Author - Sierra Fishman

How to Be Prepared & Indispensable with a Looming Recession 

With much debate over the U.S. economy potentially entering a recession and labor shortages continuing, it is an excellent time to ensure your value and take steps to prepare for a pending recession.  How do you prepare for a future recession and possible layoffs? 

Check Yourself then Promote Yourself 

In times of uncertainty, see what you can be certain about. Are you certain you are putting your best foot forward in your current position? Are you demonstrating your best effort, most of the time? Could your skill set use a review? Kindly do a self-assessment to see where you can make improvements.  

If you are already doing a stellar job and giving your work 110%, make sure this contribution is visible to your leadership team. Your boss is likely busy, ensure they see the value of your presence and contributions. Ask for a time slot on your manager's calendar and talk about transferable skills you may already have or future skills you want to learn. Reminding your manager of the contributions you offer and the future ones you plan to contribute will bode well for you.  

 

Krissy Whitaker, Accounting & Finance Recruiting Expert states: “With so many uncertainties of the economic climate pending in 2023, we know that the war for talent will continue. The reality of hiring top talent is challenged by the lack of candidates available amidst the vast number of openings. How can you stay relevant and be visible with so many companies eager to hire critical staff? Many companies are seeing a lack of qualified & available candidates, so take the time to stand out from the crowd! It’s important for you to consistently show your value and announce accomplishments to be highly visible for future employers to know you. As recruiters, our consistent presence in the market will prove to be an asset for you when you are open to making a career move!”

 

You Should Always Be Proactive Regardless Of The Economy 

While you assess yourself, continue to re-evaluate what an employer of choice means to you. Ensure that you are keeping your resume and skills up to date and explore your professional network on LinkedIn. If you end up needing to make a transition, you will position yourself for success in the future. 

LinkedIn offers skills assessments, recommendation requests, certification courses, and more – if you are looking to be an indispensable asset to potential employers, LinkedIn is an ideal place to start.     

Unfortunately, reductions in force (RIFS) are inevitable, these decisions are often out of your direct manager’s hands. Either way, it is better to be prepared.   

Doing The Above Makes You More Marketable  

While your value has always existed, it is good practice to build on it and be prepared for the unexpected. Do the things now that can make for a smoother transition if the time to move on comes around.

While making yourself stand out, there is no need to overstep and try too hard to gain your manager’s attention. Simply remember to show your value and discuss it with your supervisor. Asking for feedback is a flawless way to ensure your work is seen while gaining an honest evaluation.  

Reaching out to a recruiter is a great way to start networking. This future relationship can help you be prepared by working with a well-connected professional when the economic future is uncertain. 

A 30-60-90-Day Plan to Position Yourself for Success at a New Job

You just transitioned to a new job, it’s a great opportunity and you want to ensure you start off on the right foot. With every new job comes a bit of stress and nerves as you find your way of doing things. Staying on top of everything you need to learn and accomplish can be overwhelming. Not visibly seeing your accomplishments or how far you have come can be disheartening at times.  

We suggest using the four stages of learning (explained below) in conjunction with a tracking system to monitor the different stages of your new role and the progress you’ve made along the way. It's easy to forget a few steps here and there and even easier to miss the many achievements and headway you will make within the first 3 – 6 months of a new job. By tracking these things together, you will see what needs a bit more work and where you can celebrate some wins.  

In this article, we reference Abraham Maslow’s 4 stages of learning. 

  1. Unconscious incompetenceWe don’t know that we don’t know. 
  2. Conscious incompetence – We know that we don’t know. 
  3. Conscious competence We work at what we don’t know. 
  4. Unconscious competenceWe don’t have to think about knowing it. 

The Four Stages of Learning

The Breakdown 

Your First 30 Days on the New Job: Educate  

The first 30 days in your new position are all about getting acquainted with your team, learning about the company and understanding the core responsibilities of your role. In the four stages of learning, this is stage 1: unconsciously incompetent, meaning you are probably feeling nervous and thinking; “I don’t even know what I don’t know.” Don’t worry, you are on track. 

