Burlington police plan recruitment fair

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The Burlington Police Department will hold a recruitment open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 1 at the department, 267 W. Front St.

“Potential recruits will gain insight into what it is like to be a Burlington police officer,” the department said.

Potential recruits can watch hourly demonstrations of the K9 Unit, Special Response Team, Motorcycle Unit, and Physical Agility Test. Recruits will receive guided station tours and have opportunities to discuss benefit packages and the application process one-on-one with a human resources staff member.

“The Burlington Police Department welcomes college seniors preparing for full-time employment, students currently enrolled in a Basic Law Enforcement Training program, professionals considering a career change, and sworn Law Enforcement Officers interested in making a move to a different agency,” the department said.

The department sponsors a limited number of cadets for Basic Law Enforcement Training.

For more information, visit http://www.BurlingtonNC.gov/OpenHouse. RSVP there for the event. Join the conversation on social media with #SeeYourselfBPD.

Don’t Fire That Employee Before You Read This

When it comes to terminating an employee, getting it right is key.

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Imagine you’ve recruited an employee who, for all intents and purposes, seemed competent enough.

At least, that’s what you thought when you hired him.

But over the last few months, you’ve noticed that he is just not performing up to the standard you were expecting. Maybe he’s missing deadlines, turning in incomplete reports, or just isn’t “getting it,” despite multiple attempts to help him succeed.

You need to do something. You don’t have time to babysit, and constant errors are affecting your team’s credibility. You see nothing else to do but let him go.

But terminating an employee on a whim can be a risky move for your business. You need a practical and fair process help reduce your liability. Moreover, it’s best to give employees plenty of time to improve, and give them the tools needed to get there. After all, recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training a new employee can be very costly.

But when all else fails, termination may be necessary. To conduct performance-based terminations the right way, it’s best to follow a progressive discipline process, which generally includes a series of increasingly severe penalties for repeated offenses. Here are a few tips to protect your business.

  1. Write down everything

Documentation is key. If you don’t write something down, it can be argued that it didn’t happen. Even informal conversations written in a notebook can be helpful and considered documentation. While it may seem time-consuming to write down exchanges, times, dates, and other details, doing so can be important should you have to defend your decision.

  1. Be clear about expectations

For every job, you should have a job description. Even if you don’t have anything formalized, you should have documentation that relays a solid overview of the functions and responsibilities of each role on your team. You should also know what it takes for employees to be successful in each role, and it’s essential that your employees know this, too.

Don’t assume that people understand what you need. People come with their own perspectives that don’t always match their boss’s. Each role should be clearly defined. This makes it easier to pinpoint and correct problems.

Additionally, your progressive discipline policy should be established and transparent, outlining how corrective action and termination should take place should you need to go there. This helps ensure every issue is handled consistently and fairly.

  1. Be a good coach

Both new and existing employees should be coached. This is informal feedback and consists of what’s right as well as what’s wrong. Think of a football coach. He gives praise for a good pass or a solid tackle, but also points out the missed catches and holes in the defense.

Your employees need this feedback to understand how they are doing well before you get to the point of considering disciplinary action or termination.

  1. Initiate a performance improvement plan (PIP)

So, let’s say you’ve provided ongoing coaching, but you’re seeing some major concerns with performance that the coaching hasn’t affected. This would be a good time to develop a performance improvement plan (PIP).

The PIP should explain specifically what the problem areas are and establish detailed goals for corrective action. In some cases, one-on-one counseling might better help the employee, while other cases might need a written plan.

This method can be helpful in addressing issues like attendance, communication and other behavioral issues. For example, if someone is routinely missing work, you might have a conversation about exactly when the employee is expected to arrive at and leave work, as well as the fact that you expect to see immediate improvement. Explain that continued punctuality issues could result in termination.

If you have more skills-based issues, a PIP might be more appropriate. For example, you might explain:

Sally Brown has been submitting reports with numerous grammatical, spelling and technical errors. Within the next 30 days, Sally needs to complete Business Writing 101, as well as use grammar and spell checking tools prior to submitting reports. Technical data should be reviewed by the Engineering group. We will meet again on next Tuesday to review progress.

