3 Cost Effective Ways of Attracting the Best Talent to Your Organization

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Finding the best talent and hiring them before your competitors is always a good feeling, but it’s a misconception to think that in doing so you have to spend big bucks. If you want to get a head start on the competition and win while keeping costs down, start recruiting in unconventional ways. Today’s millennial candidates don’t just compare salaries and then decide on an entry level job offer, they consider many more requirements and facets of a company before making their final choice. Landing these candidates requires that you look at your hiring practices, perks, and unique company opportunities and characteristics to draw them in.

The Law of Attraction for Hiring

Imagine your ideal fresh graduate job candidate and then focus on all their positive qualities. Then, do the following:

Target Your Advertising – Why put your ad on a large all-purpose board? All that does is force you to weed through extra unqualified candidates while your competitor already is interviewing their top choices. Find boards that specialize in the type of candidate you seek. You can even check out social profiles and narrow the list this way. Doing more legwork up front is going to help you cut down on the qualifying you have to do later. More work now means less work less later and you’ll appreciate the extra work you’ve done come interview time.

Offer Unusual Perks – If you’re looking for someone who will give a little extra without necessarily wanting overtime pay, you might be looking for someone with an altruistic bent. Offering perks that attract that type of person can go a long way to getting what you want, like paid volunteer days to their favorite charity or support in money and event sponsorships for a specific cause. The perks should represent your company culture and the mission you’re working towards. The perks don’t have to be insane like around the world trips, but offer benefits that show the employee you care about them as a person and value who they are outside of the office as well as in.

Create One-of-a-Kind Opportunities – If you can offer travel to those wanting new experiences or a special training program your competitor doesn’t have, it can be a way to draw the best talent. Don’t forget to include unusual experiences that the candidate might seek, like scuba-diving lessons for someone that works in an underwater archeological dig. Your company is full of unique and interesting people for new hires to learn from and work with so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Candidates get post fatigue with all the run of the mill descriptions that are out there so make yours unique and eye catching. Make the new grad jobs descriptions sound as fun and exciting as possible!

Even if your company isn’t rolling in recruiting cash, you can still make an impact with hiring by getting creative and using these cost effective ways to recruit and land the best talent.

Understanding the Psychology of Job Rejection – Part 2

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This is a two part series on job rejection psychology. Click here for Part 1

Is Job Rejection Normal?

Some job rejection is a normal part of even the most successful career cycles, but what about those workers who experience longer periods of rejection? When the job search stretches on with no end in sight, are there repercussions beyond the financial?

Many psychologists believe so and as more workers are experiencing it, being able to understand the effects of long-term job rejection is essential, since many of the candidates you interview may be experiencing some of the fallout.

The Loss of Status

Among the not-so-easily-named effects of long term unemployment, and job rejection, loss of status ranks high. We all recognize that status is a contributing factor in over-all feelings of success and satisfaction in life but it may be much more. Mark Van Vugt, PHD, in his Psychology Today article subtitled, “The Titanic Effect and why Oscar award winners live longer” points out that among Hollywood actors, those that have won an Academy Award for acting live on average four years longer.

While this may be anecdotal evidence, it points to an idea called Status Syndrome, or, as he calls it, the Titanic Effect. Studies have shown that throughout history people with higher societal status have lived longer healthier lives. One factor is obviously that money allows for the best diet and healthcare, but, even primates with no economic structure, such as baboons, exhibit similar life expectancies. Those who rise to prominence typically live longer, healthier lives, while those at the bottom of the tribe, tend towards illness and early death.

Loss of status through job rejection and long-term unemployment is a blow to the human psyche. The loss of social relationships, circles of influence and the feeling of making a meaningful contribution can lead to negative thought patterns. This in turn can affect health, leading to depression and serious medical conditions. The effects are not always readily apparent, but they can be quite serious.

Social Isolation

While job rejection in the short term may not make one a social pariah, long term unemployment can, at least in the mind of the unemployed worker. Loss of daily contact with coworkers, embarrassment, shame, and inability to engage in normal social circles due to finances can all play a role in unemployed people’s tendency to withdraw socially.

In the beginning, friends and coworkers understand and will often try to help their friend maintain a normal social life, but after months or even years, it becomes difficult to maintain those ties. Since shame and embarrassment play a huge role, those who are long-term unemployed often beg off, rather than let friends continue to pay. This eventually leads to the friends feeling some rejection and an eventual drifting apart.

John L. Manni, Ed D, suggests that people dealing with job rejection and long term unemployment find others to spend time with. The social interaction, it turns out, is a vital link to health and human sanity. Not only that, but an active group can provide volunteer services, allowing them to contribute to society in a positive way and possibly regain some of their lost status.  You can read more about it in his article on Psychology today.

Getting a Handle on it

When job rejection and unemployment seemingly become a way of life, it is easy to assume that it is not going to change, and that any change must come from outside yourself. After all, you have done your part and it hasn’t worked.

No matter what the circumstances there are always at least two things you can change without help from the outside, according to John L. Manni Ed D, your thoughts and your actions. It is easy to become so focused on the search for employment that we give up on the rest of life. Manni suggests that job seekers should find ways to keep busy doing things they enjoy, such as exercising, gardening and reading.

This not only fills the time and wards off depression, it will also improve your mood so that when the right job interview does come along, you’ll be ready to put your best foot forward. By focusing on positive actions, you can encourage positive thoughts. One way to accomplish this is to spend some time each day doing something that helps someone else. Even something as simple as driving your kids to school every morning can give you a sense of purpose and make it easier to focus on positive thoughts.

This is a two part series on job rejection psychology. Click here for Part 1

Understanding the Psychology of Job Rejection – Part 1

New Book: The HR Tech Field Guide is a quick and easy guide to selecting your HR Technology. Learn how to navigate this $15 billion industry. Click here to buy.

Woman lying on couch  listening to her therapist

This is a two part series on job rejection psychology. Click here for Part 2. 

All of us experience it in some way nearly every day of our lives. Rejection is one common human experience that we all wish wasn’t and job rejection can be especially challenging. It’s a part of the job to make decisions about who gets the dream job and whose dream gets postponed but understanding the psychology behind it can help ensure your recruitment processes don’t make it any harder than necessary.

To Experience Job Rejection is to Be Human

Candidates who feel slighted can be put off course in their careers, experience trauma in their personal lives and what’s more, they will share their experiences with others. So, here are three things to keep in mind when it comes to job rejection that can help you take a closer look at how you handle rejecting others.

They Are Going to Take it Personally

We have all heard someone say, “Don’t take it personally”, but we all do anyway, even when we say we don’t. It takes a very strong job seeker to separate themselves from their skills, the job’s requirements and the hiring personnel’s own ideas about the ideal candidate. For those who can do it, job rejection becomes just another part of the process, but in most cases, your rejects are likely to feel that it was, indeed, them.

According to Larry Stybel, Ed.D. and Maryanne Peabody,MBA, in Psychology today, askers, or job seekers, are inclined to believe that when someone rejects them it means they don’t want to give what was asked for. This is often not the case. Job descriptions and hiring requirements can be so specific that even a well-qualified candidate, with a stellar record and a winning personality may just not fit the criteria.

Except for those rare, sensitive people, most job rejection will be handled as a minor setback. Experts recommend that the candidate have more than one interview scheduled back to back so that when one doesn’t go the way they had hoped, they merely move onto the next one. In cases where a good candidate is simply not the best candidate, recommending other positions or employers may make the rejection less of a sting and leave a positive impression in the candidate’s mind.

Rejection Never Changes

From the pursuit of a grade school crush to applying for your fourth position in a successful twenty year career, rejection feels the same.  Job rejection brings up similar emotions and thought patterns as any other type of rejection. Since rejection reaches a very deep part of us and connects back to other experiences throughout our lives, it is a very hard emotional blow to control our reactions to.

Understand that statistically the fact they are even getting a response at all has built hope in the job seeker.  Statistics show that only two percent of applications get any type of response at all. That is a lot of pressure to put on one conversation. They may have sent out dozens of resumes to get this one opportunity to speak to an actual employer and you are it.  For them, job rejection carries some very high stakes.

The one thing that softens the trauma of job rejection is experience. Most candidates have been through it before, come out the other side and have successes to show to prove it. A part of them knows that this will not be the end of the road, even though it can feel like it. While it’s easy to focus on the criteria that they did not match up to, by focusing on the skills they do possess, you can help to keep the situation as positive as possible.

Some People Handle Job Rejection Better Than Others

If you judged who handles job rejection best based on outward appearances, you might be surprised. While some people seem devastated in the face of “no”, others seem to never even notice. Whether it is a matter of nurture, or nature, there are those whose self-esteem seems indomitable. Job rejection is not even a factor for them, consequently, they tend to stay employed.

