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Job Search and Hiring Advice

Hiring is on every business owner and manager's mind right now.  As of the September 2021 jobs report, there are 10 million unfilled jobs in the United States . The challenge to hire enough employees to keep businesses functioning and able to meet the increased demand is the challenge of 2021. But in order to hire anyone, job seekers must first apply for your jobs. Getting more “apply now” clicks and completed applications means your applicant pipeline will be full and healthy. That also means you’ll have a larger pool of applicants to choose from to meet your hiring demands.   Since increasing the number of applicants for your jobs is critical to hiring success, it is important for employers to develop a recruiting process that supports this goal. Luckily, there are practical and simple things that any employer can do to get more people to apply for vacant jobs in their business. We’ve compiled a list of five actions that could have a significant impact on the number of applications that land in your in-box.   Pay More….And Promote Your Higher Wages   This one goes without saying. In a competitive job market, you must have impressive wages and impressive benefits. Gone, at least for now, are the days of trying to get the best quality talent for the lowest possible wage.  To attract talent at all, your company will need to show job seekers the money, or they will pass for a company who is paying a more generous wage.    At the time of this writing Amazon is paying $22 dollars an hour plus a $3,000 sign on bonus for warehouse associates. That’s up from $15 an hour and a $1,000 sign on bonus a few months ago. Target starts their associates at $15 per hour. And Buc-ee’s advertises a wage of $17 an hour for associates. They also offer generous paid time off.    With these companies coming in strong with compensation and benefits, that raises the standard for all employers. Not only will existing employees be tempted to leave for better pay and benefits, job seekers will pass over low wages to apply for work where they can earn more money and enjoy more perks.    Decide on a competitive wage that will be attractive to jobseekers.  But also be flexible and willing to increase pay if the market changes to keep up with the competition. You may also consider other compensation such as a sign-on bonus and stay incentive. Then use the higher pay to your advantage by promoting it on all job posts and other recruiting advertisements. This will do wonders  to draw in more job applicants.   Make it About Them   People look for jobs for one reason. To support their own goals or meet their own needs. Their main question when scanning your job posting is, “What’s in it for me?” Keep this in mind when writing job postings. Often employers spend a lot of time focusing on what they need and want from an employee.  Yes, you do need to clearly communicate the main function of the job and the requirements. But the fact is, the  majority of the job posting should highlight what the employee will gain by working with your company.    Amazon is a company that does a great job with this in their job postings.  All of their recruiting outreach from the actual job posting, to social media and commercials focus on pay, benefits and even how working for the company can help the person leave Amazon for another career.    Amazon realizes that being a warehouse associate is probably not a long term career. But it could be a stepping stone into a career with Amazon or otherwise, or a source of income while pursuing education. Amazon capitalizes on this to market their jobs and get in a steady flow of applications. You can too. The main takeaway here is to make it about them, not about you. Also, to learn more about how to write job postings that are more jobseeker focused check out this article: The Definitive Guide to Writing Job Posts That Attract Great Candidates.     Have Realistic Job Qualifications   The qualifications section of a job posting is like an employer wish list. When we sit down to write all the things we want or would love for an employee to bring to the table, it’s just exciting. Before we know it, the qualifications list is longer than our grocery list.   But what does this say to applicants? It could be the very thing that keeps a jobseeker from applying. Don’t let an unruly, unrealistic list of skills and qualifications stand between you and great applicants. When writing your job posting, consistently challenge every requirement. Ask yourself, if that requirement is absolutely necessary for the job to get done successfully.   Is a high school diploma absolutely necessary for a janitor to successfully get the job done? Probably not. Would the ability to follow verbal and written instructions be essential? Probably so.   The final list of requirements shouldn’t be filled with nice to haves or be a wish list. It should accurately reflect what applicants must bring to the employment table to do the job. If your goal is to get more applicants, keep requirements and qualifications simple and specific to the job.   Make It Easy to Apply   Applying for a job with your company should be easy.  Yes, it is tempting to ask job seekers to list every job they have had since high school. Those screening questions and assessments sound like a good idea on the front end too. But what happens in reality is that job seekers will bounce the second they encounter an over complicated application process. This is especially true for people seeking hourly and part time positions. Add to that, this is a job seeker's market.  Jobs are plentiful. There is less incentive to spend an hour completing a job application, and risk never even hearing back from the employer.     So what’s the best thing to do? Make applying for jobs with your company easy and fast. Jacksonville Works makes having a super easy application process extremely simple for employers. When posting your jobs on Jacksonville Works , simply choose to receive applications by email. By doing so, job seekers can apply using their profile instead of filling out a form on your website or applicant tracking system. It makes applying quick and easy for job seekers. Which means you may receive more applications.    You will have the opportunity to ask more questions and  thoroughly screen applicants in your selection process. So don’t try to make your application a screening tool. Make it easy to apply and get more people in your applicant funnel.    Post Your Jobs Smaller Niche Job Sites   Posting jobs on the big national job boards may seem like the logical thing to do. They get a lot of traffic from all around the world. You may think all employers post on the big national job boards.  The bad part is that all so many employers post on the big national job boards and they get traffic from all around the world. Which means your jobs have lots of competition and you can get lots of applications from applicants who are not local. That isn't what you want when you  need to get the attention of local job seekers.   When you’re hiring locally, a more focused approach is needed. You want your job to stand out and get the attention of local job seekers. When you post on the big national boards, jobs can easily get lost in the sea of other jobs. It can be very difficult to stand out to jobseekers when they are searching through jobs from all over the globe.    A local job board like Jacksonville Works gives your job the ability to be easily seen by job seekers. Since there are only local jobs listed, there is less clutter and less competition from big brands too.  Your business has the opportunity to stand out as a great place to work to local job seekers and receive more, quality, local job applications.     A good rule is to diversify your job postings. Don’t depend on just one source. Include a mix of large, small and niche job sites in your recruiting strategy for maximum results in filling up your applicant pipeline.      It may feel harder than ever to find and hire the staff that you need. But remember that recruiting and hiring is a numbers game. The more applications you can get will significantly increase your chances of finding not just employees, but the right ones.   Take some time and review your application process and give a few of these suggestions a try. Our team is always here to support your hiring. Employers with active Jacksonville Works job postings (Plus or Premium Postings) can receive personalized hands on support with their hiring.   So if you’d like our team to help you come up with a strategy specifically tailored to your business, reach out and take advantage of this benefit of hiring with Jacksonville Works .   About Jacksonville Works Jacksonville Works  is a community job board. At Jacksonville Works , we are on a mission to help local employers find great local employees. We are locally owned, locally operated and committed to helping business owners in Jacksonville hire. To get started,  post your job.  
If you've noticed the vibe among your employees is low, you're not alone. The employees who are on team have been stretched thin and to the max especially as the economy has reopened from the pandemic. But even though demand for services have increased, some employers are finding it challenging to staff up to meet that demand. So those who are working are working even harder to keep up.    With all of the current stress, employees may be on the verge of or experiencing burnout. All of which can have an impact  on their performance at work. Which makes taking action to improve team spirit and morale all the more important for business owners.   Fortunately, there are many things you can do to give your team a boost, relieve employee burnout and help your team be in a better state of mind to perform their jobs well. In this post, we’ll share four things most businesses can do right now that will increase morale and team spirit on your team.   1. Give Your Team Time Off to Recharge   Your team is tired.    The longer they have been with you, the more tired they are. The past year and half for many businesses has meant working through a pandemic. Followed by  working through extreme staffing shortages. All while  juggling their personal lives with additional shifts and longer hours.   It's been a lot.   And even if your staff has never complained, they are exhausted. The burnout is real.    That's why companies like Bumble, Mixed Feelings, Hootsuite and Nike have shut down operations for a week or more to give employees time to rest and recharge. These companies are wisely addressing the fact that their employees are if not burnt out, severely stressed out.  But what if you can't close your business down for a week  and pay employees to rest? There are still ways that you can give employees an opportunity to Recharge. Other options include:   Close for a weekend. If your business is open on weekends, close on a weekend during a time of year that is less busy.    Give employees a three or 4 day weekend. If your business is closed on weekends, give them Friday or Monday off to make it a three day weekend. Or Friday and Monday for a four day weekend.    Extend a holiday weekend . Everyone loves a three day weekend. You extend a holiday weekend by closing the day before and after the holiday. This would give employees five days off.    Even if you can't close for a solid week, there are other ways to offer employees some time off to recharge. As a result,  they can serve your customers well. Also, remember to pay your staff for this time off.  2. Show Your Appreciation     A simple "thank you" goes a long way to boosting morale and keeping spirits up during demanding times. Employees who feel that their efforts are ignored and unappreciated are less willing to continue those efforts. Or worse, may start to look for employment with other companies. Intentionally and sincerely show appreciation to employees on a regular basis to let them know you see their work and value it.   Need ideas? Check out our list of 24 affordable employee appreciation ideas that employees will love. 3. Work to Improve Culture and Work Environment Issues   A bad work environment can seriously bring down team spirit and morale. Now is a great time to address the things your employees dislike about the work environment or company in general.    This can be a hard thing to do. It is often difficult to believe that there could be major issues in your business.  But by involving your employees, you can not only identify challenges, but can find solutions that will be meaningful to them.    To discover possible issues to improve you can start by:   Reviewing past exit interviews and looking for common themes. Then ask your current staff for their input on which they would like to work on. Conduct stay interviews, focus groups or send out an employee survey to identify problem areas. For ideas and  questions to ask employees check out the resource,  7 Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask Employees .   Improving company culture and work environment is an ongoing process. You never reach "perfect" . It is a continuous effort that every business keeps working on. But the payoff is  being an employer where employees want to work. The feedback is an opportunity to improve, retain your team and position your business to be an employer of choice in the community.  4. Celebrate Whatever You Can   Because really why not?  It is always a good time to celebrate. So whenever you can, infuse some joy into the work day. And everyone loves a celebration too. Celebrations at work can be both something to look forward to, work toward, or a surprise. Here are some ideas.   Work Toward:  Attendance Sales Productivity    Look Forward to: Birthdays Birth celebrations Holidays/seasonal Work anniversaries    For  a Surprise: Busy weeks Micro holidays  Any time you want  Individual accomplishments (First day if work, completing 90 days of work, completing training, ect)   Find ways to celebrate with your employees. You’ll maintain a high level of positivity in your work environment and happier    Team spirit and morale can dip in any business at any time. Keeping a pulse on the vibe in your business can allow you to take quick action to give employees a boost before negativity erodes the company culture. The good news is that if your team does need a boost, these ideas provide quick and effective intervention.      About Jacksonville Works Jacksonville Works  is a community job board. At J acksonville Works , we are on a mission to help local employers find great local employees. We are locally owned, locally operated and committed to helping business owners in Jacksonville hire. To get started,  post your job.
  We really do appreciate our employees. Honestly, every business owner and manager does. We couldn't do what we do without them. We wouldn't be able to service our customers or grow our businesses  without them.  But as small business owners, there is just a lot of stuff to do. Sometimes, showing appreciation to our staff isn't something we can squeeze in a jam packed day consistently.    But weaving in small acts of gratitude can make a huge difference to your employees. Everyone likes a pat on the back- just a simple acknowledgment that they are appreciated and not taken for granted. And given what a moral boost that employees get when they feel appreciated, it is worth the time investment to plan some special activities throughout the year.   Budget can also be a factor that makes us shy away from employee appreciation activities. We often think that we have to give someone a huge bonus to show appreciation. Totally not true. Even small acts of kindness go a long way. And we'll let you in a little secret. Most employees aren't expecting grand acts. Anything with a little thought will work just fine.    To prove that point, We've put together a list of 24 inexpensive yet awesome options to express appreciation to your employees. Of course the actual amount spent will depend on the number of employees you have. The cost estimates provided are for a team of 10-15 employees. So adjust these estimates based on your business size. But regardless of how many employees that you have, this is a great place to start with ideas for your team.         If you have $0..... Yep, even if you have no budget, you can still do some pretty cool things to express gratitude and appreciate to your employees. Free however does not mean effortless. All of these options require some work on your part, but your employees will certainly appreciate and value the gesture. Some of the choices assume that you have access to basic office equipment and supplies that will not cause you to incur a major expense.  Let's roll up our sleeves and get into these free options.     1 . Wash your employee's cars.  You read that right. If you have supervisors, they can get in on the action too. This is pretty simple to set up. Just set a date. Send out an email or make flyer with the details. Then bust some suds. Your employees will love this idea. They will appreciate having a clean car without breaking a sweat. (Really though, who wouldn't like this?) 2.   Say "Thank you" + why you appreciate them.   This costs nothing but air. However, to make it valuable and meaningful, move beyond the generic "Thanks for doing a good job." Booo and two thumbs down on that. No. Give it some thought. Put some heart into it. What does this employee do that makes your business better or delights your customers? How are they exceptional? Sincerely think about that then tell them. Verbal and genuine praise will go a long way.  3.  Give them a handwritten note or letter.  Handwritten notes and letters have made a comeback. It means a lot when someone sits down, puts pen to paper and writes you a letter. What should you write about? Tell them how they contribute your business or specifically how they do an amazing job. Just be sincere and real.  ​4.  Give them a day off.  This is technically "free" because you don't have an new expense. But give an employee a day off with pay to rest, spend time with family or just do whatever they want. This is always a winner.  5. Special parking for a designated employee.   This can be for the employee of the month or whatever you would like to call it. The selected employee can have a premium parking spot for the week, month, year, or however long you decide. 6. Send holiday greeting cards.  Getting a card for the holidays always brings a smile.     If you have $10-$20.....    7.   Bring donuts or bagels.  Who doesn't love to find some breakfast goodies in the office break room? We can't think of any. 8.   Treat them to coffee.  Buy a few outstanding employees a gift card to a local coffee shop. Caffeine is an exceptional way to show appreciation. Bold Bean, Vagabond and Civilized Coffee are our absolute favorite local coffee spots. Your employees who love coffee will be thrilled to enjoy a cup of coffee on the boss. And you can also do double good while supporting another local business. ​9.  Have a movie day at the office.  A streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Video  and some microwave popcorn are all you need to completely goof off one afternoon and watch a movie with your team. They will enjoy the down time and some laughs. 10. Celebrate birthdays . Pick up a cake or cupcakes from your employees on their birthday and have a little celebration at the office. Instead of a cake for every individual birthday, consider celebrating all the birthdays of the month at the same time. 11. Send your employees a card + gift card or small gift.   on their service anniversary. If someone gives years of their life growing your business, a great way to thank them is on their service anniversary.      If you have $30- $50.....   12. Lunch on you!  Order some pizza and chow down with your team. 13. Entertain them.   Buy a few movie passes and gift certificates to a local movie theater and give to a deserving employee. Everyone loves going to the movies, especially for free. 14. Take your team bowling.  Bowling is fun, inexpensive and makes for a great employee outing.  ​ 15. Candy bar + soda give away.  Pick up some of your team's favorite candy bars. Snickers and Twix bars have been fan favorites. Pair that with some cans of soda. Type up a cleaver notes to attach. Then personally deliver to each member of your team for a surprise treat.     If you have $75-$100.....  16. Pay for a magazine subscription to a publication in your industry . This shows that you care about their development. 17. Send them to a professional development conference/workshop.  This is great networking and  allows them to develop their skills. 18. Buy them a book . Personally select a professional development book the employee could benefit from and include a personal note in the inside cover. 19. Take them to a sporting event . Jacksonville has lots of options for sporting events. Whether your team would like football, basketball or other sport, treating an employee to a live game is a great reward. You can choose to attend with them or give them two tickets so they take the guest of their choice. 20. Make a donation on their behalf to a charitable organization.  If your employee are into community service, let the employee choose an organization for your company to support with a donation. 21. Dinner with the boss.  Take a deserving employee out to dinner.  22. Give them a plaque.  Your employee will have instant bragging rights. Employees love showing off awards like this to friends and family. Plaques are great for employee of the year awards and service awards.  23. Give them a cash bonus.  No one is going to complain if you put a crisp $100 bill in their hand.  24. Have a company picnic/potluck.   You can take care of the major things and let your employees sign up to bring side dishes. Potlucks are usually big hits with work groups and taking the festivities outside on a nice day makes it even better. You could also fire up the grill with some hamburgers and hotdogs for a fun cook out.      These are just 24 ideas to get you started with consistently showing appreciation to your employees. There are tons of ways to show appreciation. But like anything the best option is the one that you will do consistently. We'd love to know how you show appreciation to your employees. Drop  a comment and tell us all about it.       About Jacksonville Works Jacksonville Works  is a community job board. At J acksonville Works , we are on a mission to help local employers find great local employees. We are locally owned, locally operated and committed to helping business owners in Jacksonville hire. To get started,  post your job.
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