5 Adjectives You Want to Hear Job Candidates Say.

It’s difficult to tell what kind of person someone is just by their resume. Heck, it can even be difficult to tell when face to face with the person. But there are some approaches that will do the trick.

Chances are you want a hire who’s self-motivated, honest and trustworthy — in addition to having the background you’re looking for, of course.

While candidates will likely tell you they’re all those things if asked, it’s also likely they’re doing so because they know that’s what you want to hear (whether it’s true or not).

Five words you want to hear candidates say that indicate they’re made of the right stuff:

1 Honest
2 Respectful
3 Punctual
4 Curious, and
5 Accountable.

Whether or not you hear adjectives like these will tell you how much the candidate cares about others and about doing the right thing.

‘When nobody was looking’

Ask candidates this question: When in your life have you made a decision that you’re proud of — when nobody was looking?

If candidates take a while to answer, they’re likely not good fit. Candidates with integrity should have little trouble recalling situations — and the decisions they made in them — that reveal their true character.

Bad indicators

What you don’t want to hear are indicators the candidate has as an “all-about-me” attitude.

Some of those indicators could be dropping adjectives like:

1 Carefree
2 Fun
3 Laid back

Describing themselves in these ways aren’t necessarily deal breakers. Those qualities can actually be good things when balanced out by professional attributes. But finding out whether that’s the case requires deeper probing.

3 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on Your Resume

1. Misspelling the hiring manager’s name.

First things, first: pay attention to spelling. If you misspell the hiring manager’s name, this might get your application tossed in the trash. If you can’t do a simple thing like take the time to make sure you are correctly spelling the manager’s name, this gives the impression that you’re generally careless and don’t pay much attention to detail. Why would a potential employer hire you if you can’t manage a simple task?

You have a very slim chance if you are careless enough to misspell the hiring manager’s name. It shows that you aren’t detail focused and aren’t putting much effort into the recruiting process. You could recover by giving a great interview, being a good fit for the position, and apologizing immediately.

If the hiring manager has a name that is spelled a variety of ways, misspelling isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. However, if there are multiple misspellings or typos in the résumé or cover letter, it is unlikely the hiring manager will seriously consider the candidate.

2. Failing to mention results.

It’s great to list your accomplishments, but without an explanation of how your efforts made a significant impact, it’s just filler. Instead of treating your résumé like a list, think of it as an explainer. Let your job history be a testament to how you get results. Show that instead of just doing your job, you were an agent of positive change and you made your organization more profitable, more productive, and an overall better place to work.

The biggest résumé mistake a job hunter makes is that they focus on the projects they did without mentioning the results of those projects. Companies are looking to hire low-risk candidates who can make an impact on day one. If you aren’t results focused and don’t have evidence that your work translates into business value, then you’ll have trouble getting a job.

3. Not including key words from the job description.

If you want your résumé to get a second look, you’ll want to make sure to include key words. Including key words will show that you understand what the job requires and that your skills are a good fit for the position. However, take care not to include too many.

Another reason you’ll want to include key words is that more companies are using automated methods to cull résumés. When you include target words, you can improve your chances of getting selected.

Having key words on your résumé is important because when you submit it to a job board or corporate website, a machine scans your résumé looking for key words. If your résumé doesn’t have those key words, you get filtered out immediately. I recommend that you include keywords from the job description on your résumé and align your skills and experience as closely as possible to the position.

8 Ways to Keep Employees Happy Without Giving Them a Big Pay Raise

The first assumption is money. The more money, the happier the employee, right?

Money certainly helps, but many studies have shown that as long as employees feel they are fairly paid, then there are many other factors that determine their workplace happiness and whether they will quit or not. Or, if they decide to stay, whether they will continue to work hard.

So, what can a business owner or manager do to keep good employees happy, especially if there is little cash to provide raises?

1. Make sure your employees are led by the best managers

Want employees who are passionate about their work? Train, coach, and supervise your leaders, and make sure you get training and coaching yourself. Good leadership rarely comes naturally.

The deleterious impact of mediocre leadership was my motivation to get into coaching after two decades of leading cutting-edge technology work. Mediocre leadership crushes great ideas and great people. Good leadership is desperately missing from businesses.

People don’t leave companies; they leave bad managers.

2. Give your employees a sense of purpose

Besides pay, there is no ONE thing that keeps ALL employees happy. We have never worked in an environment with so much diversity than we have today, which includes generational, gender, cultural, and many other forms of diversity. Therefore, an employer must offer a wide variety of important “perks” and keep those perks fresh, as well.

In general, companies need to improve benefits tied to health, family, and financial stability. The good news: within each of these three categories, there are many creative solutions that are not negative impacts on the bottom line.

A recent study by the Harvard Business Review and The Energy Project polled over 12,000 white collar employees and found that “feeling a sense of purpose at work” is the single biggest driver of employee satisfaction, engagement and tenure. Employees who feel a sense of purpose are:

– 3 times more likely to stay in their jobs
– 1.7 times higher to feel job satisfaction
– 1.4 times more engaged at work

3. Stop being impersonal with your staff

Employees appreciate pay raises, bonuses, promotions and perks, but they can seem impersonal. Many employees respond just as favorably to the personal touch.

A pat on the back or public praise from a hard-to-please boss can work wonders, putting the employee on an intrinsic high that translates into increased engagement, improved company loyalty, and greater productivity for months to come. It may work even better if it comes with a small award.

On a more general level, team-wide gestures of appreciation like taking the whole team out for a nice lunch will increase solidarity and purpose. Do things unexpectedly to boost morale or celebrate a job well done. Make a big deal of milestones like birthdays, job anniversaries, landing a client with high lifetime value, or finishing a big project. You¹ll boost motivation and help your team blow off steam.

4. Remind your best employees that they are rock stars

Taking the time to call somebody into your office (or even better, drop by theirs) to laud them and remind them what a rock star they are gives them a gift and reward for their hard work that no amount of money can buy. It also creates a more cohesive bond between managers and their team members, creates a sense of fulfillment for a job well done, and creates willingness for team members to step up to take on tough challenges in the future.

Financial rewards will motivate most people to a certain degree, but helping team members feel more valued and important can go a long way toward increasing team productivity, creating satisfied employees, and making for a more enjoyable workplace for all.

5. Be spontaneous and surprising (in a good way)

Money matters. Meaningfulness and recognition though sometimes matter more than money. Here are three things that show employees you are thinking about them as people, not just as employees who deliver work product.

One caveat: Do these things with authenticity and because you want to. Anything less will be quickly sussed out.

Be spontaneous: On the first warm spring day, walk into the office at 8 a.m. and let everyone know that Spring Fever has struck and
that everyone gets a half-day off. Take care of the critical stuff by 11:30 that morning. Then go out and enjoy the sunshine.
Recognize the achievement of an employee’s child with a gift certificate for the child. A parent will remember a kindness to
their child for a very long time.
Spruce up the bathrooms. A plant manager I know upgraded the employee’s bathrooms and received more thank-you messages for
that than any other thing he had done.

6. Time is more valuable than money

Time is much more valuable than money.

At the end of a big project, when burn out is imminent, spontaneously give someone a day off. Make it a “requirement” that the day be spent on something fun, not housework and errands. When they return, ask them to “report out” on their fun day and supply mighty cheers if they really let go and relaxed.

Provide opportunities and encouragement for learning and growth. Money spent on skill development is truly invested well. Not only does growth motivate and engage, it is a big hook for retention. Who will leave an employer who is concerned about your future?

7. Give them flexibility

I was once brought in to run a company that was in financial trouble. We couldn’t afford raises and we certainly couldn’t afford to lose top-tier talent.

One of the things I discovered when I took over was that the prior leader wouldn’t let people move their desks around, have personal items on their desks, and was very regimented about when they had to arrive and leave.

I told them the employees they could decorate their offices anyway they liked as long as it wasn’t offensive to anyone. And most importantly, they could come in when they wanted, leave when they wanted, and work at home when they wanted as long as they met their obligations.

We actually had friends of employees sending in their resumes to join us.

8. Remember that people want to enjoy coming to work

Workplace culture is touted as an intangible benefit of choosing one firm over another in similar fields. Does it exist in reality?

Years ago I came across a law firm in Southeastern Pennsylvania that made its culture a major part of its identity.

They threw a huge St. Patrick’s Day party annually. It was legendary. The office would close on the first day of baseball season. During the summer an outdoor bar offering a signature cocktail would be set up in the parking lot at the close of business every Friday. When employees would reach a milestone work anniversary, they would receive a vacation package to the (reasonable) destination of their choice.

Was salary the primary motivator for their employees? Probably not. Was retention a major problem? Quite the opposite. It was said when a staff vacancy occurred, there was a waiting list of applicants for the position.

Money isn’t the only motivator. People want to enjoy coming to work.