Six seconds. That’s not a lot of time to catch a reader’s attention, but that’s all you’ve got when it comes to a recruiter reviewing a resume. And in some cases, it could be even less. They get so many applicants for a job — an average of 118, to be exact — that they might be looking for any excuse to toss yours out
After going through piles and piles of resumes myself, I thought it was time to share what really can make a resume stand out. Here are the eight secrets to writing an attention-grabbing, job-landing resume:
1. Format for functionality
People don’t read like they used to. You can thank technology for that. And this means you’ll want to format your resume in a way that’s appealing to today’s readers. Consider the following:
- Embrace the space. Putting a full inch margin along either side of the page and a half-inch of white space between every paragraph will make it much easier for the reader to peruse your resume.
- Avoid blocks. Five or more lines in a paragraph can make it difficult for the reader to skim. In fact, long blocks of text could get skipped altogether. Use bullets of one to two sentences to highlight skills and achievements.
- Cut the fluff. You’ve got limited space to explain why you’re the ideal candidate for the job — no more than two pages, after all. Remove skills that all people applying for a job should have, like Microsoft Office or email.
- Start strong. With recruiters spending so little time on a resume, you not only want to catch their attention but keep it. Make sure each bullet or sentence starts with the most powerful aspect of your skill or achievement.
- Keep it consistent. If using one font size for headings and a second for descriptions, stick with it for the entirety of your resume. It can become difficult to read when you continually change font, font size, etc.
- Offer value. Ditch the objective statement, which explains what you’re trying to accomplish with your career, in favor of a value statement, which states exactly why you should be hired.
2. Quantify your contributions
So few people detail their accomplishments in numbers that it’s one of the easiest ways to stand out. If you saved money for a company, show the dollars and cents. If you improved the efficiency of a process, give a percentage. Support any claim you make on your resume with numbers, not just words.
3. Tailor to fit
Every position is unique. Even if one position has the same job title as the last, it will come with different duties and responsibilities. In other words, don’t submit the same resume to every employer. Tailor it to the role, with all the details and accomplishments relevant to that company.
4. Diagnose the problem
Job descriptions only tell you so much about a company. Conduct some research to determine the challenges the company is facing, and use it to talk about how your background and experience meets their current needs. Or, at the very least, use it to position how you solved a similar problem at a previous employer.
5. Drop a few names
Name-dropping almost always backfires — unless you do it in your resume. Then, it can help build instant credibility. Let’s say you worked for a small, little-known startup, but it had Fortune 500 clients. Incorporate their names into the description, especially if you had direct contact.
6. Show some personality
What I find interesting about most people’s interests is that they’re rarely interesting. Your interests section is the perfect opportunity to bond with the reader. Instead of telling us you enjoy reading, movies, and travel (who doesn’t, really?), make yourself memorable by being specific.
Examples: Joel and Ethan Coen films, Diana Gabaldon novels, Sudoku, marathon running, motocross, Thai cuisine, Green Bay Packers, playing Ticket to Ride.
If an interest needs further explanation, feel free to give it. “Volunteering” doesn’t stand out as much as “volunteering at a local soup kitchen on the weekends.” Just make sure everything is as succinct as possible.
7. Tweak your wording
Put just as much energy into editing your resume as you did in writing it. Look for any vague or generic wording, and swap it for more impactfhttp://prostaff.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2697&action=edit#ul terms. You’re trying to paint a picture here, and each word is a stroke that can strengthen how valuable you are as a worker.
8. Seek insider feedback
If you know someone at the organization, reach out to that person before applying for the job and ask for a little feedback on your resume. This will help you effectively customize it to the company. An employee can suggest the right buzzwords to use.
Besides, you’ve just passed along your resume to someone on the inside. And if that person likes what they see, even prior to the suggested edits, chances are good they’ll put in a good word for you with the hiring manager. It’s like getting your foot in the door without ever setting foot in the office.
If you’d like to learn more, contact us to discuss your employment history and what we can do to help you reach your career goals.
Whether you’re looking for new ways to think about business, insights into better managing your career, or inspirational stories that change the way you look at life, our staff has shared some of their favorite motivational, leadership, and business books to put on your reading list.
Here are some of our recommended reads:
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
Ever wondered why some companies outshine all their worldwide competitors? In Good to Great, Jim Collins explores the operational practices essential for any company to make the good-to-great transition. Collins argues that you need to define a focused objective and field of competency, and then concentrate a company’s resources toward that area of strength. Executives at all levels would benefit from reading this book.
The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter by Michael Watkins
With The First 90 Days, Michael Watkins offers up a hands-on guide for career transition periods. Watkins lays out a standard framework and proven strategies on how to handle your first three months in a new job or promotion, walking you through every aspect of the transition and some of the most common pitfalls you’ll encounter when moving into a leadership role.
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive tells the tale of leadership’s role in building a healthy organization, which Patrick Lencioni argues is the foundation of sustained business success. As Lencioni paints his “leadership fable,” you learn the four key disciplines or actionable steps — build a leadership team, create organizational clarity, communicate that clarity, and reinforce it with human systems — necessary for organizational health.
QBQ! The Questions Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability in Work and in Life by John Miller
In QBQ, John Miller explores the role of personal accountability both at work and at home. Miller believes that pointing fingers with questions like “Who dropped the ball?” gets us nowhere. Instead, we should be holding ourselves accountable by asking better questions — or, really, the questions behind questions — on what we can do to help solve problems.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt
The Goal tells the story of Alex Rogo, a plant manager who is desperately trying to save his small-town plant from closure. But a chance meeting with his old Physics professor changes his thinking, which is where the author begins to explore the Theory of Constraints — otherwise knows as the cause and effect relationship between actions and results.
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
The intimate memoir written by Sonia Sotomayor, My Beloved World charts Sotomayor’s life’s journey from a young child living in a Bronx housing project to becoming the first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. It’s a testament to what self-invention and self-discovery can mean to not just a person’s life but the community at large.
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind
Based on hundreds of interviews and details from emails, performance reviews, private meetings, and other internal documents, The Smartest Guys in the Room follows Enron’s rise from obscurity through its shady finance dealings and dysfunctional corporate culture to its inevitable demise. It’s a true story of greed, arrogance, and deceit, recounted in exacting detail.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
Another of Patrick Lencioni’s “leadership fables,” The Five Dysfunctions of a Team tells the story of Kathryn Petersen, a CEO facing a leadership crisis: uniting a dysfunctional team that could very well bring down an entire company. As we get deeper into the tale, Lencioni provides actionable steps to overcoming the five dysfunctions that cause even the best teams to struggle.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
In Grit, psychologist Angela Duckworth shares the secret to achievement — and it’s not necessarily talent but a combination of passion and persistence, which Duckworth refers to as “grit.” What amounts to a four-step program, Duckworth explains the psychology behind your ability (or inability, for that matter) to reaching your goals.
Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change by Michelle Gielan
Imagine a world where our words could move people from inaction to action. Michelle Gielan, founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research, shows us the possibilities of communication in changing a person’s mindset. Gielan propose that even small shifts in the way we communicate can make us more effective leaders and go a long way to improving business outcomes.
Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life: A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life by Larry Winget
Hailed as “not your average self-help book,” Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life boils success down to its simplest of terms: Life gets better when you get better. Eschewing advice often found in other self-help books, Larry Winget attacks everything from why people are overweight to having a positive attitude. Yet through it all, you learn what you need to do change your life.
There you have it! Are there any books on this list that you also love? What books top your must-read list? Please share your favorites on our Facebook page!
“Oh, we know what we’re looking for.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase. Sure, you have an idea of who you want to hire, but this isn’t always the best way to approach the hiring process.
Hiring someone new should always be part of a long-term strategy. If you step back and think about where you see your company in the next five years, it’s easier to see where a new hire fits within your organization. It also lets you take a fresh look at your hiring process and scrap any pointless steps that can shrink the candidate pool to nothing but a puddle.
Here are a few best practices to improve and expedite your hiring process:
1. Tap your network
If your first step in the hiring process doesn’t involve your network –including your current employees – you’re doing something wrong. Give staff the opportunity to apply for the open position and encourage them to refer people from their own network.
2. Write better job descriptions
Be honest about what the job actually entails — not just with its tasks and responsibilities but why the role is important to your business. This sets expectations from the start, and also makes it easier for you to measure how each candidate stacks up.
3. Ask better questions
Many interviews focus on technical competencies, which only tells you whether a person can do the job. But other qualities, like emotional intelligence (EQ), coachability, motivation, problem solving, and cultural fit, are often much more important to future success.
Let’s say you want someone who’s emotionally intelligent. One question to ask is, “Did you build lasting friendships while at a past job?” Establishing relationships can take time, and doing so is often a sign of EQ. Another question to pose is, “What skill do you feel you’re still lacking?” Candidates who struggle to answer often aren’t very self-aware.
4. Interview by committee
At most companies, the interview process consists of a series of individual interviews. If you move to a committee model, all the decision-makers get an impression of a candidate at the same time. This not only streamlines the process but can also prevent someone from making a compromise to fill a vacancy.
5. Check references early
Many companies leave reference checks to the very end of the interview process. By then, however, you’re too far in and could turn the hiring process upside down if you’ve settled on the final contender.
Instead, check references after the first phone interview. That way, you’re not only verifying a candidate’s information but uncovering any potential red flags that would exclude him or her from consideration.
6. Get more selective
Many companies play the law of averages and bring in way too many candidates for an open position. Even when they’re only impressed with maybe five people, they set up first-round interviews with 10 or more. Trust your gut, and only bring in those candidates you feel really good about.
7. Keep a steady pace
The hiring process always needs to be kept at a steady pace. Move too quickly, and you’ll end up with the wrong hire. Too slow, and people will think you’re not interested. As soon as you complete the initial round, make your decisions and move to the next phase in the process.
8. Cap the number of interviews
As soon as you hit the fourth round of interviews, you’re pretty much wasting everyone’s time. Most of the time, you can get a feel for a candidate’s potential by the second interview. Consider bringing the top candidates in for a meeting with the direct manager, a peer, and a company executive. Then, use the next round to confirm the opinions from that first meeting.
9. Seek outside help
If your hiring process is long and drawn out, you can save both time and administrative costs by seeking outside help. Staffing companies can expertly screen and select the most qualified candidates for the job. Plus, they may already have a number of pre-screened candidates at their disposal.
If you’d like more information about expediting the hiring process or how we can help you find the perfect candidate for an open role, contact us today. We’d love to meet with you to discuss your current and future talent needs.
If you’ve been worried about employee engagement lately, you’re in good company. Seventy-eight percent of business leaders say engagement is not only an important but urgent priority. And it’s no secret why: disengagement costs the U.S. economy more than $500 billion per year.
But when most companies sit down to discuss what to do about improving engagement, all they can think about is the expense — Google offers its employees free breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Airbnb gives its staffers free vacations, and Facebook provides free housing to its interns.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d never knock one of these perks, nor would I turn them down. They’re fit for a queen and all her subjects. But understand that you don’t need to blow your budget to improve employee engagement. Just consider the following 12 strategies to better engage staff:
Create an authentic mission
Employee engagement can often be tied to how staff feels about a company’s mission. And if that mission is authentic, it can inspire them to work toward achieving your organizational goals. In fact, 73 percent of employees who work for purpose-driven companies say they’re engaged — compared to just 23 percent who don’t.
Give staff a voice
It’s common practice for organizations to conduct employee satisfaction surveys. But these only happen once a year and are often too broad to get a true picture of engagement. Give staff a greater voice by seeking continual feedback. Ask questions about morale, career progression, and growth opportunities — and then act on your findings.
Encourage a little healthy competition among staff with performance incentives for achieving certain goals. Tickets to a sporting event, dinner for two, or even a gift card to big box chain are all relatively inexpensive options to incentivize and engage your direct reports.
Collaboration is probably one of the most important facets to any successful business. It not only increases employee engagement but improves creativity and innovation. And with nearly 40 percent of workers believing their employers don’t collaborate enough, your efforts could actually help retain and attract talent.
Emphasize work-life balance
It can be quite challenging for employees to strike the right balance between work and personal life. If you make sure both areas are receiving enough attention, you not only help staff stay healthy but keep their engagement levels up. Speak to your team to determine what you can do to support a better work-life balance.
Allow for flexibility
Of all the benefits available, workplace flexibility topped the list for 75 percent of employees. After starting a flex program, companies often experience greater employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention. Instead of enforcing a rigid schedule, consider allowing employees to make their own schedules — with a stipulation, of course. They must put in the required hours.
Focus on fun
People don’t often associate fun with work, and at many companies, the two are mutually exclusive. But here’s the thing: there are a number of ways to incorporate fun into the workday without disrupting work itself. Hold contests, scavenger hunts, and after-work events. Celebrate “national” days; March alone has Banana Cream Pie Day, Pound Cake Day, Oreo Cookie Day, Write Your Story Day, etc. Just make the office fun for staff.
Offer more than money
. No one’s going to turn down a raise, but there are plenty of other ways to show your appreciation for employees and improve engagement in the process. Consider giving extra time-off or a prime parking spot for a job well done. Offer up tickets to a sporting event, concert, or even movie. Gift cards to local restaurants and coffee shops can also show you care about staff.
Celebrate your staff
You already know you should be putting some effort into recognizing staff contributions. But you should also just celebrate them for being part of the team. While how you do this is entirely up to you, I suggest you look for specific occasions to take time out of the day for a little revelry, like birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, etc.
Make philanthropy a priority
Philanthropy and volunteerism have become core tenants in building employee engagement initiatives. Why? Research has shown that 67 percent of people would rather work for a company supporting a social cause. But don’t just pick any charity. To drive deeper engagement, your choice of nonprofit must align to both corporate and employee interests.
Motivate the TED way
Bringing in a motivational speaker is a great way to remind staff just how much their work contributes to achieving organizational goals — and can go a long way to improving employee engagement. Consider arranging for a motivational speaker to come in every few months. Just make sure the speaker fits the culture of your company.
Experiment with initiatives
What works for one team won’t always work for another, so play around with different engagement strategies and activities to determine which ones resonate most with your staff. Given time, you’ll find a variety of options that will improve engagement levels across the entire company.
If you’d like additional strategies and activities for improving employee engagement, contact us! We’d be more than happy to help you in any way possible.
Turnover isn’t just problem. It’s almost becoming an epidemic, with the number of people quitting their jobs reaching an all-time high in 16 years. In fact, nearly three million people have left their jobs every month since June 2017.
Part of the problem is management. After all, people often leave managers, not companies. And no amount of money or benefits can compensate for promoting the wrong person — but that’s a story for a different day.
What I really want to talk about is the other factor causing people to ditch their employment digs: career opportunities — or lack there of, really. Twenty-nine percent of people cite this as the main reason for leaving a job, which is why it’s so important for you to learn how to recognize which of your team members are in need of more challenging work — that and a promotion, of course.
If you’re able to identify your top performers, and then take action immediately, you may just catch them before they head out the door. Here are the three things to look for when choosing a team member to promote from within:
Taking the lead
Anyone who doesn’t rely on his or her job title to take the lead is often an employee deserving of more responsibility. They’re comfortable rallying the troops and collaborating with not just your team but others in the company. If you don’t promote them, trust that a competitor will.
Just remember that not everyone is cut out for management, which is why you want to provide more that one avenue for career growth. Look for ways to promote staff in other ways. For example, you may have someone on your team who’s capable of managing projects or processes. He or she is just deserving of a promotion as any other employee.
We’ve all seen those employees who seemingly eat, sleep, and breathe their work. They act as if they own the joint — not in a bad way, that is. These are the people who will become real advocates for your company and should be rewarded for it.
Again, I’m not talking about a management position here. But if they’re able to promote your “brand,” and genuinely love working for your company, their enthusiasm can be infectious, which can certainly help build trust and loyalty among your ideal customers.
Now, I’m not talking about just any old risk. Hell, I risk my pocketbook any time I send my kids to the store. Without fail, they bring back more than what’s on the list. What I want you to keep an eye out for are those employees willing to risk a little friction by telling you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear.
If they’re comfortable enough to share their ideas and opinions with you, they’re also comfortable enough to challenge the status quo. In other words, they may be able to take your company in directions you never thought possible. They’re also empowered to take action — even when that action isn’t popular but necessary. Reward these people in some way. Otherwise, someone else will.
Promoting from within is a great way to build and grow your company from the inside out, but this isn’t to say there won’t come a time when your internal talent pool runs dry. When this happens, it just makes good business sense to bring in someone from the outside than to promote someone ill-equipped for the job.
We always recommend striking a balance between internal and external hires. If you’d like to discuss how to strike this balance, please feel free to contact us today. We’d be more than happy to sit down and help you decide whether an internal or external hire is right for the role you’re looking to fill.
Ask almost anyone about happiness in the workplace, and they’ll likely tell you it’s tied to money, management, or that professional nemesis every office seems to have. But they’d be wrong.
Happiness has nothing to do with the job itself — nor does it have anything to do with a boss or a colleague. It has everything to do with you.
You need to learn what works for you. And once you figure that out, happiness, satisfaction, and all the other good stuff will fall into place, which can go a long way to improving your performance, productivity, and problem-solving skills.
How you go about tapping into this happiness is entirely up to you, but what we’ve found that works best is the following:
1. Make the first few hours count
Did you know that how you begin your morning often sets the tone for the rest of the day? If you make the first few hours of work count, you’ll get more done by the end of day. In fact, more than 60 percent of people claim they’re at their most productive between 6 a.m. and noon.
Instead of frittering away your morning on emails or chitchat, adopt a productive mindset by focusing on important tasks. Make a to-do list for the day — or get to work on the one you made yesterday, which is actually a much better habit to get into. That way, when you show up to work, you know exactly what needs to be done.
Long story short, progress can be motivational. Even the smallest of wins can inspire you to keep checking tasks off that list. And by day’s end, you’ll have accomplished more than you ever thought possible. Talk about rewarding.
2. Seek out learning opportunities
Most companies these days have development programs available to staff. But if your company isn’t one of them, don’t let that stop you from learning new skills. Create your own development program by attending conferences and classes. Or consider asking for a “stretch assignment” — one that’s just outside your current skills set.
When you actively seek out learning opportunities and develop new skills, leadership will take notice and start seeing you as someone deserving of more responsibilities. While this can most certainly lead to a better job, there’s also something very gratifying when you can demonstrate and use what you’ve learned to make a real contribution at work.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others
When satisfaction is derived from being “better” than others, you’re no longer in charge of your own happiness. It’s anchored to your colleagues’ accomplishments and opinions, which can rob you of feeling any sort of joy for your wins — not to mention, those of your colleagues.
The next time you’re tempted to compare yourself to a colleague, refocus your energy on yourself. They’re never better or worse than you, just different. And that’s a good thing. A company filled with the same type of person would make for a very boring workplace. So, let go of your comparisons, and take everything with a grain of salt.
4. Make a difference outside the office
Doing good is just good business. It’s also not bad for improving your engagement at work. According to the Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey, you’re almost twice as likely to be “very satisfied” with your career when participating in workplace volunteer activities.
But if your company doesn’t have a formal program, consider starting one yourself — with the help of your colleagues, of course. You’ll need some assistance finding the right charity, educating staff, determining the level of involvement, etc.…oh, and let’s not forget, getting approval from leadership to even start one.
