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Author Archives: Ledgent

Why Meetings Matter

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This entry was posted in News by .

As you learned in our last post, meetings can quickly become a money-waster. But does that mean companies should scratch meetings completely? Well, no.

Face-to-face communication is invaluable in the workplace. An overwhelming majority of meeting attendees (92%) said they value the opportunity to contribute (Verizon). Continue reading

The Hidden Cost of Bad Meetings

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This entry was posted in Business Clients, eBooks by .

Next time you’re in a meeting, try to calculate the cost. A one-hour meeting between 10 employees earning an average of $30/hour adds up to $300 in salaries alone. Inviting one or two managers quickly escalates the cost. Meetings between several managers or executives may cost upward of $1,000 in salary (TED). This doesn’t even take into account the time spent preparing for the meeting! Continue reading

Salary Talk: This is How You Rock a Salary Negotiation!

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This entry was posted in Job Seekers by .

There will come a point during your job search when you must have THE salary talk. It can be a daunting conversation—especially if you’ve never negotiated your salary before.

Surveys say that only 11% of people are satisfied with their first salary offer (Houston Chronicle), yet nearly half (49%) accept it (CareerBuilder). When you don’t negotiate, you risk getting less than you want, or worse, less than you deserve.

As one of the nation’s leading staffing companies, we secure thousands of jobs for our Ambassadors every week. This, of course, means that we negotiate thousands of salaries. Here is our guide for what to do—and what not to do—when talking about salary.

1. It’s better if they bring up salary first. It’s always better if the interviewer brings up salary first. Seeming too eager to talk about money can come across the wrong way. You want to seem excited about the job and the company rather than the pay.

However, if you believe you are close to an offer and salary still hasn’t come up, it’s okay to nudge the conversation in that direction. You don’t want to go through multiple interviews only to find out that salary expectations don’t match. That’s a waste of everyone’s time.

Try a few of these conversation starters:

  • In the interest of respecting both our times, I’d like to make sure we’re on the same page for salary.
  • Would you be the right person to talk with about salary?
  • I’m really interested in the company and would like to get as much information as possible. Would you be able to tell me more about the salary and benefits offered?

2. Don’t feel like you have to accept the first offer. We hear a lot about the 75 cents women earn for every dollar a man earns. Part of the reason for this persistent gap is lack of negotiation.

Women are less likely to negotiate their salary than men. However, a 2012 study found that when researchers explicitly told job seekers that pay was negotiable, the gender gap disappeared. Men and women negotiated their way to comparable salaries (National Bureau of Economic Research).

If you believe you are worth more than they are offering, give yourself permission to negotiate.

Deep breath. You’ve got this.

3. Use your research skills. Even if you think the offer is offensively low, keep your composure and act professionally. This is where your research and preparation come in handy.

If you’ve done your research, you have a solid idea of what a fair compensation package looks like. Don’t be afraid to ask for this. If you can negotiate some of the perks and benefits, feel free to bring those into the conversation. Additionally, if you are interviewing at other companies, be transparent about what it would take to make you commit.

  • Although you mentioned $50,000, I would be more comfortable if we could settle on $57,000. I think that number reflects my qualifications and the role’s responsibilities.
  • I understand that the best you can do is $53,000 and you can’t come up to $57,000. If you can offer one remote day a week, I’m willing to accept.
  • Thank you for the offer. As I mentioned before, I’m interviewing with another organization and they have made an offer. I really like what I’ve seen of your company so far and if you can meet me at $54,500, I’d be eager to accept.

4. Always keep your cool. Ultimatums rarely work in your favor. Even if the company caves, it might leave lingering resentment. Don’t start a new position on the wrong foot.

If a company truly can’t give you an offer you can accept, then walk away. You can respectfully bow out of the conversation.

  • I really appreciate the offer and your willingness to discuss my salary. However, I don’t think we can agree on a mutually satisfying arrangement. I have great respect for you and your company. If anything should change, I hope you will consider me in the future.

Above all, you want to remain firm, yet amiable. Remember that the person who talks to you often doesn’t have the authority to approve a salary. Give them time to check with respective parties and get approval for a higher offer.

Negotiating a salary can be a daunting task. Nevertheless, getting fair pay for your work is worth the tough conversation. You will come to regret it if you settle for less than you are worth. Stand firm by your requirements, know where you are willing to compromise, and never sell yourself short.

Before you walk into any salary negotiation, check out the 5 things you MUST to when prepping for salary negotiations.

Salary Talk: 5 Things You MUST Do When Prepping for a Salary Negotiation

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This entry was posted in Job Seekers by .

There will come a point during your job search when you must have THE salary talk. It can be a daunting conversation—especially if you’ve never negotiated your salary before.

However, with a little bit of preparation you can rock any salary negotiation.

As one of the nation’s leading staffing companies, we engage in salary discussions every day. Are you wondering how to best prepare for a salary talk? Check out our top 5 things you must do before any negotiation. Continue reading

5 Amazingly Useful Websites for Salary Research

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This entry was posted in Job Seekers by .

So, you’ve completed the application, nailed the interview, and provided all your references. You finally got the job offer! But is the salary fair? Only one way to find out. These salary research tools will help you determine how fair a salary is.

Every successful salary negotiation starts with one very important step: figuring out what a fair salary looks like.

Many factors influence salary including: location, company size, experience, education, and benefits. It can take some researching skills to find an accurate estimate, but with online tools, this is now easier than ever.

If you’re wondering how your job offer compares to others in the area, check out our five recommended tools for salary research.

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1. Glassdoor

Glassdoor gives you a glimpse into a company’s culture through employee reviews, insight into offered benefits, and CEO ratings, among other features. Most importantly, however, it provides salary data.

What to do: Search the job title that best fits the positions you are considering and select the city where you are job searching. Narrow down by industry, years of experience, and even company size. For more information, check out some related job titles.

Note: To access all the data, you will need to create a free Glassdoor account and leave your first company review.

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2. LinkedIn

If you are searching for a new job, chances are you already have a LinkedIn account. It’s one of the best professional networking tools currently available. But did you know you can also get salary insight through LinkedIn Salary?

What to do: Search by job title and location. The search will show you an annual base salary. To get a more accurate estimate, specify your industry and years of experience.

Note: You will need to share your own salary information before you can narrow results by industry and experience.

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3. Salary.com

Salary.com is a tool specifically designed for researching fair salaries. Like the websites above, it will provide you information for any position you are considering. However, it’s also built for easy comparison between job titles and roles. If you’re considering very different jobs, this is a good tool to have at your disposal.

What to do: Search by job title and location. You will be given different titles to choose from and compare. Click on whichever title(s) you are interested and you will get estimated salaries.

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4. Payscale

Like Salary.com, Payscale was specifically designed to provide salary data. It offers salary reports for over 100,000 job titles, as well as general salary trends.

What to do: Select the option to get your pay report and continue through the guided process. You’ll be prompted to enter job title, years of experience, and location.

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5. Indeed

Indeed might be better known for its job board, but it’s also an excellent tool for salary research. It allows you to research companies, providing you employee reviews, salary satisfaction ratings, and insight on offered benefits.

What to do: Begin by entering your desired job title or company. You will see the average hourly salary, as well as salaries for specific job posts. You can then narrow down results by location.

Now that you know what a fair salary looks like, what’s next? If you’re happy with your job offer, congratulations! It’s time to let them know you accept. If not, however, then it’s time for the dreaded salary negotiation.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out our Salary Talk guide to learn all the ins and outs of negotiating a salary.

Ultimate Interview Guide (Part III): 3 Ways to Follow Up After an Interview

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This entry was posted in Job Seekers by .

Post-interview etiquette is just as important as your behavior during the interview. Not to mention, the hiring process isn’t over yet. Nearly half (48%) of recruiters said they usually conduct three interviews per candidate (MRI Network). No matter what stage you are at, finish the game strong by following these steps:

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1. Send a thank you card.

Most candidates will send a thank you, so being the only one who doesn’t makes you seem uncaring. Stay in the forefront of your interviewer’s mind with a quick thank you card or email.

Here is a template you can work with.

Hello [Interviewer],

Thank you for taking time to meet with me today. It was such a pleasure to learn more about the team and position. Our conversation confirmed my interest in becoming part of [Company Name].

I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the hiring process. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Send this within twenty-four hours.

2. Prepare for the next round.

Remember that you can expect around three interviews. This can seem exhausting, but remember that it will all be worth it in the end (even if you don’t get the job, it’s still excellent practice that puts you one step closer to your dream job).

As you wait to hear back, start preparing for the next round. Your interviewer will likely give you a general timeline so that you know when you’ll hear back from them and what kind of interview is next. You might need to prepare to meet the team, a hiring manager, or the CEO.

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3. Think “pleasantly persistent.”

So, it’s been a couple of days, maybe even a week, and you still haven’t heard back. How do you contact the hiring manager without coming off as demanding or annoying?

Companies can usually take a while to come to a decision. They might have a series of interviews scheduled over several weeks, meaning they might not contact you until they’ve met all the candidates. Hiring decisions might also need to go through a series of approvals before moving forward.

However, if it has been several weeks, it’s okay to reach out via phone or email. Think “pleasantly persistent.” A simple paragraph asking for updates in a friendly tone should be enough.

Hello [Interviewer],

I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to check in about the [job] position. It was great to meet you last week and talk about all the opportunities [Company Name] has to offer. Please let me know if there are any updates regarding the position.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Note: You’ll have a clearer idea of when it’s appropriate to send a follow-up email if you ask about the timeline before leaving the interview.

Next Steps

So, you’ve gone through the application, the first interview, and any subsequent interviews. And you’ve got that long-awaited job offer! What now?

You don’t need to accept a job just because they gave you an offer. There are several things to consider before accepting a new position, including salary, benefits, commute, opportunity for growth, and workplace culture. For more help, check out our top things to consider when considering a job offer.

Ultimate Interview Guide (Part II): 5 Tips to Remember on Interview Day

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This entry was posted in Job Seekers by .

Interviews are your best chance to make a good impression and connect with the hiring manager. No pressure, right?

One-third of bosses know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether the candidate is a good match (UndercoverRecruiter), while half can tell in the first five minutes (CareerBuilder).

So, yes. First impressions do matter. Here is everything you need to make a good one.

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1. Arrive five minutes early. When it comes to interviews, arriving on time means you’re late. Most candidates make the effort to get there early, so you don’t want to be the only one making a last-minute entrance.

However, there is such a thing as too early. If your recruiter wasn’t expecting you yet, they might feel rushed. If the interview experience is stressful for them, they might walk away with an unfavorable opinion.

Aim to be in the waiting area 5-10 minutes before your scheduled interview time.

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2. Remember cell phone etiquette. Checking our phones has become instinctual. The first down moment we get, we automatically refresh our email or check social media. Do NOT do this at an interview. Leave your phone in your briefcase or purse.

Even in the waiting room, put the phone away. Checking your Facebook can make you seem bored and unprofessional. Instead, read through your notes or browse through any coffee table books they might provide.

Additionally, you’ll want to turn off your phone or switch it to airplane mode. Those “silent” vibrations are rarely ever silent.

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3. Make eye contact and smile. According to Forbes, two of the most common reasons why otherwise qualified candidates don’t get hired are failure to make eye contact and failure to smile.

Humans are influenced by facial cues. People who smile appear to be more likable, courteous, and even competent (Penn State University). Your smile is your secret weapon! Make eye contact while you smile and it will automatically make your interviewer like you more.

Additionally, you’ll want to pay attention to your body language. Sit up straight and don’t cross your arms over your chest (it makes you seem closed off). If you often fidget, take notes during your interview. It can be an outlet for nervous energy and you’ll also end up with thorough notes to reference!

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4. Aim for big small talk. Your interview will likely start with a bit of small talk. Sure, you could talk about the weather… but why not start with bang?

You’ve done your research, so why not use it to start a more memorable conversation. Consider leading with one of these conversation-starters:

  • “I saw on LinkedIn that you recently won a Best Workplace award. Your engagement programs are really leading the industry.”
  • “I saw in the local business journal that you were ranked as a top-grossing company.”
  • “I read your blog post on X. It was very interesting. How do you see that affecting the industry?”

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5. “Do you have any questions for me?” Towards the end of your meeting, your interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions. You should say yes.

Asking question shows genuine interest in the position and the company. Here are a few questions you can ask:

  • Is there anything about my application/resume that concerns you?
  • What would help me be successful in this position/organization?
  • Can you tell me more about your journey within the organization?
  • What do you think makes this company the best place to work?
  • What do you expect the interview timeline to look like?

You can also ask any other questions relevant to the organization, benefits, or industry. Good questions show you’re invested in the industry and that you did your homework on the organization.

Need help preparing for your interview? Check out Part I of our Ultimate Interview Guide: 6 Things You MUST Do Before Your Interview.

And don’t forget post-interview etiquette. Prep for success with Part III: 3 Steps for Making a Good Impression After Your Interview.

Ultimate Interview Guide (Part I): 6 Critical Tips to Prep BEFORE Your Next Interview

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This entry was posted in Job Seekers by .

Interviews are your best chance to make a good impression and connect with the hiring manager. No pressure, right?

A Harris Interactive and Everest College survey found that 92% of Americans have at least some fear of interviews. The most common concern was being too nervous, with 17% saying this was their top concern. Other common reasons for dreading interviews include fear of being stumped by the interviewer’s questions, being late, or being seen as under- or over-qualified.

Whatever your reasons for hating interviews, know that you are not alone. Interviews are stressful events—you’re putting yourself out there with no guarantees of getting anything in return!

Nevertheless, interviews are worth it. A successful interview could give you an immense advantage over other candidates. It makes you seem personable and gives you a chance to sell your unique strengths better than a resume ever could.

The best way to combat nerves and increase your odds of landing the job is to prepare. As one of the nation’s leading staffing companies, we conduct thousands of interviews every week. Here are our best tips for guaranteed success before, during, and after an interview!

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1. Research EVERYTHING. Nowadays, researching a company is easier than ever. Their website is like a cheat sheet listing the mission, values, products, history, and more. Additionally, tools such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn provide you even further insight.

On Glassdoor, you can read reviews from previous employers, including details about the company’s interview process. You might find information on the kind of questions they ask, the length of the interview, and the competitiveness of the position. Glassdoor also provides information on salaries, benefits, and perks.

On LinkedIn, you can view more information on the company, including who works there and what their qualifications are. You might find that an old classmate or coworker works at the same company. Why not reach out and ask them for tips?

Additionally, you’ll probably be able to find more about your interviewer on LinkedIn. It’s okay to check out their profile and read the content they have shared. At the interview, you can then say something like, “I read the article you posted on so and so,” or “I saw on LinkedIn that we went to the same school.” Your research is a great way to demonstrate your interest in the company.

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2. Clean up your social media. Just like you are researching the company ahead of the interview, the hiring manager is researching you. According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates, and 54% have found something that made then reject a candidate. Yikes!

So yeah, those bad pictures from Spring Break in Cancun are more than just embarrassing—they might actually be hurting your prospects.

Before any interviews, go through your social media. Review your privacy settings, hiding or deleting anything that might cause concern.

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3. Practice your timing. Finding an office that you have never visited can be confusing. Finding it while stressed is ever harder! To avoid being late, look up your route ahead of time and calculate how long it will take you to get there during interview time. Don’t forget to account for traffic! You get extra preparedness points if you actually drive to the office a few days before and find the building.

It’s also a good idea to ask about the parking situation when you schedule your interview.

If you’re interviewing during work hours and your current boss doesn’t know about it, ask for time off ahead of time instead of calling in sick at the last minute. You don’t want to jeopardize your current job before you land a new one.

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4. Have all your documents. Print is not dead. While most people now view and send resumes online, it’s still expected that the interviewee (that’s you) will bring copies. Showing up without them can signal unpreparedness. Not to mention that scrolling through your phone to find a cover letter or writing sample is super unprofessional.

Bring about five copies of your resume. Some interviewers might ask for a specific number of copies ahead of time, but if they don’t specify then five copies is a good number. Additionally, bring any other relevant materials such as writing samples, portfolio pieces, case studies, former projects, or anything applicable to your position.

And don’t forget to print on resume paper.

Resume paper is thicker and research has shown that when we hold heavier items we perceive them as having more importance. Printing on resume paper will make your resume appear better quality than those printed on regular paper.

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5. Dress to impress. According to the Undercover Recruiter, 65% of managers say clothes could be a deciding factor between two similar candidates. Appropriate clothing varies from one industry to another. A suit is expected if you’re interviewing for a finance position at a big corporation, but it might come across as pretentious if you’re interviewing for a small tech start up.

This is where all that research comes in handy. You can probably find employee pictures on the company’s website or Facebook profile. Check out what you’re wearing and then dress one step above. If you’re unsure, err on the conservative side—it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Business professional or business casual outfits are always the safest choices.

Try out your outfit ahead of time, making sure it is clean, ironed, and free of holes and stains.

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6. Practice for common interview questions. There’s no way for you to know exactly what the interviewer will ask you. However, certain questions have a habit of turning up in every interview. Here are some common questions you will likely see.

  • “So, tell me about yourself.” This may seem like small talk, but it’s really just another interview question. This is your time to sell yourself. For tips on crafting a memorable elevator pitch, check out our infographic.
  • “Why do you want to leave your current job?” The most important thing to remember is NOT to bash your current employer. Interviewers might think you’ll do the same to them if they were to hire you. Instead, say something such as “I’m looking for new growth opportunities,” or “As much as I’ve learned in my current role, I feel like I’m ready for something new.”
  • “What is your biggest weakness?” Do NOT say you are a perfectionist or a workaholic. These answers have been so overused that you’re guaranteed at least one other candidate said before you. Pick another trait that you’ve struggled with and offer an example on how you’re working to improve. This is also an opportunity to address any gaps in your resume or lack of industry experience. Explain why you’ve applied to the job despite these gaps and why you believe you are still a good candidate.

The best tip for crafting good answers to any interview question is to provide examples or stories from your personal experience. Examples will be better evidence of your skills and qualifications. And whatever you do, don’t lie.

Ready to rock this interview? Check out Part II of our Ultimate Interview Guide: 5 Tips to Remember on Interview Day.

Infographic: Debugging the High-Potential Program

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This entry was posted in Business Clients, Infographics by .

Most of the pitfalls in HiPo programs are not easy fixes. They often require thorough revision of the procedures and practices in place. Nevertheless, improving these programs can be incredibly beneficial to both the company and its employees. Research and experience has revealed some of the most successful ways to find, develop, and engage high-potential talent.

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