In his article, “How to Cope With Rejection” Frederic Neuman, MD, a specialist in fighting phobias, tells the story of an unlikely Lothario. The man he describes is over 40, balding and otherwise below average in appearance. This man, however, seems to have a certain charm in the dating department and is rarely alone unless he chooses to be.

For him, it is about the odds. He refuses to take rejection personally because there is always someone out there happy to spend time with him. He simply moves on to the next opportunity. Job seekers who learn to see broader horizons and new ways to apply their skills are less likely to be threatened by job rejection. They know that if the job they are seeking now does not turn out, they can find another opportunity tomorrow.

This is a two part series on job rejection psychology. Click here for Part 2. 

5 Common Work Conflict Scenarios for Talent Management Leaders

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When we do not get what we want or fail to reach a goal, we often blame others. It is easy. It removes our own responsibility, and it feels better than looking at our own actions. Sometimes it really isn’t our fault, but more often than anyone would like to admit, it is.

5 Common Work Conflict Scenarios

With that in mind, I have compiled a list of things we often hear (or say) in the workplace or our personal life, that stem from misunderstanding how information travels and how communication works. These points are especially relevant for recruiters and HR professionals because the nature of the work is very social, with many work relationships inside and outside the organization:

  • “We agreed on something, but the other person did something completely different!” How many times were you certain you covered the ground with a client, a customer, a colleague, or even a friend, only to be eventually disappointed that the outcome isn’t quite what you had in mind? You are talking and collaborating, It is only natural to assume: “of course we are on the same page!” The harsh reality is that both of you THINK that is the case, but very often you will take something different from the conversation. When you keep that in mind it is easier to avoid that thing from happening to begin with, or fix it without hurting someone else.
  • “I’m pulling all the weight and doing all the hard work here.” You are not always aware of other people’s efforts. We have all the information about our hard work, but much less than that about others’. Yet we are very quick to make assumptions regarding other people’s work ethics. This is true for both our personal and professional life. Creating and maintaining meaningful relationships means accepting this small fact of life.
  • “It’s hard to get my job done when other teams hide information.” Don’t assume information is withheld from you on purpose. The other team may have thought the information to be irrelevant or passed on the information to one of your teammates. In many instances, lack of communication between teams stems from too little team cohesion. Before blaming other teams for being excluded, check with your teammates if they received the information.  DNA-7 is currently conducting a study surrounding work conflict.
  •  “They should have known it’s the wrong thing to do. Everyone knows it.” Not everyone has the knowledge you do. When you see someone doing something wrong or about to make a bad decision, usually the best course of action is to see if they are aware of the regulation or the existing knowledge on the subject. The “hammer to the head” solution is swift and makes the point, but you have to keep in mind most people will lose the respect and trust they have in you if you act like that.
  • “Decisions are flying over my head, even though they are mine to make.” In the words of Frank Underwood: You are entitled to nothing. Your job description might land you responsibility over certain processes. That does not mean others are happy with it. If you don’t play nice with other people, share the information you have, and help further the project, your colleagues will try to bypass you to avoid the potholes you create. If this happens, blaming others will only make things worse. Find a way to get yourself once again involved. Create your own entitlement and don’t rely on titles.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but among the most common blames when it comes to work conflicts we place on others instead of looking at ourselves. Solving these issues is easy, but in some situations, requires letting go of our ego and admit the faults might be of our own making, or in a lot of cases – not anyone’s fault at all. If we can do that, navigating the sea of information and knowledge our organizations or social structures have to offer – instantly becomes much easier.

Recruiting Trends for 2015

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Every year the job market changes, and 2015 is no different. Employers trying to stay current with the latest trends need to be aware of how the market has changed and what that means for their hiring practices. The job market has picked up again in 2015, meaning that people are starting to job hop again, which creates a more competitive landscape for employers seeking to attract and retain top talent. While staying on top of these changes and remaining competitive can be time consuming, ultimately paying close attention to differences both large and subtle is the difference between a great recruiting year or losing out to your competitors on the best talent. With this in mind we held conversations with our partners and looked into our own data to help determine what some of the big trends in recruiting for 2015 will be.

