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Nearly everyone at some point in their professional life feels they’re overworked and underpaid. Often, the feeling is nothing more than an impulsive reaction to short-term frustration. You’re putting in extra hours on a big project, and no one’s even said thanks let alone offered to pay you overtime or give you comp time.
But some people really are underpaid for the work they do. When that happens, no one wins, not even the employer who may think they’re saving money by paying workers less than market value for the job they do. Many good people who are underpaid and feeling undervalued will leave, looking for an employer who pays better and appreciates them more.
The low-paying employer then has to replace the skilled worker, and may have to pay a higher salary to a new hire who’s unproven and inexperienced. Others who are underpaid, but who like their job, may stay put and grow more frustrated every year that goes by without a raise to bring your salary in line with those paid to incoming workers doing the same job.
There’s not much you can do about an employer whose priorities are out of whack like this, but if you think you’re underpaid and you’re unhappy about it – and who wouldn’t be – it may be time to take action. Feeling underpaid and unappreciated can lead you to feel disengaged in your current job and affects your quality of life.
Calculate your worth
First, confirm that you’re really underpaid. Plenty of online tools are available to help you calculate what you should be earning in your job, your industry, your level of expertise and education, and your region (like Glassdoor). You may find out that you’re paid more fairly than you thought. If you still feel like you want or deserve more money, think about ways you can enhance your value to an employer. Perhaps you need to go back to school. Maybe earning a certain certification will boost your earning potential.
If you really are underpaid, it’s time to take action. Try to negotiate a market salary adjustment. Ask your company what the pay range is for your job and determine where you are in that range. Let them know you feel you are worth more, and back it up with data from comparable companies in your industry. Share with them the research you’ve done into typical salaries for your job, skill level and experience. Be sure to remind them of your accomplishments and performance. Make your case calmly and strongly.
If you’re already interviewing elsewhere, and better yet if you already have a job offer, you can absolutely use that as a bargaining tool. Be sure to share what will hopefully be a higher salary offer and underscore the value you offer as an experienced and loyal employee.
If a salary increase is absolutely off the table, ask if your employer is willing to do something else to “sweeten the pot” for you. There are a number of ways employers can boost employee engagement outside of salary, such as leadership training, an improved work area, flexible hours and rewards or recognition.
Unfortunately, the reality is not every employer will be open to negotiating a market salary adjustment. If you come up against an entrenched employer, you may need to move on to a new job to get the salary bump you deserve.
Kids think the darndest things, and sometimes a child’s unique perspective creates an “Oh, wow!” moment. That happened to me recently when I discovered that my 4-year-old daughter didn’t realize the foundational purpose of a cell phone is to make calls. She thought mobile phones were designed to surf the Web, send text messages and pictures, and play games. That’s pretty telling, isn’t it?
Given that fresh perspective, maybe we shouldn’t even call them “phones” anymore. Maybe we should start referring to those devices we’re all so attached to as “mini-computers.” And make no mistake, many of us—including a lot of your employees—are addicted to our smartphones. There’s now even a disorder called technology addiction. Although it’s not yet recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, with health media from Healthline and WebMD to the Huffington Post reporting on the growing trend of tech addiction, you have to think healthcare professionals are aware of the issue.
In fact, one Huffington Post article made a compelling case for the many different ways overuse of technology can affect our bodies and minds. The well-researched article pointed out that there was evidence to link excessive tech to everything from acne and back pain, to feelings of loneliness and withdrawal.
Addiction of any kind is damaging to an employee’s mental health, so there’s definitely value for employers in encouraging their workers to unplug for a while, and reduce their dependence on their mobile devices. If you’re looking to help your employees reduce their tech dependence, here are some ideas that could help:
1. Lead by example. Don’t send an email or text when you could just as easily stroll into someone’s office or cubicle to communicate. Face-to-face interaction fosters relationships and better relationships make for a more efficient team. Encourage employees to take the extra moment or two to interact personally with each other, especially if they work in the same office.
2. Ban smartphones from meetings. There’s a meme running around social media about having just spent an hour in a meeting that could have been an email. But sometimes in-person meetings are more beneficial, being the most efficient way to get something done. When you meet, keeping smartphones out of the room can reduce distractions and help make your meeting run more smoothly.
3. Respect off-time. Technology has made it far too easy to encroach on someone’s personal time. Institute a company policy that emailing, texting or otherwise contacting someone during off hours or vacation time is strictly reserved for emergencies. So it’s okay to text Joe after hours that tomorrow morning’s 9 a.m. meeting has been moved up to 8 a.m., but not to remind him about a report that’s not due until the end of the week. Use a gut check, can this wait until tomorrow? If so, send it then.
4. Rethink notification settings. This one comes from Gizmodo’s Field Guide. Blogger David Nield makes the case that you (and your employees) don’t need to know absolutely everything that’s happening on social media (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp) the instant it happens. In my opinion, that’s doubly true during work hours, when employees should be focusing on work-related information instead of eyeballing photos of the steak lunch their college buddy is currently enjoying at a big-name Manhattan restaurant. Nield recommends disabling push notifications of social media “news” and updates that you really don’t need.
Technology is a great enabler, but it isn’t necessary or even useful in every workplace situation, setting and moment. Encourage employees to really think about how they use technology in the office, and to look for ways to streamline how and when they use it.
Bonus, speaking of funny “Oh wow” moments about kids and technology check out this post from Bored Panda: 15+ Funny Tweets Prove That Kids Today Have No Clue About Old Technology … then get back to work!
Whether 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:
– 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
– 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
– 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.
What makes a company good to work for? Fortune certainly has its finger on the pulse of what makes a company a desirable place to work, as demonstrated by its annual Best Companies to Work for list. But while these companies may be great places to work, how good are they at helping quality job-seekers get a foot in the door?
A company may offer amazing benefits, a fabulous work environment, and engaging job tasks to attract and retain top talent, but how effective is all that if talented job-seekers are turned off by the company’s career site? Even worse if they can’t find or easily apply for their jobs.
Each year LinkUp reviews company career sites to identify best practices and industry trends. This year we took a look at the top 25 companies on Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For list to get a sense for which companies known for providing a great employee experience do the same for job seekers. You might be surprised at the results! You can download the whitepaper here.
A millennial and a baby boomer show up for a job interview for a highly technical, high-responsibility position. The boomer arrives 5 minutes early carrying a briefcase filled with glossy brochures, printouts and examples of his work experience – and an impressive resume . The millennial is right on time, carrying a laptop. He has prepared a digital presentation of not only what he’s done at the one job he’s had before this, but also what he believes he could bring to the company and position if you give him the job
Your answer might depend on the skills the job requires, but it also may be influenced by what you believe about workers from each generation. Do you ascribe to the view that millennials are lazy and entitled? Or that they’re all tech wizards and masters of digital communications? Do you believe baby boomers have a stronger work ethic than other generations? Or that they are so entrenched in old ways of doing things that they lack the flexibility to adapt to an ever-changing business world?
The frustrating thing is, all those beliefs are true … and not. Certain strengths and deficiencies are emblematic of each generation, and the skills, personality and capabilities of individuals within generations can vary greatly. When you’re weighing one candidate’s value over another, his or her generation is only one factor to consider. Still, age group can provide you with valuable insights – as any marketer knows.
Plenty of research indicates that certain characteristics seem to appear more common in certain generations. What’s more, the social, economic and historical events that occurred during the generation’s formative years seem to drive those characteristics. Consider these facts and implications about boomers and millennials.
- The oldest baby boomers came of age during a period of social unrest, exploration and profound change. They are more likely to be nonconformists, independent thinkers, and highly aware of social issues and politics.
- They may be approaching retirement age, but boomers aren’t all eager to retire. Many saw the dot.com bust and the Great Recession wipe out their retirement savings. In an AARP survey, 63 percent said they will work at least part-time during their retirement, and 5 percent say they don’t intend to ever retire.
- They believe in the American dream, and they’re willing to be aggressive in their pursuit of it. This can make them highly motivated workers.
- Millennials have never lived in a world without digital communication, and many of them have been using the Internet and social media all their lives. This makes them highly comfortable with technology and more likely to embrace new technological developments.
- Many millennials had divorced parents. They’ve lived through the impact of an unbalanced home life, and they’re likely to place great emphasis on the importance of maintaining a work-life balance.
- They’ve grown up in the most racially, ethnically and culturally diverse America ever. Millennials are likely to work well with people of many different backgrounds, and they tend to be good team players.
In the end, there’s likely no right or wrong answer to the question of who’s a better worker, a millennial or a boomer. As an employer, it’s important for you to understand where each worker is coming from, what skills and experience he or she brings to a job, and how to manage each individual toward the greatest level of quality and productivity he’s capable of.
What an epic week for human dignity. Between the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act, combined with confederate flags becoming more and more obsolete and President Obama’s plan to significantly expand eligibility for overtime pay, the headlines have been filled with one incredible story after another. And lest anyone thinks things couldn’t possibly get any better, wait until tomorrow’s jobs report for June.
Based on the strong gains in new and total job openings on LinkUp’s job search engine in May (which rose 15% and 7% respectively), we are forecasting a net gain of 350,000 jobs in June – well above Bloomberg’s consensus forecast of 234,000 jobs.
Even more encouraging is the fact that new and total listings in our job search engine (which includes 3.2 million unique job openings indexed directly from 50,000 company websites) rose 25% and 11% respectively in June, numbers that indicate rather convincingly that the labor market should continue barreling ahead at a robust clip for at least the next month or two, if not longer.
In June, gains in new and total job openings on LinkUp were spread across the entire country (WTF, Alaska?), with almost every state reporting huge double-digit increase in new job openings.
Jobs by category saw similar gains in the aggregate, although the variability between categories was much more pronounced.
Of particular note is the incredible growth of new job listings in the retail sector which exploded from 99,000 new openings in May to 224,000 new openings in June, an increase of 127%. Science/Pharma/Biotech and Healthcare also saw considerable increases, but the skyrocketing labor demand in retail is remarkable. (Perhaps we’ll see even better retail sales numbers in Q4 ’15 than we did in Q4 ’14 – numbers we accurately predicted based on retail job growth we started seeing last April).
So happy 4th of July. Tomorrow’s jobs report should make the hot dogs taste even better and the fireworks even brighter.
Have you ever had to fold a t-shirt into a perfect six-inch square? Though it sounds ridiculous, precision in t-shirt folding was one of the biggest things that stuck with me in Air Force Basic Training. Not because I think it’s important to have organized laundry, but because of the lesson behind it. Details matter. They matter when putting together the engine of an aircraft and they matter in your job search.
Employers today can receive upwards of 50 applications per job opening. All things equal, it’s the details that can give you an edge over your competition. Make sure you’re giving proper attention to the following aspects of your search:
Your email provider. You probably won’t lose a job opportunity if your email ends in AOL.com, but in some business sectors that email address won’t help you, either. Older providers like AOL, Yahoo and Hotmail carry – fairly or not – certain associations that could lead hiring managers to assume you are less tech-savvy or of an older generation. Gmail is both generic and advanced enough to get the job done without making you stand out for the wrong reasons. And it’s free. Plus, Google is perceived as the leader in the tech space, so leveraging their produt can make you look more technologically progressive by association.
Your email signature. The signature you use to end your email should make an impression that’s professional yet compelling. Be succinct and include the essentials: your full name, your current title if employed or your profession/industry if you’re unemployed, your contact numbers, and link to your LinkedIn profile (and maybe Twitter, but NOT Facebook).
A printed business card. Yes, they’re still relevant. Whether you’re currently employed or between jobs, create a branded card that you can hand out for networking or during interviews. It should include the basics – name, address, contact numbers, email address, etc. – as well as a “title” that describes your professional skills. Professional yet personalized cards will leave an impression. Here at LinkUp we love the cards from Moo.com.
Professional-sounding voicemail. Imagine this scenario – the HR manager you’ve been hounding for an interview finally calls back. And your voicemail says “Hey, this is Joe. You know what to do after the beep.” In the background, the HR manager hears your kids screaming, the TV playing and the dog barking. You’ll be lucky if he/she leaves any message at all. Your voicemail should be professional, delivered in your clearest, most authoritative speaking voice, and recorded without background noise.
Update your LinkedIn tagline. Many hiring managers review a candidate’s social media profiles, so make a good impression. Take advantage of the branding opportunity a LinkedIn tagline presents. It should be concise yet descriptive, compelling but not cheesy. For example, the words “unemployed,” “out of work” or “seeking new opportunities” smack of desperation and should never appear in your LinkedIn tagline. Exective recruiter Pete Leibman blogs about LinkedIn headlines and offers a great formula to help make yours professional, accurate and engaging. Check out his LinkedIn blog.
Write a great thank you. After the interview, a thank you note is a must. It’s okay to send an email – just make sure you get names right and don’t misspell anything. If you’ll be sending a written note, choose notecards in a light, neutral color, printed on good quality card stock. They should either be blank, or simply have “thank you” imprinted on the front in a professional-looking font like Helvetica or Times New Roman. Hand write your personal thanks neatly inside.
Prep your social profiles. Even if you’re trying to keep your personal social media separate from your professional social media activities, some crossover is inevitable. Make sure your security settings limit who can view your personal social media activities, especially if you’ve been known to post things that may not play well in a professional setting. Don’t forget that even if someone can’t view the content you post, they’ll likely still be able to see your profile image, so choose one that says “pro” and not “party animal.” While you’re job-hunting, avoid posting anything that could be embarrassing. And don’t forget to keep your professional social media profiles up to date.
While I no longer fold my t-shirts into six inch squares, I do strive to pay attention to the details in life, especially in a job search.
It’s amazing how something that starts out seemingly small and private – a fib on a job application – can escalate into an issue or event that ignites a national dialogue. That certainly seems to be the case for Rachel Dolezal – the now-former head of the Spokane, Washington, NAACP. Reports claim that Dolezal gave a false answer about her race on at least one job application, although it was for a police department position and not the NAACP.
While Dolezal’s apparent fabrications about her racial identity have sparked a fresh national debate over race in our country, the story also raises some interesting questions for employers. Dolezal apparently falsely answered an application question that she was not legally obligated to answer at all: What is your race? The employer – not to mention a lot of other people – was led to think Dolezal is African American when her heritage is, in fact, Caucasian. In some ways the amount of dialogue and scope of attention feels similar to that of the Brian Williams lying-scandal, though the depth and sensitivity of this debate is far greater.
Was her answer less than honest? Certainly (her white parents say she’s white, not African-American). A bit odd? Yes, again (Dolezal still says she identifies herself as African American). Illegal? Probably not. Justification for termination? The jury’s out on that one.
“Ms. Dolezal hasn’t really committed a crime by definition,” says attorney Yvette Carmon Davis of Carmon Publishing and Entertainment in San Diego, California. Carmon Davis, who identifies herself as African American, practiced law for more than 30 years. “But contractually, she probably has put herself in the position to be terminated, and may have violated some local or administrative prohibitions against just generally being untruthful on some kinds of applications and disclosures.”
On most job applications, it’s up to the applicant’s discretion whether to answer a race question at all. And of course, employers aren’t supposed to consider race when making hiring decisions. However, applications often include a standard statement that says providing false information could get you fired, if you’re hired and the employer later discovers your deceit. Terminating an employee for any reason can expose an employer to legal action, yet the situation becomes very sticky indeed when questions of race are involved.
If you find out an employee lied about his or her race on their job application, what should you do? Do you simply live with the disappointment of knowing you hired someone of questionable character and less credibility than you’d thought? Or do you fire them for being dishonest?
Dan Kalish, managing partner of HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, offers insight into the complexities of the question:
“It is almost impossible to tell what race someone is just by appearance,” Kalish says. “Accordingly, if an employer accuses an employee about lying, and the accusation is wrong, the employer could face a discrimination lawsuit or hostile work environment claim.”
What’s more, Kalish points out, unless an employee admits to the lie, terminating an employee because you believe he or she lied about race could lead to legal liability for the employer. Don’t forget, Dolezal didn’t admit to lying, her parents “outed” her as Caucasian. And the NAACP didn’t terminate her, she resigned.
Simply suspecting an applicant lied about race and questioning him or her about it could expose an employer to ramifications, Kalish says. “Even if the employer suspects that an applicant lied, questions to the employee could, by itself, create a hostile work environment.”
Still, it’s understandable that an employer would want to address any falsehood on a job application, and perhaps especially a lie that relates to such a volatile issue as race identity.
“This is definitely an issue of character,” Carmon Davis says of Dolezal’s case. “According to her employer, it wasn’t necessary for her to be black to get and keep her job. So the question becomes: Why? Why did she do it? Motive is meaningful. If she had to be white to get the job, the hue and cry would have been off the charts. If she had to be black to get the job, some would still protest.”
Even the most sensitive, open-minded employer might feel impelled to act when discovering a trusted employee has deceived them. While Dolezal’s case seems singular for a number of reasons, she’s certainly not the first person to have fibbed on a job application. What would you do if you found yourself in the NAACP’s shoes?
Kalish advises caution. “Employers should be very careful while treading in these very dangerous waters.”
Have you heard the quote “A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace”? You may have no idea who first said it, but if you’ve ever been in the market for a job – or had to interview candidates applying for a job – you probably get the sentiment behind it: a competitive spirit leads to success. That spirit certainly worked for American Pharoah, the first horse in nearly 40 years to win the Triple Crown.
When he won the Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown, American Pharoah demonstrated the kind of tenacity and skill that you need to succeed in business, whether you’re the one doing the hiring or you’re the interviewee. The value of competition isn’t the only thing we can learn from him, however. Let’s take a look at eight inspiring lessons both job-seekers and employers alike can take away from American Pharoah’s victory.
1. Be persistent. Bob Baffert, American Pharoah’s trainer, came close to winning the Triple Crown three times before. Jockey Victor Espinoza also nearly won horse racing’s most-coveted crown three times on other horses before finally riding to victory on American Pharoah. He is the first jockey in history to enter the last leg of the Triple Crown with a third opportunity to win it, and, at 43, is the oldest jockey to ever win the award. Imagine how differently the 2015 race would have played out if either man had been less persistent?
2. There can be perfection in imperfection. He’s a beautiful horse, but American Pharoah isn’t perfect. His name is actually misspelled. The correct spelling should be “pharaoh.” But the horse’s accomplishments are so impressive and memorable that he’s made the name his own, and turned that imperfection into part of his unique appeal.
3. Embrace differences. While the other horses running in the Belmont tore down the track with their long, luxurious tails flying behind them, you might have noticed something different about American Pharoah’s tail. Or, maybe not since he moved so quickly! He’s actually missing a piece of his tail. Another horse bit it off and his owners refused suggestions that he should wear a hairpiece to make him look more like the other horses. His stubbier tail is just one more quality that makes American Pharoah stand out from the crowd, even when he’s standing still!
4. Don’t give up because of one setback. If American Pharoah had done that, he’d never have won any races. The only race he ever lost was his very first one. If you give up after a single failure – or even three or more – what you’re really giving up is the opportunity to win the next time. Success is only possible if you run the race.
5. Don’t let distractions make you lose your focus. The roar of the crowd, the sounds of the other horses and their jockeys – it can all be distracting for a thoroughbred. American Pharoah doesn’t give in to distractions. Instead, he wears special earplugs to help him stay focused. Blinders are a common accessory in thoroughbred horse racing. Do what you have to in order to screen out distractions and maintain your focus on your goals.
6. Seize opportunities to build your personal brand identity. The name, the tail, the winning record – they’re all part of American Pharoah’s brand. In the wake of his record-making win, American Pharoah memorabilia is everywhere, and it not only adds to the overall earnings of his owners, every T-shirt and other item of kitsch further builds the horse’s unique brand. Whether you’re looking for a job or looking to hire great people, you want to create and communicate a memorable identity.
7. Always remember to give back. Just when you think American Pharoah’s story can’t get any more inspiring, it does. Although he was entitled to 10% of American Pharoah’s Triple Crown winnings, jockey Victor Espinoza decided to donate his cut to City of Hope, a charity that funds children’s cancer research. Espinoza’s big-hearted pledge was not only a great thing to do, it further cemented his and American Pharoah’s places in American hearts. Americans appreciate generosity, plus it’s good for your soul!
8. Learn your own strength and ride it to victory. In the end, horses may race because of their competitive spirit, but they win because they don’t know losing is an option. Imagine what you can accomplish if you know your own strengths, and race toward the finish line with all the passion and focus of a Triple Crown winner.