Asking for a Raise | How to Guide

How to Ask for a Raise and Get It

Asking for a raise can be uncomfortable. Many of us are taught not to discuss money at all, and that sentiment ratchets up the anxiety around salary discussions. Fears of rejection or jeopardizing your current role might bubble to the surface, and a lack of understanding about what you should be earning could leave you feeling confused about what to request.

However, you’ve likely developed skills, grown in your role, completed certifications and training, and helped drive forward your company’s business objectives. If so, you can feel confident that you have earned the right to ask for a raise. The bottom line? If you have worked hard and achieved results for your company, then a discussion with your manager about your is merited. 

With that in mind, a bit of preparation and practice will increase your chances of a successful conversation. Here are steps you can take to ensure you know the best way to ask for a raise.

Prepare before asking for a raise

1. Consider why you want a raise.

Have you consistently added value to your organization? Have you met or exceeded expectations? Have you been in your position for more than a year without a pay increase? Are you concerned your salary isn’t keeping pace with the market? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then a discussion with your manager is merited. 

  • Do:  
  • Think through all of these questions and honestly consider the responses. Continue reading for more tips on making this assessment. 
  • Don’t:
  • Doubt your instincts. If you think you deserve a raise, you likely can build a solid case. However, a bit of preparation, as laid out in the next two steps, will go a long way in giving you the confidence to ask for a raise.

2. Research how much of a raise you should ask for.

Understand how your salary compares with the market rate by researching what other organizations are compensating for roles similar to yours. Doing so will give you a solid idea of what you should be earning, ultimately helping you build your case for a raise. 

  • Do:
    • Leverage search tools such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Zippia, and even Google to find detailed information about approximate salary ranges for people in similar jobs in your geographic region. 
    • Ask your manager or HR if your organization publishes salary bands that detail wage ranges for each level. Some larger corporations make this information available to employees. California recently enacted a law that companies with more than 15 employees must include pay ranges in job postings and make salary bands available to employees upon request. These ranges will give you an idea of where you fall on the spectrum and what your leverage might be to ask for a wage increase.
  • Don’t:
    • Be unrealistic in your request. Once you have an idea of the salary range for your position, don’t ask for a substantial amount over the high end of that range. Ideally, you’ll stick within the range and consider how your performance compares with others in your position. If you’re consistently getting results and delivering above and beyond your goals, then you can make a strong argument that you should be at the high end of that range. 
    • Compare your pay with that of a specific colleague when you make your request. 

3. Make a progress list.

Before approaching your manager for a raise, be sure to make a list of skills you’ve developed, projects you’ve completed, and other contributions you’ve made to the organization. Make sure you understand how your job responsibilities align with your business’s overall goals, and how your work has contributed to the company’s success. Arm yourself with this when you approach your supervisor. 

  • Do:
    • Schedule one hour per month to devote to updating your progress list. This will not only ensure you don’t miss any projects throughout the year, but will help build confidence that you have, in fact, contributed to the company’s overall goals and merit a pay increase. This will save you time preparing for performance reviews and shows your manager that you take your career progression seriously.
  • Don’t: 
    • Ask for a raise if you’re underperforming or not meeting goals. 

Ask for a raise with professionalism and confidence

4. Be professional and polite during your raise conversation with your manager.

This is a discussion about why your accomplishments at work have earned you a raise, so your personal situation should not factor into the conversation. 

  • Do:
    • Schedule the meeting in person. If that’s not an option, schedule a video conference or phone call. 
    • Practice your discussion with an accountability partner or in front of the mirror several times. 
    • Come prepared with your progress list and salary research. 
    • Be specific about accomplishments and the value you bring to your organization.
  • Don’t:
    • Reference personal struggles or hardships when asking for a raise. 
    • Ask for a raise via email or text. 

5. Feel empowered that you deserve a pay raise.

Based on the preparation you’ve done, at this point you know you deserve a raise. You have developed skills and contributed much to your organization in your current role. Now, it is their responsibility to listen and consider your request. 

  • Do:
    • Ask for a raise with confidence and assuredness. 
    • Reframe the question if the initial response is “No.” For example, if they tell you they can’t give you a raise due to economic or business conditions, you can ask, “What skills or achievements do you need from me to get promoted?” Or, if they indicate that they require you to accomplish more in your current role, ask, “What specific expectations do you have for me?” Then, follow up with an email to clarify.
    • If the answer is no, decide your next steps. Charge toward the promotion and/or plan to ask again for a raise in the next quarter.
  • Don’t:
    • Stop contributing at work if the answer is no. 
    • Wait another year to ask for a raise.

We hope these tips have given you a solid roadmap to confidently ask for a raise. For more resources, or to run specific questions by an expert in real time, come to YUPRO’s weekly office hours (Wednesdays, 3-4pm ET, free).

Find an IT job in a recession. 5 tips for tech talent to job search during a recession

Find an IT Job in a Recession

IT Talent Job Search Guide

How to find a job in a recession: A guide for IT talent

During the back half of 2022, companies including Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, and Twitter laid off employees by the thousands and implemented organization-wide hiring freezes. The tech industry is facing an economic downturn, partially sparked by higher interest rates and reduced consumer spending, and the U.S. could be facing a recession in 2023. Top economists, 98% of CEOs, and the World Bank all believe that is the direction the global economy is headed.

With this as a labor market backdrop, the thought of searching for a job might seem daunting.  However, with the right approach, you can find a job that will further your career in any economy. This article will provide you with 5 job search tips during a recession that will help you stand out from the pack and keep your career on track.

1. Treat tech job search like a job.

Listen, you joined tech for a reason and this job search is the perfect opportunity to reengage with roles that remind you why you selected this industry. Instead of being like the many others who quickly apply to opportunities, approach this journey differently by searching with intentionality.

Brainstorm. Spend time visualizing and brainstorming on what you want your next role to be and write out the skills and certifications you have or need to reach that next step.

Research. Commit to researching job descriptions that align with the roles you desire and customize your resumes to include keywords, skills and certifications you’ve gained. Adding these key words and phrases that align with the job description will drastically improve your chances of having a recruiter review your resume as many companies use a software to scan your resume for keywords and phrases relevant to the job prior to a human recruiter viewing the document. This may result in you having five versions of your resume that promote your skills and experience for four different job types.

