Top 5 Salary Tips


Top 5 Salary Tips

As much as we all look for job satisfaction, most workers agree that money is the real reason they get out of bed and go to work each day.

These tips will help you get paid what you deserve and make the most of the money you earn.

1. Work out your value 
Thoroughly research what other people with your skills and experience are getting paid so you can back up your salary demands. Remember that the same role can be of different value in different industries so make your research remains relevant to your situation. Find out more or try out our Salary Calculator.

2. Improve your negotiation skills 
It can be easier holding out for more money when you’re in the process of being offered a job than trying to get a raise when you actually have one. Consider positions of power, bargaining tools and the consequences of non-agreement. Find out more.

3. Utilise benefit schemes 
Employees often undervalue the value of benefits when it comes to negotiating a salary. If your discussions aren’t going particularly well, it’s well worth trying to work into the package benefits that cost next to nothing for you employer, but mean a great deal to you. Find out more.

4. Make the most of your money 
If you’re having a tough time with money, you may have to make a choice between getting into more debt, becoming a hermit, or coming up with some ways to save the pennies. Look to set budgets, destroy credit cards, eat cheaper and consolidate any outstanding loans.Find out more.

5. Save for the future 
It’s never too early to start saving for your retirement. For most companies it’s an obligation to give you access to a pension scheme or at least point you towards a financial advisor who can explain the ins and outs of the thousands of pension options that are available. Find out more.

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New iPhone App Creates Recruitment On The Go – brilliant!


You might call it the biggest anticipated iTunes release since The Beatles…

Today, CareerBuilder announced the release of its CareerBuilder for Employers iPhone app – available for a free download on iTunes.

Job seekers have long been using CareerBuilder’s original iPhone app to search for jobs on their mobile phones, but now there’s a place in the app world for employers, too. CareerBuilder for Employers gives employers access to job candidates anywhere, at any time directly from their mobile device. The application, called CareerBuilder for Employers, is available for download at iTunes.

“Being able to reach potential employees wherever you are provides a whole new level of speed, efficiency and convenience to recruitment,” said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America, in today’s release. “Our new app is designed to help employers quickly connect with the fast-growing population of mobile job seekers and get a leg up on the competition for talent.”

App Features and Benefits
CareerBuilder’s new app enables employers to sync directly to their existing CareerBuilder accounts and provides the following features:

  • Employers can call, email, or send a letter to the applicant directly from their iPhone
  • Employers can save a candidate to a folder in their CareerBuilder account for later review
  • Employers can flip through applicants by swiping left or right on the application or use the page button at the top right
  • Employers can receive push notifications when new applications are available for review

Best of all, the app is free to everyone who wants to use it.

Speaking of (Free) Mobile Recruitment Resources…
feel, ahem, free to download our new eBook, The Evolution of Mobile Recruitment: What It Is, Why It Matters and Where to Start.

As Temperatures Rise, Productivity Falls, Survey Shows


Nearly 30 years later,Bananarama’s haunting words once again ring true: it truly is a cruel, cruel summer…

…at least it is for those employers who say their workplaces are suffering from a decrease in employee productivity right now.

According to CareerBuilder’s recent survey on employee productivity, one in four employers (26 percent) think workers are less productive in the summer and nearly half (45 percent) think workers at their organization are currently burned out on their jobs.

Turns out, the reason employees seem burned out is because they are. (Shocking, right?)

Of the nearly 5,300 employees surveyed, 77 percent say they are sometimes or always burned out in their jobs, and 43 percent say their stress levels on the job have increased over the last six months.

The rising stress could be a result of heavier workloads. Nearly half (46 percent) of employees reported an increase in their workloads in the last six months, while only eight percent said their workloads decreased.

As if feelings of burnout aren’t enough to distract workers, summer provides its own special recipe for productivity disaster: Nicer weather, vacation-fever, and kids being out of school led the list of reasons employers felt their workers were less productive.

Productivity perceptions differ
The goodish news is that productivity is actually up from previous years…depending on who you ask: Looking at overall productivity trends year-round, 30 percent of the more than 2,600 employers surveyed say workers are more productive today than before the recession began; while 12 percent feel workers are less productive than before the recession.

Employers who saw a rise in worker productivity during the recession primarily attribute the increase to the fear of losing a job and the effects of downsized staffs on individual workloads. In addition, 73 percent are seeing the increase sustain today and 14 percent state productivity has increased even more.

Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, says it’s no wonder workers are feeling burned out right now. In a statement for the press release, Rasmussen says:

“The recession produced consequences for not just those who were laid off, but also for the many employees who were asked to work harder as a result of leaner staffs. While getting more out of a smaller workforce is a sign of organizational agility during unpredictable times, it’s hard to see such yields in productivity holding forever. Headcount will be needed to meet increasing demands.”

4 Fast Fixes to Employee Burnout
While there’s no (legally available) magic pill to make employee burnout go away, you can help relieve some of their feelings by implementing a few of the following tactics.

  1. If you love them, let them go. Encourage your employees to cash in their vacation time. Even if they can’t afford to leave town, taking a day or two off will help them refresh.
  2. Add an “ish” to that clock in/clock out time. If it works for your company, be a little more flexible with letting workers come in later or leave earlier, or maybe work from home a few days a week, so long as they get their work done. Better yet, consider implementing “Summer Fridays” and letting your employees off at noon to let them enjoy a little extra weekend time.
  3. Have class outside. Re-energizing your team could be as simple as taking a break from the routing and getting out of the office every once in a while. You might consider organizing an outing to a museum, baseball game, bowling alley or nearby restaurant for a team lunch or happy hour. In addition to boosting morale, out-of-office gatherings give co-workers a chance to mingle in a more relaxed environment, strengthening both business and personal relationships.
  4. Adjust the A/C. Yep, you read that right. It may sounds simple-to-the-point-of-silly, but a recent survey shows extreme office temperatures can affect worker productivity. It may be hot outside, but that doesn’t mean the a/c has to go bull blast inside. Don’t ignore the a/c either, though. Smelly, sweaty and hot is a triple threat to productivity, if not the senses.

Are you feeling the effects of worker burnout this season? How are you coping?

4 Mindsets of a Successful Leader


generous leader

Are you trying to climb the corporate ladder while the company is working through the recession? In other words, are you aiming to be a leader?

Well, behind every great leader, at the base of every great tale of success, you will find an indispensable circle of trusted advisers, mentors and colleagues. These groups come in all forms and sizes, and can be found at every level and in nearly all spheres of both professional and personal life. What they all have in common is a unique kind of connection with each other that I’ve come to call “lifeline relationships.”

In order to build these all-important lifeline relationships, there are four core mindsets that can be learned and practiced, and help lead you on a path to personal and financial prosperity. They are:

Generosity
This is the base from which all the other behaviors arise. This is the commitment to mutual support that begins with the willingness to show up and creatively share our deepest insights and ideas with the world. It’s the promise to help others succeed by whatever means you can muster. Generosity signals the end of isolation by cracking open a door to a trusting emotional environment, what I call a “safe space” — the kind of environment that’s necessary for creating relationships in which the other mindsets can flourish.

Vulnerability
This means letting your guard down so mutual understanding can occur. Here you cross the threshold into a safe space after intimacy and trust have pushed the door wide open. The relationship engendered by generosity then moves toward a place of fearless friendship where risks are taken and invitations are offered to others.

Candor
This is the freedom to be totally honest with those in whom you confide. Vulnerability clears the pathways of feedback so that you are able to share your hopes and fears. Candor allows us to begin to constructively interpret, respond to and grapple with that information.

Accountability
Accountability refers to following through on the promises you make to others. It’s about giving and receiving the feet-to-the-fire tough love through which real change is sustained.

The real key to establishing close relationships with people you consider your trusted advisers in your career and in your personal life is how these four mindsets work together.

The process starts with generosity. It jolts people out of traditional transactional do-for-me-and-I’ll-do-for-you relationships. Actively reaching out to and helping others gives us the opportunity and permission to take a relationship to a deeper level. This allows us to explore intimacy, ultimately to the point of being vulnerable and open with one another.

If we’ve created a safe space, a place where we feel safe enough to say candidly what we think and feel, we can take greater risks in the relationship. It can lead to making a commitment to mutually support one another through thick and thin and to hold one another accountable for doing the things that will allow us to achieve our dreams and destinies. Taking such risks can lead us to create more than just friendships — we can create lifeline relationships to a better future.

This process is iterative: The more you give, the deeper you get and the more profound your sharing becomes. That strengthens your safe space, and provides more freedom to be vulnerable and candid — which opens the relationship even more deeply. Trust builds incrementally, by stages, growing deeper and stronger as the mindsets are practiced more sincerely and passionately.

Once you work within the four mindsets, you will see it’s a truly inspiring experience. Whether you’re working with an experienced sales team or building a business from scratch, the lifeline relationships you build will become more than your colleagues or assistants. They will become you’re a trusted circle of advisers and your peers.

