Facebook’s 2014 1st Quarter Earnings Show Promise in the Mobile App Arena

Facebook logo

It’s been a while since we last checked in on Facebook, so we figured we would go ahead and get you up to speed on the social media platform.

Earlier this year, the social media giant seemed to be on a roller coaster ride with investors (and just about everyone else) as they saw a mix of high and lows that elicited a range of comments, such as the controversial comparison to an infectious disease.

One roadblock that proved to be quite challenging for the social platform was the result of a drop in usage among teenagers. In November of 2013, Facebook reported a drop of 20% among teen users–from 76% in 1st quarter to 56% in the 3rd quarter of 2013–as teens started switching over to more mobile friendly apps such as Snapchat and Whatsapp.

Fortunately, their 2013 4th quarter earnings showed that Facebook was still a heavyweight contender in the realm of social media, with a 63% increase in revenue and eight-fold increase in profit for the fourth quarter. The most noticeable thing about the earnings was that Facebook reported that mobile advertising accounted for 53% of revenue in the fourth quarter, a jump up from the 23% revenue it reported a year earlier.

Still, as we mentioned in our previous posts about Facebook, even with the spike in profits, Facebook still had a long way to go before they could prove that they were in the clear. With the 2014 1st quarter earnings now in, those concerns are proving to be less of an issue.

USA Today reports that Facebook’s first-quarter earnings were $885 million (34 cents per share) on revenue of $2.5 billion, which exceeded the expected profit of 24 cents and $2.36 billion in revenue. About a year ago, Facebook rang up a profit of 12 cents and revenue of $1.46 billion.

The credit, according to Facebook, goes to their mobile marketing. As Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg stated, “mobile is a strong driver for us,” with about 60% of company’s ad sales coming from mobile devices. 

What does this mean for business?

Simply put, Facebook has definitely pulled through in the mobile app arena with a 40% increase in Facebook users–making a total of 945 million people as of December 31st, 2013–visiting the site on their mobile devices.

For now, we think it is safe to say that Facebook has made a pretty good comeback. But as with any tool in your recruiting arsenal, you need to always keep an eye on any changes that can happen.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other recruiting tools that employers can use to attract top talent, like the ones we have at AIM Careerlink. If things start going south, you know you’ll extra support with AIM Careerlink.

Leaders: 4 Reasons Why You Should Take the Blame for Your Team’s Mistakes

foreboding sky

Although it is something we hate to admit, our teams aren’t as perfect as we would like to believe. Every once in a while, our teams will run into a mistake or two.

For the most part, these mistakes are easy to manage and take care of, but when it comes to stating who is to blame, it’s easy to get into trouble.

As a leader, it is essential that you understand the impact of blame, which is why today, we are going to go over four reasons why you should take the blame for your team’s mistakes. Take a look below:

  • It creates trust. First and foremost, taking the blame for your team’s mistakes is essential to creating trust between you and them. Never take to yelling at them for what they’ve done, especially in front of others.

    Scolding your team is a poor way of dealing with the problem and does nothing to actually remedy the situation. And, as a result, it can end up making your team feel like they can’t go to you when a problem arises, potentially leading to bigger problems.

  • Your team is your responsibility. You were promoted into the leadership position because those above you saw that you possessed the skills to manage others. As such, whatever your team does should ultimately fall on you. You advise your team on most of the decisions they make, so it should probably go without saying that when they make a mistake, you may be just as guilty as they are.
  • You are the middle man. Because of your position, you also act as the connection between your team and the higher-ups. Since you most likely have a better standing with those above you, it only makes sense that you handle whatever mistakes your team makes.
  • It shows great leadership. Above all, shouldering the blame of your team is a sign of a great leader. As Forbes contributor Ekaterina Walter points out, “If there is a blame to be had, great leaders take it on. If there is a credit to be given, they give it away to others.”

Leadership is about leading people towards success, not about throwing them under the bus, so make it a habit “to take one for the team.” Doing so can make a world of difference in how they, and others, will perceive you as a leader.

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc

Leaders: 4 Ways to Gain Your Employees’ Trust

Peering down a hallway at Intel

You’ve created the perfect team, and you know that when push comes to shove that they’ll deliver the goods because they’re efficient, skilled, and smart.

They’re a dependable and trustworthy team to have, to say the least, giving you the peace of the mind that you need in order to lead them. But the employer-to-employee relationship is a two-way road. As such, what your employees think of you is just as essential as what you think of them.

