4 Powerful Trends That Will Help Define the Workplace Environment 2016 & Beyond

New Trends for 2016  Bring  Urgency for Reference Checking, Background Checking & Reputation Management

DETROIT (Dec. 15 2015) – Looking ahead to 2016, there are both challenges – and opportunities – based on powerful trends that will help define the workplace environment for the coming years, say the employment experts at Allison & Taylor, Inc.

1.  The highly desired “Work-Life Balance” has a darker side.

In recent years, an increased emphasis on work-life balance has resulted in more companies providing added employee flexibility in allowing them to better manage their time. While this is touted as a highly desirable feature by employees, it has also created new expectations in the form of being increasingly available and responsive, e.g. in the form of after-hours emails, late-night texts that bosses expect an immediate response to, or FaceTime calls with customers in different time zones that can start well before 8am or after 5pm.  The end result: an actual decrease in work-life balance and a more overwhelmed workforce.

2.  Generation Z college graduates will be entering the workforce for the first time, with Millennials increasingly filling management positions vacated by retiring boomers. 

Generation Z’ers – born from 1995 onwards – will begin entering the workplace early in 2016. Also during 2016, more than 3 million boomers are set to retire, making way for millennials (born between 1980-1995) who will take many of their vacated management positions. These millennials will fill the leadership gap by increasingly flattening corporate hierarchies, utilizing empowerment and team-oriented tactics and urging their employers to make a more positive impact on society.

3.  More professionals will seek (or accept) short or part-time stints instead of full-time jobs.

Professionals are increasingly choosing freelance jobs in order to gain more control over their lives, have flexibility and be their own boss. By 2020, approximately 40% of Americans will be part of what has come to be called the “gig” economy.  The rise of this trend is attributed to many factors, including increased access to technology, the impact of the recession, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) that has imposed new costs on employers.  The “gig economy” has allowed employers to hire on-demand, lower cost talent and has given rise to entrepreneurial entities such as Uber.

4.  The resurgence of boomerang employees (and subsequent challenge for other job seekers).

A boomerang employee is one that leaves a company only to ultimately return after some later date.  Many companies that once had a policy against hiring back boomerang employees in the past have since changed their policies to allow the return of such employees. Benefits of rehiring former employees include their familiarity with corporate culture and the fact that they don’t require as much training to get up to speed.  This lowers the risk factor from an employer’s perspective, making boomerang employees significant competitors to other active job seekers.

Given these trends, what are the “takeaways” for new candidates to the job market?  One is that your job references are more important than ever before.  In particular:

  1. First time entrants to the job market (Gen Z) will need to begin cultivating business references asap in anticipation of future employment applications.
  2. Job seekers anticipating “gig economy” positions with higher turnover/shorter job stints will need to ensure that their references are solid at each new place of employment.
  3. Millennials seeking to bring new skills to management positions need to ensure that their resumes reflect specific accomplishments consistent with empowerment, team-oriented strategies, etc. that are validated by their references.
  4. Boomerang employees will want to ensure that no “bridges are burned” with key previous employers, parting from these employers on good terms that allow for the possibility of future re-employment with the company.
  5. All job seekers are recommended to check their key references by utilizing a firm like Allison & Taylor (www.allisontaylor.com) a third-party reference checking organization that identifies the commentary that previous employers will offer about you to potential new employers.  Approximately half of all reference checks conducted by this organization reveal employer negativity about the job seeker, something that will likely ensure that no future job offers will be forthcoming.  Be sure to have key supervisory and Human Resources contacts checked at your former places of employment to ensure that your references will be assets, not liabilities, to your next employment position.

# # #

About AllisonTaylor

AllisonTaylor and its principals have been in the business of checking references for corporations and individuals since 1984. AllisonTaylor  is headquartered in Rochester, Mich. For further details on services and procedures please visit http://www.allisontaylor.com/.

AllisonTaylor – Find us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter!

Media Contact
Jeff Shane
Jeff@AllisonTaylor.com
800-890-5645 (toll-free USA/Canada)
+1-248-672-4200
AllisonTaylor.com

Will Sending A Holiday Greeting to Your Boss Guarantee Long Term “Good” Reference?

Do’s & Don’ts In Holiday Card Etiquette For Your Career Longevity

DETROIT (Dec. 8, 2015) – In the office, the professional methods of communication are generally pretty clear.  Pick up the phone, shoot a quick note by text, instant message, email, or make a visit to someone’s office.