In any case, the timeline given to improve should be reasonable. Some deficiencies are quicker to fix than others. Keep this in mind.

Document the conversation and plan. Have your employees sign an acknowledgement form to confirm that they understand. If you do a verbal counseling, send a follow-up email to your employees.

Hold regular follow-up meetings. Make sure you capture the details of these conversations in writing and have employees sign documentation confirming that they attended the meeting. Give them specific feedback on how they’re doing. If results are mixed, share with them what they’re doing right as well as what they’re doing wrong.

Now-;this part is important-;if you don’t see improvement, employees are still making similar errors, address them immediately. Don’t wait until your next follow-up meeting. And keep notes on what you’ve addressed and when.

  1. Conduct a written counseling

If things are getting really egregious, you may need to move to a written counseling. A written counseling is somewhat similar to the PIP. It should outline areas that employees need to correct. Again, in writing, detail specifically what needs to improve and how this should be accomplished.

The counseling form should also express that improvement needs to be immediate, marked (noticeable) and sustained.

Employees should sign this form after you’ve discussed it with them. This doesn’t mean they have to agree with what you’ve documented. Their signature simply indicates that they have received the counseling.

  1. When all else fails, terminate employment

Despite all of your efforts, you still may not see the type or quality of improvement needed, and the only option left is to sever the relationship. However, by now, you should have clearly documented what you did to help the under-performing employee improve.

Performance-based terminations should never come as a surprise to your employees. Prior to terminating your employee, be sure to review all associated documentation. Also, contact your legal counsel or HR representative to ensure your case is supported, justified and sound. Confirm that you’re following all state-specific wage and hour regulations. And if you use employment contracts or non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, you should ask your legal counsel to provide you with validity and enforcement guidance.

In releasing employees, honesty is the best policy. While your goal is not to make anyone feel bad, you should also not disguise a performance-based termination as a “layoff” or request the person to resign. For example, you can say, “John, as you know, we’ve talked a few times about your attendance, and we haven’t seen this improve as we would have liked. That said, we have made the decision to terminate your employment effective immediately.”

So, when is the best day or time to have this kind of conversation?

Honestly, there really is no “good” time. It’s never an easy conversation. However, there are some times that are less desirable than others. For example, Friday afternoons are typically not ideal because the released employees have the weekend to dwell on their new reality. Opinions on when to terminate can vary widely, but ultimately, earlier in the week is preferable, as well as earlier in the day.

The only thing worse for you than a bad employee is bad documentation. Make sure you’re not making other common HR errors. Download our free e-book, 7 Most Frequent HR Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

How to Attract and Hire Exceptionally Motivated Employees

It starts with better job postings.

CREDIT: Getty Images
CREDIT: Getty Images

How do I find, hire and retain self motivated employees? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Most of the solution for you will come down to finding and screening your employees.

Finding Employees

The most difficult step these days if finding employees — any employees at all. We’re in the midst of one of the most difficult hiring markets of all time, so you need to have a top-notch recruiting game.

One of the best things you can do to get an edge is to write better job postings.

To start, do some research on what the people you need to hire want in the job. Go to Glassdoor and read reviews of other companies that hire for this job, visit online forums for people that hold this position, and take note of their particular complaints. You can get exact instructions for doing this here.

Can you counter any of these complaints?

For example, if everyone complains about the lack of paid time off, and you offer a competitive PTO package, be sure to put that in your job posting.

Now talk to your current employees and find out what it is they most like about the job, the location, their coworkers, the workspace, etc.

Put all of this in your posting, and limit your requirements to only those necessary.

Screening Employees

This is where you try to figure out how self-motivated people are.

You can determine this in part by looking at the jobs they’ve held. Have they ever worked in a job where expectations are high, and supervision is low? To be successful in a job like that, you need self-motivation.

