Tag Archives: recruitment

Technology vs. Human Capital

By Adam Gellert, Founder / HR + Recruitment Consultant at Linkus Group

Technology versus Human Capital

Definitions for the term obsolete include: ‘no longer used, as something newer exists’, or ‘out of date.’ How terrifying is it for an employee to be anticipating being no longer needed in a workplace, or expired for the lack of a better word? This is in fact the reality of many workers in today’s society – whether they are members of the manufacturing, hospitality or even business services industry.

Today’s world consists of constant changes in technology. It includes product and service upgrades, replacements, and many versions of the same products that can essentially make a process easier. Can technology be compared to Human Capital? Just as there are employees who have industry expertise, there are employees who can upgrade their knowledge through training and development, leadership programs and cross training in new business areas. Employers can replace other employees who are better suited for the job – all in all to ensure that a business has the best human capital.

The reality is, that technology can do the exact same thing but in a more efficient, fast and less costly manner. This is very common in the manufacturing industry where entire jobs become obsolete as they are replaced with technologies that can produce a higher output than what employees can produce. However, it is also becoming common in the business services sector. Imagine having to analyze a data set of over 1 million documents – it would take many employees hours of work to accomplish this task. A computer program on the other hand has the ability to complete this task in a matter of minutes. Another recent trend is investment in Cloud Computing – where businesses can access information anywhere they go – small businesses will not have to worry about renting offices and actual workspaces. Why wouldn’t businesses want to invest on such technologies? Below are a list of pro’s and con’s of the use of technology in today’s average business.

 Technology vs Human Capital

Benefits of Technology:

How technology can’t replace human capital:

Paperless business – Environmentally friendly businesses

Planning and Management – Integrating new technology is not as easy as it looks – should you purchase a brand new software program as soon as it becomes available? Or should you wait and not jump on the bandwagon and take the risk of the product being obsolete soon.   Technology is fast paced – you snooze you lose, it can also be very costly
Increased productivity – Better production results from efficiency when a new technology is introduced Re-training – New technology does not necessarily mean replacing employees – but it can mean employees may need to be re-trained and educated on how to use the technologies – which brings room for errors, and costs. There is also the importance of meeting the needs of employees through job security, employee activities, etc – something that computers cannot do.
Smaller workforce – Easy to manage, reduces costs Maintenance – What if there is a glitch, system error, or the technology merely breaks down? Yes, you can upgrade a system, but this is a cost. Technology cannot be mentored or coached to become successful as an employee can be
Better communication – introducing up to date technologies allows for fluidity in communication throughout the workforce Costs – As mentioned in almost every point above, technology can be expensive. If it is used to replace employees, businesses will have to ensure that there are no redundancies in processes to avoid unwanted costs.
Stay competitive – being up to date in technologies allows businesses to stay competitive in today’s fast paced industry

Although we live in a technology driven world, there are advantages and disadvantages to the use of technology and maintaining human capital in a business. It is ultimately up to the business to decide if it has the capacity to keep up to date with constantly changing technology, or whether to invest in the good old -fashioned human capital.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does Minimum Wage Hikes Equal Higher Unemployment for Canadians?

Before discussing the effects of minimum wage, here’s a basic explanation of what the term actually means. “The basic labour standard that sets the lowest wage rate an employer can pay to employees who are covered by the employment legislation is known as minimum wage. The main purpose to impose minimum wage is to protect non-unionized workers in unskilled jobs today.  In Canada, Employment legislation considers it an offense for any employers to pay covered workers less than minimum wage.”