However – during holiday season – many employees wonder “Should I send members of my management team (not to mention bosses) some sort of holiday greeting card? If so, is it appropriate to dash off an email with holiday wishes, or is a traditional paper card the way to go?”

Reference-checking firm Allison & Taylor says yes, it is definitely a good idea to send your boss (and his or her boss) an appropriate holiday greeting.  It’s an important way to send the message that you value your relationship with the company, and respect these people as individuals.  (Additionally, surveys have shown that they are widely appreciated in the business world as a whole; recipients are more likely to do business with a company or individual that sends holiday greeting cards.)

When it comes to e-cards, Allison & Taylor suggests you forgo them for a variety of reasons. Many senior managers are older and may reflect an “old school” mentality. A greeting card sent via electronic means may be regarded by them as inappropriate, perhaps even cavalier. Additionally, such e-cards also tend to lack the “personal touch” of a card mailed individually to the boss’s door; e-cards and social media holiday greetings are often sent en masse, or (in the case of social media greetings) can be done as spur-of-the-moment responses to a comment seen on Facebook or some similar venue.

Here are some reasons why a traditional greeting card is a good idea:

  1. Connecting with your bosses (or a former boss) will help keep you top-of-mind in their awareness, translating to possible future support or opportunity.
  2. Staying in touch with bosses and colleagues via a holiday card is a subtle yet highly effective form of networking. (It’s also less expensive than taking them to lunch, and won’t violate corporate edicts if sent via personal mail.)
  3. Sending your bosses (also former bosses, colleagues, suppliers, etc.) a card demonstrates a personal touch to accompany your business relationship.
  4. Staying in the favor of your prospective employment references (particularly former bosses) is critical to your future employment success. The reference-checking firm of Allison & Taylor notes that approximately half of all reference checks they conduct reveal negative input from the references. Consider that a greeting card could prove to be a small, but critical, investment in your professional future.
  5. Developing and maintaining positive relationships with your management team, co-workers and former bosses will ultimately be a cornerstone of success in your career. Besides the use of greeting cards, there are a number of effective etiquette tips that may be appropriate for those who may ultimately become your professional references (click here for more tips).

Tips for sending the right holiday greeting card:

While sending out holiday cards is almost certainly a good idea, even this generous gesture can backfire if the proper protocols aren’t observed. Here are some additional guidelines to ensure your card is well received:

  1. Choose a high-quality holiday card that allows no possibility of offending its recipient. Remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas – be mindful of religious and cultural nuances, particularly with your international recipients.
  2. Choose a design that is appropriate for your business associates.
  3. Keep your contact list accurate and up-to-date. Make sure you’re not sending a card to someone who has left the department or the company.
  4. Check the spelling of your contacts and their corporate name. Any good points you’ll score with a holiday card will be lost if you misspell your contact’s name or corporate information.
  5. Include one of your business cards inside the greeting card. This small insertion ensures that your recipients have your most current contact information and will reinforce your name with the card’s recipient.
  6. Be sure that your inscriptions on the outside of the card are both legible and attractive. Consider using a form of calligraphy to make your recipient’s name and address visibly pleasing. Also, be sure to include your return address on the mailing envelope.
  7. Sign each card personally. It only takes a moment to sign your name and write a short greeting, and your business associates will notice and appreciate this more personal gesture.
  8. Don’t be late. In life and in business, timing is everything. Remember that many companies close during the holidays and people take vacation to be with family, so send your cards early. Also note the possibility that a recipient of your card may want (out of consideration or guilt) to respond with a card back to you prior to the holidays. Aim to have all your corporate holiday cards in the mail no later than December 15 if you’re sending them within the U.S., or earlier if you’re sending them via international mail.

A properly thought-out and created holiday card can be a wonderful asset to your business relationships.  Take the time to make this personal gesture, and it will be sure to be appreciated and remembered.

# # #

About AllisonTaylor

AllisonTaylor and its principals have been in the business of checking references for corporations and individuals since 1984. AllisonTaylor  is headquartered in Rochester, Mich. For further details on services and procedures please visit http://www.allisontaylor.com/.

AllisonTaylor – Find us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter!

Media Contact

Jeff Shane
Jeff@AllisonTaylor.com
800-890-5645 (toll-free USA/Canada)
+1-248-672-4200
AllisonTaylor.com