Amazon Web Services delivers strong Q1 results

Consumers interact with Amazon daily - sometimes even without their knowledge. Amazon Web Services works on the backend of many websites, connecting sites around the world. Since being introduced in 2002, AWS is now responsible for 10 percent of the company's operating income - and powers websites like Netflix, The Guardian reported.

AWS operating income grew by nearly 50 percent from the same time last year, from January to March 31, Geekwire noted. It also saw a 42 percent growth spurt from the previous quarter. Can Amazon continue to grow AWS? And what does it mean for the tech industry?

As consumers continue to integrate IoT devices such as Alexa in their homes and utilize the ample amount of storage in the cloud, there may be no stopping the tech giant. Wa-Mart is one company that, after hearing news of Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, is telling its tech vendors to work with another provider other than AWS. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Compute stand as the two biggest competitors in the market.

The Trevi Group |

BLS Employment Situation Report: May 2017

The U.S. added 138,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate edged down from 4.4 percent in April to settle at 4.3 percent, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate is currently at its lowest level in 16 years, Bloomberg noted. However, the number of jobs gained fell short of economists' expectations, which predicted the addition of 182,000 jobs.

"Job growth is a little disappointing, but enough to continue tightening the labor market," said JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief U.S. Economist Michael Feroli, in an interview with the source. "This doesn't change the overall story of an economy that generally seems to be growing above trend and reducing slack."

Since January, the number of unemployed has dropped by nearly 780,000, and the unemployment has fallen 0.5 percentage point.

Both the labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio decreased slightly in May. Over the year, the number of discouraged workers declined by 183,000.

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 138,000 during the month. Average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payroll employees increased by 4 cents to reach $26.22. Average hourly earnings for private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees were $22.00, an increase of 3 cents.

Sector-wise, professional and business services added the most jobs in May, gaining 38,000 positions. Job gains in this segment have averaged 46,000 per month this year.

Food services and drinking places employment increased by 30,000 jobs.

Healthcare added 24,000 positions, with 13,000 in ambulatory healthcare services and 7,000 at hospitals.

Mining employment increased by 7,000, bringing total job gains in the industry since its October 2016 low to 47,000.

There was little employment change in construction, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information and construction.

According to Bloomberg, the tightening U.S. labor market is expected to push the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates at their meeting June 13-14.

The Trevi Group  | 

Video: Retain Your Clients By Retaining Your Employees

Suppose you have a client who deals with a specific representative within your organization on a regular basis. Then that client starts to see multiple employees being funneled through that position. Every time the client contacts you, they’re dealing with a new person. What does this say to your client about your company? Countless negative things can be inferred from a high turnover rate, which often results in the loss of your clients to another company they perceive as better managed and more reliable.

Click to watch the video.

“Most clients regard a revolving door of employee contacts as annoying at best, and a deal breaker at worst,” says Alicia Sinay, senior franchise development manager for MRINetwork. “Businesses are increasingly relying on relationships, and it’s much easier to maintain the relationships you’ve cultivated with your clients when you don’t have to brief a new person on your business goals every six months, or repeat work that has already been completed as a new employee is being brought up to speed.”

While losing clients means a loss of income for your company, a high turnover rate has the capacity to be even more far-reaching and damaging in today’s candidate-driven marketplace. That’s why your strategy to retain clients should include retaining the employees who serve those clients.

If your goal is to foster employees who are satisfied with their position, you should be aware they expect the following:

  • Ability to use their talent and skills in the workplace. Many of your people could contribute far more than they currently do, if their managers take the time to tap into their skills, talent and experience. Whenever possible, allow them to focus their time and energy on projects they enjoy. Show employees you trust them by giving them responsibilities that provide the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities in other areas. Your business may benefit from applying their knowledge and experience to expanded job duties.
  • Frequent opportunities to learn and grow in their careers, knowledge and skill. Without the opportunity to work on new projects, serve on challenging and significant teams, and attend seminars and classes, they will stagnate - and ultimately leave your company. Career pathing is a great way for employees and managers to map out an upward mobility track, while placing the responsibility on the employee to achieve certain goals in order to receive a promotion, salary increase or both.
  • Awards and Recognition. A simple thank you or a congratulatory award often goes a long way in recognizing a job well done. That said, monetary rewards and bonuses, tied to accomplishments and achievements, can be even more motivating.
  • Communication with their managers. In addition to exit interviews when employees are leaving, routinely ask your employees why they stay. Ask questions such as: Why did you decide to accept a role within the organization? What are your nonnegotiable issues? What would you change or improve? Then use that information to strengthen your employee retention strategies.

Putting these effective retention strategies in place is key to retaining employees and better serving your clients. “Create an environment that stimulates employee satisfaction by incorporating motivation-building practices into your corporate culture,” advises Sinay. “Listen to your employees, respect their opinions, and be available to help with everything from ideas and concerns to assisting them with their career advancement.”

Employees need to feel valued and appreciated, be given feedback, provided with growth opportunities and work-life balance options, and have trust and confidence in their leaders. In this kind of environment, employees deliver higher-than-expected levels of service to each and every client. They take pride in their company and in their work, resulting in retention both of your workforce and your client base.

The Trevi Group | 

Demand grows for data engineers

As the use of big data expands, the demand is growing for professionals who can design the systems and network architecture that effectively gather, store and present this data. 

The value of big data is in the strategic insights it offers, which are uncovered by data scientists and analysts. However, it turns out that data engineers may be the missing element that makes company's big data initiatives successful.

Brian Hills, head of data at Innovation Centre noted in an article for Data Economy, "One of the key learnings from the past few years is that success with data cannot be dependent on data scientists alone ... Using only this approach within a business creates a cottage industry that limits ability to scale and generates a significant number of risks." 

He writes that data engineers also need to be part of the team, as they build the systems that enable data to be analyzed. There is growing demand for these professionals, with Stitch Data finding just 6,500 people with data engineer titles on LinkedIn and 6,600 job openings for data engineers in San Francisco alone. 

Some 42 percent of data engineers have a background in software engineering, research by Stitch Data showed, while the top five data engineering skills are SQL, Java, Python, Hadoop and Linux. 

The Trevi Group |

BLS Employment Situation Report: April 2017

The U.S. job market bounced back in April, adding 211,000 nonfarm payroll jobs during the month, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The gains exceeded Bloomberg economists' prediction of 190,000 jobs added, and followed a weaker-than-expected March that saw 79,000 jobs added, revised down from the previously reported 98,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate fell from 4.5 percent in March to 4.4 percent in April, which is the lowest rate since May 2007, Reuters reported. The unemployment rate has dropped by 0.6 percentage point over the year. The labor force participation rate was relatively unchanged in April at 62.9 percent.

Industry-wise in April:

  • Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs, gaining 55,000 new positions. Employment grew in the food services and drinking places sector by 26,000.
  • Professional and business services followed, adding 39,000 positions. Over the year, employment in the industry has expanded by 612,000 jobs.
  • Healthcare and social assistance gained 37,000 positions, on par with its monthly average so far for 2017.
  • Financial activities employment grew by 19,000, with the gains largely driven by insurance activity.
  • Mining added 9,000 jobs.

Average hourly earnings for all private nonfarm payroll employees increased by 7 cents in April to reach $26.19. Last week, a government report was released that showed private sector wages had their biggest growth in a decade in the first quarter of 2017, according to Reuters.

With the strengthening employment figures, the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates later this year.

"Labor market conditions remain robust and continue to tighten," said Chief Financial Economist Ward McCarthy of Jefferies LLC in New York, according to Bloomberg. "This data will keep the Fed on track for a preferred 2017 normalization timeline of rate hikes in June and September and the first step toward balance-sheet normalization in December."

Bloomberg also noted that income gains, particularly in real estate prices and stock, have contributed to a more positive consumer outlook.

The Trevi Group |

How to Avoid Making Costly Hiring Mistakes

In today's highly competitive job market, businesses can't afford to take a lackluster approach to recruitment and hiring. Not only can a bad hire lead to costly turnover, but it can also negatively impact the organizational performance of a business and, therefore, its bottom line.

Click to enlarge.

According to the Society for Human Resources Management, the cost of replacing an employee could end up amounting to anywhere between 50 percent and a few hundred percent of the individual’s yearly salary. Other studies show a much higher total cost (5 to 24 times the annual salary, depending on the position).

Never has it been more important for employers to hone in on a strategy to attract, onboard and retain top talent. However, this is often far easier said than done. Fast Company reported that two of the biggest reasons companies hire bad candidates can be attributed to needing to fill the position quickly, as well as the organization failing to test or research the skills of the candidate well enough.

“There are many factors that come into play when determining whether someone is a suitable candidate, including their skill set and background, as well as how well they fit within the corporate culture,” says Nancy Halverson, general manager, franchise operations for MRINetwork. “To avoid the risk of costly hiring mistakes, there are key steps companies need to take - starting with getting a clearer picture of who their ideal candidate is.”

