Trending: A look at trends and news in the job market
Job stress can certainly take a toll on employees — from burnout to health concerns — but could it contribute to weight gain in the workplace?
Nearly 6 in 10 U.S. workers (57 percent) feel they’re overweight, up from the 55 percent who reported feeling overweight last year, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Additionally job-related stress may have a strong correlation to weight gain.
The research shows that workers who experience high levels of stress are 49 percent more likely to rate themselves as overweight when compared with workers with low stress.
3 ways to build a great company culture
Could you define your company culture? If not, perhaps it isn’t as strong as it needs to be, for the employees’ sake. AJ Agrawal, chief executive officer at Alumnify, discussed three ways to build a stronger company culture in a recent article he wrote for Inc.com.
He says a small gesture, as greeting your co-workers like family, goes a long way
and makes everyone feel safe in the organization.
Secondly, Agrawal says it’s important to make time for water cooler talk. “It’s a mistake to think that people work best when they sit in silence,” he said. Instead of viewing it as a waste of time, he says to look at it as a way to build unity among employees.
Finally, Agrawal says the third way to build a great company culture is to focus
on the whole rather than its parts.
Head of the class in 2015
In the highest outlook since 2007, 65 percent of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year—up from 57 percent last year, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.
Additionally, the news just keeps getting better: One third of employers will offer higher pay than last year, and 1 in 4 will pay $50,000 per year or more.
“New college graduates have better prospects this year than in years past — both in terms of opportunities and salary offers,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. “They still face challenges, however. One in five employers feel colleges do not adequately prepare students with crucial workplace competencies, including soft skills and real-world experience that might be gained through things like internships. Job seekers with a good mix of both technical and soft skills will have
the best prospects right out of college.”
Demand for students with business and technical majors has typically been high among employers, and this year is no exception, with 38 percent of employers naming business as the most sought-after major.
Other in-demand majors include:
Computer and Information Sciences (27 percent)
Engineering (18 percent)
Math and Statistics (14 percent)
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences (14 percent)
Communications Technologies (12 percent)
Engineering Technologies (12 percent)
Communication and Journalism (10 percent)
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities (9 percent)
Science Technologies (8 percent)
Education (7 percent)
Meet the Millennials: Generation Next
Confident. Self-expressive. Liberal, upbeat and open to change.
These are just a few of the many adjectives that the Pew Research Center used to describe the overall personality of the generation of American teens and twenty-somethings often referred to as Millennials or “Generation Next.”
In an extensive study called “Millennials: a Portrait of Generation Next,” the Pew Research Center took an in-depth look at the group of people who are currently making the passage into adulthood.
As the report notes, Generation Next is more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults. They are also less religious, less likely to have served in the military and are currently on track to become the most educated generation in the country’s history.
While the trend towards education is driven largely by the demands of a modern knowledge-based economy, the report notes it is probably also due to the millions of Millennials enrolling in graduate schools, colleges or community colleges to make themselves more marketable.
While their entry into work life and careers hit a major snag because of the recent Great Recession, the report notes that Millennials are also more positive than their elders about their economic futures as well as the overall state of the nation. Nine out of 10 say they currently have enough money or that they will eventually meet their long-term financial goals.
Millennials are also the first “always connected” generation in the history of the country. Deeply devoted to digital technology and social media, this generation treats their hand-held gadgets almost like a multi-tasking body part. As the report notes, more than eight in 10 Millennials said they sleep with their cell phone next to their beds; this means they are ready and willing at a moment’s notice to text, call, email, listen to music, play games and much more. This adoration for hand-held technology has a dark side too; nearly two-thirds of Generation Next admit to texting while driving, the report says.
The young people who make up Generation Next also use a variety of ways to express themselves. According to the report by the Pew Research Center, three-quarters of Millennials have created a profile on a social networking site, and one in five has posted a video of themselves online.
Self-expression is not limited to just electronics and social media; nearly four in 10 Millennials have a tattoo. For most of them, one tattoo is not enough; about half of those with tattoos have two to five and 18 percent have six or more. In addition, the report notes, nearly a quarter of Millennials have a piercing in a place other than their earlobes.
While they enjoy self-expression, Generation Next does not necessarily have an “in your face” quality about it; the report notes that most Millennials have placed privacy boundaries on their social media profiles and 70 percent of them report that their tattoos are covered by clothing.
Millennials also tend to be fairly cautious about other people, the report says.
Two-thirds say “you can’t be too careful” when dealing with others. Interestingly, they are also less skeptical than their elders of the government, and they believe more strongly than other generations that the government should do more to solve problems.
About six in 10 members of Generation Next was raised by both parents, which is a smaller percentage than older generations. When asked to weigh the priorities in their own life, Millennials—just like older adults—place marriage and parenthood far above their own careers and financial success. Although they value marriage, the report notes that only one in five members of Generation Next is currently married, which is about half the share of their parents’ generation at the same stage of life.
What’s in a name?
Here’s a sampling of generational names and how they are typically described:
2000/2001-Present—New Silent Generation or Generation Z: Proficient in technology, this generation is curious and driven and independent.
1980-2000—Millennials or Generation Y: The first generation to come of age in the new millennium.
1965-1979—Generation X: Often depicted as savvy, entrepreneurial loners.
1946-1964—Baby Boomers: Label is drawn from the great spike in fertility that began right after the end of World War II.
1925-1945—Silent Generation—This label refers to their conformist and civic instincts.
1900-1924—G.I. Generation: Known for their formal look, cooperative attitudes and high-achieving ways.
I wish I worked at…Finding your dream job is more than salary compensation
These days, salary isn’t everything when it comes to dream jobs.
Everyone wants the most substantial paycheck possible, but more people — from entry-level millennials to industry-shifting baby boomers — consider the quality of workplace environment a top factor in their job searches.
Denise Gredler, founder and CEO of BestCompaniesAZ, said she routinely meets job-seekers around the Valley each month and often hears them share their desire for flexible work schedules and collaborative workplaces that break the mold of the cubicle walls. Those trends tend to increase productivity and, especially at fast-growing companies, can lead to new positions that more specifically align with personal interests.
“Many top employers only promote from within, so getting your foot in the door is a perfect opportunity for an employee to grow rapidly,” Gredler said.
Perks that matter
Some companies, such as innovative technology firms and those with strong call center operations, have developed open-seating environments where executives might sit alongside entry- or mid-level staff. Others want to care for, retain and develop call-center staff in new ways, such as providing headsets so employees can stand or walk around, rather than being tethered to their desks. Others allow employees to use pool tables, pingpong, relaxation rooms and other amenities to offer a break from the phone.
Wellness initiatives, philanthropic programs, recruitment from more diverse groups like military veterans, and flexible work schedules like four-day work weeks are also key factors for job-hunters in 2015, according to CareerBuilder and other experts.
Financial services giant Charles Schwab has nearly 13,900 employees in the U.S., including more than 3,100 in Arizona. But employees are not considered numbers. With such an expansive workforce, the company developed initiatives to promote healthier lifestyles among its staff — using programs that give employees an extra vacation day for contributing to community service projects, $250 bonuses for completing wellness
activities and one-month sabbaticals for eligible employees after every five years of service.
Charles Schwab is also recognized as a pioneer in hiring former members of the U.S. military and its Forward March program. The company estimates that one in 16 of its nationwide new hires is a military veteran now. That strength of military experience in its workplaces reflects a companywide commitment to values like teamwork, leadership and goal-oriented approaches to job duties.
At Orion Health, a global population health management leader that’s growing its Scottsdale Airpark presence into a 10,000-square-foot campus for its healthier populations division, employees can dig into a company fridge with drinks and healthy snacks — such as fruit, cereal and gluten-free and non-dairy options. Orion Health also gets employees together via weekly social hours with refreshments.
Companies that assist employees with finding the most comfortable work-life balance tend to be the most attractive to job-seekers.
“They’re looking for companies that are innovative in their approach,” said Heather Kivatinos, who oversees the recruitment sales division at Republic Media.
“More companies are offering perks for commuting or creating flexible work schedules where they can work from home, which has a great impact on employees and their families, and also on the environment.”
Diversity: A reflection of your community
Building a diverse workforce is not about meeting specific age, race, gender or ethnicity metrics on a hiring checklist. It’s about evaluating potential employees on the grounds of merit, qualifications and abilities and embracing the unique backgrounds and perspectives they can bring to a company or organization.
Canden Baker, executive director of Human Resources Regional Operations for USAA, says that in doing so, companies can foster stronger connections among team members.
“Bringing together people with different views and beliefs ultimately encourages respect and trust among colleagues,” she explained. “We look at how a job candidate fits with our culture instead of focusing on set diversity parameters.”
Do the right thing
Ultimately, Baker says that hiring a diverse workforce is really about honesty, integrity and doing the right thing: focusing on the individual and his or her talents rather than being guided by internal biases.
And, she says, when a company’s workforce is reflective of the clients and communities it serves, diversity is almost a guaranteed outcome.
Rona Curphy agrees. Curphy, CEO of Banner Casa Grande Medical Center, which was one of the top 10 companies in diversity last year, notes that a diverse workforce makes a company more attractive to potential employees.
Mirroring the greater Casa Grande community, the hospital brings together employees of various ethnicities, including those of Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, black, American Indian and Alaskan descent.
With health care being an industry dominated by women, it’s no surprise that 79.9 percent of Banner Casa Grande’s employees are female.
Beyond ethnicity and gender, age is another shining aspect of today’s increasingly diverse workforce.
It is not uncommon to find members of the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers working alongside those of Generation X, Generation Y (Millennials) and the newly minted Generation Z.
According to Curphy, the coming together of generations can and often
does increase employee engagement.
“It creates a family-like culture and an environment where team members of different ages learn from one another,” she said. “This generational diversity is even evident among our volunteers, where we have teens serving alongside individuals in their late 80s and early 90s.”
In the end, creating a diverse team of employees has less to do with what a person looks like or where they are from and more to do with what they have the capacity to give and receive in the role.
7 perks job seekers are looking for
“Show me the money!” That phrase may not have as much meaning as it once did for job seekers. As employee desires shift from salary-related benefits to a more inventive-laden workplace, employers have had to change their recruitment strategies. According to a research study by GlassDoor, here are seven perks industry experts have noticed job seekers looking for.
Growth Opportunities: Employees are no longer looking for just a “job” – they are now looking for a company where they can further their professional growth and establish a full-fledged career.
A 401(k) Program: With many companies eliminating pension and retirement plans, money-based incentives have become more important to job seekers. 401(k) plans, especially those with company matches, are quickly becoming the norm.
Healthcare Benefits: Due to rising healthcare costs over the last decade, an accident or illness can be extremely costly to an individual. Healthcare benefits are a must for many of those in the job market.
Flexible Hours: Individuals face many demands outside the workplace, from personal issues to family commitments. Flex time is key in maintaining employee happiness and preventing them from feeling like they cannot have a life outside of work.
Remote Workplace Opportunities: Remote workplace opportunities allow employees to tend to any personal issues that may pop up, as well as provide costs savings thanks to a cutback in commuting.
Equity and Stock Options: Concerns about Social Security and layoffs have forced many would-be employees to consider retirement options early in their career.
Career Planning Programs: Not only must employees feel like they can forge a career, they must have the right support in place to do that. A company that offers training and peer-to-peer support is more likely to catch a job seeker’s attention.
Socially acceptable? How social media can affect your social standing in the job search
When it comes to hiring, employers today are looking at more than just résumés and references. From Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to good old Google, the World Wide Web is giving hiring managers a new lens through which to evaluate job seekers.
Scouring social media sites for additional insight about job candidates, many recruitment and human resources professionals admit to basing some of their decisions on what they find online.
A 2014 CareerBuilder survey found that 43 percent of employers reference social networking sites when researching a candidate, up from 39 percent the previous year. Less than impressed with what they’ve found, 51 percent of employers admit to not hiring a job candidate based on his or her social media posts.
According to Shannon Grimes, talent attraction manager with Charles Schwab, a candidate’s online profile helps determine whether the person they meet via a phone or in-person interview matches his or her social media persona. A discrepancy may lead to further probing.
“Social media isn’t a singular source or reason for making a hiring decision, but it definitely shapes the interview process and discussions about a candidate’s personal brand,” noted Grimes.
When speaking to new and upcoming college graduates about the role of social media in the hiring process, she implores them to ask, “Would I hire me based on my Google search results?” For many, that simple question can be a wake-up call that what you post — and what others post about you — can leave a lasting impression.
Ultimately, managing one’s personal brand requires vigilance in the social media medium.
“It’s also important for people to pay attention to detail,” Grimes said. “Things like typos on a LinkedIn profile can be glaring detractors. Take the time to paste your profile in a Word document to check things like spelling, grammar and alignment before posting it online.”
Snapshot of a candidate
With so many aspects of a person’s life on display in today’s social age, employers can often get a good feel for a candidate’s character or personal brand with a few clicks of the mouse.
Feedback from employers about some of the most off-the-wall things they have discovered in potential employees’ social media feeds shows that personal brands can be quite varied.
Among the bizarre and unexpected were posts from job candidates that included links to escort services, dental exam results, photos of personal arrest warrants, information about involvement in demonic cults, and bragging about repeatedly driving drunk without getting caught.
But there is some good news about social networking in the hiring process.
One-third of employers who research job candidates on social networking sites report finding information that made the candidate more appealing. In fact, nearly a quarter of employers surveyed said they hired a candidate based on what cropped up in an online search.
Just another tool
Heather Kivatinos, recruitment sales manager with Republic Media, says social media is becoming an increasingly important tool for both employers and job seekers.
“If you’re trying to attract a younger generation of workers, you need to engage them on their terms,” she explained. “Social media is a forum
for sharing stories. As such, it also gives employers a voice for telling stories about what makes them unique and great places to work.”
A recent CareerBuilder survey found that the average job seeker references up to 16 different sources in their employment search, with social media being a main source.
“About 62 percent of candidates check out the social media presence
of an organization,” she said. “Companies like International Cruise and Excursions leverage social media and make it a key component of their recruitment strategy.”
So, what’s the moral of the story? Social media can make just about anyone an open book. Be careful — and thoughtful — about what you post. What lands online can take on a life
of its own.
Top reasons employers passed on a candidate based on social media
• Provocative or inappropriate photos/information (46 percent)
• Posts about alcohol and/or drug use
• Disparaging posts about a previous company or colleagues (36 percent)
• Poor communication skills
• Discriminatory remarks about race, gender, religion, etc. (28 percent)
• Lying about qualifications
• Sharing confidential information from previous employers
• Being linked to criminal behavior (22 percent)
• Unprofessional screen name
• Lying about an absence (13 percent)
Top reasons employers hired a candidate based on social media
• Personality showed a good fit with the company culture (46 percent)
• Conveyed a professional image
• Proved to be well-rounded/wide range of interests (40 percent)
• Great communication skills
• Creative (36 percent)
• Received awards/accolades
• Great references (30 percent)
• Interacted with company’s social media accounts (24 percent)
• Large number of followers/subscribers (14 percent)
Q&A: Inside the mind of a top HR recruiter
With nearly two decades at La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries and many years working in the recruiting field, Kathy A. Till, vice president of Human Resource Development for the Arizona branch of the home furnishing firm, estimates she has interviewed more than 6,000 applicants. She shares her wealth of insights into tips for successful job interviews, the changing work place landscape and what it takes to land a job at La-Z-Boy.
What do you look for when you are interviewing a potential employee?
I look for attentiveness throughout the interview. While the days of interviewing in a three-piece suit are gone, put your best foot forward, be well groomed and properly accessorized. Dressing suitably for the interview is respectful and also shows you can meet our customers’ expectations.
What questions might be expected?
The interview is for learning about the potential employee and how they will fit in with our team, so I always ask what they are looking for in a company. Often I will ask, “What would your best friend tell me about you? If I called your friend later, what improvements would they say you need?”
Are there qualities you want in a La-Z-Boy employee?
I look to see how people carry themselves and how they communicate because it reflects their confidence level. Most of the people we hire are in sales or interior design, so we need someone with great interpersonal skills. They must be able to create relationships, explore customer desires, find out what the customer
wants and determine how we can meet their needs.
Also, our organization is one unified team. We are not the typical top-down organization. Our culture changed about five years ago and, as a result, our employees stay with us longer and there is a wait list we hire from every four or five months. I need employees who embrace our organization, identify areas we can improve on and come forward with solutions. We listen to our employees in the warehouse, on the sales floor and on the design team because they work with our customers every day.
How should a prospective employee prepare for the interview?
Research the company and go to our website — La-Z-Boy.com/Arizona. I encourage going into one of our stores and talking to our employees because that is how you really find out about a company and whether it is a good fit for you.
Is the work environment changing?
La-Z-Boy hires employees who reflect a changing customer base. Responding to an influx of millennials, we expanded our involvement in Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House because giving back to the community is a priority with that generation. Our policy of embracing input from employees fits well with their desires that their feedback is respected. Flexibility in the work schedule is another millennial expectation we offer that parents also find is a bonus.
Any final advice?
Interview for a job where you can be yourself. Decide what is important to you and, with an open mind, research companies. We are more than a furniture company. When customers go home and walk into a comfortable room we’ve helped create, they relax and let go of their stress. We make a difference in peoples’ lives. If you care about that, this might be a career opportunity for you.