7 Recruiting Tips to Improve Your Organization

Your company is only as strong as the team that’s operating it. Finding the right talent to staff your operation requires a strong talent management strategy. Here are some recruiting tips that will help your organization improve.

1. Cultivate a reputation as a top-notch employer.

Top talent is looking for a great place to work, so it pays off to spend some time building your company’s reputation through a recruiting website, social media presence, and employer branding best practices.

2. Recruit from within the organization.

Part of your talent management strategy can include career pathing — a planning process that can include moving current employees up into more advanced positions when they become available (and when those employees have the right skills and experience.)

3. Use referrals from employees and others in similar positions.

A robust employee referral program can yield quality talent and fill needs even before you know you have them. It is also beneficial to ask contacts in similar positions for referrals, which can yield top talent you might not find otherwise.

4. Offer competitive pay.

Top talent knows what they’re worth, so you won’t be likely to attract them if you aren’t offering competitive pay, benefits, and opportunities. If your company can’t offer higher pay to a desired candidate, offering benefits like a flexible schedule, telecommuting, or extra time off can be attractive for some candidates that value work-life balance as much as more money.

5. Don’t get too fancy.

Hiring the candidate whose qualifications and experience most closely match the job description, or the top candidate interviewed, will typically yield the best talent. It’s important not to get distracted by impressive-looking qualifications if they aren’t what is needed for the job.

6. Trust, but verify.

Check references and do background checks/research on candidates before making the final decision to hire. Not only does an occasional candidate falsify qualifications and experience, but having a criminal record or other past transgressions might pose a liability risk for your organization.

7. Recruit even when you don’t have open positions.

Building an ongoing talent pool and developing relationships with top talent before a position even exists will make your recruiting easier over time. Having a talent pool you can turn to when a position opens up will increase your chances of a speedy transition with minimal disruption to your organization.

These tips are a starting point for an effective recruiting strategy. Recruiting for your company doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult, but it’s important to have a strategy and engage in best practices when seeking to fill positions. Learn more about recruiting in the upcoming “Recruitment & Staffing” course that is part of the HR Certificate Program offered by Central Connecticut State University’s Office of Continuing Education. Join our mailing list to get updates on upcoming courses being offered.

The Importance of Taking Brain Breaks

Does your brain need a break? The fast-paced modern world seems to demand that your brain constantly respond to stimuli, from working long hours to making yourself available by phone and email 24-7 and even binging Netflix in your spare time.

The average person now takes in about 174 newspapers’ worth of information every single day, about five times more information than we did just 30 years ago. Furthermore, U.S. workers on average work about eight hours more per week than British employees, and only one in four get a paid vacation in a typical year.

It’s no wonder people feel stressed and overloaded, and why your brain may not feel like it’s functioning very well sometimes. It’s important to take brain breaks, to find some downtime for your brain.

What Brain Overload Can Do

The insula is the part of your brain that regulates attention. When you continually switch your attention between different tasks, such as checking your email, making phone calls, and reading documents at work, your insula burns out, and you have trouble focusing on anything.

Furthermore, your brain doesn’t shut off during these breaks, it actually becomes more active in different ways that are important for creativity and decision-making, and that can’t happen if you don’t take breaks. When you don’t get breaks that your brain needs, your body also can’t lower its levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and high cortisol levels over time can damage the brain’s hippocampus, which controls learning and memory.

Simple Brain Breaks to Try

Even if you work long hours or have a job that requires intense focus, you can find ways to give your brain the downtime it needs. Here are some ways to get away from it all, even just for a few minutes.

Get outside. Even a few minutes outdoors can activate different regions of your brain, and sunshine also boosts serotonin and vitamin D levels. You can also look out a window if you just can’t get outside.

Exercise. Even five minutes of stretching or walking up and down the stairs between tasks at work will give your brain a chance to process what you’ve learned and get memories into long term storage.

Take a short nap. If you feel drowsy during the work day and can get a brief nap, it will reset your insula as well decrease feelings of sleepiness and put you in a better mood as well.

Meditation. Spending time each day in meditation (can include prayer) has positive effects on the brain, including reducing activity in the amygdala, or fear center of the brain, and stimulating the part of the brain associated with positive emotions.

Unplug completely. Spending a few minutes several times a day in silence without your phone or other devices nearby helps your brain continue to focus well and to recharge after being used for a long period of time.

Have novel experiences. New and different experiences get the brain working in different ways and serve as mental downtime.

Brain breaks can help improve your learning skills and your memory over time. If you are interested in learning something new, CCSU offers continuing education courses for adult learners of all ages. Join our mailing list for updates on upcoming courses.