‘Cool’ Maintenance Training | National Apartment Association


As a clearer understanding of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) comes into focus for consumers this year, some apartment companies will see that VR and AR (or mixed reality) is likely to be among the top employee training buzzwords for 2022.

Though not new concepts, mixed reality applications gained a lot of momentum through multiple channels in 2021—not to mention Facebook renaming its parent company Meta, short for metaverse, which is playing a growing role in these visuals.

Consumers are also experiencing it through video conferencing, email, social networking and live streaming, giving proof that it’s not simply a fad.

Lincoln Property Company began using virtual reality training products from Interplay for some of its maintenance staff several years ago and is finding it to be a cost-effective way for teaching “hands-on” repairs and installations for things such as HVAC-related work.

Companies are finding it far exceeds engagement compared to webinar or computer screen tutorials and it also costs far less when subtracting the expense of flying employees into a centralized office for a few days.

Its primary cost is the VR headset (about $800 plus a $100 annual enterprise fee) with Facebook’s Oculus being the name brand; there are less expensive and adequate alternative products from companies such as Pico.

Lincoln Property Company’s VR Hands-On Training

Lincoln Property Company has 700 apartment communities in its portfolio and began using virtual reality training products from Interplay for some of its maintenance staff several years ago.

Training platform provider Interplay is serving over 2,500 maintenance associates with 24/7 access to more than 200 hours of career-accelerating, simulation-based training content in HVAC, plumbing, electrical, appliance repair and safety.

Margette Hepfner, Chief Operating Officer, Lincoln Property Company, said that Lincoln continues to offer a variety of training methods, including with in-house and outsourced trainers. Its supplier partners also provide free training.

“Our technicians have a wide variety of skillsets and backgrounds so it’s best to find the right training method for them,” she said. “But we had no centralized training platform, and Interplay gives us that.”

For tenured maintenance techs, “Interplay offers them a chance to brush up on a few skills on their own time,” she said. “The entire program gives us a controlled environment. It’s training on an individual level and is not classroom based.”

Hepfner said that the platform is easy to use and to navigate.

“The feedback I’ve been getting is mostly very positive,” she said. “With training that is on-demand, we don’t have to invest as much in flying in a subject matter expert for certain topics, for example.”

She said her maintenance supervisors have been very impressed with the content; they were part of the company committee that recommended using Interplay.

“Having Interplay means we don’t have the risks of techs having to rely on inconsistent training materials, such as what they might find on YouTube. As a company, we don’t have to spend all that time going in and reviewing those YouTube videos for accuracy or weed out any videos that might have been taken by amateurs who just wanted to post something.”

The courses are presented in bite-sized pieces of information and students must pass each section with a 100% score before moving onto the next lesson.

Lincoln Property Company also uses Interplay to upskill employees who are interested in learning new skills or start a new career. For example, a porter might know a few aspects about plumbing, but has never been formally trained in plumbing repair.

“This gives them a chance to grow their careers,” she said.

One negative thing that Hepfner has heard is that some advanced classes involve as much as eight hours of training, “which is a lot when you are learning on your own,” she said. “But you do get to go at your own pace.”

Virtual Reality’s ‘Cool’ Use at Job Fairs

Additionally, AR and VR are giving companies a competitive advantage during recruiting—and what industry is not looking for any edge it can get during this persistently tight labor market?

Companies are finding it to be an attractive hook during hiring—a perk to workers, according to Matt Stevens, Managing Partner, Deloitte, who studies the concept. “Virtual reality is novel enough today that it’s viewed as ‘just cool’ in job candidates’ minds,” he said. “It’s at the point that forward-thinking companies are ‘leaning in’ on the idea of using it.”

VR is also attracting attention at job fairs. Potential hires can experience roles virtually before taking them—a move it hopes will get workers to stick around a little longer, Business Insider reported.

“[MGM is handing out] VR headsets at its employment centers and job fairs so candidates can see if a job matches their expectations,” according to Business Insider. “It’s part of a plan to cut attrition in an industry experiencing especially high turnover amid a pandemic-induced labor shortage.”

Deloitte estimates that by 2024, 25% of company office meetings will have a virtual reality element to them; and by 2025, about 70% of employee training will include VR in some way.

Mixed Reality: Just What is It?

The distinctions between VR and AR boil down to the devices they require and the experiences themselves. AR uses a real-world setting while VR is entirely virtual. VR requires a headset device, but AR can be accessed with a smartphone. AR enhances both the virtual and real world while VR only enhances a fictional reality.

Despite these differences, these concepts are often spoken of together in technology circles are referred to as “mixed reality.”

According to PC Mag, VR and AR “accomplish two very different things in two very different ways, despite their devices’ similar designs.” VR is an immersive reality replacement, whereas AR adds to reality, layering graphics and information onto the real world.

Whereas virtual reality replaces your vision, augmented reality adds to it, PC Mag wrote. AR devices, such as the Microsoft HoloLens and various enterprise-level smart glasses, are transparent, “letting you see everything in front of you as if you are wearing a weak pair of sunglasses.”

AR has a distinct disadvantage compared with virtual reality: Visual immersion, according to PC Mag, writing, “While VR completely covers and replaces your field of vision, AR apps only show up on your smartphone or tablet screen, and even the HoloLens can only project images in a limited area in front of your eyes.” —P.B.

Paul Bergeron is a freelance contributor to units Magazine.

Finding Balance: Rethinking Staffing Models


Hiring challenges and technology have caused many apartment owners and managers of all staff sizes to rethink their staffing.

It’s a delicate situation for companies as they place greater focus on showing appreciation for their workers by establishing a welcome workplace culture. Facing competition from other industries – particularly in maintenance – retention is more important than ever.
At the same time, they must consider the potential financial benefits for adjusting or even reducing headcount. Promised efficiencies and cost savings from supplier partners through centralized leasing and the reduction of mundane tasks overall through automation is creating a compelling case for some – but not all.

Some companies are rewriting job descriptions in an effort to relieve important workers of administrative tasks so they can focus more on resident-related matters.

The consulting group 20for20, led by industry management veteran Dom Beveridge, focused on this strategy and shared insights from 20 leading apartment company executives with the release in February of the fourth annual report.

The report, which included dozens of candidly anonymous comments, tackles many issues, including the role technology is playing now and in the future for apartment companies.

“When we asked interviewees if their organizations were actively working on changing their property staffing model, the largest share (40 percent) said no,” said Beveridge, citing the feedback he received in 2021. Thirty percent said they were and 30% said they are “somewhat” doing so.

“The reasons that they gave were either pragmatic or ideological,” Beveridge said. “Three of the eight ‘no’ votes were suspicious of headcount reduction as a goal, feeling that properties seldom succeed in delivering service in the long run with fewer people.

“Others saw roadblocks, such as not having enough properties in the same markets, or not having made enough progress on analytics to have adequate control over a centralized operating environment.”

Beveridge said one expressed the refreshingly frank view that removing headcount from a budget is risky, “as it’s much harder to add the resource back in if the new arrangement doesn’t work out.”

Rethinking the Assistant Property Manager Role

The six companies in the process of changing their models represented a variety of approaches, according to the report. Half were centralizing sales operations through a combination of self-guided tours, AI leasing agents and access control technology. Most were at some stage of centralizing back-office functions, intending ultimately to rethink the assistant property manager role.

When asked what was driving the change, the answers were similarly varied.

“Some felt that it would give them a competitive edge in winning more business in markets where they could offer a centralized staffing model,” he said.

“Most viewed the combination of greater efficiency and improved customer experience as the levers that would ultimately improve NOI. One large operator added that COVID-19 had taught them that they no longer need the same staffing models they always had.”

Centralization ‘Opens Up Earning Potential’

The companies that were open to changing their model but not actively doing so were mainly considering centralizing some specific types of work.

Camden, for example, has moved to a centralized leasing strategy. Kristy Simonette, Senior Vice President ‑ Strategic Services for the REIT, said, “We have been able to take advantage of this structure and create efficiencies by combining multiple communities to form what we call ‘nests.’ Because agents can easily work leads for multiple communities, we are able to deploy resources where they are needed, when they are needed.

“With this automation, it takes less manpower to accomplish what we used to have to do 100 percent manually. It has opened up great possibilities for earning potential for our sales professionals as they can now sell across portfolios of communities.

“This has been a game-changer for us during this talent war we are all experiencing. We have leveraged the platform to the fullest and we have not missed a beat in covering higher-than-normal open positions.”

Offloading Administrative Functions

Beveridge said some companies were exploring centralized back-office functions, while others were exploring technology that could help regionalize maintenance. One operator was keen to parlay some of its single-family processes into its multifamily properties.

Several cited staffing shortages as a driver for further exploration in 2022. While confidentiality precludes sharing information about individual companies’ plans, there is a striking pattern to the three groups of respondents above, he said.

“Nearly all companies that answered ‘yes’ both own and operate large portfolios,” Beveridge said. “The majority of those responding ‘no’ were smaller portfolios and nearly all owner-operators. Those responding neither yes nor no were predominantly fee managers.”

TriCap Residential, which has 19 properties (soon to be 22) totaling approximately 3,500 units over seven states, went through a re-organization in November to address workload and potential burnout and created several new positions that were designed, for example, to take some of the administrative load off its maintenance technicians.

These new “support” roles handle work-order and turn scheduling, capital expenditures and preventive maintenance.

“By taking them from the technicians, it allows the techs to focus more on their work orders and taking care of the customer,” said Jessica Eberbach, CAM, ARM, Vice President of People and Culture, TriCap Residential.

Staffing Models Are Changing, but Not Everywhere

The confluence of AI, IoT, self-show and the virtualization of administrative processes, coupled with the general consumer preference for self-serve experiences, has long suggested a change to the conventional operating model, Beveridge said.

“The pandemic changed attitudes to self-show, and some of the public REITs have been vocal in describing how their technology has enabled them to reduce property teams.”

Beveridge said that he originally believed that these types of changes at public companies (REITs) follow suit in much of the industry.

“If some public companies are enjoying the financial benefits of a more efficient operating model, then the rest of the industry will follow, or so the logic went,” he said.

But 40% of companies interviewed are not currently working on trying tochange their operating model. To summarize the reasons stopping them:

[For fee managers] “The bill-back model makes it hard to share resources between properties.”

“People too central to our value prop.”

