10 Skills that Baby Boomers can Learn from Gen Y

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While Generation Y is sometimes criticized for having a sense of entitlement and a less than stellar work ethic, this generation may bring more to their careers than you think. If you are part of the Baby Boomer generation, you might want to pay attention and take notes. Here are 10 skills that you could learn from Gen Y:

    1. Multi-tasking. Though you may be irked when you see a Gen Y-er downing her lunch while discussing social media trends via FaceTime[i] on her smartphone and simultaneously tapping away on her iPad, you should admire her ability to accomplish multiple tasks at the same time. As a baby boomer, you could try and do the same for a day. See if you are able to boost productivity and save time.
    2. Speaking of productivity . . . Gen Y doesn’t seem to experience ‘information overload’ since they don’t appear to feel it. They were typically brought up tapping away on a computer and using the Internet so it’s no big deal for them to crowdsource while making the most of social media sites, too. Combined with multi-tasking and working anywhere—like in coffee shops, home offices, or planes—productivity could make them vital team players.
    3. Connectivity. Gen Y is connected—whether on LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook or Twitter. They often take social media to the next level and make the most of it by networking professionally. For example, they might send an invite to connect on LinkedIn right after introducing themselves to a new employee at a meeting.
    4. Reaching out. Gen Yers don’t seem to be intimidated when connecting with top executives in their company. While Baby Boomers might see these moves as brazen, Gen Y workers may view it as effective networking which could help their careers down the road.
    5. Job mobility. Baby Boomers may not feel comfortable with Gen Y and their job hopping. However, Gen Y doesn’t seem to view moving to the next employer negatively. Instead, they recognize that many people could be laid off without any forewarning and they take whatever opportunities present themselves to enhance their career skills.
    6. Smartphone love. Gen Y apparently loves smartphones. This tool is one which allows them them to multi-task while waiting at the doctor’s office or when they are standing in line to be seated at a restaurant. Multi-tasking may mean increased productivity since Gen Yers don’t seem to mind accessing the Internet at all hours or when they have a few spare minutes.
    7. Communication. Since Gen Y appears to have grown up on the Internet and is comfortable writing online, their communication skills may be more effective in reaching larger audiences. Baby Boomers could get more involved with online communication by beginning a blog and publishing their articles to their readers. This way, they may gain more practice writing for groups and become more comfortable receiving feedback in the form of comments on the blog site.
    8. Job resilience. Gen Y often makes the most of entrepreneurship to provide themselves with a job safety net. They might start a new business in their parents’ garages or their childhood bedrooms. They might view their careers as more than just paychecks and, by coming up with Plan Bs, they could be creating safety nets in case they get laid off unexpectedly.
    9. The environment. Gen Y seems more concerned about the environment. They could find it more important than a Baby Boomer to work in a green setting and in an office that incorporates green energy use.
    10. Diversity. Gen Y-ers appear to be more comfortable working with other people from different cultures and backgrounds than Baby Boomers. They do not appear as phased by fellow employees or clients with diverse ethnicities.

If you are a Baby Boomer, maybe it’s time to stop and take a hard look at how you could benefit from incorporating some of Gen Y’s helpful work practices into your own career. You may be surprised by positive results.

About the Author: Written by Mandy Fricke and edited by Laura Morrison. To learn more about online programs, click here.

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How To Ensure Qualified Candidates Sign The Offer Letter?

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5 Essential Lessons for Recruiters Who Are Eager to Fill More Positions

Are you a recruiter who’s battling to find new employees to fill position after position?

A staggering 3.8 million open jobs are up for grabs, yet 70 percent of hiring decision-makers say it now takes longer to find a qualified candidate to fill these roles, according to a new Aerotek report, Retain or Recruit. In July 2009, it took an average time of 15.4 days to fill a position, and by December 2012, the average had risen to 23 days.

So what can you do to reduce the time it takes to find the ideal candidate and retain them once you’ve got them?

1. Make an offer they can’t refuse

Retain or Recruit found three out of five employees would leave their current role for a competitive offer.

That doesn’t necessarily mean offering more money, although that definitely makes an offer competitive. It could also mean offering wider and more comprehensive benefits, more vacation leave or opportunities for travel abroad. It’s worth taking the time to find out exactly what job candidates are looking for.

2. Tempt candidates with training

Of the employees who were not likely to be tempted by a more competitive offer, the prospect of employee training and development was enough to make them consider the option.

It’s not always about more money in the bank; young professionals in particular often prioritize their long-term personal and professional growth. That’s why another way of hooking them isputting your money where your mouth is and offering to…

3. Provide the training

While every single one of the hiring decision-makers surveyed agreed training is important, only half have a formal employee engagement program focused on employee development. Worse, a third don’t have a training program and don’t plan to have one.

Opportunity for growth is essential for GenY workers, so why not think about setting up a program or two?

4. Team up

“But I haven’t got time,” you’re probably screaming at the screen. It’s true that investing in training and development programs will cost you time as well as money, but it’s likely to pay dividends in the long run.

By identifying partners that can alleviate the time spent locating and interviewing candidates, you can use this time to focus on training and developing the employees you already have. Not only will it keep them happy and engaged; it’ll make your offer all the more tantalizing to potential recruits.

5. Manage your expectations

When it comes to new hires, one third of hiring managers expect more from the new kids in the office, despite half of respondents saying they have less time to train new employees.

You can’t have it both ways! Yes, you should expect your new recruits to be ready for action, but if you don’t invest in developing their skills and inspiring them professionally, you can’t expect this to happen overnight, if at all.

Bear in mind that graduates may not have extensive experience in the workplace, but they are fresh, hungry and keen to learn, so capitalize on this enthusiasm and make use of it!

About the AuthorAmy Noble is a freelance writer, copy editor, proofreader and general grammar-obsessive living in London, England.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Brazen Life. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!

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Employers: 7 Ways To Prepare for an Interview

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Hopeful job applicants know it takes skill and preparation to nail an interview. They research the company, practice the most unexpected questions and stress over what outfit will make them look both professional and likeable. A substantial amount of time and energy is put into the job before they even know if they will get an offer.

In contrast, many employers don’t go to the same lengths to prepare themselves for conducting the interview. Though it may seem to be an unnecessary use of skill and time, employers who are unprepared can send top talent walking right out the door.

According to new research, more than three-fourths of candidates would turn down a job offer due to a bad interview experience. It’s their first face-to-face interaction with a company, which makes it all the more important to create a positive impression. It’s about more than just creating a pleasant interview experience for the candidate — preparation ensures employers obtain the information they need to choose the best person for the job and reinforces a positive brand.

Here are seven ways every employer should prepare for an interview.

1. Pre-Screen Candidates

Pre-screening job applicants is a critical part of interview preparation. Before you sit down with a candidate, you want to be sure they possess the most important and non-negotiable qualities needed for the job. Such qualities might include a particular level of education or years of experience you just can’t budge on. Even if this is explicitly stated in the job listing, unqualified applicants will still apply. The pre-screening process gives you the chance to weed out the obvious no’s before offering them an interview.

2. (Really) Read their Resumes

One of the most basic ways to prepare for an interview is to closely read the candidate’s resume and cover letter. Still, many employers won’t dedicate more than a few minutes to this task — in fact, the average employer spends just 30 seconds scanning these materials.

Reading a resume on the spot doesn’t provide nearly enough time to absorb the information and do a little fact checking if needed. It also wastes valuable interview time because it promotes using canned questions rather than those tailored to the individual candidate’s experience and unique qualities. Employers should thoroughly read each resume in preparation for the interview and use the research to spark tailored interview questions. Candidates will be able to tell if you’ve familiarized yourself with their information or not.

3. Identify Key Questions

It requires skill to prepare for an interview while still leaving flexibility for the conversation to develop naturally. Candidates don’t want to be asked pre-formatted questions in rapid fire succession, but the interview needs to begin with some structure and planning.

As mentioned above, employers should use the resume and cover letter to identify a short list of key questions that should be asked during the interview, each tailored to the candidate. Just as much as a candidate can freeze on the spot, and interviewer can also encounter a mental block and forget to ask critical questions about past experience or skills. Adequate preparation provides organization and consistency across all interviews.

4. Search for Skeletons

One out of every ten candidates is rejected because of unacceptable use of social media. In preparation for an interview, be sure to check up on your candidates’ social media activity with a quick Google search.

This will help to uncover any skeletons in the closet and and give the candidate the opportunity to address and refute the negative representation. This isn’t something you want to be blind-sided with later on, so don’t turn a blind eye to it during the interview process.

5. Be Familiar with the job Description

It can take months between developing a job description to hiring a candidate to fill the role. This leaves much time to blur the focus of the core responsibilities of the job you’re trying to fill before the interview takes place. Employers should brush up on the job description before entering an interview, and have it on hand during the meeting. This will help to tailor questions to the information that’s most important for this particular role.

6. Prepare Candidates

Failing to prepare the candidate is one of the biggest mistakes employers make before an interview. You’re wasting both the candidate’s time and yours if you don’t explicitly express your expectations of the interview process. Should the candidate bring a paper portfolio? Will a grammar test be required? Do you expect formal or casual dress? Will three people be interviewing the candidate or just one? Is a group interview required?

Think about it: students score best on an exam when they’re informed of the specific information teachers expect them to have prepared. An interview is no different — it’s most effective when candidates are informed of your expectations in advance.

7. Test Their Listening Skills

Listening skills and attention to detail are among the most important qualities of any candidate. While many list these soft skills on their resume, employers should put them to the test prior to conducting an interview.

Test your candidates’ listening skills by asking them to complete a simple task with very specific directions. Maybe you ask them to include a certain subject line in an email or to address the cover letter to someone specific. If candidates fail to follow these simple instructions, it’s a clear indicator that they do not possess the highest level of listening skills or attention to detail.

Employers who prepare prior to conducting an interview reap many benefits. They are able to extract the most important information from job applicants and create a professional first impression of the company. Ultimately, a prepared interviewer will be able to choose the top candidate for the job with clarity and certainty, making it a worthy investment of both skill and time.

Employers, how do you prepare for the interview process? Candidates, how can you tell if your interviewer is prepared?

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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Recruitment Software: Why It Doesn’t Pick the Top Candidates

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Recruitment software and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are must-haves in today’s recruitment world. We rely on technology to increase efficiency in nearly all other aspects of our lives, so it only makes sense that we now have software to automate recruitment tracking by handling job applications and resumes electronically.

Using an online recruitment system or ATS allows companies to better organize and streamline the hiring process. But while recruitment software is designed to help save time, reduce errors and ensure proper tracking, it is still unable to perform the single most critical part of the hiring process — picking the top candidate. Technology can only take us so far. In the end, the hiring process will always require a human element to pull the most qualified candidate from a stack of applications.

Email applications still carry an advantage over recruitment software and ATS. They require personal interaction from both sides throughout the entire hiring process. While accepting email applications requires additional time and organization from the employer, in the end, it helps you to more easily pick the top candidate for the job. Employers and candidates alike should take note of the following limitations of recruitment software and ATS:

They act as a funnel

Each new job posting will trigger an average of 1,000 resumes submitted. That is a staggering amount of paperwork, especially if you’re hiring for multiple positions at any particular time.

Recruitment software and ATS act like a funnel, taking in a large amount of applications in the beginning, but quickly narrowing them down to a mere few. This may sound great, but the limitation lies in the software’s ability to accurately determine what qualities and soft skills would make a candidate the best suited for the job. As a result, you end up eliminating qualified applicants who may not have used the exact words or descriptions the system was looking for, sending good talent right out the door.

They force candidates into boxes

People aren’t made to fit inside boxes, and their resumes don’t translate well into such rigid form fields, either. An online recruitment system breaks down the information on an application and organizes it into different “buckets.” If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t get recorded, and it is never seen by the employer for consideration.

Sometimes the most unexpected information on a resume is the hidden gem that really makes a candidate stand out. For example, maybe a candidate is a certified yoga instructor or holds a national title in chess, but they’re applying for a marketing job. Holding a title in chess displays critical thinking skills, and being a yoga instructor shows the candidate works well with others. But if ATS don’t know to look for these words and identify them as valuable skill sets, they’re sure to be overlooked. One of the most important components to bring to the hiring process is an open mind. ATS do quite the opposite. They use a set of blinders to only focus on the exact keywords that have been pre-established.

They lack the human element

Many of the limitations of online recruitment system is is lack of human interaction. Nearly three-quarters of resumes will never be seen by human eyes.

In order to choose the best person for the job, candidates need to be evaluated much more personally. This is yet another reason why recruitment technology will never be able to fully replace the human element within the hiring process. A computer will tell you who looks best on paper, but only you can decide who possesses the interpersonal skills and personality that makes them the right fit for your company.

They encourage candidates to play the system

When it comes to applying for a new position, the emphasis has shifted. Candidates now want to know how to carefully craft an application that avoids recruitment software and ATS pitfalls. Learning how to “play the system” has taken precedence over simply submitting the most positive, honest representation of yourself.

Worse yet, ATS reward such tactics by bumping candidates with phony, keyword-laden resumes to the top of the stack, regardless of whether they are truly the most qualified. This is yet one more reason why recruitment software doesn’t pick the top candidate.

They discourage great candidates from applying

We can’t overlook the limitations of recruitment software and ATS that so many companies rely on for their hiring process. Sure, they make accepting and sorting applications a breeze, but
picking the top candidate is a subjective decision that no amount of technology can accurately automate. This will always remain up to the employer. Hopeful applicants should also be concerned with these limitations, as they affect whether their resume ever makes it before human eyes.

In the HR world, the hands-on approach still proves to be the most accurate. Stay involved in the hiring process and don’t rely on recruitment software to make one of the most critical decisions for your company!

What do you think? What limitations have you experienced using an online recruitment system as either an employer or a candidate?


About the Author:
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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7 Ways to Improve Job Ad Response Rates

7 Ways to Improve Job Ad Response Rates

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Your company may be doing amazing things for your industry, but are your job ads reflecting your awesomeness?

Too often, companies hash out quick job ads with little care as to how it translates to the job seeker. Is the ad telling a compelling story? Does it attract the type of worker you want to see apply? Is it visually appealing?

In the Internet age, advertisements are everywhere, leaving plenty of job seekers to be disillusioned with or untrusting of this medium. Companies looking to ramp up their recruitment process need to pay careful attention to the specifics of their paid job ads.

Here are seven ways to improve your ads and attract the best job seekers for your company:

1. Remember AIDA

AIDA is a selling format used by marketers and advertisers to describe what should occur when a person views an ad: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. Keep this in mind when writing your job ad. First, get the job seeker’s attention with great branding and compelling copy. Create interest by establishing your company’s relevance, and foster a desire to join the team. Finally, compel the job seeker to take action by applying.

2. Don’t overbrand

Your brand should be present in the job ad, but not overbearing or distracting. This is particularly true if you’re a small or medium-sized company. You want to include your company logo and colors, but keep the focus on the job seeker and the open position.

3. Ensure your ad copy is professional

Avoid too many exclamation points and skip the sensationalism. You want your open position to appear compelling and exciting without being a downright lie. Don’t fool job seekers into thinking your company or open position is something it’s not — you’ll attract the wrong candidates, and your company will suffer as a result.

— Post Jobs for Free at Doostang.com/hiring


4. Think simple

Ensure the text of your online job ad is clear and readable on any browser. Ensure you’re not over-explaining the position — pick out the key points, and keep the description simple. Too many words will bog down the ad and make job seekers lose interest.

5. Avoid over-designing

Your ad should be visually appealing and draw the reader’s eye, but resist the urge to ad fancy fonts, bright colors, or patterned backgrounds. You want to draw the job seeker in and keep their interest, not throw them off with harsh or distracting visuals.

6. Keep the focus on the job seeker

Your ad doesn’t have to include a full list of benefits and job responsibilities — you can link to a more detailed description on your company website. Keep the focus on the person and how they’ll benefit from the position. This shows your company is focused on worker needs first — an attractive element for any job seeker looking for fulfilling work.

7. Include key points

Key information to include in a job ad: a job title, the employer or recruitment agency, location, a concise employer and job role description, and an outline of the ideal candidate. But don’t be afraid to get creative — you can keep your ad even simpler by adding a catchy headline and including a few short sentences to get click-throughs to your company website. Be careful with this strategy, and make sure to run it through a few eyes or a focus group first to gauge what works.

Job ad responses can be tough to gather. Keep your copy concise and your visuals compelling, and you’ll attract the right job seekers in no time.

— Post Jobs for Free at Doostang.com/hiring —

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

 

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How to Keep the Great Candidate You Just Hired

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It’s a problem you may have faced at one point or another: You hire a great candidate, only to have them cut and run months into the position. On paper, and subsequently in person, they may have seemed like a good fit. However, the feeling was apparently not mutual.

The loss of a great employee shortly after they’re hired goes beyond face value. In fact, it may affect your bottom line: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports employee turnover can cost anywhere from 30 to 200 percent of a worker’s annual salary. Overall, turnover costs the U.S. economy an estimated $5 trillion annually. How’s that for a wakeup call?

While quick turnover does happen, it can be prevented — especially if you onboard your new employees in the right way. Here’s how to keep them on your side:

Have an onboarding strategy

You need to have an onboarding plan in place long before your new employee’s first day. This plan should have a few important factors like company mission and goals, organizational culture, team dynamics, descriptions of individual roles, vital HR policies, and points of contact.

Another strategy to consider is to pair your new employee up with a seasoned veteran. This person can show the new team member the ropes of the organization, as well as how they can succeed in the position once they are settled. Your new employee will appreciate having an open door for any questions they may have.

Be transparent

Want to engage your employees while they transition into a new workplace? Be transparent. Don’t keep anything from them, like important policies or more efficient ways to perform tasks. Failure to do so not only makes their job harder, it can also make them feel unwanted or unwelcomed.

An easy way to be transparent is have regular meetings with your new hire, especially during the first few months. These meetings will allow you to talk about their progress, what they are doing right, and what they can improve upon. This may also make the employee feel more connected to their role because they get feedback on how they’re doing in real-time.

Help them grow

If you want to retain employees, you have to keep them in-tune with industry happenings. Professional development opportunities are a great way to help your workers to grow, because they provide employees with key knowledge that they may not have been aware of otherwise. Plus, it’s what employees want: A SHRM report found that, above all, candidates look for opportunities for growth and professional development when applying for jobs.

Professional development doesn’t have to mean sending your employees to expensive conferences across the country (though this is a great option if you can afford it!) You can hone their skills closer to home by enrolling them in industry classes, providing reading material, allowing them to use new software, or setting up a mentor program. While many of these options require a financial investment, professional development opportunities will help new workers to feel knowledgeable and grow in their roles, which directly contributes to the success of your organization.

Keep your promises

During the hiring process, you may have spoken to the candidate about a typical day for someone in the role. Maybe you also noted perks, promotional opportunities, bonuses, or even the advantages of working for your company instead of the competition. But come onboarding time, these promises actually need to be kept.

Think of it this way: If a client or your boss said they’d do something, but then continuously pulled the rug from under you, you’d be disappointed, right? Eventually, you’d probably check out and find something that has more follow-through, especially when it comes to improving yourself professionally. The same goes for a new hire. Keeping organizational promises gives employees the assurance that you care about them because you’re able to take the necessary steps for engagement and retention.

Retaining great candidates doesn’t have to be a chore. In the end, having an onboarding strategy, being transparent, providing development opportunities, and keeping your promises will help you to retain key players and maintain a thriving organization.

What do you think? How do you retain great candidates you’ve just hired?

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

 

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Survey Shows Promise for Women Seeking Top Careers in Finance while Men Still Dominate

Promise for Women Seeking Top Finance Careers

Some intriguing highlights from a new survey of chief financial officers were released in advance of the October 2013 Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) Annual Conference held in Indianapolis. One of the key findings shared was that many CFOs believe there are more career opportunities for women in finance and accounting than ten years ago.

The survey was conducted by staffing firm Robert Half,® and results were based on interviews with 2,100 CFOs from “a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. markets.”1

Improvement in the Past 10 Years Seen by 42 Percent

Specifically, the firm asked CFOs, “Compared to 10 years ago, in general, are there more or fewer opportunities for women to advance through the ranks in accounting and finance?”1

The responses broke down as follows:

Significantly more: 12 percent

Somewhat more: 30 percent

No change: 53 percent

Somewhat fewer: 3 percent

Significantly fewer: 1 percent

Don’t know: 2 percent

(Responses total more than 100 percent due to rounding.)1

Based on these results, 42 percent agreed that growth opportunities for women seeking an accounting or finance career have improved in the past 10 years. While this news is positive, more than half of the CFOs surveyed have seen NO change. Therefore, it seems as though women have a way to go before closing the gap on the number of high-level positions held in the finance and other industries vs. men.

Men Still Earn More than Women

It’s no secret that across all industries, men still earn more money than women. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men – and this number hasn’t budged in the past decade.2

Women are also under-represented in top-level positions and partnerships at accounting firms, according to research conducted by the American Institute for CPAs (AICPA). Only 19 percent of partners in CPA firms are women. This is a 2 percent decrease from the 21 percent reported in 2011.3

New Grad Finance Opportunities Abound for Both Sexes

While the struggling economy has made it difficult for many new graduates to find work in their chosen fields, recent finance and accounting graduates have plenty of opportunities to consider.

Recruiters in the finance and accounting industry are always looking for good talent – both for entry-level finance jobs and for positions that require more experience. It all depends on what you want to do, whom you want to work for and where.

If you’re willing to take a position at a smaller, private firm you could have an easier time finding that first or second job. On the other hand, if you aspire to work for one of the larger, elite firms – you will need to work hard to differentiate yourself from other candidates.

Where you attended school, which degrees and certifications you have acquired, your grades – these things are all important. But the competition for the best entry-level accounting jobs and finance gigs is stiff. Focusing on areas of specialty; finding great mentors; and building and working your professional network all need your attention if you want to rise to the top.

At Doostang, we are committed to helping you stand out from the competition.  To find out how we have helped other candidates land the accounting and finance positions they were striving for, check out Doostang success stories. To learn more about our services and process, visit our website and sign up today.

Photo Source: Shutterstock

Sources:

1. “Career Paths Improving for Women In Finance And Accounting,” (press release). Menlo Park, Calif.: Robert Half® Finance & Accounting; Oct. 15, 2013. Available at http://rhfa.mediaroom.com/women-finance-accounting-career-paths. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.

2. Adams S. “Are Women Catching Up in Pay?” Forbes website, www.forbes.com.; April 9, 2013. Available at http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/04/09/are-women-catching-up-in-pay/. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.

3. El-Ramly, Y. CPA/CITP. “Women’s initiatives: A strategic advantage.” Journal of Accountancy website, www.journalofaccountancy.com; September 2013. Available at http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2013/Sep/20137820.htm. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.

 

 

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Why are Millennials Prone to Job Hopping?

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Millennials Breaking the Mold

In a recent survey by Beyond.com, statistics show how costly it is to retain and fire a Millennial employee. This has become an issue for employers because more and more Millennials are focusing on dream careers, rather than the opportunities they currently have.

The mold created by Millennials is causing them to have a hard time committing to a single job. Generation Y is all over the place with regard to their careers because they continue to search for opportunities to get one step closer to their dream job. However, it’s time for Generation Y to break the mold and start focusing on what’s truly important in their careers.

Search for jobs that aren’t necessarily your dream job. 

Hopefully, this doesn’t sound crazy to you GenY professionals. A lot of Millennials are anxious to begin their careers, hoping they’ll land their dream job after college. However, it’s important to remember you can’t find your dream job overnight. This is why you need to search for jobs based on what you want to gain from your career, not the type of company or position that would feel like a dream come true. Sure, everyone wants the opportunity to work for Google or Apple; however, when you build up your dream job in your mind, it’s easy to overlook amazing opportunities that come your way each day.

Find companies that fit your career path.

If you’re looking to advance in your career, then you should definitely look for jobs with companies that allow room for growth. You don’t want to find yourself switching jobs every other year because you’re working for companies where you cannot advance your career. It’s very important to be thoughtful when accepting job offers. You want to make sure you find a position where you can develop your career and continue to learn new skills. Generation Y often falls into the trap of searching for the next best thing, often overlooking opportunities with great companies. However, when you focus more on your career goals rather than your dream career, you can find a company that offers you a very rewarding experience.

Be flexible and open to new opportunities. 

You never know when a door will open for you to advance in your career. This is why it’s very important for you to have a flexible attitude with your current job. Generation Y tends to focus heavily on their path to a dream job, which causes them to miss out on opportunities that fall into their hands. If you happen to be offered to take on a new project or even move to a new department in your company, have an open mind. Try to embrace this type of change because you never know where the opportunity could take you down the road in your career.

Know your value before you act quickly. 

Generation Y often gets a bad reputation because some Millennials have the tendency to think highly of themselves and their talents. Whether you are fresh out of college or you’ve been in the workforce for five years, it’s important to know your value as a professional. Your value depends greatly on the experience you have and the strength of your skills. So, before you jump the gun by thinking you deserve an amazing position at any company, make sure you have the credentials to support your expertise.

Employers definitely benefit from the knowledge and experience of Generation Y. However, as a Millennial, it’s important for you to not feel overly-confident because of this. Break the Millennial mold by being open-minded and flexible in your career path. It’s okay to not always have a strong emphasis on finding your dream job. If you are currently employed, see what opportunities are available within your company before moving on. Sometimes, all you need is a positive attitude and an open mind to lead you down a successful career path.

What ways do you think Millennials are breaking the mold in their careers? 

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Come Recommended.

 

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6 Ways to Weed the Best Job Candidates From the Rest

 

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There are more candidates out in the job market than ever before. For every one job opening there are three unemployed people looking for work. So it shouldn’t be surprising that, on average, you’ll receive about 250 resumes for every open corporate job posting.

This is certainly a lot of talent to sort through, and obviously not everyone is going to be right for the job. Weeding the best from the rest can often feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack, except this needle is important for your company’s survival.

Here are a few simple ways to cut down on your candidate pool and separate the job seeking superstars from the office duds:

Include Application Instructions

A great way to do a little preliminary pruning in the early stages of the hiring process is to include application instructions in your job description. This can be as simple as instructing job seekers to include a certain phrase in the subject line of an email or requesting the candidate provide a salary range. What application instructions are really for, however, is to weed out candidates who aren’t detail oriented.

The candidates who ignore your instructions might be the same people applying to dozens of jobs at once. They’re not excited about the position, they’re just looking for any job at all and wallpapering their resume around cyberspace. You’re looking for more than a warm body in your office — you’re looking for your company’s next superstar hire. Someone who can’t even follow your simple application instructions is probably not the right talent for your position.

Ask For A Work Portfolio

Depending on the position and your industry, a work portfolio can give you a great idea of the candidate’s actual skill level. Showing off the goods can be a great way to evaluate everyone from writers to marketers to tech wizards to graphic designers.

The best part of requesting work samples is that it helps you save time in the preliminary steps of the hiring process. If you’re not impressed by the work sent along, most likely you won’t be overly impressed by the work done in the office. Keep in mind candidates sending their work portfolios are passing along their best work. If you’re not blown away, it might be smart to move on to the next talented candidate.

Check Out Social Media

Social channels are a great way to gauge the personality and professionalism of the candidates applying for your open positions. Look at their pubic social media accounts to see how they communicate with others and present themselves. If they’re sharing inappropriate messages and pictures, perhaps the candidate doesn’t have the level of professionalism you need in your organization.

Ask The Right Questions…

If you’re past the preliminary stages and you’ve whittled down your list of candidate to the best and brightest, it’s time to start thinking about the interview. While 92 percent of job seekers are scared about some aspect of the interview process, you know the interview is the best time to connect personally with candidates and see what they’re made of.

You need to think critically about the questions you ask in the interview process. You don’t want to ask too many cookie-cutter questions, or you’ll end up with well-rehearsed answers that ultimately tell you little about the candidate. Instead, ask situational questions about the candidate’s previous employer and working style.

For example, ask about your candidate’s proudest accomplishment, their biggest mistake and how they work in a team environment. The answers to these questions will give you insight into how the applicant works under pressure and solves problems.

…But Don’t Get Too Wacky

Every year a list of the wackiest and most oddball interview questions is compiled, and huge companies from Amazon to Google appear with some truly strange questions. But are these brainteasers actually useful in determining the best candidates? The answer to that question is far from determined.

Google, one of the earliest proponents of the weird brainteaser questions, has actually abandoned the practice. Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, told the New York Times, “On the hiring side, we found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time.”

You need to know if job applicants can work well in your company culture and do the job at hand, not whether they know how many golf balls would fit into a commercial airplane. While you’re focusing on outside-the-box questions to avoid by-the-book answers, make sure your interview questions still give you insight into how the candidate would fit into your company and how well they could perform job functions.

Look For Passion

Perhaps the most important thing to look for while evaluating job seekers is sincere passion for your industry, company or the position in question. If you find someone with genuine motivation and passion for the job, you’ll be hiring someone willing to work hard and bring real value to your company. You’ll also be hiring an employee likely to stick around for the long haul, reducing costly employee turnover for your organization.

Separating the superstars from your packed stack of resumes is far from easy. If you utilize some of these simple tips, however, you can weed out the very best for your open positions.

What do you think? What are some ways you weed out applicants and find the very best? Share in the comments!

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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