Life & Work

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Can Balance Really Exist Between the Two?

Michael-New-Photo130x150What do you do when two dreams collide? How do you determine the best way to balance both and be successful? For many professionals, parenthood is just as much as a dream as career success. However, often times they find themselves having to sacrifice one or the other in effort to maintain both. Employers like to refer to this constant reshuffling of priorities as “work-life balance” but many like the benefits or support to keep a fair balance between life and work. So what is the solution? Is balance between work and home life even possible and if it is, how is it obtained?

This month we are covering how one experienced woman in HR leaves and comes back into the workforce after having a child. Our goal is to encourage dialogue and enable others to see transitions that they may need to make with more ease and understanding. Patricia had worked for 10 years in a big corporation and felt well trained to move to a small, privately held company where she landed for an additional 15 years in the same metro area. Knowing this privately held company needed lots of work, she got use to putting in long hours and trained everyone who would listen about how to handle certain situations. She gave of herself much more than was requested and she grew to feel like the company was one big family. Going from 2,000 employee atmosphere to less than 100 was quite an adjustment, but it fit her lifestyle at the time.

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What Millennials Want (In a Career)

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Confident businessmanThere is a great deal of conversation in the recruiting world about Millennials these days. You will often hear that attracting and retaining Millennials requires a different approach than that of previous generations. A great deal of time is spent discussing their desire for flexible working arrangements, their commitment to environmentally conscious business practices, and expectations of access to leading technology tools. However, what comes up less in these conversations are which companies the Millennial professional would like to work for.

All Millennials want to work for eco-friendly startups right? Actually, a recent study found quite the opposite. Hanover Research asked Millennials which companies they would like to work for most. Those who conducted the study were surprised to find the top 200 list included organizations like ExxonMobil, Dow, Chemical, and Goldman Sachs. Additionally, careers in the military and government sectors also made the list.

So what can these findings mean for recruiting Millennials? According to a SHRM article by Dana Wilkie, Millennials still find value in working for recognizable organizations who have established a reputation for career development opportunities are still desirable places of employment even if they do not directly align with their values. The findings in this study are significant because many organizations struggle with how to attract top talent in the Millennial group.

By understanding what Millennials value both on a personal and professional level, companies are better equipped to showcase what their company offer. There is no doubt that the Millennial generation is motivated differently from previous generations, however, many of their career aspirations are still rooted in the well-known organizations they grew up with. Millennials are dreaming of jobs with well-known companies that offer career advancement opportunities coupled with socially and environmentally responsible business practices.
When it comes down to it, what the many Millennials are seeking in their career development is generally obtainable with many organizations. Finding middle ground between dreams and reality is becoming more manageable for both organizations and candidates. If you need assistance in your recruiting efforts, or would like more information on how to showcase your organization to attract top talent, contact HSG today.

What’s Next for HR?

Friday, April 8th, 2016

future key or keyboard showing forecast or investment conceptThis time of year many people are considering renovation projects around their home that they put off over this past winter. They are looking to update spaces, perhaps change how they utilize an area or their home. Some are looking to make small changes to make a room more inviting while other will be completing a complete demolition and rebuild, with the end result slated to look very different than how it first appeared.

It appears that the function of HR in many organizations is going through some renovations as well. In my experience, HR professionals are always preparing for change and what may come next in their field or the industry they support. Many professionals I have spoken with have noted the increasing movement towards the automation of many administrative HR functions. Robust HRIS options and advancements in talent management systems have reduced much of the administrative tasks that once burdened many HR departments. Information about current and potential employees is easily accessible and data analysis and reporting has become easier than ever.

With all this innovation in human resource administration, the question becomes, where does HR go from here? While there always has been, and always will be, a human aspect to human resources, much of the time spent for HR managers has been bogged down in administrative responsibilities. With the burden of admin work easing up, human resource professionals are now being called to do some what of renovation of their function in the organization.