9baa811e-8f29-4e2c-97e9-3f2864370405-460x276

Besides protecting Canadian employees from wage discrimination, what does the hike in minimum wages overtime mean for the Canadian employment market?  According to the Canadian Federation of Independent business (CFIB), increasing the minimum wage hurts minimum wage workers “by reducing the businesses’ capacity to hire and retain them. In fact, the CFIB predicts that a 10 per cent increase in the minimum wage would trigger up to 321,000 job losses.”1 This statement does sound daunting for the many small businesses in Ontario, however history of minimum wage hikes shows that this in fact is not true.  Between the period of 2007 and 2010, Ontario has raised its minimum wage 4 times and the unemployment rates have stayed the same, and have even decreased – except for 2009 during the economic crisis.  Other provinces in Canada such as Quebec and Alberta have had similar experiences as well during the hike of minimum wages. 

Moreover, outside of Canada there are examples of how minimum wage hikes can actually increase productivity.  Seattle had victoriously increased their minimum wage to $15, imposing the highest minimum wage in the US.   Following its path, San Francisco is intending on increasing their minimum wage to $15 as well.  What does this mean for its workers? It means workers get paid for the hard work that they put in, and are not feeling as though the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.  This means that for example, fast food establishments that are known for high turnover will have a more stable workforce.  A major effect of raising pay checks for earners at the bottom of the wage scale is that these earners are likely to spend more of their income on local goods and service than higher-income earners. In turn, these households will increase patronage of area businesses, giving a boost to their community’s overall prosperity”2

Research conducted about minimum wage indicates how beneficial a hike in wage would be for workers. For small businesses that have to abide by the minimum wage hikes, keep in mind that this allows for retaining employees who are satisfied with their pay, and also provides a larger pool of skilled candidates looking for work – such as recent graduates.  Although these increases are not large, it is still considered a wage increase for minimum wage workers. Increasing minimum wage does not necessarily lead to higher unemployment rates, but rather it has little or no impact on unemployment – which is always a positive for the Canadian labour market.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Should Someone Work for You – The Company Interview

As Spring hire season fast approaches, many companies are ramping up their recruitment strategies to ensure that they onboard the best talent.  At the same time, the number of eligible workers applying for jobs will also increase. The pool of candidates will include students, recent graduates, and also individuals who are looking to make a career transition. With such a large pool of candidates, top talent is inevitably mixed into the crowd.

standout in a crowdIt’s common to think as an employer ‘they want/need the job, they need to prove themselves worthy in an interview,’ however this is a serious misconception. In order to attract top talent, a fit must be established.  Employers need to express their need for top talent, and why a potential candidate should work for them. It’s a two way street.  Companies need to clearly establish what makes their organization a great place to work.

Here are 3 things to add into the interview process to explain why someone should want to work for you:

1. Skip the usual job description only advertisementYes, it’s easy to copy and paste the job description, add the location, a salary range and expected start date – but this is not a way to attract top talent.  Here’s a look at some of the information available to candidates on Coca-cola Company’s career page:

What do we offer

  • The Coca-Cola Company’s extraordinary heritage, our leading brands and the global scale of what we do;
  • The challenge of meaningful work – our unique global system offers constant opportunities to develop world-class skills and a truly international career;
  • A unique culture where people convert their passion into action;The kind of competitive compensation you would expect from a world leader.
  • The kind of competitive compensation you would expect from a world leader.
  • View our infographic:  Coca-Cola At A Glance

What do we expect from you

  • The ability to contribute, to make a difference and have a tangible impact – turning your passion into action;
  • Creative and fresh thinking in your work and your life, regardless of your role;
  • A spirit of collaboration – you thrive when you work with a diverse range of people with different views, perspectives and priorities;
  • A pragmatic and commercial mindset that understands the challenge of sustainability.

Top Reasons to work for The Coca-Cola Company

  1. Ability to make a difference
  2.  Ability to grow
  3. We want to become…
  4. We have embarked on a strategic journey…
  5. Values
  6. Be part of a diverse team
  7. One-of-a-kind experiences
  8. A unique culture
  9.  Accessibility to more than just a Company…
  10. Rewarding environment

The company has further written and visual material explaining the top 10 reasons to work for them.  This creates interest for potential top talent, and allows candidates to see whether a fit could exist.  It provides a rich picture of the company that captures the interest of readers.  Keep in mind that these readers could be anyone, including future employees, people who might refer the job to a friend or family member, or even employees of your competitors who may be looking for their next move.  This type of information should be shared throughout the entire interview process to keep the candidates interested and excited of the possibility to work with you!