Interview. If you are selected for an interview, SHOW UP. You committed the time and effort perfecting your resume, so it’s important to spend the same intentional energy practicing your interviewing skills and learning more about the company and job you desire.

2. Leverage your network in IT and beyond. 

Remember the old saying, “Your Network is your net worth”? Building a diverse network of individuals in IT will make you more knowledgeable and marketable during your job hunt. Building relationships and expanding your network can be intimidating but these three tips can set you apart from other applicants.

Request informational meetings. Build connections with IT professionals who have the jobs you desire and/or insight into the industry. Message them and request a 15-minute meeting. Spend this meeting time asking well thought out questions about the industry, advice for your job search and any tips and tricks that they learned throughout their career journey. Building this connection gives you the ability to deepen your network connections and use this knowledge gained in your interviews. It may also result in gaining access to other opportunities.

Update your Linkedin Profile. Linkedin is a powerful source that gives employers access to millions of people seeking jobs. Differentiate yourself by updating your LinkedIn profile to include your skills, certifications and experience. Also, include that you are ‘Open to Work’ so recruiters see this in their searches, and they may reach out to you knowing you are ready to work.

Attend YUPRO’s Jobseeker Bootcamp. This monthly, free service will give you tips and tricks on resume building, interviewing and maximizing your Linkedin profile.

Remember, networking can be intimidating, but that is natural. You’re not using your network to get a job or asking for favors. You’re simply leveraging your relationships so you can make yourself more knowledgeable and marketable.

3. Consider jobs outside your IT area of expertise.

Consider the skills you’ve gained that could be transferable to other positions, even if those positions aren’t what you want to do long term. For example, if you have experience working on an IT help desk, then you have customer service and customer trouble-shooting experience, problem solving, and communication skills. These transfer to many other job opportunities, such as call centers roles in other industries, and even hospitality management. 

Working with a recruiter allows you to discuss your core competencies and determine what other roles might be suitable based on your transferable skills. Remember, searching for a job outside your direct area of expertise doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your current job, but instead pivoting for now to gain additional skills and experience in order to recession proof your career path. 

4. Refresh your resume.

When it comes to your resume format, think SEE (Skills, Experience, Education). 

Skills. Highlight skills that transfer across industries alongside your most relevant accomplishments. Based on the job you’re applying for, emphasize the right qualifications, prioritizing information that is most relevant to the role for which you are applying.

Experience. List your employment history with the most recent role first and ending with your first job. Include the company, your title, and the month and date you began and ended working there. Each bullet should begin with a new action verb and highlight a skill or accomplishment (backed up with data whenever possible). Ensure that industry-appropriate language and key words are included, where appropriate. You can even use language from the job description, Just don’t overdo it!

As for gaps in experience, typically anything under three months isn’t a big hurdle for employers today. And no matter how long the gap is, you can speak to how your job search is going, what upskilling and certifications you’re pursuing, and any other work or volunteering you’re doing during that period. 

Education. This includes certifications, part-time school, community college, or upskilling as any post-secondary learnings that may not include a 4-year school. Employers want to see commitment, consistency, reliability, work ethic, and transferable skills to meet their business objectives so include all of your learnings in your customized resume.

Tailor your resume to each job, as most companies rely on an applicant tracking system, which is software that helps recruiters collect, sort, scan, and rank the job applications they receive for their open positions. If your resume isn’t customized to the specific position, including keywords that match job skills and certifications, it likely won’t make the cut. 

Learn more tips for updating your resume here. Or come to our YUPRO weekly office hours (Wednesdays, 3-4pm ET) to run specific questions by an expert in real time. 

5. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Whether you need help interviewing, building a resume, or leveraging LinkedIn, practice will help you optimize these skills. For example, depending how long you were in your latest position, you might not have polished your interviewing skills lately. Mock interviews can help tremendously to prepare you for the main event. Ask a friend to listen to your interview answers and get feedback. Open a Zoom window and record yourself answering interview questions, then watch yourself to gain self-awareness and refine your answers. And research top interview questions and prepare your answers to questions such as these to nail your next interview.

During our weekly office hours, you can ask questions about interviewing, have experts review your resume, and get tips for optimizing LinkedIn. 

Use your creativity to fuel an IT job search.

With the right approach, you can land a job in today’s job market. It will take a bit of extra effort and creativity, but by staying open minded and incorporating many of these tips you can find a job in a down economy. We hope this article has given you some ideas on how to get started. 

If you’d like to learn more about job search strategies, visit YUPRO’s Jobseeker page to register for our Jobseeker Bootcamp or weekly office hours.

How to work with a recruiter to find a job

Working with a Recruiter to Find a Job

How to work with a recruiter to find a job

Searching and applying for jobs can be an exciting and also stressful time. But one way to streamline the process and increase your chances of getting a job offer is to work with a recruiter. Typically, candidates are connected to a recruiter after the candidate applies for a job. Sometimes that connection is made prior to applying for a job. 

A recruiter can work for a company, independently, or for a staffing agency, and their job is to act as a liaison between candidates and clients. Clients let recruiters know what jobs they have available and the skills and qualifications they’re looking for. Then, the recruiter finds candidates who are a good fit and helps coordinate the hiring process. A recruiter communicates with hiring managers on your behalf, schedules interviews, and helps you negotiate offers.

It’s a recruiter’s priority to advocate for you and your career aspirations. They want to get to know you, your goals, and your skillset so they can find you a job that aligns. It requires trust, mutual respect, and a willingness to foster an honest and transparent relationship.

Be open and clear about your career goals

That transparency starts by clearly communicating your career goals. Your recruiter will need to know:

  • What roles you are looking for
  • Your skills, certifications and training completions
  • What attributes are you looking for in a company 
  • Salary and benefit expectations
  • Work environment and/or geographic preferences

It’s important for you to also ask questions. You’re interviewing the recruiter just as much as they’re interviewing you. Make sure you understand their process and expectations. You can also use your conversations with the recruiter as a chance to practice talking about your experience and skills. 

