Why Google+ Works Great for Recruiting

Most people know Google+ as another social network for individuals to connect with friends and companies to connect with customers. However, many colleges and universities know Google+ to work well in a different way—a great tool for recruiting.

 

The website Mashable recently found that many universities are using the networking tool as an opportunity to create an entire page based upon what their school can do for a particular student. This therefore works in the favor of the students just the same because it will save them time. Considering where you want to go to school for four years is a tough decision, so it’s nice to be able to go to one place and get all the answers. While some may argue that this is the job of a school website, I think many would agree that young people today feel comfortable using social networks. They are already on Google+ with their friends, so they will be more apt to check out a college or university while they’re there.

This led me to wonder: Should businesses be doing the same thing with Google+? While Facebook and Twitter are great places to promote deals and connect with potential customers, they are rarely dedicated to recruitment. Being that Google+ is so new, should businesses use it as a recruiting tool? It has worked for over 150 colleges and universities, so this may be something your business wants to consider.

Below lists a few ways your company can follow the model of these colleges and universities Google+ pages to recruit the best talent possible:

Follow By Example

  • Highlight the achievements of former employees and current employees.

This is a great way for a small business to grab new talent. If some of your former employees went on to have great careers, even if it wasn’t with your company, you could sway some of those young graduates your way. While you likely highlight your achievements on your current social platforms, they can be hard to find through all of the other announcements going up on your “wall.”

  • Let prospective employees know where your company is headed.

This works great for companies who are growing. Most people want to work for a company that has the potential to grow, so if you’re company fits into this category it is important to make it known. Consider posting videos or speeches that discuss where your company plans to be in the next five years and how it plans to get there. This could sway anyone looking to get in on the ground floor. For example, if you’re a company in the business of selling paper you may want to let others know that soon you will also be selling business phone systems and printers (The Office fans anyone?).

  • Give those interested a look into the day to day routine of your current employees.

Colleges and universities use the site to showcase the campus lifestyle, and your company can to the same. Some things never change—if you are thinking about going to a school, you want to know what it’s really like each and every day; if you’re thinking about taking a job, you want to know the daily routine.

  • Let prospective candidates know where their hard work will lead

Use Google+ to let everyone know why your company is worthwhile. What do you do to help the public and/or the community? Are you just a telemarketing company, or a telemarking company with something to say? You will want to highlight what you have to offer an individual who works for you, but also let people know what you have to offer others.

Google+ has worked great for colleges and universities, and there is no reason it shouldn’t work just as well for companies. You already have your Facebook page to promote deals and your Twitter account to connect with customers, so consider using Google+ as a place for recruiting.

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to postage meters. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including credit card processing to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading b2b lead generation resource, Resource Nation.

New Businesses Lacking Job Creation

Now that the U.S. House of Representatives has decided not to extend long-term unemployment benefits past November, job creation is more urgent than ever. But recent statistics suggest that most new businesses are sole proprietorships or very small companies. Thus, new job creation remains elusive.

 

According to research by economists John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin, and Javier Miranda, new businesses are the key source of jobs in America. New businesses steer innovation and increase productivity, raising U.S. living standards in the long run.

While the recession has prompted many people to go into business for themselves, most of those newly created businesses are not the job generating kind. As of late, a large percentage of new businesses have been consultancies to other companies, or E-bay stores which are run by sole proprietors.

Traditionally, easy sources of start-up cash encouraged entrepreneurs to open businesses that quickly expanded by hiring employees. Trends have changed as the credit crisis causes banks to severely reduce credit card and home equity loans. Angel investors and venture-capital firms, previously strong sources of startup funding, have little cash to lend as they attempt to divest themselves of existing companies.

Other factors also inhibit new business creation. The wrangling in the federal government over healthcare leaves business owners unsure about employer responsibilities. They can’t project employee healthcare costs over the next few years. Additionally, tax laws, constantly in flux, leave potential employers wondering whether they will be able to afford to operate a business.

According to Jeffrey Sohl, director of the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, a few fields stand out even in these troubled times. Biotechnology and healthcare draw money from both angel investors and pharmaceutical companies. He also points out that all businesses need less cash investment than they used to, due to rapidly dropping prices of software and hi-tech equipment.

Nonetheless, new businesses, and the new jobs they bring, are rising at a far slower rate than the economy demands.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Chase Reduces Loan Interest Rate for Each New Hire

Chase has apparently decided to do its part to jumpstart the still sluggish American economy by promoting an interesting offer: The bank promises to reduce the interest rate for each new employee that a small business hires.

 

Last week Chase announced that the new program is being offered to business owners willing to undertake a new Chase business credit line of up to $250,000, and to existing customers who seek to increase their line of credit by at least $10,000. The bank promises to reduce a half of a percentage point off the interest rate for each new individual hired (with 3 being the limit). The bank stated that the discount will be valid for the duration of the loan.

Businesses that are Chase checking customers will be eligible for an additional 0.5% point credit-line discount, in addition to the hiring discount. Theoretically, this would mean that small business could reduce their credit-line interest rates by 2 percentage points. Chase calculated that the step would save $4,000 over three years on an outstanding balance of $65,000.

But here’s the rub – only enterprises that qualify for a credit line will be eligible for Chase’s offer, so many companies won’t be able to apply. During the recession many of the leading banks slashed small business lending and Chase was no exception. Nevertheless, Chase claims that during the first quarter of 2010 it loaned $2.1 billion to small businesses, representing a 31% increase in comparison to the corresponding quarter last year.

Despite some signs of recovery, payroll processing firm ADP announced that last month companies employing less than 50 workers laid off an additional 1,000 positions collectively. So it would appear that U.S. businesses are being very cautious – they are choosing not to hire additional personnel despite tax and other incentives.

Is Chase just chasing after some good PR and a little bit of the limelight in these troubled times? It’s a definite possibility.

(Image Credit)

How to Keep Your Employees from Leaving

Throughout the recession, the majority of US companies were laying off employees rather than hiring them. They certainly weren’t worried about employees jumping ship. But as the economy begins to stabilize this situation is changing.

 

Online job search engine, LinkUp.com, reports that there are plenty of job openings out there and that the trend seems to be gaining momentum. The tide seems to be finally turning on the employer’s market. Now employee retention is key.

So how can you keep your employees from leaving. Though you might think that salary is the number one reason why employees quit their jobs, the truth is that most employees are more interested in “sentimental issues” like respect, culture and environment.

Consider the following factors that can affect job satisfaction and job retention:

  • Pay attention to the working conditions. The physical layout of your workspace and the quality of the work-related equipment available to use play a key role in keeping employees happy. Make sure that the office is pleasently decorated and maintained. Even small things, such as applying a fresh coat of paint, can make a difference. Moreover, you can’t expect your employees to take pride in their work if you don’t supply them with the proper tools and equipment to get the job done.

 

  • Create a pleasant corporate culture and working atmosphere. It is important for any business that involves employees to maintain certain values and standards.Establish a clear, written definition of your company’s missions and values, and make sure that your employees are aware of it. A company’s culture encourages employees to take pride in their work.

 

  • Make employee recognition a priority. It is human nature for people to want recognition for their input and hard work. Be sure to acknowledge the achievements of your staff members. By publishing praise in company newsletters or making such announcements at meetings, you are not only encouraging the object of your praise but his peers as well. Many companies hold contests to recognize the best employees in certain areas. Give prizes to the winners. Even something small like a gift certificate for a meal at a restaurant or a movie rental is enough to give your employee an appreciative glow.

 

  • Have an open dialogue with your employees. Your employees need to feel that you value their opinions. Try to have one-on-one meetings with as many of them as you can (depending on the size of your company). If you make an effort to implement some of their suggestions, they will surely feel more connected and loyal to their jobs.

 

  • Offer adequate employee compensation. In order to attract quality employees, keep your base pay competitive within the industry. You can encourage your employees through the use of a performance-based compensation plan. Compensation should be fair to all of your employees. Staff contribution deserves to be justly rewarded.

(Image Credit)

5 Interview Questions Which Will Get You Sued

Everyone knows that discrimination is illegal, but do you know the breadth of questions which are considered discriminatory in employment law? Small businesses often have a harder time in this area, because there is not always a HR (human resources) specialist on staff. Many traditional employment applications that you might be using have questions which are illegal and can ruin your small business in court. Applicants can sue you for compensatory and punitive damages as well as legal fees. If you have any doubt as to the legality of a question/requirement, whether in a job posting, on an application form, or as something you can ask in an interview, consult with an experienced employment attorney. However, these questions are definite NOs.

Don’t ask: When did you graduate high school or college?

This question is illegal because it discriminates in two ways: (a) age – their graduation date will give you an idea of how old they are; (b) minority – minorities may be less likely to graduate. You are also not allowed to ask if they DID graduate.

Instead: “Tell me about your educational background.” “Have you studied this (relevant subject) in a school setting? At what levels?”

Don’t Ask: Is English your native language?

This question is discriminatory against minorities, non-native Americans, and members of the international community with work permits.

Instead: Do you speak English fluently? Or, if the job requires someone to be multi-lingual, “Which languages do you speak proficiently?”

Don’t Ask: Are you a U.S. citizen?

This question discriminates against legal residents and others with work permits.

Instead: Are you legally able to work in the United States?

Don’t Ask: Are you married, have kids, planning to start a family?

These questions are illegal because they discriminate on the basis of gender. They do not have anything to do with the job. There are some lawyers who say that questions regarding children and child care (in terms of ability to work late) are acceptable, providing the same questions are asked of both male and female applicants.

Instead: “Do you have time for a full-time job?” or “Are you available to work overtime?” or “This position requires some travel, are you able to travel?”

Don’t Ask: Are you healthy? or How did you get your injury?

These questions are illegal because they can be discriminatory to those with disabilities.

Instead: “Are you able to fulfill the requirements of this position?”

If the person is visibly handicapped, you may be required to make accomadations to assist them in fulfilling the requirements of the job. The best thing to do is to not bring up the disability at all, and to consult an experienced employment lawyer about what you need to do.

___________________________________________

If you do have specific requirements for a unique job description, your best bet is to use previous work experience as a measure of appropriateness to the position. This will generally allow you to remain “legal”. Questions regarding ability to obtain licenses, etc are acceptable. You should outline the requirements and ask the person if he/she meets them.

No matter what you ask, you need to maintain records which detail why each candidate was rejected or hired. This will provide security in the event of a threatened discrimination lawsuit.

Employment laws are frequently changed and updated, be sure to consult with a lawyer regarding any questions or potential issues.