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5 HR Technology Trends to Watch

Advances in technology have impacted every field, including recruiting.  We’ve put together a list of seven technology trends we think will change the way recruiters operate, as well as some suggestions for how you can leverage these developments to improve your company’s HR functions, positively impact company culture, and recruit (and retain) top talent. Recruiting Chatbots Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to hold text-based conversations with individuals who land on your company’s recruiting page, presenting a cost-effective way to provide real-time answers to potential applicants.  Some tech companies are also working on developing chatbots that can help new employees get set up after being hired, so they are not roaming around looking for someone who can answer their questions or frantically flipping through the employee handbook.  Integrating an AI chatbot can help attract potential employees, ease the transition for new employees, and increase productivity. Mobile Mobile app usage within...
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Making the Most of a Reference Check

Checking references is a step that, unfortunately, many recruiters and hiring managers decide to skip when bringing in a new employee.  It often seems tedious and time-consuming – the candidate has already passed through the pre-screening process, they’ve gone through phone and in-person interviews (perhaps even multiple rounds of face-to-face interviews), and they’ve managed to shine through it all.  What’s the point of going through their list and calling everyone just to get standard, canned responses about what a great employee they were?  Reference checks should never be ignored, though.  People can be trained on how to interview well and come across as competent, personable, and eager, so checking their references to make sure that they are actually a good employee , not just a good interviewee, is crucial.  Additionally, you need to verify that everything they’ve said on their résumé is accurate – you’d be surprised how many people...
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Reducing Employee Turnover

It’s no industry secret that employee turnover and “job hopping” are on the rise, with fewer people choosing to stay with the same company for the entire length of their careers, as was once common.  This does have some benefits, as employees are gaining a wider variety of experiences and skills which they can apply to each new workplace, but can hinder company growth – especially for small companies.  With that in mind, we asked our HR experts to come up with some tips for reducing employee turnover and improving long-term retention rates.  Tip 1: Review compensation and benefit packages regularly Higher salaries and more attractive benefit packages are regularly cited by job hoppers as some of the top reasons they accepted a new position, so employers can cut down on this motivation by regularly reviewing compensation packages.  Review industry trends to make sure that your employees are being paid...
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How to Improve a Negative Employer Brand

It can happen to any company.  A few negative reviews on Glassdoor, one discontented employee spreading rumors, or a piece of negative press, and all of a sudden your company is suffering from an unattractive brand image.  Happily, however, there are a number of ways employers can turn the situation around and improve a negative brand image problem.  We’ve put together some easy steps that can help you rebuild your company’s image, or even just help you turn your company’s brand from average to excellent. Tip 1: Do your Research Making assumptions about the root cause of your company’s negative brand issue will not help you improve the situation, as you may end up targeting the wrong item and wasting time and money trying to fix something that isn’t broken.  If you’re afraid a branding problem is affecting your company culture and your ability to hire, start by doing some...
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Creating a High Performance Culture

As a manager, you are responsible for setting the tone in the office.  Naturally, not every manager will have the same style: some may prefer to hold weekly staff meetings and provide structured feedback, for example, while others would rather hold staff meetings as necessary and provide feedback on a more ad hoc basis.  Whatever your managerial style, though, almost everyone can agree that it’s best to have a high performance culture where all employees strive to provide the best possible work product.  With that in mind, we’ve put together some tips to help you build a just such a culture in the workplace. Tip 1: Increase Transparency It’s hard for anyone to perform well if they don’t understand how the work product they produce will be used and how it contributes to the overall goals of the company.  When assigning new tasks, make sure everyone involved knows exactly what...
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Top Résumé Writing Myths Debunked

A few weeks ago we asked our recruiting experts to help job seekers out by debunking some common interview myths , and this week we’ve decided to revisit that topic by debunking some of common résumé writing myths we have come across over the years.  Résumé writing is not an exact science with hard and fast rules, so breaking one or two of these guidelines will not necessarily automatically disqualify you from an interview.  In general, however, avoiding these résumé myths will make your résumé more engaging and attract more attention from recruiters and hiring managers. Myth 1: My résumé can only be 1 to 2 pages Résumé length is one of the most common résumé myths floating around, and we’ve seen it all, from senior executives trying condense decades of qualifications into one page using tiny fonts and no margins, to entry-level professionals trying to pad their résumés with...
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Why your Company Should Utilize Mobile Recruiting Apps

Everywhere you look there is someone engrossed in their phone: tapping a message, scrolling through an article, watching a video – everything can be done on mobile devices.  Additionally, Google has recently changed their search algorithm to ensure that mobile search results favor sites that look good on smartphone and tablet screens.  So why not bring your recruiting efforts into the mobile world and take advantage of the opportunities mobile-optimized websites provide?  To help you figure out what you need to do to optimize your mobile presence, our recruiting experts have put together a list of six key things candidates are looking for in a modern, mobile recruiting page. 1 – Mobile-Optimized Website Not surprisingly, we’ve found that one of the top things candidates would like is a recruiting website that is optimized for viewing on mobile devices.  This goes for hiring managers posting job listings on their company website,...
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Making the Most of a Phone Interview Part 2 – As a Hiring Manager

Last week we took a look at some of the things candidates can do to ace a phone interview , so this week we are decided to flip the focus and offer some advice for hiring managers!  Phone interviews can be a valuable tool, particularly if you have a lot of candidates who have applied for the position and not enough time to meet with all of them in person, but there are some simple things you can do to make sure you are getting the most out of each phone interview. Tip 1: Develop a Checklist Phone interviews are typically used to pre-screen candidates to determine whether or not they should be brought in for a full, face-to-face interview, so before you begin interviewing you should sit down and develop a checklist of immediate disqualifiers.  By going through this checklist during each interview you will be able to quickly...
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Six Interview Myths Debunked

We’ve been in the recruiting industry for a while, but every now and then even we still get thrown for a loop by some of the interview myths our clients believe.  So, we’ve built a list of common (and not-so-common) interview myths that seem to be lingering, with the hopes of dispelling them once and for all!  If you’re worried that you may have any additional misapprehensions about job interviews that we have not covered, feel free to shoot us an e-mail or give us a call , and we’ll be happy to speak with you! Myth 1: Withhold your Questions until the End of the Interview While you certainly don’t want to be left mute when your interviewer wraps up the discussion by asking if you have any questions, don’t save all of your points until the end!  Interviews are meant to be a dialogue, not an interrogation, and...
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How to Attract Millennial Workers

Millennial workers, or those born between about 1980 and 2000, have been trickling into the workforce over the past few years, and will continue to do so over the next decade, leading many business owners and hiring managers wondering how to attract this new generation of employees to their particular company.  Dozens of studies and articles come out every year on millennial traits, millennial goals, and millennial sensibilities as members of older generations try to understand what drives millennials and how to motivate them to succeed in the workplace.  With that in mind, our experts have put down some of their thoughts on how to attract—and retain—millennial workers and build a modern workforce. Tip 1: Build a Strong Web Presence Many companies focus purely on the business aspects of their organization on their website, providing detailed information about service offerings, customer feedback, and past projects, while ignoring cultural aspects.  If...
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How to Minimize Workplace Negativity

Negativity in the workplace is, unfortunately, a fairly common problem managers face, regardless of industry or location.  Though every office environment is unique, we’ve put together a list with some straightforward tips for reducing negativity and ill feelings that, hopefully, every manager can implement as part of a strategy to build a positive atmosphere. Tip 1: Provide adequate monetary compensation As an employer, you certainly hope that your workers are coming into the office every day for more than just a paycheck.  You want your employees to find meaning in their work, believe in the company, and get a sense of personal fulfillment from their efforts.  At the end of the day, though, your employees all have to pay their bills, and no matter how much they love their job or the office environment, they will leave eventually if they aren’t making enough to support their families, especially if they’re...
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Recruiting Through E-Mail

Finding talent to fill an open position in your organization is easier than ever thanks to tools like LinkedIn and online job boards, but attracting that talent to your business, particularly if it is a small business without a well-known “brand name,” can still be difficult. With that in mind, our experts have put together some tips for writing an effective recruiting e-mail that will catch your target’s eye and make them want to learn more about your company. Highly qualified candidates are likely to be receiving lots of e-mails from recruiters and hiring managers, after all, so if you want to bring them in for an interview your e-mail is going to have to stand out! Tip 1: Be Specific When drafting your recruiting e-mail, be as specific as possible about the job, the company, and the responsibilities your future employee will have. You may not be at liberty...
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Working with an Independent Contractor

Bringing in an independent contractor for a specific project is an excellent way for small businesses to reduce overhead and save money: the hiring process isn’t as extensive, you don’t have to provide benefits, and you won’t be stuck paying a fixed salary to an employee who’s wasting time all day long because the work you hired them for is done.  However, you also have less control over an independent contractor, and since contractors are typically used for short-term projects, you may face a high level of turnover.  And of course, there are legal challenges!  Be sure to read up on local, state, and federal regulations on what constitutes an independent contractor and what laws are in place, and consult with legal counsel if you still have questions. With these pros and cons in mind, Potomac Recruiting has put together some tips for working with a contractor: 1)Always Establish Clear...
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Tips for Being an Effective Mentor

We have written several articles that briefly touched on the importance of providing mentorship programs to keep your employees engaged with the company and satisfied with their jobs, but we have never discussed the specifics of how to be an effective mentor.  So, we asked our human resources experts to compile a list of some of their favorite tips for becoming a good mentor who guides his or her employees to success! 1)       Be Willing and Able to Clearly Explain what you Know If you want to be a solid mentor, you’re going to have to put yourself in the shoes of your mentee and figure out how to impart your knowledge without using jargon, specialized acronyms, or buzzwords that might be confusing to someone without your level of expertise.  Remember, this person approached you because they want to learn from your experience and one day reach your level,...
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Common Recruiting Myths Debunked

This week, we’ve decided to put together a list for all the human resources departments considering bringing in an outside recruiting expert, and for all the job seekers thinking about going through a recruiting firm, debunking some of the most common myths about recruiting firms.  We hope this gives you better insight on recruiting!   Myth 1: My company can’t afford a recruiter Recruiters, like everyone else, do not work for free.  If your budget is tight, you may feel that you can’t afford to pay a hefty fee for a professional recruiter and decide to rely on internal staff to lead the hiring process.  When you take the hidden costs of hiring into account, however, you may find that the cost of engaging an outside recruiting firm is not as exorbitant as you may have thought!  Publicizing job openings, reviewing résumés, and interviewing candidates is a lot of work,...
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How to Overcome your Toughest Hiring Challenges

        After a few articles focusing on helping job seekers build their résumés and turn networking meetings into job offers , it’s time to switch gears and look at some of the things hiring managers can do to make sure they are bringing in the best talent.  This week we will look at some of the common challenges human resources professionals face when hiring, as well as some steps to overcome these hurdles. Challenge 1: Not understanding the position you are trying to fill          Before you can hire the right candidate, or even begin the interview process, you need to make sure you and your hiring team have a deep understanding of the role that is being filled.  Sit down with the department that is hiring and work with them to gain a deeper understanding of the day-to-day tasks this new hire will be...
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How to Offer Hiring Perks on a Budget

We touched last week on the topic of offering non-monetary or low-cost bonuses to improve employee engagement , so this week it seems natural to discuss how to offer hiring perks on a tight budget. We’ve all heard about some of the massive packages new hires at large corporations like Google and Facebook receive: large monetary bonuses, gym memberships, company cars, relocation bonuses, and so on.  If you’re a small business or feeling the crunch of the economic downturn, you may be worried that you’re losing out on talent because you can’t afford to offer lucrative deals to attract top employees.  Don’t get discouraged—there are plenty of low-cost perks you can offer that will appeal to everyone!  We’ve put together a list of 10 simple perks that will help you attract new employees—and keep your existing employees happy and productive! Offer Flexible Hours: Letting potential new hires know that they...
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Building Employee Engagement

In today’s world of budget cuts and economic uncertainty, it’s no surprise that employee engagement is dropping.  Companies are being forced to do more with less, and often that means demanding more of employees without being able to provide bonuses or raises.  This, in turn, is making many employees feel overwhelmed and overworked, and this stress can lead to disengagement and loss of passion at the office.  With this in mind, Potomac Recruiting has come up with some simple tips every manager can incorporate to boost engagement without breaking the bank! Tip 1: Give Out Positive Feedback Whenever Possible Make sure your employees know when they’ve done a good job on a task, even if it’s something small—you’d be surprised how far a public pat on the back can go towards improving morale!  Additionally, encourage employees to give positive feedback to each other whenever appropriate, and to share in accomplishments...
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The Importance of Creating a Culture of Ethics

In today’s business world, more than ever, it is crucial that business leaders establish a culture of ethical behavior within their workplace. Without values such as trustworthiness, responsibility, and respect, every company is susceptible to many forms of misconduct in the workplace.  Company executives have a responsibility to instill these good values and morals in their culture—and to set a good example by adhering to their own rules!  Instilling this culture of ethics is most effective when employers begin to make these values clear from the time employees are hired.  With this in mind, Potomac Recruiting has compiled a guide to building a culture of ethics in the workplace: The first step in creating an ethical workforce comes during recruiting .  One of the most important aspects of business today is having employees that you can trust, so when hiring look for candidates who have exhibited ethical behavior in the...
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Achieving and Maintaining Effective Talent Management

Talent management is a broad way of stating “having the right people in the right place at the right time,” and this complex process requires a good deal of strategic planning and critical thinking.  We’ve developed a list of five tips we hope will prove useful to help you make sure you’re effectively managing your talent or if you’re not sure where to start! Tip One: Talent Management Starts Before Recruiting A sound talent management plan is firmly rooted in overall business goals and strategies, so step one should be to sit down—either by yourself or with your team—and outline your company’s organizational goals.  Once this is done, you will be in a position to develop individual and team goals that align with these overall corporate goals, which is helpful for several reasons: 1) It provides a set of performance benchmarks that can be used to evaluate whether or not...
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About Us

Potomac Recruiting consultants are specialists in talent. Our experienced consultants are passionate about finding the right people for your business—that’s the Potomac Recruiting advantage. We specialize in finding the people who will help your business exceed its goals, and our success is measurable: in today’s fast-moving world Potomac Recruiting is proud that our retention rate is 93%.  

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