That’s worth repeating: peers. Equals. Even though one of them may have clear organizational authority — and the title and decision-making power to go with it — each member functions as a highly respected equal, offering up creative ideas, candid feedback and criticism voiced with authentic concern for the others’ interests, and rigorous attention to accountability around goals, goal setting, follow-through and, of course, results. Each member has free, open and respectful permission to call the others out when they are falling short (because we all fall short, and most of us, as I know well, tend to do so repeatedly).

Do you want to be more successful in your career and more fulfilled in your life? Then let’s get started.

Keith Ferrazzi is the author of Never Eat Alone and the founder of the myGreenlight, an online training program for networking that offers the structure and support to put Keith’s bestselling books into action in your life for unparalleled career success and satisfaction. Go here to learn more: mygreenlight.com

“Um, What Company is this Again?” Candidates’ Most Cringe-Worthy Interview Mistakes


 

Employers know as well as job seekers do that it’s still tough out there, and it seems they would be kind to overlook job seekers’ most innocent of mistakes, like spilling coffee on the boss’s suit, or letting it slip that “snugglebear” was one’s childhood nickname, or calling the hiring manager “Dad” in a moment of flustered introductions (No? Never happened to you?).

In a labor market where a single open position may receive resumes from hundreds of applicants, however, there are certain mistakes employers won’t — or shouldn’t — brush off. But which mistakes are blips — and which are total blunders? You be the judge, as CareerBuilder’s latest survey, conducted by Harris Interactive© among more than 3,000 employers, takes a closer look at candidates’ biggest interview mistakes – straight from the HR employees and hiring managers who experienced them.

What are the most harmful interview mistakes, according to hiring managers?

It’s hard to believe candidates would risk pulling out the iPhone during an interview to answer a text about Friday night plans, but it does happen. The mistakes below are surefire ways for candidates not to get the job, according to the majority of employers surveyed:

  • Answering a cell phone or texting: 77 percent
  • Appearing disinterested: 75 percent
  • Dressing inappropriately: 72 percent
  • Appearing arrogant: 72 percent
  • Talking negatively about current or previous employers: 67 percent
  • Chewing gum: 63 percent
In addition to these egregious errors, we recently walked into offices across the nation to ask hiring managers what would make them count a candidate out immediately.

Employers’ most memorable interview experiences

There are your run-of-the-mill “Don’ts” for interviews — and then there are some that are a bit more unusual. While, as we’ve said before, strange interview tactics can be a smart move, the tactics must show how a candidate will contribute to a company or display their strengths somehow. Do any of the tactics below pass that test for you?

  • Candidate brought a “how to interview book” with him to the interview.
  • Candidate asked, “What company is this again?”
  • Candidate put the interviewer on hold during a phone interview. When she came back on the line, she told the interviewer she had a date set up for Friday.
  • When a candidate interviewing for a security position wasn’t hired on the spot, he graffitied the building.
  • Candidate wore a Boy Scout uniform and never told interviewers why.
  • Candidate was arrested by federal authorities during the interview when a background check revealed the person had an outstanding warrant.
  • Candidate talked about promptness as one of her strengths after showing up ten minutes late.
  • On the way to the interview, candidate passed, cut-off, and flipped middle finger to driver who happened to be the interviewer.
  • Candidate referred to himself in the third person.
  • Candidate took off shoes during interview.
  • Candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer’s coffee.
  • A mature candidate told the interviewer she wasn’t sure if the job offered was worth “starting the car for.”

 Take a moment to reassess

It’s important for job seekers to keep in mind that with so many others applying to the position they want, every misstep can matter — and they need to be presentable, prepared, and courteous to those interviewing them, above all else. While many of the examples above show a lack of these qualities, it’s also important for hiring managers to remember to put themselves in candidates’ shoes for a moment (as seen above, possibly even literally), to reassess the situation.

What would your advice be to candidates on what NOT to do if they hope to ace the interview?

Minding the Gap: New Initiative Takes On Workforce Skills Shortage


Among today’s most baffling unexplained mysteries – the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, who killed Kennedy, the ongoing success of ‘Two and a Half Men’ – there’s one that is dominating the news lately: Despite the fact that more than 14 million people are unemployed, there remain 3.2 million job openings in America.

The reason for this discrepancy, many experts believe, is that today’s workers simply don’t have the skills employers need to fill these positions – and it’s leading to what’s commonly referred to as a skills gap.

While many workers have taken it upon themselves to go back to school and learn the in-demand skills employers are hiring for, many believe the burden shouldn’t fall on workers alone. “Corporate America needs to spend to train the workers it needs,” CNBC’s Brian Sullivan recently said. He’s not the only one who believes it’s up to businesses to do their part to reskill workers. CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson recently wrote an editorial for Harvard Business Review suggesting ways American businesses can navigate the skills gap, one of which would be to invest in employee training and development.

Training workers may not prove to be the final answer to the unemployment problem, but it may be one answer, and that’s exactly the theory CareerBuilder is testing out now with the launch of a new job skills project.

“The focus for the project was ‘What can we do to bridge the skills gap?’” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, of what sparked the idea for the recent initiative to provide free training for those hoping to switch careers or re-enter the workforce.

Not knowing exactly where to start, Haefner and other executives sought feedback from CareerBuilder employees, asking them to submit ideas for ways the company could contribute to job growth. After evaluating the responses, the company’s leadership team ultimately decided to concentrate its efforts on two different areas: reskilling workers for the industries most in need of help right now, and helping former military personnel make the transition to the civilian workforce.

“There’s a high demand for people with high skill sets, so we thought if we could take a group of individuals and give them concentrated skills, they would have what they need to at least get an entry-level position,” Haefner says.

Today, CareerBuilder is three months in to a six month commitment to provide currently unemployed workers –including former military personnel – basic skills that might help them find jobs in that field at the end of the program. While the premise may sound like that of an early-90s MTV reality show (this is the true story, of 10 workers, picked to learn IT skills, to find out what happens…), the hope is ultimately to create a model businesses can replicate to bridge the skills gap at their own organizations and across the country.

“Our initial goal was simply to test out the concept that, in fields within the U.S. that have a shortage now, it’s not unattainable for individuals looking for work right now to get the skills employers need. We wanted to provide training to help them get employed. Now, the objective is, is this model something that can be replicated? Companies are already calling us to find out how we’re doing it.”

After generating responses from an advertisement on CareerBuilder.com, conducting screenings and interviews, Haefner and others chose a class of 10 individuals – half of whom were in the military trying to find new position, and many of whom were on long-term unemployment but who possessed basic skill sets – to participate in the project.

They modeled the program to resemble something like a paid internship, comprised of a combination of classroom education and on-the-job training. Technology employees based in CareerBuilder’s Norcross office work alongside the individuals to provide hands-on training, but employees also attend classes led by a third-party company. Participants are learning technical skills as well as the business intelligence skills and career placement advice that will support their efforts to find employment down the road.

A Worthwhile Investment
While Haefner contends that the initiative requires an investment up front, she believes that it’s one that will pay off down the road. “There’s always a cost to hiring. And there’s always a cost to training,” she says. “With this program, you’re molding clay right from the beginning, plus, you’re getting some value back, particularly in terms of labor costs. When you break it down, in six months you’re getting fully functioning employees who have the skills you need and are versed in your culture.”

While companies might be hesitant to pay more up front than what they normally are used to paying for training, Haefner argues that they’re also getting labor out of it, too.  Another argument Haefner is quick to address is the fear companies have that these workers will still end up leaving them in the end.

“There’s never any guarantee that a new hire will work out,” she says. In fact, if anything, these types of programs might actually increase retention. “What usually doesn’t work out with new hires is the cultural fit, and with this type of program, the chances are even better it WILL work out because you’re training them within your culture.”

While the program has three months to go before completion, Haefner is confident that, if nothing else, this program will prove to be a valuable learning experience – as much for CareerBuilder as for the workers participating in the program.

“So far, we’ve learned it’s really important to be transparent about your goals. We tell the participants, ‘We can’t guarantee you’re going to have a job when this is over, but you’ll have these skills that are in demand right now, and that will increase your chances of finding a job elsewhere.’”

Employers discuss how job seekers can meet them halfway
CareerBuilder recently asked various hiring managers to offer their advice on how job seekers can increase their chances of getting hired by learning the skills employers need most right now. See their responses below. What advice would you add? 

Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail To Keep Their Best Talent


Whether it’s a high-profile tech company like Yahoo!, or a more established conglomerate like GE or Home Depot, large companies have a hard time keeping their best and brightest in house. Recently, GigaOM discussed the troubles at Yahoo! with a flat stock price, vested options for some of their best people, and the apparent free flow of VC dollars luring away some of their best people to do the start-up thing again.