Leaning into 60 Days of the New Gig: Contribute  

By 60 days on the job, the goal should be to start contributing. Start speaking up in meetings, performing tasks with less guidance or oversight, and begin adding value. This stage is like stage two of the four stages of learning where you are consciously incompetent; this stage will be overwhelming because now you know what you don’t know.    

By 90 Days: Start to Initiate  

By 90 days you want to start taking the initiative where you can. Be proactive and identify projects or areas of improvement that you can tackle or volunteer to help with. 

A great way to monitor your progress is with a spreadsheet to track your advancements and accomplishments (while CRUSHING imposter syndrome). At this point in your new role, you will be reaching stages three and four of the four stages of learning: stage three, consciously competent: I know it, but it isn't 2nd nature yet.” And stage four, unconsciously competent, “It is routine now; it is 2nd nature and comes easy.”  

These stages come at different times for everyone, establish baselines that work for you and your role. Understand expectations, have patience and you will succeed. We found Break Your Budget, millennial money tips blog! Has great resources to help get your career started off successfully.  

We have provided a template modeled after Break Your Budget.  

Downloadable Excel Sheet: TRG New Role Progress Tracker 

Use these tools to set yourself up for overall success and future promotions. Remember, if you have any questions about your job, make sure you ask for help. Your mentor or supervisor would like you to succeed and will typically be happy to help with any questions. Good luck with your new endeavor.

Are You Letting Time Kill Your Hiring Success?

There is a head-spinning relationship between time and one’s ability to close a deal or lock down great talent. Those in the recruiting industry know time is the enemy and it is a relentless deal killer. Our recruiting experts understand interest declines over time. Therefore, it is imperative to make quick decisions during the interest phase of the interview process.   How Time Kills your Chance of Hiring   Let’s say you have a couple of great candidates waiting in the lineup for your new role. You are evaluating these candidates with your hiring team for a little over a week. During this process, you unintentionally let these candidates wait on the back burner while your hiring team evaluates. Two to three weeks after your interviews with interested candidates you finally come to a decision and extend a job offer.   This is how time kills your chance of scoring the best talent, the candidate you want to hire has moved on and is no longer interested in your company or the position. Or perhaps they have accepted a position elsewhere. All that time spent deliberating was pointless and you are left with no one to fill your open role. Of course, you can go with your second choice, but they were the latter for a reason.  Establish Hiring Timelines   “It's important to establish a timeline for any search project. How long is the role open for? What does your schedule look like for interviews (providing interview time windows, etc.)? Are there any upcoming events that may cause interview or hiring challenges (vacations, holidays, etc.)? Don’t lose top talent to time, stay ahead of it.”  - Pete Bolog, PeopleSolutions Client Relationship Manager - Life Sciences and Engineering  Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.  It takes time to build relationships, however, don’t drag your feet and miss out on a great candidate. When candidates are eager to accept your position, it is best to get to the next step quickly before they lose interest. Continuously communicate with your recruiter and candidates to ease any uncertainty or to simply kill the process. (Which is okay, not everyone is a great fit. That said, don't waste the recruiter or candidates' time. Let them know.) Establish a timed system with your team to narrow down prospects, quickly assess applicants and be in touch, often.      

Change the Right Way: Change Management: What It Is and Why It’s Important

Managing change has always been tough, however, it has been especially difficult these past few years. Considering pandemic adjustments, lay-offs, accepting new positions, remote workforce transitions, returning to the office and adapting to inflation have certainly increased our rate of change. Moreover, the constant modernization of technology and workforce standards forces companies and employees to respond and reshape their practices.  

As organizations restructure their labor force to meet new goals, priorities are addressed and reassigned, responsibilities are delegated differently, and change is plentiful. With employees facing a wide variety of changes at a constant rate, the importance of managing change has become pertinent. It isn’t easy to change attitudes or relationships, much less entire organizations.  

Surprise, Surprise: Most People Don’t Like Change

All organizations are made up of people. And people’s resistance is one of the biggest barriers to change. Research shows that only 38% of people like to leave their comfort zone. When these people are presented with a change, they experience positive interpretations of the change resulting in positive emotional reactions. The other 62%, however, immediately feel fear and discomfort. This is where change management becomes advantageous.  

 

Jon Burkhart, President of Banking at The Richmond Group USA states: “In my experience, resistance to change often stems from a person not understanding the personal benefit of what making a change would bring them. Change is more easily managed when you can help someone understand that the positive long-term impacts vastly outweigh the immediate inconveniences.” 

The Change Management Flow and Process 

Change management is meant to mitigate risk and give a methodical, winning approach to implementing change while helping people accept and adapt along the way. It is a systematic approach that includes dealing with the transition or transformation of organizational goals, core values, processes or technologies. 

 

Download PDF: Change Management Flow

Here’s How You Can Start Implementing Change Management At Your Organization 

One way to clarify the vision is to go through the 4P’s of change. By asking yourself these questions, you can feel confident and prepared. 

Purpose: What is the reason for/background to this change? What are the benefits? 

Picture: What will things look like after the change? What would be the risk of not doing it (the “burning platform”)? Restate the benefits. 

Part: What’s my part in the change? What do you expect me to do? 

Plan: What’s the timeline? What are the key milestones? How is it all going to work? 

 

Change Management Process Flow 

(WalkMe, Change Management Blog, The Ultimate Change Management Process Flow) 

PART 1: CHANGE PROPOSAL | Identify the change 

Begin with a needs assessment and the 4 P’s of change. You must support your change proposal with evidence. 

 

OUTLINE THE DETAILS 

Who is this change affecting? What levels will the change impact? IT systems? Organizational hierarchy? Departmental processes? What are the costs and implications? What do you need from the organization to successfully put this change in place? 

 

PART 2: TRIALLING & IMPLEMENTING CHANGE 

Contract and engage for change 

STEP 1: Establish a sense of urgency 

Remember, people are naturally resistant to change. What are the benefits? 

 

STEP 2: Build guiding coalition 

You need support for the change at all levels of the organization. 

 

STEP 3: ESTABLISH THE APPROACH | Create the vision and strategy 

Use the work you did on the 4 P’s of change. 

 

STEP 4: Communicate the change vision 

An army of volunteers can help you communicate the change vision to stakeholders. 

 

(B. CHANGE: Deliver and make change stick

STEP 5: IMPLEMENT | Empower or enable action 

Put plans in place for every aspect of the change, including communications, training, and review. 

Also, you must ensure that the organization is prepared for the change. There are no barriers to the change, nor conflicting behaviors or procedures. 

 

STEP 6: Create short-term wins 

Remember to celebrate success to maintain high motivation. 

 

STEP 7: MONITOR | Consolidate gains 

Measure, monitor, evaluate. This is how you can be sure of success. 

Monitoring and evaluation will enable you to anchor new positive behaviors into culture. You’ll also be able to catch old habits before they threaten the entire change process. 

 

STEP 8: Anchor into culture 

Don’t rush into this step. It takes time to form new habits. Only when the old habits seem out of place can the new behaviors become ingrained in culture. 

To Wrap it Up 

Try sharing this flowchart with your organization, so everyone feels included in the process. Establishing a game plan for change allows easier management and continuation of the process resulting in a better environment for everyone.  

At the end of the deliberation, a celebratory beer or two couldn’t hurt the process, work hard and enjoy your company evolving. Happy, changing.  

Give Feedback When a Candidate Doesn’t Get Chosen

Why feedback matters  

It’s not easy to be on either side of bad news; being rejected for a job or having to tell someone that you’re not offering them a role they’ve invested time and energy into is not an enviable position. How an organization handles applicants is perceived as a reflection of how it treats its employees, so it’s best done well. Giving feedback to rejected candidates (who made it through to the interview process) benefits everyone involved. 

Candidates are 3.5x less likely to re-apply to a company when not informed about their application. 

Giving Applicant Feedback Benefits the Candidate + Your Company Reputation 

Providing a candidate with actionable feedback and insight into why the decision was made creates goodwill between the candidate and your company. The candidate is more likely to think highly of your business and speak in kind regard about their experience. This small act does a world of good for your talent brand—because you’ve humanized the candidate's experience through to the end, with empathy. On the other hand, no response at all is frustrating and disheartening and can result in a negative perception of your organization/brand. A negative applicant experience or simply “ghosting,” applicants can turn off both future applicants and customers. Respond professionally to all applicants and consider giving feedback to interviewees who finish in second, third or fourth place. 

Giving Feedback Strengthens your Hiring Process 

Having a standard system/SOP in place for applicant feedback means you have a thorough process for sorting out finalists. Giving feedback to applicants demands clarity on what makes an ideal candidate for the role. Providing an applicant with reasoning for your decision compels you to articulate why specific candidates don’t make the cut. During this action, you will identify patterns in your candidate feedback that can in turn help you observe weak spots in your hiring process. This may alert you to the fact that your job description needs to be revised. Collecting these data points helps you refine your hiring process and benefit future hires.  

Simple Tips on Giving Feedback to Passed Applicants: 

  • Be respectful. 
  • Tell the truth, in a helpful way. 
  • Keep the message clear and concise.  
  • Give examples where you can. 
  • Tie your feedback back to your job description. 
  • Focus on the potential: 
    • Give feedback on changeable qualities – focus on skills that the candidate can acquire or responses that could have been stronger, rather than saying you went with a more experienced applicant. This gives the candidate something to work on and improve upon.  

Why Your Mindset is Crucial to Your Success, Personal Growth and Business.

The principal factor influencing a person's success, whether personal or professional, is one's mindset. What you consistently think about has a direct impact on your behavior and output. What some may consider a trivial thing makes a stark difference and accounts for the primary distinction between those who succeed and those who do not. To achieve your goals, your mindset needs to match your aspirations, otherwise, it will hold you back from being successful in your endeavors. 

Focus on these areas to master your mindset and achieve success personally and professionally. 

1. Your Self-esteem  

To accomplish anything, one must feel capable of doing so – this is where high self-esteem impacts your success. Self-esteem is an internal dialogue that informs how we perceive and evaluate our worth, whether that be positive or negative. It also frames our self-concept (the comprehensive view we have of ourselves). To develop strong self-esteem, you must begin with a strong and optimistic mindset.  

Your self-esteem is a crucial tool that affects your daily self-dialogue and reinforces your beliefs, attitudes and feelings about yourself. So, become the sentinel of your mind and plant healthy seeds rather than criticism and doubt. What you think becomes reality. 

2. Your Perspective  

Tony Robins said it best Nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning [we] give it.” How we attach meaning to events and circumstances has a profound effect on whether we view situations with optimism or pessimism. Your mindset and perspective run parallel to one another; if you have a negative perspective, chances are you have a negative mindset. Looking at your perspective through rose-colored spectacles increases the likelihood of formulating a well-rounded perspective and attaining long-term success. 

3. Your Determination  

Without some drive and determination, accomplishing any objective will be less than pleasant. Try making it to the gym with no determination. Yeah, how comfortable is that couch?  

Your drive and determination have the power to direct your mindset and motivate commitment. Your drive is what will push you past your comfort zone. People with healthy drive/determination are self-motivated and strive to accomplish more. A positive mind and strong drive will not waste time complaining about circumstances but instead work with conviction to improve them. 

4. Your Grit 

Grit, willpower, courage, fortitude; all these nouns boil down to mental toughness. Described by Oxford as “A quality of mind or intellect characterized by a refusal to be intimidated, a determination to follow through even when things are going badly, and an ability to control emotions and remain highly focused when under pressure.” With the basis of a strong mindset, you will be able to work towards mental toughness and clarity. Once mentally tough, you can become the person that digs deep and works persistently to achieve goals. 

So the equation to a great mindset and probable success goes something like this: 

Self Esteem + Perspective + Determination + Mental Toughness = Successful mindset = Successful life 

Once you have your mindset in good order, discover things that inspire you. Matthew McConaughey gives a speech on defining success for yourself. A great listen to shape your mindset and success.  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOwj1Yy62bU

2022 Retirement Wave, Prepare to Fill the Gaps

This year is expected to have a record number of Americans retiring. Several factors are driving this retirement surge, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Two million more workers retired during the pandemic than trends predicted. An estimated 50.3% of adults aged 55 and over left the workforce in the third quarter of 2021. Although these numbers have started to recover, it remains unclear how many baby boomers will continue employment or eventually retire in 2022.  With millions of baby boomers retiring sooner rather than later, employers will need a strong workforce plan for replacing existing workers. If trends continue in the same direction your company will likely have workforce gaps that need to be filled without the talent to suffice. Filling the holes will be challenging while the ranks of the Gen X workers are simply not enough and many millennials lack tenure.   As more Americans retire, there will be a shift in the workforce and how we work. As tenured staff walks out the door, the loss of institutional knowledge and wisdom goes with them, draining industries. On the bright side, the retirement boom presents an opportunity for younger workers to step into leadership roles and take on more responsibility. On the other hand, retirees gain the opportunity to “give back” by mentoring the next generation and sharing their expertise.  

What can you do to prepare for the retirement wave? 

1. Create an exit strategy for older employees. This can benefit your company if an employee is a top performer. A slow transition allows you to prepare a replacement without the shock that comes with a sudden retirement. 2. Develop your workforce and support mentoring programs.   3. Continue educating and training your workforce to steadily be prepared for the loss of high-level employees. Develop knowledge-sharing and training programs.  4. Utilize professional contract staff to fill gaps while you find permanent employees. Benefits include: 
      • Reduced long-term labor costs
      • Shorter hiring process
      • Instant impact
      • Flexibility: Hiring a contractor gives you the option of evaluating whether you have a long-term job requirement in a function.
Eventually, you are going to need workers to replace the baby boomer employees who are retiring. The sooner you start exploring your options and planning, the better prepared you and your organization will be. 

Look to The Person, Not the Paper: Leverage Recruiters

A Resume is Not a Conversation

We took a recent survey and of course, it seems obvious that everyone wants to look past that 8×10 piece of paper, most hiring professionals simply don't have time to do what recruiters are exclusively dedicated to – having conversations.

Resume formats may have evolved over the years, though their role in making talent decisions has not. Although resumes provide a lot of valuable information about a candidate, they alone are not predictive of performance or reflective of a candidate's true potential. This summary is one glimpse into who candidates are as complete people. We believe a candidate's employability is so much more than a piece of paper.  

According to Glassdoor, most hiring professionals spend 7 seconds or less screening resumes. That is less than a minute to decide whether a candidate should get an interview or not. Bonkers.  

“As an organization, we have always believed that 50% of a hire is chemistry. It’s conversations that allow chemistry to play out. Have conversations. Hire people not a resume. Worst case scenario, you make connections along the way.” 

— Mark Schwartz, President TRG

Where Resumes Go Wrong 

We understand employers must narrow the scope of applicants by sifting through resumes. Hiring screening processes are now largely automated, during the sifting process, many potential great fits are lost during resume keyword scanning and applicant tracking systems (ATS). This is where recruiters can have a high impact on your hires. Recruiters will discover what tracking systems will not. Through thorough real-life conversations, recruiters uncover abilities and expertise that software systems would bypass. 

Recruiters Uncover What Matters 

A recruiter will ask targeted questions to uncover a fuller picture of a candidate's competency, critical thinking and personality. This allows you to read between the lines and have your talent prequalified. When recruiters and hiring managers only focus on hard skills and work experience, rather than a person's potential and soft skills, they are more likely to miss hiring someone who will excel in a role and help the organization flourish.  

We challenge you to look beyond resumes to find your next great hire. Do not miss the chance to employ someone extraordinary. Leverage a recruiter's expertise to discover the best talent for your team. 

Ease Heightened Emotions in an Uncertain Economy

Our company has noticed emotions are high due to economic changes. As recession talk heats up, so may your anxiety.  In this recession, the direction of the labor market will be key in determining the future state of the economy. Following a typical recession, when consumers buy less, businesses cannot sell as much, and they are forced to lay off workers; and the vicious cycle begins. On the upside, our current market has twice the number of job openings as unemployed people so, employers are not going to be so quick to lay employees off.   Regardless of the severity of this recession, we understand any type of economic slump is enough to fire up anxiety and cause overwhelming emotions. Below we provide suggestions to get ahead of your anxiety, prepare for potential changes and cope before it takes a toll on your mental health.  

Take a Step Back. 

It may sound trite but taking a moment to simply pause and take a few deep breaths can do wonders. Review and reflect on your current status. Do a ‘worst-case scenario’ exercise. Think about whatever is stressing you the most and contemplate the worst thing that could happen.  If you can live through it or deal with that, then you are ok. If you are healthy, have some great people in your life and live in a country where you are free to express yourself, you are doing pretty good.  

Narrow your focus. 

Try to take your focus away from the news and center inward on yourself and your current goals. When you do listen to the news, do your best to observe not absorb. Discern enough to be aware of current economic statuses and news updates, then let the anxiety of those updates go. You do not have to carry the weight of the world's news on your shoulders. After all, the human brain wasn’t designed with the capacity to empathize with every catastrophe. Practice living in the duality of educating yourself and staying in your own lane.  

Proactive planning.  

54% of U.S. adults said they are somewhat or very anxious about their finances.  That percentage drops to 46% for people who work with a financial advisor and 47% for those who self-identify as disciplined planners.  Anxiety boils down to uncertainty around future events, assessing your current finances and talking to a financial advisor could ease your mind. Preparing for the unknown will assuage your worry and increase your confidence that things will turn out alright. People who plan show more control over their emotions, less stress, more positive emotional health and life outcomes.   25% of our happiness hinges on how well we’re able to manage stress and anxiety. Remedy this by fighting stress before it even starts and planning things rather than letting them happen.” The more you plan, the more stress and anxiety are minimized. — Robert Epstein, psychologist and self-help author.  Being prepared will ease your emotions. Take a calm step back before a worried step forward.   

Why Your Job Descriptions Are Hurting You

Job descriptions are the first thing a potential employee will read when looking to apply for a role at your company; therefore, they are essential to master. It is vital to write a good job description if you want to attract the perfect candidate. Most job descriptions are too broad and overly detailed, resulting in a loss of the main points of the role. These lengthy job postings may prevent many candidates from wanting to apply, since they may feel they are not fit for the role, meaning a smaller candidate pool to choose from. 

Shorter job posts get more applications. A LinkedIn study found that candidates are more likely to apply for job posts that contain short content, up to 300 words.   

 

TRG Basic Graph

Shorter job posts (1-300 words) had significantly higher-than-average apply rates per view (the number of applications the job post got divided by the number of views). Keeping things concise helps candidates immediately get the info they need to apply—and since more than 50% of job views on LinkedIn are on mobile devices, shorter descriptions are literally a better fit for modern candidates. These short posts got candidates to apply 8.4% more than average, while medium job posts (301-600 words) performed 3.4% below average and long job posts (601+ words) did only 1% better than average. Via LinkedIn.

See Related Article: Less is more.  

Evolve your job descriptions to be less overwhelming and meet realistic position expectations. Attempt to narrow all your job requirements to the top three mandatory requirements. From there, work in the following nonnegotiable requirements and experiment with condensing. Instead of listing 20 bullet points, expand on your company culture and what a full day of work may be like.  

A job description that does not state too many requirements increases the number of candidates fit to apply—therefore, you will have a broad selection of potential candidates to choose from. There are really two or three main requirements in most roles, if the candidate meets the core 3 – everything else can generally be taught or expanded.  Think about this when writing your next job description. Ask yourself: “Why are people going to be excited about this job?”