While it isn’t a recruiter’s job to write or edit your resume, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations or suggestions. They want to position you as the best candidate for the job, and you want them to have the correct and most up-to-date information to do that. 

Be timely and responsive

Recruiters want to fill their client’s open positions as quickly and efficiently as possible. To do that, they need timely responses from you.

From the very beginning of your relationship, discuss the expected timeline for the hiring process and set mutual expectations for responsiveness.

Follow up quickly

Generally, if your recruiter asks for information or vice versa, a response should be made within 24 hours—if not sooner. Both you and the recruiter should agree to make every effort to take each other’s calls or quickly follow up if a call is missed.

Do not ghost

Most importantly, do not ghost your recruiter or the interviews they set up. If something comes up and you can’t attend an interview, or you don’t want to continue a relationship with the recruiter, be transparent about it. 

Failure to show up to an interview or a lack of communication can jeopardize your chances for future job opportunities. Recruiters make note of no-shows in your candidate profile, and those notes can have real consequences. If you ghost the recruiter or their client, the recruiter may terminate the relationship or stop advocating on your behalf for that specific client. 

Stay engaged 

Throughout your job application and interview process, maintain consistent communication with your recruiter. And they should do the same. By checking in, you signal to the recruiter that you’re invested in the opportunity and know how to be proactive about your career. Your tenacity is a trait the recruiter may pass along to the employer as evidence of your value. 

Keep in touch after you land a job

Communication with your recruiter doesn’t need to end if you secure the job. Stay in touch and update them about new certifications you receive or promotions you secure. If you update your resume, send it their way. 

It’s all about relationships. Your network is your net worth, and recruiters have strong networks. They have connections with employers and relationships with hiring managers at dozens if not hundreds of companies. 

They may have access to exclusive job opportunities that companies don’t openly post. If you maintain your relationship and communication, the recruiter will keep you in mind and will continue referring job opportunities that match what you seek. 

Working with a YUPRO recruiter to find a job

All recruiters should have your best interests at heart, but at YUPRO, we take it a step further. We are not simply transactional and focused solely on filling a role, their mission is to empower and equip you to be the best version of yourself. 

We not only want to place you in the right role, but also want to provide upskilling opportunities and resources to better your career: Letting you know about special training opportunities, virtual office hours, Jobseeker Bootcamps, social care resources, and other programming announcements. 

Recruiter and talent success story

At YUPRO, we have many successful, long-term relationships with the talent we support. One candidate reached out to YUPRO looking for opportunities in the private equity sector. Over time, she and her recruiter built a strong relationship and the candidate’s goal of working for a private equity firm was realized. 

But it didn’t stop there. She and her recruiter maintained that relationship and line of communication. She received additional upskilling through YURPO and took advantage of other training opportunities. As a result, she moved from an investment consultant role into a higher-level marketing operations role. 

She is now a dedicated advocate for YUPRO and has helped other YUPRO talent secure jobs at her firm. In 2022, she participated in a panel discussion at our National Alumni Summit. Her story and trajectory is one that can only happen for talent who prioritize their relationship with YUPRO recruiters.

Start your job search now

Unlike relationships with traditional recruiters, there is no end to your relationship with YUPRO. We are in it for the long haul and want to set you up for success in the long term. 

Search our available jobs, learn more about our resources, and connect with a recruiter by visiting our website: https://yupro.com/faqs/

5 ways organizations can attract and foster belonging among diverse talent

Attract and Foster Belonging Among Diverse Talent

5 ways organizations can attract and foster belonging among diverse talent

To move the diversity needle, organizations must make systemic changes. Here are five actions your organization can take to attract and foster belonging among diverse talent

It is widely known that diversity in the workplace, and the inclusive practices to achieve it, contribute to corporate prosperity, increased productivity and employee well-being. Studies show more than 80 percent of companies engage in DEI initiatives – but are those initiatives making an impact?

In October 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the unemployment rate among Black workers was 5.9 percent and 4.2 percent for Latinx workers, compared to 3.2 percent for white workers. With millions of jobs going unfilled today, organizations cannot afford to ignore diverse and underrepresented talent. They must take a hard look at their DEI initiatives and answer the question, “Are we doing enough?” Symbolic statements and surface-level efforts won’t attract diverse candidates and certainly won’t convince them to stay. 

Barriers to recruiting and retaining underrepresented talent 

One of the most common barriers underrepresented talent face is language. This includes language used in the workplace and within job descriptions. DEI strategies mean nothing if rhetoric prevents diverse candidates from applying for jobs or drives them away shortly after they’re hired.

Underrepresented talent frequently encounter gendered language or characteristics in job postings that signal ignorance or veiled preferences. Jobs that appear inflexible or suggest an always-on culture can ostracize those who, for example, have children, care for elderly parents or face transportation uncertainties. 

Within the workplace, microaggressions impact employee retention. More than one in four Black women have heard someone express surprise at their language skills or abilities; just one in 10 white women have had this experience. Unchecked microaggressions can foster isolation, fear and distrust.  

Providing an avenue for feedback is also critical to making underrepresented talent feel welcome. Without safe methods for speaking up or giving feedback, behaviors are perpetuated and diverse populations can feel unseen and invalidated. 

Companies must walk the talk and take action

To move the diversity needle, organizations must be willing to make systemic changes that have impactful results. Change is about more than words, it requires action. Here are five actions your organization can take to draw diverse talent and encourage them to stay.

1.     Update job descriptions

It starts with a skill-based approach to hiring. Increasing numbers of early career talent are choosing certifications, training and apprenticeships over four-year degrees. Instead of a degree and years of experience in job requirements, consider relevant skills. When you require a four-year degree, you omit more than 60 percent of the working population. You also miss out on 70 percent of Latinx people, 73 percent of Indigenous people and 77 percent of Black people.

2.     Offer benefits, resources and opportunities that matter

Diverse and multi-generational workforces require companies to reassess employee benefits such as:

  • Free or reduced-cost social service resources
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Wellness offerings
  • Professional development 

Provide new employees with an onboarding buddy from a similar background or someone who understands their unique challenges. Make sure they know where to turn when struggles arise or they’re in need of support. 

3.     Provide opportunities for feedback

It’s critical to provide opportunities for employees to share anonymous feedback outside of the traditional performance discussions. This empowers those who find individual, in-person conversations difficult, and is a way to gather the pulse of your entire organization through an inclusive mechanism. Comments can be solicited through:

  • Employee surveys
  • Anonymous hotlines
  • Suggestion boxes

4.     Be transparent and accountable 

It is not enough to simply collect feedback, it must also be communicated and disseminated. Hold a company-wide meeting to discuss survey results and make them available for employees to view on their own time. Be honest about where the company falls short and what steps will be taken to improve. Commit to regularly pushing data that showcases company progress toward DEI goals. 

Establish accountability within your organization. While the buck stops with the CEO, there should be layers of accountability. Create Employee Resource Groups and DEI councils. Ensure there is inclusive representation from the boardroom and the C-suite to middle-management and individual contributors. 

If a commitment to diversity is not led at the executive level, with accountability for results, actions and behaviors expected at every level, organizations will be hard-pressed to live up to their commitments.

5.     Champion pay equity

A diverse workforce means nothing if the deck is stacked against specific groups. Fairness is at the heart of equity and closing wage gaps is paramount to fairness and to addressing wage disparities for women and people of color. Be transparent about pay rates and ranges for all roles to ensure consistent pay practices across the organization.  A compensation program that is equitable and implemented company-wide should stand on its merits, be easily explained by all and require no salary negotiations due to well-thought-out reasoning.

Take a deep dive into who receives promotions. Use internal rubrics for performance and development to inform promotion decisions and ensure promotional wage scales don’t perpetuate disparities. Look for biases that either intentionally or unintentionally drive these decisions. There should be no unfair promotional wage advantages due to power or internal politics, or you may be undermining pay equity. 

Addressing pay equity in both hiring and retention for your workforce is key to building a total value proposition that attracts diverse candidates to your company and keeps them engaged, loyal and productive — all signs of a healthy corporate workforce.

Meaningful change drives business results

Research shows diverse organizations perform at higher levels, are more innovative, capture greater market share, generate more revenues and deliver higher profitability. But according to McKinsey & Co., even the most diverse companies still face difficulties tackling inclusion. This signals that hiring diverse talent isn’t enough; it’s the workplace experience that shapes whether people remain and thrive. 

When staff feel valued because of these strategies they are more likely to stay, refer others and strive to meet company goals. By taking incremental steps and efforts to remove barriers, offering benefits and resources that matter to all and cultivating a supportive and inclusive culture, organizations will begin to break through struggles to attract and retain talent and make meaningful progress toward organizational DEI goals.

Article by: Talent Management – https://www.talentmgt.com/articles/2023/01/10/5-ways-organizations-can-attract-and-foster-belonging-among-diverse-talent/

YUPRO DEI Impact 2022

YUPRO 2022 Social Impact Overview

As an organization, and as a collective partnership with you—our valued clients—we had much to be grateful for in 2022. Despite the continued pandemic, economic uncertainty, and talent shortage, progress was made and together we had a significant impact on thousands of lives. 

You helped support our mission to provide talent with critical upskilling opportunities and place them in good jobs with family sustaining wages. You did the hard work of helping us work toward bridging the opportunity gap, and for that, we thank YOU!

This wouldn’t be possible without your commitment to empowering and advancing underserved talent. As we begin 2023, we reflect on 2022 and want to highlight the impact we had together. While we aren’t able to showcase every success, here are a few examples of how we elevated and supported our mission.

Talent Success Stories

Each and every single talent placement is a cause for celebration! Please enjoy the following stories of individuals who found a career home in 2022.

BRUDJAH SYLVAIN

“Being an apprentice is one of the best ways to learn. Through [my] apprenticeship, I know that having my foot in the corporate door will open more opportunities and allow me to help others break through barriers. I also got the unconditional support of Year Up & YUPRO [and] will forever be grateful for their willingness to help young adults like me.”

KWAME BULLEN

“My apprenticeship has provided tremendous value and momentum towards my goal [in becoming] a software engineer. I improved my understanding of how a website functions, especially at an enterprise level. I have learned many leadership skills because of the nature of my role, which will carry me through my career.”

RADA VOLOSHYNA

“I had zero experience in Project Management, but knew that apprenticeship [was] an amazing opportunity to gain experience in any field. It was also a great opportunity to present myself as someone who was willing to learn . . .which further led to [obtaining] a full-time role.”

CORY PADARATHSINGH

“I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to friends because they can offer you great hands-on experience [and] greater opportunities with bigger companies. YUPRO provided support through services such as Professional Development Workshops, seminars every week [in relation] to our job roles & goals, [and] constant support.”

New Resources and Partnerships 

Our non-profit training provider partners are equipping the workforce of tomorrow with the training they need to launch their careers. Together, we are all helping to build our nation’s diverse workforce and fuel opportunity for all. 

In 2022, we welcomed 13 new training partners, including:

  • All Star Code
  • CityWorks DC
  • Hack.Diversity
  • Jobs for Humanity
  • LA Green Corps
  • LAYC Career Academy
  • Love Never Fails
  • Mississippi Coding Academies
  • NPower
  • Opportunity College
  • ShiftUp 
  • Squashbusters
  • Unloop

We also want to thank our non-profit partners that continued to partner with us throughout 2022.

  • Year Up
  • Per Scholas
  • Generation USA
  • CareerWork$
  • Genesys Works
  • SkillUp
  • Merit America
  • Springboard8/Seattle Central College
  • ClimbHire
  • Mississippi Coding Academies
  • TheDream.US
  • KIPP
  • Spark the Journey

Nonprofit Memberships 

  • NABA (Nat’l Association of Black Accountants)
  • National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC)

For every placement of a partner alum, we give back a portion of that placement proceed.

And we are proud to say that in 2022 we gave back placement proceeds in excess of $225K collectively to our non-profit partners. 

Additionally, we launched a blog in the news and resources section of our website. These articles are meant to support and inform you and help you explore new ways to embrace Opportunity Talent. 

Finally, we made headlines in 2022! YUPRO CEO Michelle Sims was featured in Forbes and talked about what it really takes to move the needle on diversity in the workplace. This feature helped cement our commitment to helping organizations advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the right ways. 

Michelle said, “Changing the future for millions of people is more than an undertaking that transcends business performance; it’s the right thing to do. It isn’t easy, but it is a mission that is long overdue and one that will pay huge dividends for underrepresented individuals and the enterprises they join, the families they care for, and the communities they call home.”

Social Impact by the Numbers

Together, we served over 4,000 skilled and diverse talent in 2022. With our skills-first hiring approach, together with our employer partners, we achieved a 95% positive outcome in our talent completing their contract and apprenticeship assignments and converting into full-time employment—impacting true socioeconomic mobility. 

Additionally, our average pay rates for talent are far above the national average. Our contractor wage is $26.98 which is 26% above the U.S. BLS rate, and our apprenticeship wage is $19.79, 7.5% above the BLS hourly wage.

Our teams continue to serve talent through coaching, monthly bootcamps, and weekly office hours. In total, our team spent more than 8,200 dedicated coaching hours helping talent grow, learn, and thrive. 

All of this and more led to industry recognitions such as ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing for Client and Employee Satisfaction, SIA’s Fastest Growing Staffing Firm, and many others directly related to our commitment to serve underrepresented talent. 

A Final Thank You

We are hopeful for what 2023 has in store for our organization and yours. The life-changing impact we have on talent cannot be overstated. Together we are promoting upward mobility for our talent community, increasing organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion and providing essential upskilling opportunities to lead to sustained career progression.

“We applaud our community of employers who are committed to investing in early and middle skill talent. They are the ones who will emerge stronger in 2023 and will see continued growth in the years to come,” said Michelle Sims. “By building a workforce strategy that values early career, diverse talent, our employer partners are positioning themselves to weather whatever the future holds. I commend you for doing the hard work and thank you for your continued support this past year.”

How an early career talent strategy can help you weather economic uncertainty

Develop an Early Career Talent Program to Help You Weather Economic Uncertainty

How an Early Career Talent Program Can Help You Weather Economic Uncertainty

There’s a feeling of unease and apprehension as we transition to 2023. Economic uncertainty due to a recession, a tight labor market and—inversely—massive tech layoffs, combined with a triple-demic of COVID 19, the flu, and RSV, have many companies taking a pause. 

This holding pattern organizations find themselves in is unusual because there is still a strong demand for talent. Even companies under a hiring freeze recognize key roles must be filled to keep the business running. So instead of an abrupt halt, many companies are simply slowing down.

This slower period presents a unique opportunity to be strategic. It’s a chance to think critically about hiring and talent needs and brainstorm intentional, thoughtful, and smart solutions. 

An early talent program is a smart investment 

During an economic downturn, budgets often take a hit. Executives take a hard look at numbers and look for ways to cut costs. Often, hiring experienced full-time employees and providing benefits is not feasible. This is where an early career talent program is a financially-sound decision. 

Recruiting early career talent through informal apprenticeships 

Work-based earn and learn informal apprenticeships are a great method for building an early career talent pipeline. You’re training talent to fill a certain role, and all the while, they are contributing to the company. 

Apprenticeships give early career talent the experience, skills, and workplace exposure needed to launch their careers. It’s full-time, hands-on, on-the-job experience that sets talent up for career success. For employers, it’s a low-risk investment with a high reward when partnering with an apprenticeship program solution provider, offering employer of record services, upskilling and wraparound social services, and professional coaching as a turnkey hiring solution. In the model, the apprentice knows your organization, your processes, and culture and can easily integrate into the team and be hired upon program completion. 

An informal apprenticeship program is also a proven approach to recruiting and hiring traditionally underserved talent. Apprenticeships provide a pathway for nontraditional talent who don’t have four-year degrees, professional networks, or access to resources and jobs that offer family sustaining wages and career progression. 

If your organization prioritizes hiring diverse talent and is working toward diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, that shouldn’t take a backseat during an economic downturn. An informal waged-based apprenticeship program will ensure progress toward DEI goals continues. 

Accenture’s commitment to early career talent 

In 2017, Accenture launched the Apprentice Network in Chicago, together with other companies, to kick-start professional apprenticeship programs nationwide and are continuing to expand across the country. 

In 2020, Accenture was the largest employer of YUPRO talent in a year of layoffs, hiring freezes, and shutdowns. Accenture has now onboarded over 2,000 apprentices. As part of their commitment to growing and scaling professional apprenticeships, Accenture exceeded their fiscal year 2022 goal to fill 20% of entry-level roles with apprentices in North America and are proud to have extended that goal through fiscal year 2023. 

Apprenticeship programs are redefining the future of talent and represent a new method of sourcing talent into professional roles that can address numerous issues companies care about such as managing talent shortages, developing skills, increasing diversity, and balancing social inequities. Those employers who commit to bridging the talent gap and creating pathways to full-time employment will be the ones who win the war for talent.

A partner to build your early talent program

Recruiting, hiring, and managing early career talent doesn’t have to be your burden to bear. Your organization can reap the benefits of a skilled, diverse workforce by partnering with YUPRO. 

With YUPRO as your company’s apprenticeship program provider partner, you don’t have to worry about headcount limits, providing health insurance, or offering supplemental services. YUPRO handles all of that for you. 

Often this project-based type of work falls under a different budget, making it an easier internal discussion to upper management. Upon completion of apprenticeships, talent may continue in a project-based contract capacity if permanent roles aren’t available. And when full-time positions do open up, your company has a ready to work pool of talent who know what’s expected.

Finally, during difficult economic times, talent can face challenges outside of work. Family needs, transportation, and mental health can all be impacted. YUPRO provides wrap-around supports for all apprentices to guide them through personal and work struggles. This is a weight taken off the employer’s shoulder. Talent is supported, taken care of, and provided necessary resources to emerge out of difficulties even stronger. 

Arise from uncertainty with continued momentum

While it can be tempting to table all hiring and talent acquisition discussions until the economic storm passes, you’d be crushing the momentum you’ve built. It will be much harder to start your talent engine back up if you stop efforts now. And by the time you do get back up and running, you’ll be behind the competition. 

Additionally, the pace of baby boomers retiring is accelerating. Companies need to build a network of talent to fill those gaps. Now is the time to develop your workforce for the future.

By building a pipeline of early career talent, you’ll be nimble and agile enough to respond to whatever 2023 and beyond brings. When business picks up and budgets expand, your trained, reliable talent are ready to step into open positions. If a slowdown continues, you’ll have the ability to flex up or down as needed. In the meantime, you won’t lose progress toward goals, you’re building relationships with skilled talent, and you have a partner to lean on for support.

YURPO's guide to adopting skills-based hiring practices. Learn why career pathways and upskilling are the greatest ways to attract talent.

Skills-Based Hiring Guide

How to Champion Skills-Based Hiring

As a talent acquisition decision maker, you are contending with consistently low unemployment and ongoing wars for talent. At the same time, you are committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Not only is it the right thing to do, doing so will give your organization a competitive edge.

What if you could create a more inclusive workforce while increasing your qualified early and mid-career talent pool? You can, beginning with shifting how you recruit and hire with a skills-first mindset.

Why companies should prioritize skills-based hiring

The rapid acceleration of adding bachelor’s degrees as minimum education requirements, even for jobs that had not materially changed, dates back to the Great Recession. Today, this means that more than 60% of the U.S. workforce who lack four-year college degrees are automatically eliminated from talent searches. This historical practice excludes a disproportionate number of skilled and qualified Black and Latino candidates who could solve your hiring challenges with skills and experience they’ve gained through alternative paths. 

Forward-thinking employers recognize that a change is required, one that shifts the hiring focus from degrees to skills. In fact, skills-based hiring was up more than 60% in 2021. Bank of America, General Motors, Google, and IBM are just a few corporations that have removed college degree requirements from jobs, focusing instead on job-related skills, experience, and even personality traits.

Skills-based hiring is your key to accessing a highly motivated, qualified, yet untapped talent pool. Benefits of a skills-based hiring and recruitment process include:

  1. Wider and more diverse talent pool
  2. Accelerated time-to-hire for in-demand roles
  3. Greater diversity in your workforce 
  4. Improved marketplace reputation 
  5. Social impact on the workforce at large

This skills-based hiring guide will help you get started.

Start by writing more inclusive job descriptions and job postings

Your job description, while meant for internal purposes, marks the beginning of the inclusive experience you create for candidates. It serves as the foundation for the talent-facing job posting. 

Inclusive job postings are written to appeal to underrepresented talent, which means being intentional and mindful about addressing unconscious bias. You can do this by focusing on skills and competencies over degree and pedigree. Below are some best practices to follow:

  • Remove gender-specific actions verbs and language.
    • For example, terms such as “work hard, play hard” are more often associated with male traits. Avoid descriptors that may be interpreted as biased, discriminatory, or demeaning by implying that one sex or social gender is the norm.
  • Include trainable job skills.
    • Include skills that are accessible with experience in a relevant job or training program instead of a formal college.
  • Benchmark duties specifically aligned with the role itself versus generalized statements.
    • For example, if you include ‘strong verbal skills’ in your job posting when average skills might be fine for the position, you will lose out on candidates who feel they aren’t up to par. Instead, revise the posting to read, ‘building communication skills.’
  • Reassess your job description requirements.
    • Determine if skills can replace credentials.
  • Steer clear of time-based experience,
    • In most cases, you’re looking for quality, not quantity. Replace length of time in a role or years of experience with a skill.
  • Open the door to ‘equivalent experience.’
    • This allows applicants to fill in additional information, often pulled from unique and relevant personal experiences.

Attract talent with career pathways and upskilling opportunities

One of the best strategies for attracting talent is to offer career pathways and upskilling opportunities. According to Gallup, 65% of U.S. workers believe employer-provided upskilling is very important when evaluating a new job opportunity. Half of Americans would switch to a new job if it offered skills training.

On-the-job training and work-based learning (WBL) programs, such as apprenticeships, can help your company meet its hiring needs, create career pathways for your talent, and build a more inclusive workforce in a socially responsible way.

Here’s how to up your game when it comes to WBL and upskilling: 

  • Identify skills gaps. Determine your workforce skills gaps between entry- and mid-level roles.
  • Address gaps with training. Discuss how you can train in-house or partner with a training provider to build those specific skills.
  • Build career pathways that require upskilling. Promote based on objective, skills-based milestones that build equity and inclusivity.
  • Identify internal champions and mentors. You’ll need them to provide you with internal support for WBL programs and to serve as resources for new hires and early career talent.
  • Develop free workshops for all employees. Focus on professional development and other soft skills that promote a healthy culture.
  • Bake upskilling into corporate culture. Build upskilling expectations into job requirements, performance reviews, and promotional considerations.
  • Create a culture of self-development and corporate-supported development. Offer tuition reimbursement for professional certifications and build time into work schedules for upskilling.
  • Check your state’s offerings. Subsidies and tax credits often are available for registered apprenticeships, internships, and even upskilling courses.
  • Partner up. Lean on the expertise, networks, and resources of industry-proven, turnkey WBL, training, and upskilling programs. For example, a mission-oriented talent placement partner will support your talent via on-the-job coaching, access to social assistance resources, and community-building. 

The best WBL programs offer talent the opportunity to earn family-sustaining wages while learning critical on-the-job skills. The same goes for the best talent training and upskilling programs, which will support your talent holistically. At the same time, your organization benefits by building new talent pipelines, meeting hiring demands, increasing retention, and expanding organizational diversity. 

Adopt skills-based hiring practices now

The skills gap is estimated to cost the U.S. economy $1.2 trillion between 2019 and 2029. Don’t let your organization pay the price. If you haven’t yet embraced skills-based hiring, now is the time. Tools such as Gender Decoder, Check My Job, and Text Analysis will help ensure job descriptions are inclusive.  And, a mission-oriented talent placement partner will help ensure your entry and mid-level talent has access to ongoing career development and upskilling opportunities. 

For example, as a global partner of IBM SkillsBuild, YUPRO has created extensive learning plans – available to our entire talent community – in areas such as cybersecurity, financial services, customer support, and software development. We can develop customized learning plans specific to your talents’ needs. 

If you’d like to discuss your transition to a skills-based hiring program, reach out at partnerwithus@yupro.com. We’d love to hear from you.

The value of leveraging a registered apprenticeship partner to build a successful DOL registered apprenticeship program

Launch a DOL Registered Apprenticeship Program

Launch a DOL registered apprenticeship program with a strong partner by your side

YUPRO is joining with the Department of Labor (DOL) in celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. Employers across the country are increasingly seeing the value of apprentices and the positive impact apprenticeship programs have on their organizations. This week is dedicated to exploring those benefits and raising awareness—specifically for DOL registered apprenticeships. 

More than 800,000 apprentices participate in registered apprenticeships every single year in the United States. Programs include advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, financial services, digital marketing, and many more. 

Registered apprenticeships are industry-vetted and approved and validated by the U.S. DOL or a State Apprenticeship Agency. These programs provide employers with enhanced access to larger and more diverse talent pools that have been specifically trained for certain entry-level to management positions, helping to both address industry demands and reduce unemployment rates. 

Apprenticeships for underrepresented talent

While apprenticeships are attractive to companies looking to hire any entry-level employee, they are particularly impactful for those seeking to diversify their talent pipeline. Apprenticeships are particularly beneficial for talent who lack four-year degrees, professional networks, or access to jobs that offer family sustaining wages and career progression.

Apprenticeships give entry-level and middle-skill traditionally excluded talent the experience, training, and workplace exposure they need to launch their careers. Apprenticeships provide talent with real work experience and the high likelihood of a full-time job upon completion while earning a fair-market wage. 

By offering registered apprenticeships, your company joins leading employers building a more equitable workforce by bringing diversity and equity to the forefront. These programs empower talent and drive your business forward. 

Leveraging an All-Inclusive Apprenticeship Partner 

Some of the biggest hurdles when launching a registered apprenticeship program involve navigating the oftentimes overwhelming administrative, training, recruitment, support services, and employment requirements for a DOL certified program. Which is why one of the most effective ways to build your apprenticeship program is through an apprenticeship partner. An apprenticeship partner like YUPRO manages administrative hurdles on behalf of the employer and makes it easy to launch a program within a matter of weeks. 

Our DOL registered apprenticeship program addresses a systemic workforce issue by offering a skills-based hiring solution addressing the Opportunity Gap for underrepresented talent. It’s a win-win for employers, the economy, and, most importantly, the early career workforce that is desperate for career opportunities that remain limited to those with four-year degrees. 

Additionally, our all-inclusive solution takes the burden of launching and managing a registered apprenticeship program off employers and leaves them with all the benefits of a trained workforce. Our Earn More, Learn More Program key features are: 

  • Full-service program management means talent vetting, recruiting and selection with talent earning market wages, access to healthcare benefits and social service resources, along with professional development sessions all while earning industry-recognized certifications. 
  • Adherence to all DOL requirements for both training and on-the-job working hours.
  • Structured upskilling and work-based learning for both virtual and in-person programs.
  • Industry-recognized apprenticeship certificates for talent upon completion.
  • Professional development seminars, 1:1 mentorship, and high-touch coaching.
  • Access to 30,000+ diverse candidates driving equity and inclusion in your workforce.

While registered apprenticeship programs can often be difficult to implement, when 93% of apprentices continue employment upon program completion, companies can’t ignore this valuable recruitment and upskilling tool.

As an apprenticeship partner, we help eliminate the struggles associated with creating and maintaining a program. We help organizations navigate the entire implementation process from beginning to end. YUPRO becomes the employer of record, the healthcare benefits provider, and the place to go for high-touch support. Freed from these responsibilities, organizations can focus on growing the business and maintaining strong, inclusive cultures. 

Explore registered apprenticeships

There are countless benefits to offering apprenticeships. Studies show employees who join through apprenticeships are loyal and stay longer, and companies thrive.

Organizations that offer earn and learn programs also have stronger reputations because of their commitment to supporting diversity and equity in the workplace. Join us in being part of an ecosystem to expand, diversify, modernize, and strengthen registered apprenticeships across the country. 

To learn how you can build a registered apprenticeship program, connect with our team at partnerwithus@yupro.com

How to Be Confident in an Interview

How to Be Confident in an Interview

How to Interview with Confidence

Congratulations! You’ve secured a job interview.

Oftentimes, the initial excitement of making it to this step in the hiring process wears off quickly, replaced by anxiety over how the interview will go.

If you are feeling nervous, fear not. You made it to the interview process, so the recruiter has seen something in your application that they believe could be an asset to their company. 

Before interview day, make sure you spend time reviewing the job posting and preparing to align some of the points with your skillset and abilities. Remember, they wouldn’t be bringing you in if they didn’t think you were a solid candidate. You can relax knowing you do not need to have all the skills listed in the job posting, but be sure to take the time to research any terms, tools, or software not familiar to you. 

The following tips will help boost your confidence to showcase your unique skillsets, increasing your chances of landing the job. 

Showcase professional skills confidently.

Showcasing professional confidence means displaying healthy self-promotion. You do this by discussing your work-based skills and experience in a relaxed yet self-assured manner.

Preparation and practice are crucial to success, but there is a difference between being prepared and sounding rehearsed. Striking a balance is key. If you don’t have a partner to practice with you, then record yourself, view it, and refine your responses from there.

Here is an exercise to try before your next interview to confidently demonstrate professional skills.

Answer the question: “How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?” Talk through the detailed steps of how you’d make this sandwich. When preparing for your interview, use that same tone and confidence to discuss your professional skills and experience.

Discuss personal skills. 

This might seem counterintuitive. However, being able to intertwine your life experiences with your professional abilities serves as a key differentiator from other candidates. By bringing your whole self to your interview, you will build a genuine connection with the interviewer and show a wider scope of your skills. This will surely set you apart from the competition!

For example, if you’re asked about your programming experience, your initial response might be, “I don’t have any.”

However, if you consider the question from a broader perspective, you might respond differently. Here’s another way to answer: “While I don’t have direct programming skills, programming is all about problem solving. I have problem solved many times in my life. Here’s how I’ll bring that skill to your organization…”

The more you can humanize yourself with direct examples from your life, the higher chance you’ll land the job. And keep reminding yourself, they’re interested in you for a reason. Bring that confidence to the job.

Answer interview questions confidently.

Below are basic guidelines to keep in mind to ensure you appear poised during a job interview.

  1. Pause before answering the question. It’s human nature to want to respond immediately to eliminate awkward silences. Before jumping into an answer, take a deep breath and then formulate a response in your mind. And, remember, it is okay to ask your interviewer to reword the question if you didn’t quite understand it.
  1. Be an active listener. Write down questions. Then, consider what your interviewer might want to hear. You don’t always need to respond literally. 

For example, don’t say that you got angry at a rude customer and then kicked them out of your restaurant. Instead, discuss how you resolved a conflict at work. 

  1. Never answer “No.” Always say, “No, and,” or, “No, but.” For example, if you are interviewing for a financial job and you are asked whether you have industry experience, you might respond, “No, but I’m very interested in finance.”
  1. Use the STAR method. The STAR method helps structure responses to scenario-based or behavioral interview questions by showing how you approach problems, think critically, and work to achieve a positive result. Use the following steps:
    1. Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details.
    2. Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
    3. Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
    4. Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.

You hold the key to job interview confidence

Drawing from your personal and professional experiences will improve your chances of securing a job offer.

Keep reminding yourself that you deserve to be there. Interviewers want to understand the unique skills and experience you would bring to the job and the organization as a whole. It’s up to you to shine a light on them.

Interviewing with confidence takes practice and preparation, and YUPRO is here to help. Join us for Weekly Virtual Office Hours on Wednesdays to learn more about how we can help. Register at https://bit.ly/YUPROOfficeHours.

Resume tips to make you stand out to employers and land your next job opportunity.

Tips on How to Update Your Resume

How to update your resume when you don’t have a lot of experience

It may be hard to believe that a single document holds the key to your career in 2022—but it’s true. As a jobseeker, your resume is your first impression, a reflection of your personal brand, and it determines whether you get that coveted interview. 

How you describe yourself, your experience, and the skills you have matters. For those who are early in their careers or career changers with little or no on-the-job experience in their chosen field, how you position yourself is critical to getting noticed and moving on to the next step. 

Even solid resumes can use some sprucing up before going after new opportunities. So whether you’re looking to make updates or just getting started, there are several ways to make your resume stand out. 

Four Tips for Updating Your Resume

1. Overcome a lack of experience with a skills-based focus

Let’s be honest, work experience can often feel like a chicken and egg scenario. Employers want someone with experience, but to get experience, an employer needs to take a chance on you. It can feel discouraging when every job description asks for multiple years of experience in a related field. 

This is where a focus on your skills is key. For instance, if you’ve worked in the food service industry, you have strong customer service and problem-solving skills that would apply to a career in banking, marketing, or technology. There are a wealth of transferable skills you can include in your resume such as customer service, time management, organization, teamwork, and problem-solving. 

Remember your skills also include software and technology use. Your resume should list experience with applications like Microsoft Word, point of service software, or scheduling programs.

Include any advancements or promotions you received in your previous roles as well as awards and accolades. Details like these highlight your dependability and work ethic. 

Finally, any training or certifications you’ve received bolsters your skill set. Whether it’s a day of customer service training or an online course in social media use, it all paints a picture of an employee who cares about their professional development. 

2. Don’t overlook the small details

It can be tempting to craft a resume with bells and whistles, but resist the urge. A clear, concise, and simple resume has a better chance of landing you an interview than a resume format with wild fonts, text colors, and images.

Instead, focus on reviewing your resume to ensure it is accurate and relevant to the job you’re applying for. Two of the biggest mistakes jobseekers can make are submitting resumes with typos and formatting mistakes. A resume without errors signals to employers that you have strong attention to detail.

Formatting like font, text size, bullet points, and headings should be consistent throughout your resume document. Also, ensure your employment dates and your job titles are correct in the event the potential employer calls to verify. Inaccurate information is a red flag for hiring managers.

3. Showcase success using numbers

Numbers and metrics related to your job performance are proof points for employers. And while it might be challenging to secure sales or transaction data, there are ways to get creative.

Identify how many customers you served, IT tickets you resolved, or projects you managed in a day, week, or month, whichever measure is most appropriate. Consider how often you received positive feedback—anything that illustrates and helps quantify what doing a good job looks like.

When detailing success metrics, set them up with strong, past-tense action verbs. Pick the three to five most impactful metrics, for example:

  • Closed a minimum of 25 tickets a day
  • Oversaw five employees in two different departments
  • Completed a project one month ahead of schedule due to improvements in efficiency

4. Tailor your resume to each job you apply for

You may think that once you create a resume, it can be submitted for every single job you apply for. After all, your experience hasn’t changed, so why should your resume? Here’s why it should be tailored.

Many companies rely on an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help recruiters collect, sort, and filter job applications. The ATS scans each application for keywords that match the job qualifications. If your resume is too generic and not tailored to the specific job, it may never make it into the recruiter’s hands.

To be clear, tailoring your resume does not mean copying and pasting job qualifications into your document to beat the ATS bots. Keyword copying or stuffing won’t do you any favors in the end. It’s a bit more nuanced than that.

Look for skills or certification requirements that appear multiple times in a job posting. Assuming you have those top skills, highlight them. If you don’t have some of them, you might reconsider whether you’re a fit for that particular position.

Your resume is a reflection of you

You have so much to offer companies and employers. That’s the case whether you have 10+ years of experience, a single work-based apprenticeship, or you’ve just graduated from a training program. We all have strengths, skills, passions, and potential.

The key to landing an interview, and eventually a job, is to find the best way to communicate your strengths and skills in your resume. A well-organized, clearly written, and purposefully detailed resume will stand out to both an ATS as well as a hiring manager.

If you’d like to learn more about job search strategies, personal branding, and resume creation, join us for free career advice at our Jobseeker Bootcamp. The bootcamp takes place every month with 45-minute trainings Tuesday-Friday from 1pm-1:45pm ET / 10am-10:45am PT over Zoom. Register today!