The Top 5 Skills Human Resources Departments Look for When Hiring

The Top 5 Skills Human Resources Departments Look for When Hiring

Investors are usually attracted towards companies that have great potential, not only in the present but also in the future. That means business organizations are always on the lookout for talented and skilled employees who can contribute greatly to their goals. When it comes to hiring, the Human Resource Department is keen on how you value yourself in terms of potential to be a part of their organization. There are many jobs available, but the competition is still fierce; you need to stand out.

Most candidates have earned degrees that are complimentary for the job they are applying for, but if you are looking for a way to put yourself in a new level from your competitors, you have to consider the skills that are acquired beyond your degree and your credentials.

Communication Skills

In every profession you take, communications skills are crucial. Being articulate is the top skill that employers seek in their candidates. Effective solutions, innovative concepts, and new techniques may not do any changes when you cannot get your ideas into words to relay to your bosses, managers, and colleagues. Communication skills also include attentive listening, speaking fluently, and organized writing. Employers need people who can explain what others are talking about and also arrange these thoughts, ideas, and concepts in a comprehensive manner. Even if you are working remotely and your connection to your company is through the computer, you still need effective communications skills to interact with your colleagues, clients, and boss through chats, video calls, and emails.

Social Skills

Working in a business organization means that you will be working with people. Communication does not only mean relaying what you want to express through words but through your actions as well. Most, if not all jobs require their candidates to have effective social skills to interact efficiently with their colleagues, clients, suppliers, and bosses. Working within teams needs competent social communications that can maximize productivity and resolve issues. Knowing when to engage in interactions that are either casual or professional with colleagues and clients, because Human Resources would want their employees to have good relationships with everyone.

Organization Skills

Being organized leads to being efficient and transparent. Organized documents, efficient schedule management, coordinating resources, and effective task designation. When you follow organization, it is easier for your boss to know and understand how you work. Being organized can mean from how well you arrange your desk and files, how you send reports at a certain period of time, and how often you have team meetings to update on everyone’s progress. Companies need workers who can stay focused on projects and remain organized until it is completed. One of the most important organization skill is to meet deadlines. Using time wisely makes all the difference between success and failure of your company.

Analytical and Problem Solving

Employers need people who can identify problems and solve them. Critical thinking helps in seeing beyond the information presented all the time. Analyzing allows you to think up of new angles on how to approach a problem. There may be better ways to solve this particular problem that hadn’t been tried yet previously. Problem-solving helps us make decisions amidst challenges. Whether problems are big or small, you have to analyze it in different angles and solve problems as quickly as possible.  


Motivation skills are important when you are interacting with colleagues and clients. People do better when they love what they are doing. When you are motivated, you find it easier to get up during the morning and look forward your day in the office. The paycheck can motivate you, but employers do want to hire people that can contribute to their organization’s goals and success. Motivation can help you cope with stress and handle problems in the workplace well.

6 Characteristics of a Strong Corporate Culture

6 Characteristics of a Strong Corporate Culture

Every corporate organization, big or small, has a culture. It is defined by it. Corporate culture gives identity to every organization. To be more precise: it is what gives a company its personality.

Like an individual, a culture defines the way how your corporation interacts within itself and to the outside world, such as your trade partners, your suppliers, and especially, your clients. Culture also serves as an inspiration and a motivation for your employees; it serves as their guide in their actions within the bounds of being a part of your company.  Corporate culture actually covers a vast field such as when your corporation has a healthy, happy, and productive work environment, it attracts employees. How your employees describe their workplace, how well they comprehend the business, and how they view themselves, is also a part of it.

Establishing strong company culture is important to moving your company towards success. A strong corporate culture means that your workplace is a nurturing and fun environment, resilient to challenges, clarity of purpose, and committed to excellence.

1. A Clear Vision and Mission

A strong corporate culture starts off with a clear vision and mission. You know what you want and how to get it. Usually, vision and mission are a phrase that gives your company and employee purpose. But it is not simply enough that this purpose is stated; for an organization to have a clear vision and mission, they must understand it. Each employee understands what is their purpose, the role that they play, and what responsibility do they shoulder. Employees who know what is their purpose and adapt their decisions to that purpose. Having a clear vision and mission can also boost understanding between supplies, business partners, and customers. Vision and mission are the basic, but most essential element of identity in corporate culture.

2. Code of Conduct

Apart from purpose, a code of conduct is a set of guidelines that are needed to realize their goals. The code of conduct establishes the spirit of commitment and trust within the organization. This guideline is communicated all over the company to build the proper behavior and mindsets that are needed to correspond to coworkers, handle clients, interact with partners, and promote professional conduct.

3. Teamwork

The corporate world is highly competitive; employees have to gain advantage over their peers to retain their positions or be promoted to a higher one. An organization may have competitors, but it should not be. Strong corporate culture involves learning to work with each other in teams. Every employee in the organization and their team is moving towards the same goal and they are on the same side. Unity is encouraged and should be appreciated.

4. Adapting to Change and Facing Challenges

When organizations face changes, employees tend to be distracted. It is usually fear of the unknown and what change that would bring. This fear of uncertainty incapacitates development and ability to be flexible makes employees distracted from their vision and mission. Upholding a strong culture motivates to face these challenges that seem to be difficult to win over; the resolve to realize the organization’s vision is stronger than the fear of the uncertain. Managers and team leaders should give proper support to keep their employees on track despite the difficulties.

5. Communication

Through communication, employees get a clear understanding of how what their organization is trying to achieve. It is a simple way for the organization to reach out and listen to their employees’ voice regarding management, departments, and colleagues. Feedback that is received clearly, productively, and with sensitivity to a variety of personalities, temperaments, and cultures. This promotes a culture of sharing sentiments and knowledge; the organization also promotes a culture that shows genuine care for their employees.

6. Thriving Workplace

A healthy working environment demonstrates corporate responsibility for their employees. Not only should you have high standards on results, you should also have a high standard on your employees’ wellbeing. Not only through a physical and mental aspect, a strong corporate culture should also consider the thriving working environment that enhances employees’ skills and talents. A healthy working environment motivates employees to work, be absent less often, and are more motivated which is a win for everyone.


Difficult Conversations – Poor Performance

Difficult Conversations – Poor Performance

Dealing with a poorly performing employee can be frustrating. It can be complex and time-consuming to make sure you get the right result - an improvement in their performance, or failing that, them being managed out of the organization in a fair and legal way.

It is likely you will meet with a poorly performing employee at least twice; the first time to tell them how their performance is ineffective and set targets for improvement, and the second to review their progress and make a decision about their future. In practice, you may have several other steps to follow, but the conversations will follow the same pattern, and if you master that pattern, you will find it easier to deal with any conversation about performance effectively.

And what is the pattern? You prepare. You talk. You listen. You consider. You decide. You communicate your decision. In basic terms, it is as simple as that.


Preparation involves making sure you know company policy and what authority you have to make decisions; you know where the employee’s performance falls short (and you have specific examples), you've planned how you want the meeting to go, you’ve given the employee appropriate notice and information in accordance with company policy, and you've identified a suitable time and venue.


Next, you talk. You may have a predetermined structure to follow or perhaps an agenda you have drawn up, in either case, you need to explain the reason for the meeting and what you want to achieve - to discuss the performance issues and what needs to be done about them. Then you give them the evidence of their performance shortfalls.


Now you give the employee the opportunity to talk and you need to listen. The quickest way to make sure someone doesn't engage with you is to make them think you're ignoring what they say. And the only way you are going to get an improvement in performance is if they are working harder, better, or differently. You need their participation. That said, if they refuse to make the effort, then you can still take action. It’s not about handing over control. It’s about managing the situation.

It may be that there are some issues that you're not aware of. They may not have been trained to carry out that particular task. They may have to rely on a third party which is causing the problems. They may have a health problem that impacts on their ability. There can be as many reasons as there are staff.

They may also get emotional. You might face anger or distress. You can never tell how someone will react until you're in that situation. Don’t let this side-track you. If they become too emotional to carry on, take a break, but always make sure you get back to the matter at hand. As a general rule, having evidence of performance issues makes it easier to deal with any emotional reactions since it is harder to ignore facts. It also helps you deal with those who might use an emotional reaction as a tactic to delay the discussion.


This leads neatly on to considering the information you now have. No effective manager would make a business decision without having the relevant facts or without weighing the options. Performance management is as much a business decision as any other issue you will face. Staff pay is often the biggest budgetary outgoing, where even the lowest paid member of staff can cost tens of thousands over the course of two or three years. Dealing with performance issues is a key opportunity to ensure you get the best return on that investment.


Now you have the decision to make. You'll know from your preparation which options are open to you: it may be a verbal or written warning, it may be dismissal. Whatever it is, ensuring that you have been fair and followed policy will mean your decision is more likely to stand if the employee decides to challenge it. It would be unfortunate to end up fighting a legal battle and losing, just for the sake of following the process properly.


Once you have made your decision, you need to communicate it to the employee. This needs to be done in the most appropriate way. Face-to-face is usually best, with written confirmation including an action plan. This should be given to them as quickly as possible to both capitalize on the momentum from your discussion and to reinforce its importance. There should also be clear demarcation between responsibilities, especially since the employee is the only one who can improve their performance.

And how do you know if you get it right? The employee goes away knowing what they have to do, how they have to do it, when they need to do it by, they have no illusions about the part they have to play, they know the support they can expect from you and the organisation, and they understand the consequences of not meeting their targets.

And finally, it can be uncomfortable for any manager having to have these discussions with an employee, but if you do it in a fair, reasonable and supportive way, you can be their biggest ally, even if, in the end, it doesn’t work out.

3 Reasons for Having an Employee Recognition Program

3 Reasons for Having an Employee Recognition Program

In 2013, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 87 percent of workers surveyed in countries all over the world were disengaged with their jobs. Only the remaining 13 percent stated that they were satisfied with their jobs and felt deeply engaged with the companies they worked for. Higher levels of engagement have proven, time and again, higher levels of employee satisfaction, greater increase in productivity, greater company loyalty, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction. One of the best ways to increase engagement is to make sure that employees feel appreciated and that hard work is suitably rewarded both financially and in some other ways. Having a strategic recognition program in place is one of the most effective ways to get results and take advantage of the following three key benefits:

1. Improve Business Results

It shouldn't come as any surprise that happy and motivated employees are better equipped to address customer concerns. Staff members need to feel that they have a vested interest in selling the brand and its products and services, while also offering impeccable customer support. Around 40 percent of companies that have adopted peer-to-peer employee recognition programs claim to have increased customer satisfaction. Many senior managers consider them an investment rather than an expense. People want to be rewarded for good work and they'll be mentally far better equipped to face the monotony of modern corporate culture if they know there's a good bonus and other rewards waiting for them.

2. Decrease Employee Turnover Rate

While money is obviously the main motivator in almost any job, offering a pay raise isn't the most effective method to hold on to employees. In fact, studies have shown that about half of employees leave within two years after accepting a raise, a statistic that clearly indicates that salaries and job satisfaction don't always correlate. Often as important is employee recognition, which has proven to lower turnover rate significantly. Employees who are widely recognized and rewarded for their work are about 30 percent less likely to leave the company. Other benefits include increased happiness and productivity and reduced stress and frustration levels. A lower turnover rate also saves money, since a direct replacement can cost up to half the previous employee's annual salary.

3. Increase Engagement and Productivity

An employee recognition program is all about clear communication, transparency, and having a solid rewards-driven system in place. Such a strategy leads to greater employee engagement, since it makes members of staff feel like they're a part of something bigger. An employee who has a vested interest in the direction the company is heading will be genuinely concerned about the day-to-day operations of the business. By contrast, someone who counts themselves in the 87 percent of people who claim to be disengaged with their jobs will be more likely to sleepwalk through each workday while looking forward to nothing more than the paycheck at the end of the month. Additionally, the aforementioned Gallup survey showed that two-thirds of employees considered praise from managerial staff to be the top motivator.

Final Words

There are many ways to implement an employee recognition strategy and most of them don't require a huge investment. Some of the most popular methods include publishing the company's greatest achievers in email newsletters, using staff meetings as an opportunity to include praise, or preparing regular status reports. However, a more original and engaging employee recognition program might include an achievement- or score-based system complete with rewards and prizes for top workers.

The Fundamentals of New Management Training

The Fundamentals of New Management Training

Successful businesses and strong managers go hand in hand. Such managers are individuals who have been properly vetted, trained, and placed in positions where they can thrive. But getting there requires following a carefully crafted plan to ensure each manager's success. By adhering to the fundamentals of new management training, companies can avoid mistakes and the consequences of the same.

1. Appoint a mentor. Assign each manager trainee to a mentor, preferably a senior manager who can offer moral support, answer questions, and discuss solutions to problems. For overstretched management teams, consider hiring a consultant with a strong management background to liaise with your trainees. At a minimum, mentors should commit to working with managers at least through their training period.  

2. Monitor and provide feedback. Every manager enters a learning curve and works toward a goal of becoming an independent manager. Your company must outline concrete steps to help each individual reach expected goals or thresholds along the way. Monitor the trainee's progress and provide feedback as needed. Take corrective action when necessary.

3. Supply supplemental training courses. Management training courses are another way to help budding managers learn. These courses may be online or offline or may represent individual seminars held onsite or offsite. Provide trainees the time to participate without interruption.

4. Review HR policies. New managers have much to learn about Human Resources policies, information they will articulate to their employees. Provide each trainee with an employee manual and discuss the procedures managers must take to handle employee problems.

5. Articulate management systems. Besides understanding HR policies, equip new managers with the tools necessary to hire and train new employees, conduct performance reviews, and manage discipline issues. Here, managers should have knowledge of state and federal labor laws in addition to the company's policies.  

6. Establish quantifiable goals. Every manager should understand all requirements. Goals must be clear, reachable, and quantified. For instance, if restaurant managers must maintain food costs in the 28 to 32 percent range and labor costs of 30 to 35 percent of total sales, then these prime costs may not exceed 67 percent (32 percent food + 35 percent labor) to maintain profitability. 

7. Understand work styles. No two managers are alike, with unique personalities and work styles evident. Make allowance for differences, while also helping trainees identify their strengths and weaknesses. Use this information to form management teams where different levels of managers complement each other.

8. Solve problems before they spiral out of control. Conflict is a human element, although most people do not acknowledge it, choosing to avoid the same. Have conflict resolution strategies in place and enable all managers to take their problems to the top.

Ensuring Management Success

A carefully implemented and executed management training program is your business' assurance that the people you appoint are the best ones suited for the position. Anything less and employee morale, customer satisfaction, and business profitability will suffer, leading to high turnover costs and potential harm to your enterprise.

Staffing Firms Improve the Bottom Line with Savings or Increased Production

Staffing Firms Improve the Bottom Line with Savings or Increased Production

Nowadays, companies have a hectic schedule due to keep up with the competitiveness of the industry. Resources and time becomes constricted and companies do not have the time to implement a thorough recruitment and screening processes. There are hundreds of applicants, but companies need to find the right applicant for their job postings. Training applicants takes time and money; companies are careful in the selection process in order to save up and be more productive.

Staffing firms are the ones who perform recruitment and selection processes for companies. Companies employ these firms in order to manage the employment processes, may it be temporary workers or permanent ones. Depending on the kind of employment, staffing firms provide an advantage when it comes to a company’s production pace and the amount of time they have saved.

Everyday there are numerous people looking for job openings. Usually there are many people applying for the same position. However, companies do not have the time to processes each and every one of these candidates to see if they are fit for that one position. Hiring a candidate that does not meet the requirements needed for the tasks leads the company to look for another candidate who can. This means that more time is used on searching, hiring, and training which could have been used for future projects.

Staffing firms usually cut down the vast number of applicants to a more practicable level. Outsourcing these firms are the best way to manage and screen candidates; their expertise in recruiting and staffing outperforms the ones of the HR department of the company. Staffing firms has a higher level of proficiency when it comes to finding the right niche of workers for a specific company. These firms specialize in what are the trending news in the market, recruiting, and news about employment rates. They allocate their abilities into screening applicants to see if they possess the right skill for the task.

Utilizing the expertise of staffing firms lowers the expenses used to screening and recruiting personnel. They relieve the company’s HR department of the expenditures that are used in screening processes such as background information, investigating previous employment records, and even drug tests. Searching for the ideal candidate for the job can take a lot of money if it is done by the company alone. Staffing firms help decrease the turnover rate by checking out candidates before they are even hired. In most cases, staffing firms already have substantial information regarding a candidate’s professionalism and work ethic, and if they can fit right in within the company’s culture.

Staffing firms does not only help the hiring company, but also the candidates. These firms offer a wide variety of training opportunities for their candidates to hone their skills, learn new things that are essential for their profession, update their knowledge on their job’s regulations, and stay updated with any materials that they have to familiar with to stay ahead in their line of work. This type of training ensures that candidates are more than capable for their tasks and has a diverse skill set. These firms also help in the expenses during hectic days. Staffing firms provide temporary employs who can perform the same tasks for full-time employees. This helps the company save up on paying overtime and avoids stressing their workforce.

Staffing firms are beneficial for companies. Employee performance determines the success of the organization. Hiring the right staff for the tasks propels the company towards success and development, but hiring the wrong ones stagnates the progress.

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Productivity at Work

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Productivity at Work

You spend only a certain amount of time in the office. It would be a bad idea if your concentration is spiraling, not being able to focus on one task. You would end up missing deadlines or rushing to meet them.

Are there times when you find yourself mindlessly clicking away on your office computer browser? Alright, so you start every day with a To-Do list, but you soon find yourself becoming distracted on tasks that are the least of your priorities, or just, simply, procrastinating. Keep in mind that you are only in the office for a certain period of time during the day, so it is important to make the most out of it.

Being productive at work isn’t exactly hard; you just need to know how to increase your output. That is, you either work hard and redouble your efforts or you work smart. The latter is preferable especially in time constraints and that means, it is required that you learn how to manage your timetable.

So how do you get your focus on and get some work done? Here is the list of five easy ways to improve your productivity at work:

1: Set Your Schedules

You might say ‘Isn’t this the same as a To-Do List? You know those things don’t work for me.’ Do not assume that setting your schedules and your to-do list are the same. While the to-do list enumerates what you have to do for the day, it does not always mean that you can effectively manage your time.

Think of it as a time table on what are the tasks you should be doing by the hour. The problem with To-Do Lists is that they can be counterproductive: these lists enumerate what you have to do, but not give you the appropriate time. You cannot focus one task at hand, but instead your focus would shift to the rest of the projects you have to finish.

The human brain is a muscle and it can only really focus for 25 minutes. You may notice as time progresses, your attention and focus shifts elsewhere, like for example, the rest of the projects and what can you to finish them within the day. A time table keeps track of what you should achieve or what you are able to finish within a designated time. Finished or not, proceed to the next task. This will help you increase your productivity level and get the results that you need.

Also make sure to establish a contingency plan. There are factors such as your personal life can get in the way of your schedules.

2: Have A Routine

After you have established a schedule, it is time to establish a routine. For example, what time will you answer all your emails? What time would you be doing these sheets? What time should you take a break?

Routines may sound bland, but they can actually make you more productive. You have set your concentration and your focus on a designated field or topic. Even checking your emails, which category do you check first, sets your brain to kickstart the concentration it needs. Routines actually help you condition for your day.

3: Stretch and Take a Break

Think you can get more work done by sitting on that chair until the end of your shift? Think again.

According to Dr. James Levine, sitting for a prolonged period of time can actually increase cholesterol levels and excess waistline fat, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and also the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Simply put: sitting for long periods of time is harmful. Spending a few hours in the gym during the weekend is not enough to deter these health risks. In a study conducted by Stockholm University doing exercise at work helps increase in productivity levels. Learn how to manage your energy and stress levels. Try taking a break after every hour to get up and stretch. One of such workplace exercise is, instead of sitting down during meetings, walk laps with your colleagues. It helps circulation and improve stamina after a long day sitting down.

4: Do Not Procrastinate

You have set a schedule and a routine for each of your task, but that does not mean that you will have that “I’ll do it tomorrow instead’ attitude. That is no longer time management; that is called procrastinating.

You only stay in the workplace for a certain period of time, so learn how much work you can do it that shift. Making time and learning how to manage your tasks, helps you increase your productivity levels, and helps you minimize your distractions. Discipline yourself to not put off tasks to the next day. Learn to do them now efficiently.

5: Do Not Stop Learning and Improving

Being productive is a learning process. It is not just about making timetables or routines, but it builds your character on how to discipline yourself to overcome any obstacle. Improving your productivity and your schedules may not remain the same; it is about overcoming challenges and hardships, avoiding bad habits, and finding ways to achieve your goals efficiently. Always keep your mind open, accept challenges, appreciate your success and even your failures.

Improving your productivity at work is not at all hard to learn. Always remember to work hard and to work smart.

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TDM & Associates Hot Jobs 7/17!

TDM & Associates Hot Jobs 7/17

This Week's HOT Jobs!

Looking for a job? Check out these hot jobs from our sister company, TDM & Associates! Follow the links to get more information directly.


Bowling Green area


Looking for Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree and at least 4 years of experience in manufacturing – automotive preferred. Request more info.

HR Manager - Multiple Plants

South Bend, IN Area

up to $85k

Must have a Bachelor’s degree along with 7 + years of experience in manufacturing. Should love working on the plant level and be a change-agent. Request more info.

Structural Engineer

Central Illinois

mid $70s

Should have a Civil/Structural Engineering degree and experience with RISA a plus. Will work in a manufacturing setting determining structural analysis of steel products used in agriculture. Relocation provided. New grads will be considered but must have US Citizenship. Request more info.

To see their full list of open positions, click here


Market Yourself: How to use a marketing strategy in your job search

How to Use a Marketing Strategy in Your Job Search | RYD Career Blog

I’ve been soaking up some and am currently studying digital marketing. As I was learning about business marketing strategies, it hit me that there’s huge crossover into conducting a productive job search. I mean, what is a job search but an effort to market yourself?

Posting a resume online with the hopes of getting a job is about the same as opening an online store and crossing your fingers that someone will stumble across it and buy your stuff…and applying to only online job ads is like just yelling, "BUY MY STUFF!!" on Facebook.

The Solution? Strategy. You need to develop strategies just as you would if you were creating a new business and marketing it. This is how I translated a Marketing Strategy to a Search Strategy:
Creating your strategy will force you to understand who you are, what you want, and what you have to offer at a deeper level, and it will help you to customize your materials and presentation for each aspect of your search by understanding what is most relevant to the company’s needs.

How to Use a Marketing Strategy in Your Job Search table

Most importantly, building your strategy will help you to plan your search, measure your efforts, and lead you to success. 

I’m barely scratching the surface when it comes to marketing (the above is definitely just a starting point), and I’m hopeful to find more crossover as I dig in. Do you use marketing techniques in your search? What’s your strategy?

Check out these resume tips before you create your “marketing materials”

TDM & Associates Hot Jobs 6/24!

TDM & Associates Hot Jobs 6/24

This Week's HOT Jobs!

Looking for a job? Check out these hot jobs from our sister company, TDM & Associates! Follow the links to get more information directly.

Design Engineer

Central Illinois

$60-75k + bonus

Gain design experience from cradle to grave, doing existing and new product development. Work with a fun and creative group of engineers! Requires: BS Mechanical or Agriculture Engineering – with emphasis on design (Will consider entry level candidates). Request more info.

President COO

Central Illinois

The President & COO will assume top leadership responsibilities for this innovative and nimble grain company. This individual will work very closely with a very strategic and innovative CEO to develop and execute strategic initiatives that keep this company in the forefront of organic food production and the leader in the supply of organic grains. The president will assume all day to day leadership responsibilities and will have a very active role in the future growth and success of the company. Request more info.

Quality Manager

Central Illinois

$115k + bonus

This position will plan, coordinate and direct quality systems designed to ensure continuous production of products consistent with established standards. Requirements: Problem Solving through 6 Sigma or Shainin; Previous Management experience in manufacturing setting; Quality Management Systems experience (ISO9001). Request more info.

To see their full list of open positions, click here