2.  Provide valuable information to candidates when selected for an interview  – Provide candidates who are selected for interviews with PDF brochures or links to informational video’s for them to familiarize themselves with the company’s values and mission.  Set yourself apart from companies who merely ask if a candidate is available for an interview at a set date and time, and create a fit earlier in the process.  This makes the selection process more refined, as it will be easier to identify top talent – those who are prepared and a great fit with the company.

3.  Once a fit has been established and the ideal candidate has been selected, maintain and strengthen the employment relationship – Don’t let time constraints and fatigue of the interview selection process tire you out. Recruitment isn’t complete once an offer has been accepted.  Most employees quit within the first two weeks of employment if they do not identify a fit with the company.  This means ensuring that the on-boarding process has as much information and support for the candidate as promised prior to employment.  Provide them with resources and tools that will help them settle into their new role. For example, provide the names and phone numbers of key contact points in the organization.  Conduct a performance review two weeks into employment to see how the new employee is doing.

Remember that the job search process is a two-way street, both for the employer and candidate.  Each party has their own  wants  and needs — the goal is to establish a fit, to create a long lasting employment relationship.

Tagged , , ,

Growth Strategy: Plan Your Hiring Ahead of Time

Image

by Adam Gellert, Recruitment & HR Consultant / Founder at Linkus Group

Startup companies are no different than mature companies – their success is contingent on finding good talent.  When a startup company is ready to hire, they usually need the new resources on an ASAP basis, but it is critical that they do not compromise on the quality of talent they hire, as the adverse affects of a “bad hire” are amplified in a small business.

Ask any recruiter and they’ll tell you they have a love/hate relationship with employers that call them saying they need help hiring for a position that should have been filled “as of yesterday”.  Of course, it’s exciting for a recruiter to go into their back pocket and pull out that perfect candidate. However, recruiters know that depending on the hiring need, immediate results aren’t always possible. They know that the best candidates aren’t always on the market when you need them so, some good, solid planning can go a long way in a successful search.

Prepare, create a recruitment strategy long term and be mindful and creative of potential hiring needs down the road. 

Have you been in a rush and forced to make decisions based on necessity when hiring? This is very common.  Successful companies know that their greatest employees are what make their company great.

A friend of mine shared a story with me the other day.  He walked into a Starbucks, and observed four of their staff at work. The first one was taking orders at a satisfactory pace, yelling out “double vanilla latte, hold the foam”, another walking around aimlessly and almost confused restocking shelves while paying customers swarmed in. The third just standing in the back washing dishes occasionally at a slow crawl and then, the one that stood out all along, the superstar making four drinks at the same time, while cleaning up after herself and making conversation with the customer’s by name. He thought- “Without her the company would collapse!”

He could tell by observing her in action that she’s a dedicated, hard working, shines under pressure and will be a favourite amongst customers – really the reason you go to a Starbucks and pay ten dollars for a coffee. It’s these scenarios you’ve got to think about during your recruitment strategy planning. Think about how the staff you spend your time and money hiring will fit within your culture really, really well.

Know that any growing business on the verge of stardom is going to need those key players on their team to build on that success the initial team has already worked so hard to create. If you’re on your own right now and hiring, that first team member is all the more critical.

Do the following:

Plan

You’ve got a business plan and set important goals. Now set a recruitment strategy. Get thinking about what roles will you need to fill to get that work done, now and a year from now.

Be methodical

Let’s say you need an Account Manager to handle the business you’ve worked so hard to bring in. What attributes will they need? Is organization more important than customer service skills or industry knowledge?

