Friday, August 24, 2007

How Many Clicks Does It Take?

Have you ever paid any attention to how many clicks it takes for your prospective employees to not only find your Careers section, but also how many it takes to apply?

This question makes me think of the Tootsie Roll commercial from the 70s where Mr. Owl is asked how many licks it takes to get to the center of the Tootsie Roll. In his case, the answer was three.

How about your website? Is three the magic number? Is it more? Is it less? My hope is that it is less.

The web users today are savvier than ever and I would bet if they have made it to your website, they are looking for something in particular and you should help them find it.

Remember these "Do Nots:"

  • Do not waste their time with a nonsensical layout or confusing terminology. Try not to use your internal lingo for job titles and departments. Think always from the perspective of someone on the outside looking in for the first time.
  • Do not hide your jobs! All companies need employees. Make it easy to work for you by showing the employment goods at the get go.

Here is an example of a company that I think is doing it right and I will admit that I am biased because I once worked for them. However, note that on the Princess Tours jobs home page, the prospective employee can find not only 'How to Apply' but at least 3 direct ways to do so. And because I know the site pretty well, I also know that each page on their site contains a link or multiple links to applying online. They make it easy for their job seekers. Be like Princess.

Make it easy for your candidates and your job as a recruiter will become easier. And at the end of the day, your new employees will thank you for saving their precious time.

All of us at Cool Works spend a lot of time on the web and any of us would be happy to go over tricks of making your hiring and recruiting easier. Our goals are to connect the job seeker with the employer and see this done in an environmentally friendly way. If you have ever thought about going on-line with your recruiting, and by this I mean, beyond simple job postings, take a look at our Applicant Tracking System (ATS) called Staffing Center. It may just make your day. I know that it made mine when I was actively recruiting.

TGIF and Happy Weekend All!

Monday, August 20, 2007

6 Ways to Reduce Turnover

Kevin Wheeler, the President and Founder of Global Learning Resources, Inc., said it very well in his article recently posted on, regarding the retention of employees. "Money won't hold them." Turnover is a reality for employers these days and loyalty has become a thing of the past.

So, how do you keep employees around?

Kevin listed 6 ways to reduce turnover in his article that I thought were just great.

  1. Make it easy for people to move around in your organization. Do not limit transfers. Let people try out areas where they have little experience. Encourage cross-fertilization and give people the support and development they need to succeed in the new position. Never tell an employee they are not ready, too junior, not educated enough, or haven't worked at the firm long enough to do whatever it is they want to do. To tell them any of those things is a guarantee that they will leave you soon.
  2. Provide lots of free development and training. Encourage employees to get more education by offering to pay for 100% of college tuition or for 100% of a certification program. Pick key employees and offer them the chance to participate in longer-term development programs. Make a big deal out of development and then pay the employee more money when they complete the program. Gen Y, in particular, is attracted to any company that helps them gain more skills.
  3. Allow employees to volunteer time outside the organization. For example, Google allows employees to donate time to charities while still being paid. Letting employees participate in community, social and charitable activities not only improve your organization's reputation, but acts as a retention tool.
  4. Pay at market rates or more. Don't think that your benefits or loyalty will keep employees happy. Err on the side of generosity when you offer pay increases and never let pay be an excuse for an employee leaving. Pay is never the real reason people leave a firm, but it sure makes a great excuse for employees. Most organizations can't defend themselves on this issue because they don't pay that well.
  5. Manage the performance of your managers. Track the turnover of employees for every manager. Managers who have any significant turnover need to be educated and mentored and, if things don't improve, removed from managing people. Every survey shows that one of the major reasons people leave a firm is because of mistrust, dislike, or incompatibility with the immediate manager. While these suggestions are in no particular order, if asked I would put this one first. Poor managers are the worst enemy of retention that an organization can have. Reputations spread and can infect many people and can start a negative buzz about working for the company in the marketplace.
  6. Remember that we have entered a time when the employees are in charge. They can cripple your success and they know exactly how. They own the tools of production, and management needs to understand that the best companies, those that are most financially successful, have employees who enjoy "just enough" management and a lot of freedom. Today's employees are better educated, more independent, less afraid, more secure, and far more entrepreneurial than those of even 10 years ago. This means that HR policies and management styles have to radically change.
Thanks to Kevin for letting us re-publish his tips. You can reach Kevin at kevin (at) to learn more.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Retention = Re-Recruiting

You thought it was tough to find your employees in the first place, but lately it is getting tougher to keep them around. Recently on HR.BLR.Com, they posted an article citing Michael Jalbert, president of Management Recruiters International (, and he believes that bosses should think of retention as re-recruiting. See the full article here.

Some highlights:

  • Spend some time reaching out to your employees and continue to challenge them.
  • Bosses should assume that their best people are getting job offers from their competitors.
  • Loyalty is a word that exists less and less in the business world.
  • Periodically ask your employees some questions like the following to get a feel for whether or not they will stay with your company. Here are a few question examples from Michael Jalbert.
If you could make any changes to your job, what would they be?
In the morning, does your job make you jump out of bed or hit the snooze button?
What makes for a great day?
What can we do to support your career goals?

What can we do to keep you with us?

The key thing to remember is that your employees joined your team for a reason at the beginning of their employment. Keep finding ways to extend that relationship and never stop re-recruiting them.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ski Industry Benefits Survey

The NSAA Journal published highlights of their Benefits Survey in August/September 2007 issue. A few numbers from the survey of 106 resorts:

For Year Round Employees

* most resorts offer a medical plan and most plans are PPO

* Many resorts in the midwest still offer an HMO

* Many resorts also offer dental coverage

* Just over half of employers offer vision coverage

Benefits for Seasonal Employees

* The vast majority are not offered medical, dental, or vision benefits

* 34% of resorts in the Pacific Northwest DO offer a medical plan and 56% do in the Rockies

* Where a medical plan is offered to seasonal workers the majority of the cost is borne by the workers

* Up to two thirds of the resorts stated they aren't satisfied with their seasonal health insurance plan

* 64% do not offer an end-of-the-season bonus for either full-time year-round or seasonal employees. The majority of surveyed resorts in the Southeast and Pacific West DO offer and end-of-season bonus to to full-time year-round employees. 36% in the Rockies, 14% in the Midwest and 11 percent in the Northeast offer a bonus to seasonal workers

* 30% of respondents offer transportation or housing to full-time or seasonal employees.

A complete copy of this survey is available to non-participating resorts for $45. For a copy, order online at or contact Kate Powers at katep (at)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Want a Green Workplace? Then Pitch In

A Sun Microsystems survey found that more folks want to work in an eco-friendly workplace than are actually taking some simple steps to make it so.

Some tidbits:

* 58 percent said they turn off computers at home when they are done using them, compared with 34 percent that do so at work

* 57 percent are using "sleep" mode for their home computers but only 44 percent use sleep mode for their computers in the office

* Sun estimates that if people transferred their home-habits for turning lights and computers off to work they would achieve the equivalent of taking 6.1 million cars off the road in terms of CO2 emissions.

"Businesses don't cut power consumption--people do,"

Read on and soak up some tips for making a difference at home and work at