One of the most important things people look for is whether or not they can trust you, so to help you make sure that you have the confidence of your employees, we thought we’d go over four ways you can gain their trust. Take a look below:

  • Be open. First and foremost, you need to be honest with your team. Set an example for your team members by showing them that honesty is your top priority. The next time someone asks, “How am I doing, boss?” you need to be ready to answer that question truthfully. You should also make sure you are responding in a sensible manner if you actually want your opinion to be taken positively. 
  • Be available. As a leader, you always need to be available. For the most part, you are the one who makes the big decisions, so it only makes sense that people will come to you when they have something big on their plate. As such, it is important that you act as inviting as possible, because nothing is worse than a leader who gives their team the cold shoulder.
  • Follow through. That old saying, “don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk,” is one that certainly applies to leadership. As a leader, you need to be able to back up what you say, because empty promises make you look very bad.
  • Stop commanding. Though this sounds counter-intuitive to leading, it’s actually what makes the best leaders so successful. Re-think the way you’ve been defining leadership. Rather than being someone who directs others, consider yourself as an advisor who is behind the scenes, helping the team when they need it.

As we said above, the employer-to-employee relationship is a two-way road, so don’t skimp out on your end of the deal. If you really want your team to go that extra mile for you, then you need to be sure you can do the same for them.

photo credit: IntelFreePress via photopin cc

Performance vs. Seniority–How Do You Promote Employees? (Part II)

walking in a suit in new york

In Friday’s post, we gave you an introduction on how to how to promote your employees.

As we mentioned, there are many way we can measure if an employee is qualified for a position–the most common two being performance and seniority–and since each measurement has its own merits, employers can get caught between the two.

To help guide you through that conversation, we thought we’d go through the pros and cons of each. On Friday, we gave you the basics of promoting through seniority, now it’s time to give you our take on the pros and cons of performance. Take a look below:

Pros of Performance 

  • More likely to deliver. Perhaps the biggest perk of hiring based on performance is that you’ll have a better understanding of where your employee stands in terms of quality. You already know they can perform well and see that they have great potential, so it only makes sense that they’ll stand a better chance at “delivering the goods.” 
  • Push for innovation. Newcomers can bring a fresh perspective to the table. Because they have only been with the company for a short amount of time, they may have a keener eye when it comes to improving the company and its structure.
  • Encourages others to work harder. With performance-based promotions, employees won’t have their seniority to fall back on for promotions. In turn, it may drive some employees who wish to move up to work harder for the position they want. 

Cons of Performance

  • Lack of loyalty. Though not always the case, those who have been with you the least amount of time may not end up being the most loyal. As a result, the amount of time and effort you spent choosing and training these employees for their new position may end up being for nothing (should they decide to leave).
  • Perceived as “unfair.” Unfortunately, long-standing employees may find performance-based promotions as a slap in the face to their commitment to the company. In turn, you may end up with some employee dissatisfaction among the ranks, and possibly a rift between the newcomers and seasoned veterans.

Promoting can be difficult, but if you go in knowing what you want and what you can get out of these promoting strategies, then you’ll have a better shot at picking the right employee.

What do you think about our performance pros and cons list? Anything you’d like to add? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: Avi Flax via photopin cc

Performance vs. Seniority–How Do You Promote Employees?

businesspeople walking on a busy exchange

When it comes to promoting employees, many people think it is as simple as choosing the most qualified person available.

However, promotions often aren’t as easy as they sound. That’s because qualifications can be measured in many different ways, with two of the most common ways being seniority and performance.

Unfortunately, the difficulty of choosing between seniority and performance doesn’t stop there. Employers can get caught between the two, because each measurement has its own merits: would you rather pick the employee who “knows the ropes” and has a good standing with just about everyone in the office? Or would you rather promote the relative newcomer who shows promise but still has to establish him or her self?

As such, we wanted to help guide you through the conversation by giving you the pros and cons of each. For today, we’ll start with the pros and cons of seniority. Take a look below:

Pros of Seniority

  • A more formalized structure. One advantage of promoting through seniority is that it’s a good way to maintain consistency in how you organize your company. In turn, employees have a better understanding of what it takes to get promoted, and a sense that if they “pay their dues,” they will move up the ladder.
  • A better understanding of the company culture. Employees who have been with you the longest will most likely have a better understanding of the company culture. As such, you know they will be able to abide by the culture as they step up to their new position, as well as impart/maintain the culture to those beneath them.
  • Established loyalty. Another thing to consider about promoting through seniority is the obvious track record the employee holds in regards to loyalty. For the employer, that means peace of mind when they know that they’re promoting someone who is less likely to move on, since they’ve already been with the company for so long.

