Taking the Plus One Pledge with LinkedIn

Taking the Plus One Pledge with LinkedIn

Employers and job seekers want the same thing: to find a great fit. It sounds simple, but it isn’t always. Employers often get more than enough applicants, but many of them come from people who aren’t good fits, and sorting through them can be a Herculean undertaking. At the same time, job seekers don’t always hear about great opportunities, at least not until the position has already been filled. Both parties suffer. The Plus One Pledge can help.

Referrals Make the Difference

According to LinkedIn, job seekers on LinkedIn are nine times more likely to be hired if they’ve been referred. In other words, who you know matters.

But what if you don’t know anyone?

Building a professional network takes time, and it’s especially difficult if you’re starting from scratch. Some people may be at a definite disadvantage.

  • They’re new to the area.
  • They’re just starting out in their career or are switching to a new career.
  • They don’t have any friends or family members with connections.

These job seekers may have what it takes to be great employees, but without a good network, they’ll have a harder time getting their foot in the door.

The Plus One Pledge

Think about how you’ve gotten to where you are in your career. You probably worked very hard for every promotion and every job offer, but you probably didn’t do it alone. You had mentors and colleagues who gave you stellar recommendations. You had friends and acquaintances who passed on job hunting tips. In short, you had help.

It’s time to give back.

Maybe you already know this, and you are actively trying to help other people climb up the career ladder. If so, however, you’re probably focusing on the people in your professional network. This leaves out people with no professional network.

This is where the LinkedIn Plus One Pledge can help. By taking the pledge, you promise to help the people who need it most – the people who are trying to establish a professional network and need guidance. It’s a way of giving someone a needed chance. By growing your own network, it could also benefit you down the line.

Join Us

If this sounds good to you, there are several ways to fulfill the LinkedIn Plus One Pledge. You could join a mentoring program as a mentor. Although this can be time-consuming, it is also very rewarding and can help you develop your own skills and confidence. Helping others doesn’t always have to involve a formal arrangement, however. If someone asks you for guidance or advice, take a moment to provide it. You can also answer questions, provide tips or make a helpful introduction. Small acts of encouragement can make a big difference.

Mulberry Talent Partners has taken the Plus One Pledge. We hope you will join us.

Need help attracting top talent? Contact Mulberry to take your recruiting and hiring strategies to the next level.

Developing Your Personal Brand: Why It Matters to Your Career

According to Forbes, personal branding is more important than ever. Don’t think you have a personal brand? Think again. Everything you do online is part of your personal brand. In many cases, your online presence is your potential employer’s first impression.

How Branding Works

As a job applicant, you’re trying to market your skills to an employer. In this way, you’re a lot like a company trying to sell its products and services to a consumer. Companies use branding to help them appeal to consumers. Likewise, your personal brand can help you build your career.

Companies put a lot of work into developing a brand. It’s more than a name, a logo and slogan. A brand is a company’s unique personality. It tells people what they can expect from the company and its product. Ideally, every advertisement, social post and sponsorship works toward consistently developing this brand.

With good branding, a soda company isn’t merely a purveyor of fizzy beverages. It’s an essential component of fun times with friends and family. A shoe company doesn’t just sell footwear. It’s a partner in your quest for victory.

A brand helps companies differentiate themselves from the competition. There are a lot of companies that sell soda and – let’s be honest here – many of them taste pretty similar. Branding is part of what helps one company convince consumers to buy its soda instead of its competitor’s.

When you’re looking for a job or fighting for a promotion, you’re also facing a lot of competition. Your skills and experience might not be that different from the skills and experience of other candidates. Your personal brand is what helps you stand out.

How to Develop Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand should clearly convey how you are different from other job applicants and what employers can expect from you. It should authentically represent your personality and values.