This can be both an exciting and somewhat daunting proposition for HR leaders. Words like “strategic” and “profit center” are becoming more synonymous with human resources and expectations from stake holders are growing. In reality, these concept have always been a part of the HR function in my opinion. Only now it seems that HR professionals are finally able to dig out of the piles of paperwork that once hindered them to truly demonstrate their contributions and value to the bottom line. Now is the time for HR to renovate. Out with the old administrative tasks mentality and in with the shiny new strategic value. It’s all a matter of polishing up what’s been there all along—it was just buried under a pile of paperwork.

Do You Enjoy Networking? Be Honest.

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Do you enjoy networking? I mean really enjoy it?

If you answered no, that’s normal, you are in the majority. In fact, some studies have found that 9 out of 10 people considered themselves to be shy or introverted, in networking settings. Many professionals feel uncomfortable with the idea of networking because the practice seemsShocked screaming young woman in glasses with her social network friends and business partners in a diagram somewhat foreign to them. However, many of these same professionals possess great social skills in other situations. So is it possible to make networking a less painful process? Is it possible to even enjoy it? The answer is yes according to Susan RoAne, author of How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Making Lasting Connections.

In her book, which was recently featured in a SHRM Viewpoint article, RoAne distinguishes the difference between socializing and networking. Based on her research, RoAne has determined that there are separate skill sets for social interactions and business networking. She believes the key to success is utilizing a mix of “socialization skills” and “networking tactics”. By blending the two together, professionals become more comfortable with interacting with others on a social level which eventually leads to meaningful networking connections. In order to make the most of your next networking event, RoAne suggest to focus on preparation, practice, and making an effort to be approachable.

In regard to preparation, it’s important to spend time learning about the event, members, and attendees prior to your arrival. This will enable you to prepare a meaningful introduction and select a couple of meaningful topics to discuss. She also recommends to practice your introduction and connecting it to the event in some meaningful way. A great boast of confidence can be found in feeling fully prepared and having an idea of what you can contribute to a conversation beforehand.

Finally, RoAne stresses the importance of creating a sense of approachability with others. This can be accomplished with a welcoming smile and an interesting article of clothing or accessory like a fun tie or unique piece of jewelry. The idea is to create an opportunity to start a dialogue and establish some common ground. Once the conversation is flowing, great connections can be forged, both personally and professionally.

Networking like a pro doesn’t mean you have to leave your personality at the door. In fact, connecting with others is far easier when they have the opportunity to really get to know you. If you would like to learn more about networking opportunities in our area, contact our office today. We are a part of many professional organizations and groups and would love to assist you in developing a knack for networking.

Social Media Recruiting: The New Normal?

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Social Media ConceptsThe way job candidates are recruited has been evolving for some time now with an increase in use of online talent management applications.  With more job hunters being required to apply online, the search process has become heavily dependent on internet searches for career opportunities.  Organizations are becoming increasingly more aware of how their online presence can influence their ability to recruit the right talent for their teams.

To that end, social media platforms have become an increasingly popular way to attract both active and passive candidates for open requisitions.  A recent SHRM poll of HR professionals found that over 30% of companies are targeting smartphone users in an effort to utilize mobile recruiting and 84% companies are incorporating social media as part of their recruiting tool box. The greatest reason cited for the use of social media driven recruiting was to reach passive candidates.  Of those surveyed, 82% indicated that the passive job seeker was their main reason for including social media in their recruiting efforts.

I have had the opportunity to work with several organizations and candidates in growing their online presence on social media platforms.  Just like anything else, a little can go a long way and there can also be too much of a good thing.  With sites like Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, many organizations find that they have the ability to reach far more candidates than they could have ever dreamed of.  However, social media recruiting can become a battle of quantity vs quality.  While you will be casting a much larger net than traditional recruiting methods, you will also be reaching many job seekers who do not meet the actual requirements of the job.

Social media and online job boards have made it easier than ever before to apply for a job.  With the ease of use of these applications comes an increase of applicants, many who are not actually qualified for the job in which they are applying for.  For HR this can make the recruiting process even more cumbersome than before.  I recommend using social media for recruiting in a way that targets the best without attracting the rest.

This is accomplished through precise recruiting campaigns that are found where the type of candidates you are seeking are going to be found.   Even though the internet offers a multitude of options in reaching job seekers, not all are created equal and choosing the wrong one can negatively impact the image of your organization.  If you would like more information about social media recruiting plans, please contact our office.  We can help you determine what will work for your organization and how to best capture the talent pool you are looking for.

Education: The Continuing Saga

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Knowing the value of hearing from other HR professionals, I try to go to an event every few weeks.  Gathering with them should help fill in any gaps and ideally keep one abreast of changes one needs to enhance the plan for 2016. This past year I went to several HR panels on law.  Some addressed local and national changes while some were just aimed at keeping one abreast of staying on top of their game. Beyond that, we delved into some great courses in social media sourcing, diversity training and both internal and external recruiter training as well.  Several of my peers criticized me for spending so much time learning what the “other side” was doing, but I felt it was long ignored and it only makes you a better person to see what your customers are engaging in and become part of that process.

Many small businesses have a sense of assurance that they need someone just like them to fit into their culture which many times includes a certain education in their background. They wonder why they aren’t getting it right and how someone who doesn’t think like them could even appreciate them. For example, I have a friend from Europe who is doing well three months into a new company as a manager. As he is foreign to them, they are also trying to understand him. They are amazed at how many insights into their business he has… as a foreigner.

Another friend is a software designer in a specialized niche. Most of the people in the group come from or have worked with people of similar backgrounds. My friend is from Africa, a little different than their background by a few thousand miles. They feel he is an anomaly. He feels most of his school friends didn’t have computers growing up and if they did, they would be in the minority!

My friends, it’s about understanding that people can come from very diverse backgrounds and although you don’t relate to them at first– test them on what you need them to know and if they are good communicators and pass your fair test, bring them aboard.Times are changing and diversity is going to get more and more popular. Be open. Try to understand. Educate yourselves and others. Education is not just in the books, it’s with the understanding of people based on what you learn.

Now is the time. If not now, when?

Cracking the Code on Difficult Positions

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

With the first month of the new year behind us, we are faced with tackling the tasks we may have put off from the previous year. Recruiting at the end of the year presents a number of challenges, mainly finding the time to coordinate with all those involved in the decision making process in the midst of holiday scheduling. Now that much of the frantic year end wrap up is done, many organizations begin to settle back in to their normal routine and look forward to resolving any gaps in staffing that may have been looming from the previous year.

According to a recent SHRM article, HR professionals will face many of the same staffing challenges in 2016 as they did 2015, with some roles being even harder to fill than the year before. While some jobs are easier to fill than others, the time it takes to complete the recruiting cycle is taxing on many HR departments. The lack of resources and available time can make the ability to fill even the most competitive position a difficult feat. Now if you are try to secure talent for a job that is challenging to fill, the task can be an even more draining experience.

SHRM predicts that the following ten jobs will be the toughest to fill this year:

1. Data Scientist
2. Electrical Engineer
3. General and Operations Manager
4. Home Health Aide
5. Information Security Analyst
6. Marketing Manager
7. Medical Services Manager
8. Physical Therapist
9. Registered Nurse
10. Software Engineer

These positions are predicted to be a challenge regardless of organizational size or location. So what are your options if you are faced with the difficult task of finding top talent in one of these fields for your organization? HR leaders recommend flexibility in job requirements, training, and resource planning.

By broadening a search to consider transferable skills and investing in training new employees with career potential, organizations will be better prepared to fulfill their current staffing needs as well as their needs in the future. At HSG, we assist organizations in developing staffing plans that identify long term talent solutions and take the pain out of challenging requisitions. If you have questions about how to fill a difficult job or your organization could use some additional support in developing a talent strategy for 2016, our team can help make this year’s talent search pain free and positive.

How Do We Stand on Salary?

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Scarecrow? Woodman? or Strongman?

It’s predicted that when it comes to salary increases for 2016, many organizations will be facing a similar scenario as 2015. According to one  SHRM article, the salary budget increase for most organizations will be roughly 2.9 %–up only slightly from 2015’s 2.8% increase.

With less than exciting salary increases slated for employees this year, many organizations are looking for alternative ways to retain talent.

For many organizations, performance based pay seems to be a likely answer. Employees seeking healthy income increases will need to step into higher level positions in order to achieve a significant pay increase.

Outside of encouraging employees to work towards promotion opportunities, organizations are working hard to showcase the current benefits that employees already have available to them. Many organizations offer substantial benefit options that employees may not necessarily be aware of.

HR leaders are now focusing on creating effective communication plans that alert employees of the valuable benefits available to them within the organization.While both options are step in the right direction to keep employees in engaged when salary expectations fall flat, there is also a third option for HR leaders. Developing career path plans when recruiting can help both organizations and candidates see potential paths to success when advancing their career with a company.

Rachel Sobon, HR Director for CRP Industries has already seen the benefits of offering employees career development plan options. “Our organization has developed many opportunities for employees to gain exposure to different areas of the company. This helps employees not only understand the business as a whole, but also what “goes on” in other departments and how each team depends on the other to work towards the common goal. Having this cross-functional capability in place has allowed employees to learn transferable skills so that they don’t just have to follow a single line career path, but explore new areas of interest.”

With a clear plan in place, future employees will know the steps they will need to take to accomplish their career and salary goals. Greater organizational transparency translate into happier employees and organizations that are better prepared for the future of their talent team.

Back in the Day…

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Back in the Day...

A great memory of when Michael achieved the newest version of the CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) from NAPS.


Michael is seen here with Mr. Edward Schulman, one of our great RWTIs.


HSG has always been committed to growth and development, and we work to uphold that focus internally and externally.

Are YOU the HR Department?

Monday, December 14th, 2015


Are you a loner?

For many small organizations, their HR department is composed of a team of one. In fact, according to SHRM, almost 10% of their 275k+ members work in organizations with less than 100 people. Smaller staff sizes often mean the HR department is a one person show. Ideally it would be great to have additional support for recruiting, training, development, and benefit administration—however, for many organizations it just isn’t feasible.

In my experience, the most successful solo HR professionals have learned create a balance between providing strategic guidance to their organization and utilizing support resources when needed.After all, the mere volume of work alone could leave even the most successful HR professional covered in paperwork.

Many organizations not only want all of their standard HR requirements met but additional development as well. While all of this may sound daunting to a single person operation, it is possible.

SHRM recently spoke with just a few of the country’s top HR professionals running their departments alone to uncover how they are not only surviving but thriving to meet the needs of their organization. What they found was that many HR leaders are using similar solutions to get the job done. So what their secret?

• Technology: There are many great tech resources available now to smaller organizations that were previously only available to larger groups. Sometimes it does require some innovative thinking but many solo HR professionals have found ways to meet their record keeping and reporting needs with similar ease to their organizations.

• A Connection Network: With a team of HR people, there are always ideas flowing and new solutions being discussed and shared. If you’re the only person on your team, you’re typically not afforded the luxury of this. By creating a connection network with other HR professionals, you can still stay on top of the latest developments in HR and have the support of others in your field to bounce ideas off of. This can be accomplished at a local level and national level through various groups, organizations, and online websites like Linkedin. By joining the conversation, you are staying in the loop on what’s now and what’s next with those in your field, even if you’re the only one in the room.

• Partnerships: One of the greatest qualities to have when leading a department alone is to know when you need help. Sometimes certain issues take precedence over others and while both are important, you can’t be all things to all people. HR professionals who fly solo make use of the resources available to them by developing partnerships with established vendors and consultants. By developing these support relationships, they are better equipped to give a 100% to all. Recruiting, training development, and strategic organizational solutions are tasks that are typically outside of the day to day HR role for smaller organizations. Often times, HR leaders have many great ideas that they just don’t have the time or support to execute. By enlisting the help of other service providers, they can focus on the areas where they are really needed and accomplish the goals they have set forth for their organization.

If you would like more information on how to incorporate HR solutions into your success plan or need support for your HR team, please contact us today. We specialize in recruiting and strategic development and will create a solution that is right for you and the specific needs of your company.