Cons of Seniority 

  • Seniority doesn’t guarantee quality. Sure, they’ve been part of your company the longest, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they’re qualified for the position. This is perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages of promoting through seniority. Frankly, it is a pretty big disadvantage to make a gamble on when it comes to choosing who will fill your next leadership position.
  • Lack of creativity/innovation. Though not always the case, there is the likelihood that those who have been with the company for a while may not want to change things or have the capacity to innovate. In turn, their newfound leadership role may lack the creativity and innovation of their newer counterparts.

Check back on Monday when we’ll give you the pros and cons of promoting based on performance. In the meantime, what do you think about the seniority vs performance debate? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: W2 a-w-f-i-l via photopin cc

Employees: How to Have a Successful Exit Interview

two suits walking down a street

Over the past few days, we’ve gone over the much debated exit interview, focusing on employer’s side of things and helping folks decide whether or not the exit interview is the right tool for them.

Since the employee’s perspective is just as important in the exit interview as the employer’s–they are, after all, the ones being interviewed–we thought it would only make sense to talk about how you can successfully “exit” your job as you move on to the next step in your career.

Take a look below:

  • Be honest, but not brutal. Honesty is essential when it comes to having a successful exit interview. However, try to keep your level of honesty in check. There may be plenty of things you’d like to say about a colleague or supervisor, but it is better to stick to the facts and leave the colorful complaints out if you want your criticism to be taken seriously.
  • Keep it professional. You may be leaving your job, but that doesn’t mean your former employer will go away for good. Avoid going too over the top with negative criticism. There is no need to beat down on your former employer and let them know everything you hate about them, especially if you still want a recommendation from them. Keep things professional unless you want to kiss that recommendation goodbye.
  • Explain the good and the bad. When it comes to being criticized, employers are no different from you. Try to mix things up when giving them feedback. Mixing in the good and bad can help to soften the blow of your criticisms, as well as prevent your employer from thinking you are just jaded and bitter about them. In turn, they will be more likely to accept what you’re saying rather than shrugging it off as pointless banter.

Exit interviews may not be the highlight of your career, but going into one with a positive outlook and a sense of professionalism is a great way to tie up any loose ends and ensure that you are ready to move on to the next step in your career

Have you ever had an exit interview? What advice would you add to our list? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: K.G.23 via photopin cc

Exit Interviews: Are They Worth the Time, Money, and Resources? (Part III)

speed interviewing

Over the past few days, we’ve been discussing the practice of exit interviews.

As we mentioned, the world of HR is pretty divided when it comes to implementing exit interviews, which is why we’ve decided to outline the pros and cons in order to give you a better idea of what you should look for when deciding if exit interviews are right for you.

Now that we’ve gone through the pros and cons, it only makes sense for us to go a little more in depth with a few tips on how to run a successful exit interview, as well as several alternatives should you decide to go a different route. Take a look below:

Exit interview tips 

  • Mandatory but not pushy. If you want to conduct exit interviews, then it is best to not make them optional. More often than not, your employees probably won’t want to go through the trouble of an exit interview.

    That being said, don’t be pushy when it comes to administering the exit interview. Not only will it leave a bad impression on some employees, but it’s most likely not worth it if they come into the interview with a bitter mindset (especially those who already quit on the spot).

  • Who’s conducting? It’s best to leave the exit interview to HR or a third party. While it might sound like a great idea to have their supervisor conduct the interview, if the supervisor had something to do with a person leaving, a third party will help lead to a more productive and honest exit interview.
  • A “no repercussions” policy. Make it clear from the beginning that there will be no repercussions for what they say in the exit interview. This will give them the peace of mind that they won’t miss out on their next job due to a bad recommendation, as well as hopefully give you the honest feedback you want.

Alternatives to the exit interview 

  • The exit “conversation”. If you like the idea of exit interviews but find the formalities a little too much or disingenuous, then you might want to consider the exit conversation. This casual approach helps to ease the tension because of its informality, allowing you to gain valuable, honest insights, and prevent your employee from thinking they’re just part of the “big data” now. 
  • The follow-up. This one comes from Humetrics CEO and TLNT contributor, Mel Kleiman. Mel suggests waiting until your employee is settled into their new job before you contact them. If they find that their new job is less than satisfactory, simply checking in and letting them know they’re missed may persuade them to come back.
  • Re-recruiting. If you don’t like the idea of dealing with employees after they’ve left, you should try convincing them to stay while they’re still an employee. Re-recruiting is a great way to prevent turnover because it tells your employees that you are looking out for their best interest even before they consider leaving.

