Arizona Cities Top The List Of The Best Places To Find A Job In 2018

Wondering where to make your next career move? You may want to pack your bags and head to the southwest. Nine cities in Arizona earned a spot on the WalletHub list of Best Places To Find A Job In 2018. And more impressively, four fell into the Top 5 for the entire United States!

The highest-ranking city outside of Arizona is San Francisco (ranked 3rd). Take a look at the top cities to find a job in Arizona.

Arizona Cities Top The List Of The Best Places To Find A Job In 2018

Chandler

Chandler, Arizona topped WalletHub’s list this year, thanks to high scores for the strength of its job market as well as favorable socioeconomic conditions for workers. The largest employer in Chandler is Intel. And other top employers include Infusionsoft, Bank of America, and PayPal.

Scottsdale

The booming healthcare and finance sectors — combined with older populations living in Scottsdale — makes it a huge hub for employment and came in at number 2 on the list. The largest employer in Scottsdale is HonorHealth (Scottsdale Healthcare). Others include Vanguard, CVS Health, Mayo Clinic and GoDaddy’s headquarters.

Peoria

Ranked number 4, this west Phoenix city has some large employers as well, including the Peoria Unified School District and the City of Peoria, along with several other contractors and retirement centers (again, indicative of the demographics and job market).

Gilbert

Located east of Phoenix and coming in at number 5, Gilbert has a quaint downtown, but also boasts large employers like the Gilbert Unified School District, Banner Health, Fry’s Food Stores, Dignity Health, Walmart and another GoDaddy campus.

Tempe

Ranked number 20, Tempe is home to Arizona State University, recognized as the #1 university in the US for innovation. Other employers in Tempe include GoDaddy’s Global Technology CenterDirect Energy, State Farm, Insight and many more.

Additional metro Phoenix cities that made the list of 182 US cities ranked by WalletHub include Mesa (56), Phoenix (61) and Glendale (81). And just two hours south of Phoenix, Tucson landed at 102 on the list.

If you’re asking yourself, “Is Phoenix a good place to find a job?” this year’s WalletHub list is pretty solid proof. Not to mention Arizona’s beautiful weather (well, with some hot summer temps) and reasonable cost of living – 84% less than San Francisco. Building your career in metro Phoenix, also dubbed the Silicon Desert, provides for more disposable income than working in Silicon Valley, 296 days of sunshine each year and an average winter temperature of 60 degrees. Learn more great facts about Arizona in this great infographic.

Learn more about the best employers in Arizona and consider making a move to one of the best places to find a job, perched in the beautiful southwest!

How To Convince A Candidate To Join Your Team

So, you’ve completed the interview process, made an employment offer and are waiting for the candidate to accept. With everything on the table, is there anything you can do now when it comes to how to convince a candidate to join your team?

With the country’s low unemployment rate (4.1% as of October 2017 — and 4.5% specifically in Arizona), employers are currently gravitating toward hiring passive candidates. It’s important now more than ever to provide benefits, a winning culture and other perks to recruit new hires.

Wondering how to convince a candidate to join your team? Keep reading for actionable tips to use during your next hiring cycle.

How To Convince A Candidate To Join Your Team: Top Tips

What are the best ways to convince someone that they should make a significant life change and switch jobs? It essentially boils down to these tips:

  • Highlight the perks
  • Listen well
  • Be honest
  • Make connections
  • Follow up

Highlight The Perks

Does your company have employee resource groups, perhaps for LGBT team members or for military veterans? Does the company take part in fun events and outings, or take time to volunteer in the community, much like the Charles Schwab team does? Highlight what it is that makes your company a desirable place to work — from a focus on diversity to an emphasis on health in the workplace, like USAA. Perhaps you have a solid leadership development program, like Direct Energy, or amazing work-life benefits (like Vanguard does). A passive job seeker is looking for a fun, inclusive, meaningful place of employment — so showcase why yours is!

Listen

Candidates want to feel like they’re completely understood. Do you know what their career goals are? How does this role with your company stack up against their goals and motivations? If it doesn’t, seek to understand why not and see if there’s a different opportunity available at your organization. Finally, listen and understand whether the role is a career move for them, or a stepping stone. It doesn’t make sense to invest in someone if they are going to leave in the near future.

