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Cool employers and how to look beyond a job title
Episode 1328th July 2021 • Careers & Coffee • Corridor Careers
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In this chat, Dan and Liz discuss what makes a company a great place to work. Sometimes the very structure of the company lends itself to becoming a potential great place to work. Next they talk about how job titles are often just creative suggestions and the real job is in the description -using skill and industry matching can often lead to a better fit.

Mentions:

Iowa Emci Skills Assessment

Simon Sinek talks trust between Employer/Employee

Transcripts

Dan Holterhaus:

All right. Good morning, Liz, guys and girls,

Dan Holterhaus:

Eastern Iowa, how we doing another episode of careers and

Dan Holterhaus:

coffee.

Liz Kennedy:

It's a great day in Cedar Rapids.

Dan Holterhaus:

Another great day, summer day, it's hot. My

Dan Holterhaus:

plants are dying in my yard. So I got to get some we need some

Dan Holterhaus:

water. We need some rain. Hopefully it comes soon. But,

Dan Holterhaus:

you know, it's summertime. What can I expect? Yeah. Well,

Dan Holterhaus:

today, let's just go ahead and dive right into it. Let's talk

Dan Holterhaus:

about what makes an employer a great place to work. Yeah. And,

Dan Holterhaus:

and I know I've worked at, I think I'm on my seventh or so

Dan Holterhaus:

employers since college. But, Liz, I want to know from you

Dan Holterhaus:

what you think makes an employer a great place to work?

Liz Kennedy:

Yeah, I can't even count how many places...Okay, so

Liz Kennedy:

good places and bad places. I think the bad ones are easy to

Liz Kennedy:

pick out right? Like, trust, there's no trust. And there was

Liz Kennedy:

a great our leadership CEO sent around a training yesterday,

Liz Kennedy:

that was great from Simon Sinek about trust and how important

Liz Kennedy:

that is, in a workplace. If you don't, if you don't trust that

Liz Kennedy:

your employees are going to do their jobs, or vice versa. More

Liz Kennedy:

importantly, the employees don't trust that the managers are

Liz Kennedy:

going to follow through or feel like they're being watched, you

Liz Kennedy:

know, If there's just no trust between leadership and the

Liz Kennedy:

general workforce that a look at a company that is definitely

Liz Kennedy:

going to be a downer place to work. And one of the examples he

Liz Kennedy:

shared was like the same employee working two jobs. So he

Liz Kennedy:

was working at a coffee shop.

Liz Kennedy:

And was just like, the greatest employee at the coffee shop, was

Liz Kennedy:

super engaging, was great at his job and just was a joy to be

Liz Kennedy:

around. And then he said, you know, do you like your job, and

Liz Kennedy:

he's like, I love my job. And here's why. And then he told him

Liz Kennedy:

about his other job that he had, where he didn't love that job.

Liz Kennedy:

And it was like, he felt like the managers were always

Liz Kennedy:

watching him to make sure I always tried to catch him doing

Liz Kennedy:

something wrong, and just was not a positive work environment.

Liz Kennedy:

So trust. And that's difficult in the job interview, I think to

Liz Kennedy:

figure out what do you how do you think you would know that

Liz Kennedy:

you could trust an employer when you're interviewing with them?

Dan Holterhaus:

Yeah, I mean, for me, that's a really good

Dan Holterhaus:

question. I think I go back to it was probably much easier to

Dan Holterhaus:

kind of get to know somebody and get to see their body language

Dan Holterhaus:

before all this, you know, zoom, and everything when you could go

Dan Holterhaus:

in and you can see the physical work location, you know, maybe

Dan Holterhaus:

meet some other people that were in the office as well. But yeah,

Dan Holterhaus:

I think, I think for me, it just comes back to do you, could you

Dan Holterhaus:

see yourself getting along with those people? Like, Are those

Dan Holterhaus:

your people? And do you feel some sort of like energy? When

Dan Holterhaus:

you go to that location? Or when you're talking with those, you

Dan Holterhaus:

know, somebody who's interviewing you, you're your

Dan Holterhaus:

future boss, potentially? Are you inspired? Can you see

Dan Holterhaus:

yourself maybe moving into their role someday? Do you like what

Dan Holterhaus:

that company does? So I think, yeah, some of it comes back to

Dan Holterhaus:

your own goal setting too, right. And we got some resources

Dan Holterhaus:

for, you know, finding your skill set, which I know you want

Dan Holterhaus:

to touch on. But I think kind of having a good idea of what you

Dan Holterhaus:

want, beforehand is huge in determining like, if you're

Dan Holterhaus:

going to enjoy that workplace, and if that employer is going to

Dan Holterhaus:

be a good fit for you.

Liz Kennedy:

Yeah. Um, like, I think maybe one of those pointed

Liz Kennedy:

questions you could ask during the interview, like when they

Liz Kennedy:

say, you know, do you have any more questions, at the end, a

Liz Kennedy:

good question, maybe to ask, like, what's the expectation for

Liz Kennedy:

employees work? You know, how do you know, how do you hold

Liz Kennedy:

employees accountable? And a question like that could kind of

Liz Kennedy:

illustrate their management style, or like the company

Liz Kennedy:

management style of how they monitor work? That might be

Liz Kennedy:

helpful and understanding just like the process of, you know,

Liz Kennedy:

how do you know? How will I know I'm doing a good job, and how

Liz Kennedy:

will you know that I'm doing a good job? Because those are

Liz Kennedy:

gonna be questions you have that first day when you walk in. And

Liz Kennedy:

you're like, Ha, new job. What, what is expected of me? And

Liz Kennedy:

those other kind of good questions to ask in that

Liz Kennedy:

interview, especially if it's kind of a second round interview

Liz Kennedy:

and you feel like okay, I feel comfortable with these people.

Liz Kennedy:

Yeah. And then obviously, like, stay away from the obvious,

Liz Kennedy:

like, if they make wild claims, like you see around town right

Liz Kennedy:

now, like the signs like make $10,000 in two weeks, you know,

Liz Kennedy:

like, that is not legit.

Dan Holterhaus:

A little bit of a red flag, if that's Call this

Dan Holterhaus:

number and make $10,000 this week,

Liz Kennedy:

Right? Any red flags that you get - you should

Liz Kennedy:

pay attention to those red flags, because they're there for

Liz Kennedy:

a reason, and talk it over with another person say like, Hey,

Liz Kennedy:

what do you think about this? If you don't know what the location

Liz Kennedy:

is of the employer, that's a big one. Sure. Even if you're

Liz Kennedy:

working from home, you know, even if it's a remote position,

Liz Kennedy:

and probably especially if it's a remote position, you need to

Liz Kennedy:

know where is that company located? And where's their

Liz Kennedy:

corporate corporate office located? Is it legitimately a

Liz Kennedy:

company you can google company locations to see, you know, Is

Liz Kennedy:

this legit. And occasionally, we've gotten some posting on

Liz Kennedy:

Corridor Careers, which we've turned down because we're like,

Liz Kennedy:

because we check and see like, this is not a familiar company

Liz Kennedy:

to us. And it doesn't sound right. Anything that sounds even

Liz Kennedy:

anything that gives off like, just the feeling of like, I'm

Liz Kennedy:

not sure about this, we'd rather not post that job to our board.

Liz Kennedy:

Because job seekers are vulnerable. I mean, they're

Liz Kennedy:

looking for some kind of solution to their next career

Liz Kennedy:

path step. And sometimes, if it's too good to be true, it

Liz Kennedy:

probably is.

Dan Holterhaus:

Yeah, there's, you should definitely be able to

Dan Holterhaus:

find a little bit of company information, whether it's on

Dan Holterhaus:

Google, you can see reviews on there, or on Facebook, I know,

Dan Holterhaus:

I've done that, I think I was getting some flooring, or

Dan Holterhaus:

carpeting put down in my old place that I lived in. I hadn't

Dan Holterhaus:

really heard of this company before they were, you know, in,

Dan Holterhaus:

in our area. And so they didn't have a website. So I got on

Dan Holterhaus:

Facebook and look them up on there. I was like, okay, they

Dan Holterhaus:

had some reviews on there. And they showed a few pictures. So I

Dan Holterhaus:

was like, okay, like, you know, legit company. So there's a lot

Dan Holterhaus:

of different ways to be research. Kind of circling back,

Dan Holterhaus:

Liz, I want you, I know, you want to touch on a great

Dan Holterhaus:

resource. And we've mentioned it before on the podcast. And

Dan Holterhaus:

that's the owner resource for kind of figuring out your skills

Dan Holterhaus:

and perhaps kind of what your tendencies are in the workplace,

Dan Holterhaus:

and what might be a good fit. What do you have

Liz Kennedy:

a couple resources? Um, well, we'll link to this in

Liz Kennedy:

the show notes. But like, there's, if you're like, not

Liz Kennedy:

really finding a job title that appeals to you, I would suggest

Liz Kennedy:

that I had a conversation with a job seeker last Friday, where it

Liz Kennedy:

was like, really, a light bulb went off in my head of like,

Liz Kennedy:

Hey, this is hard. You know, like, I understand that. I don't

Liz Kennedy:

pay attention to job titles so much, I pay more attention to

Liz Kennedy:

categories. And the reason I do that is because there's so much

Liz Kennedy:

finagling that happens at the HR level of like, job titles will

Liz Kennedy:

change over time, or maybe they get souped up by somebody in the

Liz Kennedy:

managers team that thinks, Oh, well, we should call it this.

Liz Kennedy:

And sometimes your job title is changed. so that it can justify

Liz Kennedy:

a we can justify a different salary level or, or a different

Liz Kennedy:

a different work skill set, as companies change over time. And

Liz Kennedy:

so I, I wouldn't pay too much attention to the job title,

Liz Kennedy:

especially if it's funky. And it doesn't really make sense to

Liz Kennedy:

you, but pay attention to the category it's in. And there's a

Liz Kennedy:

career of resource called the emci assessment. And you can

Liz Kennedy:

take it either as a six question questionnaire that just give you

Liz Kennedy:

kind of like a brief overview of like, here's where you might,

Liz Kennedy:

these are the industries, you might be most suited to, what

Liz Kennedy:

you're going to also take the same assessment with a 60

Liz Kennedy:

question questionnaire, which is going to be much more in depth

Liz Kennedy:

and much more matched to your kind of preferences and skill

Liz Kennedy:

sets. And what it spits out at the end is kind of like a list

Liz Kennedy:

of here's some industries and maybe some job titles that you

Liz Kennedy:

should consider. And then you can take that information and

Liz Kennedy:

like, Okay, well, I'm really good at customer service. I

Liz Kennedy:

don't necessarily want to be on the phone every day, but I might

Liz Kennedy:

want to use those customer service skills because I'm

Liz Kennedy:

strong, they're strong, I have strong skills in Customer Care.

Liz Kennedy:

And so you might think about, okay, well, how else could I use

Liz Kennedy:

customer service, and admin and clerical jobs, always use that

Liz Kennedy:

skill set as well. Any kind of teamwork is definitely going to

Liz Kennedy:

use those kind of same communication skills. So you can

Liz Kennedy:

kind of just kind of move around using job titles or, or I mean,

Liz Kennedy:

categories, job categories, and industries to kind of understand

Liz Kennedy:

where you might make a good fit.

Dan Holterhaus:

Yeah, I agree. And I think that's a super good

Dan Holterhaus:

point about you know, finding that Job industry that kind of

Dan Holterhaus:

makes sense to you. And I mean, even, you know, I've read some

Dan Holterhaus:

books in the past that basically said, you know, especially if

Dan Holterhaus:

you're just getting started in your career, get in to the

Dan Holterhaus:

industry or like with the company, if you can, even if

Dan Holterhaus:

it's at a very ground level, right, and you can work your way

Dan Holterhaus:

into the job. I mean, most people don't have their dream

Dan Holterhaus:

jobs, you know, fresh out of school. And sometimes not many,

Dan Holterhaus:

many years after that either, right? But if you can get into

Dan Holterhaus:

an industry and something that you're interested in, and grow

Dan Holterhaus:

into, you know, that role that that you may want long term.

Dan Holterhaus:

That's really, that's really a good way to go about it, I

Dan Holterhaus:

think,

Liz Kennedy:

Yeah, I'm just kind of piggyback to like, what makes

Liz Kennedy:

a good company, you know, like a great place to work. Obviously,

Liz Kennedy:

benefits are going to be something that you care about,

Liz Kennedy:

you know, what, what kind of benefits does company offer

Liz Kennedy:

because it kind of clues you into what they find is

Liz Kennedy:

important. But the structure of the company is also important.

Liz Kennedy:

And I'm biased because I work in an ESOP, which is an employee

Liz Kennedy:

stock ownership plan, like an employee owned company. So I see

Liz Kennedy:

the value of what an ESOP has to offer. And there are more and

Liz Kennedy:

more companies that are transitioning to ESOP or some

Liz Kennedy:

level of shared employee ownership because they see that

Liz Kennedy:

value of sharing profits with their employees. And it's just a

Liz Kennedy:

little bit kind of a different style of company. And then, you

Liz Kennedy:

know, just a regular corporate or publicly owned company,

Liz Kennedy:

they're just going to have different priorities. So ESOP's

Liz Kennedy:

are something to look for, generally, a company that is an

Liz Kennedy:

ESOP will brag about it to no end. So it's not going to be a

Liz Kennedy:

mystery that their employee-owned, they're going to

Liz Kennedy:

tell you. Um, there's other companies called B Corp, which

Liz Kennedy:

like New Pi, New Pioneer Coop, I think, is on the road to

Liz Kennedy:

becoming a B Corp. And there's some really stringent policies

Liz Kennedy:

to become a B Corp has everything to do with, you know,

Liz Kennedy:

how they treat their employees to sustainability. And so

Liz Kennedy:

there's some kind of like ecological ties with B corps and

Liz Kennedy:

things like that. It's a very interesting type of company to

Liz Kennedy:

work for as well. And then sometimes, it's helpful just to

Liz Kennedy:

kind of understand that you kind of read into a company a little

Liz Kennedy:

bit, sometimes in their job descriptions, when they talk

Liz Kennedy:

about what it's like to work at their company. It will clue you

Liz Kennedy:

in as to whether or not might be a good place to work. Most of

Liz Kennedy:

the companies that I would say all the companies that post to

Liz Kennedy:

Corridor Careers have a leg up because they're, you know,

Liz Kennedy:

they're really interested in hiring local employees. And

Liz Kennedy:

that's why they're posting to our job board. So I think all

Liz Kennedy:

the employees, employers that post on our board are worth

Liz Kennedy:

looking at.

Dan Holterhaus:

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, they're,

Dan Holterhaus:

they're obviously looking to hire for a reason, right? They

Dan Holterhaus:

have more business. They're good companies, right? Like, that's a

Dan Holterhaus:

lot of the reasons why our local businesses here need need good

Dan Holterhaus:

employees, because they're good businesses themselves. So any

Dan Holterhaus:

parting words,

Liz Kennedy:

I would just say look beyond the job description.

Liz Kennedy:

So you know, if, like, for instance, there are some jobs on

Liz Kennedy:

our board that might be like, there was one that was like a

Liz Kennedy:

friend's 'Friends Ambassador' or some kind of a little bit

Liz Kennedy:

different type of job title, not quite sure what that means. So

Liz Kennedy:

be curious about some of those jobs that are a little bit

Liz Kennedy:

different. Read into the job description, and you'll just

Liz Kennedy:

scan through, you'll get a sense in the first paragraph. Okay,

Liz Kennedy:

this might be for me, that particular job was all about

Liz Kennedy:

coordinating a travel group, you know, and so you wouldn't think

Liz Kennedy:

ambassador and friends would be, you know, I would title that job

Liz Kennedy:

probably differently if it was me, but look beyond some of

Liz Kennedy:

those job titles because you might find a really cool job

Liz Kennedy:

that's going to match your skillset and be really

Liz Kennedy:

rewarding.

Dan Holterhaus:

Cool, all right. Good stuff was all right that's

Dan Holterhaus:

gonna do it for us. careers and coffee.

Dan Holterhaus:

We'll see you next time, guys. Thank you.