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November 18, 2014 / Stephanie Anderson

The bad, the ugly and the bizarre things people do in interviews

Interview mistakes

There’s never a dull moment in the talent-acquisition field, especially when candidates keep interviewers on their toes with the most bizarre comments and questionable behaviors. This goes beyond the person who wore too much cologne or showed up two hours early to an interview – some of the worst experiences hiring managers have had will leave you laughing out loud:

1. Will the pot I smoked show up on a drug test?
A drug test is part of the hiring process at many companies. It’s best if interviewers avoid questions regarding the drug test unless it’s about directions to drive to the clinic.

“I was interviewing a candidate for an executive assistant position,” says Tom Hart, COO of Eliassen Group. “The woman was also a candidate for a flight attendant position at a major airline. As the interview concluded, the woman wanted to know if she could ask me a personal question. I said sure. Her question: ‘If I smoked pot yesterday, would it register on a drug test tomorrow? The airline says I need to pass a drug test before they’ll consider hiring me,’ she said. I told her it would show up, and wished her good luck with that.”

Avoiding incriminating questions on drug tests should be a given, even more important is avoiding drugs all together. I once heard of a candidate who successfully completed an interview but went on to fail their drug test. When confronted by HR they replied that they had not consumed any illegal substances, rather they had been bitten in a bar fight by someone who had and the drugs entered their blood stream. True story! I think the moral is avoid drugs and don’t hang out with drug addicted vampires.

2. Do you mind if I eat this snack?
Eye contact, focus, natural conversation – all keys to a good interview. Disrupting this flow with a ringing cell phone, jingling jewelry, noticeable nervous tick or food all rank high on the list of what you shouldn’t do during an interview.

“I had a candidate pull out an energy bar and start to eat,” says Alyssa Gelbard, founder of Resume Strategists Inc. “She said she was starved and asked if I minded if she ate her bar. The thing was, she wasn’t really asking because she went into her bag, opened the bar and took a bite before she actually asked me if I minded!”

Better yet, I once worked with an HR professional who was offered a partially consumed Diet Mt. Dew at the end of an interview. The interviewee had stated that he was not likely to finish it. More polite than eating a granola bar in front of someone, but even my 3-year-old knows not to share germs with strangers!

3. My biggest flaw is being too awesome
It’s not an easy question for anyone to answer, but when interviewers ask, “What’s your biggest flaw?” the responses are often more than manipulated (ahem Michael Scott of Dunder Mifflin).

“My biggest pet peeve when interviewing applicants is his/her response to ‘What is your biggest flaw?’ Being too organized, overly attentive, too trusting, etc.” says Michelle Burke, marketing supervisor at WyckWyre HR Stystems. “We all have flaws, including employers. Honesty is key, and we all know your biggest flaw isn’t being overly organized and always on time. Be honest with your employer and they’re more likely to relate to you and offer you the job.”

4. Let me kick back and get a little too comfortable
Interviewers evaluate more than just resumes and answers to questions, they observe behaviors to see how you might be a good or bad fit for the team.

“One of the biggest mistakes I see is when candidates act too comfortable during an interview,” says Kathleen Steffey, founder and CEO of Naviga Services. “For example, using curse words and revealing intimate details. These are all acceptable things to do in front of friends, but have no place during an interview. My biggest pet peeve out of these examples has to be when candidates chew gum. It is very distracting and I will even stop the interview to tell the candidate to take out their gum.”

5. Sorry, I just can’t hold a conversation
Nobody is an expert at interviewing, but there are a few basic skills that are necessary to make a good first impression. For starters, you need to be able to have a normal conversation with another human being.

Madeline Johnson, CEO of MJM Public Relations, notes her biggest pet peeves include: “Those who are completely inexperienced and lack the social skills/intelligence and/or confidence to hold a simple conversation. I have a public relations company, and if the interviewee can’t do small talk – then why did they waste my time?”

