BEP 403 – Recruiting 2: Developing the Job Description

English for HR - BEP 403 - Developing the Job Description

Welcome back to Business English Pod for the second in our two-part series on recruiting. Today we’re going to focus on developing the job description.

In the current business climate, the competition for talent is fierce. People looking for work have an array of choices. And because company loyalty isn’t what it once was, people are apt to change jobs every few years. For these reasons, companies have to stay sharp when it comes to recruiting, not to mention retention.

So how can you find the “right” person for a job? Well, that begins with understanding the job itself. In our last lesson we looked at how to identify needs and changes to a role. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to develop a suitable job description, and progress on to the hiring phase of the recruiting process.

Developing the job description will require you to outline duties and responsibilities as well as key qualifications for the role. You’ll also have to describe the required experience and personality fit. And in the modern workplace, you’ll likely find yourself discussing in-person versus virtual modes of working.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Steph, an HR manager, and Maya, a recruiter, as they talk with Josh. Josh is a marketing manager who’s looking to hire a new brand manager. They’ve discussed the role’s changing needs, and now they’re putting together a job description.

Listening Questions

1. What are the minimum qualifications for the role as far as education?
2. How many years of management experience is required for a successful candidate?
3. In terms of personality fit, what two characteristics does Josh say are desirable?

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BEP 402 – Recruiting 1: Identifying Needs

BEP 402 - HR English - Recruiting 1: Identifying Needs

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson, the first in a two-part series on recruiting. In this lesson, we’ll focus on identifying your recruiting needs.

The world of human resources has changed dramatically over the past few years. There is more movement in the workforce than ever before, with many people retiring, starting new careers, switching jobs, and reevaluating their priorities. And this kind of movement isn’t likely to stop. The latest generation to enter the workplace have very different values than their parents, and it feels like the days of employee loyalty are officially over.

So how can individual companies deal with these shifts? Well, many HR professionals will tell you that you need to “always be recruiting.” This approach involves a change in mindset for many businesses. It’s about constantly thinking about your changing staffing needs, adapting your systems and approaches when necessary, and strong networking.

A big part of smart recruiting involves identifying your changing needs. When you sit down to look at a role, you might start with an overall description. But then you need to assess changes to the role and compare new needs against former role descriptions. As you build a new job description, you should also ask whether there are skills gaps on the team. And you should develop a general picture of your ideal candidate.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to a conversation between Josh, Steph, and Maya. Josh is a marketing manager looking to hire a new brand manager. Steph is an HR manager, and Maya is in charge of recruitment. Together they’re working out how the brand manager role should look.

Listening Questions

1. What kinds of changes to the role does Josh describe?
2. What specific skills does the team lack that can be a part of the changing brand manager role?
3. How does Maya describe the ideal candidate for the position?

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Skills 360 – Managing Up 2: How to Manage Up

Skills 360 - Management English: Managing Up (2)

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on English management skills and how to manage up.

Many of us silently yearn for an easy relationship with our boss, one in which he can understand us intuitively. But managers are human. They can’t read minds any better than you can. And even the best ones make mistakes. That’s why today I want to talk about how to “manage up.” I’m talking about using strategies for enhanced collaboration between you and your boss. I want to show you how you can initiate these strategies, rather than waiting for your boss to become a better manager.

The right attitude is critical if you want to learn to manage up. Start by de-escalating any resentment you have toward your boss. Open yourself up to the idea of collaborating with your boss. And cultivate a spirit of learning. Even if you don’t see your boss as a mentor, there’s lots you can learn from him.

With the right attitude, you can then go about trying to understand your boss better. Reflect on what you know about the person. Ask yourself: what is this person’s experience and background? Then, how does this experience and background inform his core values?

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Skills 360 – Managing Up 1: Working with your Boss

Skills 360 - Management English: Managing Up (1)

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on English management skills and managing up.

There’s an old saying that people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. And according to a recent study, 65% of people would choose a new boss over a pay raise. Without a doubt, our job satisfaction is heavily influenced by the quality of our boss.

But if your boss doesn’t understand you, or doesn’t know how to manage you, or is outright incompetent, you don’t have to suffer in silence. In fact, even people who have great bosses can benefit from what we call “managing up.”

So, what do I mean by managing up? Well, on a basic level, managing up is all about teaching your boss how to be a good manager to you. It’s about improving communication, understanding, and collaboration so that you both benefit from the working relationship.

A lot of us are stuck in a particular way of thinking about power, in other words: your boss has it, and you don’t. But you need to think about your relationship with your boss as one in which you have choice and agency. You can influence outcomes and behavior and improve your work life by improving understanding.

When we manage up, we acknowledge that different people have different ways of communicating, behaving, and working. And we work to understand our boss’s particular style and approach. Think deeply about her expectations, her needs, her preferred communication style, and her goals. Once you have this understanding, then you can adapt.

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BEP 401 – Socializing at Work 2: Deepening the Conversation

BEP 401 LESSON - Socializing with Colleagues 2: Deepening the conversation

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for socializing with colleagues. Today we’re going to look at how to build deeper conversations with colleagues you’ve met for the first time.

When we meet a colleague for the first time, the conversation is usually pretty light. We introduce ourselves, make small talk about the weather, sports, or travel. And we try to build a bit of a connection with people. Listen to a conversation like this, and you’ll notice that people keep their comments pretty short and don’t spend too long talking about themselves.

Once you’ve established that initial connection, you have an opportunity to build rapport by deepening the conversation. While you might talk a bit more personally than the initial conversation, it’s still important to keep it light. And you need to continue with the back and forth dance of a skilled conversationalist.

In this deepening conversation, you might make comments about the place you’re in or the location. Another easy way to get someone talking is to ask them a number-based question, like how long they’ve lived in a certain place, for example. Skilled people also know how to turn the conversation back to the other person and find similarities to build rapport. And once you have some rapport, you’ll be able to contradict or disagree with people politely.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin a pair of colleagues – Jen and Ryan – who’ve just met at a company retreat. In our last lesson, we heard their very first conversation. Now they’re getting to know each other a bit better during a company social event at a bowling alley.

Listening Questions

1. What number-based question does Jen ask Ryan to get him talking?
2. What similarity in background or family situation does Ryan point out?
3. What point does Jen make that Ryan disagrees with near the end of the dialog?

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