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So far Stang Decision Systems has created 37 blog entries.

What Remote Cities Teach the Rest of the World About Hiring

In the midst of ongoing discussions about the national employment landscape, adjusting to remote work, and the post-Covid hiring challenges still faced by various sectors, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned from a somewhat unexpected source: remote cities.

Communities in the far northwestern reaches of Minnesota, for example, have been struggling with worker shortages for some time. While the great State of Minnesota is hardly an untouched frontier, we’re talking about towns that have more in common with the neighboring Canadian prairies and rural North Dakota than they do the modern business meccas of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Chris Farrell, a senior contributor for the public media outlet Marketplace, recently did a piece looking into how such communities have adapted unique hiring practices–and how struggling businesses in other markets might be able to use the same strategies.

Successful remote cities seem to have one thing in common: one or more so-called “anchor companies” that provide consistent, quality employment, usually on a large enough scale that a sub-economy can exist around the workforce. Examples of these anchor companies in rural northern Minnesota include Marvin Windows, Polaris Snowmobiles, Central Boiler, and Digi-Key, a top domestic producer of electronic components.

While these operations can provide an answer as to why these remote cities work, that doesn’t solve the riddle of their own existence and success. Why have these large-scale business endeavors succeeded in the so-called “middle of nowhere” when so many other businesses of all different sizes have struggled to grow or failed entirely in similar geographical and cultural climates?

Anchor Companies and Remote Cities: A Symbiotic Economic Model

The Marketplace piece we referenced earlier astutely points out that the hiring practices which have developed in these far-flung rural cities may provide a glimpse into the future of hiring on a wider scale. As immigration and birth rates dwindle across much of the United States and the average age increases, labor force growth could be headed for long-term deceleration unless the employment landscape–meaning employers and their policies–are able to adapt effectively.

These successful but remote operations in northern Minnesota are each very different in terms of their respective industries and the sort of business they do, but all seem to have one important thing in common: they have honed their hiring and recruitment strategies to attract and retain the right talent within a consistently scarce labor pool. Certainly, this can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but one key takeaway from these successful Minnesotan companies is their shared emphasis on treating employees as valuable assets and fellow stakeholders in the operation as a whole.

To build and retain a skilled workforce, these companies invest in the long-term development of their hires through continuing education and skill enhancement programs. In short, they are willing to invest time and money in the project of hiring the right person and developing the necessary skills rather than holding out for the perfect applicant who already has those skills. In the far corners of northern Minnesota, with its modest labor pool, that’s a resume that might never come across your desk.

Of course, building the skills your operation needs is only one part of treating employees like key assets rather than an infinitely replaceable resource. These companies have also adapted to meet many modern worker concerns in terms of flexible scheduling and other morale-boosting policies.

For more fresh content about hiring, recruiting, and cutting-edge HR practices, be sure to follow the Stang Decision Systems blog.

By |2023-08-31T14:57:19-04:00September 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Navigating the Maze of Modern Hiring

By now, we can all see the lasting implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business landscape, both at home and globally. Hiring is just one major area of doing business that is still adjusting to this brave new world of remote and hybrid work options, fluctuating talent pools, and a generation of employees who have essential tech skills and no qualms about perpetual job hunting if they’re unsatisfied in a role. To say the least, the post-pandemic world has brought about some unique challenges and pressures for employers.

As all of these dynamics continue to shift and settle, employers in many sectors are feeling unprecedented pressure to get key roles filled with the correct talent — and to retain that talent once they’ve found it. As we find ourselves at the intersection of the unpredictable post covid employment landscape and the traditionally slower late summer and early autumn months, it can be difficult to know when it’s the right time to recruit aggressively and when it’s better to step back and take a breather.

Some traditional wisdom says to slow down hiring during the periods when everyone else does, such as holidays and midsummer, or to wait out periods when there are too many available jobs in your industry, as you might risk getting lost in the shuffle.

The reality, however, is that any time of year, and any economic situation, can present unique challenges for hiring but unique opportunities as well. It all depends on your individual goals and what hiring strategies you’re comfortable deploying.

