How to Attract the Best East Texas Employees Part 1 — Identify Key Characteristics

How to Attract the Best East Texas Employees Part 1 -- Identify Key Characteristics

What happens when you combine low unemployment with retiring baby boomers and technology that allows East Texans access to jobs all over the globe? The challenge to attract top talent becomes intense.

Gallup meta-analysis suggests companies that choose the top 20 percent of candidates when it comes to talent have increased productivity, sales and profitability. They also have a significant decrease in turnover and absences. The productivity gap is huge, and it widens as job complexity increases.

That makes sense, but employers wonder how to secure that top 20 percent. The first step isn’t creating a job posting; it’s looking at the characteristics of your current top performers.

5 Characteristics of Top Performers

As soon as you read “top performers,” names probably came to mind. You already know the people at your company who unerringly accomplish more than anyone else. They seem to always make the right decisions, never require hand-holding and encourage others to do the same.

Every position requires a different skill set, and when you’re hiring there are non-negotiable qualifications, certifications and degrees for each. That’s what your employees do.

What we’re talking about here is what your top performers are. When you look at the people whose names popped into your head, you will probably find they share these characteristics:

  • They’re consistent. Top performers consider quality their chief priority every time. They don’t quit because the clock says they can leave. For each task, they seem to have a timeline in their heads for what must be accomplished to deliver superior results, and they always deliver. You can depend on their character as much as their competence.
  • They thrive when challenged. They are willing to take on the toughest assignments because they feel like they can make a difference. They don’t wait for opportunities, they create them. They have the ability to see the big picture for each project, zoom in to understand and solve for every detail, then reframe to evaluate progress.
  • They rely on facts and data, not emotion. They are always looking to expand their knowledge base. They research for work, but they are constantly learning in other areas of their lives as well. While they listen to their instincts in decision making, they also ask probing questions, look at industry best practices and analyze data.
  • They are comfortable with both teamwork and leadership. They have a confident, positive attitude that makes them an asset to any team. Other team members tend to look to them for advice and encouragement. They are comfortable giving and getting feedback. They don’t get defensive when receiving criticism because they see their weaknesses as areas for improvement. They praise others for a job well done and see success as a group effort.
  • They feel company goals align with their personal goals. They recognize that as they help their organization succeed, they’ll have more opportunities for advancement and professional growth. They feel they have a personal stake in helping meet organizational goals that creates a relentless drive.

How to Attract the Best East Texas Employees Part 1 -- Identify Key Characteristics

What High Performers Want in an Employer

Right now you’re probably thinking, “That sounds accurate of my top employees, but people like them are hard to find.” Hiring managers often express frustration saying when they interviewed job candidates, the applicant seemed great, but once hired he or she didn’t perform as expected.

Some performance predictors are role-specific. The characteristics that make a good loan officer don’t necessarily make a good insurance adjuster.

However, just like high quality candidates share a set of characteristics, there are ways they respond to interview questions that indicates their mindset across a range of roles.

Excellent candidates are attracted to companies with similar beliefs and values. They are well qualified for the role, and they say they want the job because it fits what matters to them and what they are best at. In contrast, lower quality candidates say they want the job because it offers the pay, hours or benefits they’re looking for. These things matter to top candidates, but they’re not what excites them most about the position.

Top performers want challenge and opportunity. When you ask potential employees what they enjoy most about their work, they talk about being able to make a difference in peoples’ lives or solve challenges no one else could. Interviewees who aren’t as likely to be top performers might say they enjoyed positive interaction with their co-workers, appreciated their schedule or felt supported by management. Again, top performers appreciate those things, but they thrive when they have a mission.

The best candidates want growth. When you ask what their dream job looks like, they mention the importance of ongoing professional development or opportunities for advancement. Less qualified candidates think more in terms of high income, reduced stress or a position of authority.

Top candidates apply at top companies. They do their research. That doesn’t mean they only apply to large corporations. They’re also interested in small business that shows innovative thinking and strong brand values. When interviewed, they are able to tell what company strengths make them feel it would be a great place to work.

Where to Find the Best East Texas Employees

At Brelsford Personnel, we recognize the process of recruiting, interviewing and hiring top performers is time consuming and expensive. A bad hire is even worse. We evaluate each resume and conduct one-on-one interviews to find the best fit for each position no matter how long that takes. We have many years of experience that allows us to spot those top performers and place them in roles where they thrive. Get in touch to find out more about our process and access the best East Texas job candidates today.