Are exit interviews worth it or would you rather choose one of the alternatives above? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: Samuel Mann via photopin cc

Exit Interviews: Are They Worth the Time, Money, and Resources? (Part II)

entrance to old employer

Yesterday, we started our series on exit interviews.

As we mentioned, take a survey among the HR world, and you’ll find that opinions over the merits and disadvantages of exit interviews run all over the board. As such, it can be hard for those outside of the debate to really make an educated decision on whether or not exit interviews are right for them.

That’s why we thought we’d give you a brief guide on the matter. We already talked a little bit about the pros, so to balance things out, we thought it would only make sense to give you the cons as well. Take a look below:

The Cons of Exit Interviews 

  • Misleading feedback. In a perfect world, all the feedback we would get during an exit interview would actually be useful. Unfortunately, though, that isn’t always the case. 

    Even though your employee is leaving, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be honest and straightforward with you on the time they spent working in the company. In some instances, this can be because they’re afraid of how it will affect your future recommendation, or perhaps because they’re just too jaded/burnt out and don’t feel the need to go through the exit interview process. 

    As a result, you’ll most likely get answers along the lines of “everything was great, it just didn’t work out” to “I hate this place and would never consider working here again,” both of which provide little to no concrete feedback that you can actually use to improve your company.

  • Shows lack of foresight. Another issue that is raised when it comes to exit interviews is that it shows a lack of foresight on the part of the company. It’s obviously much too late to actually do anything to keep your employee from leaving, and taking the time to prevent future hires from going down the same road seems like a disingenuous effort to tie up loose ends on the part of the former employee. 

    As a result, you end up actually putting your employer brand at risk in some cases. Those who are strongly against exit interviews believe that a proper strategy should’ve been put in place way before the employee ever thought of leaving, which in turn would’ve most likely prevented the turnover from ever happening, saving you the trouble of dealing with any exit interviews.

On Tuesday, we’ll go a little deeper into exit interviews and give you some tips on how to conduct them, as well as alternatives you can take. In the meantime, what do you think about these cons? Are they valid? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

Exit Interviews: Are They Worth the Time, Money, and Resources? (Part I)

highway signs on a grey background

When we think about what goes on in the world of HR, we tend to focus on the hiring, recruiting, and managing aspects of the department.

But there is a fourth element to HR that we tend to neglect. We are, of course, talking about the importance of how a company and their HR department handles when an employee leaves or wants to leave.

One way to handle employee turnovers is by conducting an exit interview. However, take a look around the web, and you’ll find dozens of opinions on exit interviews that sway from calling them a super valuable tool to something that isn’t even worth mentioning.

To help you navigate the conversation, we thought we would go ahead and outline some of the pros and cons associated with exit interviews. For today, we’ll focus on the pros of exit interviews. Take a look below:

The Pros of Exit Interviews 

Check back tomorrow when we give you our cons list on exit interviews. In the mean time, what do you think are the advantages of exit interviews? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

3 Ways to Keep Employees from Working Excessive Overtime

Stressed man sitting at his desk

Yesterday, we gave you three reasons why you should be concerned about employees working excessive overtime.

As we mentioned, we don’t think overtime is necessarily a bad thing–we all have to do it every once in a while–but when overtime begins to become a normal part of our routine, that’s when we see a lot of problems arise.

To help you prevent that, here are three ways you can keep your employees from working excessive overtime. Take a look below:

  1. Have realistic work expectations. Be reasonable when putting together projects. As much as we’d love to have everything put out at a lightning-fast pace, it’s just not always possible. In addition to that, forcing your employees to speed up their work can lead to less than desirable results. In most cases, quality trumps quantity, so be sure to divvy up the workload fairly, and allow a reasonable amount of time for completion.
  2. Put a cap on overtime hours. You may also want to consider putting a cap on overtime hours. Putting a detailed policy in place that they can reference can help to ensure that employees don’t overdo it when it comes to working overtime. This is a much better option than making them or your supervisors guess as to how much overtime is too much overtime. Some companies put the cap at a monthly rate, while others choose to do so annually; choose whichever is right for you. 
  3. Hire more employees. If business is booming but workloads are getting excessively heavier, then you might want to consider hiring a few extra hands to even things out. While it can be hard to match staff levels to the work demand, sometimes it is a must. Plus, every big company started somewhere, so don’t be afraid to let your company grow!

Don’t fall prey to the vicious cycle of excessive overtime. Making sure that your employees are well thought of can do wonders for your company. Not only will you have happier and healthier employees, but you’ll also have a more productive and efficient workforce–and that will help you on the road to running a successful business.

Have any tips on avoiding excessive overtime that you’d like to add to our list? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc