Understanding Generational Employment Trends & Leveraging Age Diversity for Staffing Success

Diversity is a key concept for many hiring managers and organizations today, but one particular type of diversity continues to go underappreciated in certain industries and markets. Age diversity–which is to say, building a staff from people of different generations–offers a range of key benefits. It’s important to understand generational strengths, values, and trends. While it’s easy to assume everyone at work is either a millennial or a boomer, the reality is that there are currently at least four generations active in the workforce to varying degrees.

Each generation has its own unique characteristics. Understanding these characteristics and how to use them effectively to meet your own unique staffing needs can still be valuable.

Let’s zoom in on the four generations that account for most of the job applicants today:

  • Baby Boomers – Folks born in the post-war “baby boom” of the 40s, 50s, and 60s continue to hold a significant percentage of jobs and will continue to do so as retirement ages creep upwards for some industries. 
    • Work Ethic – Having been raised by a generation who had no choice but to respond to serious hardships like economic depression and global war, baby boomers tend to value hard work and a sense of duty.
    • Loyalty – Many older employees remember entering the workforce in an era where a person expected to stay at the same job for decades, sometimes even their entire adult life. Incidentally, they may have highly specialized skill sets from holding long-term roles of this sort.
  • Generation X – While media tropes might paint Gen X as a sort of “forgotten generation,” you can’t afford to forget these valuable employees in your hiring strategies. These 70s and 80s kids are self-sufficient problem solvers who can bridge gaps between technological and practical concepts.
    • Career-Minded – As Generation X workers age, they’ll place more value on a stable career with clear paths to promotions and ample professional development opportunities.
    • Independent Work Style – Gen-X workers tend to be efficient, adaptable, and well-suited to roles that require working independently.
  • Millennials – For millennials, the employment landscape has been a raging sea of change and challenge for their entire working lives, so there’s very little that can phase them. Many have unique experiences from gig work or various side hustles that they can bring to the table.
    • Tech Savvy – Millennials represent the pinnacle of tech skills because they grew up in a time when the internet and mobile phone technology were fast becoming ubiquitous. However, there were still plentiful tech hiccups that required a person to learn technology beyond a surface level to use it effectively.
    • Work-Life Balance – Unlike previous generations, who may be more content with proudly defining their lives through their work, millennials demand clear boundaries between their work and their personal lives.
  • Generation Z – People born after 1997 make up an increasing share of the workforce each year, so it’s time to start considering them in your recruiting and hiring strategies. They value personal connections, diverse workplaces, and socially responsible organizations.
    • Inclusive Workplace Culture – Today’s young adults have grown up in a more diverse and connected world than ever before, and they naturally expect their workplaces to reflect this reality.
    • Flexibility – You may find that your “Zoomer” employees appreciate options like remote work, videoconferencing, and flexible scheduling just as much as–or even more than–your millennial staff members.

By understanding some of the unique values and work styles that have come to define each generation, forward-thinking companies can foster inclusive environments that maximize each individual employee’s skills and background. Generational diversity can strengthen collaboration and spark innovation, driving organizational success in today’s ever-shifting business world.

For more great insights into modern hiring and the tech that fuels it, bookmark the Stang HireScore blog.

By |2024-04-30T12:49:46-04:00May 1st, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Elevating Workplace Mental Health Benefits: 4 Key Strategies for 2024

Mental health benefits have become indispensable tools for many organizations in response to today’s dynamic and fast-moving workplaces. Mental health benefits–unheard of in many industries a mere decade ago–have now become a key facet of employer branding for companies who want to foster a supportive culture in which their people can thrive and excel.

For business leaders and recruiting experts who must navigate this ever-evolving landscape of employee well-being, it will be important to focus on strategies that are cost-effective and that resonate with the actual needs of your workforce. This can be a delicate balancing act. You want to stay ahead of the proverbial curve, yet you don’t want to waste resources on new, unproven ideas.