“We are not yet sure enough about the time savings that the technologies promise.”

“We don’t have enough properties in the same sub-markets.”

“Lease-ups are central to our business model; any change is risky unless we are 100% convinced it won’t slow us down.”

“Don’t yet have the right analytics to support centralized control.”

Portfolio Density Drives Decisions

Beveridge said that the reasons companies gave for not changing their staffing models did not read like excuses. Rather, they indicated that the opportunity to centralize functions—a critical step in changing staffing models—vary significantly from company to company.

He said, “Although many factors weigh on operational design, there are two that dictate the feasibility of centralization: The extent to which a company controls its operating environment and the density of its portfolio in the submarkets where it operates.

“Submarket density determines not only how easily staff can travel from one property to another, but also the value of training, for example, a centralized leasing team to sell multiple properties in the same area.”

Therefore, companies structured like most public REITs have the most attractive opportunity to centralize functions.

“They can select whatever technologies they want and control all personnel and the P&L for all properties,” he said. “They also operate many properties in the same submarkets, maximizing the opportunity to pool staff between properties. Conversely, centralization is an unattractive model for properties that have neither control nor proximity on their side.”

For those that do, there are benefits beyond simply reducing headcount, Beveridge said.

As one leader from the report shared: “The way that we organize property management careers is suboptimal. We promote leasing agents to assistant property managers, then ask them to do bookkeeping, which they have never done before.

“It’s better to offload that work to a shared service. We would like to offload more of these tasks that don’t make sense from a career perspective.”

Even with a clearer perspective on how to approach centralization, there remains the question of motivation, Beveridge said.

“Some companies will treat changing the staffing model as a higher priority than others,” he said. “But the combination of continued staff shortages and increasing efforts by the competition to develop will play key factors in the future.”

Paul Bergeron is a freelance contributor to units Magazine. Visit www.20for20.com to order the full report.

Talent Tech Companies & a Failure of Imagination – TAtech


By Peter Weddle, CEO TAtech

The military is sometimes criticized for preparing to fight the last war, instead of the very different conflict that is likely to occur in the future. It’s a failure of imagination that could easily afflict talent technology companies as well. Right now, the War for Talent is making for pretty good times among the industry’s solution providers, but that success won’t last forever. The War for Talent will enter a new phase at some point, and those that aren’t getting ready for it will find themselves in jeopardy.

Business is cyclical. The War for Talent has been through at least three very different manifestations since the term was coined by McKinsey & Company back in the late 1990s. Each of those variants have forced talent technology companies – whether they were job boards, aggregators and ATS companies or recruitment marketing agencies, conversational AI solutions or programmatic ad buying platforms – to develop and implement a new business strategy. The old way of winning no longer worked, and survival let alone prosperity required a new go-to-market game plan.

Today’s War for Talent has a number of defining features, but the two most important are the demand for and supply of candidates. The former is way up as employers retool for the post-pandemic market, and the latter is way down thanks to Baby Boomer retirements, women leaving the workforce and Millennials rethinking what they want from the world of work. That structural imbalance has pried opened employers’ wallets like never before. Recruitment advertising is soaring. And, investment in new talent technology solutions is off the charts.

Not every company is benefiting, of course, but many maybe even most are. It’s a great time to be in the solution provider business, but it’s also a time fraught with risk. Companies are so engrossed with squeezing every last dollar, euro, pound and yen out of today’s market, they fail to think about or make any preparations for what comes next.

Now, running a business in these heady times is hardly a trivial challenge. Even success presents a full tableau of problems, so it’s natural to focus every minute and asset on solving them. In the best of cases, however, that one-sided commitment will force the company to play catch-up ball when the market changes – as it inevitably will – and in the worst of cases, it could produce a fatal disaster.

Preparing for the Next War

I’m an old soldier who spent a number of years imagining the future for the U.S. Armed Forces, so I know how difficult that kind of planning can be. It requires that you step back from a preoccupation with the present and try to visualize what could happen in the future. What would cause today’s circumstances to change and how would that change present itself?

For example, if inflation produces a recession in the U.S., how would that downturn affect the demand for talent? The purchases of talent technology? And, would those outcomes be different if the recession were mild, or deep?

Similarly, what if yet another Covid variant – this one even more transmissible and deadly than Delta – erupted in China and threw global supply chains into further turmoil. How would that affect the talent acquisition needs in specific industries, from auto manufacturing and trucking to warehousing and the airlines?

No one’s crystal ball is perfect, and such an exercise can seem … well, a bit frivolous. And yet, failing to think about and yes, prepare for these consequences can undermine even today’s most successful companies. They must be getting ready now for what comes next. For example:
• What steps must they take to prepare for a rapid and dramatic downturn in demand and how will should they implement those steps without compromising their carefully nurtured brand?
• Should they set aside or make arrangements for capital, so that you can acquire weakened competitors or ancillary technology that will expand their presence in the market?
• How must the skill sets of their current team change or be supplemented to introduce those and other new market strategies effectively?

Getting a head start on answering those questions in the present will strengthen a company’s defenses for the next phase in the War for Talent and potentially give it the offensive capacity to rise to an even greater level of success in that battle. Instead of a failure, it’s the profiting of imagination.

Food for Thought,
Peter

Peter Weddle is the author or editor of over two dozen books and a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the founder and CEO of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions. You can download his latest book – The Neonaissance – FOR FREE at OneStoryforAll.com. And, if you don’t have time to read the entire book, just download a short excerpt of his inspirational message.

Onboarding Can Make or Break a New Hire’s Experience.


Although most of the rhetoric around the Great Resignation is centered on American workers in office jobs, labor shortages are growing around the globe in a wide range of sectors and types of roles. Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia are also in the midst of labor market turbulence, relating to both so-called “skilled” and “unskilled” labor. As the world’s labor market continues to shift, the companies that retain key talent and invest in their workforces will be the ones who invest in employee onboarding.

The purpose of onboarding should be setting new hires up for success and decreasing the time it takes for them to become comfortable in their new roles. This only works if onboarding processes are designed strategically with the end goal in mind. But onboarding has become even more challenging with the rise of remote and hybrid work. In a 2020 survey by Workable, respondents in HR reported remote onboarding or training as the biggest hiring challenge during the pandemic, and it continues to challenge employers.

Even before the virtual shift, more than one-third of companies lacked a structured onboarding process, remote or otherwise. Furthermore, many organizations underestimate how long it takes a new hire to be proficient in their role. The average onboarding program lasts 90 days, but according to Gallup’s “Creating an Exceptional Onboarding Journey for New Employees” report, it typically takes new employees 12 months to reach their full performance potential.

Strong relationships aren’t built on poor foundations. If you want to improve your talent retention, you need to improve your employees’ onboarding experience. Gallup reports that only 12% of employees feel their company does a good job onboarding new team members, leaving 88% of workers with lackluster onboarding experiences. And in a 2021 survey from Principles, 94% of HR professionals who responded said people they’d hired during the pandemic have only interacted within the company virtually, and of those respondents, 31% said employees were struggling to connect with colleagues. Ten percent weren’t even sure how new hires were adapting.

Considering that poor onboarding can leave your employees with lower confidence in their new roles, worsened levels of engagement, and an increased risk of jumping ship when they see a new, more exciting position elsewhere, these statistics are concerning, especially for companies hiring remotely.

On the other hand, companies that implement a formal onboarding program could see 50% greater employee retention among new recruits and 62% greater productivity within the same group. Additionally, according to Gallup’s onboarding report, employees who have a positive onboarding experience are almost three times as likely to feel prepared and supported in their role, boosting their confidence and improving their ability to perform their role well.

The Keys to Onboarding Success

A short onboarding program isn’t the only thing hurting your new employees’ experiences. Recent hires also need opportunities to form workplace relationships with their managers, peers, and key stakeholders. In fact, the Gallup report also reveals that employees are more than three times as likely to strongly agree that they had an exceptional onboarding experience when their managers had an active role in the process. However, many managers don’t have the capacity to support or implement onboarding programs. Furthermore, most smaller companies (and even some larger ones) don’t offer mentorship programs. By failing to offer mentorship opportunities to new hires, you rob employees of the chance to develop the relationships needed to succeed in their new working environment.

As a manager, it’s your job to ensure each new employee’s experience in the workplace is a positive one — but knowing what steps you need to take to create an effective onboarding plan can feel overwhelming. The following three steps can help managers create strategic onboarding processes that set new hires up for success and improve employee retention.

1. Set clear goals and measures for success.

Before establishing a new onboarding program, you should start by reviewing your onboarding goals. And when you’re reviewing goals, make sure they encapsulate the four Cs: compliance, clarification, culture, and connection. Here are a few questions you should ask:

  1. Have you clearly identified and explained the regulations, policies, and procedures employees need to comply with?
  2. Have you clearly set employee job expectations and linked them to concrete, time-bound measures?
  3. After completing the program, will employees have a full understanding of your company culture and be supported to establish all the relationships vital to their success?
  4. Where do your organization’s capabilities need to be improved upon to execute this new program?
  5. After completion of the onboarding program, how will you improve and maintain the work-life balance of new hires on an ongoing basis?
  6. Once you’ve created a set of goals that address all four Cs, it’s time to decide how you plan on measuring success. Your measures should be directly linked to your goals and include quantitative metrics (like the percentage of new hires still employed at your company after a year) and qualitative metrics (like feedback from new hires about their onboarding experience). Arriving at these goals and measures requires input from stakeholders across your organization, so be sure you make time to meet with company leaders before moving forward.

2. Create a multi-departmental onboarding team.

If you want to improve the employee experience in the workplace, you need to create an onboarding process that goes beyond HR and involves other company areas, including relevant teams, key stakeholders, and the CEO.

The sooner managers can introduce new hires to their team, the better. Before making the introduction, ensure the team knows why the new employee has been hired and what roles they will play in the team or across the organization. Although facilitating strong team relationships can be a larger initial time investment, it can help boost employee productivity and performance.

It’s important to remember that new hires will also interact with stakeholders outside their immediate team. However, it’s not always obvious to new employees how they will be working with these people or the best way to connect with them. Managers can help build these relationships by making a list of names, including notes about who they are and how they’re important to the company. As a manager, it’s your job to ensure that connections are running smoothly, so schedule a time to check in with stakeholders and ensure that new hires’ networking is coming together.

An often overlooked (yet critical introduction to make) is between your new hire and your company’s CEO. If you have a smaller organization, schedule a one-on-one or group coffee between the new hire(s) and your company’s leader. If this isn’t realistic because of company size, location, or time constraints, try holding a town hall or special party with the newest employees, the executive team, and your CEO. Connecting new hires to the CEO will give them a sense of inclusion in the company as well as cement the idea that the growth they represent for the company is important.

Moreover, meeting the CEO gives employees a direct window into the company culture and what type of employee experience they can expect. A great first meeting with the CEO stays with employees for a long time to come, positively impacting their sense of belonging and commitment, which, in turn, drives better retention and performance.

3. Provide support throughout the onboarding journey.

During onboarding, managers should focus on cutting down the time spent on new hires’ administrative duties and increasing time spent on performance coaching and creating connections. Ideally, HR has equipped you with a technological platform that handles these key tasks. Using these tools, you will be able to implement and track onboarding best practices in real time throughout each stage of the process, like the following:

Before a new hire starts, you can have them register on your company’s onboarding portal so they can view a welcome video, complete their initial documentation, and receive their day-one schedule and overall customized onboarding program. You can also check whether all the relevant stakeholders have been notified of the new hire’s pending arrival.

On day one, you can track whether the new hire has successfully completed their schedule for the day, including whether they were introduced to key stakeholders, were placed in their workstation, received their business tools, and finished their day-one learning program. You also can receive feedback from employees regarding their day one experience, allowing you to take corrective action.

For the remainder of the onboarding program, you can monitor whether new hires have read critical company information, check for completion and pass rates for e-learning modules, and gauge the impact of the onboarding experience on the achievement of key onboarding goals at an individual and cohort level.

By the end of the program, you will have a comprehensive dashboard depicting the level of achievement in each of your onboarding goals so you can see what’s working and what needs to be improved.

Lastly, you’ll want to ensure this new platform integrates with your overall human resource management system. That way, you can easily track the impact of your onboarding program on actual new hire on-the-job performance and levels of new employee satisfaction.

During a time when companies are struggling to retain talent, creating a strong onboarding process for new hires is imperative. By implementing a strategic onboarding program, managers can build new hires’ confidence, increase engagement, and create an environment that retains talent for years to come.

Talent Tech Companies & a Failure of Imagination – TAtech


By Peter Weddle, CEO TAtech

The military is sometimes criticized for preparing to fight the last war, instead of the very different conflict that is likely to occur in the future. It’s a failure of imagination that could easily afflict talent technology companies as well. Right now, the War for Talent is making for pretty good times among the industry’s solution providers, but that success won’t last forever. The War for Talent will enter a new phase at some point, and those that aren’t getting ready for it will find themselves in jeopardy.

Business is cyclical. The War for Talent has been through at least three very different manifestations since the term was coined by McKinsey & Company back in the late 1990s. Each of those variants have forced talent technology companies – whether they were job boards, aggregators and ATS companies or recruitment marketing agencies, conversational AI solutions or programmatic ad buying platforms – to develop and implement a new business strategy. The old way of winning no longer worked, and survival let alone prosperity required a new go-to-market game plan.

Today’s War for Talent has a number of defining features, but the two most important are the demand for and supply of candidates. The former is way up as employers retool for the post-pandemic market, and the latter is way down thanks to Baby Boomer retirements, women leaving the workforce and Millennials rethinking what they want from the world of work. That structural imbalance has pried opened employers’ wallets like never before. Recruitment advertising is soaring. And, investment in new talent technology solutions is off the charts.

Not every company is benefiting, of course, but many maybe even most are. It’s a great time to be in the solution provider business, but it’s also a time fraught with risk. Companies are so engrossed with squeezing every last dollar, euro, pound and yen out of today’s market, they fail to think about or make any preparations for what comes next.

Now, running a business in these heady times is hardly a trivial challenge. Even success presents a full tableau of problems, so it’s natural to focus every minute and asset on solving them. In the best of cases, however, that one-sided commitment will force the company to play catch-up ball when the market changes – as it inevitably will – and in the worst of cases, it could produce a fatal disaster.

Preparing for the Next War

I’m an old soldier who spent a number of years imagining the future for the U.S. Armed Forces, so I know how difficult that kind of planning can be. It requires that you step back from a preoccupation with the present and try to visualize what could happen in the future. What would cause today’s circumstances to change and how would that change present itself?

For example, if inflation produces a recession in the U.S., how would that downturn affect the demand for talent? The purchases of talent technology? And, would those outcomes be different if the recession were mild, or deep?

Similarly, what if yet another Covid variant – this one even more transmissible and deadly than Delta – erupted in China and threw global supply chains into further turmoil. How would that affect the talent acquisition needs in specific industries, from auto manufacturing and trucking to warehousing and the airlines?

No one’s crystal ball is perfect, and such an exercise can seem … well, a bit frivolous. And yet, failing to think about and yes, prepare for these consequences can undermine even today’s most successful companies. They must be getting ready now for what comes next. For example:
• What steps must they take to prepare for a rapid and dramatic downturn in demand and how will should they implement those steps without compromising their carefully nurtured brand?
• Should they set aside or make arrangements for capital, so that you can acquire weakened competitors or ancillary technology that will expand their presence in the market?
• How must the skill sets of their current team change or be supplemented to introduce those and other new market strategies effectively?

Getting a head start on answering those questions in the present will strengthen a company’s defenses for the next phase in the War for Talent and potentially give it the offensive capacity to rise to an even greater level of success in that battle. Instead of a failure, it’s the profiting of imagination.

Food for Thought,
Peter

Peter Weddle is the author or editor of over two dozen books and a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the founder and CEO of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions. You can download his latest book – The Neonaissance – FOR FREE at OneStoryforAll.com. And, if you don’t have time to read the entire book, just download a short excerpt of his inspirational message.

NAAEI Apartment Jobs Snapshot Q1 2022


The apartment industry continued its robust performance in Q1 2022. As a result of surging demand and occupancy rates, the demand for multifamily talent stood strong. In this edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, job openings in the apartment industry totaled over thirty-eight thousand. Maintenance professionals were the most sought after during the first quarter, accounting for 37.7% of total apartment job postings. Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver and Phoenix were the top-ranking markets for apartment job demand.When you neglect to publish, you create a domain effect of despair that begins every time you look at your followers. And when you post, you don’t get any likes or comments, making you feel like you’re just posting empty content.

Only 7.8% of US Job Postings Currently Include Salary Data | SpiderMount


In our last post, we discussed how to optimize job posts for Google for Jobs. The other key party to optimize for, of course, is job seekers. Job boards can do a lot to improve UX for job seekers who come to their site – but for best results, they need employers to provide key information that applicants care about.

Maybe the most important piece? Salary data.

Unfortunately, most employers still aren’t including salary data in job listings. In fact, we recently analyzed more than 6.8 million jobs in our JobsIndex and found that only 7.8 percent included salary data.

The good news: employers can stand out from the pack by adding salary information now. Here are three key points to communicate to your customers to encourage them to include salary information in job listings so they can attract the best applicants.

1. Workers Want Salary Information

In a survey of more than 5,000 job seekers conducted last fall, 62 percent said that salary data would persuade them to apply for open positions. In fact, salary information was the most important thing to online applicants – ahead of waiving a cover letter and offering a sign-on bonus.

That’s particularly important given that the US currently has a four percent unemployment rate, which is what economists consider “full employment.” Combined with the ongoing “Great Resignation,” in which many employees are rethinking what they want from a job – and leaving their current roles to get it – employers should take the desire for pay data seriously.

Employers are often hesitant to publicize salary data for many reasons. They may think it lessens their negotiating power or forces them to pay candidates more than they might have otherwise. And in recent years (starting during the Great Recession) keeping salary ranges private was the norm.

But the employment landscape has shifted. Unemployment is low and workers have more negotiating power than they did a decade ago. If your customers haven’t yet recognized this reality, you may want to highlight a few points about the value of posting salary data:

It saves time. No more lengthy resume reviews, interviews, and test projects only to find out that employer and applicant aren’t aligned on salary expectations.

It signals that you’re a transparent organization. Employers know what a given position’s work is worth to their organization. They can signal that they value employees by being upfront about it.

It attracts busy jobseekers. Your client’s ideal applicant may already be employed. If a recruiter reaches out with a listing, that candidate is much more likely to engage if they see a salary number that meets their expectations.

Beyond these benefits, though, including salary data helps organizations achieve bigger goals.

2. Posting Salary Info Improves Equity

Studies show over and over that keeping salaries secret hurts women and BIPOC workers, who are less likely to negotiate for higher salaries and, when they do, are likely to ask for less money than their white male counterparts.

That’s really important given that companies with more diverse teams – and especially more diverse leadership teams – outperform their more homogenous peers.

The takeaway: posting salary data can help companies attract and retain the kinds of teams that lead to better bottom-line performance.

What’s maybe most compelling here is that including salary ranges in job postings is easy. While much of the work of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout an organization is complex and ongoing, adding salary data to job postings is a simple, immediate way to make progress.

3. Posting Salary Data on Job Listings May Soon Be the Law

While there’s a clear business case for including salary data in job postings, some companies may also be legally required to do it.

In Colorado, employers have been required since January 2021 to include salary data in their job postings. That’s probably why Colorado has the highest percentage of job listings with salary data (see Figure 1), but employers still aren’t universally complying. In fact, only about 27 percent of live Colorado job listings actually include salary data.

Starting in April, New York City will require salary ranges in all postings of jobs, promotions, and transfers.

And many other states (including Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Washington) require disclosure of salary range upon applicant’s request. Nevada employers must provide salary range regardless of whether a candidate asks.

Make sure your clients are aware of these regulations to help them avoid fines and penalties.

Figure 1: Percentage of jobs that include salary data by state

Guide Your Clients to Better-Performing Job Postings

Job boards help their clients fill vacancies by formatting listings, attracting applicants, and promoting open roles. To really deliver what job seekers want, though, they need key information from employers – including salary data.

If you’re looking for ways to communicate to your clients how including salary data in their postings can help them stand out among the millions of listings out there at any given time, feel free to pass along this post.

If you’d like to learn more about our JobsIndex tool, which delivers tailored feeds of jobs information to populate job boards, get in touch.

The Common Characteristics of Millenial Professionals

Believe it or not, recruitment and copywriting go together like cheese and crackers. 😋
Fundamentally, they both aim to sell something to an audience through communications and creating an experience.
Marketing sells products and services to consumers while recruiting is trying to sell a role to a candidate.
However, asking a recruiter to grasp the art of writing high-quality content is a major challenge.
The writing must stand out against the crowd whilst attracting the same candidates as the competition.
You must sell the role but be very concise and factually accurate.
In this blog, we explore the four key elements of recruitment copywriting to ensure your job ads, descriptions and communications hit the spot.

What is Recruitment Copywriting? 🤔

If you didn’t know already, copywriting is a profession that creates and produces written content for marketing and advertising purposes.
It’s widely regarded as one of the most crucial elements of any campaign.
Now, throw this in with recruitment, and you will get job ads, social media posts, careers blogs, website content, and candidate communications.
In recruitment, copywriting impacts the way candidates respond to your job ads and can influence their decision to accept an offer or not.
To successfully marry recruitment and copywriting, you must consider the tone, the audience, the me and the structure.
Let’s explore these in more detail below.

Copywriting for Recruiter Tips ✍

💡 The Tone

The key to all good content is using the right tone of voice.
You must be willing to wear many hats and adapt the way you address each candidate, depending on the job role, the industry and the type of communication.
For instance, adopting a creative and playful style for a senior role at a financial organisation will make the employer you’re representing look unprofessional.
Similarly, if you keep things formal and use long, heavy sentences for a role at a fun and vibrant agency, you’ll instantly sap the life out of the brand.
Think about your audience and address them in a way that will resonate.

💡 The Audience

Knowing your audience is an integral part of recruitment copywriting.
Sure, you might know what type of professional your client is after, but do you know what makes them tick?
What are their behaviours?
How do they like to be addressed?
Once you establish this deeper understanding, you’ll be able to adapt the tone and personalise the message.
Ask yourself this, do you prefer it when a candidate submits a personalised CV and cover letter for a role?
Or do you like a templated version?
The truth is personalisation works both ways.
No, you can’t include a candidate’s first name in a job ad. However, you can think about:

  • What will your ideal candidate be looking for in a role?
  • What benefits are important for them?
  • What search terms will they be typing into Google?

The next step is to invest in modern automation tools, such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Solutions like this enable you to log candidate data and send relevant nurture emails accurately.
It’s the perfect way to keep your agency top of mind and entice passive candidates to take a leap of faith.

💡 The “Me”

Whether you’re selling a product or a role, people will always think about what’s in it for them.
In today’s digital world, we’re inundated with content and job adverts.
That’s why it’s vital to create content that appeals to skim readers.
Most proactive candidates will look through dozens and dozens of jobs every day.
So, they don’t have the time to read every ad, word for word.
The key to recruitment copywriting success is to always lead with your employee value proposition (EVP).
In other words, the content and visuals highlight the value a candidate can expect from a role.
Ideally, you want your target audience to know why other candidates decide to work for your client’s business, what makes them stay, and what makes the said business different from its competitors.

💡 The Structure

When it comes to writing a job advert or any other form of recruitment content, the structure doesn’t always spring to mind.
Nevertheless, research recently revealed that the average human attention span has dropped to eight seconds.
For context, that’s a 25% decrease in the space of a few years!
The solution?

  • Keep your paragraphs between two and three lines.
  • Use bullet points to break up bigger sections.
  • Include headings to split up job ad text.

Outsource all Recruitment Copywriting 🤙

If you’re still not feeling confident about recruitment copywriting, you can always outsource the process.
The good news is with AdBuilder is that you can create fully optimised job advert content in less than ten minutes!
Just fill out a few basic details, and this innovative SaaS platform will provide job ad content in four different styles. It’s consistent, automated and effective.
To learn more, go to our website.

The Common Characteristics of Millenial Professionals

 – 
Senior Reporter, The Playbook,

Are you planning to post a job opening online? Avoid the terms “guru,’ “wizard” or “ninja.”

Those words are among the terms jobseekers dislike the most, according to a survey by invoicing software firm Skynova. “Competitive” and “challenge” round out the list of the words most likely to turn off jobseekers.

The survey comes as the era of “The Great Resignation” continues unabated. The number of Americans quitting their jobs in November rose to 3% — matching the all-time record first hit in September 2021. That means 4.5 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s why invoicing software firm Skynova surveyed more than 1,000 workers on what they like about job postings. The firm also ran a test to see which alternate versions of one job posting did better. Skynova also analyzed 180 recent job postings from a diverse range of job types.

“Crafting an attractive and ideal job posting is critical for businesses right now. Listing salary ranges, instead of fixed salaries, and other negotiation tactics that businesses use to stay competitive may be harder in the current climate,” said Joe Mercurio, a project manager working on behalf of Skynova. “The ongoing issues with the labor shortage and the Great Resignation have given jobseekers the ability to be more selective with the positions they’re applying for.”

Workers ranked listing a salary as the most important item in a job description, followed by benefits and responsibilities. For job postings with a fixed salary, about 72% of those surveyed would respond. When a salary range is listed, only 57% were likely to respond.

“While it’s not entirely clear, job postings with a salary range may come off as a negotiation tactic that jobseekers are unwilling to entertain. Additionally, jobseekers may be compelled to apply for jobs without a salary listed at all in the hope that it may be a competitive figure,” Mercurio said.

Meanwhile the top terms that give jobseekers a positive impression of the job include the words “growth,” “challenge,” “creative,” “motivated” and “flexible.” About 52% of jobseekers feel job postings ask too much from candidates, according to Skynova.

And while two-thirds of job postings mentioned whether or not remote work was offered, only 8% listed it as an actual option.

“As more businesses offer remote options to their employees, it’s important for businesses seeking new hires to consider remote positions to remain competitive,” Mercurio said.

The focus on remote work as a way to gain an edge on other companies in the hunt for talent comes as the number of high-paying remote jobs continues to skyrocket, according to research by jobs site Ladders. Ladders tracked remote-work data from North America’s largest 50,000 employers for jobs that pay more than $80,000 per year. Prior to the pandemic, only about 4% of those jobs were remote, but that jumped to 9% by the end of 2020. By the end of 2021, the figure doubled again to 18%.

Ladders previously predicted that more than a quarter of high paying jobs will be remote by the end of 2022. The surge in remote work occurs as companies look ahead to 2022 to make tangible decisions and strategic choices about the their future workplace. Many are choosing a hybrid route that will require employees to be in the office a set number of days a week. Some, such as accounting giant PwC, are opting for permanent remote work.

Regardless of what they choose, it’s not as simple as taking an existing company culture and grafting it onto a hybrid or permanent remote strategy, said Rebecca Ryan, an economist and founder of Next Generation Consulting Inc. Click here for more about how companies should plan for remote work in 2022.

Meanwhile, software developer, registered nurse, psychiatrist and digital marketing specialist topped a separate list of the best jobs for remote work in 2022. Developers make an average of $114,704 per year and nurses $79,533, according to a study by telecommunications company Ziply Fiber that analyzed average salaries and projected annual job opening for remote and in-person positions, as well as salary data from job board Indeed and U.S. News. Click here for the full list.

The Common Characteristics of Millenial Professionals

Millennials, or members of Generation Y (also known as Gen Y) were born between 1982 and 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau estimates that there are 83.1 million millennials in the U.S., and the Pew Research Center found that millennials surpassed baby boomers (boomers) to become the largest living generation in the United States in 2016.

Millennials are separated from the older generation before them (Generation X) and the generation that followed them (Generation Z).
Millennial Characteristics

As expected by their birth years, the Millennial generation makes up the fastest growing segment of the workforce. As companies compete for available talent, employers simply cannot ignore the needs, desires, and attitudes of this vast generation. As with each generation that preceded it, Millennials have come to be defined by a set of characteristics formed mainly by the world and culture they grew up in. Here are a few of their common characteristics.

Millennials are Tech-Savvy

Generation Y grew up with technology, and they rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, this generation is plugged in 24/7. They like to communicate through email, text messaging, and whatever new social media platform (i.e., Twitter, Instagram) friends and colleagues are using. This is a generation that can’t even imagine a world without the internet or cell phones.

Millennials Are Family-Centric

The fast-track lifestyle has lost much of its appeal for millennials. The members of this generation are willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules, and a better work/life balance. Although older generations may view this attitude as narcissistic or see it as a lack of commitment, discipline, and drive, Millennials have a different idea of workplace expectations. Millennials usually prioritize family over work, and even those who aren’t married with children feel the need to be a part of a family and spend time with nieces, nephews, and siblings.

Millennials Are Achievement-Oriented

Nurtured and pampered by parents who didn’t want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, millennials are confident, ambitious, and achievement-oriented. They also have high expectations of their employers, tend to seek new challenges at work, and aren’t afraid to question authority. Generation Y wants meaningful work and a solid learning curve.

Millennials are Team-Oriented

While growing up, most Millennial boys and girls participated in team sports, playgroups, and other group activities, whether it was soccer or ballet. They value teamwork and seek the input and affirmation of others. Millennials are the true no-person-left-behind generation, loyal and committed. They want to be included and involved.

Generation Y Craves Attention

They appreciate being kept in the loop and often need frequent praise and reassurance. Millennials may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their talents. This is where the boomers come in handy because (though mostly retired), they have something to offer and see mentoring millennials is one way they can continue to contribute to the workforce.

Generation Y Is Prone to Job-Hopping

A potential downside of Generation Y workers is that they’re always looking for something new and better. It’s not uncommon for a millennial to stay with a firm for only two or three years before moving on to a position they think is better. The resumes you receive from millennial job seekers will undoubtedly demonstrate this peppered job history.

Don’t discount members of this generation just because they’ve worked for several firms—these young employees bring with them a variety of experiences. Unlike previous generations, they do not take a job and then hold onto it for as long as humanly possible. Instead, they go out and create a new app or fund a trendy start-up.

The Bottom Line About Millennials

Generation Y possesses many characteristics that are unique in comparison to past generations. They tend to be excited about their jobs, and they will work hard and efficiently. They might approach their superiors as equals more so than previous generations, but companies can take steps to draw a line between supervisor and friend. When that line is drawn, millennials will not only work tirelessly for you, but they will show you the respect due to a supervisor with many years experience.