Yet, Yahoo!, GE, Home Depot, and other large established companies have a tremendous advantage in retaining their top talent and don’t. I’ve seen the good and the bad things that large companies do in relation to talent management. Here’s my Top Ten list of what large companies do to lose their top talent :

1. Big Company Bureaucracy. This is probably the #1 reason we hear after the fact fromdisenchanted employees. However, it’s usually a reason that masks the real reason. No one likes rules that make no sense. But, when top talent is complaining along these lines, it’s usually a sign that they didn’t feel as if they had a say in these rules. They were simply told to follow along and get with the program. No voice in the process and reallytalented people say “check please.”

2. Failing to Find a Project for the Talent that Ignites Their Passion. Big companies have many moving parts — by definition. Therefore, they usually don’t have people going around to their best and brightest asking them if they’re enjoying their current projects or if they want to work on something new that they’re really interested in which would help the company. HR people are usually too busy keeping up with other things to get into this. The bosses are also usually tapped out on time and this becomes a “nice to have” rather than “must have” conversation. However, unless you see it as a “must have,” say adios to some of your best people. Top talent isn’t driven by money and power, but by the opportunity to be a part of something huge, that will change the world, and for which they are really passionate. Big companies usually never spend the time to figure this out with those people.

3. Poor Annual Performance Reviews. You would be amazed at how many companies do not do a very effective job at annual performance reviews. Or, if they have them, they are rushed through, with a form quickly filled out and sent off to HR, and back to real work. The impression this leaves with the employee is that my boss — and, therefore, the company — isn’t really interested in my long-term future here. If you’re talented enough, why stay? This one leads into #4….

4. No Discussion around Career Development. Here’s a secret for most bosses: most employees don’t know what they’ll be doing in 5 years. In our experience, about less than 5% of people could tell you if you asked. However, everyone wants to have a discussion with you about their future. Most bosses never engage with their employees about where they want to go in their careers — even the top talent. This represents a huge opportunity for you and your organization if you do bring it up. Our best clients have separate annual discussions with their employees — apart from their annual or bi-annual performance review meetings — to discuss succession planning or career development. If your best people know that you think there’s a path for them going forward, they’ll be more likely to hang around.

5. Shifting Whims/Strategic Priorities. I applaud companies trying to build an incubator or “brickhouse” around their talent, by giving them new exciting projects to work on. The challenge for most organizations is not setting up a strategic priority, like establishing an incubator, but sticking with it a year or two from now. Top talent hates to be “jerked around.” If you commit to a project that they will be heading up, you’ve got to give them enough opportunity to deliver what they’ve promised.

6. Lack of Accountability and/or telling them how to do their Jobs.Although you can’t “jerk around” top talent, it’s a mistake to treat top talent leading a project as “untouchable.” We’re not saying that you need to get into anyone’s business or telling them what to do. However, top talent demands accountability from others and doesn’t mind being held accountable for their projects. Therefore, have regular touch points with your best people as they work through their projects. They’ll appreciate your insights/observations/suggestions — as long as they don’t spillover into preaching.

7. Top Talent likes other Top Talent. What are the rest of the people around your top talent like? Many organizations keep some people on the payroll that rationally shouldn’t be there. You’ll get a litany of rationales explaining why when you ask. “It’s too hard to find a replacement for him/her….” “Now’s not the time….” However, doing exit interviews with the best people leaving big companies you often hear how they were turned off by some of their former “team mates.” If you want to keep your best people, make sure they’re surrounded by other great people.

8. The Missing Vision Thing. This might sound obvious, but is the future of your organization exciting? What strategy are you executing? What is the vision you want this talented person to fulfill? Did they have a say/input into this vision? If the answer is no, there’s work to do — and fast.

9. Lack of Open-Mindedness. The best people want to share their ideas and have them listened to. However, a lot of companies have a vision/strategy which they are trying to execute against — and, often find opposing voices to this strategy as an annoyance and a sign that someone’s not a “team player.” If all the best people are leaving and disagreeing with the strategy, you’re left with a bunch of “yes” people saying the same things to each other. You’ve got to be able to listen to others’ points of view — always incorporating the best parts of these new suggestions.

10. Who’s the Boss? If a few people have recently quit at your company who report to the same boss, it’s likely not a coincidence. We’ll often get asked to come in and “fix” someone who’s a great sales person, engineer, or is a founder, but who is driving everyone around them “nuts.” We can try, but unfortunately, executive coaching usually only works 33% of the time in these cases. You’re better off trying to find another spot for them in the organization — or, at the very least, not overseeing your high-potential talent that you want to keep.

It’s never a one-way street. Top talent has to assume some responsibility as much as the organization. However, with the scarcity of talent — which will only increase in the next 5 years — Smart Organizations are ones who get out in front of these ten things, rather than wait for their people to come to them, asking to implement this list.