or on another continent altogether. Despite the advent of technology designed to enable team collaboration around the globe, there can be challenges with managing remote employees.

Employees and managers alike wrestle with trust issues in a remote situation. Often remote employees are rarely seen in person on a regular basis. Management can sometimes question whether work is being done when they cannot see it with their own eyes. Remote employees wonder if they are getting the same or as much information as their counterparts at the home office.

Peers who may not have the opportunity to work remotely may show signs of resentment toward remote employees. This can serve to alienate remote employees and lead to being disengaged. In some instances, remote employees do not receive the same level of recognition as local employees upon completion of a significant milestone – “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Hiring the right worker for a remote opportunity usually means someone who is trustworthy and professional enough to work independently and efficiently with little direction from management. For this same reason, management needs to make an extra effort to include remote employees in meetings, announcements and other activities as if they were on-site.

Here are some tips on how to manage remote workers:

Regular Status Updates

These should be held often enough to stay in sync with the remote employee, but not so often as to constitute micromanagement. By definition, a remote worker should not need micromanagement. However, if the remote worker desires more frequent status updates, do everything you can to accommodate them. This is a sign they desire more interaction and you want to keep them engaged in their job and the objectives you are working to achieve.

Work and Play

Remember interaction is not always about work. Employees and managers who work in the same office will naturally establish a bond on a personal level as well and engage in conversations which are non-work-related. Remote employees do not get this type of daily interaction, so it is important to work harder to have conversations about something other than work from time-to-time. Encourage other team members to reach out as well. If feasible, make sure remote employees are brought in for group activities or outings.

Project Share

Where teams are involved, route documents and status emails to the entire group throughout the life of the project. Make sure everyone understands the importance of their own role, as well as others. Keep the remote employees involved and visible to the project and project team.

Open Lines of Communication

Remote workers are less likely to report problems out of fear they will lose the opportunity to work remotely. Also, it is more difficult to recognize a worker who is under stress when they are not in the office each day. Make sure your remote workers know you are there to help them be successful and they have an equal amount of access to your attention as local team members, regardless of distance or geography.

For additional tips for managing your remote workforce, please give our Advice and Resolution team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Build Trust as a Manager to Keep Your Employees Loyal

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

In today’s video blog Renee’ Watkins, CAI’s HR Advisor and member of the Advice and Resolution team, offers helpful tips to strengthen relationships between managers and their employees. Renee’ starts by explaining that good employees leave organizations for several reasons, including a poor relationship with their manager.

Managers can’t force their direct reports to trust them. Instead, Renee’ suggests that managers demonstrate through their actions that they can be trusted and ultimately leave the decision up to their employees. She shares the following tips and explains how they assist in helping managers build trust:

-Be transparent

-Be a coach

-Be accountable

-Be and have a positive attitude

Renee’ goes on to explain that having positive relationships between employees and managers is critical. She says without a strong foundation, the employee/manager relationship is shaky, unstable and unreliable at best.

For additional tips to build trust between team members at your organization, please contact a member of our Advice and Resolution team at 919-878-9222 or 336-667-7746.

Using Video Job Descriptions as a Recruiting Tool

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares how a Video Job Description can add a personal touch to your company’s next job opening.

Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

Video Job Descriptions (VJDs) are nothing more than a short video clip used to describe a specific opening to a potential applicant. These are not meant to replace the typical text narrative of the job description and desired qualifications. Instead, they are meant to enhance and present a more personal viewpoint of a job opening.

Text narratives are often developed using the actual responsibilities and duties of the position, coupled with the required and preferred experience and education levels, with some help and guidance from both Human Resources and the hiring manager. Today’s job applicant lives in a world of Facetime, Skype, YouTube and other communications involving face-to-face contact across a website or wireless network. To some, the written word has become boring and uninteresting.

A personal touch can be a great way to capture the attention of a potential job seeker. That can be accomplished by having an existing team member describe their experience with the company or by having the manager describe the position and their management style in a VJD. This type of medium establishes a personal rapport with the candidate as if the manager or employee were speaking directly to the candidate. It also makes an impression that your organization is progressive when it comes to technology and social media.

The many advantages of using VJDs to enhance your job descriptions include:

  • Message presented by someone working with or in this role on a daily basis
  • Projects energy and excitement about the position not present in the written word
  • Immediately establishes a connection between the applicant and the team
  • Candidates will typically watch a video but may only skim a narrative
  • Viewable and sharable on any mobile platform – extends reach to more people
  • Facility video tours can generate excitement and interest
  • Simple and inexpensive to create – does not require professionals
  • Consider enhancing your next few job opening announcements by creating a VJD as a link from the job description on your website career page and social media profiles.

Need some help with recruiting talent for your company? Please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746. The team is available 24 hours each day!