Four Tips for a Strong Job Posting

As the economy improves, organizations are growing more concerned with attracting and retaining talent. In a 2015 study, Travelers created a Business Risk Index Summary. This study found that organizations were more concerned with talent acquisition then they had been the previous year. 53% of businesses surveyed said they worried about attracting talent. Additionally, 14% of organizations felt that organizations were not prepared to cope with the challenges presented by employee acquisition and retention.

Attracting the right employees takes planning, but is something any organization can do. Here are three tips for more effective job postings.

1. Make Sure the Job Title is Descriptive

Indeed.com found that job titles that were descriptive, such as “Marketing and Events Coordinator”, got significantly more traffic than those with less descriptive names, such as “Marketing II”. Make sure the job title both accurately represents the position and avoids generic labels.

2. Have a Realistic and Thorough Job Description

Make sure the job description is clear about what is expected in a strong applicant, including any qualifications, certifications, or availability. The description should include the tasks that will be performed while on the job.

If you’re looking to hire a person who can lift 200 lbs, be aware that some organizations often use “feminine” language when creating certain job postings. Words like “nurturing” and “caregiving” are often at the forefront, which may not be the image you’re looking to project.

Similarly, avoid emphasizing education or experience requirements unless they are necessary to the position.

3. Make the Online Submission Process Simple

Be clear about materials needed, including information on resume format, any references, or if salary requirements need to be included. Make it as easy as possible to submit (ex. allow attachments instead of requiring employees to fill out an online form with information redundant to their resume).

4. Mention Any Non-Pay-Related Perks of the Job

Make sure your organization is presented in a favorable light, and give the applicant a good idea of company culture.

Pay is not the only factor for employees when considering a job (or changing jobs). If your organization allows flexible schedules, the ability for employees to apply for opens shifts internally, or a strong benefits package, be sure to emphasize those facts in the job posting.

Illinois Blocks Funding for Overtime

Home care workers in Illinois will no longer be allowed to work overtime, after Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 261 on Friday, January 27.

The bill would have prohibited Illinois from limiting the number of weekly hours worked by individual providers. The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) attempted to address overtime being worked by individual providers in the aftermath of a ruling granting overtime and minimum wage protections to home care workers. Ultimately, the agency took into account the safety of the workers in the taxpayer-funded Home Service Program as well as the increase in costs for agencies that resulted from the original ruling. IDHS has proposed policy that would allow overtime in “appropriate circumstances” and allow the state to put limits on overtime hours.

While Illinois is restricting overtime in an effort to curb state spending, other states are grappling with new policies that are adding costs to providers. Policies in Maine and California are having a more positive impact on care workers, but not so much on agencies.

California recently passed an increase to $15 per hour by 2022 in addition to adding three more sick days for in-home care workers. Maine’s minimum wage will increase to $12 per hour by 2020.

Bring a Dog to Work to Increase Employee Retention Rates

With employees looking for higher wages as the economy improves, employers might think dissatisfaction with pay is the main factor behind turnover. However, pay is not the only reason workers leave. A recent survey found that pay was only one of several factors workers ranked as important. With this in mind, there are a number of ways to improve employee retention without increasing pay rates.

In Minnesota, a number of nonprofits have developed dog-friendly policies, which they believe help with overall morale and retention of employees. Todd Schoolman, the head of HR for the human services organization Opportunity Partners, told the Star Tribune the bring-your-dog-to-work policy is part of the nonprofit’s wellness program. He was, perhaps, a bit self-interested in that he has a 13-year-old cockapoo named Ruby that makes employee rounds with him. But he also he had data to back up his point; a 2010 study from Central Michigan University found that dogs produce better employee morale and higher levels of production and collaboration.

“We came up with this last spring when we were looking at incentives we could give our people that are not tied to money,” said Todd Schoolman. “We see it as an extension of our wellness plan. We want to make the workplace enjoyable.” Since then, dozens of Opportunity Partners employees have gotten their manager’s approval to bring their pets to work at the nonprofit’s offices, as well as its group homes.

In Minnesota, direct support professionals assist some 100,000 people with developmental and physical disabilities. Their wages, which range from $10 to $15 an hour, are locked in place by state reimbursement rates. But because the work is demanding, with high responsibility and low salaries, hanging on to quality staff is a constant struggle. There are an estimated 8,700 vacant direct support professional positions in Minnesota.

The price of turnover is steep. The Society for Human Resource Management pegs the cost of losing a single employee at $4,129, based on lost productivity and training replacements. For more information on how to improve employee retention without increasing pay rates, contact MITC.