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Houston expert shares hiring tips for navigating 'The Great Reshuffle'

Excellent, skillful workers are the foundation of any successful business, the key is to choose the one who will deliver exceptional value to the business in the short and long term. Photo via Getty Images

Business owners take pride in selecting employees that fit their team like a perfect puzzle piece — the right background, culture fit, growth potential, etc. — but amid The Great Resignation, more recently termed “The Great Reshuffle,” this can be a constant grind.

According to Glassdoor, in the United States the average company spends an estimated $4,000 to hire a new employee, and it can take up to 52 days to fill a new position — so how do businesses survive the transitions and hire faster, and without such a huge expense burden?

Take a look at your business first

The Reshuffle, while full of challenges, has been a great opportunity to learn and adapt to professionals’ needs: do they want to work from home or have a hybrid work environment? What sort of benefits do they want to see come out of the company? What kind of flexibility do they want to see? Does the company focus on mental health? Employee burnout has only increased in the past two years, and the best way to combat it is by positively improving the culture of the business.

By putting the needs of your workers first, you are creating a safe environment where you are allowing your employees to feel valued while they are working, which will only cause the employee retention to increase as the employees begin to feel more appreciated.

What to look for in candidates

When going through applicant after applicant, what exactly should business owners be looking for? It’s important to note that those applicants who don't have a lot of experience in the workforce can still provide significant value to business goals and overall growth. While scouring through the piles of resumes, there are a few important characteristics to look for:

  • Growth mentality: Look to see if your applicants are eager to learn and grow within a company. This can be identified by their previous school or work experience, for instance, did they make any headway at their previous position? Did they have a job that may have felt “beneath them” but showed up every day and worked hard regardless? Did they clearly go out of their way to add more to the organization? Were they promoted after a certain period of time? Or did they feel comfortable at their level and see no desire to move up?
  • Coachability: Look to see if they’re a good listener and how they work with others. Does the applicant have a strong number of skills already identified on their resume, outside of basic requirements? If not, how are they demonstrating (not just saying!) that they are actively looking to learn and cultivate new skills in their future positions?
  • Leadership experience: Outside of directly related professional experience, look for indications of being a team player, or steering a group of people in a positive direction to meet a shared goal. Look beyond the norm — were they an athlete in high school or president of their Yearbook? They may not have had a recent chance to step up as a leader due to personal circumstances over the last few years, but if they have this inside of them from past experiences, it can come back with coaching.
  • Loyalty: How long did they stay at their previous place of employment? Were they jumping around from place to place within a small amount of time? And if so, why? Also, consider if you really value loyalty in the role you are hiring for, or is someone to come in for a year and support the team all that you really need? Don’t place too much value here, if it isn’t the most important thing.
  • And more: Other identifiable aspects can be, but are not limited to: detail orientation (if you spell my name wrong in the email or are missing obvious punctuation in your resume, I immediately discard the application!), communication skills, self-reliance, adaptability and dependability.
Always take time to look at a job seeker’s key attributes and soft skills to assess what their overall contribution to your company could be—no matter how much or how little work experience they have.

An innovative approach

According to Zippia, the average corporate job receives about 250 job applications, as this applicant number increases day by day, employers are having to constantly sift through the hundreds of potential candidates in order to determine the most promising ones, to some, a process with no end in sight.

Ampersand helps businesses alleviate the burden of selecting the best intern candidates through our innovative patent-pending internship matching platform, saving companies an average of $14,000/intern hire when you take into account recruitment, training and onboarding. Not only do interns have a 67.7 percent higher likelihood of staying in the role for at least one year after hiring, but they can also alleviate burden from the team.

Additionally, Ampersand’s rigorous, asynchronous curriculum is a great way to weed out entry level candidates who are not motivated, saving organizations time and money on a bad entry level hire. We are training young professionals on the important skills to succeed in the workplace — everything from how to communicate with your manager, to entry level Excel and note-taking skills, to grit and growth mentality — and if they cannot make it through this course, it’s a great indicator that they may not be a good fit for the organization. We can customize materials for company onboarding, and/or as part of your hiring process.

With 2022 in full swing, and an increase of new job applicants, Ampersand is helping reduce the stress by easing the entry-level hiring process that can help companies thrive. Excellent, skillful workers are the foundation of any successful business, the key is to choose the one who will deliver exceptional value to the business in the short and long term.

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Allie Danziger is the co-founder and CEO of Houston-based Ampersand Professionals.

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Building Houston

 
 

A new report says Houston “is poised for further growth” in life sciences. Photo via Getty Images

Houston is receiving more kudos for its robust life sciences sector.

Bayou City lands at No. 13 in JLL’s 2022 ranking of the country’s top 15 metro areas for life sciences. JLL says Houston “is poised for further growth” in life sciences.

Here’s how Houston fares in each of the ranking’s three categories:

  • No. 12 for supply of life sciences-oriented commercial real estate
  • No. 14 for access to life sciences talent
  • No. 15 for life sciences grant funding and venture capital

Earlier this year, Houston scored a 13th-place ranking on a list released by JLL competitor CBRE of the country’s top 25 life sciences markets. Meanwhile, commercial real estate platform CommercialCafe recently placed Houston at No. 10 among the top U.S. metros for life sciences.

JLL applauds Houston for strong growth in the amount of life sciences talent along with “an impressive base of research institutions and medical centers.” But it faults Houston for limited VC interest in life sciences startups and a small inventory of lab space.

“Houston is getting a boost [in life sciences] from the growing Texas Medical Center and an influx of venture capital earmarked for life sciences research,” the Greater Houston Partnership recently noted.

Boston appears at No. 1 in this year’s JLL ranking, followed by the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Washington, D.C./Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

Last year’s JLL list included only 10 life sciences markets; Houston wasn’t among them.

“The long-term potential of the sector remains materially unchanged since 2021,” Travis McCready, head of life sciences for JLL’s Americas markets, says in a news release.

“Innovation is happening at a more rapid pace than ever before, the fruits of research into cell and gene therapy are just now being harvested, and revenue growth has taken off in the past five years as the sector becomes larger, an atypical growth track.”

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