Maternity or paternity leave–one of the few things in life we can typically plan for! There’s ample warning, but it can easily sneak up on you. It would be great if everyone could work ahead and have everything under control, but that’s not reality and often impossible. When you, or your employees, expect to take this parental leave, don’t wait until the last few weeks to wrap things up. Planning ahead before leave ensures you cover responsibilities and jump-starts a successful return to work later. This planning impacts all players on the team but falls into the hands of the employee taking parental leave, and their manager.
The employee and manager should meet a few months ahead of the planned leave. Develop a list of all current tasks and brainstorm who is completing what during parental leave. The easiest way to visualize this is through a chart or spreadsheet that can be shared as a Parental Leave Plan with other employees. Break down tasks into ongoing responsibilities and special projects. List at least four columns, including:
You’re not job searching, so why do you need to continually grow your network? Personally, and professionally, we all benefit from the exchange of information and services, cultivating relationships to build our business and our brand. If your organization wants to succeed, employees want and need networking and development opportunities.
Why you still need to build your network:
What’s the most discouraging aspect of the job application process? Crickets! Candidates said, “no response from employers” was the most likely cause of a negative experience. Digging deeper into employers’ responsiveness in the 2018 Candidate Experience Survey, AgCareers.com asked candidates how often employers notified them about the receipt of their application. Unfortunately, one-third of respondents said they “rarely” or “never” heard from employers with a confirmation receipt indicating follow-up.
When a company doesn’t respond to an application, we asked candidates how this impacts their decision to apply for future openings with that company; the clear majority (87%) indicated a company’s lack of response was likely to impact their decision. Forty percent said a company’s lack of response made them very unlikely to apply to future openings.
And who’s more affected by lack of response? We found that employed candidates, passive candidates, and those that took longer to apply were significantly more impacted by a lack of response to their application materials.
Behind only communication, the interview process is the second most influential candidate experience. AgCareers.com asked job seekers about their experiences in the 2018 AgCareers.com Candidate Experience Survey. Candidates will evaluate potential employers during the interview, with a direct impact on offer acceptance rates.
Talent Board has consistently found the top reason candidates drop out of the recruiting process is their perception that an employer disrespected their time during an interview. This can be caused by a manager running 30 minutes late to an interview, an interviewer being ill-prepared, or the actual job not being as advertised. The AgCareers.com survey found that ensuring the actual job description properly aligns with the job posting had the most influence on how the candidate will evaluate the interview.
Sufficient preparation by the employer is imperative to make sure the interviewer asks relevant questions, the second most influential factor in creating a positive interview experience. Interviewers’ personalities and knowledge also are influential.
Make sure your interviewer can passionately discuss and demonstrate your organization’s core values, mission, and vision. The interviewer should be able to tell the candidate how the role their interviewing for fits into and impacts the organization overall. Plus be ready to discuss continuing education, development programs, mentors and advancement opportunities.
Employee engagement is a measure of how emotionally attached a staff member is to their job, coworkers, and employer. An “engaged employee” is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work. Your staff members that are actively engaged will work to not only meet their goals, but the organization’s goals.
Employee engagement may be challenging with a remote workforce or off-site employees. You miss the daily “How’s your day? What did you do last night?” face-to-face conversations. You don’t have an easy shared connection to discuss local events, sports teams or even the weather forecast. It’s more difficult to find out what remote employees really like, what their hobbies are, and generally just get to know them.
Not only can remote employees feel left out, but it may be more difficult for other staff to communicate with remote employees. There are actions you can take as an HR representative or remote manager to connect and make sure all your employees are feeling engaged with each other.
Encourage employees to interact with simple events and get-to-know-you activities. AgCareers.com organizes “3 Questions of the Month” for all employees. We ask everyone the same series of questions via email. We share all employee’s responses (that choose to take part) with the entire team in an email or document. This always entices fun conversations between all!
Your business didn’t have a stellar year and you’ve already told your employees they won’t receive year-end bonuses. Company-wide performance oftentimes determines employee bonuses, which may be affected by numerous aspects outside an individual employee’s responsibilities, such as economic climate and leadership decisions. If you find yourself in this situation, but still want to show your gratitude to your staff, there are some low to no-cost alternatives you can implement now! It’s called the gift of time.
These ideas require time away from the workplace, so you may need to alternate staff for coverage or plan accordingly. Most organizations offer a small holiday break, but it’s usually on Christmas or after. People are feeling the weight and stress of the holiday season NOW. Year-end projects at work, planning for the new year, along with the outside pressures of holiday gatherings, activities, and shopping can make employees stressed, grumpy, and less-productive at work.
November is the most popular month for filling and completing internship offers in the agricultural industry. If your organization is going to hire the best talent, you better be finalizing your internship offers now!
They say it’s a job seeker’s marketplace, and data collected by AgCareers.com lends this idea to truth. We surveyed agricultural employers about their recruitment and hiring of students for the 2017-2018 Intern & New Grad Hiring and Compensation Report.
Even though the clear majority (73%) of ag organizations told us that intern pay rates were non-negotiable, interns have options – they’re often evaluating multiple internship offers. For those employers that have a bit of flexibility, they said they can negotiate intern pay rates based on some of the following criteria:
Hiring the best candidates requires a welcoming recruiting environment. Is your process daunting, complicated, lengthy, and frustrating? Or have you implemented a smooth, responsive system?
Recruiting top talent depends heavily on your candidate experience – how the job seeker is treated throughout the hiring cycle. How an applicant perceives they are treated can impact their likelihood to accept the offer, stay on-the-job, and what they communicate to others about your organization. Word-of-mouth is a powerful recruitment tool and candidates WILL tell others!
Even if an applicant doesn’t receive an offer this time, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be the perfect fit for an alternative opening or a different position in the future after further training and/or experience.
Are you talking in your own private HR language at work? Do only you and your immediate coworkers, or closest associates understand the linguistics? Candidates sometimes feel they are trying to decipher a foreign language when reading a job posting/description or interviewing with a potential employer. Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing and speaking to candidates without using too much HR language.
Recruiters and hiring managers should carefully avoid HR-speak when communicating with candidates and new hires. ATS, EEOC, ESOP, AAP, ERG, EVP… human resource acronyms that not all candidates know off the top of their head. In addition, familiar terms discussed in HR, such as onboarding, company culture, performance assessments, and at-will employment might be just as alien to the general candidate.
Barbie® was integral to my childhood playtime, creating my own imaginary world, picturing myself as a veterinarian, or even a rock star someday. After all, Barbie said I could be anything! I didn’t foresee my adult work life actually intersecting with one of America’s most iconic toys, especially during an out-of-the-blue conversation with my 8-year-old child about job hopping.
“Mom, did you know Barbie has had 130 careers in her lifetime? AND, she’s only 58 years old!” That’s a new job every six months!” – my 8-year-old
“Barbie is a job hopper, my dear.” – my response
That’s some deep thinking by a child that already recognizes the concept of a career change in elementary school! The stats might be even higher, as the official Barbie media website indicates she’s had more than 150 careers on her resume. Born in 1959, that’s more than two new careers per year. Plus, Barbie wasn’t just changing jobs, she was going from an equestrian to an executive, a beekeeper to a bakery chef!