Think back to the two examples above: hiring during a traditionally slow season and hiring in a crowded market. We can invert each of these readily, turning a challenge into an opportunity with a shift in perspective. While slowing down during the summer while your competition does the same can indeed allow everyone to take a much-needed break, it also gives you the opportunity to reach job seekers while your biggest competitors are asleep at the wheel. In the second example, competing for good applicants in a crowded market does indeed require skill and strategy, but it also allows you to cash in on the energy and enthusiasm of a time when your field is buzzing.

Overcoming Remote Work Anxieties

Perhaps the single biggest post-pandemic workplace paradigm shift, and one that some of us are still struggling to adjust to, is the shift toward remote and hybrid work positions. The last few years have proven that a significant number of roles that were completely in-office five years ago can be effectively performed by remote workers using various networking, productivity, and videoconferencing technology.

While this can feel like a loss of control, there are actually a lot of potential upsides to embracing remote work. Consider:

  • Expanded Talent Pool – Opening up your recruiting to remote candidates lets you look beyond your city to bring on top talent from anywhere in the world. Some of today’s job-seekers are only interested in remote and hybrid work, so those who stubbornly remain behind the curve here are limiting their own staff’s potential.
  • Increased Productivity – While some bosses worry that workers will goof off and abuse company time if left unsupervised, some research by the Harvard Business Review and others has actually suggested the opposite: a marked boost in productivity for remote workers. Flexible schedules can improve morale and overall effectiveness, and many workers find that they actually have fewer distractions, rather than more, at their home office.
  • Cost Savings – In the most extreme cases, transitioning your workforce to a fully remote model could save thousands of dollars every month by allowing you to move out of large, brick-and-mortar facilities with expensive leases. However, even those companies who are simply entertaining a few remote positions or hybrid work option days can see savings in office supplies and utilities.
  • Work-Life Balance – Perhaps the biggest reason to consider embracing remote work is the benefit to your employees. Remote and hybrid employees are better able to manage their work and personal lives so that their career does not feel like an imposition or burden that they will begin to regret. Remember, your employees have lives to live outside of work, and respecting that reality is one of the surest ways to keep satisfaction high among your staff.

To get more informative, actionable tips for hiring, recruiting, and onboarding new employees, please visit the Stang Decision Systems blog regularly, and be sure to follow our social media.

By |2023-07-31T12:27:19-04:00August 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Don’t Take a Summer Vacation From Looking for Great Candidates

In the world of hiring and recruiting, the summer months are sometimes looked at as a time of reduced hiring activity, with springtime and the turn of the calendar year conventionally seen as the times of the year when candidates are there looking for new roles. There is some logic to this—the idea of a summer break transcends almost every type of industry, after all.

In the modern employment landscape, however, observing this unofficial lull may not always lead to the best outcomes. When operations postpone their recruitment efforts until later in the year or even set their staffing or restructuring focus at the beginning of next year, they miss out on several potential advantages that the summer season can bring for landing top talent. The reality is that people’s lives are not all on a consistent, predictable schedule, and highly qualified candidates are out there looking for jobs year-round.

Here are some of the unique advantages you can leverage by ramping up, rather than slowing down, your hiring campaigns and onboarding activities this summer:

  • Less Competition – if your competition is still following an old-school policy of slowing down their hiring during the summer, this creates a unique opportunity for you to attract exceptional candidates. Contrary to popular belief, the summer months offer a distinct advantage for companies in terms of reduced competition for top talent. Of course, some job seekers also adhere to the misconception (or their lived experience) that says hiring slows down during this time, which can lead to a decline in applications and a bit of a vicious cycle. By actively promoting job opportunities during the summer, however, businesses can attract these high-quality candidates who are receptive to opportunities but not actively looking, as well as gather great applications from summer job seekers who are themselves strategizing and looking to stand out in a less crowded pool. In short, there are plenty of great summer candidates out there if you put in the effort to reach them. If you do so effectively, embracing the summer season will allow you to gain a competitive edge and secure top talent before competitors ramp their hiring efforts back up.
  • Making the Most of the Slow Season – Even operations that don’t deliberately plan to slow down their hiring activities during the summer can be affected by the season. Vacations and scheduling challenges at small and mid-size operations can drastically lengthen the job posting, interviewing, and onboarding processes due to waiting for one key person to get back from their family vacation. Even this disrupted pace can be leveraged strategically, however. Companies can use these longer wait periods to conduct more thorough evaluations of candidates, with in-depth assessments and comprehensive background checks, or simply by using the extended timeline to bring in more candidates than usual. All of this can lead to more thoughtful and deliberate decision-making and, in turn, better staffing outcomes. In this way, the slower summer pace actually enables hiring managers to invest more time in each candidate, leading to better hiring decisions and ultimately securing top talent for their organizations.
  • Making Summer Vibes Part of Your Employer Brand – While every season has its charms, the summer months are generally known for fostering a positive and relaxed atmosphere, which can be advantageous for hiring campaigns. In the summer, people are generally just in a happier, less stressed mood and more focused on enjoying and enriching their personal lives—or at least this is the perception when people think about the season. By capitalizing on this energy, businesses can create an engaging and appealing recruitment experience aimed at people who want to level up their lives (by way of their career situation) this summer. Lean into that summer feeling to showcase company culture and create a favorable first impression among your new hires.
  • Expand Networking Opportunities – With professionals in some key positions having more flexibility in their schedules or workloads, summer presents an opportune time to expand networking efforts and tap into a broader pool of potential candidates through having a presence at job fairs, community events, and industry conferences. Hosting your own events or networking sessions is another great way to achieve this, and in today’s remote-friendly employment culture, utilizing online platforms to connect with other professionals is an option as well.

All things considered, the annual summer “lull” in the business world actually offers unique advantages for strategic hiring. For more great recruiting tips and actionable insights into hiring, keep following the Stang Decision Systems blog.

By |2023-06-27T15:41:25-04:00July 3rd, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How Recruiters Can Cut Through the Hype to Leverage ChatGPT Effectively

Experts across just about every industry have come to accept that ChatGPT could represent a paradigm-shifting disruption to all sorts of processes and practices. At the same time, those of us who have played around with ChatGPT (and there are apparently over 100 million of us at this point) have also come to realize the limitations of the tech pretty quickly.

While ChatGPT has a legitimately uncanny ability to “talk” to the user—at length and in real-time—about an endless variety of topics, it is fundamentally limited by the fact that it has been trained on existing, human-made content. This means that when it comes to actually “creating” something… well, it sort of can’t.

You see, ChatGPT isn’t actually “thinking” or doing research for you. It’s merely running a complex routine against a huge database of text in an effort to put together words that make sense as a response to whatever prompt you gave it.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t useful, however—far from it. While ChatGPT can’t truly “create,” it’s great for other purposes, such as quickly and coherently re-organizing or synthesizing various types of information you feed it. This could be used to take a long list of overly wordy job requirements and turn them into a concise first draft for a job listing, as just one example.

It can also evaluate text (like resumes and CVs) at incredible speed and do so in whatever fashion you’d like (e.g., searching for keywords). Furthermore, changing the query parameters doesn’t require learning SQL or some proprietary software system. With ChatGPT, it’s as simple as changing what you’re asking for in plain English.

Because of the broad applications for these sorts of tasks, are many specific ways recruiters, hiring managers, and HR pros can effectively leverage ChatGPT. So many, in fact, it’s hard to know where to start.

So, why not get it directly from the robot horse’s mouth?

When asking ChatGPT, “what are some ways you might prove useful to a hiring manager?” it is interesting to note that we did not get back the expected short blurb in the program’s usual wishy-washy, redundant style. Instead, it offered an exhaustive list. That list is summarized and analyzed below, with the exception of less supported claims.

  1. Job description optimization: As mentioned earlier, ChatGPT can also help you create clear, compelling job descriptions to attract great candidates. It can quickly synthesize long lists of job duties and requirements into a more digestible form. Remember, however, that ChatGPT is not a great writer, so you’ll still want to edit the output carefully. Use ChatGPT output as an outline or first draft when creating highly formal documents like job postings and descriptions.
  2. Interview prep: ChatGPT can provide near-endless lists of potential interview questions sourced from its vast mound of textual data, which no doubt includes many an eBook and blog post about corporate practices and interview techniques. You might even ask it to provide ideal sample answers for those questions if you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for from your candidates.
  3. Onboarding and training support: Depending on your industry, it is likely that ChatGPT contains a wealth of industry info that could be helpful to you. When it comes to actually writing employee policies and educational materials, however, you won’t want to use ChatGPT for anything more than generating outlines and ideas. The best way to use ChatGPT in this area is to upload your hand-written documents and ask ChatGPT to provide feedback on problem areas you may be struggling with.

In short, ChatGPT’s impressive natural language AI text generator can be a great tool, as long as you’re not using it as a text generator. Instead, treat it as an all-in-one easy-to-use, organization, and proofreading tool. Applied effectively, ChatGPT will have you saving time on your most tedious tasks, but it cannot replace human creativity in the hiring process.

Stang Decision Systems – Your Trusted Partner for Hiring and Recruiting Tools

For help landing and retaining the right candidates, look no further than Stang Decision Systems and our comprehensive suite of high powered tools.

By |2023-05-31T12:11:21-04:00May 31st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Maximizing Productivity with Remote Work: Tips for Business Owners

As we continue to navigate the changes to business that have occurred over the past few years, it’s clear that remote work has become a new norm for many. The remote work paradigm shift has changed the entire culture of work for two primary reasons. First, it allows employees to work from the comfort of their own homes, saving time and money (and the environment) on their daily commute. Second, remote work can cut down on certain office expenses, like supplies and utilities, for the employer.

Just because it’s currently a red-hot topic among business analysts, HR professionals, and employee advocates, however, that doesn’t mean remote and flex work is right for every business. Let’s explore some key factors to consider when deciding whether to implement remote work policies at your operation.

Pros of Remote Work

As you might suspect, there are numerous benefits to remote work, including:

  • More Flexibility – Remote work allows employees to have greater control over their work-life balance. Many remote and flex workers are given some freedom to adjust their schedules to fit their personal needs, which can result in a huge boost in job satisfaction for professionals leading busy lives.
  • Savings – The direct savings made available for workers facing long commutes are obvious, but that’s not the only financial benefit of remote work. By eliminating the need for physical office space, employers can also save on rent, utilities, and other office-related expenses.
  • Access to a Wider Talent Pool – When employers get on board with the remote work revolution, they can hire employees from anywhere in the world rather than being limited to a specific geographic location.

Drawbacks of Remote Work

Of course, remote work isn’t a perfect solution. Every business is unique, but drawbacks of remote work may include

  • Communications and Monitoring Challenges – It can be more difficult to communicate effectively and track employee workloads when everyone is logging in from separate locations. Collaboration and teamwork can also suffer without a good technology framework in place to keep everyone connected virtually.
  • Isolation – Working from home can be freeing for many people, but it can also be isolating, particularly for employees who live alone. This can have a negative impact on the mental health and morale of certain workers.
  • Technology Issues –Remote work is very susceptible to technological hiccups. When technical difficulties do arise, it can be challenging to get the IT support needed to resolve the issue because your employees and equipment are scattered rather than all being together at a centralized office.

Key Remote Work Factors to Consider

If you’ve been considering whether remote work may be a solution for some or all of your employees, keep these factors in mind.

Consider the Nature of the Work

Not all positions are well-suited for remote work. This is true even in companies where the remote work model might be great for most employees. Certain key roles that require face-to-face interaction with clients or in-person management of sensitive equipment are likely better suited for the traditional office setting.

Communication and Collaboration

When poorly implemented, remote work models can create a lack of communication and collaboration, leading to issues like confusion, duplication of effort, or missed deadlines. To mitigate these risks, businesses must ensure that their remote team members have the necessary tools (often in the form of software and cloud-based services) to collaborate effectively with you and with each other. For example, you might implement video conferencing software to conduct team meetings and one-on-one sessions or instant messaging tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to check in throughout the day.

Productivity and Motivation

Due to the lack of direct oversight, remote work may have a negative impact on employee productivity and motivation for employees with certain personality types, leading to decreased output and quality of work. To avoid this, businesses can offer opportunities for professional development and training for team members who are struggling with the transition to remote work and consider implementing flexible work hours to allow remote workers to manage their time as effectively as possible.

Are You Going Remote or Going Back to the Office?

While remote work is growing in popularity and offers many benefits to certain types of employees and businesses, it won’t be suitable for every situation. By carefully addressing the key factors outlined above, businesses can determine whether remote work policies are a good fit. Consider the nature of each employee’s role, your overall company culture, and the preferences of employees, and your company can make an informed decision that works for everyone involved.

For more information about current business trends and hiring insights, consult the Stang Decision Systems blog.