In an effort to help you make the most of these critical choices, here are four key concepts we believe will shape and define workplace mental health benefits in 2024:

  1. Prioritize Mental Health in Traditional Benefits Packages

    One simple and direct way to boost your employees’ mental health is to simply make sure that the medical insurance you’re offering them includes ample coverage for a range of mental, psychological, and behavioral health services: counseling, therapy, stress management programs, smoking cessation, and addiction resources, etc.

    In 2024, mental health benefits should no longer be an afterthought or a special add-on perk that your employees can (and will) opt out of. Think of mental health as a specialized yet no-less critical component of a truly comprehensive health benefits package, no different from dental or vision care.

    As more companies offer these benefits, employees and their families will increasingly appreciate (and expect) them, so this is one area where staying ahead of the curve and positioning your organization as a mental health benefits leader in your industry may be beneficial.

  2. Maximize Healthcare Savings and Overall Effectiveness of Benefits Spending

    With healthcare costs on the rise, employers are seeking innovative ways to maximize the cost-effectiveness of their healthcare benefits spending. For the most successful organizations, data-driven approaches are used to optimize healthcare spending, focusing on clinical outcomes and tangible results to define a good return on investment. Mental health benefits are increasingly seen as having a significant role to play in these equations.

    How does this work? Essentially, by using mental health as a form of preventative medicine. By addressing employee mental health needs proactively and efficiently, organizations can actually mitigate long-term healthcare costs. Consider a worker who is masking severe clinical depression during the workday. With their mental health condition left untreated, they may fail to care for themselves adequately, leading to any number of other serious (and significantly more expensive) health issues.

    Addressing employee mental health results in increased stability for your healthcare spending and employee well-being alike.

  3. Address Social Determinants of Health

    For thought leaders in this area of data-driven health solutions, one guiding principle seems to be addressing key underlying factors at the intersection of social and health issues, called social determinants of health (SDOH). Forward-thinking organizations can do the same when putting together benefits packages.

    SDOH largely refers to basic human needs, such as food, access to housing, and financial stability, which significantly impact an employee’s mental well-being and productivity–not to mention their physical health. For example, even a superstar employee isn’t going to perform well if they’ve spent the last month hopping from couch to couch, unable to find a new apartment within their budget.

    Improving benefits through the lens of SDOH doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply increasing compensation is the simplest and most direct way to improve your workers’ SDOH factors in many cases. However, setting aside some of your budget to go towards robust mental health benefits can also be a very cost-effective way to address SDOH in a more comprehensive way.

  4. Cultivate a Culture of Mental Health Awareness and Support

    Benefit offerings can be used as one key part of a larger paradigm shift when it comes to fostering a comprehensive, organization-wide culture of mental health awareness and support. This starts on an individual level, normalizing conversations about mental well-being and being mindful of your coworkers’ mental health, as well as your own.

    As a bridge between traditional healthcare benefits and these informal, personal changes, you can implement a layer of employee assistance programs, wellness initiatives, and training sessions focused on boosting your team’s overall well-being at work. There are a lot of great, cost-effective programs in this area, so you can find something that fits your team and your industry with a bit of online research.

    If you worry that you don’t have the resources for these types of initiatives, they don’t have to be elaborate. Sometimes a simple gesture like additional PTO days that can be used on short notice can do a lot to boost both your employees’ well-being and your brand as an employer.

For more cutting-edge insights into hiring and recruiting topics, be sure to bookmark our HireScore blog.

By |2024-03-26T16:13:08-04:00April 1st, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Hiring Managers Can Learn from the 2024 U.S. Chamber of Commerce State of American Business Report

As some industries finally feel the dust of the pandemic beginning to settle, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (a private, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship) has published its 2024 “State of American Business” data. Ample expert analysis of the data from commercial and economic perspectives followed its early January release, but is there anything there for hiring managers to learn from?

In general, the Chamber’s State of American Business 2024 report encapsulates the resilience of the American economy in the face of the most serious viral pandemic in a century and attributes much of the post-pandemic recovery to the strength and adaptability of the private sector. Those of us in the field of hiring and recruiting, of course, know that the strength and adaptability of our organizations are only equal to the strength and adaptability of our staff.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist, Curtis Dubay, used the report as a chance to emphasize the remarkable growth experienced in some areas despite widespread economic concerns. He attributed this growth to the responsiveness of businesses and, specifically, their willingness to focus on hiring and wages to address critical staffing needs. The lesson for organizations? Investing in hiring systems and improved compensation packages is a way to remain resilient and fully operational when your industry is experiencing workforce inconsistencies.

Despite this story of growth and resilience, the report also highlights many challenges that those of us involved in hiring and recruiting need to be aware of:

  1. Worker Shortages – While staffing levels are getting back to some sort of equilibrium in certain industries, and other organizations are learning to adapt effectively with leaner staffing models, the simple fact is that active workforce participation remains shy of pre-pandemic norms. In fact, the Worker Shortage Index remains near an all-time low, with only about 7 workers available for every 10 job openings. This underscores a significant (and, lately, persistent) gap between need and demand.
  2. Consumer Spending – Despite concerns about inflation rates, consumer spending continues to outpace it. While this seems to indicate robust economic activity overall, it doesn’t tell the full story, with inflation straining budgets across the board and driving discretionary spending down sharply among some demographics.
  3. Supply Chain – While supply chain issues are nowhere near as dire as they were during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, serious challenges and shortages do persist in many sectors. These issues highlight the need for synchronicity across departments in your organization. In other words, the perfect staffing model won’t help if you don’t have the products and materials in place for work to commence.
  4. Entrepreneurship – The 2024 report also reveals a surge in new business applications and indicators of an increased spirit of entrepreneurship. While this can lead to an exciting time of fast growth in many industries, it can also exacerbate staffing challenges for those engaged in traditional hiring. Organizations may need to respond with flexible scheduling, ample time off, or hybrid work options that allow staff members the flexibility to continue pursuing their various passions and “side hustles.”
  5. Early Retirement – One effect of the pandemic that is sometimes left unexamined when analyzing workforce woes is the sharp uptick in early retirements. This trend continues, sapping the workforce of many highly experienced candidates. As hiring professionals, we know that building a multi-generational staff is a great way to access a diverse range of skill sets. Special accommodations may be needed to entice would-be retirees to apply for open positions.

Learn More From Stang Decision Systems

For more insights into the fast-paced world of hiring, be sure to bookmark and subscribe to our HireScore blog and check back regularly for updates.

By |2024-02-29T16:37:38-05:00March 1st, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

New Year’s Resolutions for Recruiters

As we bid a fond farewell to 2023, many operations, recruiters, hiring managers, and entrepreneurs are looking back on what they learned –both personally and organizationally–and trying to position their teams for a year of new successes.

Embracing big shifts in workplace norms and staying ahead of the curve (and above the hype) when it comes to new tech has become essential in the field of recruiting. Here are four bold New Year’s resolutions to help get you there.

  1. Invest in Continuing Education

    When it comes to investing in your staff’s skills, use exit interview data from employees who are moving on, as well as feedback from current employees and customers, to identify key areas where additional training is desired.

    Make sure the financial decision-makers in your organization ensure sufficient resources to give employees at all levels, in all phases of your operation, continuing education opportunities. If you need an argument in favor of more CE funds, note that investing in your employees’ professional careers is a cost-effective way to boost your employer brand, as it starts paying for itself immediately in increased employee competency.

    When it comes to investing in your own CE, there are plenty of great courses and seminars for recruiters happening online and in person. Even online events can be a great platform to network with other industry professionals in addition to learning some new skills and methods.

  2. Proactively Build Your Employer Brand

    We’ve talked about this before, but your employer brand is crucial to your operation’s overall success.

    Compensation, office amenities, benefits packages, remote and hybrid options, overall workplace culture, and the language in your job postings all contribute to your brand as an employer and matter when you’re trying to compete for great candidates.
    Remember, improving your employer brand and your customer brand are two very different concepts. While the latter is a matter of marketing and customer service, your employer brand starts and ends by fostering positive experiences in the workplace and making sure your team feels invested in the greater project of your business.

  3. Make 2024 the Year of Mental Health

    The concept of mental health in the workplace is having a real moment, with many articles written on the subject and many companies adding mental health-specific benefits to their employee compensation packages. The focus on this aspect of the work-life equation can be seen almost as a natural counterpoint to the anxieties currently plaguing many workers about new technologies like AI.

    Depending on the nature of your business and the resources at your disposal, beefing up your own operation’s mental health might include things like more comfortable workplace furniture and amenities, flexible scheduling, access to online counseling services, or medical insurance benefits that include comprehensive coverage for mental health treatment. In 2024, however, it might also include something as simple as adopting a company-wide policy on AI use that emphasizes the value you place on your human staff.

  4. Harness the Power of a Multi-Generational Staff

    Gen Z makes up more of the global workforce every day, so it’s time to start understanding and embracing the power of a multi-generational workforce. This year, take the time to understand Gen Z values, effectively apply the unique experience of older employees, and examine your own internal biases about folks of your own age group, good and bad.

    The next big, industry-shaking technology is always on the horizon, and it appears that the so-called “AI revolution” we find ourselves at the dawn of 2024 might be one such occurrence on a generational level. Familiarity and comfort with different types of emergent technology is another great reason to get some talented young folks on board as soon as possible.

Be mindful of these resolutions, and you’ll be ready to tackle the challenges and embrace the opportunities that 2024 has in store.

By |2024-02-01T14:21:30-05:00February 1st, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Prioritizing Worker Well-Being in an Era of Organizational Change

Over the last several years, businesses have been forced to reassess their approach to many aspects of their operations in light of shifting post-pandemic paradigms. One of these key concepts, which lies at the heart of hot-button issues like work-from-home models, is employee well-being.

It may realistically be years before best practices in this area are fully determined, but the message is already becoming quite clear: worker well-being is not a fleeting trend to be entertained; it’s absolutely imperative for organizations who want to foster a thriving, modern workplace.

Employee Mental Health: Shifting Attitudes

It wasn’t so long ago that discussing mental health was considered taboo in the workplace. Currently, today’s professionals are beginning to understand the toxic and counterintuitive nature of this paradigm. Worker engagement reached an all-time high last year, but so did employee stress levels.

In fact, 44% of workers worldwide reported experiencing “significant” stress, emphasizing the critical need for organizations, their management, and their HR professionals to prioritize the well-being of their employees. It comes as no surprise that organizational psychologists trace these stress levels back to the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertain employment landscape left in its wake. These seismic reverberations are still being felt throughout the workforce, making it crucial for employers to rebuild trust, alleviate uncertainty, and make significant, material investments in employee well-being.

Throughout the last several decades, the responsibility for employee well-being, including in the area of mental health, has rested on employees utilizing their company-provided health benefits—and doing so on their own time, outside of work. Some psychologists and business professionals now believe a paradigm shift has occurred, with employees refusing to recognize this arbitrary boundary between their personal mental health and their work lives.

The solution to issues of worker well-being is for employers to alleviate (or at least stop exacerbating) workplace mental health challenges, but with many of us involved in competitive, fast-moving industries, this is much easier said than done.

Empowering Employees and Healing Relationships Through Workplace Well-Being Initiatives

As more organizations and managers acknowledge the profound importance of the connections between workplace conditions, corporate culture, employee well-being, and overall outcomes, employees and job-seekers find themselves imbued with the power to limit their job prospects to companies that demonstrate real concern for their employees’ mental health. While this power shift can create a temporary staffing challenge for companies that are currently behind the curve in this area, it ultimately leads to better and healthier workplaces for everyone.

The solution, simply put, is to do better for your employees. Instead of focusing resources on reaching more candidates despite known workplace issues, first implement programs that resolve those issues in a direct, material way:

  • Benefits packages that include robust mental health coverage
  • Put psychology to work by considering recruiting professionals with a psychology, wellness, or mental health background for key leadership and steering positions.
  • PTO packages and leave policies that account for “mental health days”
  • Frontline mental health and de-stressing resources available at the workplace
  • Appropriate staffing policies that don’t leave your employees stretched too thin
  • Workplace layouts and furnishings that foster a comfortable atmosphere
  • Severance or transitional benefits that ensure employees will be supported in the event of major organizational changes
  • Don’t skimp on simple and easily afforded amenities like coffee, water, climate control, and flexible break policies that treat employees like the busy adults they are.

As always, the evolving landscape of business and workplace culture demands a strategic and proactive approach. For now and into the foreseeable future, that means taking a serious look at worker wellness. For more great insights into the fast-paced world of hiring, be sure to bookmark our HireScore blog and visit regularly.

By |2023-12-28T14:32:42-05:00January 1st, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

3 Effective Strategies for Improving Hiring During the Holiday Season

The holiday season can cause many routine business operations to slow down or even come to a complete standstill. For many operations, this includes recruiting and onboarding new employees. When you’re in need of new talent at key positions, however, you don’t have the luxury of taking a holiday hiring hiatus.

We all like to use the holiday season to get in some much-needed relaxation and reflection, but at the same time, ensuring your team is ready for the challenges and opportunities of the fast-approaching new year is crucial. That’s why we’ve put together this trio of highly actionable tips to help you make the most of this so-called unproductive season when it comes to recruiting and hiring.

This year, instead of cringing away from the idea of trying to work on hiring during that quiet stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, use the uniquely peaceful holiday atmosphere to your advantage and take the opportunity to get a new perspective on your hiring and recruiting challenges.

  1. Strengthen Your Employer Brand

    We sometimes think of branding as an explicitly customer-facing concept, but that simply isn’t true. You also maintain a brand as an employer, and you build and shape this brand with every single interaction you have with an employee or candidate, like it or not. Instead of running from that fact or trying to justify your problem areas, lean into the concept of employer branding and turn your employer brand into one that attracts great talent and serves as a blueprint for other companies who want to do it right.

    A great place to start is by identifying some marketing principles that have worked well for your company and brainstorming how these same principles could be applied to recruiting new talent. Consider using the holiday lull to build or overhaul the “careers” page of your website, or consider launching an official social media group for your employees. Better yet, create a whole new section of your website that’s just for job seekers and current employees, which will give you a vast canvas on which to start developing brand elements.
  1. Reflect on the Past Year and Plan Some Productive “Me” Time

    Looking ahead is obviously important when it comes to identifying your staffing needs, but you can also take advantage of the quieter holiday period to assess the previous year’s recruiting efforts (and where they fell short). After all, you probably wouldn’t be trying to find new employees around Christmas time if every hire you made last year had been a home run. Think about what decisions you could have made differently in the past year to improve hiring outcomes, both personally and at an organizational level. If you’re a HireScore user, make sure all of your cycles for the year have up to date information about who was hired. This gives HireScore important information that will make your hiring decisions better over time.

    Instead of focusing all of your energy outward and hoping you will somehow stumble across the perfect new staff member if you simply look hard enough, turn some of that inward as well. Once you’ve identified some areas in which you can do better, do actual work towards improving them. Set aside some time for simple activities that can beef up your own abilities: have a “touchbase” call with your HireScore Project Manager, participate in online communities for hiring and recruiting professionals, attend an online seminar, find a continuing education event to sign up for, learn the ins and outs of a department you don’t usually work in, or take some time to evaluate and fine-tune the systems you rely on for your hiring processes.

  2. Predict Future Talent Needs

    During our end-of-year “housekeeping,” we can sometimes get caught up in the simplistic idea that we need to replace any employees we’ve lost, but staffing needs change, and staff members don’t always need to be replaced on a one-for-one basis. While technology may make one role obsolete, growth in your business might create opportunities for staff expansion in a totally different area.

    The end-of-year break naturally provided by the holidays makes a good opportunity for re-evaluating whether or not your human resources are being deployed in the most effective way. Start from scratch by making a list of crucial roles that need to be filled for your business to operate, then compare how that aligns with your actual staff structure and ask yourself why.

HireScore: Highly Effective Hiring Tools for All Seasons

By using smart strategies like these and bolstering them with innovative technology like the HireScore platform, you can come back from your holiday to a well-assembled staff that’s ready to succeed in the new year and beyond.

By |2023-11-27T12:36:22-05:00December 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Impact of AI on Hiring in 2023

In a shockingly short amount of time, artificial intelligence has changed from an idea on the margins of science fiction to an innovative force in many key sectors of human life and the global economy. For better or worse, AI’s reach has already extended to human resources and hiring policies at many large employers.

The landscape of hiring in 2023, significantly influenced and informed by AI, represents some drastic and rapid shifts in how employers find and engage with candidates. Yet, while the efficiency and scalability of AI are undeniable perks, the need for a careful human touch in the hiring process has, in some cases, only become more evident.

Leveraging AI in the Modern Hiring Process

In this digital age, the process of recruiting and hiring employees has already seen rapid and remarkable evolution. Traditional methods of seeking employment, such as newspapers, cold phone calls, and “pounding the pavement” with a stack of resumes in hand, have all but been replaced by comprehensive platforms. These platforms (and their gradual integration with the AI revolution) help job seekers zoom in on positions that are a good fit while also helping companies locate and lock down suitable candidates.

One trend that has already gained a lot of traction at more large-scale HR operations is the utilization of AI to quickly scan resumes for particular keywords or other “green flags.” These systems can search for crucial keywords related to job requirements or prerequisite skills, optimizing the initial screening process while human HR staff is free to focus on more detail-oriented work (or getting the next job posting up).

AI and Improved Decision-Making for Corporate Workflows

Data-driven decision-making that can occur responsively at any scale is another emergent AI advantage for companies willing to adopt. Operations can identify deficiencies in their staff or hiring process by analyzing good data, and with AI, this analysis can be done more rapidly and with less human bias than ever before.

For example, if a key open position is seeing a slump in applications, AI analysis can help identify whether the issue lies in the applicant pool, the job posting, or some other element of your hiring strategy. AI can also help analyze the backend of your HR and recruitment processes, such as offering feedback on which recruitment channels and tactics are providing you the best return on investment in the form of qualified, dedicated employees.

The AI Bias Debate

While we’ve already touched on the potential for AI to improve objectivity and impartiality in the hiring process, there’s also an ongoing debate about whether today’s AI systems might actually inadvertently perpetuate, rather than mitigate, existing human biases.

The United States EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has actually released guidance on AI use in the workplace, emphasizing that while these software tools can streamline the hiring process, employers need to remain responsible for ensuring that the methodology behind these decisions remains equitable and uncolored by bias.

You’re likely wondering how this can be, as cold, machine objectivity has been touted as one of the major selling points of AI. However, the crucial thing to understand here is that AI models are not perfectly objective robot brains grown in a sterile lab. Rather, they are human-made computer programs trained on historical data (i.e., human writings). If that historical data carries the implicit biases of its many authors, there is a risk that AI might perpetuate or even exacerbate them.

Striking a Smart Balance

AI in hiring is undoubtedly a powerful tool. Its ability to screen thousands of applications efficiently and offer data-driven insights is hard to deny. Hiring your perfect staff, however, remains a deeply human endeavor in so many ways. Good recruiting and HR revolves around understanding different cultures, gauging the skills and needs of your current staff, and, perhaps most crucially, recognizing a person’s potential beyond the mere text of a resume.

Here are some tips to help you maintain balance and keep the human element present while transitioning to more automated hiring policies:

  1. Transparency and Accountability: Implement clear policies detailing the role of AI in the recruitment process—and its limits. These policies should emphasize AI’s use as an assistive tool rather than a replacement for human judgment.
  2. Actively Counteract Bias: Engage in regular audits of any AI systems at use in your organization to ensure they don’t perpetuate existing biases or introduce new ones.
  3. Prioritize Human Engagement: Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that while AI can identify great matches for open roles or quickly analyze documents like resumes, the nuances of interpersonal soft skills, company culture, and individual potential for growth are better assessed by humans.

Don’t get left behind in today’s fast-paced, highly online hiring landscape. For more great content about hiring and technology, bookmark the HireScore blog.

By |2023-10-25T11:41:18-04:00November 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Psychology in Hiring: Building a Strong Team From the Inside Out

The hiring process for modern organizations is a far cry from the days of scanning paper resumes by hand. Even the interview and onboarding processes look completely different than they did just ten or twenty years ago, thanks to rapid advancements in the algorithm—and AI-driven technology that is improving workflows across many industries.

All of this recent focus on tech, important though it may be, can unfortunately draw attention away from a key, fundamental fact: at its core, hiring is still a matter of real-world human connections. Viewed through that lens, it would be absurd and impossible to totally dehumanize the hiring process—nor should we want to!

Hiring, by its very nature, is a sort of crash course in practical, hands-on psychology. This brings to light a concern: we’re not psychologists; we’re hiring professionals! Thankfully, it does not take years of rigorous medical training to effectively leverage some well-established psychological insights at the office. In fact, by doing so, HR teams can build stronger, more cohesive staff that drive morale, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and overall business success.

Let’s dive into five key psychology concepts that you can apply to your hiring processes, onboarding policies, and day-to-day workflows to make them more effective:

  1. The Power of Personality – Respected tools like the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator or the SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire can help you understand whether a candidate will be a fit for the role and/or for your existing staff. While they certainly don’t tell you everything about a candidate or their on-the-job capabilities, personality tests can do a good job of predicting how well an individual might integrate with your existing team, their likely response to workplace challenges, or even their potential in leadership roles.
  2. Understanding Emotional Intelligence – Today’s successful businesses understand that attempting to quantify an applicant’s emotional intelligence, or EI, can be just as important for long-term success as other tests. EI is a measurement of an individual’s ability to recognize, interpret, and respond to emotions—both their own and of others. High EI scores often correlate with better teamwork, leadership qualities, and conflict resolution.
  3. Minimize Bias With Structured Interviews – Psychology in hiring isn’t just something to apply to your applicants; you can also use it to improve your own processes. We all have biases, and that’s okay to admit. While some old-school “firm handshake” business types love to conduct interviews on the fly to “get a real feel” for a candidate, this decision is often driven by ego rather than by someone considering what’s best for the organization. Standardizing your interview questions and delivering them in a consistent way ensures that all candidates are evaluated on a level playing field. This applies not just to asking questions but also to evaluating your candidates’ answers afterward.
  4. The Self-Awareness Quotient – The self-aware candidate is one who understands their own strengths and weaknesses and can articulate a clear picture of how they feel they would benefit your operation and fit into your team. Self-aware candidates who also have solid skills tend to drive rapid organizational growth because they understand how their individual actions can impact the company’s overall operations. This one also goes both ways, so make sure you’re being a self-aware interviewer.
  5. Stay Positive and Celebrate Every Victory – By focusing on a candidate’s strengths and positive attributes rather than obsessing over skills gaps, you give quality people a chance to shine in unexpected ways, as well as allow yourself greater insight into what really motivates and drives today’s professionals. This dedication to positivity needs to remain in place post-hiring. Hiring the right people won’t mean much if you can’t effectively nurture those relationships over the long term to build a cohesive team.

In conclusion, psychology can play an indispensable role in the hiring process across all industries. By tapping into psychological insights, hiring managers and HR professionals can make informed and unbiased decisions that drive organizational success and staff contentment.

If you’re ready to elevate your own hiring processes with cutting-edge insights, learn more about what the HireScore platform can do to improve your hiring workflows.

By |2023-09-26T11:40:17-04:00October 2nd, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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