Category Archives: Writing Effective Job Ads

Battling in the War for Talent

April’s Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development report shows unemployment at 3.2%, the lowest point in 30 years. Area employers are quickly reaching a point of pure frustration as they try to fill open jobs throughout Southeastern Wisconsin, and especially in highly populated markets in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. But before you throw in the towel, we urge you to start thinking proactively. At Nissen Staffing Continuum, we are constantly looking for new and creative ways to strategically recruit for our clients. As the saying goes, “the best defense is a good offense.”

Today’s job seekers are looking for VALUE and view jobs as opportunities. They are trying to understand their purpose in a job and how they can contribute with their own unique gifts and talents. They are looking for belonging and a greater purpose, and want to feel like others care about them and their success. And once they understand their value and greater purpose, they are looking to become masters in their roles and apply that mastery through to a promotion.

As employers, we urge you to look at things like benefits and job descriptions and incorporate the needs of today’s job seekers into every step of your hiring process. Ask yourself the tough question of “Why would someone want to work here?” and then incorporate those things into your descriptions, postings and interview questions. Sell it. Make them understand not just the job, but the FEELING behind the job and the vibe of your business.

Staffing experts say that a performance-based job profile is essential to an effective hiring system. This type of job profile helps to define what success is on a job by spelling it in specific and measurable terms. According to Lou Adler, CEO and Founder of the Adler Group, an ideal job profile is a one-page document and includes some important items:

  • The 5-7 most important deliverables required to be successful in the job.
  • The qualities of a successful person in terms of knowledge, skills & abilities.
  • Specific short- and long-term performance expectations that define success.

We will talk more about performance-based job profiles in a future blog, and provide some examples and success stories we’ve had by utilizing this philosophy.

While helping an employee define success is imperative, it’s important to remember that today’s job seekers have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. Websites like GlassDoor, Google, Yelp and social media applications give employees (current, future and former) the opportunity they want to both give and read feedback. Own your feedback and respond to it. Build your own brand in terms of job satisfaction and employee engagement. What you don’t share, someone else will and it is in your best interest to make sure that your message is on point.

To find the best people, you will need to be a best in class employer. Sometimes, this means making changes to your work environment. While these changes may be simple or complex, they are always worth the effort. Making these changes and increasing your ability to recruit talent has an added perk:  retaining the great talent you already have. Understanding your own current and future workforce is the first step in ensuring your company’s success for years to come.

You only get one chance to make a first impression; make sure the first impression you make is a positive one. An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can help you make your next great hire. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing with our team of recruiters that are supported by a full-time sourcing department. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

Today’s Employment Market Forces Employers to be Creative

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development just released February unemployment numbers and the results aren’t surprising area employers:  The State’s unemployment rate has declined to 3.7%, the lowest since 2000.  Pick up an issue of any business-focused magazine, HR-related journal or Google “how to find and keep employees” and you’ll see article after article about the talent shortage. While finding new talent is part of the challenge, keeping that talent is equally as difficult.  While employee recruitment and retention is a huge challenge for employers, it’s a huge opportunity for job seekers.

Employees are no longer lured to a company just by a decent salary and benefit packages.  This generation of our workforce has different ideas and the current employment market is only adding to their cause.  Companies are offering things like unlimited vacation time, flexible work schedules, paid volunteer time and employee wellness programs. Employers are getting creative, doing things like providing free lunches and breakfasts and offering family friendly policies that employees are encouraged to take advantage of.  Some are even allowing employees to bring their pets to work. Today’s employers have had to get creative.

This work environment has made us pause and take note and we wonder, what is your company doing about the talent shortage?  What types of recruitment programs and employment offerings would you consider if it helped you find workers and talent in Southeastern Wisconsin?  What type of creative benefits is your company offering?

Sound off!  We want to hear from you!  Let’s get the dialogue going!

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum is proud of our commitment to capitalize on every employee’s strengths.  As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing with our team of recruiters that are supported by a full-time sourcing department.  For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

Source:  https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/2017/unemployment/170323_february_state.pdf

 

How to Create a Workplace Your Employees Love

smiling call center workersFrom high retention rates to elevated employee productivity, a workplace your employees love is essential to establishing a thriving business. And while images of a party-like, idyllic workplace atmosphere come instantly to mind when you hear this Valentine’s Day-like concept, clear those preconceptions. Replace them with these guidelines that create a workplace your employees love—and a thriving business positioned for the future:

  1. Set clear expectations for your employees as a whole, and write them down. Your expectations for your employees, and how your workplace should operate, should be delivered in verbal and written form (beyond job descriptions). Don’t neglect the written format of expectations, as a clear written policy saves you from misunderstandings and distortions.
  2. Show them they matter. Every company differs on how they show their employees they value their contributions. Keep in mind that signs of appreciation should be daily instead of periodic. A simple “thank you” or other appreciative words go a long way in your employees’ eyes. Your everyday actions and those of your managers—even the behaviors you tolerate among your employees—create a culture of respect.
  3. Listen. While you might not agree with everything you hear from your employees, an employee feels love—and appreciates a workplace—where they feel listened and valued.  If you want to create a company culture focused on listening, train your human resources staff and managers to listen and respond appropriately to employees.
  4. Set the standard. This is a concept that comes from the top down. Set clear expectations for your employees, and role model those expectations in your behavior, as well as other managers and supervisors.
  5. Use best-practice hiring practices. Review your hiring practices to ensure you are attracting those keystone employees that can manage, supervise and implement excellent workplace practices. Every aspect of the hiring process, such as job descriptions and interviewing protocols, can make the difference between bringing on those key or unwanted employees. If you need assistance creating and implementing those hiring protocols, contact Nissen Staffing Continuum for information and resources.

Need assistance with creating a workplace your employees love? As a premiere staffing firm in southeastern Wisconsin and human resource partner for top Wisconsin companies, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist your company with questions and staffing and human resource solutions that your business needs to create a workplace your employees love—and make your company thrive.

Ten Tips to Writing an Effective Job Description

Have you ever heard the expression, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?”  Writing an effective job description must follow the same principle.  Things like spelling, grammar, format, length of the description and even word choice can make all of the difference in whether or not someone reads the ad and applies for your open job.

Here are some tips to be sure your posting is effective.

1.  Keep it simple.  Imagine what happens when you receive a resume that is written in paragraph form and is multiple pages long.  Do you really read it?  No, you likely do not.  Keep this in mind when you write you job descriptions.

  • Use bullet points.  A bullet point is quick, and to the point.
  • Do not list EVERYTHING.  Just list the most important things.  The posting is just a way to get someone interested enough to apply.  Think of it as a Real Estate Listing.

2.  List required and desired qualifications separately.  Every job has a “Need to Have” and a “Nice to Have” list of requirements.  Know what they are and list them separately.

  • Use bullet points.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, keep bullet points to 3-5 items.
  • You do not need to tell them EVERYTHING about the job, just the most important things.
  • Be Specific.  Is there a specific machine they need to know how to operate?  List it by name.  Is there a specific qualification, like a certification to drive a Fork Lift or knowledge of specific software?  List it by name.

3.  Keep it legal.  Make sure your job posting does not violate any laws.

  • Do not say that your job requires a background check.  Did you know that typically you cannot request a background check or drug test until you have made an offer?  And that in some cases, doing a background check or drug test may not even be legal.    You MAY say that you are a drug free workplace.  People usually get the hint.
  • Make sure your posting follows the rules covered in the Fair Employment Act and meets all EEOC/ADA guidelines.  Take the time to educate yourself.  Seek legal counsel if necessary, and don’t try to “guess” what is legal and what is not.

4.  Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  It is incredibly important that when you post a job on a website, or on a recruiting site, that you use proper English.

  • Keep the tense consistent.  Stay in the present tense or in the past tense, but don’t mix up the two.
  • Keep it in the 3rd person.  The word “I” should not appear in a job listing.  “I am seeking an experienced machinist” is not appropriate.  “Company name” is appropriate.
  • Spelling:  This may seem unimportant, but it is very important. According to a recent article, these are the most commonly misspelled words on both resumes and job postings:

• applying (not apllying)
• recently (not resently)
• assembled (not assembeld)
• commensurate (not commiserate)
• oriented (not orientated)
• maintenance ( not mainteance)
• efficiently (not efficently)
• preparation (not prepration)
• distinct (not distict)
• excessively (not excessivly)
• judgment (not judjement)
• accurately (not acurately)
• schedule (not schuele)
• variable (not varible)
• facilitate (not faciltate)
• accountability (not accontability)
• eligibility (not eligiblility)
• environment (not enviroment)
• packaging (not pacaging)
•  following (not folllowing)
•  employees (not emploiyees)
• industry (not inidustry)
• preferred (not prefeered)
• graduate (not gradutate)
• competitive (not compettive)
• preparation (not prepearation)

And some personal favorites:

  • A Lot is TWO WORDS –it’s not alot!
  • Receive (not recieve, remember….i before e, except after c…. )
  • Their, They’re, There (“their” is possessive, “They’re” means They Are, “There” is a place)
  • Your, You’re (Your is possessive (“your job offer is attached…”) , You’re means You Are (“You’re being offered the job”)
  • Possess (not poses)
  • To, Two, Too (“to” is referring to a destination…”I’m going TO the bank”; TWO is a number… “the TWO of you please discuss and let me know your decision”; TOO is also, or as well ….”I’m happy you got an offer too.”)
  • Watch possessives (adding an s (or es) is plural, adding an ‘s is possessive, adding a s’ is plural possessive.

5. Keep it action oriented.

Your job should sound like an ACTION.   List the responsibilities, whenever possible, leading with ACTION words.

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • Manage production process for two assembly lines.
  • Maintain inventory counts for production team.
  • Lead a team of warehouse associates to assure inventory accuracy.
  • Answer a 10 line phone system.
  • Support a customer service department.

 6.  Drive traffic to wherever you are going to process the applications.  It might be to your email, or to an online job application on your website.  But whatever you do, be sure to reply to the applicants.

 7.  Be honest.  Don’t be dishonest in the job description just to get people to apply.  Don’t say the salary is negotiable if it is actually NOT negotiable.  Don’t make a job location sound easier to get to than it is.   Not being upfront just wastes everyone’s time and gives you a bad reputation in the marketplace.

 8.  Keep it consistent.  Keeps your job posting formats consistent.  Here is a suggestion:

  • Begin with a general statement:  ABC Company in City Name is looking to add 3 machine operators to our growing business.
  • Include the hours and terms of employment:  This is a second shift, full time position, with hours from 2pm-10pm, Monday through Friday.   Frequent overtime may be required. 
  • Include a few bullet points about what they will be doing:  In this role, you will:  (Bullet point one, two, three, four and five)
  • Add the qualifications:  Required Qualifications for the position are: (Bullet points one to five)
  • Add the Desired qualifications:  Desired (but not required) Qualifications include:  (bullet points one to five)
  • Add any physical requirements:  This position requires you to stand for long periods of time and also do some light lifting of up to 25 pounds. 
  • Add the pay:  This is an hourly position, with a starting pay of $12/hour. 
  • Add any benefits info.
  • Add HOW TO APPLY information:  To apply for this opportunity, please visit the careers page on abccompany.com and fill out the online application. Or, you may send a resume with cover letter to XXX@abccompany.com

9.  Think about keywords. Remember that many employees search our jobs online.  Think about key words to use in your posting.  Use city names (state too if it if’s a common name), industry, specific machines, etc.  Here is a great article about using key words.  http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/attracting-job-candidates/search-engine-optimization.aspx

  • If the title of the job is weird (ie, you company calls a Customer Service Representative a “Advocacy Concierge” or a Custodian a “Facilities Cleanliness Specialist” or something!) think about using the more common name for the title (or at least in parentheses or the job description.)  Seriously, no one searching for a customer service job types in a key word search “Advocacy Concierge.”

10.  Make It Interesting

Your job is one of millions posted online.  Make it interesting.  Be creative, but appropriate.

Above all, put yourself in the job seeker’s shoes.  If YOU were looking for a job, you would want to read a brief, accurate and correctly written overview of the opportunity.  You would want to know how to apply.  You would want to be confident that what you are reading is accurate.  You would want a prompt and consistent follow up.  Walk the Talk!

 NEED MORE HELP?

You can always contact Nissen Staffing Continuum  to help you manage your hiring process.  If you would like more information about this, you can contact Scott Nissen at scott@nissenstaffing.com

Other Resources:  Check out these articles!

http://workawesome.com/your-job/job-titles-and-descriptions/

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303643304579107793132873508