Halverson recommends the following to help employers clearly define their ideal candidate:

Build a candidate profile 
The more specific a business is about what its ideal candidate looks like, the better the chances of being able to identify and attract them. Too often, hiring managers cast a wide net in hopes that the top performers will simply come to them. But there needs to be a better, more specific definition of what that person looks like, the exact skill sets and experience they should have and what will be expected of them.

Not only does this help hiring managers, it also benefits candidates as well. According to Aberdeen Group, there is a disconnect between the expectations of employers and candidates, which contributes to higher turnover. Candidates also reported wanting a clearer definition of what the role and responsibilities are.

“Candidates want to know what to expect - both from the position and company,” notes Halverson. “It’s important that they’re able to get a clear understanding of what working for a company would be like before applying - let alone committing - to a job.”

Put competencies into context 
As Lou Adler recently explained in a LinkedIn article, without context, hiring decisions are influenced by personal perceptions and biases, which are the leading cause of hiring mistakes. To avoid this, companies must clearly define roles and responsibilities, as well as the required traits and competencies for performing those functions - not just which ones they need, but why and how they will be used on the job. Additionally, how will the success of those competencies be measured?

The article also suggested outlining about five performance objectives explaining the task, an action verb detailing the role, followed by a measurable result.

“By outlining the attributes, characteristics and duties of the candidate ahead of time, employers will be better positioned to hire someone who fits the bill,” says Halverson. These are the ingredients needed to create a performance-based job description which allow employers to minimize bias attributed to a lack of context and, in turn, reduce their risk of making costly hiring mistakes.

The Trevi Group |

Automation and artificial intelligence expected to create 15 million jobs by 2027

The Future of Jobs report released this week by Forrester Research has revealed that the rise of automation and artificial intelligence is expected to create nearly 15 million new jobs in the U.S. over the next 10 years, MarketWatch reported. This news comes amidst much debate as of late about how robots and technology may influence the job market. 

According to the source, the report noted that the majority of newly created positions will be in specific job areas including engineering, software, design, maintenance, support and training. Additionally, a fresh wave of legal and human resources professionals will likely be necessary for managing and regulating human and robot employee interactions. 

Forrester also projects that a quarter of all jobs will undergo major changes regarding role functions and responsibilities - particularly in medicine, farming and finance, MarketWatch reported.

As TechRepublic pointed out, although a sizeable number of jobs - almost 10 million - are expected to eventually be displaced by robots, the recent analysis projections indicate a far milder impact than the nearly 70 million jobs some industry experts previously predicted would be lost. 

The Trevi Group |

What if your company makes a Counteroffer?

Upon resignation, you have interviewed, evaluated and committed to a new career path and a new company based on your career growth and opportunity, congratulations! Typically, your company and boss will express disappointment that you are leaving their employ since you are a valued employee. They will wish you the best and suggest the door is always open for you in the future.

However, some companies will go beyond the typical “anything we can do?” reaction most Managers will have and try to entice you to stay. Counteroffers are business decisions by an employer to buy time or change the situation to better meet their business operations. Counteroffers can create confusion and remorse for the employee and are typically made in conjunction with some form of flattery. For example: 
•    You're too valuable, we need you. 
•    You can't desert the team/your friends and leave them hanging. 
•    We were just about to give you a promotion/raise, and it was confidential until now. 
•    What did they offer, why are you leaving, and what do you need to stay? 
•    The Executive/CIO wants to meet with you before you make your final decision. 

Counteroffers usually take the form of: 

•    A promise of more money
•    a sudden promotion
•    promises or future considerations
•    emotional guilt trips

Most often a company is basing its decision on the cost and pain to rehire, retrain a new person in your role.  Additionally, it is a chance to buy time and planning to be able to more tactically fill the position in the future or make internal adjustments on their time.

The Reality

  • Employers don't like to be "fired." Often, a reporting Manager can be concerned that they will look bad, and/or that his/her career may suffer. It's never a good time for someone to resign, and it may prove time-consuming and costly to replace you. In addition, they know that statistically you are almost certain to leave them in the future.
  • Companies use counter offers as a stop gap to buy time, it is a business decision made typically by your manager or an edict higher than your direct reporting Manager and although delivered as a benefit or reward to an employee or from an emotional presentation, it is all business.
  • It's can be much cheaper and easier to try keep an employee, even at a higher salary. And it would be better to replace them later - on the company's time frame.
  • Having once demonstrated your "lack of loyalty" by having considered looking at another job opportunity, you will lose your status as a "team player" and your place in the "inner circle."
  • Numerous studies have shown that the basic reasons for wanting to change jobs/company in the first place will nearly always resurface. Changes made as the result of a counteroffer rarely last beyond the short-term, no matter how many promises are made.
  • Once a company decides to “buy” an employee, the companies typically, directly or indirectly becomes open to new candidates for that position, become open to ways to “restructure” and often at a lower salary.
  • Statistics show that if you accept a counteroffer, the probability of voluntarily leaving within twelve months or being “downsized or restricted” within one year is extremely high, over 75%. 
  • Accepting a counteroffer is a blow to your personal pride, knowing that you were bought. 
  • Counteroffers are business decisions by a company and they rarely support the reasons why you accepted a new position in relation to your career growth and long term career outlook.