By |2023-04-26T14:06:58-04:00May 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Psychology of Hiring – How to Find and Keep the Employees that Fit Your Business

In today’s competitive, dynamic markets, finding and hiring the best employees can be a challenging and time-consuming process for operators in any line of business. Business owners and hiring managers who want an edge when it comes to recruiting and hiring are looking in all sorts of unexpected places for new tools that will help in this endeavor.

Psychology is one such often-overlooked tool. While specialized health fields might not seem to have anything to do with your business at first glance, the fundamentals of psychology actually offer valuable insight into what makes a great employee, as well as how to identify those traits during the hiring process. By incorporating these insights as a foundational part of your hiring practices, you can build a strong and successful team that will help drive your business forward.

Understanding Personalities

One of the most important factors to think about when hiring new employees is personality traits. According to the Hogan Assessment Systems personality inventory, which is already ubiquitously used by some larger HR operations, certain personality traits can be extremely good predictors of job performance for certain types of roles.

Some of the best, most broadly-applicable traits you will want to target when recruiting include:

  • Conscientiousness – reliable, responsible, hard-working
  • Emotional stability – stress management, performance under pressure
  • Openness to new experiences – creative, adaptable

Psychology and Cognitive Ability

Everyone learns and thinks differently. Sometimes this can cause misunderstandings or tension, but this is also one of the core reasons diversity is so beneficial for your workforce and other types of communities.

That being said, certain indicators of certain types of cognitive function can be another key psychological consideration when hiring employees. A study by the University of Iowa found that various markers of cognitive ability can be strongly linked to job performance across a wide range of occupations. For the purposes of such studies, “cognitive ability” includes things like problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, pattern recognition, and the ability to absorb new information quickly. By assessing candidates’ relevant cognitive tools during the hiring process, you can identify job seekers who are more likely to be strong performers within your organization.

Bias: The Other Side of Hiring Psychology

Lastly, let’s turn things inward on our own psychology—as both an individual leader and as an organization overall. It’s of critical importance to always consider the impact of bias on the hiring process. Unconscious biases can influence the way we evaluate job candidates and can lead to unfair hiring practices and bad outcomes. For example, research has shown that hiring managers of any background are more likely to select candidates who are similar to themselves in terms of race, gender, and other characteristics. Using well-designed applicant screening technology in the early stages of hiring and recruiting can help mitigate some of these unconscious biases. Whether you are scanning resumes by hand or using algorithms to ensure all applicants are treated fairly, it will be important to be aware of any potential bias in your processes and to take steps to minimize the impact of those biases on the hiring process.

Overall, incorporating principles of psychology into the hiring process at various stages can help you find quality employees for your business. By using cognitive ability tests, emotional intelligence assessments, personality assessments, and working to minimize the impact of bias within your organization, you can increase your chances of hiring employees who are a good fit for your company. Hiring the right employees can have a significant impact on the success of your business, so it’s important to take the hiring process seriously and use all the tools at your disposal to find the best candidates.

Stang Decision Systems – Trusted Experts in Hiring and Analytics

For even more high-quality tools that will help you land the right candidates, contact Stang Decision Systems today. We can help you improve your processes and build a winning team for any industry.

By |2023-03-27T15:15:10-04:00April 3rd, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to Create Job Ads That Stand Out and Attract Top Candidates

Nearly every successful business model depends on placing the right personnel in their most effective roles. This process starts by convincing the ideal candidates to click on an ad or job posting.

That’s why major corporations invest millions of dollars in improving their recruiting and onboarding processes. Thankfully, the vast resources of a Microsoft- or Amazon-sized company aren’t necessary to create snappy, effective advertisements and job postings that funnel the right job seekers to your organization.

Creating a Job Ad that Connects with the Right Candidates

When writing a job advertisement, you must always have your target in mind. Imagine your ideal candidate for this role. What is their:

  • Work history?
  • Educational background?
  • Attitude?
  • Personality?
  • Geographic location?

Knowing the answers to these questions allows you to effectively target your ad and deploy it strategically where your ideal candidates spend time online. Even a high-quality posting can be lost in the shuffle of the major job search sites. Appealing to a specific audience requires speaking a precise language and understanding a particular set of values. If you’re unsure about the skillsets or the typical CV someone should have in a role you’re trying to fill, don’t hesitate to contact consultants or experts for more information.