  • Think about why an employer should hire you. What is it that you have to offer? What makes you a better choice than the other candidates?
  • Focus on a few of your core skills and strengths. You may have many positive attributes but including too much in your brand will dilute it, so focus on your greatest points. For example, do you want to present yourself as a creative innovator? Or as a reliable team player?
  • Use strong keywords that match what employers in your industry are looking for.  
  • Take advantage of every opportunity to develop your brand. In your resume and cover letter, develop your brand through word choice, style and emphasis. If you have a website or business card, these should also reflect your brand. Remember that employers may check out your online presence, too, so be sure to develop your brand in the social accounts or websites they may find. This is especially important for professional accounts, such as LinkedIn, but be careful that personal social accounts do not undermine the image you wish to portray.

Wondering how to optimize your personal brand? Mulberry Talent Partners can help.  Join us by clicking here.

Top Five Benefits of Hiring Temporary Staff Through a Staffing Agency

Understaffed? Even if the situation won’t last long, there’s no reason to tough it out. Temporary staff can meet many important needs, from helping with critical projects to filling in for an employee on leave. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 6 million contingent workers in 2017.

Finding the right temporary staff on your own can be a drain of resources, but it doesn’t need to be this way. When you go through a staffing agency like Mulberry Talent Partners for your temporary staffing needs, your company gains these five essential advantages:

  1. Access new skills and expertise for special projects. Your regular employees are great at their jobs, but a special project can require special skills. Training your existing workers can take time and energy that you can’t spare. You need someone who already possesses the expertise required. A staffing agency can find that person for you.
  2. Boost morale. Instead of hiring temporary staff, you may be tempted to give your existing employees extra work. This strategy can backfire big time. According to Harvard Business Review, multiple studies have shown that longer hours don’t result in better output, while overworking employees can hurt a company’s bottom line by increasing absenteeism, turnover and health insurance costs. Keep your regular, full-time employees fully productive, but not overworked, by hiring temporary staff through a staffing agency as needed.  
  3. Temporary solutions can lead to long-term hires. The job candidate who seems perfect doesn’t always work out. Maybe the resume was embellished, or perhaps it was an issue of personalities not meshing. Regardless of the cause, it’s a common problem. To prevent it, employers can opt for temp-to-hire situations. This lets them assess the worker’s skills and overall fit, while the worker gets to try out the role and the organization before committing to a long-term position.
  4. Save your resources. Using a staffing agency is a cost-effective alternative to recruiting and hiring on your own. The staffing agency takes on the cost of recruiting, screening, payroll, taxes, insurance and benefits. By utilizing a staffing agency, you can focus on your core business responsibilities. 
  5. Enjoy the flexibility. Your business needs change. Your staffing should keep up, not hold you back. Staffing agencies stand by with qualified staff who can jump in to support your business with special projects, extended employee leaves, quarter and year-end deadlines, interim positions and more.

Want to explore our temporary staffing solutions? Contact us for a productive and cost-effective staffing agency partnership. 

Front Lobby Etiquette for Job Seekers

Here’s an important question for job seekers: When does your interview begin?

  1. When it’s scheduled to begin.
  2. When you sit down with the person interviewing you.
  3. When you walk into the building.

Hopefully, you didn’t fall for either of the first two options. If you did, you could be setting yourself up for a disaster – because your interview actually starts the moment you walk into the building.

You might not think you’re there to impress the front lobby staff, but keep in mind that they might have the ear of the person you are there to impress. Anything they hear or see could be relayed to the hiring manager. Monitoring how you behave while waiting could even be part of the company’s interview process.

Get off to a good start.

You want to make a good impression the second you walk in the door, and you can’t do this if you’re late or rushing. Show up early.

You also need to show up prepared. This includes knowing the name of the person you’re there to see. Yes, the receptionist could probably figure this out for you, but you’ll come off as unorganized if you don’t have this basic information. You also risk appearing as if you don’t care about the position. After all, if you don’t even know the name of the person you’re meeting, it seems unlikely that you’ve done any research on the company.

Be polite and professional.

When you arrive, introduce yourself and say why you’re there. Be polite to the receptionist as you do this.

  • Engage in friendly – but professional – conversation. The receptionist’s opinion of you may matter a great deal, so you don’t want to come off as cold or snobbish.
  • Be respectful of the receptionist’s time. You want to win over the receptionist, but the receptionist has other work to do. Don’t demand to be helped right away if the receptionist is helping someone else, and don’t let your conversation go on too long.

Maintain normal interview etiquette.

You wouldn’t chew gum during an interview, so don’t do it while waiting in the lobby. Remember, this should be considered part of your interview, too. Here are some more tips for while you wait.

  • Put your phone on silent and don’t talk on the phone.
  • Don’t bring in food or drinks.
  • Don’t say anything inappropriate or overly personal. If you start chatting with someone – another candidate or a vendor, for example – you might be tempted to let your guard down and say things you would never say to the hiring manager. Don’t. You never know who might be listening.

Have more questions about how to optimize your interview performance? Mulberry Talent Partners can help.  Join us by clicking here.

Six Keys to a Successful Recruiting Agency Partnership

Recruiting top talent can be a major drain on a company’s resources. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it takes an average of 42 days to fill a position. Working with a recruiting agency like Mulberry Talent Partners is a great way to streamline the process. As with any partnership, however, a good relationship takes effort on both ends. To foster a successful agency partnership, keep these six tips in mind.

  1. Be very specific. Set clear expectations up front so you get exactly what you need, when you need it. You should provide your recruiter with a written job description, as well as a profile of the specific backgrounds, experience levels and characteristics that work best in the role. As you develop the profile, think about your most successful current employees and what makes them so well-suited for the position. Share any specific deadlines and timelines that you have in mind.
  2. Help us paint a picture for the candidate. You want to know about the candidate, but the candidate also wants to know about you. To find a good match, both sides need information. Provide details that will help the candidate determine whether your position is a good fit, including information about your workplace culture, your benefits package and growth opportunities. Share videos, links to key website pages and any other materials available to set your company apart.
  3. Respond quickly. A highly skilled candidate may have many options, so time is of the essence. In this tight market, you can remain competitive as an employer by reviewing candidate profiles quickly and expediting candidate interviews whenever possible. It’s also important to provide timely feedback after interviews and throughout the process. Regular updates will help us keep your top candidates engaged.
  4. Keep an open mind. When it comes to finding the ideal candidate, both experience and potential matter. You have a list of skills that you’re looking for in a candidate but finding an exact match may not always be necessary. If a candidate seems like a good match overall and has most of the qualifications you’re looking for, one missing skill may not be a deal breaker. Be open to areas that could be trained.
  5. Consider the candidate’s career path. The candidate’s career will continue to progress after the hiring and onboarding processes are complete. Think about how the position fits into a longer path. Is the candidate so qualified that the role does not provide room for additional growth? Or is the candidate just reaching the skills needed, creating an opportunity for growth and giving the company a candidate who will be engaged for a long time? 
  6. Be mindful of opportunity costs. The recruiting process is time-consuming. When managed internally, recruiting often takes the back burner behind other corporate objectives. Yet, if your open positions were filled, you could achieve your company’s goals faster. Why incur these expensive opportunity costs? Save team bandwidth and get double the work done by partnering with Mulberry Talent Partners.

Need help attracting top talent? Contact us for a productive and cost-effective recruiting agency partnership.


Phone Interview Etiquette – Eight Ways to Make A Great Impression

Many companies like to conduct phone interviews as part of their candidate screening process. Making a good impression over the phone is just as important as it is during a face-to-face interview. However, if you’re not used to conference calls and phone interviews, it could also be harder. Below are eight ways to “ace” your phone interview.

Be prepared.

Getting stuck in traffic won’t be an issue, but you still need to be prepared. Be ready to take the call on time. If you have to log in to conference call software, do so a few minutes in advance so you have time to troubleshoot if any technical difficulties arise.

Before the call, write down the names of the people you’ll be talking to, for easy reference. When you’re nervous, it’s easy to forget.

You may have to chat for a few minutes before the interview begins, so think about some ideas for professional small talk. The first five minutes of the call can often be the most difficult because they’re less structured.

Before the call, outline your potential responses to common questions. Then, during the call, you can glance at your notes for a quick prompt. In addition, make a list of questions you want to ask. Have a copy of your resume and  the job ad on-hand. Take notes during the interview.

Give it your full attention.

You might pride yourself on being a multitasker, but don’t try to do other things, like checking your text messages, during your interview. Even if people can’t see what you’re doing, they’ll notice that you’re not paying complete attention. If you’re on video, this is even more important. You must look at the camera and avoid any distractions. Resist the urge to look at your phone.

Look ready.

If video is being used, you should pay as much attention to your clothes and hair as you would for an in-person interview. Adjust your webcam so it’s flattering – you want the interviewer to clearly see your face, but not the pores of your skin! Also pay attention to the background. You want a background that looks professional and neat, not distracting. No dirty laundry or beds in the background, please.

Even if video won’t be used, you need to smile. Research has shown that smiling changes a person’s voice, and that hearing this smiling tone can make other people smile.

Find a quiet place. 

It should go without saying that you should not have the television or radio blaring the background. You also need to do your best to ensure that other noises, like dogs barking, do not disturb the interview. Avoid taking phone interviews from coffee shops or other public places. Go somewhere private. Close the windows to minimize noise from outside.

During a conference call, even small background noises can really add up, so it can be helpful to mute yourself when you’re not speaking.

Get off to a good start.

Answer the call in a professional and friendly way. It’s a good idea to identify yourself, just as you would when answering a call at work. Then keep the professionalism and friendliness going throughout the interview.

The interviewer will most likely want to do most of the talking at first, to set up the structure of the interview. If it’s a conference call, each participant should provide an introduction. Listen politely and wait until it’s your turn to speak.

Speak clearly.

Speaking clearly is always important, but over the phone, it is absolutely essential. Don’t mumble. If possible, use a high-quality headset to ensure the clearest connection. Monitor your volume so you’re not speaking too loudly or too softly. If you hear an echo, it could mean that your volume is too high, or it could mean that your voice is transmitting through two speakers – for example, you’re talking on your phone, but your computer speakers are transmitting as well.

Don’t interrupt.

Without visual cues, it can be harder to tell when another person is done speaking. Avoid accidentally interrupting the other speaker by allowing a brief pause. This will also give you a chance to collect your thoughts and prepare a strong answer.

Conference calls with multiple participants can get especially hectic. If there are multiple candidates on the line, or multiple people with similar voices, identify yourself when you start speaking.

Avoid dead air.

If you’ve been asked a question, don’t go too long without speaking. You can say something like “Let me think about this for a moment,” to give yourself more time before you reply.  

Have more questions about how to optimize your interview performance? Mulberry Talent can help. Join us by clicking here.


Four Tips to Take Your Hiring Process to the Next Level

A poor hiring process simply doesn’t cut it in today’s job market. The unemployment rate is low, and that means employers are fighting for top talent. If your recruitment process isn’t up to snuff, you’ll lose out on the talent war. The good news is that you can take steps now to improve your hiring process.

Tip #1: Stop losing great candidates to the ATS black hole.

Applicant tracking systems can help companies manage the hundreds – or even thousands – of job applications they receive. But if there are problems with these systems, the most qualified candidates could get lost in the process.

Applicant tracking systems typically use keywords to compare resumes to job descriptions. This can help recruiters find the best match, but only if the keywords are accurate. Job seekers have been advised to optimize their resumes for key words. Job descriptions must be similarly optimized. An inaccurate or outdated job description will result in inaccurate and outdated matches.

Problems can also arise when a job applicant is a perfect match – for a different position. Some applicant tracking systems are easier to manage than others and finding applications when you need them can sometimes prove more challenging than it should be.

Choose a good applicant tracking system. It should be easy to use, and it should make searching and following up simple. Then make sure your job descriptions are accurate.

Tip #2: Pay attention to your branding.

Companies need strong brands to attract customers. Likewise, recruiters need to leverage their companies’ strong brands to attract talent. For recruiting purposes, your brand must communicate a positive workplace culture. Prospective candidates have access to social media and websites like Glassdoor, which can give them insight into what working for a company is really like.