 

8 Characteristics Great Managers Look for in College Grads

8 Characteristics Great Managers Look for in College Grads

Michael Klazema

[Courtesy of Glassdoor.com]

Are college students ready for the challenges of the modern workplace? Many employers say no. A recent survey revealed that only about 50% of managers felt recent graduates were prepared for full-time work. By contrast, 87% of college grads felt they were ready to enter the workforce. These drastically different numbers show that there is a gulf between the expectations of employers and recent graduates. This discrepancy poses challenges for recent grads seeking jobs and for businesses that wish to hire young workers.
No matter which group you fall into, knowing the characteristics that successful managers look for from recent college graduates is beneficial. If you are a hiring manager, keeping an eye on these characteristics can help you identify the cream of the crop. If you are fresh out of college and trying to land your first job, boning up on these hard and soft skills can give you an advantage.

Here are eight characteristics that managers want to see from recent college graduates.

1. Strong writing skills

When PayScale surveyed nearly 64,000 managers for its 2016 survey, 44% of them said recent college graduates lacked proficiency in writing. No other hard skill was mentioned more often. While programming and other tech-related skills are often listed as the most valuable skills a person can have, writing is viewed as a more universal skill. Between emails, proposals, reports, project documents, and memos, even people in non-writing roles need to be able to write. College grads should add a few more writing classes to their schedules if they want to prepare for full-time work. Many managers look at cover letters more to assess writing skills than to learn additional details about a candidate.

2. Public speaking abilities

Written communication skills may be what managers are missing the most in recent college graduates, but verbal communication skills remain important. Just like writing manifests itself in many different fields, public speaking is essential for presentations, meetings with clients and customers, and other professional tasks. These responsibilities are not exclusive to any one industry, making them an important part of every recent grad’s repertoire.

3. Team mentality

Back in school, teachers would occasionally pair students with people they didn’t like much, or at least didn’t ordinarily work with. The justification was, “Someday, you aren’t going to get to choose your co-workers.” Our teachers were right. You don’t get to choose who you work with, and you need to be ready to collaborate with anyone. Most professionals learn this lesson after a few years in the workforce. Managers hiring recent grads are looking for the interpersonal skills and good attitude that indicate a team player. While every company’s culture is different, most are grounded in team values. Recent graduates should expect reference checks and interview questions about teamwork.

4. A high GPA

The further you get out of school, the less your college GPA matters. For recent graduates without a ton of work experience, though, the GPA may be a point of interest during the hiring process. According to USA Today College, 43% of companies have a formal GPA threshold for the people they hire. For most companies, the threshold is a 3.0 GPA. Occasionally, an employer might demand a 3.5. Either way, graduates should know that hiring managers are looking at their GPAs. Furthermore, many managers are using verification background checks to verify college degrees, attendance dates, and GPAs.

5. Relevant work experience

Businesses committed to hiring recent college graduates aren’t expecting to see candidates with ten years of experience. It’s because of the relative lack of work experience that employers pay attention to things like GPA for younger candidates. With that said, no hiring manager is going to ignore work experience altogether. When it comes to screening recent grads, companies are looking for part-time jobs, summer gigs, and relevant internship experience. These resume entries show initiative, commitment, and an ability to hold down a job—all things every manager wants to see in any hire.

6. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

The PayScale survey identified writing as the hard skill that most managers found lacking in recent college grads. For soft skills, critical thinking and problem solving were the problem areas. 60% of managers surveyed said their younger hires lacked these skills. They want to know the people they are hiring know how to identify problems and challenges and solve them. An interview question to gauge this skill area might be something along the lines of, “Tell me about a time you faced a major challenge and how you overcame it.” Answers that indicate innovation, proactivity, or the resilience to rise above failure and adversity are what managers want to hear. No new college grad should go into an interview without a possible answer ready.

7. Attention to detail

Often, hiring managers have the impression that younger, greener professionals don’t have great attention to detail. This snap judgment is typically made in response to resumes, cover letters, and other communications that managers share with candidates in the lead-up to or immediately following an interview. According to the PayScale survey, 56% of managers said recent grads were lacking attention to detail, probably thanks largely to typos, misspellings, missing attachments, or poor grammar. Some of these issues can be chalked up to writing skills. But new graduates also need to be conscious of the fact that every move they make is being recorded and judged. Submitting a resume or cover letter with one or two typos might seem like a small thing, but it can lead to a bad first impression.

8. Leadership experience

“Recent college graduate with extensive leadership skills” may seem like an oxymoron. Someone who doesn’t have a lot of work experience probably hasn’t been promoted to a managerial or executive role. Still, first-time job searchers can prove leadership skills in other ways. Club president or team captain roles might seem superfluous in the professional realm, but they can add another dimension to a sparse resume.

It’s possible that hiring managers expect more from just-out-of-college applicants than they once did. It’s also possible that many graduates simply aren’t as prepared for jobs as they think they are. Either way, the eight characteristics listed above form a rubric for the ideal recent college grad applicant. Whether you are a hiring manager considering younger candidates or a recent graduate looking for your first job, use these characteristics as a roadmap to make your life easier.