5. Make a difference inside the office
People who want more gratification at work can find it in the last place they often look: coworkers. Doing things that help colleagues have better days can have a positive impact on your own attitude. So, start asking people about their day or if you can help them out in some way. It’ll change the way you feel on the inside.
Besides, relationships in the workplace — and we’re talking positive relationships here — can actually improve your engagement. For example, women who have a best friend in the workplace are more that twice as likely to be engaged while on the job, while having a best friend at work can improve the performance of both women and men.
Applying these strategies won’t just improve your happiness and satisfaction in the workplace; they can also change the way people see you. Use those that resonate the most and get to work at taking control of your own perception of and attitude at work.
If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your satisfaction and engagement at work, or would like to discuss opportunities for different employment, please feel free to contact us today. A member of our team would be more than happy to explore your employment options and help you take an additional step to advancing your career.
When most of us think of employee engagement, we envision a sea of people diligently working at their desks. But looks, as they say, can be deceiving — what with just 30 percent of workers being engaged in the workplace.
Just because someone is a good employee, it doesn’t make him or her an engaged one. Engaged workers are those people who actually buy into your goals and objectives. They’re committed to not just their job but your company, and will do almost anything to help you achieve success.
But that’s not all. Engaged workers also provide a number of other benefits, and those often include the following:
- Improved productivity. Companies often assume that if they pay employees enough, they’ll be more productive. But I’m here to tell you there’s more to it than that. Recent research suggests it isn’t money that drives productivity but happiness. In fact, happiness can boost productivity by as much as 12 percent. And engaged employees tend to fall into that camp.
- Lower turnover. There’s no denying that the grass will always be greener at another employer, as most of us have inflated expectations of the unknown. But engaged workers are 87 percent less likely to leave a company when compared to disengaged staff. If you want to minimize turnover, which will cost you an average of $15,000 per person, take another look at your engagement strategies.
- Fewer absences. People get sick — that’s just a fact of life. And yes, there will always be those staffers who suffer from mysterious “ailments” only between the hours of nine and five, but not engaged employees. They only take an average 3.9 sick days per year, while disengaged workers rack up nearly 11 missed days.
- Better reputation. One of the inevitable realities is that people talk — and technology has made it that much easier for people to talk to more than just their network. They can quite literally talk to everyone. What your employees say about your company will have a direct impact on your reputation. If they’re engaged and like where they’re working, it only stands to reason that they’ll only have good things to say.
- Greater customer satisfaction. It goes without saying that engaged employees are much more satisfied with their jobs. But did you know the correlation between engagement and satisfaction branches out into other business areas? Namely when it comes to customer service. Companies that excel in this area have nearly twice as many engaged workers.
- More money. It’s not like you got into business for the fun of it. You want to make money, and those businesses with more engaged workers tend to see more profits. According to a study by Towers Perrin, companies with engaged staffers saw a 19-percent increase in operating income within just one year, while those with disengaged workers experienced a 33 percent decrease. If you want a profitable business, engage your workers.
Many companies put profits over people, failing to realize that the two are actually intertwined. If you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of you — and your bottom line. What company doesn’t want that?
If you’d like to learn more about employee engagement, or discuss what you can do to start building a more engaged workforce, please feel free to contact us today. We offer fully customized talent acquisition and retention solutions. Also look for specific employee engagement ideas on this blog in the coming weeks!
To our valued employees and Talent:
Happy Friday – and Happy Employee Appreciation Day!
The first Friday in March is reserved as National Employee Appreciation Day, a day created in 1995 by Bob Nelson, a founding Recognition Professional International board member. What a great opportunity to recognize and thank you, our valued employees!
On this day, I want you to know that I couldn’t be more proud of all the people who make this company so great. Our company is unique. We have the great honor and privilege of not only employing internal employees, but also helping others find meaningful work in our clients’ locations across the country. Collectively, our company has more than 500 branch locations and employs approximately 250k employees annually.
While I’m unable to personally reach out to each one of you today, please know that I am deeply appreciative of your service, and I am committed to providing a great place for you to work.
Let’s show appreciation for each other
Of course, employee appreciation shouldn’t be reserved for just one day. That’s why we recently started a new program called “Crush It” where we encourage all teams to regularly huddle together and share two things: (1) Someone who has been “crushing it” on the job, and (2) Something that you are grateful for at home or work. This program has proven to be a great way for people to feel appreciated and recognized by their team.
Today, in honor of Employee Appreciation Day, I’d like to host a “Crush It” on my Facebook page! I invite you to leave a comment on today’s post and mention someone who has “crushed it.” Please include details, such as how this person went the extra mile or helped a co-worker with a difficult task.
Again, thank you to all of our employees and Talent. And if you’re not an employee or client yet, but are interested in learning more about our opportunities, please contact us!
Geno Cutolo, CEO
It’s a situation every manager dreads. You have to tell each of your team members that there’ll be no salary increases for the foreseeable future.
Far from an enviable position, but one that does come with a silver lining. Money isn’t the only perk that motivates staff. In fact, 89 percent of employees between the ages of 18 and 34 would prefer a perk to pay a raise, and 70 percent of those between the ages of 45 and 54 feel the same.
This, of course, doesn’t mean you should just forgo salary increases because staff may value time over money. Paying people what they’re worth just makes good business sense, and you can trust that the competition will gladly snatch a top performer away if given the chance.
So, the question remains: when you can’t offer people an annual raise, what’s a good alternative? The following are often a good place to start:
1. Performance bonus.
If a raise isn’t in the budget, a one-time performance bonus could be enough of an incentive to maintain employee morale, satisfaction, and engagement until you can offer an actual salary bump.
2. Flex time.
A perk employees value most is flexibility — even more so than pay. Eighty-eight percent of people would more heavily consider a job if the employer offered flexible hours. In lieu of a raise, consider giving staff more flexibility in their schedules.
As far as perks go, second to flexibility is often telecommuting, with 80 percent of people saying they’d consider a job if the employer offered the option to work from home. Give employees the opportunity to telecommute one or two days a week — it’ll save on their transportation costs, which is basically money in their pockets.
4. Unlimited vacation.
Did you know that two-thirds of people would consider taking a lower-paying job if it came with unlimited vacation? Not only could this serve as a sign that you trust your employees to manage their own workloads but the policy could convince people to forgo salary increases for the year.
Depending on your industry, your employees may be eligible or eager to participate in a professional organization. It might not be much, but you could always offer to pay for the dues associated with their participation.
6. Development program.
Sixty-three percent of Millennials feel their leadership skills aren’t being developed — at least according to a recent Deloitte Millennial Survey. They’re also 68 percent more likely to stay at an organization for more than five years when working with a mentor. Consider establishing a development program in place of a bump in pay.
7. Tuition reimbursement.
Establishing a tuition reimbursement program has a monetary value for many employees, and it also demonstrates that — even though you can’t offer a raise — you’re invested in their professional development and future.
8. Transportation reimbursement.
Gas, tolls, fares, and parking fees all add up. Offer to give a set amount of money back each month for employee transportation expenses. If that’s not feasible, look into providing some sort of discount for parking or using mass transit.
9. Personal perk.
Smaller organizations may want to sit down one-on-one with employees to explain the situation and come up with an individualized solution to no annual raise. One person may want additional time off, while another may take a membership to a gym or professional organization.
Sure, you might save a few bucks by skipping that annual raise. But those few bucks will come at an expense: turnover. And with turnover costing as much as 150 percent of the salary for the vacated role, offer the raise if you can swing it — if not, then an alternative is your best bet.
If you’d like more advice or insights for improving your business or building a stronger workforce, please feel free to contact our team today. We’d be more than happy to discuss your needs and help you determine what resources are necessary to make a real difference for your company’s future.