7 Things About Millennials Your Boss Wants To Know

Posted by James Patrick Kahler on October 24, 2014


What are the kids up to these days? That’s a serious question…I honestly do not know. I haven’t watched MTV in a long time. However, if your boss or manager refers to young adults as kids, then I can answer that question.

Seeing that millennials are the ones everyone’s hiring these days, it’s essential to know everything you can about this age group. This is especially true when reporting to your manager. Therefore, I have a nice cheat sheet or Slideshare that will help you quickly understand this specific demographic. That way, you can give your boss an educated run-down on why you’re hiring millennials and why it’s the right idea. 

Educate yourself on millennials by downloading our free eBook below!


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Topics: Fresh Perspectives New Ideas

Amazon's Two Pizza Approach To Building A Productive Team

Posted by Natalie Pike on October 24, 2014

Amazon is known for multiple things. Besides being the worldwide leader in online shopping, they're also highly acknowledged for their productive team of employees. It's one thing to have a group of people that enjoy each others company, but it's another thing to have them work effectively. CEO Jeff Bezos has one simple solution to building a productive team: The Two Pizza Approach. 

When planning your next meeting and considering who to invite, ask yourself how many people you could feed with two pizzas—that’s how many people you should include. 

This number varies depending on the manager. Bezos puts team numbers between five and eight people, however Mark de Rond, a professor of Strategy and Organization at The Univeristy of Cambridge, said that various studies over the years have shown that people tend to prefer teams of four or five members. 

Regardless of how many people you think two pizzas could feed, the idea of working with smaller teams tends to reduce innovation killers such as Groupthink.  Other positives that come from working in groups of eight or less include more effective communication, higher trust among co-workers, and less fear of failure. The professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Harvard University, J. Richard Hackman, said "the more people you add to a team, the more exponentially complicated the work gets. Big teams usually wind up just wasting everybody's time."

The same goes for building your company as a whole. If you happen to grow into a business with 200+ employees, make sure to keep the team meetings on the smaller side. Bezos believes in avoiding complacency at all costs. A Wall Street Journal profile mentioned that at an offsite, team building retreat where managers wanted their employees to start communicating more with each other, Mr. Bezos stood up and said, "No, communication is terrible!" He said a decentralized, even disorganized, company where independent ideas would prevail is significantly more important. 

Whether you're into Lou Malnati's (Chicago's best) Deep Dish or maybe frozen, DiGiorno pizzas are more your fancy, think about how many people two of them could feed. Don't exceed that number when facilitating team meetings. This will increase productivity and help employees feel more comfortable communicating their ideas.


This is only one way to help build a productive team. Want 50 more? Download our free eBook!


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Topics: Employee Engagement, Management

Part Three: What Does Your ATS Say About Your Organization?

Posted by Natalie Pike on October 23, 2014

by Lizz Pellet, Culture Guru at The Good Jobs

How to Choose and Implement an ATS

Does the system have at least 80% of the features that you think you will need?

Can it produce the reports you need? Can it integrate with your HRIS system? Can the vendor give you examples, and will that cost be part of the quote?

Has the vendor installed the system in another organization of a similar size to yours?

Can you call up some of those customers and talk to their recruiters? Has the implementation gone smoothly? Were there minimal hidden costs? If not, forget the vendor. Some vendors, who are often highly regarded in the press and have innovative concepts, lacked the ability to execute. Features are of no values without execution.

What is the vision and growth strategy of the vendor? 11943716_l

Do they have the leadership and foresight to stay a market leader? You want to go with a vendor who has been around for a while and has weathered this economic downturn successfully. Do they listen to you and respond promptly to needs and problems? In my experience, customer support and follow up are the most frequently cited reasons for unhappiness with an ATS.

Are you in control of the selection process? 

Partner with your internal IT group, but don’t let them lead. Internal IT groups are trying to juggle many priorities and you are just one of them. They are always going to be focused on the technical side, not on the functional side of the product.

Not all ATS are created equal, but regardless of what ATS you use, I suggest you take the time to have your own candidate experience and apply for a job at your organization today. You might just be surprised at what you find and I hope it’s a pleasant surprise.

*This is the final piece of the guest blog by The Good Jobs


Before you even start the hiring process...beware of these 15 red flags to look for on resumes by downloading our free eBook!

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Topics: Sourcing Candidates, Hiring

The DiSC Assessment: How To Be The Best Manager For Your Business

Posted by Natalie Pike on October 22, 2014

By now, you should have categorized yourself into some sort of management style. It’s important to acknowledge your triggers so you’re able to work more effectively with your employees. Managers use all sorts of ways to identify their management style, but I’ve found the DiSC behavioral assessment to be the most effective. disc_assessment

DiSC stands for the four primary behavioral drivers: dominance, influence, conscientiousness, and steadiness. Dominant managers speak their mind in a bold and confident way. People focused on influence often combine emotion with work and care about creating relationships with co-workers. Those driven by conscientiousness put accuracy and detail before anything else. They are hesitant and guarded when it comes to expressing their feelings. Steady personalities approach work as a consistent method. They are easy-going, composed, and cooperative. 

According to a recent blog on Hubspot, if you haven’t or you’re unable to take the DiSC assessment, the following two questions can typically help to identify your management style:

  1. Are you more open (emotive) or guarded (controlled)?

  2. Are you more direct (faster-paced) or indirect (slower-paced)?

After you’ve answered these questions, you can find your management style:

D - Direct and guarded

i - Direct and open

S - Indirect and open

C - Indirect and guarded

Now that you’ve found your letter, you can own up to your style and tailor the way you manage your employees.

If You’re a Dominant Director (D)

You are very competitive and hold extremely high expectations for yourself and your team members. You speak your mind and are demanding when it comes to tasks that need to be completed. Even though you tend to have a know-it-all style, keep in mind that your staff has feeling too. There are many ways to use these qualities to disc_assessment_2improve employee engagement.

Start looking at errors as mistakes that only happen once in awhile. Everyone makes them and if you start to accept it, you’ll start to see eye-to-eye with your colleagues. There are two ways dominant managers can encourage positivity and growth in others: by congratulating them when they perform well and by giving the leadership team direct opinions and pointers, but then letting them handle it in their own way. Be trustworthy and you’ll gain commitment and staff engagement.

If You’re an Influencing Worker (i)

Your employees look to you for your ideas and coordination - coordination not being one of your strengths. Try to become more organized whether it’s creating your own calendar, making lists, or prioritizing your goals in a spreadsheet. Simple changes like these will benefit both you and your staff.

They see you as a welcoming and people-pleasing person, however this can sometimes translate into being unreliable. Don’t drop the ball. If you start to procrastinate or make promises you can’t keep, your colleagues will lose faith. As I said, you like making others happy - that’s not always going to happen. It’s important to remember that. Embrace conflict and instead of hoping it’ll slip by, deal with it head-on.   

If You’re a Steady Manager (S)

Being sensitive to your employee’s feelings is your greatest strength. You’re pretty much the opposite of a dominant director (D). You are a very well-liked manager, but your focus should now be to become an effective, well-liked manager. It’s time to develop a thicker skin, starting with the first negative comment that comes your way.

Be more assertive, start taking risks, and be more open with your thoughts. These small changes will help you gain credibility and improve the good of the team.

If You’re an Conscientious Thinker (C)

You are constantly inspired and strive to be bigger and better each day. While your employees are motivated by this, they also might feel like they’ll never be able to please you. Something that will help ease their frustration is to lessen your need to control and soften up your criticism. Try walking around the office and see what everyone is up to.

Stress that even thought you have high standards, it doesn’t require perfection every single time. This will remove some stress from not only your employees, but you as well.

No matter what category you fall in, being open to change and adapting for the good of the company will help increase employee engagement. Listen to their interests, questions, strengths and weaknesses - you’ll leave them more pleased and happy to work with you and your company.

Want other pointers on how to keep your employees engaged? Download our free guide!

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Management

Part Two: What Does Your ATS Say About Your Organization?

Posted by Natalie Pike on October 21, 2014

by Lizz Pellet, Culture Guru at The Good Jobs

My next experience asked me to include the “job category” for the position I was applying to. I was very confused. The posting said nothing about the category, so I tried to enter key words from the posting. That didn’t work. Every time I hit the enter key it bounced back to me with the error message to enter the job category. I entered a few of my own “key words” and those didn’t work either. So just for fun I entered the job posting number and YES, that was it! The job category I was applying for was HBJ209877FK2623. Somehow to me, that does not translate into a category. It’s a tracking number that populates in the ATS. Needless to say, this was not the greatest candidate experience. 16671611_l

The best was an auto generated email three minutes after hitting submit on the job posting. Really, I might be the 900th person to complete the application, but for me to know that no human being just viewed my resume which is really my resuME just made me feel bad, under qualified and over looked. The ATS is just that – automated. But we humans are not and even if you are using the keyword search functionality to weed out candidates that do not have all the required KSA’s (or maybe used other key words to describe them), it would be a much better communication to allow some time to pass before sending the auto generated email.

Along those lines, for those companies that rely on the ATS to be the gate keeper, it would elevate the candidate experience to autosend to a recruiter so a personal email can then be sent to the candidate. And that email should not say “do not reply to this email”! Please use the candidate’s name. They typed it into a data field so you do have it and your very expensive technology system is capable of doing this. Besides, addressing the email to “candidate” or “applicant” is tacky. Recruiters should also take note to use the same font when typing in either the job title or location or any other customized fields. It’s just as bad to get that email, which you know is canned but dressed up a bit to make you feel better.

*This is part two of a three-part series by The Good Jobs


A crucial part of the hiring process is conducting a phone interview.

Download our free guide for a list of great questions to ask!

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Topics: Recruiting, Sourcing Candidates, Hiring

New eBook: 15 Red Flags To Look For On Resumes

Posted by James Patrick Kahler on October 20, 2014

There are multiple signs that can help you separate qualified candidates from the unqualified ones. Sometimes these hints are right in front of you, whether you know it or not. If you’re a hiring manager, there’s a good chance you’ve seen at least one or two of the warning signs typically found on candidates’ resumes—but what about the many others? 15_red_flags_mini

15 Red Flags To Look For On Resumes is our new eBook that assists hiring managers with recognizing the signs of unqualified candidates via their resumes. Similar to magnifying glasses, resumes allow those making the hiring decisions to see applicants a bit closer, which also allows them to make quicker and better hiring decisions.

By reading this eBook, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

  • An easy-to-reference guide for identifying red flags on candidates’ resume
  • Ample explanations for understanding what resumes should look like, and not look like
  • A quick and enjoyable read

Click on the free guide below to perfect your review skills!



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Topics: Fresh Perspectives New Ideas, Interviewing Help, Recruiting, HR & HR Technology, Hiring Tips, Science of Hiring

What Does Your ATS Say About Your Organization?

Posted by Natalie Pike on October 17, 2014

This is a guest blog by Lizz Pellet, Culture Guru at The Good Jobs

In the world of human resources, ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System(s). To an organization, the ATS tool represents the process of how candidates apply to a job posting on-line. Through the technology, they get to track all of the applications in an organized manner. Gone are the days of relying solely on Excel spread sheets and homegrown databases. ATS are being used as a way to manage our candidate and future talent pool.

Some ATS focus only on the tracking piece, but many have other components – usually bolted on due to the acquisition of another technology. Those seem to be the most cumbersome and disjointed. In an article by Kate Sensmeier Jan 23, 2013, she poignantly stated the recruiting buzzwords today that circle in our brains: candidate experience, employer of choice, culture, employment branding, talent pools, talent communities, candidate relationships, etc. Your expensive and time-consuming investments in all of these things won’t be worth it if the technology is used wrong. Candidates will sour on you or abandon the process. They’ll self-select out for reasons having nothing to do with aptitude or job-related qualifications. 10885712_l

I took this statement to heart and decided to apply for a few jobs. I started on a job board and linked to company websites to start the application process. WOW! I would like to suggest that anyone reading this piece stop. Really stop here and go and apply for an open position with your own organization. I was amazed at how difficult it was to take what should be a very simple process and reach a level of frustration only experienced after running into a wall and hitting the same spot three times in a row! ATS for me translated to Annoying Technical “Stuff” you have to do to apply for a job.

Registering was no easy process, and once you register with one particular ATS vendor it remembers your name and you have to data enter your user name and password for any position you are applying to at ANY company. I used unique information for each job I applied to, so this was a Herculean task and one that I could not master. My level of frustration caused me to opt out of four job postings for companies that used this ATS vendor. I was starting to feel like a mystery shopper who was not going to have much good news for the blind company that sent me in.

*This is part one of a three-part series by The Good Jobs

Need more advice on how to better your hiring process? Download our eBook now!

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Topics: Recruiting, Sourcing Candidates, Hiring

Office Politics & Commonly Asked Illegal Interview Questions

Posted by James Patrick Kahler on October 17, 2014

I love this time of year. Why you might ask? It’s not just the fine fall weather, the fact that all three major professional sports seasons are currently intertwining or the hilarious pumpkin flavor obsession every woman seems to have right now. No, it’s not all of that. I love this time of the year because of something I hold dear to my heart: political smear campaigns.


Election season is underway and along with the campaigns are very entertaining smear commercials, “approved by” the politicians running for their respective government positions. I know these commercials can be seen as distasteful, but I enjoy them…a lot. A—because I know better than to actually believe in them (makes me feel like I’m smarter than politicians). B—I love the banter between the two parties and C—the constant questioning and accusations are genuinely amusing to me.

The commercials always raise ridiculous accusations in the form of questions, such as:

Did Senator Joe Shmo really spend taxpayers’ money on a pizza party at Dave and Buster's? Do you want a Senator who spends your hard-earned money on endless cheesy bread, alcoholic drinks and tokens for the ski-ball machines? Vote no for Shmo! This message has been approved by State Representative Bill Somebody.


As humorous as these commercials are, they often cause trouble for candidates due to the accusations and questioning from rival candidates. The same goes for hiring managers during the interview process. Asking the wrong questions can get not only the hiring manager into trouble, but his or hers entire company as well.

In order to avoid trouble and unwanted office politics, here are some commonly asked illegal interview questions hiring managers should never ask during interviews:

Five Illegal Interview Questions hr-broad-5-illegal-interview-questions-whitepaper

  1. Have you ever been arrested?
  2. Do you have kids?
  3. Where are you from?
  4. Do you own a car?
  5. What year did you graduate from college? 

According to employment law, asking candidates questions unrelated to the open position is illegal. This means that any questions concerning things such as age, family, gender, marriage, nationality and religion (plus many more) are all out of the question. Million dollar lawsuits against companies have been filed and won by the complainants because of illegal interview questions, so it’s important to know what you’re asking before the interview begins. 

So the next time you’re watching TV and happen to see a splendid smear commercial, think about those ridiculous questions and how they can get you into serious trouble. Whether or not you’re a hiring manager, I’d like to think that’s pretty good advice.

This blog has been approved by Hireology.

Trying to avoid office politics? Learn how to do just that by reading out free eBook!

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Topics: Interviewing Help, Hiring Tips, Hiring

The foosball table is killing your startup

Posted by Adam Robinson on October 16, 2014

When it comes to culture creation, there is no substitute for authenticity. startup_culture

Whenever I ask someone to describe “startup culture,” I typically get back a checklist of “cool stuff:” Video games in the office. Free catered lunches.  A cool, lofty workspace. Lots of Nerf® guns. Casual dress. Mascots.

In my experience, these things sometimes exist at well-run VC-backed startups, and they almost always exist at poorly-run VC-backed startups. Peel back the culture at funded but poorly-run companies, and you’ll discover what’s missing:


Authentic culture is really easy to spot: you can feel it.  It’s inescapable, invigorating and infectious to those who are a part of it.  Vendors arrive for meetings and leave feeling like they want to quit their job and come work there.  People absolutely love what they’re doing, and you get the sense that most people would do just about anything to help their teammate or their company achieve success.

Manufactured culture is easy to spot, too: You’ll see all the accouterments of a startup, but feel none of the energy.  There’s the de riguer open-layout office design, but nobody is talking to one another. No one is smiling, and you’ll watch people take their plate of catered food and go back to their desk and eat it while reading Buzzfeed with their headphones on.  There’s the foosball table nobody uses, because managers shoot dirty looks to the employees when they use it.  Emails are sent from leadership commenting how they can’t believe the office is empty at 5:15 every day.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the growing evidence that companies are trying to win the talent war with manufactured culture:

“Free catered lunches cost about $12 a person each day. A $2,000 custom-designed standing desk may seem unnecessary. But some investors and founders say that such intangibles can help startups nab the best talent, who may be considering several job offers."

“No one wants to lose a candidate over the last emotional mile,” says one VC partner quoted in the article.

True, but do I want someone to join our company based on ham sandwiches and exposed brick, or do I want a company full of die-hard evangelists who share our vision for transforming our industry?

The root cause of manufactured culture is, paradoxically, created by highly-focused and hard-working founders. Most entrepreneurs live on high-fives and coffee until they get the funding they need to scale the business. The first people who join them are True Believers.  They eat ramen and skip sleep, and they work their butts off.  When the company defies the odds and achieves liftoff – and gets a big slug of VC money to scale the business - the team must expand rapidly.

The problem is, the business might be ready for scale, but the culture is nowhere near ready.  Investors rightfully expect massive growth, but the entrepreneur can’t attract the talent they need to deliver it.  None of the new hires seem as passionate about the company as the True Believers. The founding team gets nervous. Predictably, they begin to spend a fortune constructing the façade of a great culture and overpaying for talent. “Hey, work here! We have Taco Tuesdays!” 

But when the going gets tough (and it always does), the team that was lured based on game rooms and launch parties are going to peace-out at their first available opportunity.  The cash gets tight, the perks stop, and there’s nothing left to hold people’s commitment.   The culture wasn’t authentic; nobody was there for the right reason.

Authentic culture starts with authentic core values. What’s a core value?  It’s a statement that declares something your company believes, one facet of the way your company chooses to conduct itself in this world.  A core value is non-negotiable, and it never changes.   It’s an invisible hand, guiding every decision that every person (yes, including you) makes in the organization.

Core values can lack authenticity, too. Does your management team let employees slide on delivering what they promised? If yes, don’t say that “accountability” is a core value.  Are you giving your customers a refund every time one is requested, regardless of the reason? If you’re not, don’t say that “the customer is always right,” because your decisions don’t reflect that value. Does your management team really trust employees to get the job done, no matter what, regardless of the time of day the work is being performed? If the real answer is no, don’t buy the foosball table.  Everyone will see that it makes you angry when people are playing it at 2:15pm on a Tuesday, and it will become a visible symbol of your inauthentic culture.

Most importantly - are you willing to fire a top-performer for violating a core value of your company?  If the answer is no, it’s not a core value; it’s a statement that someone thought sounded good but nobody really believes.   This dissonance will erode the esprit de corps of your organization, and it will lead to consistent under performance over time.

Entrepreneurs can’t buy an authentic culture, but they sure can burn a giant pile of money trying. From the WSJ article:

“I have one CEO who is building an octagonal, mixed-martial-arts cage-fighting ring because one of his employees asked for it.”

I mean, really? That’s the kind of stuff that happens when a company can’t get people to buy into a compelling vision, and is forced to bribe people to work there. I’ll pass on “Get Your Ass Kicked at Work” day, thanks.

Commenting on culture, Peter Thiel nails it:

“Anybody who would be more powerfully swayed by free laundry pickup or pet day care would be a bad addition to your team.  Just cover the basics like health insurance and then promise to what no others can: the opportunity to do irreplaceable work on a unique problem beside great people.”

Don’t get into an arms race with your competitors about whose catered lunch is better.  Don’t win with a foosball table. 

Win with authenticity.


Adam Robinson is the CEO and Chief Hireologist of Hireology. He co-founded Hireology to help companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology.

Download Adam's hiring salespeople guide here.

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Topics: Fresh Perspectives New Ideas, Employee Engagement, Company Culture, Start Ups

3 Hiring Lessons Learned From "The Voice"

Posted by Natalie Pike on October 15, 2014

So, I have a guilty pleasure. It's a show called The Voice.  I'm sure you've all heard of the original singing competition show, American Idol. Four years ago, The Voice swooped in and stole the spotlight. Whether it's the panel of insanely famous and popular coaches or the pure talent of the contestants, this show has it all.

The coaches pick teams of singers to compete against each other, however what makes this show different is that they aren't allowed to physically see the participants before they're chosen. While watching the beginning episodes of Season 7 last night, I realized how much hiring managers could learn from the show. 

Here are 3 things The Voice can teach hiring managers: 


1. Hold a "blind audition" 

Like I said, this show chooses the participants without knowing what they look like. This is how you should be interviewing. By using an interview scorecard, you eliminate any bias in the hiring process. Selecting a candidate based on what they look like isn't going benefit your company. This is also why conducting a phone interview is a good first step in the process. Call them up and get a feel for their personality and experience before you meet them face-to-face. 

2. People want constructive criticism

The Voice also differs from other singing shows because the contestant can often select their own mentor. If they're good enough, more than one coach will turn and vie for the participant's pick. The coaches must "sell" themselves on why the singer should choose them. You can go one of two ways here. Maroon 5's Adam Levine has it down to a tee. Instead of schmoozing the singers with compliments on how good their performance was, he gives them critical feedback on how he can make them better. The singers pick Adam almost every time. Same goes with how you should treat your employees. We all want people to be truthful with us. If your employee makes a mistake, bring it to their attention and explain what they can do to fix it for the future. This will not only help and please them, but it will also benefit the company as a whole. 

3. Trust is mandatory

This goes hand in hand with giving constructive criticism. You can't do this without establishing trust and respect. HR pro, Tim Sackett said, "want your employees to 'select' you as their leader? Then make them a better version of who it is they want to be." Build a foundation and relationship with your employees that make them feel comfortable expressing their concerns and opinions. Just like the relationship between a coach and contestant on The Voice, the relationship between you and your employee should be an open and trustworthy one. 

If you're struggling with keeping your team together or hiring the right people, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch one episode of The Voice. Call me crazy, but just give it a shot. These four coaches can really teach you a thing or two about critical feedback, trust and employee engagement. 

Feel like you're missing the ball when it comes to hiring and want to know why? Download our eBook and see the top 5 reasons managers make mistakes. 

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Topics: Interviewing Help, Employee Engagement, Hiring Tips, Hiring