It’s also a good idea to use proper English and grammar in interviews. Johnson still recalls ‘yousguysis Becky’ as one of the funniest interviews she’s ever conducted because the term was said countless times during the meeting.

6. Tell me how this job will benefit me
Clearly a job interview helps both the employee and potential employee see if they would be a good match, but too often candidates will make the interview all about them without addressing what’s in it for the company.

“The worst questions to ask during a job interview are questions that are focused squarely on you rather than what you can do for the employer,” says Bob Myhal, president of NextHire. “Early questions about your compensation, your benefits, or your needs almost always send a red flag to the interviewer that you’re the type of high-maintenance, me-first person that employers universally dread.”

Myhal says it’s really about timing of questions and establishing you can do the job before addressing salary and benefits. “Don’t lead off with talk about salary,” he says. Interviewing for a job is like a courtship. If the first date is going really well, then you can ask for another and maybe even seal the deal with a kiss. If the first interview is going well, then it’s okay to touch on salary toward the end of the conversation.”

Now it’s your turn – what are some of the funniest or strangest interview experiences you have had? Please share in the comments!

November 13, 2014 / Molly Moseley

New client service model sets LinkUp apart

ClientServiceTeamCirclesImageWhether it’s ordering your morning cappuccino or closing a deal with a major new business partner, customer service reigns king. The numbers don’t lie: 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated, according to McKinsey. If that experience turns sour after receiving poor customer service, 89 percent of people stop doing business with a company, states a RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report.

In our industry, we know some of our competitors are more focused on revenue than customer satisfaction. That’s why we take a unique approach with our clients: we put you first. Customer service always has been and always will be a top priority at LinkUp. As we grow and evolve, we look for new ways to better serve clients, and today we are proud to announce the brand-spanking-new client service team! As a client of LinkUp you will have a dedicated client service team.

What does this mean to current and future clients? An even better customized service to meet all your needs. We want to give you a world-class experience so you can’t help but love partnering with us.

Our customer service super heroes work closely to provide support in setting up and optimizing recruitment advertising campaigns and generating customized reports for clients. This helpful breakdown shows you how the client service team will ensure all campaigns are successful:

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Sales Rep:

- Serves as point of contact on LinkUp products and services to answer any and all questions
- Manages and maintains client relationships to make sure you are completely satisfied

Account Manager:

- Serves as client point of contact on account setup, renewals, reports and captures client feedback
- Works closely with sales and the campaign manager on process improvement to ensure unparalleled customer satisfaction

Campaign Manager 

- Launches and optimizes client campaigns for mind-blowing results
- Provides actionable analytics and insights for campaigns so client can understand performance and make adjustments to maximize outcomes

Awesome customer service doesn’t involve just one person. We know it’s a group effort, and that is why we have created dedicated client service teams. We’re confident you’ll have an experience unlike any other.

November 7, 2014 / Toby Dayton

Tomorrow’s Jobs Number Could Be Big (Maybe even Huge)

I’m not one to often hedge my bets, but there are a few compelling data points worth highlighting that point to the possibility that tomorrow’s jobs numbers for October could be even bigger than our ‘official’ forecast of 293,000 jobs. Our official forecast, already well above the Bloomberg consensus estimate of 235,000, is based on approximately a 4% increase in new and total job openings in August which we expect will correlate to solid job gains in October.

NFP_2014.1105

But in addition to the August data (which is derived from LinkUp Raw, our labor market data product), a few other data points provide compelling evidence that the non-farm payroll number for October might actually be closer to a net gain of 325,000 or even 350,000 jobs.

The first data point is that in October, new job listings rose .8% and total job listings fell .6%.

2013 and 2014 job openings

Those percentages are pretty small and might be too small to warrant much attention, but it has never been the case in any month since we started tracking labor market data in 2008 that new job listings rose while total job listings declined. But October is always a bit of an anomaly with heavy holiday hiring and greatly accelerated hiring cycles and it is precisely those factors that I believe are driving a decrease in total job listings despite an increase in new job openings.

The strength that we’ve seen in the labor market for most of the year, combined with an uptick in labor demand for the holidays has led to a steady increase in new job listings which continued in October. Strong retail labor demand is most definitely evident when one looks at the total number of retail job openings in LinkUp’s job search engine this year as compared to the past two years.

While the overall increase in job openings can be largely attributed to the simple fact that we have added thousands of new companies to our search engine in the past 3 years, what is very relevant in the chart below is the fact that retail hiring started earlier in the year in 2014 than in either of the prior two years and has remained at an elevated level for a much longer period of time.

Retail

But the increase in new job openings on LinkUp in October means that for total jobs to have declined last month, even more jobs had to have come off the site, presumably because they were filled with hires. (The reasons we can make that assumption is because unlike a traditional pay-to-post job board where duration-based ads appear and are later removed because an employer pays for the ad for a specified period of time, our search engine indexes ONLY jobs found on corporate websites. Because of that, jobs in LinkUp’s job search engine are only included or removed from our search engine if they appear on a company’s website or are removed from a company’s website – in theory because an employer has a job they want to fill which is then later filled with a hire). And that dramatic increase in the number of jobs that came off LinkUp is precisely what happened last month.

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The chart above shows both how many jobs rolled off LinkUp in the past 6 months (3.1 million) as well as how long those jobs had been on the search engine prior to being filled (the X axis, in days). In October, not only did the total number of jobs that came off the site in the prior 6 months jump by 600,000 jobs, but 368,000 of those jobs had been on the site for less than 15 days. That’s a lot of hiring going on, and a huge increase in the ‘velocity’ of that hiring.

That velocity, or the speed by which companies are filling open positions with new hires (often referred to as ‘speed-to-hire’), has been steadily increasing throughout the year. As the graphic below indicates, companies took an average of 51 days to fill jobs back in April, and are now only taking 41 days, on average, to fill jobs.

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All of that is a really long-winded, over-evidenced way of saying that companies are posting a lot more new job openings, are filling even more job openings with new hires, and are making those hires faster than they have in a long time. That means we could see a really big number tomorrow morning. It might even be HUGE.

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November 5, 2014 / Stephanie Anderson

The big O: How to overcome the overqualified label

The more experience the better, right? If your employment history and education go above and beyond what is required in a job description, you might think you are a shoo-in for at least an interview. But don’t be surprised if you aren’t getting the quick responses you expected – or any responses at all. You are likely labeled as overqualified, which can mean your resume goes right in the trash.

In last week’s blog we addressed the positives and negatives of hiring overqualified candidates, but what if you are the candidate in question? If you are looking for a job and fear you will be labeled as overqualified, there are a number of different things you can do to present yourself well, ease employer concerns and come out ahead with a new job.

Use the power of your network
References and recommendations are so powerful, especially if they come from someone within the organization where you’d like to be hired. When someone trusted can vouch for you and make the hiring manager understand you would be a smart addition to the team, it speaks volumes and is a direct way to fight the dreaded overqualified label.

Speak wisely and be approachable
Industry jargon and high-level terminology can overwhelm an interviewer. While you want to speak intelligently, you still want to come across as approachable and relatable. Know when to scale back so you don’t scare anyone away. Additionally, always keep your ego in check.

Express willingness to negotiate salary
Employers are concerned that hiring overqualified candidates will cost them too much, and often times they are constrained to strict pay ranges. Direct these concerns head-on. Explain that you understand and will work within certain pay scales.

Demonstrate loyalty
To ease worries that you just need a job until something better comes along, demonstrate that you are a loyal employee with specific examples. Point out longevity with past employers and explain how you want a job for the long-term – a place where you can contribute, learn and grow professionally.

Focus on skills more than job titles
Fancy job titles can be intimidating, which is why many overqualified candidates are dismissed. Rather than emphasizing the title, focus on the skills you have that would make you the best candidate for the job. Use words directly from the job description whenever possible.

Demonstrate new skills and added value
Make sure to address the most recent skills you’ve gained and explain how these are of value to the company. Your new skills, competence and proactive approach to learning are a huge value to an employer, plus it shows you aren’t stuck in old ways of doing things.

Stay positive and enthusiastic
Whether you are overqualified or underqualified, one of the worst things you can do is to come off as having lackluster interest about the job. You must seem enthusiastic about the position otherwise you’ll lose out to someone else who is. Let your passion shine!

November 4, 2014 / Toby Dayton

No ‘New Mediocre’ Here In The U.S. Labor Market; LinkUp Forecasting Job Gains of 293,000 In October; Q4 Looks Pretty Good, too

Despite serious and legitimate concerns about the emerging threat of the global economy entering an era of the ‘New Mediocre’ (Christine Lagarde), things in the U.S. look pretty decent these days, at least as far as steady job gains and declining unemployment go. Leaving aside for now the also serious and legitimate concerns about stagnant wages over the past 30 years, the ‘hollowing out’ of the middle class (David Brooks), and the fact that too many of the jobs added to the economy in this slow-motion recovery have been part-time and/or low-wage jobs, Friday’s jobs report should exceed consensus estimates. In fact, not only is LinkUp forecasting a net gain of  293,000 jobs in October, labor market data from our job search engine is giving us a preliminary indication that strength in the labor market should be sustained at least through the end of the year.

In August of this year, new job listings in LinkUp’s job search engine rose by 4.4%, while total job openings rose by 3.8%. Based on those increases and with the relatively safe assumption that the best indicator of a future job being added to the U.S. economy is an employer posting a job opening on its own corporate website (ALL 2.6 million LinkUp jobs are indexed directly from 50,000 company websites), we are forecasting a net gain of 293,000 jobs for Friday’s jobs report for October.

2013 and 2014 job openings

Not only should Friday’s numbers provide some welcome news, but October’s job openings data from our search engine provides some early hints that we should see steady job gains for at least the remainder of the year. Although slightly different than the data listed above for October (due to the paired-month methodology we use for our NFP forecast), new job openings by state rose 4% in October, while total job openings rose 1%. Of note, 43 states showed increases in new job listings, with only 5 states reporting a decrease.

Jobs By State October 2014

Looking at the October data for job openings by category shows a similar picture, with new job openings by category rising 4% and total job openings by category rising 1%. Again, 27 of 31 job categories tracked by LinkUp showed increases in new job openings last month.

Jobs by Category October 2014

Drilling down into 3 specific job categories (manufacturing, education, and retail) provides additional evidence that things are different this year (finally!!) and quite a bit better than at least the past 2 years as far as trends are concerned.

Manufacturing

Education

Retail

As the graphs above indicate, new job openings in education and manufacturing and total job openings in retail have risen more steadily and earlier in the year than in 2012 and 2013. (The total increase is less relevant because some of the year-over-year increase is due to the simple fact that we have added thousands of new companies to our job search engine over the past 3 years).

The overall trend lines for new and total job openings on LinkUp over the past 3 years relative to each other also provide further evidence that unless the bottom falls out of the labor market in Q4, we should see a decent finish to the year.

New

Total

Although we still have one more data point to capture next month when we compare November data to October, I’d estimate at this point, based on the data we have in hand, that we should add another 500,000 or so jobs in November and December. Combined with the 293,000 jobs we’re projecting for October, that would total nearly 800,000 jobs for the quarter.

Q4 projected 2

Of course it’s still early, and we won’t have final data for the quarter until the BLS releases its 60-day revisions for December on March 6th, but there seems to be ample reason to believe at this point that the U.S. labor market just might be immune to the New Mediocre.

October 29, 2014 / Molly Moseley

Hiring overqualified candidates: Big win or big risk?

A Ph.D. vying for a job that only requires a B.A. A candidate with more than three times the years of working experience recommended in the job listing. An experienced executive applying for a middle-management position. Despite a recovering economy, recruiters and hiring managers still see many overqualified candidates applying for lower-level jobs, particularly in competitive markets where unemployment is higher and quality jobs are rarer.

The big question is: Should you consider hiring overqualified candidates?

A lot of hiring managers avoid overqualified candidates for numerous reasons. They fear the candidates are settling and will ultimately be unhappy or leave at their first opportunity. Some people feel threatened by the thought of working with someone who has extensive experience. Others worry about how established teams will get along with new, highly experienced coworkers, and – furthermore – whether the overqualified person will challenge authority.

These worries are all speculation and many issues can be managed by taking the correct approach during the hiring process to vet out a candidate’s true motives and ensure a successful partnership. Here are five important questions to consider when interviewing overqualified applicants:

1. How does the candidate address being overqualified?
Always conduct an honest interview. There’s no need to ignore the fact that the candidate is overqualified, and it’s best to address this matter head-on. Ask her why she wants the job considering her qualifications and gauge her interest based on the response. You want to learn if the person wants the position for the right reasons.

2. Without extra experience, is this person still a good hire?
Hiring someone just because he has an incredible amount of experience is a mistake if you overlook some of the most basic elements you seek in all employees. Ask yourself: Even without the qualifications, is this person still a smart hire? Does he have a personality and work ethic that aligns with the team and the company culture? If the answers are no, then the extra experience really has no value.

3. What are the candidate’s short and long-term goals?
Ask what the candidate’s goals are for today and the future. Do the answers match the company’s needs? In addition, it’s important to discuss what opportunities are available for this person down the road. Hiring for the position with a clear plan for future progress can ensure you use the employee’s skills to the fullest and keep them engaged. Provide realistic expectations so the employee knows what to expect.

4. How much salary can be offered?
With more experience often comes a higher salary. If a candidate held positions in the past that paid more than what you can offer, mention the pay scale in the interview to ensure it’s not an issue. When it comes time to negotiate, stick to the scale, but don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. A 10-percent wage increase might make a highly qualified candidate happier and more likely to stay long term; be wary if they want significantly more than what you can offer.

5. Would she be better as a temp employee or a consultant?
If someone is overqualified for a position, there’s a good chance she is unemployed. Bottom line: she wants to work. If you are leery of hiring a person full-time for fear she’ll leave or be a poor fit, consider alternatives like a temp-to-hire position. High-level candidates might also be open to being a consultant who gets paid hourly with a monthly contract. These can be good ways to try a candidate out to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership.

 

October 27, 2014 / Molly Moseley

Ninja, warrior, guru: Why job titles shouldn’t be cute or clever

LinkUpNinjaA job title is a few words that describes what you do for work. Most of the time, these words are pretty straight forward, however there is a fine line between being too generic to know what a job entails and too cute to be taken seriously.

Most recently we have seen an upswing in creative-sounding job titles. Listings for ninjasgurus and wizards have started to appear on job search sites like LinkUp. They may seem fun and lighthearted, but something too cute or too clever can backfire for numerous reasons.

From a business perspective, it’s going to be difficult for people to know who does what at the organization if titles are too creative to really make sense. Who wants to ask for the “operations ninja” on the phone or address an invoice to that person, when really they just want to speak with the director of operations? Even in creative industries like marketing and advertising, it’s best to stick to industry-standard job titles to prevent confusion and maintain business integrity.

Even more importantly from a recruiting perspective, it is highly unlikely that a job seeker looking for an accounting position is going to search for a job title like: “master of numbers.” Let’s be smart here, if job seekers can’t find your listings, you can’t hire them.

From the employee’s perspective, it might initially seem cool to be the “certified tech warrior” rather than boring old technical support. But what does that look like on your resume or LinkedIn? You’re building your professional reputation, and does that title really place you in the best light? Furthermore, you know at every future job interview you’re going to be asked about it; 10 years from now it might be frustrating to explain that you really aren’t a warrior.

At best meaningless and at worst downright laughable, these are some of the most awful words that can appear in job titles:

Guru
Example: executive accounting guru, administrative guru
Merriam-Webster defines guru as “a teacher or guide that you trust.” In the typical business environment, the word guru in a title is more likely to raise eyebrows than enhance levels of trust. Best to skip the enlightened jargon if you want to be taken seriously.

Ninja
Example: senior brand ninja, customer relations ninja
Yes, you kick ass at your job, but you’re not in a movie. Therefore, leave the ninja and warrior references to the stars on Hollywood Blvd. Instead, focus on your core responsibilities and how you can truly impress your boss so you can karate chop your way to your next real promotion.

Magician
Example: marketing magician, magician of sales analysis
Lesson: You might make magic happen for your clients, but with a funny title, you may not get the account in the first place. If you’re talented at your job, your work will speak for itself. (You’re not a wizard either, in case you were wondering.)

Master
Example: master of digital marketing, finance master
You are not a master, you are a manager. You are not a lord, you are a director. You are not a maven, you are researcher. Words like these are really only appropriate at a Renaissance festival. In thy professional realm – not so much. They are easily misunderstood and can actually be quite offensive. (Do you want to refer to your boss as master?)

Life is short and we know you can’t take everything seriously. When it comes to your career, though, it is serious. Skip the cutesy titles and clever verbiage in your job title, and leave the fun for your weekends away from the office.

October 22, 2014 / Stephanie Anderson

LinkedIn endorsements: worthwhile or worthless?

shutterstock_15211867LinkedIn endorsements have been around for about 2 years now, and in that time they have had extremely mixed reviews. Some people view endorsements as a key way to build your personal brand and improve professional networking. Others think of them as meaningless – a skills popularity contest with no real connection to actual experience.

What are LinkedIn endorsements? It’s when a first-degree connection rates you for having a particular skill. Those who dislike endorsements argue that virtually anyone can endorse a contact for a skill, not necessarily someone who has directly worked with the person and knows firsthand they do indeed have that particular skill. Plus, because people vouch for skills in hopes of getting reciprocal endorsements, it can quickly become a situation of “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” People have become jaded and some ignore endorsements completely.

Even though endorsements can get out of hand, they shouldn’t be ignored. When actively managed, they can complement the rest of your LinkedIn profile and help give better insight into your professional skill set. Here are six tips for managing LinkedIn endorsements so they actually matter:

1. Add skills in order of importance
For newbies, to get endorsements you need to add skills to your profile. Do so in the order of importance to you because they will be one of the first things connections will see – and perhaps the things they are most likely to click on. Once you get a lot of endorsements, that skill will rise to the top of the list and skills will be sorted by the number of endorsements

2. Don’t use all 50 skills
You can select up to 50 skills on LinkedIn, but you should select far less. Even savvy LinkedIn users make this mistake. Try focusing on your 10 core skills. Your personal brand must be managed, and if you want to be known for certain qualifications, focus on those skills that really count. Remember, endorsements are factored into search to improve LinkedIn algorithms and SEO accuracy, so tailoring skills in this way can have big benefits.

3. Take the selection process seriously
You work in IT but want to show you have a sense of humor, so you select “fire eating” as a skill that connections can endorse. Your buds get a good laugh and endorse it right away. It skyrockets right to the top of your skills list on your profile and now it’s the first thing you get asked about at every interview. Whoops!

4. Be smart about who you endorse
When you endorse someone, make sure you can stand behind your selections. Every time you endorse a contact, that activity displays in your LinkedIn newsfeed, boosting your exposure. Furthermore, you are connecting yourself to this person directly, and if something negative happens to him professionally it could reflect poorly on you. Be careful.

5. Be selective
Your LinkedIn profile represents your career and personal brand. Just because a contact endorses you, you don’t have to accept it. Be selective and unapologetic. You can hide, delete or reject an endorsement if it doesn’t serve your best interests.

6. All components should be complementary
Endorsements are virtually meaningless unless they match what your LinkedIn profile states. Make sure your endorsed skills are backed by the information you provide about your professional experience. Otherwise they are just words that everyone will simply ignore.

October 15, 2014 / Molly Moseley

10 tips for keeping your office healthy this flu season

Cold and flu season is officially here, and as concerns rise about the potential spread of Ebola, Enterovirus 68 and other illnesses, keeping the workplace healthy is a top priority.

“According to the CDC, nearly 111 million workdays are lost because of seasonal influenza, costing employers approximately $7 billion annually in sick days and lost productivity,” says Alan Kohll, CEO of TotalWellness, a corporate health and wellness solutions provider.

It’s inevitable that employees will be impacted by cold, flu and other ailments, but there is a lot businesses can do to minimize the effects of sickness and keep employees healthy, happy and productive.

“The number one thing employers can do to keep their workplace influenza free is to encourage employees to get vaccinated against influenza,” says Dr. Amesh Adalja, a board-certified infectious disease physician. “This is the chief means of preventing influenza in any setting.”

Here are 10 steps for keeping employees healthy and minimizing the spread of illness during cold and flu season:

1. Educate employees
Many employees confuse the flu with other illnesses. Provide educational materials about symptoms and how viruses and germs are spread. Additionally, provide information about the safety, effectiveness and importance of getting the flu shot.

2. Host a clinic
Holding a vaccination clinic onsite during office hours is a great way to give employees access to the flu shot so they don’t have to get it on their own time.

3. Encourage frequent hand washing
Post proper hand-washing steps by all sinks, and make sure soap and towels are always readily available.

4. Provide hand sanitizer
Consider supplying bottles of hand sanitizer for each employee’s desk. This makes it easy for each person to sanitize their hands throughout the day.

5. Clean desks frequently
On average, desks have 21,000 germs per square inch – 400 times more than a toilet. Encourage employees to wipe down their desk each day with disposable disinfecting wipes.

6. Cough the right way
Most adults grew up thinking you should cough into your hands. Today, we know you should cough into your elbow to prevent the spread of germs. Make sure employees young and old understand this.

7. Revisit PTO and sick leave policies
Remind people the importance of staying home sick while ill, and put a contingency plan in place for covering while they are gone. Consider making telecommuting an option for sick employees so they can work from home.

8. Lead by example
Employees will follow management’s lead. If the boss comes in while ill, they will, too. Be sure to lead by example and stay home if you’re sick; employees will be more likely to do the same.

9. Disseminate health insurance information
Does the company health plan cover the flu shot? Is there a nurse hotline employees can call with questions when they feel ill? Make sure employees know this important information at the start of cold and flu season.

10. Sanitize common spaces
Common spaces like the office kitchen, break rooms and meeting areas are where people congregate and therefore spread germs. Sanitize common spaces frequently by having the cleaning crew take additional steps this time of year.

What steps are you taking to encourage healthy habits this flu season?

October 10, 2014 / Molly Moseley

HR Tech Conference 2014 Highlights

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… well most of the time. We had a fantastic time at HR Tech last week in Vegas.  We spoke with nearly 200 HR professionals, debuted our new nautical LinkUp sock design, and showed off our new and improved job search iPhone application. It was most certainly a success!

What were your top highlights from HR Tech? Here are ours:

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5. Delicious bites

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4. Taking in the sights

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3. Awesome Shows (O – Cirque de Solei)

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2. Wedding Crashing

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And the number one LinkUp highlight from HR Tech 2014 was…

1. Meeting all of you!

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We hope you had an equally awesome time, and that you picked up a pair of our stylish new nautical LinkUp socks. If not, be sure to request a one here.

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