As an employer, you have to give candidates a reason to choose you – and a good salary and benefit package might not be enough. A Deloitte study found that 52 percent of millennials rank a positive work culture as “very important” when deciding which organization to work for. According to a study from BetterUp, more than 90 percent of people would accept a lower salary if it meant they could do more meaningful work.

People spend a good chunk of their waking lives at work. They want that time to be well spent. To attract workers, position your company as a rewarding place to work.

Tip #3: Enhance the candidate experience.

If candidates dislike your company’s hiring process, it may negatively taint their perspective on what it’s like to work for your company. Although some employers use tactics like the stress interview – a purposefully stressful process designed to test applicants – this method can scare away your best applicants. The application process is your chance to create a good first impression. Remember, while you are interviewing the candidate, the candidate is also interviewing you.

  • Be clear. Provide accurate job descriptions and transparent policies.
  • Don’t waste the applicant’s time. Show them that your company values and respects talent.
  • Be open and forthcoming. Allow the applicant to get to know your company.

Tip #4: Stay in touch.

You think you’ve found the perfect candidate. You schedule an interview or even make an offer. Then … crickets. You don’t hear anything from the candidate ever again. This practice is sometimes called ghosting, and there’s been a lot of talk about it recently. Hiring managers are understandably frustrated when it happens to them.

But here’s the thing – companies have been ghosting job candidates for decades. People apply for jobs. They go on interviews. They never hear back. Or maybe they do hear back, but it’s only after months have passed.

Good communication has to go both ways. If you want candidates to stay engaged in the hiring process, make an effort. Let them know what to expect and provide a reasonable timeline. Then, stay in touch with them throughout the process.

Need help attracting top talent? Contact Mulberry to take your recruiting and hiring strategies to the next level.

Mulberry Talent Partners

Why Use A Recruiting Agency to Find A Job?

Even with a low unemployment rate, finding the perfect job can be a time-consuming struggle. You apply to job after job. Sometimes you hear back, but sometimes you don’t, and you can’t stop wondering if there are better jobs out there that you don’t even know about. If these common problems sound familiar to you, it’s time to learn about the benefits of working with a recruiting agency like Mulberry Talent Partners.

#1: Put Your Best Foot Forward

Is your resume really as strong as it could be? For a typical job opening, a hiring manager might receive hundreds of applications. Each resume will likely get less than a minute of attention. That’s not a lot of time to impress a hiring manager. Common mistakes can mean your resume gets tossed no matter how skilled and experienced you are.

A recruiting agency can help you polish your resume and develop your personal brand. You’ll get the career advice and guidance you need to make your resume stand out from the crowd.

But what if a great resume isn’t enough? Sometimes it takes a personal introduction to get in front of a hiring manager – which is just one of the many perks of working with Mulberry Talent Partners.

#2: Move Forward with Confidence

Getting an interview is reason to celebrate – but it’s also only the beginning of the process. The interview itself can be intimidating, especially when you think about all the other candidates and start to wonder how your answers compare to theirs.

Even when you receive an offer, you’re not necessarily done yet. Some advice could really help. When you work with Mulberry Talent Partners, you’re privy to expert tips on how to reply to questions and how to negotiate for the right salary and benefits. You’ll know exactly what’s reasonable and when you should counter – no second guessing required.

#3: Gain a Partner

It’s always nice to have someone in your corner. When you join Mulberry Talent Partners, you gain a partner for your entire career. The job that’s perfect today might not be a great fit five years from now. You don’t just want someone to get you a job right now – you need someone to help you as you develop your career.

There’s no reason to miss out on exciting opportunities. Mulberry Talent Partners can work with you over the course of several years, to help you build the career of your dreams.

#4: Pay Nothing

If you’re thinking that all of this sounds good – and expensive – get ready for some good news. Job seekers don’t pay anything for these services. That’s right – the fees are fully covered by employers.

Are you ready to get started? Join Mulberry Talent today.