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Does Your Performance Review Process Really Work?

January 12th, 2016

When done well, a performance review is a chance for you to provide guidance, set expectations, and improve productivity/efficiency. When done poorly, a performance review is a waste of time for all parties involved. In order to avoid missing out on a major managerial opportunity, look for the signs that indicate your performance review process may not be working.

You Barely Prepare for the Review

You have a lot to do already, which can make it difficult to spend much time preparing for performance reviews, especially if you have a big team. But ultimately that preparation is the substance of the review. If you don’t make the effort to fully survey an employee’s performance, output, and attitude it’s impossible to provide them with an honest or meaningful critique.

You Don’t Prepare the Employee

Too often, the performance review process lacks transparency. The employee doesn’t know exactly what they’re being appraised on, what period of time has been reviewed, what benchmarks they’re being compared to, and how the appraisal was conducted. This uncertainty naturally puts the employee on edge and makes them suspicious of the process. Start your review by clearly laying out your agenda and methods.

You Have a One Way Discussion

A performance review should be a discussion, not a lecture. If you’re doing all the talking, you’re missing out on a lot of valuable information and making the employee feel like they’re under attack. Provide your perspective, but make sure to ask the employee how he feels about his own performance, what goals were and were not met, and what changes he would like to make in the future.

You Hesitate to Offer Praise

Performance reviews should provide a balance of positive and negative feedback, but that doesn’t mean you should temper your praise. If an employee has turned in an outstanding performance, let her know about it and be sure to offer your gratitude. Recognition can be a powerful motivator, and a valuable resource to draw on when you can’t offer more tangible rewards.

You Shy Away from Criticism

More common is the opposite of the previous point. In an effort to provide balance you tone down or walk back from criticisms you planned to address. You shouldn’t be aggressive, but if there are clear performance issues this is the time to point them out and establish a clear plan for improvement. Let the employee know what you expect, when you expect it, and what kind of consequences are on the table.

You End Early

Make sure not to end your performance review until both parties are on the same page. If an employee is unclear about what is working, what is not, and how things will operate moving forward, then the whole process has been a waste. Take some time at the end of the review to address any confusions/concerns.

You probably just completed end-of-the-year performance reviews, which makes now a natural time to reflect on the success or failure of the process. Be honest about what is not working and your next review cycle will be your best one yet. Learn more about effectively managing your team by contacting the Concorde Group.

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What Does “We’ll Keep Your Resume on File” Actually Mean?

December 28th, 2015

All job seekers have heard it before – “We’ll keep your resume on file.” Most of us interpret this as a polite way to say “Thanks but no thanks,” but there is always the tantalizing possibility that someone will reference your resume in the future and offer you a job out of the blue. So what does this overused phrase actually mean? Should you look elsewhere or hold out hope? It all depends on the job and the company, but usually this phrase means one of three things:

“We Like You as a Candidate, but Not for This Job”

There are some job seekers who have a lot of impressive credentials and interpersonal skills but simply aren’t the best fit for the job they’ve applied for. In this case the hiring manager may be legitimately interested in keeping you in the recruiting orbit, but doesn’t have a job to offer right now. You should only come to this conclusion if you have had at least one interview that you felt went well and received warm sentiments when you reached out to the hiring manager subsequently.

“There Was Never Really a Job Available”

Too often recruiting is more about optics than efficiency. Companies will often initiate a perfunctory recruiting process knowing the entire time that an internal candidate will be tapped to fill the role. That means you likely haven’t been vetted very closely and the offer to keep the resume on file is simply a polite sentiment. The good news, however, is that while you didn’t dazzle, you didn’t make a bad impression either. You should feel welcome to apply for future opportunities and can use your previous experience to demonstrate a longstanding interest in the company.

“Please Do Not Contact Us Again”

After an interview, it’s appropriate to follow up once but not more than that. There are a number of professionals, unfortunately, who haven’t learned this lesson and incessantly reach out to hiring managers post-interview. They will often get the resume on file line simply as a way to sever the string of contact. If you proved yourself to be a bit too eager (be honest with yourself), you should give up on this opportunity and look elsewhere. Use the experience as a learning opportunity and find a better way to demonstrate your enthusiasm.

No matter which of these responses applies to you, one thing is clear – you’re going to need to continue your job search. Don’t be deflated, just do things better. Access resources from The Concorde Group to help you find superior job opportunities in Westchester NY and get your foot in the door faster.

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How to Make Better Job Postings

February 11th, 2015

If you have a vacancy and you’re just not finding the right candidates to fill it, the problem could be the way your job posting is written. Use these tips to help improve your current posting and all the ones you write in the future.

Use Relevant Keywords

You might use phrases like “IT Brainiac,” or “Sales Ninja” to add some character to your posting and help you stand out, but ultimately this kind of esoteric phrasing just makes it harder for job seekers to find you. Using relevant keywords ensures you will narrow your candidate field to the actual qualified applicants you are looking for.

Create Attractive Postings

A job posting is similar to a resume. Both need to be attractive, attention grabbing, and easy to read/digest. Make sure you are using bullet points, add your company logo to the top, and consider making a brief recruiting video to connect a human face with your company.

Make Your Expectations Clear

If a job comes with special requirements – lots of travel, working unusual hours, the need to relocate regularly – make sure those points are made clear in your job posting. It helps no one if you try to obscure the true nature of the job you’re offering.

Be Brief

The average job posting is filled with extraneous information. There is no reason to mention that candidates “must be punctual and professionally dressed,” or to recount the entire history of your company. Cut out all but the most important information.

Start Strong

The most important and relevant information should appear at the top of the job posting. If you need to explain or elaborate, you can do that further down.

Mention Compensation

Every job seeker will be wondering about it. If you are prepared to offer generous or at least competitive compensation, say that explicitly. If your budget is tighter, emphasize other types of compensation or perks like vacation time, flexible scheduling, or tuition reimbursement.

Sell Your Company

This is especially important if you want to attract top talent. Try to answer these two questions – “Why would someone love having this job?” and “What do your employees love about working for your company?”

Position Yourself Honestly

If you are a small startup, it’s dishonest to describe yourself as the rival to Google. If you are honest about who you are as a company and where you are headed, you’ll attract candidates who are eager to work in the environment you provide.

Writing a better job posting is only part of the process. You also need to get that posting in front of more promising candidates. Get the help you need to connect with a vast pool of talent by partnering with The Concorde Group, a full-service staffing firm.

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