3 Recruiting Trends that will affect your hiring

Now that you’re starting into the year and beginning to address your hiring strategies, it’s time to consider what trends will affect your recruiting efforts for 2015. Here are a few of the trends to expect based off our research:


Job seekers, especially Millennials, are expecting more transparency from their employers. They want employers to be more honest about salary and bonus structures and also seek honesty as a key trait in their leaders. With social media making it easy to connect to current or past employees to find out more about what goes on behind-the-scenes, it may be that employers will have little choice but to comply with that demand. Also take transparency into account when dealing with social issues with millennials. In a recent survey, 89% of millennials expressed a strong likelihood that they would buy from a company that supported solutions to social issues, and 63% wanted their employers to contribute to social or ethical causes they felt were important. Millennials wear their ideals on their sleeve and in order to attract them, don’t be shy about standing for something and letting it be known.

Mobile Hiring 

More job seekers are looking at online ads on their smartphones and tablets. These mobile devices can be used on the go, but work best with mobile-friendly websites. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you may be missing some opportunities to connect with valuable talent. Take the time to talk to your tech department and develop a strategy to transition your website and your career section to be mobile friendly. By getting the jump on this now you’ll be ready to outperform your competitors as customers and job seekers move more and more to mobile as their preferred medium to connect to the internet.

Tougher to Retain

Since it is much easier to submit many resumes at once online, and the job market has loosened, employers are starting to have difficulty retaining their employees who seek greener pastures. Attention should be paid to retention more and more, especially as the Baby Boomers retire and the candidate pool starts to shrink. Engage your current employees often and provide them with feedback and opportunities to learn and grow. Millennials especially value this type of feedback and enjoy seeking out opportunities to grow and learn. Your company may not have the budget or resources to have daily free lunches or a game room, but that’s not always what counts the most. Professional support and one-on-one guidance doesn’t cost much and goes a long way towards keeping employees happy and engaged.

Hiring practices will always change and evolve with time. No one has a crystal ball to see the future, but many changes in the landscape can be easily dealt with by an HR manager who takes the time to pay attention to not only what’s happening outside the company, but with it’s current employees as well. Any company that takes the time to keep the future in mind while also being attentive to their current needs will fare well when competing to hire and retain their talent.

Communication Flow 101

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Shall We Talk About It?

Proper communication flow is always the first step to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the organization (and specifically for you, recruiters). Whether it is daily and routine operations, strategic decisions, or change management – there is much to gain by better flow of information. I have stressed that before and I will again – proper communication flow with candidates, new hires, and hiring managers can go a long way to improve candidate engagement, recruitment process satisfaction, and successful hires.

The reality is that most of us don’t object to the idea of communication and information sharing, but we barely have the time, resources, and often the will to communicate more than the minimum we are required to in order to get our job done. The good news is that it is not needed that everyone in the organization communicate with their colleagues – in fact that would be rather chaotic. Instead, there is a fine line between too little and too much communication

The Flow of Information Matrix

Before we look for the best case scenario, let’s first try to understand what communication inside an organizations is. We can look at it in a simple matrix:

I am making the distinction between hierarchy and work relationships because normally, work relationships are able to carry far more information than hierarchy relationships. While it is important to build healthy relationships between managers and their staff, the ability to create healthy relationships with your peers is far more beneficial to you and to the organization (think for a moment about the limitations of vertical communication and the endless possibilities of horizontal communication).

As for communication between and within teams – that is an easier distinction to make. Work relationships between teams are hard to maintain, but their existence significantly improves the agility and redundancy in organizations and teams, therefore making it less exposed for negative effects of unexpected external and internal events.

Keep Workplace Cohesion at Bay, Spiral Out to Other Team

So what’s proper communication? How well do I need to be connected and communicate to truly be more efficient at what I do?

A recent study suggests that too little and too much workplace cohesion hurts performance. Whether you work in a team with other recruiters or other HR functions (training, learning, business partners, etc.), communicating properly inside the team can go a long way in solving problems, or at the very least – be aware of them. However, when your team becomes a friends’ club and you spend too much time socializing internally, you certainly have less time to socialize with people outside the team and generally have less time to do actual work.

As for communication with other teams (and in this case, mostly with hiring managers) – from my experience, you can never go wrong with more communication here. It is not an easy thing to create and maintain, takes many resources, but brings you and your team far greater value than you can imagine. Some of the greatest feedback for you and your peers hides there.

When you want to create better communication and collaboration with someone outside your team, you must be mindful that until you establish it, you are “wasting” their time. So how can we build it anyway?

  1. Coffee corner conversations – everyone is looking for a light conversation during their coffee break. This is where innovation happens. Not a coffee drinker? Better look at this article.
  2. Find areas of matching expertise and personal interests – you will find this makes breaking the ice much easier. You can use Twitter or Facebook to ignite the conversation and take it from there.
  3. Compliment and offer constructive criticism (when asked!) – there are two great ways for making people not want to communicate and collaborate with you – offering advices when no one asked for it and always offering negative feedback. Don’t be that guy/gal.

Sharing information is not easy. Never is. It is resource consuming and sometimes requires you juggle a political or bureaucratic hell. Luckily, it is well worth it. What you learn and the information you share enables you to do your work better, makes sure you are always up-to-date, and makes it very hard to surprise you. All in turn end up saving you time rather sooner than later.

MaximusLife Launches Mobile Platform at #SXSWi Focused on Wearable Market

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Your life Your goals plus 1

MaximusLife, a crowd funded people-based technology company with roots in HR technology, today announced the launch of MaximusLife “My Greatest Life” on mobile. The platform is the first people-focused platform that empowers individuals to create Mobile/SMART goals for life, work and fun. The platform makes users goals SMART and then connects them with the user’s social network, their wearable devices and lifestyle apps, and even allows users to “put their heart into it” by pledging their success to good causes.

“People who set goals are more successful, they live better lives and they engage, initiate and inspire good in the world around them. It’s time technology helped further this lifestyle and make it fun,” said MaximusLife CEO Brady Bruner. Bruner went further to say, “MaximusLife on Mobile allows users to connect their growing love of wearable’s with the equally exciting rise of modern fundraising for social good and do it all for personal growth-hard to beat that with pen and paper on New Years.

Our focus is clearly on growing the individual and in our corporate conversations we like to say companies don’t have an “engagement problem”, they have a “connecting” problem. We then go onto show all the research and evidence pointing to the fact that people are much more than their work (meaningful or not) and employers need to connect with the “whole person” by knowing and empowering their broader life goals. This simple act impacts employee engagement, wellness and the whole culture of the company.”

The MaximusLife “My Greatest Life” platform gives users the ability to allow members to use any mobile device to join 30, 60 or 90 day quests challenges. MaximusLife’s technology allows users to invite their community via social networks into each challenge. Connections can quickly view personal progress at a glance on dashboards. Additionally, users can receive retail discounts as rewards and pledge personal success to a good cause.

MaximusLife mobile platform aligns well with corporate wellness programs, performance and training initiatives and employee focused development and engagement programs.

The platform is launching with hand picked partners that align well with the mission of MaximusLife. Bruner commented, “Misfit and Roma are world-class brands, run by world-changers on mission to inspire people to get-up and move towards good. They’ve inspired us and we are excited to partner with them because of what they stand for. We’ll continue to bring on partners and expand integration to more wearables and apps as we get further into the year. We are purposely taking it slow on the partner front.”

The launch of MaximusLife is the first platform of it’s kind to put the focus on the individual user with the mission of giving anyone with a mobile device the ability to engage, initiate and inspire good with their everyday life goals. The company, admittedly challenging HR technology to think outside the box, hopes corporations will jump into the rewards side and offer employees incentives to live and work with fun, visual, wearable and SMART goals in a community/team setting. The platform also opens the door for corporations looking to match charitable giving to good causes.

The company was selected to Forever Funding on Indieogogo and is opening access to contributors first and then to the public. Anyone attending SXSW can attend the Launch party on March 14th to get MaximusLife gear, free access, and give-aways from Launch partners Roma Boots and Misfit.

About MaximusLife:

Founded in 2014, MaximusLife went global after launching pre-sales on Indiegogo. The platform is the first goal-based platform of its kind in the crossing lifestyle, fitness and productivity categories with connections to modern ways of giving back. The platform caters to a mission of inspiring and growing individuals in 100% of life. Recognized in Fall 2014 as a leader in “Technology for People” at Techmanity, MaximusLife strives to get the millions of people investing in their greatest life the tools they need to further the daily good to inspire us all. The proprietary MaximusLife Quest Builder transforms everyday goals in Health & Fitness, Leisure/Just for Fun, Personal Greatness and Work into a unified metric/point system, which allows a growing network of retailers, employers, celebrity sponsors and charitable partners a real and tangible way to engage people for good. Join the movement toward your greatest life at www.MaximusLife.com

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