Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Facebook Continues to Terrorize Corporate America…And More News From This Week

While you were busy realizing you’ve been reading the wrong horoscope all your life,  thinking it was about damn time you got some credit for something, or planning your return to the Big Game, here’s what was happening in the world of workforce management this week…  Continue reading >>

Let’s Leave This One Out of the Guinness Book of World Records 2010 was a record-breaking year in terms of lawsuits filed by private-sector workers on employers on charges of discrimination.

By in In Review, Insights & Trends

The Great Workplace

Creating a Great Place to Work: Insights from the Authors of “The Great Workplace”

“The way in which we understand great workplaces is based up on relationships in the workplace,” says Michael Burchell, corporate Vice President with The Great Place to Work® Institute . “So a great place to work is one that has a high degree of trust between employees and leaders, a great deal of pride between employees and their work, and a great deal of camaraderie between employees and other employees.”

Burchell would be the person to ask. Not only is The Great Place to Work Institute the company behind the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, but he – along with colleague Jennifer Robin, a Research Fellow at the institute – literally wrote the book on great workplaces.

Their recent collaboration, The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters, draws on 25 years of case studies and testimonials from employees working at the best workplaces in the U.S. to answer the question, “What is the business value of creating a great workplace?”

And with so many employers today struggling to both find qualified talent to fill open positions and retain their top performers, the timing for this book could hardly be better.

Trust, Pride and Camaraderie: A Winning Formula
Looking at the over two decades worth of research on great workplaces, one thing is glaringly evident: Culture is king. “When we talk about a great workplace, we’re really talking about a culture – a culture of trust, pride and camaraderie,” Robin says. The Great Workplace aims to show leaders how they can create that culture by building relationship with employees based on those three elements – trust, pride and camaraderie.

“Pride and camaraderie are a lot of fun to build, whereas trust is a bit harder. It takes a lot of persistence and it takes a lot of deliberate thought to try to develop relationships with people,” Robin says. And that’s where managers tend to run into trouble. “We often hear [from managers], ‘I’m a working manager. I have my own set of responsibilities, and I don’t have time to add anything to my plate.’”

But what managers need to understand – and what the authors emphasize throughout the book – is that the extra time and effort they put into building those relationships now will have a huge payoff later on. One need only look at the list of companies highlighted in The Great Workplace – Google, General Mills, Microsoft, to name a few – to understand that, business-wise, creating a great place to work simply makes sense.

“The research we’ve done on the business benefits are pretty clear and compelling that great workplaces just do better financially,” Burchell points out.

But there’s more than just the financial impact to consider, too.

By in Leadership Development, Retention, Talent Acquisition

interview mistake

Candidates’ Most Unusual Interview Mistakes

You’re a job seeker with an interview today. As you get ready to walk into the office of your potential employer, you’re most likely to:

A. Give yourself a pep-talk about how you’ve got this one in the bag

B. Check out your reflection in the glass doors to make sure you look as great as you think you do

C. Chug the last of your beer and toss the can in the trash

If you chose C. then you actually wouldn’t be alone (though you might want to re-think your career path). According to the results of CareerBuilder’s annual survey on outrageous and common interview mistakes, one job candidate actually polished off a beer before walking into the reception area on the day of his interview. And a job candidate with a buzz going is only the tip of the interview-blunder iceberg.

Following are actual examples from hiring managers about the strangest job candidates they’ve encountered.

  • Candidate provided a detailed listing of how previous employer made them mad.
  • Candidate hugged hiring manager at the end of the interview.
  • Candidate ate all the candy from the candy bowl while trying to answer questions

By in Interviewing, Selection, Survey Results, Talent Acquisition

Classic business metaphor of carrot on a stick

What Really Motivates Your Employees? A Scientific Perspective

Last month, I spoke with Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of the recently released book, SUCCEED: How We Can Reach Our Goals, which takes a unique approach to helping people achieve success: unlike other motivational books that rely on personal experiences and anecdotes to prove a point, SUCCEED draws from years of scientific studies to uncover practical but effective strategies that have been proven to help people from all walks of life achieve even their most hard-to-reach goals.

While SUCCEED is written for all audiences, Halvorson was kind enough to take a moment and offer insight into how managers in particular can apply the lessons in the book to their own careers, especially in regards to engaging and motivating their employees.

Here’s what she had to say about the following management topics:

On motivating your employees…

People need to feel that their work has impact – that it matters to someone – even if that someone is their immediate supervisor.” Halvorson says she hears a lot of complaints from employees who’ve put a lot of work into a project that ultimately – for whatever reason – gets tossed by someone up the chain of command, making them feel as if their efforts were worthless. “As the manager, something you need to remember to do – besides just saying, “Bummer” – is to make them feel like their work wasn’t pointless – that even if that project isn’t getting the green light, you as their manager, noticed. You thought their work was excellent. You are impressed with the way they tackled the challenge.” You may not have the power to give every project the green light, but you do have the power to create a feeling of impact among your employees. Use that power. Otherwise, your employees will start to feel like they’re wasting their time, and little else is better at killing engagement.

On giving workers the freedom of choice…

Realistically, most employers can’t just let employees run around making their own decisions about everything, but there are a lot of studies that show that giving people ‘the feeling of choice’ is just as effective.” Equally as important to workers as feeling like their work matters is a feeling of autonomy. Here again is an instance where you as a manager have more control than you may realize, because you can create that feeling of autonomy by allowing employees as much choice as possible. Even if you can’t give employees total control over their job, you can at least give them certain jurisdiction over certain aspects of their work – no matter how small. “People need that feeling of choice,” Halvorson says. That feeling of control – “that feeling like you’re sort of the master of your own destiny,” as she puts it – weighs heavily on engagement.

On what she really thinks about annual performance reviews…

By in Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition

CareerBuilder's Talent Network

Fill Your Pipeline with the Best and Brightest Talent: Introducing Talent Network

CareerBuilder's Talent NetworkJust a couple of years ago, the world watched as Wall Street began to rapidly unravel, and we continued to watch as the weeks and months to follow showed further signs of trouble and revealed cracks in our economy that many of us hadn’t the slightest idea existed. When what we were going through was finally officially labeled as a recession, many employers had already thinned out staff levels, cut back budgets, and slashed benefits. Consequently, businesses were forced to “do more with less” (you know, that phrase you’ve heard 1,000,001 times by now.)

No money, no problems?

Faced with fewer resources, many companies decided to roll up their sleeves, get creative, and find new and inexpensive ways to communicate with their clients and job candidates. Some of those inexpensive ways of communicating included Web-based tools like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and they were really starting to take off. Not surprisingly, many human resources professionals were suddenly tasked with taking them on, in addition to all their other responsibilities.

Without proper methods of tracking candidates found through sites like Facebook and Twitter, however, HR managers and recruiters were spinning their wheels and wasting a lot of valuable time. In fact, according to a recent CareerBuilder study, 60 percent of recruiter time was being wasted on non-value-added activities, the majority of recruiters weren’t measuring ROI, and candidate tracking was often only 25 percent accurate due to ATS limitations. Executives were expecting HR to perform miracles through social media — and it wasn’t happening.

While HR was focused on time and cost to hire candidates, business executives were stressing the need to convert HR data to business intelligence.

Now what?

CareerBuilder realized companies needed a solution that accomplished both parties’ objectives — and soon after, Talent Network was born.

Okay, but what is it, exactly?

Talent Network, a custom career site that helps employers build their own pipeline of talent, enables employers to connect the dots of all the things they are doing to attract job seekers, engage interested candidates, and measure the success of their efforts. Let’s break it down:


Talent Network builds awareness for your jobs through five key areas:

  1. Social — Add a link to your Talent Network on social sites all over the Web, including Facebook (via CareerBuilder’s Work@ employee referral system) and Twitter.
  2. SEO — Turn your internal job terms that may be abbreviated, vague or full of company lingo into title descriptions that job seekers instantly understand, and in turn, show up in more search engine results for job seekers looking for your open position.
  3. Mobile — Your Talent Network site is mobile-enabled, giving you instant reach to people searching for jobs on their mobile devices. Tap into a market with explosive growth.
  4. Career Site – Get a designed, hosted and supported career site, drive your target candidates there, and track your progress.
  5. Job Distribution —CareerBuilder’s partnerships with sites like help you gain strong referral links to your jobs.


Interact with candidates who have expressed interest in your business or open positions and give them a more satisfying experience.

  • With the click of a button that exists on sites all over the Web, potential employees can arrive at and join your talent network, stay keyed into your available job opportunities, and get personalized alerts with jobs at your company that most match their interests and experience.
  • Capture job seekers’ information before they leave your site, welcome them to your community, and start connecting with them on a deeper level.
  • Send members of your network tailored job recommendations and customized messages. You can even send automated communications when you need to get a broad message out to many people at once.

Quality measurement matters. Drive informed business decisions with accurate and in-depth information about your Talent Network’s search traffic, job interactions, and candidate conversions; in other words, gain the most insight available about members of your network.

By in Announcements, HR Software, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management

Workers you want to hire

The Top 6 Myths About Talent: Must Knows for Your Employment Brand

Workers you want to hireAs the nation’s economy begins to stabilize following one of the deepest recessions felt across the globe, employers are shifting their focus from cost containment to growth and have begun to hire again.

They have also taken on the challenge of repairing employment brands which may have been affected by tough decisions around layoffs, compensation reductions or negative press tied to financial hardship. In a recent CareerBuilder study of more than 2,700 hiring managers, 70 percent of employers said they are taking measures today to strengthen their employment brand to prepare for when the economy turns around.

Employers are facing new market realities and need to reassess their go-to-market game plan for expanding their talent bench. Through an “Applicant Experience Survey” of more than 1 million job seekers over the last year, Personified, the talent intelligence and consulting division of CareerBuilder, gathered information on what job seekers said motivates them to apply, what deters them and how elements of the recruitment process impact their perceptions of a potential employer.

From the survey and other Personified research came a rebuttal of six common myths around talent acquisition that are important to keep in mind when planning recruitment strategies for 2011.

Myth #1 – The top competitor for talent is in your industry. Personified looked at a variety of companies, tracking who applied to their jobs and where else those candidates applied. On average, in 80 percent of the cases, the top competitor for talent operated outside of the company’s industry.

Tip: Expand your reach beyond industry borders to build up your talent pool for hard-to-fill and high volume positions. Use social media, niche sites and targeted advertising to connect with other workforce segments with comparable skill sets.

By in Employment Branding, Talent Acquisition

Week in Review

Glasses Good, Tears Bad…And More News From This Week

While you were busy beating the odds of one in 178 million, eagerly awaiting M. Night Shyamalan to announce he’s making a movie about this (if the world doesn’t end first), or wrongly believing there aren’t enough reality shows in general (and about this family in particular),here’s what was happening in the world of workforce management this week… Continue reading >>

Lois Lane Not the Only One Fooled by Glasses Beware job candidates who wear glasses to interviews.

By in In Review, Insights & Trends

Business dispute

In Your Face, November: December’s Employment Report Shows Improvement

Dropping to 9.4 percent in December, the nation’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since April 2009, according to the Labor Department’s employment situation report for December. Good news, yes? Well…

While much of that .4 percent decrease represents those people who are no longer unemployed (yay!), it also represents those people who gave up their job search last month (boo!).

Also according to the report, employers added 103,000 jobs last month. Good news, yes? Well…

While this was more than double the number of jobs added in November (yay!), it fell far below economists’ expectations (boo!). Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Private employers added 113,000 jobs, while the Government shed 10,000 jobs.
  • The number of unemployed persons dropped by 556,000 to 14.5 million.
  • Looking at specific industries, employment rose in leisure and hospitality, which added 36,000 jobs, and in health care, which added 29,000 jobs.
  • Despite losses in November, in December, retailers added 12,000 jobs and manufacturers added 10,000 jobs. Job losses continued in contruction, which cut 16,000 jobs.

A year in progress: 2010 vs. 2009
A still-over-9-percent unemployment rate is certainly nothing to brag about (not that anyone is trying); however, compared to where we were a year ago, the difference between the economy of 2009 and the economy of today is like the difference between Jersey Shore’s Jwoww of season one and the Jwoww of today – not a total train wreck, but a vast improvement. Take a look at the progress from the past 12 months…

  • The economy added 1.1 million jobs in 2010.
  • The unemployment rate decreased from 10 percent in December 2009 to 9.4 percent in December 2010.
  • The number of unemployed persons went down from 15.3 million in December 2009 to 14.5 million in December 2010.
  • Average hourly earnings have increased by 1.8 percent in 2010.

Good news, yes? Well…
While the economy is showing much needed signs of improvement (yay!) there’s still a lot that needs to change – specifically, the economy needs to add about 250,000 jobs per month before the unemployment rate goes down significantly. (Over the past three months, we’ve averaged 128,000 jobs added, which is only just enough to keep the rate from going up again.) Boo!

Getting to where we want to be will be a daunting effort for sure, but – let’s end this post on a high note, shall we? – both economists and employers anticipate that 2011 will be an even better year than 2010 in terms of economic growth and employment (yay!).

By in BLS Reports, Economy, Insights & Trends

Justin Bieber-style haircut

Justin Bieber’s Got Nothing on These: Top 10 Hiring and Workplace Trends to Watch in 2011

Justin Bieber-style haircutWhat do drive-in movie theater dates, Hypercolor t-shirts, and Justin Bieber-inspired haircuts have in common? They’re all trends that have passed through our lives over the years (or, in some cases, are still in our lives). New trends seep into our everyday existence all the time, and the world of hiring and the workplace is no exception. A new CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive survey of more than 2,400 hiring managers and 3,910 workers nationwide identified 10 key trends in business, hiring, work culture and job search to watch out for as we kick off a new year.

Let’s get right to it – here are the 10 top hiring and workplace trends to keep an eye on in 2011, according to survey results:

By in Economy, Retention, Survey Results, Talent Acquisition

Man and woman arguing because he is doing work in bed

Might As Well Face It, You’re Addicted To… Work? How to Help Yourself — and Your Employees — Deal

Man and woman arguing because he is doing work in bedAre you one of those people addicted, not to love as Robert Palmer once claimed you were, but to work? Or worse yet, are your own employees stuck to their ergonomic yet stifling cubicle chairs, desperately looking for you to help them regain a sense of balance?

You might have caught my recent blog post about the increased usage of mobile devices, and how the technologically “on” mentality these devices spur is affecting the way many people work — even when they’re not actually at work. While access to mobile devices may add pressure for workers to be available at all times of the day or night, it’s just one of many reasons people are spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about, talking about, and even dreaming about Ryan Reynolds work these days. A new CareerBuilder study of more than 3,100 workers examines signs of work addiction, takes stock of how many workers are suffering from it, and explores ways workers can find a happy medium between work and personal time as we dive into 2011.

Can you identify with any of the following signs of work addiction?

  1. You spend most of your day – including your free time – thinking about work. (24 percent of workers surveyed reported that when they’re at home or out socially, they’re still thinking about work. Nineteen percent say they often dream about work.)
  2. You’re more concerned about what your boss thinks than your own family.
  3. You would rather be in your cubicle than in your home. (15 percent of workers surveyed said they feel this way.)

By in Benefits, Employee Wellness, Retention, Survey Results, Talent Management

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