Guest Post: Multimedia – Breaking the Resume Mold in the 21st Century

Qualified candidates are regularly overlooked, and for the simplest of reasons: they didn’t plug the right combo of buzzwords into their resumes. Candidates are taking things into their own hands. In an attempt to circumvent the keyword-laden resume game, job seekers are adopting a more creative approach to captivating recruiters. Rather than dropping the resume altogether, the trend seems to be more focused on breaking away from over-automation and a return to the heart of what makes a good hire.

Laurie Barkman of The Resumator explains, “We’ve been told for a long time, ‘This is how you do recruiting, and here’s what matters,’ but organizations are now more interested in interactions that help to determine a good fit. And more nimble organizations are looking at people beyond the resume.”

All of that sounds nice, sure, but what’s working and what’s not? There are certain guidelines that you should always follow when submitting a resume regardless of mode of delivery, but are candidates simply covering up mistakes with aesthetics? If you ask me, resumes and the mulitmedia techniques being used are essentially marketing tools–and the function they serve isn’t changing. As Barkman states, “The question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Can multimedia enhance that message?’” If the answer is yes, there are four channels a candidate can tap into to accomplish this:

1.    Adding a Face and Voice with Video. By replacing a cover letter with a quick video pitch, job seekers can showcase skills and abilities lost in translation in a traditional resume. As Bruce Hurwitz of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing says, “Video can increase my confidence in a candidate’s ability to successfully interview–Is she professional? Is she articulate?–or eliminate a candidate from consideration.” Of course, time is money, and candidates need to give recruiters a reason to keep watching. My advice: personality is great, but don’t get too cute. Balance is key.

2.    Bringing Flat Resumes to Life with Infographics. Breaking out of the traditional resume template isn’t easy without a degree in design. But presenting a recruiter with a more visually stimulating overview of experience and qualifications can go a long way in setting a candidate apart. Thankfully, it doesn’t take an Adobe Illustrator savant to turn a boring old resume into an interesting infographic. Not only are these easy to create, but they’re easy to share across multiple channels.

3.    Showing Off on Personal Blogs. Blogs are an excellent platform for candidates to showcase their hobbies, writing and communication skills, and general interests. Think they’re just for marketing candidates? Think again. Even a meat cutter at Whole Foods can run a successful butcher blog to establish expertise and share experience with an avid audience. And candidates for and candidates for artistic positions can showcase their portfolio of work.

About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice, a resource for selecting a talent management or an applicant tracking system. Kyle reports on trends and best practices in HR and recruiting software—offering fresh insights into the ho-hum of people processes. For further reading, you can find this article in full on his HR blog.

Want to Keep Competitors from Taking Top Talent?

"employee benefits" "employee perks" "company benefits" "company perks" "retaining top talent"

Subsidized yoga classes, flexible hours, tuition reimbursement, oh my! How important perks are like these? In a word: very. It’s no secret that top talent is your company’s most valuable asset. The question is how do you retain it? Simply offering employer-paid health insurance and paid time off no longer does the trick when it comes to staying competitive and retaining high-quality workers. Benefits are not only valuable for companies to hire and retain top talent, but they also boost company morale and assure that employees to produce their highest-quality work.

A study by Canadian Life suggests that more than 50 percent of employees would take a job with a new employer, without a salary increase, if it offered better perks and benefits. So which perks hold the most sway with employees? Of course, it’s important not to ignore the basics. Competitive pay, generous medical benefits, paid vacation and holidays, pension plans, and sabbatical options are necessary but no longer sufficient to keep hire and retain top employees. Companies need to take it a step further.

People want to work for companies that offer a variety of benefits to keep employees motivated, healthy, and engaged. According to a survey from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., perks deemed highly-effective for retention include:

  • vacation/personal time (49%)
  • wellness-related benefits (43%)
  • flexible schedules (40%)
  • tuition reimbursement (27%)
  • telecommuting (25%)

Employees are becoming more and more interested in shaping their compensation packages to include a better work/life balance according to a survey conducted by WorldatWork, Loyola University Chicago, and the Hay Group. They are looking for companies that offer family-friendly policies, such as discounted childcare, generous maternity leave, and the option of a compressed workweek. Companies such as Dell are known to go so far as to provide college coaches for their employees’ kids!

While some perks, such as a comfortable and trendy work place, free language courses, company-sponsored community service activities, mentoring and coaching, or commuter benefits, may seem superfluous to some, they really do make a difference to employees. Happy and healthy employees are more engaged with their companies and produce higher-quality work. Furthermore, many potential employees are looking for extensive training and development programs that foster employee growth and mentoring and coaching systems.

While many companies had to cut perks during the recent recession, the situation is definitely looking up as more and more companies are recognizing the need to stay competitive to keep top talent. In fact, many companies are going beyond simply reinstating perks and are exceeding what was previously offered according to a study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The study shows that:

  • 83 percent of companies interviewed have reinstated at least some of their perks
  • 42 percent have at least returned to pre-recession levels
  • 24 percent are exceeding the perks that were previously offered

According to Gallup data, the companies excelling at these perk offerings will maintain their edge in the marketplace. Assuming perks equate to engagement, those companies can expect 49 percent higher employee-retention, 18 percent higher productivity, and 16 percent higher profits compared to the bottom 25 percent.

All too often, small businesses and startups with smaller benefit budgets struggle to attract employees with incentives. However, all is not for loss when it comes to company perks for small businesses without Google-size benefit budgets. You don’t need to have a rock-climbing wall or a movie theater in your office to keep employees satisfied. There are benefits small companies can provide that hold significant weight with potential employees. Across the board, there is one perk that is valuable to companies looking to hire top talent: flexibility. Adidas’ motto for its employees is “as few rules as necessary, as much flexibility as possible.”

While this seems to break the norm of the typical businesses structure, it is a great way to retain top talent, encourage innovation, and allow employees produce their highest quality work. Most importantly, being flexible is free. Trust your employees to know when they are most productive and allow them to work around this schedule.

What does your company do to stand out amongst its competitors when it comes to benefits and perks? This is an important question to keep in mind when it comes to building your company’s team. Be prepared to sell the position when the right candidates come along by having your benefits “bag of tricks” packed with variety and flexibility to meet your employees’ needs.

Post written by Donna Hanrahan, Marketing Intern at Whiting Consulting.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday season!

Whiting Consulting, Chernee Vitello

We Have Exciting News- We Have Moved to a New Office…

So if you haven’t noticed we have not written a blog in over two months – we apologize for that ….however, we have been busy getting ready for our office move.

The adventure started some 7 months ago when we realized we had out grown our current space (which was a two room office suite).  Even though we loved being part of a traditional old town main street – we were growing and needed to spread our wings. I was not looking for the typical office space. Since we spend a lot of time at the office I wanted a unique space that had character and that I could decorate…..

I heard about a couple of historical buildings that were being taken over and made into office space. When I first looked at the new space it was down to the bare studs and lath (something that I have not seen since my parents redid there 1828 house)…I was not sure – I could not figure out how this building was going to come together…

Greg O’Connell, a local businessman that restores old buildings and has been very successful in the revitalization of the neighboring town Mt Morris, purchased the building. Greg was awesome throughout this process…he really let me design and customize the space to my needs.  He knows that a happy tenant is one who will stay for a while.

We decided to open up the space as much as possible – making the doors wider and adding glass and keeping the old finishings to keep the building in its native state….We ended up with an office for me (24 foot ceilings), an open environment for our recruiting and sourcing center that could fit 4 desks, a sitting area, a conference room, break area and kitchen – we more that quadruple our space….



Over the last several months as Gregg’s restoration team went to work it really all came to life.  First, the lathe was covered up and we had walls!  Amazing!  Then, color on those walls that really helped define the space.  Finally, the original floors were refurbished to their natural beauty and the space all came together!

When redoing a space you need to think about flow….as a business owner I needed to think about what I really needed – how did I want communication and energy to flow throughout the space….I wanted an open office concept…our business thrives on energy – I wanted big windows, natural light – no more fluorescent light bulbs for me….I wanted normal looking furniture….I did not want to be surrounded by everything looking like an office…I wanted a space that would encourage productivity and an environment where people wanted to come to everyday and be their best.

We have now been in our new space a week…still have a couple of things to iron out – not used to walking in high heels on the hardwood floors – but to be surround by great colors, beautiful sunlight (natural light on those grey days) and pieces of furniture that have a story to tell have been awesome. I look forward to our next blog where I will talk about how I decorated the space on a budget by utilizing many of our local antique stores and consignment shops.

Why I Became an Entrepreneur

I’m a Start-Up, and I Need to Start Hiring… Now What?

What is going to make your business grow? Hiring the right people. What is the most important asset to your organization? Hiring the right people. How are you going to meet your business objectives? Hiring the right people. Yet most organizations don’t take the time to really think about how, who, or when they are going to attract people to their organization.

For some reason, hiring is very reactive, and this puts pressure on making quick decisions versus taking the time to really think about who, what, how, and when.

So let’s take a step back…

Your company is growing, which is a great thing. You are at a point where you need to add talent in order to meet upcoming demand. plant in hand

Sometimes, you have to be more reactive even when you are a start-up because in order to scale you have to have demand. Think about where your bottlenecks currently are… where you have the most exposure and need to fill in that gap to make the next leap. For most organizations it is sales, marketing, or development. You need to find folks that can bring in new business, you need folks to promote your business, or you need to add and develop technology to stay ahead of the innovation curve.

I tell my clients to be proactive as much as they can regarding their hiring needs. Map out a hiring plan in six (6) month segments and think about where you are going to need folks to meet your upcoming demand. Give yourself as much time as possible. If you are not at the point where you can either hire a recruiting company to help you in the process or your network is not rich in this area, allow yourself a good three (3) months to bring on that resource.

Recruiting takes time. You already have a day job and you want to ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to find the right resource.

·      If your company is just starting out and you are making your first big hire, make sure to have a “pitch.” You have to remember that candidates are consumers; they are seeking out their next job. This equates to a major purchase, and they are going to do their research.

·      Make sure you have a detailed job description. It is important to have thinking clearly outlined. This will make the process run more smoothly and the candidate will have a better understanding of their overall responsibilities and expectations of the role.

·      Ensure that your interview team is consistent on what the company is hiring for, that the team is “on board” with the choice to hire, and that everyone understands what the benefits are going to be. Everyone should know what this person’s responsibilities would be. Candidates want to see that your team knows where they are going to fit into your company’s picture and what contributions they are expected to provide.

Also research what the going rate is for the resources you are looking to hire. Many start-ups simply cannot afford the pay-level of the people they are looking to hire. They want VP-level skills for a mid-level manager’s salary, but in the end, this can hurt your overall process by not biting the bullet and hiring at the salary level you really need. If you are going to make the right hire, invest in where you need to grow your organization. Having a candidate settle for a lower salary in the end is not a win/win situation.  This process takes planning and strategy.  But, if executed effectively, you can have your new employee making significant contributions to your company’s bottom line within 90 days of hire.  That is music to the ears of any startup company.  Invest on the front end and your return on the back end will be substantial.

My HRevolution Adventure!

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