Branding Matters

Unless you’re a major corporation or a large employer in your region, it’s possible that many candidates haven’t heard of your company before seeing your job ad. Even if an applicant has ordered a product from your company or used your services in the past, they likely know very little about your organization.

A job ad is an excellent opportunity to build your brand by directly referencing your company values, history, and mission. Don’t use your job ad as an essay about your company, but make sure anyone who clicks “apply” will do so with a solid understanding of who you are and how they might fit into your operation.

Make Your Ad Valuable to Job Seekers

Don’t merely talk about your values in your job ad; use it as an opportunity to demonstrate them. One of those values should be transparency if you want to compete for the best candidates in today’s fast-paced climate.

Include elements like:

  • An accurate and complete job description: Use concrete language and thoroughly (but concisely) explain what the job will entail.
  • Bring the company to life: While explaining the job itself is crucial, you’ll also want to tell your organization’s story.
  • Compensation and benefits: There is a minimal upside to being mysterious about what you offer candidates. It’s better to be upfront about pay and benefits in today’s competitive staffing climate.
  • Growth potential: Don’t hesitate to mention if the job you’re posting makes a good potential starting place for a long-term career.
  • Be visual: Ensure your ad adheres to your company’s branding and style guide. Include photographs of your workplace to help candidates better understand what a workday with your company will look like.
  • Organize well: Use engaging headings and subheadings to effectively break up the sections of your job posting in a way that makes sense. For example, you wouldn’t want your company mission statement running directly into the job duties for the specific role.

Assembling a great staff is vital to getting work done efficiently and at a high level. A carefully planned and crafted job ad can attract ideal candidates, helping you build a talented and capable workforce.

When it’s time for you to hire, let Stang Decision Systems help. We can help ensure you get the right candidates for the right job.

By |2023-02-28T15:54:19-05:00March 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Does the Goldman Sachs Slowdown in Hiring Mean for Your Business?

For some time now, Goldman Sachs has served as an important bellwether for the financial services sector, and, to a lesser extent, the economy as a whole. Goldman Sachs is synonymous with high-end financial clients—according to investor documentation on the firm’s website, you need about $10 million in assets just to open an account—and trouble at the top of the financial structure inevitably is felt throughout all strata of the economy, sooner rather than later. As goes Goldman Sachs and their clientele, so goes the nation, for better or worse—at least according to some. Business leaders in the financial world who subscribe to this notion that Goldman Sachs is a reliable indicator of the state of finance more generally are understandably nervous today, as the firm heads into 2023 rolling back on hiring.

Jobs at Goldman Sachs are incredibly competitive, with the company receiving about a quarter million applications each year. They are about to get even more competitive in 2023, as the company significantly scales back its plans for hiring.

Recent Job Growth and Hiring at Goldman Sachs

The current hiring slowdown can best be described by the numbers, but we’ll need to contextualize Goldman Sach’s recent history to do so:

  • Over the past 5 years, Goldman Sachs has had a 39% increase in total employees.
  • In 2021 and 2022, job growth at the company remained strong in spite of Covid-19-related challenges globally. Goldman Sachs added about 10,000 employees, with over 6,000 added last year alone.

So, what’s happening to this strong positive growth trend?

The Future of the Goldman Sachs Workforce

In a third-quarter wrap-up call to investors, the firm’s current CFO Denis Coleman was forthright about the trend ending—even reversing—in the immediate future, stating that the company was already in the process of reducing the “velocity” of new hiring.

These comments seemed to support and reiterate comments made previously in the second quarter investor call, wherein Coleman initially warned of the hiring slowdown. He revealed that the company would not be immediately replacing those who left the company through “attrition”, which presumably refers to employees who leave the firm voluntarily.

Per the Q3 call, the Goldman Sachs hiring policy will focus on being “nimble” and “strategic”. While these terms were not explored in detail on the call, they might refer to:

  • Fast onboarding time (using technology to go from posting a position to hiring a candidate in a matter of days, rather than weeks)
  • Smarter targeting and recruiting to proactively find ideal candidates for key roles
  • Continuing to let roles disappear through “attrition” and fill only those empty roles which are crucial for core operations
  • Expanded use of contractors and temporary employees to make the workforce more “nimble” in the sense that it can be scaled up and down in size as needed

Without further clarification from the Goldman Sachs brass, however, this is mostly speculation. It remains to be seen if the hiring slowdown will snowball into a hiring freeze, or even layoffs, in the future.

What Does It Mean for You?

There’s a good reason that some experts in the financial sector look at Goldman Sachs as a bellwether. Other high-end bankers already appear to be on a similar track, with Wells Fargo’s workforce shrinking nearly 6% over the last year, and high-end investor Blackrock posting few, if any, open jobs of late.

While it is useful to be aware of stories and larger trends in finance, the situation at Goldman Sachs does not need to scare you out of hiring the people you need to fill key roles. It definitely pays to be cautious and to think carefully about every dollar you spend in tumultuous economic times. However, a hiring rollback at someone else’s company shouldn’t be taken as a one-for-one reason to stop hiring at your own operation.

If you choose to take any lesson from Goldman Sachs’ hiring freeze, it shouldn’t be “stop hiring because Goldman Sachs stopped hiring.” Instead, it should inspire you to think carefully about your own hiring processes, and how you can also make them more “nimble and strategic”. For tips on how to do just that, you can start right here at our informative blog.

By |2023-01-31T13:28:52-05:00February 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Best Questions to Ask Gen Z Hires

Generation Z’s debut in the American workforce (the oldest Gen Zs are creeping into their mid-20s already) has brought both unique opportunities and unique challenges for employers. Gen Z workers can be highly self-motivated, and many have tech and media skills that come as second nature. However, it can be difficult for old-school business types to understand the values and culture of Generation Z.

Some business operators misunderstand this cultural divide as laziness, lamenting that “kids don’t want to work anymore.” You make this reductive mistake at your own peril, though. While you are writing off an entire generation, your competitors are figuring out how to leverage their unique talents and attitudes.

The truth is that people still want — and need — to work, but many Gen Z workers are skipping out on the time-tested tradition of entering the workforce through back-breaking, minimum wage roles. Instead, they’re going to work for themselves online. This can mean flipping used goods on auction sites, monetizing videos, hustling on rideshare and delivery apps, or promoting brands on social media. Often these jobs offer a better hourly return than traditional entry-level work. Why spend eight hours at a hot grill when you can make videos with your friends for the same paycheck?

With these additional options lessening the pressure to “get a real job,” Gen Z workers have different priorities. Younger people want a positive working environment, meaningful work, and a flexible workplace. They value a paycheck like anyone else, but they also value their own free time and mental health, and many of them are inflexible about protecting those things. Companies that aren’t putting enough on the table in terms of compensation and benefits will likely see their median staff age increase over the ensuing years as Gen Z candidates land elsewhere.

Rethinking the Interview Process for Generation Z

Because of Gen Z’s unique priorities and values, employers that bring in young candidates for interviews should be tailoring the process to speak to them. Create a dialogue instead of performing an interrogation. Young professionals won’t hesitate to ghost a callback if their interview didn’t leave them feeling like they would be valued and respected at your company.

Treat your Gen Z candidates like any other qualified, adult job hunters. There is no need to be cute or reach for artificial ways to make yourself relatable, such as asking if they think your company is “lit.” You also shouldn’t attempt to “hit the griddy” or any other TikTok dances as an icebreaker. This would be “cringe” in the parlance of our times, and cringe is not good for your brand. Simply treat young people like people, and you may be surprised by the results.

Here are some great questions to ask your Gen Z candidates when interviewing:

  • Do you work well as part of a team? With the pandemic causing many young people to finish out their high school or college careers online, certain basic social skills can get rusty. Ask candidates to provide examples that show they can work well with others. Don’t laugh it off if they turn to an example that you consider frivolous, such as multiplayer online gaming. If you’d accept someone’s high school football experience as an indication of their team-building skills, there’s no reason virtual activities shouldn’t be given the same consideration.
  • How do you stay focused and inspired when working on tasks or projects that you don’t personally find interesting or important? Self-motivation is key. Even in an industry you love and care about, part of most people’s workdays is going to be tedious and repetitive. That’s just the nature of work for many of us. Learning what tools a candidate has to help power through the drudgery can be key.
  • What is motivating you to transition from your current situation? Unless the answer is obvious (someone just graduated college and is looking for their first job, for example) there is a lot to be learned about someone’s personality and ambitions by finding out why they’re leaving their current situation behind, be that an existing job, self-employment, homemaking, or a mental health break.
  • What do you know about this organization? This isn’t specific to Gen Z candidates, as it’s always nice to know if someone has done their homework. Gen Z candidates, however, tend to be particularly fast at using Google and other ubiquitous technologies and are constantly plugged into online spaces. If they haven’t used that to their advantage before the interview, it can be a red flag.
  • Who is the person you admire most, and what job do they have? Because Gen Z candidates may lack real-world job experience, it can be valuable to know what they aspire to.
  • Have you ever waited tables or worked fast food? If the answer is yes, ask what they found most challenging about that work (also find out how long they stuck with it, and why). If the answer is no, ask why they’ve avoided it and what they think they would find challenging about it. There is no particular right answer you’re looking for, but whatever someone has to say about repetitive, low-wage tasks can give you great insight into their values and priorities as relates to the workplace.
  • What does your ideal workspace look like? There is no right or wrong answer here. Rather, you’re trying to figure out if your office setup will work for the candidate. Gen Z workers tend to place a high value on “vibe.” This may seem like an intangible, but you can directly impact your company’s vibes through an open and welcoming layout, reducing the use of cubicles, and providing thoughtful perks and amenities. Cultivating a great vibe is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to hiring because a good vibe attracts good candidates — yet nothing will help your vibe more than hiring great people who bring positive energy to the workplace.

Gen Z workers can bring many benefits to your workplace. You just need to know how to harness those positive qualities and skills, and asking the right interview questions is a great place to start.

By |2022-12-30T14:40:08-05:00January 2nd, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

‘Tis the Season for Creative Staffing Solutions

Many businesses (other than those in the retail space, of course) tend to slow down for the holidays, with some shuttering operations entirely for days at a time around Christmas and New Year’s Day. Even those offices that remain open throughout the jolliest of days tend to scale back on certain non-critical operations.

This can seem like a natural choice. With so many contractors and upper-level personnel taking time off, it is a challenging time to do business in general. People want to enjoy themselves or spend time with their families around the holidays. For this reason, recruitment and hiring are often one of the first areas non-retail companies will press pause on during the holiday hustle and bustle.

There is some logic to this lull. Nobody wants to spend Christmas Eve speed-reading resumes, and nobody wants to be bothered about a work-related opportunity while sleeping in on New Year’s morning, right? But as it turns out, hiring around the holidays can actually present organizations with a lot of unforeseen upsides.

Enjoy Less Competition

Some companies simply don’t hire at all in Q4 as a matter of policy. In holiday terms, this is analogous to your cousin who doesn’t like pumpkin pie—it means there’s more for you! Remember, just because many business owners in the United States and some other regions like to take time off for the winter holidays, that doesn’t mean the rest of the world stops turning. There are many qualified candidates out there who don’t celebrate winter holidays at all, for cultural, religious, or personal reasons, and if they need a new job, the time of year isn’t going to deter them. By posting open positions through the holidays, you increase the likelihood that they see yours.

Leverage Those New Year’s Goals

Don’t be so sure that nobody wants to be bothered with a work-related call around New Year’s. Many people work their career ambitions into those New Year’s resolutions, so a call from a prospective employer around the turn of the calendar can seem like a fateful sign rather than an annoyance. Candidates who are open to new opportunities around January 1 also tend to have great qualities for high-level staff. Taking the new year as an opportunity to focus on career goals can be a hint that the candidate is focused and goal-driven.

Catch People Mid-Transition

Many professionals who leave their jobs in a planned-out way will target the holidays as the right time to say farewell. This is a smart strategy because the employee may be able to combine their remaining PTO with vacation days to continue getting paid for a few weeks after leaving the office, and it also allows them to enjoy the holidays without any work-related pressure hanging over their head. This gives you a unique opportunity to reach them before they pick up their hunt for a new job in earnest (usually after New Year’s Day).

Find Fresh Graduates in the Hiring Pool

Students who graduate at the end of the winter semester without any job prospects in place are another great talent pool that also tends to wait until after the new year to really turn their focus to job hunting. By effectively marketing your open positions throughout the holiday season, you may be able to reach them first.

By |2022-11-29T10:59:52-05:00December 1st, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments