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6 Spring Cleaning Tips for More Organized Hiring

6 Spring Cleaning Tips for More Organized Hiring

The weather is warm, the flowers are beginning to bloom, the pollen is out in full force, and the birds are chirping. Spring is in the air, which means one thing: time to get cleaning! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend an average of 70 hours cleaning their homes each year. But what about your hiring process?

Don’t leave all the cleaning for the homestead. Your office and your hiring process probably need just as much spring cleaning as your garage or grout. So this spring, as the weather heats up, it might be time to re-organize your hiring processes so you end up with the coolest new employees.

Evaluate Your Hiring Needs

The first step to better, more organized hiring is to evaluate where you currently are with your hiring process. It’s time to ask yourself some important questions, and don’t pull any punches with your answers. For instance:

  • Where is the company heading? Where will you be by next spring?
  • What personality attributes, experience, and skills do you need to look for in potential employees?
  • What have been your biggest hiring mistakes? What can you learn from them?
  • What are the major inefficiencies of your current hiring process?
  • What’s great about your company culture? What isn’t?

Once you’ve answered these tough questions, you’ll be in a better position to see where your current hiring process stands. After all, you won’t know what changes need to be implemented until you’re familiar with the challenges and problem areas of your current situation.

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Spring Clean Your Job Descriptions

Hopefully you now have a better sense of your company’s big picture hiring challenges, which means it’s time to focus. And what better place to start than the place all your applicants do, with the job description?

The job description is the entryway into the world of your company, the position, and your organization culture in general. Make sure your job descriptions include keywords your ideal candidate will be searching for, so the right people stumble upon your jobs.

Great job descriptions will be more than just a listing of relevant skills and experience needed. Great descriptions will give candidates a good idea of what life is like at your company and why they should be excited to work for you. Be tailored and specific in the description of the job function, but don’t be afraid to share the flavor of your company culture.

Cut Out The Hiring Clutter

Spring cleaning is all about getting rid of what you no longer need. So look critically at what is bogging down and cluttering your current hiring process. Here’s one thing you can ditch: the phone screen. Phone screens are inefficient and time-consuming. On average, they take about 30 minutes, yet most seasoned hiring managers will know within the first 90 seconds if a candidate is all wrong for the position.

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In the phrase “out with the old and in with the new” you’re not just getting rid of something, you’re embracing new innovations. If you replace the old school phone interview with a video interview, you can save yourself precious time and embrace new technology.

In a one-way video interview, candidates answer the written questions submitted by employers on video. If you get a few seconds into a video answer and know the candidate is all wrong for the job, there’s no problem. Now you can skip the other 29 minutes on the phone and proceed directly to the next candidate.

File It Away

Now that you’ve decluttered your hiring process, it’s time to declutter your physical surroundings as well. Your hiring process should be just as lean and efficient as your surroundings. It’s hard to concentrate in chaos, after all, so don’t just throw another resume on top of your overflowing pile.

Divide your important papers into subsections, create files for each, and put these files in a place you can easily access. Consider using a color code system so you can quickly and intuitively determine where important information should be housed. This way, in six months you’re not desperately trying to read your own cramped handwriting on a label.

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Clean Your Desk

Get ready to feel gross: the average office desk has approximately 10 billion bacteria living on the surface. Think that’s bad? The average desk actually has 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and — this is where things get really bad– 400 times more than the average toilet seat. Eww!

Make sure to thoroughly scrub your desk and then set up a schedule to disinfect your space regularly. Nothing sets back productivity more than time out due to illness or losing concentration due to ill health. Fight those germs by keeping your office space bacteria-free.

Don’t Rely on Your Memory

Our memories aren’t half as good as we think they are. Instead of relying on your noggin to remember whether you sent a candidate an interview invitation or an email response, set up automatic reminders. Most email systems and applicant management systems will allow you to set up a task list or even push reminder notifications to your mobile phone.

This spring, while the flowers are blooming, it’s time to give your hiring process a brand new start. Follow these easy organization tips, and you’ll find the best people more efficiently than ever before.

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What are some ways you plan to spring clean your hiring process? Share in the comments!

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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