To further test them, though, I’d send out an email to all applicants asking them to answer a few questions about the job. These questions should make them think, and take a least 20 minutes of your time.

People with really low motivation won’t even answer the questions. The individuals who take the time and do good work are your motivated ones. You can ask them questions about how they’d deal with everyday work tasks, and to describe a time when they’ve had to work with little supervision and high expectations.

If you’ve written an excellent job post, the best candidates will be excited about the job and won’t drop out just because you ask a few questions.

 

Shrinking Bonuses Slow the Revolving Door of Wall Street Brokers

  • Fiduciary rule cut recruiting deals, an impact that may linger
  • Firms said to offer smaller packages after regulatory guidance

After months of secretive planning, seven teams of financial advisers had new business cards and client lists in hand, poised to dump their employers and join Morgan Stanley with more than $500 million of assets in tow.

But the wealth managers woke on Oct. 28 to find the ground beneath them had shifted. Morgan Stanley had pulled the advisers’ lucrative recruitment packages overnight after U.S. regulators clarified new rules to reduce conflicts of interest in the industry, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The teams were thrown into limbo.

For years, top Wall Street financial advisers have cashed in on client relationships by jumping to rivals offering rich recruitment packages. But those multimillion-dollar deals abruptly crumbled in October when the Department of Labor briefed banks ahead of the April implementation of its so-called fiduciary rule. Major firms including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch soon restructured their enticements, typically offering at least 25 percent less than before, according to the people. And even though the rule’s future is now in doubt, its impact on bonuses endures.

“Right this second, I find almost nobody moving,” said Michael King, a New York-based recruiter. “Unless there’s a special situation they’re trying to fix, like if they hate their manager, people are waiting to see if the bonuses come back.”

Accepting Less

At the center of the disruption is the Department of Labor’s interpretation of the fiduciary rule. Broadly speaking, the regulation says advisers handling retirement accounts must give advice in a client’s best interest and shouldn’t earn more than reasonable compensation. More specifically, the regulator said in October, hiring incentives risked running afoul of rules because they include sales targets that can pressure brokers to push expensive products on savers.

In January, President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum directing the regulator to review the rule. But after years of preparation, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch have said they will still follow through with reforms they drafted to become compliant. They haven’t specified what they’ll do with compensation.

Hardest hit are brokers who focus on commission-based accounts, where revenue is fueled by higher-cost investments such as variable annuities. While top financial advisers usually cater to a wealthy clientele who pay a flat fee, many still have at least some assets subject to the restrictions.

None of the seven teams poised to join Morgan Stanley in October followed through, according to the people with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential talks. But of several dozen others who agreed before the last week of October to take jobs, almost half eventually accepted the smaller packages, another person said.

Setting Targets

Signing bonuses are calculated based on an adviser’s trailing 12-month revenue, which includes fees and commissions. Before the Labor Department issued guidance in October, top performers could expect total incentive packages equal to about 330 percent of their revenue.

That meant an adviser with $200 million in assets under management producing about $2 million in annual revenue could expect a deal worth $6.6 million. The payouts were split between upfront bonuses and back-end awards spread over about a decade. To collect the full package, the recruit had to hit certain production targets.

But since October, the four major wirehouses of Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo & Co. and UBS Group AG have been offering packages worth 200 percent to 250 percent. That means the same adviser would reap at least $1.6 million less. The back-end awards have either been replaced by pay based on the deferred compensation that brokers forfeit when moving firms or changed to de-emphasize production targets to comply with the Labor Department directives.

Regardless of what happens with the rule, banks may not rush back to their old practices. For years recruitment deals have been derided as a zero-sum game that hurts industrywide profitability because big firms mostly just trade brokers among themselves. But banks continued to offer the bonuses to defend and build wealth management businesses with steadier revenue and lower capital requirements than trading operations. The disruption in October may help ratchet down the bidding for top producers.

“It’s been an ongoing bull market for top talent, and this has been the first correction in at least 15 years,” said Danny Sarch, president of recruitment firm Leitner Sarch Consultants. “We’ve had pauses, like during the financial crisis, but this is the first real step back. Now the question is, will they still be able to get people to move?”

 

LinkedIn is no longer the future of recruiting, according to a former LinkedIn executive

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LinkedIn, Monster.com, and other job websites have revolutionized the way that companies look for new hires. But they’ve also made it easier for those companies to sort candidates based on factors like where they went to school and which companies they’ve worked at in the past—which can narrow the pool of candidates and contribute to diversity problems.

Dave Foley, the former leader of a global sales unit at LinkedIn, says that his hundreds of former customers were “typically looking at the same profile” in terms of schools and companies from which they were hoping to recruit. “Many as-good or better candidates are often overlooked because they don’t work or study in traditionally biased institutions like Harvard or McKinsey.”

In order to make it easier for hiring managers and recruiters to deemphasize attendance at top schools or career history, however, it helps to give them another way to quickly narrow down the candidate pool. That’s where the next generation of recruiting tools comes in.

Folely recently left LinkedIn to join one of a handful of companies that is working on creating metrics that assess candidates fairly, at scale. He is now the head of global sales at Pymetrics, a company that tests potential candidates on more than 90 emotional and cognitive traits such as attention, sequencing, planning, risk profile, reward profile and how to read emotion in others. It then compares the results to those of the company’s current, most successful employees in the role. (That helps zero in on candidates whose traits have helped others be successful at that particular job, within that particular company.)

Experts in hiring diversity say that broadening the pool of candidates from which companies hire is one of the most important aspects of creating better, more-diverse teams. Some non-profit organizations have focused on getting companies to consider candidates with unconventional credentials. Other startups have focused on assessing specific skills regardless of pedigree. A company called HackerRank uses coding challenges as a way for engineers to prove their skills (and for companies to recruit them). Another hiring platform, called Triplebyte, uses anonymous, standardized skills tests to help sort candidates.

Both of the Pymetrics’ founders are neuroscientists, and the tests the company gives to job candidates, which are presented as games, are based on science. One game that assesses how candidates respond to risk, for instance, presents them with a virtual balloon and asks candidates to make decisions about how much to inflate it. The more air that goes into the balloon, the more game money they receive, but if the balloon pops, they don’t receive any money.

Some of the company’s clients use the tests as part of their application processes. For entry-level jobs, where experience isn’t as much of a factor (“they don’t have any experience,” Folely notes), companies may source candidates directly from Pymetrics’ pool of candidates. That includes recent college graduates and people who have taken Pymetrics’ assessment while applying for other jobs. The tool complements resumes and other skills-based tests and creates a useful filter for more traditional recruitment processes without necessarily replacing them.

“I see this disruption as for the better,” Folely says.

Try before you buy: 4 companies revolutionizing recruitment, hiring processes

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The overall unemployment rate in the United States is at near-record lows, and while that’s great for employees, employers can feel the pinch when seeking new team members. Not only that, but with engagement being today’s benchmark for a productive work force, it’s more important than ever to hire not only quickly, but also correctly. By making transparency and honesty integral parts of the interview process, companies can establish a level of trust and enthusiasm with interviewees that sets them up for success once they’re on the job.

We checked in with four companies deploying innovative hiring tactics in an ultra-competitive job market.

1. Be transparent:

Anyone who has looked for a job knows that the interviewing process can be surprisingly mysterious. Candidates might be rejected, without explanation, for roles they believe they fit perfectly, or they may be surprised by the depth or breadth of a company’s recruiting method along the way. Hart, a digital health and fitness platform based in Anaheim, California, aims to take the unknown out of hiring by making the process as transparent as possible, from start to finish, whether you receive an offer or not. It’s a process Talent Director Cory Eustice calls “purposeful hiring.” “Hart strives to eliminate [the] anxiety and instead create a process that’s fulfilling for both sides, no matter the outcome,” noted Eustice. “For candidates who ultimately make a home here at Hart, we believe this kind of respect and transparency sets the stage for the rest of their time at Hart.”

Hart’s transparency begins with making sure that candidates are fully informed about what to expect throughout the interviewing schedule, with whom they’ll be meeting, where, when and why. Hart also strives to inform candidates of their decision within 48 hours of completing the interviews. But perhaps the most surprising element of Hart’s hiring approach includes letting prospects know why they weren’t offered a position in an honest and straightforward way. As a growing technology firm, Hart is aware that their hiring processes will need to change and adapt, and they’ve worked hard to evaluate and improve, in no small part by eliciting feedback and criticism from candidates about how the process worked, or didn’t work, for them.

2. Try before you buy: Buffer

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Buffer team meet-up in London

At Buffer, prospective new employees are invited to participate in a paid 45-day boot camp, or probationary period, after which candidates and company decide if the match is a good one — 70 percent of the time, it is. The social media platform employs an all-remote team of roughly 80 employees on six continents. The culture and work can be challenging, making meticulous hiring a must. “Because we’re a particular sort of culture, it’s fun for a lot of us, but it’s not always the right place for some people,” said Community Champion Arielle Tannenbaum. “Boot camp is an opportunity for both sides: for us to see if the person will be a good fit for our culture and for them to see if they enjoy it.”

The process is a leap of faith since it requires prospects to abandon full-time employment or job seeking during the six-week trial, but Happiness Hero Octavio Aburto believes the process is worth it. “Even though we keep growing and growing, the core feeling remains,” he said. “I think it speaks to the great care and attention that our people team has put in.”

3. Build a talent pool: Genesys

In the ultra-competitive Silicon Valley employment market, finding and hiring the right candidates is always a challenge. When customer experience and contact center solutions firm Genesys became dissatisfied with the length of time required to fill important roles, they decided to build a large pool of strong candidates with a multi-pronged approach.

The Daly City, California, company has created an international associates program that hires recent grads based on traits like motivation, drive and creativity, not only grades. And while technical and engineering backgrounds are preferred, students from all disciplines are considered, as are mid-career professionals looking to reboot. Each associate undergoes a demanding training period followed by a long assignment under an assigned mentor. As of 2015, the company had ushered 70 associates through the program and engaged with nearly 150 interns globally.

In 2015, the firm also kicked off a program to connect with high school students. This effort invites students to interact with Genesys software and provide feedback a fun, entertaining environment, and allows the company to keep tabs on students as they progress through their studies, potentially resulting in internships and job offers after graduation.

Merijn te Booij, executive vice president of product and solution strategy at Genesys, told Forbes, “We’ve invested in a long-term, sustainable solution. Now, we are networking to create pools of potential employees who have a connection and relationship with us.” The methods have certainly paid off: Genesys’ average time to hire was cut in half in just one year.

4. Don’t forget fun: HalloweenCostumes.com

Many recruiters try in vain to get past nerves and formality to assess the real human being under the candidates’ polished, suited veneer. At HalloweenCostumes.com, where holiday business means hiring more than a thousand seasonal employees each year, they may have solved the problem. Their secret weapon? Fun.

Recruiters at the Mankato, Minnesota-based company first use a series of “rapid-fire challenge” questions to get to know candidates. Far from hardball, technical queries, the challenges are quirky, thought-provoking questions like, “If you were a hot dog, would you eat yourself for food?” and “If you were a color, what color would you be and why?” Founder Tom Fallenstein told Entrepreneur, “You can tell that you’re really getting to know them because they can’t rely on canned answers. When they’re answering so quickly or in a game environment, [job candidates] really respond more honestly.”

Next, candidates might be asked to meet with potential managers and peers for in-person interviews, with a twist. They’ll be playing a game of Jenga where each puzzle piece is inscribed with the next interview question. Again, the point is to inject fun and a bit of the unexpected to assess more than how well a candidate memorized rote interview responses. In the HalloweenCostumes.com process, candidates will be able to demonstrate their ability to handles stress, think on their feet and inject humor into surprising situations.