Addressing a counter offer professionally

Often, a manager will ask if there is anything they can do or why you are leaving simply as a response to the resignation.

They will typically respect you and your decision and wish you the best in your new endeavor and offer to welcome you back should things change in the future.

If it is pressed to indirectly or directly to try to change your mind, offer to have the big boss talk to you or “go to work” on a counter proposal,  the following is one approach to diffuse those situations to avoid issues and resign on good and professional terms.

“I have made this decision after much deliberation as well as accepted and committed to a new company and opportunity which I feel is the right decision for my career.  I appreciate the counteroffer or suggestion yet I plan to honor my commitment and ask that you accept my resignation and honor my decision. I will work diligently to tie up loose ends and transfer open projects in a professional manner. However, if things for some reason didn’t work out as I expect, I would hope we would have an opportunity to work together again in the future”

This is a good way to maintain your integrity and remind them that it was a well thought decision that you would ask that they respect.  It is also a good way to take any tension out of the situation and give them a chance to open the door for later while making a highly professional resignation.

Over 180,000 U.S. tech jobs added in 2016

A new report recently published by CompTIA revealed that the U.S. tech industry employs nearly 7 million workers, TechRepublic reported. Approximately 182,000 jobs were added in 2016, representing 10 percent of employment growth nationwide, as well as a 3 percent uptick from the year before. Furthermore, with the tech industry continuously expanding, the sector now accounts for about 8 percent of total U.S. economic activity.

According to TechRepublic, last year the average annual wage for tech positions hit an estimated $108,900 - twice as much as the national average wage, which is $53,040.

In its press release, CompTIA revealed that the tech industry has seen a net gain of nearly 865,000 jobs in the past decade. Additionally, 2016 marked the fifth consecutive year that tech businesses in the U.S. saw growth. The analysis firm noted that while almost every state saw increases in tech employment and business, some of the most significant job gains occurred in California, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Michigan. 

"These numbers affirm the strength and vitality of the U.S. tech industry, and attest to its essential standing in the economy," CompTIA CEO and President Todd Thibodeaux said in the company's statement. "Technology enables innovation and generates growth for companies, regardless of their size, locale or markets served."

The Trevi Group |

Video: Revamp Your Playbook to Attract Top Talent in a Tight Candidate Market

Late 2015 was the most difficult hiring period in four years, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and things have only become harder for businesses both large and small, especially in the realm of professional and managerial positions. With the BLS reporting an unemployment rate down to 2.1 percent for this segment of the workforce, competition for candidates is accelerating. In fact, a report issued by the National Federation of Independent Business indicates that the share of small businesses with few or no qualified applicants for job openings hit a 17-year high in November.

Click to watch the video.

“Connecting with today’s workforce no longer means simply going to the usual places and doing the usual things,” says Sherry Engel, vice president of learning and talent development for MRINetwork. “Companies today have to treat talent as they would customers - understand their behavior and design recruiting strategies that meet them where they are.”

Engel advises that the ability to connect with top talent can benefit from tactics such as the following:

Don’t rely only on tried and true social media platforms.
SHRM also reports that 84 percent of organizations use social media for recruiting, and 82 percent of them use it primarily in the hunt for passive candidates. What this high percentage means is that on the most popular social media platforms - LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter - you’re vying with your competition for the same pool of expertise.

Instead, venture into platforms that connect to your industry to generate relevant conversations with people who use the platform. If you are impressed by someone’s questions, answers or other posts, you may just have identified a potentially valuable employee. Stack Overflow, for example, is a question-and-answer site specifically for programmers, while Doximity has a high percentage of users who are U.S. physicians.

Looking for Millennials? Address their specific concerns.
Many companies are not even remotely on the same page with Millennials, and the challenge is to understand what top millennial talent desire now. According to the 2017 Millennial Hiring Trends Study, conducted by MRINetwork, career-pathing and a highly competitive salary are most important to Millennials. This is in contrast to the assumption organizations often make that Millennials care more about things like mentoring and work-life balance than they do about compensation. While those things are important, they do not diminish the value that Millennials place on opportunities for learning and development, which directly correlates with their earnings potential.

