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5 Tell-Tale Signs of a Burnt-Out Employee

Employee burnout, or the feelings of disinterest, fatigue, and general reluctance that disengaged employees may feel toward their jobs, is a serious issue that affects many in the workforce. Given that nearly two-thirds of all workers have felt (or currently feel) burnt out on the job, it’s statistically likely that this is a feeling you’re familiar with yourself. It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs and business owners to cite burnout in a previous job as their primary motivation for “striking out on their own.”

As terrible as burnout can be for employees, it’s an even bigger headache for managers and business owners. If left ignored, burnout can spread like wildfire through your company. It’s up to you to make sure it’s recognized and addressed before it costs you valuable talent. However, despite burnout seeming like an unavoidable HR obstacle, there are ways to identify it, remedy it, and prevent it from happening in the future. Keep an eye out for these 5 tell-tale signs of employee burnout, and use our tips to help find the appropriate solutions for your company.


1. Absenteeism.

The most obvious sign that an employee is suffering from burnout is increased absenteeism. When an employee is overwhelmed with stress and anxiety from their job, they may see physical escape as a temporary solution to their problems. They may call in sick more frequently, or suffer from a series of “accidents” due to a string of “bad luck.”

Worse, they may actually be getting sick more often. The body’s immune system doesn’t take kindly to exorbitant amounts of stress, resulting in frequent colds, fevers, stomach illnesses, and more. Some employers make a common mistake by accepting that an employee has been sick more frequently, without properly investigating to see if stress and overwork is an underlying cause. You can help by implementing wellness programs that encourage physical well-being and teach employees how to manage stress in healthy, productive ways.


2. Chronic Exhaustion.

The nature of work itself is difficult and labor-intensive, but it shouldn’t be so overwhelming that your employees are perpetually exhausted. If your employees are unable to complete all of their tasks and responsibilities during normal business hours, and they’re using their personal time to keep their heads above water, you must evaluate their workload and adjust it accordingly. If this is the case, the likely culprit is one of two things: Either they have too much on their plate, or not enough time to reasonably achieve their goals.

If your employee’s workload is too much for them to handle, all of their work will suffer as a result. Even your highest-performing employees have their limits. Redistribute their workload, even if you must hire an additional pair of hands to get it done.


3. Increased frequency of errors and mistakes.

Attention to detail is a natural byproduct of an invested, engaged employee. As such, it’s one of the first things to evaporate when an employee begins to burn out. As an employee begins to tire of their work, they’re more likely to let small mistakes slide. Over time, the small mistakes add up to paint a picture of  someone who has lost interest in the task at hand.

If a formerly precise employee starts to let things slip through the cracks, you might have a disengaged employee who is at risk of burning out. If a decline in performance becomes a long-term trend, discuss the issue with your employee and provide them with an outlet to express their thoughts and feelings, either through group meetings, or an anonymous communication channel if they’re uncomfortable with discussing these issues openly.


4. Heightened sensitivity to criticism.

If an employee has been slipping up on the job as a result of burnout, they’re also more likely to respond to criticism with aggression and defensiveness. They might feel like their performance is being judged under a microscope, and are more likely to feel attacked and ridiculed when receiving constructive criticism from their peers or managers. Even minor feedback can register as a personal attack when a person has had a bruising month on the job.

If you sense that a formerly receptive team member has begun to take helpful advice for a demeaning slight, it’s your job to dig deeper to the source of the problem. Communicate with your team to identify the underlying dissatisfaction, and make visible efforts to address the problem. An embattled employee is more likely to stay with the company when they feel like their concerns are taken seriously by management.


5. Obvious changes in overall attitude.

 Does your employee drag his or her feet through the door every morning, punching the clock at the exact moment their shift was to begin? Is their attention drawn to the time during the last hour or two of their day, ending with a mad dash for the exit as soon as their shift ends? If you get the impression that your team member is ready to throw in the towel at the soonest possible moment, you have clear evidence that something is amiss.

Watch for changes in overall mood and demeanor in your staff. If your office optimist has started reacting to his or her marching orders with pessimism, it’s time to have an open discussion with them about their feelings toward their job. Cynicism in the workplace can be toxic and counterproductive. If you don’t address it head-on, one employee’s sour grapes can spiral into a vortex of negativity that envelops the whole team.

While burnout is common and frequent, it’s not impossible to reduce or eliminate. With proactive leadership, clear two-way communication, and special attention to the health of your overall company culture, you can identify the problem, start honest dialogue, and execute an appropriate solution for any burnout that may arise. Talent in today’s workforce is just too valuable to lose.

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Maintaining Connections Through the Pandemic – Managing Remotely, Pt. II

COVID-19 has prompted many companies to ask their employees to work from home to avoid further spreading the virus. As such, many employees have started to work from home using online services such as Zoom, Skype, and even social media platforms. However, leaders need to be in contact with their employees to ensure that operations are well coordinated and operated. We touched on this earlier in our Insights, but in this blog we’ll be further discussing how team leaders should use communication to connect with the team while working remotely. 


Invest in technologies that foster collaboration.

According to Zogby Analytics, 41% of teams that operate remotely use Facebook, Skype, and texts to collaborate. However, employees should be given platforms that are specifically made for remote communication and projects. Such platforms will enhance trust and security of the communication from any external harm. 


Set up communication guidelines.

It is very important for leaders to draft rules and guidelines that direct employees on when and how to use communication tools. For instance, when should employees use emails?  When should they use chats? What questions or situations call for someone to pick up the phone? 

Establishing communication guidelines is important for several reasons. For example, sending project notifications via chat can be distracting to a focused employee when they are sent constantly, and members can easily lose significant messages in a thread. Emails are always appropriate for sending updates, but are not well-suited for collaboration. On the other hand, if the subject requires clarity and sensitivity, it’s very important to use a scheduled call to avoid misunderstanding or leaking any confidential information. 


Manage by objective.

One key problem many remote teams face is that they lack clear objectives from their managers. It is the duty of team leaders to ensure that they communicate clear objectives to their team members and make sure proper strategies are in place. This will make communication fast and productive in terms of operations. 


Share new and measurable metrics.

Since it is highly difficult for leaders to judge employees’ effectiveness on a timely basis, it is critical for leaders to focus on goals and manage expectations. In case an employee doesn’t meet the goals that have been set, managers should try to analyze the hindering factors and identify new solutions and metrics that can help the employee to improve productivity. 


Make all necessary information easily accessible to your team.

During this pandemic, people are busy trying to balance an unusual routine in a different environment: home. Therefore, it is very important to note the hurdles that arise while working at home. As such, it’s essential to make it as easy for your team as possible to communicate, receive information for work, and access instructions & directions. In fact, employees should not spend much time at all searching for relevant information, but rather the information should search for them (Check out the no searching revolution).


Practice continuous engagement. 

Continuous engagement promotes constant attachment between workers and it enhances productivity. An organization should ensure that there is a central place where employees are able to collaborate and engage with each other on a daily basis.  Modern internal communication tools can facilitate sharing of information among employees in real time such as digital signage, employee social networks, video chat tools, team bonding tools, intranet and forums, instant messaging tools and collaboration tools. Encourage remote employees to keep in touch and join conversations even when they are not physically available. 


Make communication and collaboration fun.

During these difficult times, people have been affected differently in terms of physical & mental health, finances, and social needs. Many are likely affected by ailments like depression because of the drastic and challenging chain of events influencing daily moods, ways of working, how they communicate, and so forth. Add a little bit of fun to it just to keep employees going in the collaboration process. This might include sharing fun moments that employees had personally or with the company. This will not only engage employees, but it will also share the company’s culture and give employees a sense of belonging. 

Manage projects’ deadlines and ideas with remote teams.

It’s important to keep your team in check regarding deadlines and targets. This can be fostered by tools such as Trello which make creating to-do lists and tracking progress interesting and engaging.

Finally, creating standard working-from-home policies is of chief value because it gives employees a basis in which they relate to each other. This might include universally accepted ways of dressing when attending visual meetings, and setting hours in which all employees are expected to be available for calls & meetings. Policies must be clearly articulated and understood by your entire team to keep operations running smoothly. 

Need help adapting to the “new normal?” Contact Cisso Bean & Dutch for expert HR guidance today. 


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5 Tips For Effective Group Meetings

5 Tips For Effective Group Meetings

We’ve all been in meetings before that could have been summarized and distributed in an email. Often, it feels like group meetings have become more of a tradition than a necessity. Expressing this concern to your boss, however, can seem intimidating and it may not seem important enough to bring up to your human resources department. 

Do not fear! We’ve all been there. A human resources department is there, in part, to ensure that your workplace environment is non-threatening and accepting of new ideas. You should feel encouraged to share these five tips for an effective group meeting with your office. 

Build And Share A Schedule:

It is important that everyone involved in the meeting receives a brief overview of the topics and goals to be discussed ahead of time. Everyone should be on the same page before the meeting starts. This will ensure that time is not wasted and everyone is prepared for the material that will be discussed. Distributing a pre-meeting schedule will also help to remind everyone when and where the meeting will take place and can help all members to prepare their materials ahead of time. 

Make It Interactive:

No one wants to sit through a lecture about data that could have been shared via email. Meetings should be discussion-based in order to get everyone involved. Opening up the floor for discussion is an effective way to create a more comfortable and welcoming work environment. In addition, sharing ideas is a great way to creatively solve problems as a group. This can be accomplished by assigning different members of the team to take the lead on discussing a particular topic.

Make Goals A Priority:

A group meeting can often get off track quickly. Ideas and thoughts can surface that may derail the main subject of the meeting. It is important to maintain control and take advantage of the time allotted by ensuring that the subject matter being discussed always ties back to the goals of the meeting laid out in the schedule. 

Essentials Only:

This applies to the information being shared as well as to the group members invited. In order to make the most out of everyone’s time, the essential information should be shared with those to whom it may concern. Jeff Bezos calls this the “two pizza rule.” In short, group meetings should be small enough that it only takes two pizzas to feed the group. This rule ensures that no one’s time is wasted by sitting through a meeting that does not pertain to their role. 

Make It Fun:

Group meetings do not have to be seen as a burden! Get to know the preferences of the group members and provide entertainment accordingly. This could be in the form of food and drinks, a quick game, or team-building exercise. Whatever way you decide to spice up your meetings, make sure it is something that can be enjoyed by everyone involved.


If you follow these tips and find yourself still struggling to keep meetings productive and your employees engaged, you may benefit from the experience of a trained HR specialist. Contact Cisso Bean & Dutch today to partner with skilled HR experts that can help you maximize the impact of your meetings. 

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5 Keys to Building A High Performing Team

The success or failure of every business depends greatly upon 2 factors:

  1. The product or service the business provides
  2. The team that provide the product or service.

But that’s not news to anyone. For years, CEOs, consultants, and HR managers have stressed the importance of building a strong team. 

While most people understand the importance of building great teams and how it impacts their bottom line, the process to do that seems to elude many. 

Here are five factors that can make or break a team, and what you can do to improve each one. 

Roles and Responsibility

When roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, each team member knows how they contribute. They understand their own value and can value the contribution of team members fulfilling other roles. 

If your team is struggling to understand their roles and responsibilities, a team conversation can help everyone gain clarity. 

During the meeting, identify the top 3-5 things that each member of the team is responsible for. Explain why each of these responsibilities is important.

Your team needs to understand how their roles fit together, and how their daily, weekly, and monthly tasks aid their team members and the company at large. 

When employees see the big picture, they work more seamlessly as a team. 


One consistent issue found in underperforming teams is a disconnect in the strategic plan and an understanding of its impact on the organization. If your team does not understand how their contribution helps to progress the overall mission of the company, they may begin to feel as if they are simply going through the motions. At that point, team members may complete their necessary requirements, but will seldom go above and beyond for the team.

Take a step back and ask, “What is the purpose?”

What value does the team add to the organization? How can you communicate that value in a unifying message? What is the purpose of each team member? How do their goals, values, and development plan align with the overall mission of the organization?

As a leader, answering and understanding these questions can drastically shift the mindset and performance of your team, but only if it is communicated properly. Which brings us to the third component of high performing teams.

High-Performance Coaches

The leaders of your team are also the coaches. It is their responsibility to promote, develop, and reinforce positive performance. 

Align the purpose of the team and each member with the vision and goals of the organization. 

Coaches also directly intervene to implement positive teamwork processes and provide pertinent team updates.

If your team has been failing to perform at their highest potential, it may be a lack of sufficient coaching that is hindering the team.  

Trust and Familiarity

Managing a team that lacks trust in one another isn’t managing a team at all. It is managing a group of individuals, working on the same projects, often delivering mediocre results.

When team members are confident that they can trust and count on one another, morale and productivity increases.

Facilitating trust among team members begins with managing the workplace culture. In a positive culture, each team member is viewed as a valued asset. Infighting and gossip should be stopped before it gets out of hand. This can be controlled by establishing an open-door policy and creating peer mediation groups if necessary.

Team Norms

Norms are the set of unspoken rules that govern how people interact with one another. In personal relationships and interaction, it is common for these rules to remain unspoken but understood. In professional settings where multiple people work together, it may become necessary to discuss and agree on these rules with your team. 

This type of discussion should be had organically rather than a scheduled meeting. As a leader, you should ask team members to openly discuss how they feel about the interactions of a team. 

Prompt the team members with questions such as “Think of the worst team you have ever worked with and why the team was hard to work?” Also, ask team members to share their best experiences working with a team. 

This will open up a group discussion around the subject of what makes for good team experiences and what makes for bad ones. Keep track of any suggestions that your team makes during this discussion and help members clarify their expectations to one another. 


All of these crucial factors for establishing a high-performing team should be revisited often. Consistently reviewing these factors can help to keep your team performing at their highest potential.

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4 Recruiting Tips You Should Know

Recruiting the right people for your company is not a simple task. Finding the best possible fit for your company is not just a challenge, but a tremendous opportunity. To help streamline the process, we’ve put together a list of 4 recruiting tips. 

Consider In-House Candidates

When looking for someone to fill an open position, first consider any in-house potentials. This is a great way to provide an opportunity for promotion to your current employees. Plus, no one knows the goals and needs of your business better than your employees. Allow employees the chance to interview for the position. At the very least, it is an opportunity for you to get to know them better. This initiative will also boost company morale. 

Prioritize the Interview Experience

There are plenty of reasons why you should prioritize every candidate’s interview experience. For starters, you want your organization to maintain a positive reputation within your industry. Remember, this is the first experience the candidate will have with your organization. If done correctly, candidates see that your organization cares for its people as well as its potential employees. This is a powerful message to get across. This will also show your candidate how important a welcoming office culture is to your company. If you implement a positive interview experience, even candidates who are not chosen will have great things to say. The last thing you want to do is have a candidate leave with a negative outlook on your company. Regardless of pay or benefits, if you fail to treat a candidate with the same respect as you would an employee, you’re harming your company’s reputation. 

To ensure you are providing a quality candidate interview experience, review this checklist:

  • Provide an accurate description of the job before the interview
  • Arrive on time
  • Be prepared
  • Provide a proper introduction
  • Allow time for feedback
  • Thank the candidate for their time
  • Provide next step information

Require Relevant Assessments

Although you can use a resume to view a candidate’s skills, why not put them to the test? Have your candidates complete relevant tests or assessments before an interview. If you want to be certain your candidate has the necessary skills, ask them to complete the assessment at your office or online. Tests could be written or verbal. Be sure you provide clear instructions and indicate time expectations. There are a number of assessments currently used as a part of the employment process. Predictive Index (PI) is one example.

Value Time

Lastly, value your time as well as the applicant’s time. The recruitment process is a lengthy one. During the hiring process, check your emails or applicant tracking system for applications daily. You don’t’ want to take too long to let an applicant know you are interested. You also don’t want to wait too long to inform an applicant if you have chosen another candidate. 

Remember that competition for the best candidates is intense especially when unemployment rates are low. Every company has the same goal, to recruit the best talent available. Set yourself apart from your competition by following these recruiting tips. If you have any further questions about the recruiting process or need help assessing your current process, contact us today. 

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Common HR Mistakes to Avoid

Everybody makes mistakes from time to time, especially in the workplace. However, HR mistakes can create major headaches. The HR department has several responsibilities to take care of to protect the company as well as its employees. While mistakes are inevitable, it is crucial for you to be aware of potential mistakes.

Poor Hiring Practices

Hiring is an essential part of a company’s success. The hiring process is long, complicated, and costly. Ensuring you put the right person in the right position can make or break your company. Be patient and make sure the person you hire is the best fit for the position. Keep in mind that interviewees are reviewing your company just as much as your company is reviewing them.

Lack of Onboarding Process

Make sure you dedicate time to your new employees. They need time to adjust and understand exactly how your company works. When there is not a set onboarding process new employees will never learn the ropes. This can cause both the employer’s expectations and the employee’s job satisfaction to not be met. Spend time welcoming and training your new hires.

Incomplete Employee Files

Part of avoiding HR mistakes includes keeping an updated record of employee documents regarding their work histories. Make sure you keep their personal documents in a separate folder from the work files because they contain private information that is not related to managing employee performance. Another common mistake HR managers make is not filing all valid forms that verify employee’s work eligibility and employee identity based on federal and state rules. 

Failure to Document Performance Issues

Don’t let performance issues go undocumented, this is how you avoid a lawsuit. HR managers should give employees time to improve their performance by bringing the issues to their attention during check-in meetings. These meetings should also be documented. When employees are let go it is crucial the HR managers have documentation of the lack of change and reason for termination.

An Outdated or Non-Existent Employee Handbook

Every business needs to have an updated handbook full of work policies. The HR department should be in charge of making regular updates to this handbook. Any policy changes must be communicated to employees regularly. Don’t go more than two years without updating your handbooks. Be sure to have your employees read and sign to confirm they acknowledge the information. A typical employee handbook includes compensation and benefits, code of conduct, nondiscrimination policies, employee guidelines and termination, and communication policies.

Lack of Training

If your business isn’t investing in employee training, you are one step behind. Providing employees with training opportunities allows them to increase their skills in their area of specialization. HR departments are not just supposed to train new hires but continue to ensure professional training for existing employees. This also helps your employees see their value to the company and increase their work performance. Regular performance reviews are necessary to ensure that the skills and growth opportunities are reflected in employees’ reports. 

If your HR managers are correctly doing their job, your employees will do the same. If you have questions or concerns about the role of HR or the consequences of a mistake, contact us today. We will work with your management team to get things back on track and ensure things are done correctly the first time.

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From Day 1 – How To Help A New Employee Adjust

As an employer, it’s important to capitalize on this opportunity to make new employees feel welcome, comfortable and included as a part of the team. Unfortunately, many companies neglect the employee onboarding experience, which can be a factor contributing to high turnover rates especially within the first few months of employment.  A well organized and structured onboarding experience can make a huge difference in creating the positive experiences needed to support quicker acclimation and increased retention.

As an employer, it’s your job to capitalize on this opportunity that only comes once during your employer-employee relationship, and make them feel welcome, comfortable, and included in their new environment. Many companies neglect this step of the employee onboarding experience, which plays a factor in the high rate of turnover from employees within their first six months of starting a job.  A well-performed onboarding experience can make a huge difference when bringing a new employee up to full productivity, and a positive experience on their first day will help keep them around for the long-term.

Prepare for their arrival beforehand.

Employee onboarding doesn’t begin on an employee’s first day – it begins the second they accept the job. Make sure they have a clean, fully-stocked workspace that provides everything they’ll need for the first day, including a desk, supplies, a company computer, and usernames and passwords. They will have a lot on their mind on the first day – make sure they don’t have to scramble or wait for basic necessities on top of it all.

You’ll also benefit from helping your hire prepare mentally. Prepare the newest member of your team by providing them with materials that help acquaint them with the company culture and get them to look forward to their first day. For example, show them videos of one of your favorite team-building activities. Send them information about the interesting perks provided inside the office.

Introduce them to the team.

Social barriers are the biggest obstacle a new hire will face when starting life with a new company. It’s natural for humans to observe their peers before engaging in social behavior, so don’t be surprised when your newest talent seems quiet at company meetings. Help them overcome their initial social anxiety by introducing them to the team, and letting them know that their input is welcome and encouraged. The quicker a new employee becomes acquainted with their peers and the expectations of the company, the quicker they’ll feel comfortable with providing you with the insight you hired them to give.

Don’t lose them in the “noise” on their first day.

As a business owner or hiring manager, you undoubtedly have a great deal of responsibility, as well as day to day competing priorities. A routine Monday can quickly turn into a pivotal moment for your business, and it’s normal for your otherwise open schedule to quickly fill with short-notice meetings or business emergencies.  You must account for this when planning your new employee’s first day.

First, be ready to greet them at the door when they first show up. Make sure your morning is clear enough to make an un-rushed introduction to the team, and provide a tour of the office. Don’t let an unexpected email or phone call derail you from giving them a warm, genuine welcome. If your attention is diverted or unfocused, you risk making your new talent feel unimportant or uninteresting. Once you’ve ensured they have everything they need to begin their work, check in with them throughout the day to see how they’re feeling. Show them that you’re a supervisor who cares.

Invest in your long-term relationship.

Onboarding is a process that doesn’t take place overnight. Make a good impression on their first day, and continue building on that relationship over time. Keep in regular contact with them to gauge their workplace satisfaction. If your workforce is larger and it’s not feasible for you to keep tabs on all of your hires personally, assign them a mentor to help them adjust to their new job. Starters tend to feel the need to overproduce and overwork to “prove” themselves to you. Having a more experienced peer close at hand can have a relieving effect on the stressed newcomer.


In conclusion, the first day can be a major source of stress for everyone involved – the new employee, managers, and even coworkers – but this doesn’t mean it has to be. Put in the work necessary to produce a positive experience for a new worker’s first day, and you’ll enjoy a much smoother onboarding experience as a whole.

As with everything in business, the “first day” onboarding experience is made more efficient with clearly-defined company processes. If you need help creating yours, get in touch with us here for a free first consultation.

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5 Tips For Writing The Best Resume With The Fewest Words

Whether you’re drafting a new resume or changing an old one, it might be tempting to write a resume that could be mistaken for a small novel. After all, this is an important document meant to list your achievements, work experiences and educational background. Shouldn’t that list be long? A document that proclaims your talents and accomplishments should not make a hefty thumping sound when it’s placed on your prospective employer’s desk!

However, depending on your career and the job for which you’re applying, a long resume could damage your chances of being hired. It’s important to keep your resume concise by including only the information relevant to promoting  yourself for the position. If you find your resume is filled with “fluff,” or information that serves no purpose other than to pad out the length of your resume, apply some of these helpful tips to hone your message and showcase your talents in a professional, to-the-point manner.

Make sure your resume passes the “skim test.”

Hiring managers review a lot of resumes. For any single position, based on the amount of public interest, he or she might read dozens or even hundreds of resumes. As a time-saving measure, most managers will first skim over your qualifications just to ensure they don’t waste time reading a verbose essay by someone who doesn’t even meet the job’s basic requirements. Because of this, your resume needs to be easy to skim through.

Take a copy of your resume and quickly scan over it. If someone were to only take a few seconds to read over it, would they know the most important things about you? Make sure that any qualifications that you think are especially important stand out on paper. Bold or otherwise set apart your skills and experiences that are listed as essential to the position. Further, you should write your introduction like it’s the only thing they’ll ever read. Ensure that it gives your “elevator pitch” and provides a clear picture of your abilities in a few sentences.

Keep it current.

As you continue to progress down your career path, you’ll find that employers care far less about what you were doing two decades ago than what you were doing in the past few years. You’ll often find that your earliest endeavors aren’t in line with what you’re actively pursuing today. If older positions don’t contribute to the job you’re currently seeking, leave them off the resume. Remember by eliminating irrelevant or unnecessary information, your most important qualifications become more visible.

Make updates to your resume that are specific to the job you’re seeking.

Even if you’re looking for a limited range of positions with relatively similar job duties, each hiring manager may be  looking for different characteristics, certifications, and experiences. Pay close attention to the jobs you’re applying for, and tailor your resume specifically to that position.

Does one employer seem more concerned about qualifications in technology? If so, draw more attention to the software and hardware you’re familiar with. Does one hiring manager value experience from one of your past jobs more than another? Flesh out your job description for the valuable experience, and consider minimizing or eliminating details about the less applicable job. Each employer will be looking for something different, so be sure to identify their biggest needs or concerns and address them with extra emphasis in your resume.

Eliminate unnecessary educational credentials.

It might make you feel nostalgic to include your graduating high school class on your resume, but do yourself a favor by keeping that in the past. It should go without saying that hiring managers care more about your work and professional experience than the activities you were involved with in high school. Unless an achievement propelled you toward your current goal or you are entering the work world directly from high school, the high school information is not needed.  If you have attained a degree that’s relevant to the position you’re seeking, include it by all means but be targeted in what educational credentials you list.

Be readable, not pretentious.

If you use big words to impress your potential employers, you’re more likely to give them a headache than a good impression. Again, this comes down to the fact that many hiring managers have a stack of resumes that reaches the ceiling. If your writing is bloated with esoteric industry terminology, unwieldy passive language (“this duty was handled by me”), or your resume otherwise looks like it was written with the aid of a thesaurus, consider simplifying or eliminating the content in question. Focus on the main objective of your resume, which is to present your qualifications as clearly as possible, not prove to your future boss that your minor in English is useful.

To recap, it’s not so much the actual length of a resume that determines its effectiveness, but the actual content. If you’re applying for a particularly ambitious post that’s the culmination of years of hard work, it may be necessary for you to write a 3-page resume if that’s what’s required to provide the full picture. However, for most applicants, less is more. Clarity is perhaps the most important quality of a successful resume, and it can only be achieved by focusing on selling yourself for the position and nothing else.

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Is “Do-It-Yourself” HR Really Worth It?

If you have or you’re starting your own business, it may be tempting to wear as many hats as possible to keep initial costs down, including a Human Resources hat. However, by doing this, you are missing out on the many benefits a human resources professional can add to your company.

If you’re trying to manage HR on your own, it’s important to understand what an HR specialist actually does. They are more than paper-pushers—they are very often strategists who impact the bottom line as well as promoters of people within the organization. When it comes to employment laws, staffing issues, accessing the latest in HR technology and innovation, and other HR-related issues, you’re going to wish you had an expert to guide you.

It may not make fiscal sense to you right now, but hiring an HR consultant will save you time—and money— in the long run. Here are a few more reasons you should get some help in your HR department:

You need help recruiting top talent.
If there’s one thing you want, it’s probably highly-qualified employees. Developing a targeted strategy to find and attract these individuals can take a lot of time and effort. By using the services of a dedicated HR specialist, you can hand off this responsibility to a professional with the time and skills necessary to find the ideal individuals for your business.

You want help with building “open door” communication processes.
It’s important to have someone in place to bridge communication gaps between company management and employees. Your employees need someone to turn to in order to voice frustrations with the company and report any wrongdoings. A lack of human resources help or a process in place to effectively communicate change, listen to concerns or establish basic work protocols can result in unhappy employees, which will most likely result in a drop in productivity, higher attrition rates and an impact to company revenue.

You need time to focus elsewhere.
As an executive or business owner, your time and effort is more than likely stretched across different departments. A quality HR representative can relieve you from the stress of HR responsibilities. He or she can reduce the amount of paperwork on your desk, develop essential processes to streamline employee issues, train and develop employees thus allowing you to devote your time to other key business priorities.

You plan on having more than 50 employees in the future.
We’re sure one of your goals is to grow your company, and you can’t do this without employees. If you already have, or are planning on having more than 50 employees, it’s absolutely essential for you to have HR guidance. Once your company hits that magic number, laws and regulations like the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Affordable Care Act kick in. It will be a relief to know you have an expert who can help you navigate these often complex legal matters.

If you’re a business owner, manager, or executive who often finds yourself doubling as an HR manager, seek out the services of a dedicated Human Resources consultant. Outsourcing your HR demands can lessen your workload and improve employer-employee interactions. Here at Cisso Bean and Dutch, we’d love to help you make more time for your business. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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Why You Need A Mentoring Program

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.”
– Live and Learn and Pass It On: People Ages 5 to 95, H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, astronaut John Glen, Oprah Winfrey, and designer Yves St. Laurent have one thing in common: they all had mentors!

A mentoring program is the most direct way for experienced professionals to “throw back” their years of wisdom and knowledge to future, upcoming talent.

Some mentoring programs are informal in nature and others are more structured, but the components for all types are the same: to provide the opportunity for beneficial interactions of shared experiences and life’s lessons learned from the mentor to the mentee.

For the last several years, I have had the opportunity to serve through Auburn University’s AMPD Board as a mentor for students preparing to enter the job market. Most conversations have centered around building a great resume, marketing yourself, searching for jobs, transitioning from college to the working world, and preparing for job interviews.

However, some of the more meaningful conversations were those centered around time management and building leadership skills during college. During these conversations, I am often asked questions like, “What were your plans when you graduated from college?” and “Are you where you thought you would be?” You won’t find the answers to these questions in a textbook, showing again the immense value of a mentoring relationship.

Keep in mind that a mentoring relationship not only benefits the mentee but the mentor as well. Establishing a mentoring program could make your millennial employees stay longer with your company, decreasing your turnover rate. But don’t take my word for it.

According to Forbes and a study conducted by Deloitte, millennials planning to stay with their employer for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68%) than not (32%). Contrast that with this stat: 66% of millennials expect to leave their current job in five years or less. Eighty-one percent of them are happy with their mentor. Among millennials planning to leave their employer within two years, only 61% were happy with the mentoring they received.

There are many different types of mentoring relationships. I encourage you to explore and figure out what works best for you, your company, and your employees. It’ll take some work, but it’s well worth the investment.


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Talent Today and Tomorrow

2017 SHRM Talent Management Conference & Exposition

At the end of this year’s SHRM Talent Management Conference in Chicago, Illinois, there was no doubt in my mind that I would register for the upcoming 2018 conference which will be held in Las Vegas in Spring. Being in Human Resources leadership for much of my professional career, it is never easy to break away to attend conferences especially when the “day to day” responsibilities do not slow down and they definitely don’t stop. However, nothing takes the place of interacting with colleagues and industry experts who are experiencing the same challenges that you are. In addition, learning about emerging trends and issues and sharing best practices make these types of conference even more important.

There were three key general sessions this year which featured Molly Fletcher, Sports Agent, CEO and Author of A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating; David Novak, Executive Chairman of Yum! Brands, Inc.; and, Frans Johansson, Innovation Expert and Author of The Medici Effect and The Click Moment (I bought both of these books as the presenter was excellent).

I attended several concurrent sessions (too many to highlight) but I especially appreciated the presentations by Shaunda Zilich, Global Employment Brand Leader at GE who presented The Changing Nature of Recruiting; Things are not how they appear” and Kris Dunn, Chief People Officer at Kinetix who presented “Seven Ways Recruiters Can Deal More Effectively with Difficult Hiring Managers. Both were great. Hope to see HR industry colleagues during the 2018 Conference in Las Vegas!