Be Honest

No one likes to hear a total sales pitch when considering taking the job. Give a candidate an accurate picture of your organization and the role. Remember: nobody is perfect, no company is perfect. Speak about the strengths and weaknesses of the organization to help the candidate decide. By sharing both the good and the bad, candidates will know exactly what they’re signing up for and won’t second-guess themselves.

That also goes for the candidates — allow them to be honest, too. What would change their mind and convince them to accept the job offer? Is the timing simply off for them to make this major career change? Is it the day-to-day work itself that didn’t appeal to the applicant? Did something go wrong in the interview process that turned the candidate off? Be receptive and respectful — never pushy.

Make Connections

It’s one thing for a candidate to hear something from one hiring manager or interviewer, and it’s entirely different to hear it from someone on the team they’ll potentially be working with. Connect the job candidate with a current employee — ideally on the team they’d be working on — so candidates can ask more specific questions about the company, team and role.

And, by connecting the candidate with a team member, you’ll gain additional feedback about the candidate from that current employee. This additional insight can be very valuable when it comes to how to convince a candidate to join your team.

If it’s a really excellent candidate — one you don’t want to categorize as “the one that got away” — take them out to lunch to go over the offer again (and to talk up the role and company) and show the candidate you would love to have them on board.

Follow Up

Follow up and stay in touch with the candidate. If the time isn’t right now, keeping in touch will show that you care about them as a person and not see them as just another position to fill.

If you’re still figuring out what exactly it is that draws employees to work at your company, take a page from the Best Employers in Arizona and explore what elements of these great cultures you can incorporate into your own business model.

What other tips for how to convince a candidate to join your team would you add? Let us know on our social channels — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

No More Excuses – Why You Should Hire Veterans

The unemployment rate among military veterans is now at its lowest level in the past seventeen years. That means one thing for employers: increased competition for the best veteran talent. And with many U.S. businesses not having formal programs in place to hire veterans, there’s opportunity for savvy employers who understand that hiring veterans is a smart move.

Despite research that shows that military veterans are more productive and have less turnover than others, biases persist that are roadblocks to hiring vets. If your company is not actively pursuing veterans to join your workforce, hiring managers might need to overcome barriers like these:

“I can’t tell what they did from their resume.” The military has over 7,000 jobs across more than 100 functional areas. Most of these jobs have a direct equivalent in the civilian job force. Hiring managers need to understand what skills they’re looking for in order to understand how a veteran’s experience might fit. It might be more work for the hiring manager, but if you can uncover fresh talent in the market, won’t that be worth it?

“They don’t have the experience we need.” Are you sure? What questions did you ask? Asking directly about a veteran’s customer service experience, for example, may elicit a brief and unsatisfying response. Asking how they solved problems for teammates may tell a different story about their customer service-related crossover skills. Hiring managers increasingly need strong interviewing skills to get the most out of interviews with veterans, who typically don’t brag about their accomplishments. The need for stronger interviewing skills comes into play when recruiting other non-traditional candidates like career changers and early career professionals. Employers just need to get better at interviewing.

“I need someone who can lead, not just take orders.” This persistent stereotype has deterred some hiring managers from considering veterans. In actuality, the military provides leadership experience and great responsibility at a young age. For example, the average age of a Marine is 19. At 20, most Marines become non-commissioned officers who are placed in leadership positions. In the military, leadership training includes learning how to foster cultural inclusion, motivating a diverse workforce, solving complex problems, and accomplishing goals – all under stressful conditions.

“I don’t want to deal with PTSD.” While combat-related PTSD is a serious issue, it’s important to keep it in perspective; only 2% of veterans will be impacted by PTSD.

On the other hand, here are five reasons why hiring a veteran could positively impact your company and your culture:

  1. Veterans are adaptable. While on active duty, military men and women deal with varied circumstances that require versatility. Veterans have often traveled, worked for diverse bosses, learned different cultures, and faced adverse situations.
  2. Veterans take their responsibilities seriously. At a young age, military people learn that there are serious consequences to their decisions – sometimes involving life or death. Veterans have faced trials that most people haven’t, and as a result they learn to be responsible individuals.
  3. Veterans are loyal. While many workers jump to a new job every year, the military takes a multi-year commitment. With the high cost of hiring and training, a veteran could prove to be the best choice.
  4. Veterans truly understand teamwork. Their lives may depend on how well they work together. Increasingly, managers recognize the need to hire not only smart, talented people, but those who work well in teams and are dedicated to something larger than a paycheck.
  5. Veterans have learned resilience. Resilient people bounce back in the face of failure and setbacks; they don’t crack under pressure. Veterans have developed courage in the face of fear, which will help them face up to challenges at work.

Examples of veterans living out those principles are abundant in the work world. One example is well-known businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons, who enlisted in the Marines in 1968.  He credits that experience for his extraordinary success: “I graduated magna cum laude in college after the military. I would have never done that without the Marine Corps. I taught myself how to program a computer. I would have never done that without the Marine Corps. Everything I’ve ever done I owe to the Marine Corps.”

Consider how your staffing challenges might be solved by hiring veterans. One way to improve or increase your veteran recruiting efforts is by participating in BestCompaniesAZ’s 4th Annual Military Career Event.  Learn more here.

About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.

BestCompaniesAZ’s 4th Annual Military Career Event Set for March 7; Over a Thousand Jobs Available with Arizona’s Veteran Committed Employers

PHOENIX – Jan. 16, 2018 – BestCompaniesAZ is hosting its 4th annual Military Career Event in conjunction with Career Connectors and Birdies for the Brave® on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at the North Phoenix Baptist Church Conference Center, 5757 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ, 85012.  The Career Expo will be held from 9 AM – Noon where veterans can meet hiring representatives from more than 40 military-friendly, award winning employers. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in the hiring event that conducts job matching and potential interviews with hiring companies from 9 am – 3 pm on the day of the event.

The hiring and networking event is open to all military – active, retired, reservists — as well as their spouses and significant others. Visit MilitaryAZ.org for the registration link, event details, hiring companies, open positions and on-site resources.

“Military men and women are often celebrated for their leadership, team-building, organizational commitment, decision-making skills and advanced technical training skills,” says Denise Gredler, founder and CEO of BestCompaniesAZ. “Our goal is to bring together Arizona’s best employers and veteran resource groups to actively connect hundreds of qualified veterans with great companies who are hiring.”

BestCompaniesAZ’s Military Career Event is comprised of businesses, agencies and community partners that support the hiring, training and development of veterans. Veteran committed hiring companies include: Charles Schwab, Direct Energy, GoDaddy, Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Freedom Financial Network, State Farm, USAA, Vanguard, Allstate, NESCO Resource, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, Staff Logic and many more. Many have won workplace awards such as Arizona’s Most Admired Companies, Top Companies to Work for in Arizona, FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® in America, FORTUNE Most Admired Companies, Military Times Best for Vets Employers, or US Veterans Magazine’s Best of the Best.

The hiring event is sponsored by Cisco and the Arizona Roadmap to Veteran Employment, an initiative of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family and the Arizona Department of Economic Security. Additional event sponsors include Maricopa Community Colleges and Arizona State University.

Arizona veteran committed companies interested in sponsoring and participating in this event may contact Denise Gredler at dgredler@bestcompaniesAZ.com or call 480-545-5151 by January 31, 2018.

 

About BestCompaniesAZ – Arizona’s Employer Branding Partner
BestCompaniesAZ specializes in helping corporate clients develop, strengthen and market their unique employer brands through a variety of events, awards and communications programs.  For more information, visit BestCompaniesAZ.com. Interested sponsors can email military@bestcompaniesAZ.com  or call 480-545-5151.

About Career Connectors
Career Connectors’ mission is to connect professionals in career transition to hiring companies and quality resources. As Arizona’s fastest growing job seeker program, the organization hosts no-cost monthly job seeker events in Chandler/Gilbert, Phoenix, Glendale and North Scottsdale. For more information, visit careerconnectors.org, or call 480-442-5806.

About Birdies for the Brave®
Birdies for the Brave® is a national military outreach initiative proudly supported by the PGA TOUR.  Birdies for the Brave was originally created in 2006 by PGA TOUR player Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, to support combat-wounded veterans.  The PGA TOUR subsequently adopted Birdies for the Brave and expanded it to include a variety of military outreach initiatives, including military appreciation activities during PGA TOUR tournaments and a series Birdies for the Brave fundraising events conducted at the TOUR’s TPC clubs nationwide – an effort that has raised millions for military home front groups that are supported by TOUR players, which provide critical programs and services to meet the specialized needs of wounded heroes and military families.  For more information, please visit birdiesforthebrave.org or follow them on Facebook.

 

9 Stellar Questions To Ask An Interviewer

A job interview is a two-way street. If you get asked, “So do you have any questions for us?” at the end of an interview, never close it with “No, I don’t think so,” before parting ways. Coming prepared with questions to ask an interviewer shows you are curious about the company and the role. It also demonstrates how much effort you put into your interview prep process.

Take a look at nine excellent questions to ask an interviewer — plus a bonus topic to bring up in an interview if you’re feeling bold. Pocket these to ace your next job search!

9 Stellar Questions To Ask An Interviewer

What keeps you coming back to work here every day?

You might preface this by asking how long the interviewer has been with the company. This deep-diving question might catch the hiring manager off-guard — but it’s important to listen closely to their answer. Is it the perks that brings employees back each morning? The culture? Purpose and vision? The day-to-day work itself? Find out what keeps people on board.

What kinds of growing pains have you experienced while working with this company?

Whether it’s a small or large company, there have surely been “growing pains,” even specific to a role. Perhaps it entails missteps in hiring the wrong people, or the struggles of developing a winning culture. This is one of the top questions to ask an interviewer because, while not exactly intrusive, it opens the door just enough for a healthy discussion of what it’s like to work there.

What does a typical day in the office look like?

Though this question may seem generic, it’s important to cover. After all, you’ll want to know what your job will consist of. Who will you report to? (Can you meet this person today?) Are the hours typically 9-5, or are flexible schedules available? Does the team typically eat lunch together? Ask whatever you need to get a clear feel for what your workday will look like.

What qualities would make someone successful in this role?

Adaptability? A thick skin (perhaps for customer service-centered roles)? Collaboration? Self-direction (eliminating the need for micromanaging)? Find out what traits a successful, valuable candidate vying for this position has.

What does upward growth (and training) entail with this position?

As one of the best questions to ask an interviewer, this invites the hiring manager to lay out for you the path of a dynamic role within the company. First, find out what training you’ll receive. Then, inquire about room for mobility — can you get your feet wet in other departments? What titles and promotions are available in your current path? You can learn more about pursuing a promising leadership path here.

How is everyone’s uniqueness here celebrated?

Without directly asking, “What is the culture like here?” (see next question), this starts a conversation on teamwork and diversity. Perhaps it comes in the form of Employee Resource Groups, or celebrating every individual’s personal goals.

What is the culture like?

Posing this question at your next job interview will provide you with a broader sense of what it’s like to work there. Company outings, volunteerism, work-life balance, office camaraderie, perks — you can discover a lot from this question.

What is the company’s management style?

Does your work need to pass through many approval gates? Will you be more heavily “supervised” and guided in your role, or are you expected to follow your own compass and be a self-starter? Ask the interviewer this question to help you determine what style you’ll perform best working under.

Do you have any reservations about my qualifications?

This will get the hiring manager’s wheels spinning. After the interview, do they feel you’re perfectly aligned with the role? Are there things you still need to work on, skills you need to hone or work experience you need to have under your belt? This question may garner a simple “no,” but it could also lead to a worthwhile discussion.

BONUS: Bringing Up Glassdoor Reviews In An Interview

If you’re feeling up to it — and you saw some questionable reviews left on the company’s Glassdoor page — you might consider asking briefly about the veracity of a few posts. After all, Glassdoor is a platform where current and former employees can leave anonymous reviews, give a CEO approval rating, and so forth. It’s therefore in any job seeker’s best interest that these reviews are honest — so it doesn’t hurt to inquire about some comments or ratings left about the company.

What other questions to ask an interviewer would you add? Let us know on our social channels — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Health In The Workplace: USAA’s Focus On Wellness

According to SHRM’s 2017 Employee Benefits Report, 79% of employers experienced an increase in their health care costs from 2016-2017. Additionally, the report found that 91% of employees view health care benefits as important. So, finding ways to reduce costs — while also offering value to employees — is critical for employers to remain competitive in attracting and retaining talent in a tight employment market. Health in the workplace has become a paramount topic

A powerful example of a holistic approach to health in the workplace is USAA. Recognized by Arizona’s Most Admired Companies with a 2017 Spotlight Award for their Healthy Workplace, and also landing on The Valley’s Healthiest Employers 2017 list, USAA raises the bar when it comes to taking care of their employees’ overall health. BestCompaniesAZ recently spoke with Jennifer Griffin, Manager of RO Fitness and Wellness Recreation for USAA’s Phoenix Campus, to learn more about the variety of benefits they offer.

USAA’s Approach To Health In The Workplace

With access to a vast array of health and wellness benefits that extend far beyond health insurance, employees are set up for success at work and in their personal lives. One of their primary goals? To remove barriers for their employees and their loved ones to access physical, mental/emotional and financial health supports and resources. They look at the whole person and strive to offer benefits that not only improve their physical health, but also reduce stress and encourage greater well-being.

Improving Physical Health

USAA’s Phoenix campus features an onsite health services clinic, as well as onsite massage therapist and physical therapist. They also have a fitness center with a covered basketball court, volleyball quad and jogging/walking trails. USAA’s office of Fitness and Wellness coordinates events like a 5K that is open to employees, their families and friends. Located in North Phoenix with quick access to amazing natural resources, they also arrange group hikes in the spring and fall at local recreation areas. And “Zumba in the Dark” with glow sticks, music and your family and friends provides a fun (and healthy) way to spend a Friday night — all located on USAA’s secure campus!

The My Healthy Points program promotes healthy living activities in which participation leads to reduced health insurance premiums. Who doesn’t want to lower their healthcare costs? Participants earn points for healthy eating habits, physical fitness activities and more. And, when employees purchase healthy food at the onsite cafeterias, they get 50% off their bill!

Enhancing Emotional & Financial Health

One of the biggest stressors for people personally is financial uncertainty and strain. This stress also impacts the ability to bring your A-game to work. So as part of the My Healthy Points program, USAA employees receive an hour of free financial counseling. They are also provided resources and tools for setting up their will. Taking advantage of these benefits earns them additional points to reduce their health insurance premiums, with the added benefit of reducing stress and creating peace of mind for their financial future.

Another influence on personal stress? The everyday demands of life outside of work. To promote health in the workplace and outside the office, USAA offers employees an amazing Concierge Service. Whatever your need may be – whether it’s getting your personal grocery shopping done, getting the oil changed on your car, or doing research for your next family reunion – employees can schedule the concierge service to take care of those everyday, or additional, life projects. And, the best part? It only costs them $5 per hour! Wouldn’t you have someone get your oil changed if it cost you just an extra $5 to do it?!

The aforementioned examples are just a few of the ways USAA is providing a high level of benefits that improve the physical, emotional and financial health of their employees and their families. As USAA’s Phoenix campus looks ahead to expanding their workforce by nearly 1,000 IT professionals by the end of 2020, they continue to evaluate ways to meet the health and wellness needs of their employees and the talent they look to attract.

Are you thinking you would enjoy benefits for health in the workplace like these? Then head on over to scan through USAA’s current career opportunities!  

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona Partners with C ity of Phoenix for Multi – Neighborhood , 4 – Year Revitalization Project in Warehouse District

Phoenix, AZ – December 22, 2017 — Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat) announced it received approval from the Phoenix City Council last week for a multi- year contract to develop and build new affordable housing and fix existing homes in Central City South neighborhoods in Phoenix.

Phoenix is contributing 30 vacant lots that will enable Habitat to build 31 new homes over the next four years. “We will be building homes and revitalizing neighborhoods and parks in Matthew Henson Village, the Grant and Central Park neighborhoods, and other contiguous areas. This expands our opportunity to improve the areas within these boundaries and engage with residents of several different neighborhoods,” said Jason Barlow, President and CEO of Habitat. Repairs can range from minor to major, but typically include such improvements as roofing, paint, landscaping, plumbing, air conditioning and window replacements which improve energy efficiency and help make houses more affordable for occupants.

The Phoenix City Council also approved a proposal for the allocation of $100 thousand dollars to execute the contracts. While Habitat does not have land for a community center specifically allocated within this project, it is evaluating various Central City South neighborhoods for Neighborhood Revitalization projects that would engage residents, Habitat volunteers and individual and corporate philanthropic sponsors.

Barlow said, “We’re grateful for the land as well as the partnership with the City of Phoenix, which is going to enable Habitat to jumpstart project development early in 2018. When this project is completed, over the next four years, we expect to see more families owning safe, affordable homes in the area.”

Linsie Kalland, Habitat director of grants, compliance and procurement said that this project was designed to help residents whose income is at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income. The homes within this program will be sold to qualified applicants at affordable prices with no interest on the loans which will be financed through Habitat. Recipients qualify by paying for the property and contributing “sweat equity” toward their own home and others through Habitat’s programs.

By upgrading the living conditions of these hard-working people, we’re improving the lives of families, individuals and businesses who want their employees to have safe, secure housing,” said Maribel Saucedo, director of family services at Habitat. “Habitat sells the homes based on their appraised value, but the price is also based on what the owner-occupants can afford. Most homes come equipped with all the necessary appliances, including refrigerator, stove, microwave and disposal.”

Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego, whose district the project is located in said, “We’re pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona to create quality housing for underserved populations. Their community engagement, programs, and broad support give us great confidence the results achieved under Habitat’s leadership will be exceptional.”

When Habitat begins outreach in early 2018, it will start with owner-occupied homes in need of repairs and upgrades. Habitat employees will canvas the community, going door-to-door to seek partnerships with residents who are seeking home improvements. The lots are primarily located between 7th Avenue and 15th Avenue as far north as Grant Street and as far south as Pima Street. An overlay is available to show the initial areas slated for development. (see below)

 Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona

 

About Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat) is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the renowned humanitarian organization based in Atlanta. Each affiliate operates as a separate 501c3 nonprofit, and is responsible for leading its own fundraising and operations management, while adhering to the Habitat for Humanity mission of serving communities within its area. Habitat also promotes volunteer programs with corporations, groups, churches and individuals. Their services include new home construction, re-constructions, renovations, repairs (even emergency repairs) and most recently, entire neighborhood revitalization projects. Consistently ranked among the Top 10 of 1,300 affiliates nationally, Habitat has built more than 1,100 homes in the metro Phoenix area. To learn more, please visit habitatcaz.org, or find us on Twitter @habitatcaz.

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Media Contact:
Dusty Parsons
Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona
602-448-5758
dusty@habitatcaz.org
habitatcaz.org

4 Ways to Boost Your Job Search During the Holiday Season

If you’re in the job market, either right now or planning to be at the start of 2018 — your timing is impeccable. Contrary to widespread belief, December and January both mark ideal months for job hunting, for various reasons. When it comes to nailing the job search during the holidays, there are some tips to keep in mind.

If you’re looking for a new job now, don’t halt your search over the holidays! It’s actually a myth that nobody hires over the holidays; businesses still have openings. And you can bet overworked, short-staffed hiring managers aren’t taking three weeks off. Decision-makers are still in the office.

That’s not to say hiring managers aren’t distracted from their daily tasks. In December, many managers clean out their emails, organize their files, plan, and review resumes they don’t typically have time to deal with. With fewer resumes rolling in, and hiring managers potentially more accessible, you may get a head start on other candidates. Yes, hiring does face a slow-down in December, but applications slow down even more. That gives you an advantage if you don’t pause your search.

Boost Your Job Search During The Holidays

You’re not the only one considering making a change. Every year, a number of workers give their notice over the holidays. They’re accepting offers for new positions that start in early January. Perhaps somebody just vacated your dream job, and recruiters love to fill those openings during the holidays. So, what are you waiting for?

That being said, it’s true that in some companies, hiring does lag in December and speeds up again in January. If you’re thinking of looking for a new job for the new year, it’s time to get started right now.

Here are four things you can do over the holidays to be ahead of the pack on January 1:

  1. Refresh your resume. If your resume hasn’t been updated in the past year, it needs a refresh. Resumes are trending shorter and more concise, so refreshing your resume means deleting older information as well as adding recent, more relevant accomplishments. Update the font and format while you’re at it.
  2. Polish your social brand. Does your LinkedIn profile glow? Is it time to change your photo, refine your summary, or add anything to your profile? Take some time to write endorsements for people you respect. If you need endorsements, ask a few people who have worked with you closely. They may have more time to help you now than they will in January. Join a few relevant groups and post comments. Take a look at your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to make sure they’re job-search ready.
  3. Do your research. Spend some time “shopping” for your next company. Check out award-winning employers, since they are already recognized as great places to work. Are you looking for a casual, fun culture like GoDaddy; a promising career path in IT at USAA; or do you want a professional setting with formal career development programs like Charles Schwab? If you see a future in managing a team, Direct Energy’s strength lies in developing great managers.
  4. Start your cover letter. Write a killer intro, and a few paragraphs you can interchange and modify according to the opportunity. Cover letters can be surprisingly hard to write, especially at the last minute when everything else is ready to submit — so prepare now.

Whether you’re already searching or plan to start your search soon, December and January are ideal months for a job hunt. Your timing is perfect for finding a dream job with a top company! Follow the above tips to boost your job search during the holidays.

About the Author

Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.

And that’s a wrap! Reflecting on a big year at BestCompaniesAZ

As 2017 draws to a close, we are so grateful for the amazing response to our 100 Best Arizona Companies list and all the corresponding stories we told throughout the year. We first focused on our six main 100 Best categories:

In addition to the six main categories, we looked at the Best Companies for:

With nearly 40,000 page views for the 100 Best content, thousands of people learned about these wonderful organizations who make our state such a great place to live and work. And, to cap it off, we had a wonderful evening on December 5 celebrating and networking with many of the 100 Best and the charities they support. (The images on the right showcase what a great turnout this was — many thanks to all who attended!)

Thank you for engaging with these stories this year! We will have more great company features and career advice coming in 2018. Wishing you a wonderful holiday!

The BestCompaniesAZ Team

Want to catch a glimpse of this year’s successes recognizing great companies? To view our BestCompaniesAZ magazine PDF, click the image below.

Happy Holidays! Here’s to a bright 2018 — stay tuned for more great career content and employer highlights!

Thank you for another successful year! Follow BestCompaniesAZ on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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The Best Companies For Perks

It’s no wonder 57 percent of job seekers consider a company’s perks and benefits to be among their primary considerations before accepting a job offer. It’s as important for employee happiness as it is for employer branding — and some companies have their perks down.

Although this list could run much longer, we selected the following 15 of the 100 Best Arizona Companies for their unique, helpful and fun perks they provide employees. Charles Schwab, Direct Energy, GoDaddy, Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Infusionsoft, Longboard Asset Management, meltmedia, Progrexion, Protiviti, Quarles & Brady, Ryan, Spear Education, USAA, Vanguard, and Zocdoc. Get to know a few of them below.

Best Companies for Perks

Direct Energy

best companies for perksAlthough paid leave and insurance benefits typically remain fairly standard across the board in medium-large sized companies, Direct Energy benefits stand out and are rated much higher than most top companies.  Most noteworthy? Their 12 weeks paid parental leave for men and women — a benefit virtually unheard of nationwide. Combined with flexible schedules, this benefit supports family life. There is a choice of health plans with strong premium subsidies, overall earning the company a 95% positive rating for benefits* where in even award-winning companies 75% is considered the norm. *According to their employee survey results from the 2017 Top Companies to Work for In Arizona program.

Direct Energy was also included in the 2015 and 2016 Phoenix Business Journal’s “Healthiest Employers in AZ.”  Apropos for an energy company, Direct Energy believes in burning calories and not electricity. Employees are encouraged to be their best, and that includes supporting one’s health and well-being.

From fitness partnerships to nutritional support, and opportunities to incorporate good habits into daily work life, Direct Energy hosts an in-house health and wellness program that expands to every office, with opportunities for all employees. One example: an indoor fitness track that provides an indoor path to walk for exercise on Arizona’s hot summer days. Their Tempe campus came in #1 (of seven Direct Energy sites) in the company’s recent Health & Wellness initiative called “DE in Motion.” With the additional $4,666 raised, they have now raised $19K for Phoenix Children’s Hospital YTD. A company who gives back to their community while encouraging healthy habits. That’s a win-win!

Infusionsoft

best companies for perksInfusionsoft empowers employees to think big, own outcomes and drive results. So much so that they have a performance focused rewards and recognition program that goes beyond your typical congratulatory certificate. Each month Infusionsoft dishes out cold hard cash to deserving Infusionites for various achievements – innovation, multiplying people, customer success, just to name a few. Recipients are recognized during companywide meetings by various senior leaders and highlighted onstage for their contributions to helping millions of small businesses succeed.

The results-focused company encourages employees to spend time on (and with) the things that are important to them outside of their careers. That’s why Infusionsoft offers a flexible PTO plan and work-from-home policy that makes that a possibility. Need time off for a vacation? A mental health day to recharge? Infusionsoft wants these things to serve as a win for you, your team, their customers, and the company overall.

The #infusionlife includes monthly themed tailgates, a fully stocked cereal bar, a Coke Freestyle machine, ping pong tournaments, an indoor football field meeting area, 24-hour hackathons, Food Truck Fridays, happy hours, even breakfast with one of our execs, just to name a few.

Protiviti

At Protiviti, their time-off program includes 20 days per year for sick, personal and vacation time (after every 3 years, employees receive an extra 3 days, to a maximum of 30 days). They also have a sabbatical program which offers 1-3 months leave with a stipend.

In addition to their Adoption Assistance and Paid Parental Leave benefits, Protiviti also offers Flexible Work Arrangements. That way, team members can temporarily adjust their schedules or workloads to focus on other priorities.  Employees can also leverage the Backup Dependent Care program to provide reliable care for loved ones in a pinch.

Some additional perks that keep employees happy at Protiviti? Their PROPS program was extended to recognize employee achievements; points allow team members to redeem for gifts — from movie tickets to iPads to hot air balloon rides. And Protiviti’s employee referral program includes payouts starting at $5,000 for consultants and increasing based on position level. On occasions when boosting recruitment, they have also offered added incentives; that includes gift cards for people who share referral success stories on the firm’s intranet, and a chance to win a trip for two (up to $2.5k value)!

Quarles & Brady

best companies for perksIn addition to the highly competitive benefits package Quarles & Brady employees enjoy, the team also receives numerous perks that are not only fun, but helpful! Employees enjoy flexible work schedules, a formal mentoring program, professional development opportunities, ongoing training programs, personal day annually above vacation benefits, bereavement leave, attendance awards, employee referral awards, periodic casual days and team building events. An added bonus: free food and drinks, including fresh brewed Starbucks coffee machines, tea and cocoa, along with break rooms with kitchens on all floors.

Quarles & Brady has a commitment to employee wellness, demonstrated by their discounted health club memberships, paid maternity and paternity leave, on-site nursing rooms, monthly fitness challenges, QBLivingWell website with health/nutritional information, Bright Horizons backup child and elder care, flu shots on-site, firm softball team and more!

best companies for perksQuarles also has instituted some great employee traditions including: Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day celebration, summer ice cream socials, Cinco de Mayo lunch, Firm holiday party, annual “Bring Your Child to Work Day” full-day event, and their annual staff appreciation week.

Zocdoc

According to a recent survey Zocdoc conducted in partnership with Kelton Global, three out of five employed Americans feel uncomfortable leaving work for preventive care appointments, with the majority citing their employer or company culture for making them feel that way. To remove this barrier between work and health, Zocdoc introduced Unsick Day, a new type of day off from work— without penalty, and with explicit permission and encouragement. It allows employees to take care of the important healthcare appointments that are easy to put off, such as physicals and teeth cleanings.

Zocdoc is also calling on other companies to empower every working American to take the time to go to the doctor before they get sick. Zocdoc is inviting all forward-thinking companies to join the movement at www.unsickday.com, and employees can also visit the site to request an Unsick Day from their company.

Another unique benefit they offer? Zocdoc pays 100% of the healthcare insurance costs for full-time team members as well as their dependents. Their mission is to give power to the patient. That mantra starts with Zocdoc’s employees and also their families.

It’s pretty incredible the amazing ways employers are taking care of their employees in both big and small ways. Are you ready to move on to bigger and better benefits? Browse career paths with these Best Companies for Perks.