Be realistic

When you start the hiring process you’ll find its often going to be hard to find someone that checks off all your “must haves”. Set your sights on a few must haves, aim for a few more “nice to haves” and finish up your list with skills that would be a “home run” but not critical.

Execution

Recruiting requires more than one set of eyes and takes a lot of skill to fully plan, execute and hire.

Now that you’ve got a plan, you’re ready to start hiring!

Tagged , , , ,

Personality Tests are Fitting

Image

by Nicole Cristello

“Fit” is a term that is becoming more familiar among businesses of all sizes. An employee may have an impressive resume with years of relevant experience under their belt, but whether or not they will easily accept and value a company’s culture is a completely separate consideration.

It costs a company approximately 1.5 times a worker’s salary to replace them. Hiring the wrong candidate can lead to increased theft, absenteeism, violence, harassment, and an overall decrease in motivation. For these reasons, personality tests are becoming a popular means of determining whether an individual is not only the best person for the job, but the best fit with the company.

Personality tests are a beneficial means of assessing employee fit before making the commitment to hire them. Employees who fit the company culture tend to be happier, more motivated and more satisfied, which leads to better results and therefore a higher ROI.

Recommendations for employers considering using personality testing as part of their recruitment process:

Ensure Resources are Available

Testing requires time, money, as well as ongoing support and modifications. If a company cannot commit to providing the necessary resources or does not have access to them, then personality testing may not be the most appropriate option.

Don’t Rely Solely on Personality Tests

Personality Tests should always be used in conjunction with other types of recruitment tools. Also, don’t assume that testing is valuable in every situation. Be sure to assess whether personality tests are advantageous to your particular business and the positions you are hiring for.

Train Key Managers to Administer Tests

Ensure key managers or trained personnel are administering the tests to ensure that they are being scored and evaluated correctly.

Eliminate Bias – Ensure Reliability & Validity

Tests must be reliable (the results should be consistent over time) and valid (the personalities being assessed should be indicative of those necessary to perform the job successfully). Bias toward specific individuals or personality types should never influence the hiring decision.

Understand, Maintain & Assess

Companies choosing to use personality testing must first understand the importance and purposes of it. Ongoing maintenance and assessments of the reliability and validity of these tests are necessary.  Continual improvement and adjustments are also critical as a company and the jobs within it evolve over time.

Potential Risks

Invasion of Privacy

Some candidates see testing as an invasion of privacy and do not trust that they are accurate predictors of their potential success on the job.

Cheating

Some questions have obvious “correct” answers and candidates may choose the response that will give them the most favourable results in order to increase their likelihood of being hired.

Situational & Environmental Factors

Applicants may respond that they would react one way on their test, but their behaviours may be completely opposite once on the job. Situational and environmental factors such as motivation, stress, confidence, and satisfaction can also strongly influence an applicant’s behaviour and cause them to react differently than they would have answered on any test.

Tagged , ,

Employment After Graduation

-Written for Linkus Group by John Kobrossy, HR Student

Being a new graduate is an exciting time in anyone’s life, it is a time of new beginnings. This new beginning comes with a lot of change and a lot of important decisions that need to be made. These decisions are influenced by many things such as fears or perceptions held about going into the real world. In a small sample group surveyed regarding obstacles new grads may encounter, or fear they will encounter, were the following:

  • Too much competition or an over saturated job market
  • No available job openings
  • Not having the minimum relevant work experience required on job postings
  • Ending up in a position that you won’t enjoy
  • Only being able to find unpaid internships
  • Not yet having all the skills needed to perform at a high level

Linkus

Sometimes coming out of school and being lucky enough to land a job can be a relief and an opportunity that you do not need to think twice about. However, your first career decision does require some serious consideration.  You need to ask yourself whether or not a big brand name corporation is the best for you or whether you might be better off with a start-up company in your field? There are various factors when considering the best answer to this question. There is not one right answer for everyone; before making a final decision, it is important to consider it from all angles.

To begin with, the learning curve can be more flexible with a start-up. Unlike with larger corporations that can rely on their name and resources to supply them with a large candidate pool, a start-up is more likely to commit to you once they have made the decision to bring you on. . On the other hand, there are benefits to a big name company as well. In a larger corporation the reputation of the brand carries itself. You can clearly see the corporate hierarchy, and understand from the beginning how you fit into it. Your path of advancement is clearly drawn out for you if you stay with that company and because of its abundant resources; they are more capable of providing perks as you climb internally.  A start-up however, will train you and appreciate the advantages which you as an intern or entry-level employee afford them. Furthermore, an employee’s feeling of contribution can be greater in a start-up because you come in while the company is still building itself. You will be able to clearly notice the work you do and view the company’s success in direct relation to your efforts.

There are also a lot of personal development benefits to working for a larger corporation. In a larger organization, there are potentially more employees and a longer history; it is very possible that you may share an educational or career background with one of your new co-workers. This opens up the possibility for mentoring arrangements, because even without the shared experiences larger organizations possess the manpower to structure a mentoring program. Although it all depends on what you feel is most beneficial to you, in a start-up you can gain confidence and more significant experience. Within a start-up, rather than just having the resources to bring on interns for solely developmental purposes or even if you were brought on as a new hire, you would be put straight to work. You would build confidence through more autonomy, which in turn would give you meaningful experience because you would have to problem solve and rely on yourself. With a start-up company, rather than feeling that all your competency came from being micro-managed, you could be assured that you are actually capable of standing on your own two feet in your chosen profession.

Ultimately, there is a lot to consider when you are making your decisions after graduation. It goes without saying that hard work would be required in either scenario for success, what you have to consider is if you want to be part of something from the ground floor. Succeeding with a start-up can do wonders for your resume and your career; your achievements would stand alone and allow you to be recognized. In the end no one can make this decision but you and as long as you’re doing what you love you’ve made the right decision. After all, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ― Confucius

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Employee Perks: What’s on Trend


iStock_ILoveMyJobSign_350-by Shada Mahboob, Recruiter at Linkus Group

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy (CEO at Xerox)

Statements like the above lead one to question: how do you make an employee feel like a “whole person”? Perhaps it is in supporting a good work-life balance or delegating rewarding work assignments? Regardless of the answer, employee perks can play a significant role in making an employee feel appreciated. Although some small perks may seem insignificant, they can make all the difference in boosting employee morale.

The Linkus Group has been interested in the trends surrounding employee perks. We conducted a survey of employees in various industries to analyze their current perks and their ideal of what should be offered. The survey data covered a range of employees from a start-up online magazine, a marketing firm, and a large mining company. While these companies may not have much in common regarding the services they offer, they all have kept in mind the importance of employee perks.

Competitive compensation is a hot button topic in all organizations; however, a focus on “total compensation,” including intrinsic rewards such as perks, may be the key to reaching true employee satisfaction.

Here are some interesting perks, we have found, that employers are currently offering!

  • Free breakfast essentials
  • Year-end vacations –based on profit
  • Corporate gym memberships
  • Choice of office colour
  • No dress code
  • Yearly “healthy living credit”
  • Commuting allowance
  • Stock options for all employees
  • Complete flex hours –option to work from home
  • Beer fridge
  • Company car for management
  • Discount to Wonderland
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Free housecleaning for employees every 2 weeks

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Recruitment Process… Made Simple

by Adam Gellert, Founder HR Consultant at Linkus Group

If your company is experiencing growth, recruitment and selection can be one of the most exhausting and difficult tasks in moving your business forward.  Yet, as daunting as it is, it’s necessary.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Helping You Invest in Human Capital

by Kassandra Wenaas, Marketing Coordinator Intern at Linkus Group

In today’s global world, investing in human capital often directly influences an organization’s productivity.  With a continuous rise in secondary education combined with rapid advancements in technology, there’s a growing demand for highly skilled talent to fill industry roles.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: