Tag Archives | jobs

New Graduates: What Employers Are Looking For

what employers are looking for

Last week, we discussed the importance of having creativity in the workplace. Watching my Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship students walk across the stage was a bittersweet moment. However, I remembered something important. Most of those students will be fine because they have what potential employers are looking for.

2017’s Highest-Demanded Jobs

I’m sure there are a lot of highly-demanded positions in other industries such as the medical field and education. In conjunction with Indeed and Glassdoor, I’ve found that these occupations are also some of the most demanded in business for 2017:

Data Scientist

For those of you who don’t know what a data scientist is, a data scientist is an analytical data expert that gathers data and assists with business decisions. According to Indeed, the data scientist salary averages from $110,000 to $130,000, depending on the region you work in. This occupation continues to grow, and is projected to reach a 15% growth rate next year.

Office Manager

Long-gone are the days where office managers only handled administrative tasks. Recently I was talking with my associates, and they all told me similar things. “If it wasn’t for my office manager, I wouldn’t have come up with the idea for XYZ!” Office managers contribute to more than simple tasks, and as a result, they earn more as well.

Web Development and Design

Even though the digital age was introduced over 30 years ago (doesn’t that make you feel old!), one of the most interesting parts of the internet is how it evolves. As we discussed last week, the algorithms within major websites like Google is ever-changing. This means that jobs are also changing, growing, and expanding.

Designers are also getting more advanced. I used to think photoshop was a big deal, but now there are occupations such as UX (user experience) designers. In Houston alone, the median base pay is around $75,000. That’s not bad for a starting salary.

Internet Security

This also goes into web development, but may be more company-centric than website development-centric. The internet is not the only thing growing in intelligence. More people are finding ways to steal important pieces of information such as credit cards, passwords, and addresses. It’s a constant battle with the hackers versus security – the bad versus the good. At least one good thing comes from the many hackers in the world… jobs!

What are your Strengths?

From a graduate’s point of view, you have to reflect upon your own strengths and how to apply them in your new company. What makes you stand out from the rest? What can you bring to the table?

Conversely, as a business, what are your strengths? What makes you stand out in a crowd?

Teaching Skills versus Teaching Talent

what employers are looking for

In teaching at The Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, I learned a few things myself. One of those things is that you can teach skills, but not talent.

The difference between talent and skills is this – a skill is the ability to do something well; an expertise. A talent is a natural aptitude or skill. If someone is learning how to write blogs, or draft up email campaigns, that person is learning a skill. However, how that person adapts, grows, and the aptitude at which the skill is being learned determines the talent that the person has.

How do you know what to look for in a new hire? Download our free Star Quality whitepaper to find out!

Can everyone have the same talent?

Unfortunately, not. In fact, they shouldn’t. Imagine having an office where everyone has the same talent in one skill set but not the rest. That would hurt productivity and make things in the office kind of boring, don’t you think?

To sum it all up, having multiple talents – a star-quality team – is ideal for your company. That’s what the hiring process is for.

What to Watch Out For

To all of the employers out there, there are some common issues that everyone should watch for when dealing with those new employees

Starting off with a Weak Hire

All of these problems can be avoided with a simple solution – find the right hire for your company by investing time looking for that person. If you rush to find someone to fill a slot, chances are you won’t have that person for very long (or maybe you’ll wish they were gone). And if that’s how you’ve been hiring your employees, chances are the last person left or was let go because of that same reason.

Don’t Lose your Temper!

So you’ve got a new hire, and your trainer comes into your office complaining about his lack of drive. First of all, don’t worry! Don’t lose your patience when dealing with a new hire. Like I mentioned earlier, that person can learn the skills you need to get the job done. Help them harness their natural talents and productivity will follow.

Employee Turnover

According to Compensation Force, employee turnover rate in the United States was 17.8% in 2016 and is expected to grow to 18-20% in 2017. Hopefully, you’re investing time and thinking long-term when it comes to your new hires. Again, this can all be solved by having a sound hiring process.

Hiring the Perfect Team

what employers are looking forHow do you know if someone has the “star quality” for your star quality team? It’s all in the process. If you find yourself constantly hiring and firing, it may be time to re-evaluate your hiring practices.

These are a few questions I tell my clients to ask themselves, beginning with does your potential hire…

  • Have the desire to solve problems?
  • Make wise decisions?
  • Have the ability to juggle multiple priorities?
  • Prove that he/she has good written and oral communication skills?

If you answered all of these questions “yes”, then you’re halfway there. Now you have to ask yourself the most important question… “Will this person thrive in this company for years to come?” Hiring is more than filling a spot. It’s providing opportunities with the intention to grow your employees.

What kind of boss will you be – a manager or a leader?

Conclusion: What Employers Are Looking For

In conclusion, getting hired for a new job has a process, and hiring a new person is also a process. Why waste time (and money) hiring and firing people? With enough patience, you might just find that perfect person (if you’re hiring), or job (if you’re looking) that fits the talents and skillset you need. Are you wasting time hiring and firing people? That’s a lot of paperwork! Check out our free 5 guiding principals for recruiting a star-quality team now!

what employers are looking for

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Access your Recruiting Manual Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan recruit the best talent as well as avoid hiring duds.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

what employers are looking for

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Recession = Fewer Professional Jobs Available

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 15 months, then you have probably noticed that the decline in oil prices has resulted in many Houston businesses experiencing symptoms of an economic recession. What does a recession mean for you? Historically, recessions equate to reduced availability of professional jobs.

less professional jobsWhile the effects of the free fall in oil prices may have not spilled over to your economic sector yet, banks are already restructuring the troubled loans of oil and gas companies. This could result in more layoffs in the energy sector. In addition, it will likely impact other industries as well.

But even greater than the oil and gas industry, we’re seeing international economic upsets in China, Latin America, and in other areas of the American market economy. Some are expecting to see in 2016 a recession greater than that of the 2008 recession.

How Most Companies React to Recessions

Most companies without effective leadership would begin to cut the upper management who complete the 20% of the work. This leaves the lower level employees that complete 80% of the work. Many of our clients lay off the CFO and other “non-essential” leaders within the company. Why pay $50,000-$100,000 more for an employee when they only complete 20% of the work needed? Fewer professional less professional jobsjobs are thus becoming available because those positions are now deemed obsolete or as overhead.

Companies are removing experienced professionals from their positions due to their higher cost. Therefore, we tend to see many “battlefield promotions”. The military coined this term as a promoted soldier due to the death or injury of a senior officer.

Like in the military, employees are often promoted during a recession not necessarily because of their skills. But because their supervisor left or was laid off. CEOs or hiring managers feel that if these employees can do 80% of what their manager did, then asking them to do the whole job isn’t too much of a stretch.  While they might have the talents to succeed, they may not have the skills needed to complete that last 20%.

One way a business can protect itself from such a situation is by making a practice of hiring star-quality team members. These members can rise to the occasion when faced with rough economic times.

NOTE: Want some guidelines to develop a star-quality team? Download the Guiding Principles for Recruiting a Star-Quality Team to make sure your team can adapt in rough economic times.

Fewer Professional Jobs Available

As difficult as it is for those receiving battlefield promotions to get up to speed quickly, the fired managers face an even tougher challenge. Suddenly, there are more qualified candidates in the marketplace than there are positions available and fewer professional jobs available. The available jobs have been filled from within through battlefield promotions.

Highly-experienced individuals found that they have to take positions they are overqualified for at reduced pay.  This is where the value of the network you have built (or will wish you had built) really pays off.  Your connections in the marketplace can mean the difference between securing a desirable position, or settling for what you can find.

When looking for a job with limited openings in the marketplace, find an organization where you fit and can provide value.  Even if that means taking a pay cut, the money should come when things turn around.

Hiring & Restructuring Human Capital

Regardless of how this emerging recession is impacting your organization, realize that the #2 reason why businesses fail is employee turnover. Think about it. The costs associated with replacing an employee include: hiring, interviewing, on-boarding, training, mentoring, and waiting approximately 6 months before they find themselves accustomed and productive in your organization. The hiring process is getting longer and thus, more expensive.

As you’re building a new team or assessing your current employees for possible battlefield promotions, consider how you can build a star-quality team. A star-quality team will carry your company through tough times. Assess your current employees as if you were hiring them for the first time. If a battlefield promotion is necessary, who will rise to the occasion and provide the most value to your company?

In tough times, companies generally try to run leaner.  There are ways to do more with less and to measure the productivity of those limited resources. If you’ve exhausted all resources within your organization, then look at how to hire the right people to build your team.

Check out the guidelines that The Strategic CFO uses as we advise our Retained Search clients to help find the perfect fit. Click here for your FREE download of those guidelines.

less professional jobs

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Do Job Titles Matter?

Many of you will recognize this video clip from the classic comedy Cheers where Woody, intending to ask for a raise, gets tricked into accepting (actually demanding) a job title instead.

Do Job Titles Matter?

So, do job titles matter?  Under what circumstances would a sane person accept a title in lieu of a raise?  You might be surprised…

Early in my career, I was working for a company that was facing bankruptcy.  I knew there was no money for raises, so instead I asked to be named CFO.  Due to its financial distress, I saw that my days with the company were numbered.  I realized that having “CFO” on my resume would make me more marketable when it came time to find my next position, so I gladly accepted the title.

In a sense, job titles are currency within (and outside of) an organization.  Your title may not completely capture the work you do, but it can give you a certain implied authority.  For instance, most bankers have the title of Vice President.  Why is that?  Most likely, it’s because the title of Vice President instills a certain sense of authority and confidence that clients want their banker possess.

Downside of Titles

One of the downsides of titles for the company is that they can’t be taken back easily.  While employees will likely understand the necessity for a pay cut in tough times, taking away a title isn’t as understandable or easy to do.  For example, we had a client who was looking to grow their accounting staff.  They had an employee who had been given the title of CFO, but was really functioning as a Controller.  This employee was very good at their job, but wasn’t really what the company needed in a CFO as it was growing.  The quandary they faced is how to bring in the person they need, but not step on the toes of the loyal employee they wanted to keep.

The downside of titles for the employee is that they can be limiting.  Many CFOs these days are seeing themselves working more and more in operations, particularly as organizations get flatter.  Should these CFOs want to make the transition over to operations, they could face issues that “they need to stay in finance where they belong”.  Not having a title can be freeing as it can allow you to use your talents in the company where they fit best, not where they’re expected.

So do job titles matter?  The answer is – it depends.  What do you think about job titles?  Leave us a comment below.

When you are hiring, determine which candidates fit your company. Download and access your free white paper, 5 Guiding Principles For Recruiting a Star-Quality Team.

Do Job Titles Matter, job titles

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Recruiting Manual Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan recruit the best talent as well as avoid hiring duds.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Do Job Titles Matter, job titles

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Dealing with People Problems

A wise man once said…

“Life is simple, people complicate it.”

The same wisdom holds true for business.  If you take a look at the biggest headaches that you have to deal with on a daily basis, chances are good that the majority of them have to do with people.

Dealing with People Problems

So what’s a company to do?  Here are a few suggestions for how to solve some common people problems in your organization.

Identify Your Culture &  The Traits of Your Top Performers

ritz carlton credo

This Ritz-Carlton Credo identifies a culture of service. “Service” is the common trait among all their people that the company will look for when hiring.

Who are the most successful people in your company? What do they have in common?

Truly successful organizations have a common trait that they look for in prospective employees and foster in current employees. This trait is defined by the culture of the organization.

The Navy Seals value perseverance above all else. For Ritz Carlton, it’s service.

Identifying your company’s culture and nurturing those traits that support the culture is critical to building and maintaining a winning team.

Fewer, Better People

With the prevalence of technological advances across all industries, many routine jobs are being automated. A typical reaction to this trend is to reduce headcount.

A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted this very fact:

Mr. Siu [the researcher referenced in the article] thinks jobs have been taken away by automation, more than by outsourcing. While some manufacturing jobs have clearly gone overseas, “it’s hard to offshore a secretary.” These tasks more likely became unnecessary due to improving technology, he said.

While automation almost always leads to the need for fewer people, it’s important for businesses to realize that the people they now need are different. They need people to analyze, not just input, the data.

Right People, Right Jobs

Are there some people in your organization that you feel aren’t living up to their potential? Perhaps the problem is one of fit. Even the most talented employee is limited if the work they are doing isn’t the right fit for them. Consider moving these people to a part of the company where their gifts would be better utilized.

