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“I have a dream…”

Monday, January 21, 2019, we celebrate MLK Day. Every year, I think about what this day means. To some, it’s just a day off school. Others may work for an organization that includes MLK as a company-paid holiday. To me, it’s so much more than a national holiday. It’s a day that I try to spend reflecting as it is the root of my core beliefs and what led me to pursue my field of human resources.

We know that Martin Luther King Jr. led the nonviolent civil rights movement and made dramatic improvements possible during his life. However, the legacy he left has impacted us in ways you may not realize. He has forever left a legacy that goes far beyond his life and assassination 50 years ago.

As the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, his initiatives helped form the civil rights movement. He led massive nonviolent protests in the ’60s throughout the South into DC & Chicago. These protests brought light to discriminatory hiring practices, segregated public places, restrooms, public housing, denial of voting rights, and so many more inequalities.

If you haven’t recently listened to the “I Have a Dream” address that King delivered back in 1963 at the great march in Washington for jobs and freedom, now is a great time. Given all our country is going through, the divisions among us, and the inequalities still happening today, his message still needs to be heard.

I, for one, am always moved when I listen to his words. His urging to make good on our promise of democracy is certainly something to behold. I listen every year, and without fail, I get choked up. My favorite line is:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  I have a dream today.”

King’s influence on civil rights did not end with his death. His legacy has been the enactment of numerous statutes prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, the issuance of Supreme Court decisions furthering the civil rights cause, and the advancement of all people.

I found the following timeline from SHRM. I encourage all employers to review it as it shows the progression of civil rights. The reach was far beyond what Mr. King may have envisioned back in 1957. This timeline outlines some of the notable milestones for workplaces around the country in the long, ongoing struggle for equal rights.

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As I think about this day, spend it with my family, and think about the divisions in our country and government, I’m going to reflect on these words and the strong current of hope for our future. I hope you do the same:

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.  It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

and of course, we all know that:

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Hire Ventures does Payroll #withGusto

Is it time to consider switching payroll providers?

Hire Ventures and Gusto have partnered together to simplify your small business payroll needs with big-time features! Gusto makes payroll so easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t switch sooner! The set-up is complete in a snap, and it integrates seamlessly with all of the most popular accounting software programs.

What is Gusto?

Gusto – an all-in-one platform for payroll, benefits, & compliance.

noun – great enjoyment, energy, and enthusiasm

Ex. Hire Ventures does HR and Recruiting #withGusto

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Payroll Made Easy.

End-of-year is fast approaching, and it’s the perfect time to change payroll providers! There’s no shortage of options out there, but we recommend checking out our partner provider: Gusto, for small businesses.

And with Gusto handling year-end filings and W-2s for free, you’ll save money since many other providers charge for these extras.

We recommend starting the new year #withGusto!

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Start the new tax year off with an easier payroll provider.

Gusto is offering free implementation services to ALL Hire Ventures referrals. Check it out, and if you have any questions we can help you through, let us know! And, if you are ready to get started, sign up here.

Ghosting and the Candidate Experience

Halloween has come and gone, and as we lead up to the big event, I’ve seen so many emails, articles, and blogs referencing “ghosting.” Most of them are work-related ghosting, referencing how applicants or new hires “ghost” a company.

I find that more often, it’s the company or recruiter that is “ghosting” candidates.

In this incredibly tight job market, one where we are working so hard to source and identify quality candidates, the candidate experience is super important. This experience applies to all candidates, even those who are unqualified or not the perfect fit for your position.

The candidate experience does matter and you should care.  Here are the top reasons why this is important.

  1. Today’s “not the right fit” candidate could be tomorrow’s “perfect fit” candidate. Giving them a great experience regardless of if you hire them now is key. Don’t leave them hanging or wondering when they’ll hear back after that phone or in-person interview. Cut them loose. That “rejected” candidate may very well know someone who would be perfect for your role or become a potential customer, client, or partner.
  2. Having a good recruiting and hiring experience can often grant you forgiveness if other not so perfectly executed HR processes. Onboarding for a new hire, not having the proper access or equipment ready on their first day, or perhaps an issue with the first paycheck can set the tone for the entire employee relationship. If coming in the door, they feel great about how you’ve treated them in the hiring process, it’s easier for them to look past those bumps in the road early on. Important because once you hire them, you want to keep them!

It’s not hard to do this if you have the right system and processes in place. The key is having a system in place and having it set up correctly to make it easy for your team to communicate with candidates throughout the process. Even small companies can have a robust applicant tracking system for less than a job posting cost (check out our favorite system JazzHR). A correctly set up ATS can do so much to ensure a good candidate experience, including hiring stages and easy-to-use email templates that you can personalize, automate, and even schedule in advance (Batch recruiting made easy).

If you haven’t considered your candidate experience in some time, or perhaps ever, do it now! We are in the tightest job market our country has seen in over 30 years. Investing in a good candidate experience is a win/win for all.

With so much of life,

it’s the small things that make a difference.

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If you need help defining and setting up your recruiting and hiring process, let me know!

The Perfect Pairing: Crafting a Resume

Job description + your resume = the perfect match!

For part two of this blog series, let’s talk about a resume in terms of dating. Now you might ask yourself,

“How in the world is the job hunt related to dating?”

In case you missed part one of this series, we explained how relationships connect to the job hunt by creating a resume, getting social on LinkedIn, and trying to stand out in the crowd. This blog post is narrowing in on resumes.

The perfect pairing of pizza and beer…

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The biggest myth about applying for jobs is that you can use one standard resume for every job you apply to. Too many people believe this works! Consider it this way, when going out to dinner, would you always order the same drink with whatever you ordered for a meal? How does that champagne sound with a pizza? Terrible! Everyone knows the perfect pairing for pizza is your favorite soft drink, or an IPA can be the proper complimentary drink. The same applies to every job category (be it marketing, sales, or HR). When applying to these different job categories, it is best to craft your resume around the specific job duties listed. Because no one wants pizza and champagne, right?

Crafting the Perfect Resume…

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From the employer side, every company and individual hiring manager is different in their resume preferences. Some may prefer a cover letter for applicants to get considered for a position. Some companies might want certifications and references provided right up front, while others may not. Either way, follow the instructions provided on the job posting and follow my top three tips for crafting the best resume:

1. “Speling Mistakkes arethe Worstt”: The #1 thing that bugs me to no end is the misspelling of words on any important document. Before submitting your resume to a potential employer, please do us, recruiters, a favor: PROOFREAD. We can almost guarantee that if a hiring manager sees multiple mistakes on your resume, they will immediately put your application in the “no” pile. If it is truly your dream job, it will be worth reading over and spell-checking before sending it in.

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2. Make it professional: For many job descriptions, a skill requirement is often communication skills, including written communication. If you write your resume as if you were writing a text to a friend, most employers won’t take you seriously. Spend a little extra time making sure that your resume is clear, concise, and on a higher reading level.
3. Certifications and special skills: Just like you would list your degrees, any certification listed on a resume is a plus as long as it’s relevant. If you take the time to earn a certificate, be proud and include it! Also, if you have any sort of special skills, put them down!! Something like that could potentially help you stand out among the other applicants.

Those are the top 3 tips when creating the perfect resume to ensure you find the perfect pairing. While these tips may vary depending on the career choice, these little nuggets of advice can help anyone receive an interview. So, here’s the real question…

How will you make it easy for the hiring manager to select you to move forward?

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Preparing for Election Day 11.6.18

Election Day 2018 is fast approaching, and with everything going on in our political landscape, it will be a record turnout at the polls. These results could impact your business, so it’s a good idea to review your time off to vote policies now to minimize disruption on November 6th.

As an employer, you are not only obligated to ensure your employees can take time off to vote, but your state law may also mandate it. While there is no federal law that outlines time off to vote, over half of the US states have laws that do.

State laws vary from state to state, and some even outline the amount of notice an employee must provide to request time off to vote. Others may even require advance postings of their policy to employees.

While some states have no time-off requirements, Georgia law requires that employees get granted time off to vote if they cannot vote during non-working hours. Georgia employers must provide two hours of leave to vote in “any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election for which such employee is qualified and registered to vote.” Employees in Georgia must provide reasonable notice to their employers, and they must not otherwise have two hours outside of work to attend the polls and vote to be eligible.

I’ve typically seen Georgia employers have a simple yet straightforward policy allowing time off to vote, up to two hours, if employees cannot get to the polls during non-working time. This time off request may be submitted and approved how you would typically process time off requests but shouldn’t get deducted from PTO or other time off policy balances.

Click here if you would like to receive a free Time Off to Vote policy that you can copy and paste into your employee handbook. Please keep in mind this is a Georgia-specific policy, so check your state law and edit as needed. If you are unsure of your state-specific law, I’m happy to help clarify that for you, or you can check with your employment attorney.

Lastly, don’t just communicate this policy to your employees. Encourage and support them to get out there and vote!

It’s Job Fair Season…Help!​

Let the ‘butterflies in the stomach’ feeling commence! It’s job fair season!

For many seniors, the job search is now in full swing. Thousands of campuses across the country will be hosting job or career fairs for their graduating students during the upcoming months.

With so little time, how would I be noticed?

How am I supposed to get noticed by a potential employer?

Let’s compare this to something you know…

For those of you going to your first career fair or applying for your first post-grad job, consider this experience like dating. You might have a conversation about your likes and dislikes during your first conversation, maybe about who you are and what you are looking for. After making a connection, you may even check out their online presence with a bit of internet sleuthing. After a few dates, you find out enough to know if it’s worth a commitment.

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It’s the same for finding that perfect candidate or job, so let’s call this “The Job Dating Process.” The connections go like this:

  • Love at first job fair: When first meeting someone you might eventually date, you will naturally remember a few facts about them. At a job fair, companies remember who you are through the conversation and also your resume! Many employers at the job fair will take notes on your actual resume after your conversation. These companies then identify those true matches and those who don’t hit the mark. So make sure to bring your resume, printed and ready to share! Be sure to include all previous work experience, especially those that pertain to the job.

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  • Social media (LinkedIn) stalking: Potential employers often check your online presence, so make sure your profiles are professional! One of the most important professional platforms is LinkedIn, a site dedicated to business connections and heavily used when recruiting professionals. Make sure you create a LinkedIn profile that mirrors your resume and your in-person presence. Inconsistencies in your in-person and online presence will sabotage your job hunt. Check out our prior post on this topic here.
  • “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” (based on my qualifications and background): In a world where hundreds of people apply for the same job position, what makes you different among this crowd? If you don’t know your own strengths and weaknesses, your potential employers will also not recognize those qualities. Take some time before submitting applications to think about your strengths, then make sure you show them to your potential employer. Also, don’t be afraid to mention those qualities that you are improving on. A weakness is just a strength that requires some extra TLC.

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Georgia Distracted Driver Law and your employer responsibility!

Cell phones are part of everyday life, both at work and at home. We use our phones for everything, email communication, banking, staying connected via social sites, navigation, texting, and occasionally making calls. The cell phone has come a long way over the last 40+ years, with most almost all cell phones being considered “smartphones” in 2018. With all of this love for technology, it is easy to become dependent on these small devices, and states are now cracking down. Beginning July 1st, Georgia’s new ‘Hands-Free Georgia Act’, commonly referred to as the GA Distracted Driver Law, is in effect. This new law will require drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.

What is a distracted driver?

A distracted driver is someone who has taken their eyes off the road to send a text, change navigation, talk on the phone, or use it in any way while driving. Using your phone in the car seems trivial. Most use their phone to play music or to navigate to their destination. As harmless as this sounds, using your phone in a motor vehicle can harness some severe consequences. In 2015, 391,000 people got injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver. Yikes! That’s a lot of potential employer liability if the injuries occurred while driving and working.

What this means for Employers in Georgia:

If you are a Georgia employer or have employees in Georgia, you need to ensure your policies and practices enforce Safe Driving. Meaning, you confirm your employee handbook or other driving/safety policy language includes some sort of the following information:

“While driving, employees are not permitted to hold or support, with any part of the body, a cell phone or stand-alone electronic device (like an iPod or GPS). Those employees are further not permitted to write, send or receive any text-based communication while holding a device.

Employees are permitted to speak or text while using hands-free technology, a smartwatch, or an earpiece. They may also safely use a GPS or mapping app (assuming you are not holding this device).”

If your company has any employees who drive to work, drive for work, carry a smartphone with work email, or other work-related apps, this new law concerns your business!

If you need any assistance updating your employee handbook to cover this new law, or if you would like a free Driving Policy download, feel free to download it from The HR shop:

Safe Driving

Stay safe ya’ll!

#SHRM18 – Let’s do this!

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We are super excited to be heading to the Windy City next week for the #SHRM18 Annual Conference and Expo! This conference is THE event to attend for HR professionals to gain powerful and relevant training, professional development, have opportunities to network with others and stay up to date on the latest compliance and cultural trends that affect every organization. With a mix of mega and concurrent sessions, a smart stage for snippets of learning, and a huge expo to demo various products and solutions, this conference has it all!

It’s also an excellent opportunity to hear from an impressive lineup of keynote speakers like Malala Yousafzai and Adam Grant. I’m sure both are great, but I am most excited to hear from Sheryl Sandberg, who will be closing the conference and likely send us off in an inspirational way! I even re-read her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead in anticipation!

Additionally, Hire Ventures will be hosting a meet-up networking event on Sunday evening for other HR Consultants, HR Business Owners, and Independents. Every entrepreneur knows that it can be challenging to build a business. I wanted to have an event that would allow us to connect, collaborate and network with other like-minded HR entrepreneurs!

Initially, I was thinking this would be a handful of people meeting in a hotel bar, and it has since turned into over 60 RSVPs! Luckily, I have a great relationship with a particular recruiting software company who has graciously offered to help with my event. Phew! Either way, I’m really excited about making new connections, strengthening existing relationships, and coming away from #SHRM18, ready to crush the last half of 2018!

 

Social Media and the top 5 ways it can hurt your career

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Messenger, Voxer, Skype, etc.

Social Media is part of our everyday life and is excellent for sharing information and staying connected. These social apps can certainly provide countless benefits, but they can also hurt your job hunt and even hinder your professional advancement.

You are what you post…

The profile you put out there is exactly how you are perceived. In the world of social media, perception is reality.

Think of the last time you posted a status update or tweet. You may have thought that only your friends would be interested in seeing what you post, but did you know that many companies include a social media check-in as part of their reference and background screening practices? At the very least, the hiring manager often makes an effort to “check out” their potential new hire.

That said, if you are on the job hunt or have plans for professional movement in the future, the obvious things are for you to polish up your resume and LinkedIn profile. It may be time for you to think about your social profiles and the image you present to the world. In my personal experience recruiting and hiring over the years, I’ve seen all sorts of crazy things that candidates have posted that can sabotage their job hunt.

These are the top 5 mistakes job seekers make all the time.

1.) Overly political, aggressive, or divisive posts (can’t we all just get along!?)

It’s been a tough few years on the political spectrum, and our country has undoubtedly felt divided at times. We all have our opinions but being very aggressive, accusatory, or overly political- especially in a negative manner- just isn’t good. No one wants to read those posts- Not your friends and certainly not your co-workers or futures boss.

Instead of the aggressive, divisive, and hateful posts, we can each do our part to create a social media presence of equality and inclusion.❤️

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2.) Vulgar or sexually explicit posts

Do I even have to explain? Well, apparently, yes. I know that right now, it’s all about being a badass or a kickass in the business world but seriously, enough already. We get it; you’re amazing, but trust me, leave the profanity and overly explicit posts out of your public profile. If it’s not something you want your grandmother, pastor, child, or future employer to see, don’t put it out there or just make it private.

3.) Partying / drinking / wild and crazy nights out

So, you want to go out and have fun with your friends, tag everyone you know, and see your social status climb! I get it! I enjoy my wine, some nights more than others. 😉 There’s nothing wrong with that now and then, but if you’ve done it all the time, especially throughout the work week or even alcohol during the workday while referencing calling out, you may not have a job left to play hooky from!

4.) Complaining about your boss, co-workers, or employer

We all have rough days and get frustrated, but it’s essential to keep it in perspective. Scrolling through a candidate profile and seeing how much they hate their boss or how they can’t stand the company they work for won’t make anyone want to hire you. I promise.

5.) Non-work related posts while you are at work

You’ve joined a side hustle and want to earn that passive income by sharing online, then sharing again, then again and again. All during the 9-5 when you are technically working for another employer.

Or, you open Facebook for a quick check and get sucked into that funny cat or food prep videos, and you just want to share, and share, and share again.

Or, you’re obsessed with that new .io game and can’t stop playing. Little do you know that your score is repeatedly getting posted as a status update with each game. Oops!

This all just looks bad. Moderation is key. While at work, focus on your work. Also, just so you know, posting and working your side hustle during the paid time from your current employer, or working that side hustle on their company-issued equipment, may be considered theft and can be grounds for termination or a breach of any employment agreements.

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Polish up those profiles, stat!

Social Media has become one of the best ways we can share information and connect. We open the door for everyone to see, but no “delete” feature erases a post forever. Many employers will check out your social media profiles to get a better idea of who you are. Make sure those public profiles align with your professional goals!

Top 3 mistakes millennials make to sabotage landing their dream job.

Hey, millennials! In my last blog posts, I spoke about hiring millennials and keeping them in the workplace. This blog post is all about you all!

While working here at Hire Ventures, I have been focused on the marketing the recruiting side of the business. Its involved scheduling posts on Facebook, creating new content for the website and looking at So. Many. Resumes! In Robin and I’s experience reviewing resumes, we have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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It’s honestly strange how even strong candidates can make mistakes that can hurt chances at landing their dream job.

Millennials, as we all know, have specific characteristics that are unique to their generation. I’ve put together the top 3 mistakes I’ve seen millennials do when applying for a new position (but trust me, non-millennials make these mistakes too!)

Not reading the job descriptionTwo *beloved* characteristics of the millennial generation are that they are both attention-seeking and multitaskers. Some might think that their little experience should constitute a senior-level position. Trust me, it doesn’t! My advice, READ the job requirements and make sure your resume reflects that you can succeed in that job.

Crazy and unprofessional social media: Let’s think back to your freshman year of college. Odds are, you posted an unflattering picture on Facebook. It’s not shocking, so don’t feel bad. We’ve all have our bad days. Now let’s think about who we would want to see that terrible picture. When posting pictures today, you may want to consider pressing delete because the odds are your future boss will see that picture and may judge you. Don’t wait a week to take them down. If you post something that you wouldn’t want a future boss from seeing, make it private, or just don’t post it! Lastly, please, make sure your public posts don’t contain curse words, boss-bashing statements, or things that could be considered questionable in a professional workplace. 

You may be thinking, “what if I’m already past that point and I have a bunch of bad, embarrassing posts?” In this case, I would recommend doing some spring cleaning on your social media accounts – paying attention to what is viewable from the public. Your future self will thank you!

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Bad resumesMost colleges today require students to take a course on how to craft their resumes. Believe it or not, the way your resume looks and the way it’s written does truly matter! For the appearance, make sure you are considering the job or field you are in. A corporate accounting resume is going to look very different from a creative graphic designer’s. Your resume is often the first introduction of yourself, so make sure you spend the time and effort making sure your resume is on point. As for the experience section, a hiring manager will be discouraged if they see a candidate who has had many jobs within a short time period (unless they are jobs while in school). I’ve learned this is called being a “job-hopper” and doesn’t look good. If you’ve had lots of jobs, clarify your reason for leaving or if the job was seasonal or an internship during school. Make it easy for the hiring manager or recruiter to understand your job changes and assure them you’ll be a solid employee that they can count on!

Looking for jobs in this day and age can be difficult. Trust me, I know from first-hand experience. These basic mistakes are factors that make getting a job more difficult but are easy to fix! Clean up your social presence, update your resume & be serious about your job applications, and you’ll land your dream job in no time!

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