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Archive for the category “business development”

9 ways why job candidates will not stick around – especially not Millennials


9 ways why job candidates will not stick around – especially not Millennials 

Here you are and the economy is still going strong and you need more folks helping you with the additional work. You interview and review like crazy, the candidates you meet are great and you make offers, yet they take other offers instead and you are in pain. You spend excessive amounts of time interviewing and recruiting and your other folks remain overworked and stressed out. You are stumped. Now what?

The problem may lie right under your nose: It typically is your own organization and how you present it during the interview, but more so how your candidates get to perceive you and your company that lets them ultimately decide against you. The following is a list with almost certain interview killers where you will lose even the most desperate candidates:

The candidate gets the feeling that he will be working in a toxic working environment. Symptoms: Your people do not interact with the candidate genuinely or sincerely. The conversation during the interview does not flow and appears not to be candid.

More than two bosses: The future immediate supervisor holds the interview, but the candidate feels that there is somebody else really in charge. Symptoms: During the Q&A the supervisor rarely says or asks anything, or the supervisor is being interrupted constantly by another interviewer constantly.

The candidate first interviews with senior manager(s) and at the time of a second interview are not part of the panel. It leaves the candidate confused and questions the future working environment.

The interview process is not explained and appears to be uncoordinated. This may include but is not limited to scheduling mistakes, not having a clear schedule by which you will need to have hired someone, unclear / uncertain question set, no schedule or process for follow up questions. Bottom line: There is a lot of uncertainty.

The candidate interviews for a job that he feels like he did not apply for. This is a symptom of not having done your homework with a clean and very descriptive job description, no KSA (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities) available. This breeds immediate uncertainty and distrust.

You do not have a hierarchical and functional organizational chart that you can show or at least explain to your interviewee. Worse would be if you cannot explain the processes as well as the inputs and outputs of the position and its stake holders surrounding this position.

You do not have a question catalog based off of the KSA and job description as well as dealing with the cultural fit. Symptoms: You stumble through questions that you need to think through while you interview the candidate. That leads to lack of focus and you talking more than the candidate, but he is left to wonder about you and the organization.

You do not have a second or third interview with the candidate set up as a panel interview where you have future stake holders and at least one subject matter neutral employee help interview the candidate. Now the candidate only has a chance to meet one person. Having a panel interview provides many important clues to the candidate as to what working together might look and feel like.

The interviewee is not treated nicely while waiting at the lobby. Do not laugh or discount this one. How your employees talk about your organization and how they treat the candidate is treated when coming in and while she waits will immediately put a permanent lower score and doubt into the mind of the interviewee.

Do any of the above scenarios sound familiar to you? You may be surprised to find no pay or benefit package related issues here even though you may hear that exactly those supposedly led the candidate to decline your offer. That may or may not have been the issue. You will need to raise your emotional intelligence antennae and scan for deeper rooted issues.

How do you get out of these potential issues is as simple as turning weaknesses and threats around from SWOT excercises: You take them and turn them around and make strengths and opportunities out of them. This is best done with internal resources as this becomes more organic and self-sustainable. Do something now!

Ralf

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If you are a GenX or BabyBoomer business owner/ leader you may want to read this post


If you are a GenX or BabyBoomer business owner/ leader you may want to read this post 

I am just flabbergasted by how many fellow business leaders belonging to the above-mentioned generations who are not embracing Millennials in the work place. They are outright shunning them because Millennials are “lazy, entitled, pampered, unreliable, immature” and so many other not so nice things.

This is just crazy! GenX and BabyBoomer business leaders behave a bit like the last generation of dinosaurs – they may not know it, but they will go extinct eventually. Millennials represent the majority of the workforce already. It will not be long before GenZ folks are knocking at business doors seeking employment. Are you going to shun them also?

The most resistant business managers claim the following two key reasons why they do not want to adapt their businesses to be more inviting to younger folks:

  • Managing Millennials costs too much money. They need more management resources and attention.
    Counter argument is that you will need plenty of structure and training anyway as your organization grows.
  • “If I spend more money on training new people, I will need to pay them more, or they will leave me for better employment.”
    Counter argument is that what if you don’t pay more or train and the people stay anyway?

Here are the top three things Millennials look for joining and staying at an organization:

  1. Purpose: You provide a reason why they should spend their time at your place. “Is my time spent here worth my time and am I making an impact?”
  2. Structure and career path: You provide a clear career path through your organization and you interview and onboard with plenty of documented structure.
  3. Flexibility: You provide a work place where productivity, creativity, and collaboration is rewarded – not just butt in chair time.

Do those three items cost you in preparation and execution time? Absolutely. Realize though that you are not only doing this for this one generation. Employee research has proven that the former generations love and embrace those key items as well – they were groomed to not actively ask for them. Millennials on the other hand listened to their parents and thus do not expect company loyalty and they have been immersed in technology from an early age.

The younger workforce of today is starting to displace the older business leadership generation. Don’t be a dinosaur. Stop working in your business trying to make it another day. Start working on your business and adapt it to embrace the younger working generation. The older workforce will love the changes to and you will be able to show it to your CFO due to a greater profitability through higher employee engagement, which elevates productivity.

Ralf

5 ways to dislodge the thumbtack in your mind


5 ways to dislodge the thumbtack in your mind 

A thumbtack stuck in your mind driving you crazy goes something like this: “If I only had….” It’s wishful thinking. It’s the things that you did not do or say. Worst part is that you know the point where you could have done it. That is the tipping point where you could have significantly impacted your life and you did not do it. Yet, your inner voice was there with you all the way swinging back and forth between “do it!” and “don’t do it!” And now you are facing regret. Potentially life long regret.

There are a few strategies that can keep you from the thorn in your mind stabbing your mind for the rest of your life. Here are the questions that go with each strategy:

  • What am I afraid of? Fear is powerful and our brains want to protect us from harm. Identify what you are afraid of and then you can evaluate how real the threat is.
  • Do I really know enough about this topic? Most regrets later in life stem from not having had enough information about the issue in the first place. Get as much information as you can.
  • What am I going to miss and how much will I regret this later? You’ll be amazed how many people cannot even get beyond question one just move on not doing anything. This is one of the most important questions that you can ask yourself. If you have the slightest doubt about what you should do, go to the next question first.
  • How could I prototype what I am all torn about? A really powerful tool yanking out the thorn in your mind is to start prototyping what you would like to do, but are afraid doing it. Get ready for some positive surprises. There is a 50/50 chance that you either get to know that your stuff was a pipe dream, or you discover merit in your idea.
  • With whom can I share my dilemma? So you think you are alone in facing your issues. While true to the extent that our problems have a very personal element to them, there are so many people around who are facing very similar issues. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. Shared issues are half the issues.

Life is full of distractions and clutter. A thorn in your mind just adds to it. Unfortunately, it actually does more. Because it’s a personal decision you did or didn’t make, it is more distracting. That is the last thing you need. Do not lead a life with regrets and make sure you keep asking yourself the above mentioned questions. Got more of them to share? Please leave them in the comment section below or reply in the FB or Twitter feed.

Ralf

13 ways how to become a leader and a manager


13 ways how to become a leader and a manager 

I have just read yet another article on LinkedIn about how you are either a leader, or a manager. It separated leaders being the folks that do the lofty dreaming and entrepreneurial stuff, and managers are the drones who just make the stuff leaders come up with happen. I have grown to believe that this is absolute nonsense. There is always a combination of the two. If you are the CEO you still need to possess better than average managerial skills. Conversely, as a line manager or team lead you still need to be able leading your team members by creating a purposeful and engaging work environment. Here are 13 quick tips that can make a huge difference for how well you lead and manage your team.

  • Park your personal agenda and ego: Did you ever like a boss that is only concerned about his / her own issues, but never yours? Turn that down a notch or two. Have you ever seen the movie “Saving Private Ryan”? In it there is a great line about leadership: “Never gripe down, always gripe up.” Your folks are not interested about your woes; their’s are big enough the way they are.
  • Be fair: Kick up the old golden rule to platinum level. Treat others how they would like to be treated. Never treat people differently. You will regret it in the end. The moment you lose their trust you will no longer be privy to vital people and company information. There has to be clarity about what applies to everyone.
  • Help promote your team members: Nothing shows more respect than to be a great career steward. Help your team advancing in their careers.
  • Give them a great reason to spend their time at work: Purpose and impact is what people are looking for. Especially Millennials will emphasize on this point.
  • What happens at the work place, stays at the work place: Other than the heavy hitters of employee safety, harassment, discrimination, moral, and ethical problems, no other team member information is supposed to leave your lips. Confidentiality is the keystone to how much you will be trusted as a leader.
  • Make sure having a great one on one contact with your team members: Nothing beats being able to help and assist your team members on a one on one basis. You get to know about their struggles and aspirations and you can help make a difference happen.
  • Listen, listen, and listen: Your organization can tell you anything you want to know about the state of mind of your folks and also the strategic and tactical progress you are making (or the lack thereof). Boy, did that take me a while to learn how to do this better. Asking engaging questions is the tougher but better thing to do and you get to listen to your organization’s creativity come alive.
  • Embrace transparency and collaboration: This builds trust. Trust begets creativity. Realize that you cannot and should work alone. You need all the help you can get working toward common goals. The worst that can happen in business is to have success. Success can outgrow and outspend you in a heartbeat. You need a team that is nimble and fully engaged in order to make it through the ups and downs of the economy.
  • Be humble and grateful: Nothing beats a little self-depreciating humor when you make mistakes. Admit them and make them public. No one – not even you – should be able getting away with not learning from your mistakes. At the same time you want your team to stay informed enough such that they will not have to make the same mistakes either. Be grateful for the openness your team affords you. Not allowed are intentional or pattern of mistakes.
  • Do something with what they tell you: When your team is trying to tell you that there is a systemic problem with a process, policy, people, etc. do something with this info. That is why you became the leader-manager in the first place. Do not let anyone else handle this important detail for you. This needs to come from and through you. Taking charge of difficult situations is (unfortunately) something you will to get to deal with. Do it well and people will trust you.
  • Be mindful of other people’s time commitments: Knowing when to end a conversation is tough. Sometimes it feels great speaking with like minded folks about issues you are mutually facing. Cut it short if it no longer serves the purpose. Do not fall victim to scope creep either. One issue leads to the next and then there is another one, etc. etc. Trust me, there are more challenges than you can shake a stick at. Keep it to solving one short and effective issue at a time.
  • Prepare meetings well ahead of time: Most meetings are really not necessary, or the are simply not effective. Too often leader-managers look at them as a “working meeting”, meaning that the problem, problem statement, and possible solution finding happen with the attendees hearing about this issue for the first time.
  • Start and end meetings on time: Do this religiously. Yes, there are times when it may be necessary to run over. Attempt your very best to get a reputation for beginning and ending on time. Your folks want to get their tasks done.

Do not be afraid to fail with any of the above topics. Only very few business schools are providing leadership and soft skill training – yet. I am hoping that one day leader-manager training will become a mandatory topic at graduate and undergraduate level. Plan, Do, Reflect, and Correct your future behavior and you will have made the biggest change already. Remember that you are a leader-manager. Good luck!

Ralf

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