You might be surprised that your accounting manager has a passion and a talent for marketing that isn’t being tapped into. Be open to allowing your best people to take on tasks outside of their job description.

Hire for Talent, Train for Skills

Obviously, hiring the right people in the first place eliminates a lot of headaches. Problems arise when a business doesn’t carefully define what the “right” person looks like. Often, they get caught up in a particular skill set they believe a job requires. Then they lose sight of a better indicator of success – talent.RI-MYUNG-HUN

Talent is that innate quality that transcends skill. It’s something that a person either has or doesn’t have.

You can’t teach talent. Look around your organization for those people that everyone goes to when they need something done. They are the ones with talent.

“I can teach anyone to play basketball. I can’t teach tall.”
—John Wooden, legendary basketball coach

Need help minimizing people problems by hiring the right people? Download our “5 Guiding Principles for Recruiting a Star-Quality Team” below!

dealing with people problems

dealing with people problems

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Hiring Process is Getting Longer

hiring process is getting longerA recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports that employers are taking longer to pull the trigger on hiring decisions than in years past. According to the article:

  • the average job in 2014 sat vacant for 27.3 days before filled; this is compared to only 15.3 days five years ago
  • the average interview process took 22.9 days in 2014, up from 12.6 days in 2010

Hiring Process is Getting Longer

One of the trends cited as a possible cause for this phenomenon is the growth of non-routine jobs requiring judgment and creativity. As routine, task-based jobs are becoming automated, the need for highly-skilled workers with good judgment is increasing. To identify applicants best for a certain position, employers are increasingly relying on skills assessments, personality tests, and background checks to assess an individual’s “soft” skills.

Reasons for Longer Hiring Process

Another possible reason for additional time spent in the interview process is the increasing emphasis on culture. This has become a determining factor of company success. Companies such as Zappos, Google, and Starbucks have a highly-defined culture. Therefore, they spend a good deal of time with prospective employees to determine whether or not the individual will “fit”. Zappos offers all new employees $2,000 to quit.  From Zappos.com:

Yes, we do offer new hires $2000 to quit. We really want everyone at Zappos to be here because they want to be and because they believe in the culture. If they know they don’t quite mesh with our culture, we don’t want them to feel stuck here, so we give them an option. Less than 2% of all prospective employees end up accepting the offer.

A company so concerned with fit as to offer to pay people to leave might take their time finding the right person.

Across the economy, the average time it takes to fill open positions is lengthening.  So whether you’re looking for a job or seeking to fill an open position, expect it to take a while.

hiring process is getting longer, Reasons for Longer Hiring Process

hiring process is getting longer, Reasons for Longer Hiring Process

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Demand for Talented People: Addressing Employee Turnover

Working with clients over the years, it seems as though we’ve seen every employment trend come then go. Then they come back around again.  When the economy is bad, talented employees will stay in a less-than-desirable situation. Conversely, companies begin to tighten their belts and reduce headcount.  When the economy improves, these folks start looking for greener pastures and the demand for talented people increases. Especially as unemployment levels fall and economic forecasts become more optimistic, many of our clients are finding themselves in this situation.

The Demand for Talented People

A recent Robert Half & Associates report, The Demand for Skilled Talent, discusses what’s driving this demand for talented people.  Following are some of the contributing factors highlighted in the report…

Shortage of Candidates

An 18% increase in job openings from April 2013 to April 2014 has given talented people more opportunities to find the right fit.  Even better news for college-educated employees, job growth for degreed positions is projected to be significantly better than for non-degreed positions.  With the growth in positions requiring a college degree, it’s likely to become even more difficult for companies to fill highly-skilled positions.

Employee Confidence is Building

Voluntary separations are on the rise, up 19% over the last two years. This underscores the fact that employees are more willing to make a move.  With the increase in the demand for college-educated employees also comes higher salaries.  Average starting salaries for professionals are projected to rise 3.7% in 2014.  The promise of a bigger paycheck is motivating many talented professionals to explore their options.

Workers Are More Willing to Quit Their Jobs

As economic conditions improve, employees are more willing to take a risk on new opportunities.  The following chart from the report illustrates the growing number of workers who willingly left their jobs over the past two years.

 

Demand for talented people

 

Retaining Talent

Studies show that it can cost anywhere from 1-5 times the departing worker’s salary to find, hire and train their replacement.  This isn’t even considering the stress on an organization caused by the departure of key employees and the search for and assimilation of their successor. Given the current employment environment and the high cost and stress of replacing departed workers, it’s more important than ever to retain talented employees.

The Right Fit

One way to hang on to key people is to make sure they are the right fit when they are hired.  Too often, companies fill a position out of haste and fail to consider what the right person really looks like.  Click here for an article about hiring a star-quality team.

Temporary Employees

A trend that is becoming more prevalent in today’s companies is the use of temporary and contract labor.  This option is attractive to both employees and employers because both parties get an opportunity to “try before they buy”.  The risk of an employee being out of work when a contract ends is being mitigated. This reason for this is because of increased opportunities for contract assignments available to skilled individuals.

Offer Training or Coaching

Another approach to employee retention is to offer training and coaching for existing employees to help close the skill gap.  Today’s organizations are running leaner than in the past. So opportunities for mentorship within the company are often hard to come by.  Many employees possess the raw talent to be great team members. But they simply lack experience or soft skills that can get them to that next level.

Click here for the full text of the Robert Half & Associates report.

Download our free 5 Guiding Principles For Recruiting a Star-Quality Team to acquire the top talent.

Demand for talented people

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Recruiting Manual Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan recruit the best talent as well as avoid hiring duds.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Demand for talented people

See also:

Is Employee Turnover a Problem
Employee Turnover

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Job Costing

See Also:
Implementing Activity Based Costing
Standard Costing System
Process Costing
Activity-based Costing (ABC) vs Traditional Costing
Absorption vs Variable Costing

Job Costing Definition

Job costing is defined as a method of recording the costs of a manufacturing job, rather than process. With job costing systems, a project manager or accountant can keep track of the cost of each job, maintaining data which is often more relevant to the operations of the business.

Job Costing Meaning

Job costing, generally, means a specific accounting methodology used to track the expense of creating a unique product. Due to the fact that certain projects, such as construction, require different operations, accountants use this methodology to trace the expenses of each job in order to use this information for analysis and tax needs. Job costing forms have spaces to include direct labor, direct materials, and overhead.

Costs stay in the work-in-process account throughout the job. When the job is finally completed, they are transferred to the finished goods account. By using this method, accountants can make sense of complicated jobs which are moving towards the process of completion.

Indirect costs, like overhead, are applied as a fraction of direct costs. This is usually done in one of two ways: an association with labor hours or using activity based costing. This way, either through use of labor or certain tools, overhead will not be left out of the equation and a company can make sure to cover all essential costs using job costing.

Industries which produce products as jobs use this method. This includes job costing for construction, but goes much farther than just this. Shipping, auditing, maintenance and repair, installation, and any industry which creates products unique to each need. In this situation, job costing is often the most efficient method.

Job Costing Example

For example, Roy was once the curator of a large museum in the United States. Connecting with the science community on many levels, he has enjoyed his career. After some time, Roy decided he would make a career change. He has since started a company which provides maintenance work on historical works which reside in museums.

Roy has all the connections he needs for this business: other curators, archaeologists, and the entire community in his rolodex. After a little effort, he was able to connect with the people who perform this work. Roy will take the role of salesperson, but he needed to hire a team to perform operations. Roy is quite successful. His one concern, an area of ignorance for him, is how the bookkeeping will take place. So he hires an accountant, sets a meeting, and begins to learn about how his business will overcome this need.

The Most Efficient Accounting Methodology

The accountant shares that job costing will be, probably, the most efficient accounting methodology. Roy can keep track of the costs for each of his contracts by implementing this type of accounting. He will be able to find which items take more or less time to maintain. Additionally, he can make sure to create company profits by adding a margin on top of his costs. By using a job costing software, bookkeepers can run the system quite smoothly.

Roy can rest at ease with this accounting method. Knowing he can rely on his accountant, Roy begins to contact prospect customers and former peers. He has confidence that his business will be a success. He looks forward to gaining his first customer.

Job costing is just another way to know your economics or financials. Click here to download the Know Your Economics Worksheet to shape your economics to result in profit.

Job Costing

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Job Costing

 

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