Millennials also place market reputation high on their list of priorities. They pay close attention to the overall positioning of a prospective company, in terms of how well the brand is known and respected, how it stacks up to its competitors, and its future growth trajectory, according to the Millennial Study. Distributing positive messaging, both internally and externally, makes the company more attractive to them as an employer of choice.

Improve the application process.
Since there are a lot of opportunities for job candidates in the professional and managerial workforce, companies need to move through the process quickly before talented individuals are snatched by another company. Waiting too long to find the perfect candidate often means losing the best candidate, warns Engel. ”Focus on the steps in the process with the highest value-add and insight into the candidate’s potential performance, and cut out unnecessary steps such as too many eyes on submitted résumés, or one more phone interview,” she says. “It’s a speed game and if you have an arduous, slow process, you’re going to lose because the candidate will have two or three other job offers.” Basically, candidates want three things:  Ease of applying, transparency in the application process and fast response time. “Communicate with candidates in the way that makes sense for them - texting rather than email, for example. If you meet candidates where they are, what they see is adaptability and flexibility,” says Engel. “It’s more important than ever before to take a proactive approach to ensuring that you’re finding and engaging talent, and following through with a positive candidate experience, regardless of the outcome.”

The Trevi Group

Nestlé to bring 300 IT jobs to Virginia, 321 jobs to Illinois

Swiss food and drink company Nestlé recently announced two new initiatives that will create more than 600 jobs between two U.S. cities.

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the information technology operations of the company will be moving to St. Louis, Virginia, as part of the relocation of Nestlé headquarters. Transitioning from California to northern Virginia, the move will create 300 new IT jobs during the second part of 2017.

Centralizing IT operations for the company will help to streamline the work of its numerous business units, Nestlé said in a statement, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The statement continued:

"As the company looks to the future, it will continue to demonstrate its commitment to the United States as a key growth market."

Virginia is not the only state gaining Nestlé jobs. The company branch in Solon, Illinois, is also adding 321 jobs, according to Crain's Cleveland Business. The Solon-based division will soon be home to all supply chain teams as well as the management of all technical and production.

As Crain's Cleveland Business reported, both moves come as the company aims to consolidate the locations of business operations and factories of Nestlé. Currently, much of the production locations of the business are on the eastern side of the U.S.

The Trevi Group

BLS predicts number of engineering jobs to grow

The number of engineering jobs in the U.S. is expected to expand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

BLS predicted 3 percent job growth - or the creation of 67,200 new jobs - for the engineering field from 2017 to 2024, according to Design News. 

The site also noted that the median annual wage for engineering jobs in 2016 was $76,870, greatly exceeding the median annual wage for all jobs in the U.S. of $36,200. 

SmartAsset recently released their list of the best-paying cities for STEM professionals, based on an analysis of BLS data, KQED Science reported. 

No. 1 on the list was the San-Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California, metro area, which had an average pay for STEM workers of $105,920. The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio, and San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California, metro areas rounded out the top three. 

However, a separate analysis by WalletHub looked at the best city for STEM workers for quality of life and job availability, in addition to pay. The San Francisco-Seattle area received the top slot, though Boston-Cambridge-Newton and Springfield, Massachusetts, metro area was ranked fifth, according to the source. 

The Trevi Group

Cybersecurity engineer one of top jobs in IT

The position of cybersecurity engineer commands one of the highest average salaries of all positions in IT across the country, according to data from the Randstad 2017 Salary Guide, CIO reported.

Citing data from the report, CIO included cybersecurity engineer as one of the top jobs in IT for this year, and noted that entry-level annual pay for these professionals exceeded $100,000 in New York and Los Angeles. For senior-level workers, salary can reach as high as $143,381 in New York and $137,175 in Los Angeles. 

Two other top jobs referenced by the article were Java developer and big data software development architect, both of which also garnered large salaries in major U.S. metro areas. 

Cybersecurity in general is a rapidly growing field with strong demand for qualified workers. According to Newsweek, research shows that the demand for cybersecurity professionals increased 3.5 percent faster than other IT positions in a five-year period. 

"The proliferation of technology is set to continue, with our homes, devices and lives becoming increasingly interconnected - the threats to our systems both at home and at work will also continue to rise and need to be challenged," the article noted.

The Trevi Group

Video: Getting the most out of your interview process

Many candidates can interview well - but that doesn't necessarily mean they're the right person for the job. There are ways that you can improve your company's interview process to get a better sense of whether or not a candidate will be the right fit. At the same time, you can use the interview process as a way to market your company as a great place to work.

Click to watch the video.

Here are some tips for revamping your interview process:

1. Ask behavior-based questions

Asking "What's your greatest weakness?" will only get you so far. These rigid types of questions don't give you much room to discover the true character of a job candidate. Instead, ask behavior-based questions to get a deeper understanding of candidates and uncover their values, recommends. For example, ask questions like, "What does an ethical workplace look like to you?" or "What did you do when you felt like you were confronted with a situation that didn't agree with your values?"

2. Don't just listen to what they say, but how they say it

In addition to what an interviewee says, you should also pay attention to how they say it, such as how long it takes for them to answer, and if their answer is direct and delivered confidently. Asking creative, unexpected questions like "It's one year from now - what are you doing?" can lead to insight into a candidate's confidence levels - if they answer quickly, it shows they know themselves well and are confident in their work and career goals.

3. Listen for specifics ... and if you don't get them, try silence

If you ask a candidate about a time they had to deal with a difficult client and they gloss over the details, over-emphasize that everything was fine or seem to ramble, they might be grasping at straws, or worse, stretching the truth. Sharing specific details shows that a candidate knows their stuff according to Mark Murphy, founder of Leadership IQ. Don't mistake using a lot of words as having actual expertise. If you're faced with a candidate like this, wait a few moments longer than usual before moving on to the next question - the candidate may feel compelled to provide further details. Frequently the more people talk, the easier it becomes to determine whether they are using fluff language or if they have real knowledge and experience.

4. Make the interview process a streamlined and coordinated effort

The interview isn't just a one-sided thing - it's also a reflection of your company. A drawn-out, clunky process can make high-quality candidates less interested in the position. Do your prep work and narrow down the interview to the questions that really matter. Keep candidates updated on their status every step of the way, as not hearing back from a company for weeks on end after an interview is off-putting. Make sure that if a candidate has to undergo multiple rounds of interviews with different team members, you have communicated interview questions amongst the team, so the candidate feels like everyone at your company is in the loop.

With these tips, you can revamp your interview process to be truly valuable for not only your company, but the candidate as well. Ultimately, improved interview practices can arm you with deeper insight into the full breadth and depth of each applicant’s experience, while also providing the opportunity to deliver a positive impression of the organization that helps to reinforce your company brand in the marketplace.

The Trevi Group

Aligning Performance Management with Career Pathing

Often employees leave their jobs because there is no clear path for them to advance, or they are not sure how to rise to the position they desire. Career pathing is a great way to increase employee retention and grow talent organically, because it provides both employees and employers with a clear roadmap, outlining what it takes for workers to move from their current position to where they want to be. It also empowers employees to take ownership of their career performance within the company and aligns their career goals with the strategic goals of the organization. This not only helps the organization achieve its goals, but also helps the organization in the following ways:

Differentiate the company from competitors. Organizations that do not invest in training and development of their human capital lose valuable candidates to their competition. Employers can effectively differentiate themselves from competitors by investing in their employees’ career development. Even a relatively small employer investment, such as implementing a mentoring program or boosting training opportunities, has a positive impact on loyalty. “Career pathing has great potential as a marketing and branding tool to attract future top talent,” says Nancy Halverson, vice president of franchise engagement and culture for MRINetwork. “When companies are able to share real examples with candidates about how their best employees advanced within the company and how career pathing is a part of the organization’s culture, it provides one more competitive advantage.”

Retain key workers. Many employers in the U.S. are confronting shortages in areas where they most need to attract and retain experienced workers. As a result, they are increasingly concerned about losing high-potential talent. The cost of voluntary turnover can be significant - loss of productivity, lost institutional knowledge and relationships, and added burdens on employees who must pick up the slack.

To prevent this, organizations have to identify workers who are central to the execution of business strategy and then develop or update retention plans to meet the needs and expectations of these employees, particularly those who drive a disproportionate share of key business outcomes or are in short supply in the labor market. Providing identifiable career paths is an important aspect of retention plans, along with coaching and mentoring employees with high potential and moving proven performers into new roles that fit skills developed over time.

Keep younger workers engaged. Employees’ views of work and growth opportunities vary by generation. Millennial workers, for example, value career pathing more than any other generation. In the MRINetwork 2017 Millennial Hiring Trends Study, more than half of Millennials (53 percent) said that career pathing has the most impact on their decision to stay with their employer. This process is not driven by the manager, but with the employee taking charge of their performance review and setting their desired career path. Once goals are set with the manager, successful completion now rests in the employee’s hands. The path is now clear for what they need to do, in order to be promoted or receive a pay increase.

Revitalize the performance management process. As part of the career pathing strategy, the annual review is being reinvented to serve as an efficient, business-focused process that improves employee engagement and drives results. Goals are still agreed upon by employees and managers, but it is incumbent on employees to propel their careers, and manage their performance, not solely the manager. “Annual reviews then become predictable, rather than a guess at how the manager feels the employee performed,” says Anne Hayden, vice president of human resources for MRINetwork. “Ultimately, performance management becomes linked with career pathing as a fundamental component of the company culture.”

Achieving this alignment requires companies to make changes in their performance management process. Getting starting requires you to:

  • Simplify - get rid of unnecessary, time-consuming, paper-filled steps.
  • Ensure that your company’s strategic goals match up with your performance management philosophy.
  • Build a new performance management culture that encourages ongoing feedback and continuous development.
  • Empower managers to recognize and reward employee performance throughout the year
  • Disconnect performance conversations from compensation conversations, which often block an employee’s ability to hear and adopt the feedback that can lead to improved performance.

Career pathing that benefits both the company and its employees requires time and commitment on both parts if it is to succeed in the long term. The payoff for a fully realized process, however, is a happier, more manageable, easier-to-retain workforce because employees who believe their employers make effective use of their talents and abilities are overwhelmingly more committed to staying on the job.

The Trevi Group 

Millennial Hiring Trends Study

The MRINetwork Hiring Trends Study is the result of a survey conducted among nearly 3,000 executive search recruiters of MRINetwork, as well as millennial employees and contractors from MRINetwork, and its parent company CDI Corporation. The purpose of the study is to explore what recruiters see as they speak with hiring authorities on a daily basis, and compare that with insight from millennial candidates. The study is not intended to be representative of the full breadth of the labor market; rather it looks at the executive, professional, and managerial space, in which MRINetwork specializes.


2017 Millennial Hiring Trends Study (pdf) (Released January 5, 2017)

Press Contact: Nysha King, Media Relations Specialist, Office: 215.282.8821 ,Email:

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Nearly half of IT pros will search for new job in 2017, survey shows

Some 45 percent of information technology professionals intend to search for or accept a new position in 2017, according to a survey by IT company Spiceworks. 

More than one third of workers said they were going to start their job search next year, while 26 percent said they would accept a position at a new company in 2017. 

Though 61 percent of IT professionals responded that they feel appreciated by their current employer, many workers are itching for a change. The top reason survey respondents gave for moving to a new job was to advance their IT skills, with 69 percent citing this as their primary motivation. 

Salary was also a major motivation for finding a new job, with 64 percent of IT professionals saying they were looking for a new position to receive a more competitive salary. The majority of IT workers surveyed believed their pay was insufficient, with 59 percent responding that they are paid below their value. Nearly half the professionals surveyed said they predict they would receive a raise of less than 5 percent from their current employer. 

Some 95 percent of survey respondents said that cybersecurity was the most important IT skill to learn in 2017. While Lloyd's Bank estimated that globally, dealing with cyberattacks is expected to jump from $400 billion in 2015 to $2.1 trillion by 2019, a Cisco report found that only 29 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses use basic IT security tools, The Motley Fool noted. 

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Six Top Workforce Trends for 2017

Successful businesses adapt to new market demands, the changing workforce and ever-evolving technology. They have to - companies that don’t adapt fail. Understanding the trends that are driving change, creating talent challenges, and offering potential solutions can help pave the way to adaptability and success.


Many of the workplace trends prevalent in 2016, such as maximizing talent analytics and improving the candidate experience will continue to resonate in 2017, coupled with other emerging trends that demand new ways of managing and planning for the future. The following are the top six workforce trends expected throughout the new year:

The blended workforce will continue to grow.

The gig economy, an environment in which organizations contract with workers and for short-term engagements, has created a new kind of diversity with full-time permanent employees working side-by-side with freelancers and contractors. “As more companies hire on-demand to solve key problems and cut costs, more freelancers, contractors and full-time workers will team up to work on projects together as part of the blended workplace,” says Tom Sephakis, vice president of contract staffing for MRINetwork. “And with many freelancers working at remote offices, the ability to manage without borders is going to become an increasingly critical skill.”

Companies will work to improve both candidate and employee experiences.

Companies create marketing experiences for customers and prospects in order to drive positive engagement, increase loyalty and grow their revenues. Now employers are recognizing they need to do the same thing for both their candidates and their employees. A recent study by Workplace Trends found that nearly 60 percent of job seekers have had a poor experience as a job applicant, and 72 percent of them have shared that experience on an online employer review site. “Every single candidate touchpoint reflects on the potential employer,” says Nancy Halverson, vice president of franchise engagement and culture for MRINetwork. “If you’re missing the mark, the world soon knows about it due to sites like Glassdoor, and as a result your offer acceptance rates will suffer.”

Aside from candidates, employee retention and engagement are also a major concern as companies recognize that top talent have numerous employment options and losing even a few of them drastically affects productivity. More organizations, for example, will focus on identifying and eliminating unnecessary workplace complexity. By putting the employee experience first, employers will be helping to improve productivity by designing simplified work processes, and creating a culture that is more cohesive, provides more opportunities for idea sharing across the company, and ultimately is more enjoyable.

Use of talent analytics will increase.

Analyzing and curating data to measure and improve hiring will become more prevalent as talent acquisition professionals feel the pressure to combine traditional recruitment methods that leverage instinct or gut feelings, with the ability to turn everyday data into recruiting intelligence. In fact, many companies are already using data to analyze competitor talent pools to find candidates with the right skills and potential to join the organization, and are examining data on whether full-time or part-time employees bring the highest return on investment. Employers will continue to seek better ways to interpret data and develop true insights about future and current employees, regarding whether they have the competencies, experiences, traits and drivers to succeed. “The most important consideration for organizations looking for technology solutions is to ensure they are clear about what they need and why,” advises Reagan Johnson, director of technology operations for MRINetwork.

National average starting salaries are up.

For every job opening in 2008, there were 40 applicants. By 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Survey, the number of applicants for every open position had shriveled to 1.4. Two factors - increased demand for skilled workers and historically low inflation - are driving wage growth and, as a result, average starting salaries will continue to rise in 2017.

When skilled professionals are both in high demand and in short supply, employers have to remain open about compensation for new hires and be informed about salary trends in their industry and in their geographic location. Failure to do so will mean losing top candidates to competitors.

More millennials will move into management roles.

This year, more than 3.6 million executive leaders are set to retire as younger professionals ascend to managerial slots. As millennials move into leadership roles, their management style is expected to bring a striking change in corporate America, with a focus on collaboration and transparency. Where previous generations adopted the traditional top-down corporate structure, millennials tend toward a flatter structure with fewer titled roles and a more democratic approach. Leadership will emerge in other forms because Millennials often believe you don’t need a title to be a leader. It can come from heading a project or campaign, or even taking an active role on your team.

The uptick in boomerang workers will continue.

The boomerang employee, one who leaves a company on good terms but then returns later, is on the upswing. According to a study conducted by the Workforce Institute at Kronos: The Corporate Culture and Boomerang Employee Study, 85 percent of HR professionals say they have received job applications from former employees, and 40 percent say their organization hired about half of those former employees who applied.

One of the reasons for this trend is the fact that top professionals know how to effectively switch jobs within a short time. It’s also easy for companies to keep in touch with former employees through social media and to track and re-employ them. As the employment market continues to tighten, it will become increasingly difficult for employers to find the quality, skilled candidates to meet their needs. One of the advantages of hiring boomerang workers is that they are already familiar with the company’s culture and do not require a comprehensive orientation.

The above six trends already exist today, but their impact will increase as 2017 unfolds. Many companies are already under unprecedented threat of disruption, due to shrinking talent pools in many sectors, and employee expectations that are changing. This means employers have to be extremely sensitive to these changes and react more quickly than they have in the past. Understanding the trends that will profoundly affect the workplace next year and in the years ahead is crucial not only to their success but to their survival.

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Health IT jobs expected to rapidly increase

Health information technology is a booming field - and it is only expected to grow. 

Jobs in health IT, which includes those dealing with electronic health records systems, or EHRs, are expected to grow by 15 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

This anticipated increase is in part due to an aging population, with BLS noting that the projected growth for health IT is significantly faster than the average growth estimated for all jobs across industries.

In 2015, the median annual pay for medical records and health information technicians was $37,110. 

With this rise in health IT positions also comes a growing need for jobs in cybersecurity. 

According to Steve Morgan, CEO of Cybersecurity Ventures, cybersecurity is undergoing a "labor crisis."

Cybersecurity Ventures found that there were 1 million job openings in the field in 2016, and cited findings from the Palo Alto Research Center that the demand for cybersecurity workers is expected to increase to 6 million worldwide by 2019. 

Health IT in particular is in need of cybersecurity experts, with the number of digital attacks on hospitals on the rise, according to Occupational Health & Safety Online. The average cost of each healthcare cyberattack is currently $3.8 million. 

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