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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.


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

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Check out these conferences, pitch competitions, networking, and more all happening in September. Photo via Getty Images

From networking meetups to pitch competitions, September has a smorgasbord of opportunities for Houston innovators.

Here's a roundup of events you won't want to miss out on so mark your calendars and register accordingly.

Note: This post might be updated to add more events.

Mark your calendars for November 8 for the annual Houston Innovation Awards, and nominate your company or another deserving business by September 19.

September 5 — Tech + Tequila Talk: Houston Innovation

Natara Branch, CEO of Houston Exponential, will delve into the most recent developments within the Houston Innovation Community, shedding light on Houston Exponential's latest initiatives. She will also provide insights into upcoming events, including the highly-anticipated Tech Rodeo and the forthcoming Innovation Awards Gala. After all of that education and conversation, unwind with an authentic tequila tasting and network with tech industry peers.

The agenda:

5:50 pm - 6 pm: Sign-in/Registration

6 pm - 6:30 pm: Tequila tasting

6:30 pm - 7 pm: Tech talk

7 pm - 8 pm: Networking & Tequilas

This event is Tuesday, September 5, from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

September 7 — Venture Houston 2023

Venture Houston 2023 is a major event for entrepreneurs, venture investors and ecosystem builders to plug into what is happening in Houston. Come learn how you can decarbonize in a digital world, connect with Houston's best founders, corporate leaders and top tier investors, and develop meaningful relationships.

The agenda:

7 am - 8:45 am: Registration

8:45 am - 12:30 pm: General Programming

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm: Networking Lunch

2:00 pm - 4:15 pm: General Programming

4:15 pm - 6 pm: Networking Cocktail Reception

This event is Thursday, September 7, from 7 am to 6 pm at Stude Concert Hall. Click here to register.

September 8 — Inspire & Transform: Celebrating Women In Data

Hosted by the Houston Chapter of Women in Data and Solidatus, this event will feature influential women who have made significant contributions to the field of data from the City of Houston, Exxon, EY, Google, Houston Methodist and more. The event will discuss and debate "The Intersection of Data, AI and Sustainability" and "What Does Good Look Like" through insightful panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Price of admission is $10.

The agenda:

9 am - Check-in and Network

9:15 am - Welcome

9:20 am - Panel 1: The Intersection of Data, AI & Sustainability

10 am - Networking Break

10:10am - Panel 2: "What Does Good Look Like"

10:45am - Scholarships Awarded

11am - End of event + Networking Opportunities

This event is Friday, September 8, from 9 am to 11 am at 200 Park Place. Click here to register.

September 9 — Revolutionizing Your Work: Eight Innovative Ways Entrepreneurs Can Leverage ChatGPT & AI to Scale, Grow & Succeed

Discover how successful entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and ChatGPT to drive their businesses forward. At this event, you'll gain valuable insights from industry experts who have leveraged AI and ChatGPT to grow, scale, and succeed. Learn how these technologies can enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and drive innovation in your own entrepreneurial journey.

This event is Saturday, September 9, from 12:30 to 1:30pm at The R.O.C.K. - Broadway Campus. Click here to register.

September 13 — Small Business Exchange

The Small Business Exchange, powered by US SBA, is a lively and informative event designed to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs.

At the Small Business Exchange, you'll have the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, share your experiences, and gain valuable insights from industry experts. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or just starting out, this event offers a unique chance to learn, grow, and collaborate.

This event is Wednesday, September 13, from 11 am to 2 pm at SBDC Office. Click here to register.

September 21 — 20th Rice Alliance Energy Tech Venture Forum

The Energy Tech Venture Forum, hosted by The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, will showcase energy tech innovations to shift towards a more sustainable, reliable and lower carbon future across interactive panels, inspiring keynotes and over 50 dynamic venture pitches, leaders.

At the 20th annual conference, discover more than 90 new technology ventures commercializing energy transition innovations and meet investors looking for disruptive energy technologies that can accelerate clean and renewable energy. Check to see if you are a Rice Alliance member or sponsor to confirm your free registration. Rice university faculty and staff can also attend for free. For non-Rice community members tickets are $245.

This event is Thursday, September 21, from 7:30 am to 5:15 pm at Rice University. Click here to register.

September 21 — UH Energy Symposium: Plastics, Chemicals, Circularity: What’s Next?

Focusing on the multifaceted nature and enormity of the challenge, this discussion will focus on what circularity means for the future of production and consumption, meeting consumer demand, and creating and preserving utility across the value chain, while addressing emissions reduction and waste management through new technologies, standards, regulatory mechanisms like extended producer responsibility, and stakeholder engagement.

This event is Thursday, September 21, from 6 to 7:30 pm at the University of Houston. Click here to register.

September 23 — OPEN Houston 11th Annual Conference

Head over to the OPEN Houston 11th annual conference which will focus on the important players building Houston’s emerging technology and startup ecosystem. Hear from and connect with the founders, executives, investors, and other leaders that are building Houston’s innovation economy. Admission is $25-$50.

The agenda:

9:00 AM - 10.00 AM - Registration

10.00 AM - 10:30 AM - Mayor Sylvester Turner Welcoming

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM - Keynote by Andrew Yang

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Founder’s Panel

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM - Lunch

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM - Business Pitch Competition

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM - Award Ceremony

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM - Happy Hour

This event is Saturday, September 23, from 9 am to 4 pm at Moran Hotel. Click here to register.

September 27 — Space IT UP: Demo Day

Presented by ITA and ASI in collaboration with the Space Foundation, this event celebrates the journey of six Italian companies as they launch their groundbreaking space ventures from Houston's thriving space ecosystem. Following a five-week accelerator program, these companies will be pitching their innovative space solutions at this Demo Day.

This event is Wednesday, September 27 , from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

September 27 — Pearland Innovation Hub Grand Opening

Come learn more about the Pearland Innovation Hub, tour the new space, and celebrate the expansion. Raffle prizes will be available for attendees and f ood and drinks will be provided for registered attendees.

This event is Wednesday, September 27, from 6 to 8 pm at Pearland Innovation Hub. Click here to register.

September 28 — Chevron Technology Ventures Pitch Competition

Chevron is looking for novel technologies or approaches that can be applied to transform their operations. With the goal of removing people from hazardous environments (e.g., confined spaces, working at heights), reducing the environmental impact (e.g., leak detection, emissions monitoring), and increasing the operational efficiency (e.g., autonomous operations, advanced inspection capabilities, predictive asset health capabilities) of their facilities in the decades to come.

Registered attendees will be able to take a tour of the Chevron workspaces within the Cannon West Houston, enjoy refreshments and network.

This event is Thursday, September 28, from 4 to 7:30 pm at the Cannon. Click here to register.

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