10 Job Related Websites You Should Start Using
10 Job Related Websites You Should Start Using

Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to replace the one you have now, these are 10 sites you should be using to job hunt or expand your knowledge on the career you want!

  1. LinkedIn: If you haven’t created a LinkedIn account, it’s about time you do! LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking site with an estimated 500 million members throughout 200 countries. The best part is that it is free to create your account and complete your profile with your past work history and current resume.  LinkedIn will allow you to expand your network significantly by joining groups and discussions on a variety of interesting career related topics. Check out our LinkedIn company page here!

    Pro tip: Remember to upload a photo! LinkedIn profiles with a photo get 21 times more profile views and 36 times more messages than a user with no photo.
     
  2. Indeed: Speaking from personal experience, I’ve found many of my past jobs posted through Indeed. This website has a Google-like search engine that can sort job posts by location, industry, experience and salary. Indeed allows you to create a profile and post your resume for companies and headhunters to view. This is a simple and easy to use site that can help you find your next job!

    Pro Tip: Sign up for automated Job Alerts! Indeed will email you daily updating you with information on the newest jobs that are posted! Customize your search for job titles, keywords, companies, and location!
     
  3. GlassDoor: Do research on a company before applying with them! Glassdoor is a free and easy to use website that allows its users to research job positions, salaries, company reviews written by past or current employees, even example interview questions! New users can sign up through an email address, Facebook or a Google+ account. Glassdoor uses a “give to get” model meaning you must submit a past work place experience to gain full access to other company profiles. But even if you choose not to submit an anonymous report on your past workplace, you still have access to every company's overview report.

    Pro Tip: Check out this awesome article Glassdoor posted back in February on 27 Tough Job Interview Questions. Would you be prepared to answer these questions?
     
  4. Brazen Careerist: This website is a chat-based event platform that connects recruits to job candidates, current students to successful alumni, and organizational members from one continent to another. Brazen Careerist allows you to showcase your resume and follow real-time updates from your favorite members and chat directly to them! If you are an employer or a recruiter looking to hire or seeking work or collaboration, Brazen Careerist might be for you!

    Pro Tip: Check out Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success, the ebook! Written by business advice expert, Penelope Trunk, this book was written to help the X and Y generations succeed on their own terms in any industry. Click here to check it out on Amazon.
     
  5. Upwork: Calling all freelance workers, especially any web or app developers, designers, writers, sales or marketing experts, this site is for you! Complete your profile, search for projects and respond to client invitations! Anything you can do on a computer can be done through Upwork! Note that Upwork does charge freelancers a service fee depending on the total amount they’ve billed with a client.

    Pro Tip: Check out more on how Upwork really works by watching these beautiful created Customer Stories short videos.
     
  6. TheMuse: Find everything you need to succeed from dream jobs to career advice! The Muse offers job searches, career coaching,courses and advice forms! This website claims to be the only online career resource that offers a behind-the-scenes look at job opportunities with hundreds of companies, original career advice from experts and access to career coaches that offer private and personalized career support.

    Pro Tip: The Muse will connect you with a mentor, coach or master coach within 24 hours of signing up! Find out the differences between the three here.
     
  7. Dailyworth: This website was created to empower women and guide them through everything from money, careers and business. Founder of Daily Worth, Amanda Steinberg, created the website to bring a fresh voice and an outsider’s perspective to personal finance. DailyWorth’s newsletter currently reaches more than 1 million subscribers to date, and growing!

    Pro Tip: Sign up for Daily Worth’s Newsletter to receive updates on articles posted and new website content. Click here to learn more.
     
  8. JobisJob: This website was established in 2007 and has since expanded throughout Europe, Africa, Asia/Pacific and the Americas. It included a standard job search of over 4 million plus jobs posts. All offers featured on this site are hosted on their original webpages, meaning JobisJob drives high-quality potential applicants to your site and deliver clicks that convert.

    Pro Tip: JobisJob offers a geographic hot spot tool that shows where the most thriving job markets are located. Check out their top locations here.
     
  9. Snagajob: Looking for part time gigs or specific hours to work? Snagajob is perfect for finding that side-hustle or short-term contract. Snagajob claims to be America’s #1 hourly marketplace, with over 75 million registered hourly works and 300,000 employer locations. Get connected with your next part time position in minutes!

    Pro Tip: Still not convinced on using Snagajob? Check out their website statistics and see if that will change your mind!
     
  10. Gigwalk: You can make some extra cash while also building a professional profile? What a time to be alive! Gigwalk is a mobile app, available for both iOS and Android, that helps you find small “gigs” in your area. Once you create an account and link your PayPal account your ready to find gigs. This app allows you to find gigs on your own time and create your own work schedule. Once you’ve completed a gig your performance score will rise, increasing your chance of being selected for high-paying gigs!

    Pro Tip: Still have questions on how Gigwalk works? Click here to watch a video on how to successfully use Gigwork for you!
How Staffing and Recruiting Firms Can Help Recent Grads Find Employment
How Staffing and Recruiting Firms Can Help Recent Grads Find Employment

You’ve graduated from college and probably received your diploma in the mail by now. The “struggle was real” with school, but now you face an even bigger challenge... Applying that shiny new degree towards getting a real job in the “real world”.

It isn’t uncommon that college graduates struggle to find their dream jobs right out of school. According to Time magazine, three to nine months is the average amount of time it takes for new college grads to land a job. However, by working with a staffing and recruiting company  that offers temporary, temporary to hire, and direct hire opportunities can significantly change that average.

Here is a list of reasons why staffing and recruiting firms can benefit your long term job search.

Experience
Is your resume looking a little sparse? Never experienced having a real job before?

Landing a temporary job in your industry is a wonderful way to gain experience while also filling in those gaps on your resume. Even if the job isn’t in your specific field, you will still gain experience relevant to the job you eventually see yourself having!

No matter what position you end up with, the position will still challenge you to work harder towards finding the job you want. You will still be held responsible with  juggling multiple tasks and working with others while on the clock. These skills are highly valuable and will transfer throughout your career.

 

Connections
Some of the best positions available are never publicly listed. You can search far and wide on job sites and never come across your perfect job post. Many of these “perfect” jobs you are desperately trying to find are only filled through word-of-mouth. This can make it difficult for someone right out of school to find those hidden gem positions.

However using a staffing and recruiting firm will introduce you to a whole new world of people- people who have definitely been working in the “the real world” a lot longer than you! By introducing yourself to a new crowd, you are given the chance to make a good first impression. This is the time to show off your work ethic, problem solving skills, and people skills to potential employers. Working with a firm  like Anderson and Associates Recruitment and Staffing is the first step to building trust, trust that can get you a job!

Even if a staffing and recruiting firm doesn’t offer a position in your field, the odds of you coming into contact with people within that industry are high. If you accept temporary work , it’s crucial to make that extra effort to get to know who you are working with and form relationships. These relationships may end up helping you find out about that unadvertised position that may just be perfect for you!

 

Waiting for that Dream Job
Wait, you have to start your student loans payments 5 months from now? Maybe your parents have been dropping hints a little extra lately saying things like “how’s that job search going?” and “the bills aren’t going to pay themselves!”. After having the freedom of living on your own while at school, becoming dependent on your parents to help you during your “post-grad” period can get old really fast.

That need for a steady paycheck may lead some people to jump on any job they can get their hands on. Once they’ve taken that position, they can get stuck. Leaving too soon may leave a bad impression and finding the time to search for a job is a lot harder.

However going to a staffing and recruiting firm and applying for a temporary job will allow you the time and ability to search for your dream job. The paychecks will keep your water running and your student loans in check until you find the right position. Plus, the flexibility of a temporary job means that you have a better chance of planning out a day of interviews when you need to.

 

Temporary to Hire
Companies will turn to staffing firms for many reasons. Some are only looking to hire seasonally and just need extra help during that time. Others are looking to fill a position because the current employee is on temporary leave. The third reason for most temp to hire positions is due to an employee leaving and the company wanting to see how the candidate will work in the position before committing to hiring them.Doing well in this role highly increases your chance of being hired and becoming a valued part of the client company team.

In some cases, if the employer is impressed with a temp’s performance they can go so far as creating a new position at the company. Hard work pays off and if you are offered a brand new role, you are already on your way to starting your career in the direction you want to go.

Working with a staffing and recruiting firm has a million upsides for recent grads who are just beginning to feel out the working world. At a temp job, you’ll learn about life in the office and get the information that will help you decide where you want to be later on in your career. If you are graduating soon or just got out of school, look up staffing and recruiting firms near you. It’s a chance to get your bearings in the workplace and jump start a successful career.

 

Your Chances are Higher when Getting Hired if you already have a Job
Yes, you read that correctly! According to a report on NPR, employers reported feeling more comfortable hiring someone who is already working. They claim that these candidates look more responsible and some even go as far as believing there might be “something wrong with you” if you apply without a current job.

Lucky for you, you have just graduated! If your main focus was getting through school, many employers will understand that. But until you find that dream job, checking out your local staffing and recruiting firm can broaden your horizons.

When you list your current staffing and recruiting firm as your employer and share the skills you have acquired, you will find that you look a lot better than an applicant who has an employment gap after graduation.

How do Staffing Services Work?
How do Staffing Services Work?

Staffing and recruiting firms, like Anderson and Associates Recruitment and Staffing (AARS) offer companies (client) and candidates (employee) an array of options. Direct Hire-if a company wants to hire a candidate directly, temporary if the company needs to fill a role for a project or specific time frame, and temporary to hire if the client company has long term needs.

Staffing firms vary from company to company and  will service an array of industries. For example, AARS provides staffing for a variety of industries including but not limited to: Administrative/Clerical, Finance & Accounting, Professional, Industrial, Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Executive.

Our process is outlined below:

  1. Clients contact AARS with positions-Temporary, Temporary-to-Hire and Direct Hire that need to be filled.
    Our recruiting strategy is to identify and source the best candidates for our clients. For this to happen, it is important that we take the time to get to know our clients by conducting a business analysis. Once we have a good grasp on what the client needs, we launch a search for highly qualified candidates.
  2. AARS collects and narrows down applicants then reaches out to qualified candidates.
    Utilizing a number of recruiting strategies including our robust database,online resources, and referral network,we begin searching for candidates. Candidates are screened thoroughly for the following: required skills, level of experience, and cultural fit for the client work environment.
  3. Building a 360 degree view of candidates for the position.
    Once we have narrowed down our search AARS conducts comprehensive behavioral based interviews, evaluation testing (if applicable) and any pre-employment requirements such as drug or background checks. Thorough reference checking is complete before we place any candidate on assignment or on a direct hire position.
  4. Placing and compensation of new employees.
    Once our employee’s hiring process is complete, they can start working for our client. Here at AARS we are the employer of record for all temporary and temporary to hire employees and are responsible for all payroll and payroll related costs, including unemployment, and workers compensation insurance.

Staffing Firm Fast Facts

  • According to the American Staffing Association, more than 90% of companies within the US use staffing firms.
  • More than three million temporary and contract employees work for America’s staffing companies during an average week.
  • During the course of a year, America’s staffing companies hire nearly 15 million temporary and contract employees.
  • 49% of staffing employees say it’s a way to get a permanent job.

Source

The Most Common 50 Interview Questions
The Most Common 50 Interview Questions

When it comes to the interview process, research and preparation for the interview can often times determine your chances of making it to the next step. One of the best ways to get ready for a job interview is to practice your responses to the following common interview questions. Remember that the best investment is you –take the time to be prepared.

1. What are your strengths?
2. What are your weaknesses?
3. Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
4. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
5. Why do you want to leave your current company?
6. Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
7. What can you offer us that someone else can not?
8. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
9. Are you willing to relocate?
10. Are you willing to travel?
11. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
12. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
13. What is your dream job?
14. How did you hear about this position?
15. What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?
16. Discuss your resume.
17. Discuss your educational background.
18. Describe yourself.
19. Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
20. Why should we hire you?
21. Why are you looking for a new job?
22. Would you work holidays/weekends?
23. How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
24. What are your salary requirements?
25. Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project?
26. Who are our competitors?
27. What was your biggest failure?
28. What motivates you?
29. What’s your availability?
30. Who’s your mentor?
31. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
32. How do you handle pressure?
33. What is the name of our CEO?
34. What are your career goals?
35. What gets you up in the morning?
36. What would your direct reports say about you?
37. What were your bosses’ strengths/weaknesses?
38. If I called your boss right now and asked him what is an area that you could improve on, what would he say?
39. Are you a leader or a follower?
40. What was the last book you’ve read for fun?
41. What are your co-worker pet peeves?
42. What are your hobbies?
43. What is your favorite website?
44. What makes you uncomfortable?
45. What are some of your leadership experiences?
46. How would you fire someone?
47. What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
48. Would you work 40+ hours a week?
49. What questions haven’t I asked you?
50. What questions do you have for me?

Hiring tips to find the right employee for your company
Hiring tips to find the right employee for your company

To hire the right person for the job, you need to look past candidates’ resumes and cover letters and learn more about them as people. Employees need to have the skills and experience required to do the job, but they also need to fit in with the company culture and be willing to take direction and handle challenges as they come.

Focus on the candidate’s potential.

Nothing is more important in a new hire than personality. While having the right skill set may seem essential, the fact is, skills can be acquired, but personalities cannot. Consider soft skills — like interpersonal skills, communication skills, thought processes and emotional intelligence — because they matter.

Check social media profiles.

Like most employers, you probably already make it a point to do a background check (including at least a quick Google search on the candidate’s name) to see what comes up about that person online. But if you’re not looking through the candidate’s social media profiles, you could be missing a key way to find out more about the individual as a person and an employee. How that person behaves on social media is a good indication of what kind of person the individual is and how your prospect might fit into your company’s culture.

Fit the personality to the job.

A candidate’s personality is another really important factor to consider. The kind of person you hire depends on the culture of organization and the type of job. A great person with all kinds of skills may be a good fit for one and a poor fit for another, simply based on their personality type. And just because a person seems like the right fit for your company, doesn’t mean that person is the right candidate for the job you have open. You have to make sure that the employee you hire is up to the task.

Ask the right kinds of questions.

If you ask someone why they left their last job and they blame someone else, it’s important to follow up with another question. If they continue to blame external forces for their problems, you may want to look for another employee.Make sure you have a few “behavioral” based questions prepared. These questions can tell you a lot about “predictive” behavior patterns and a candidate’s drive and ambition. This is important in helping you understand how the person works, and whether or not your prospective employee will grow with your business.

Let candidates interview you, too.

Don’t be the only one to ask questions. To help determine if your prospective candidate has the right personality for your particular job, it’s important to help that person understand the company’s work environment.It’s important to be open and honest about what it’s going to be like to work for your company. You want to give a realistic preview of the work environment.

Allowing prospective employees to interview you for a change will give you a chance to see what’s important to them. Plus, it will give candidates a chance to determine that they want to keep pursuing a job at your company, or to decide that it’s not the right fit for them — and that’s just as important.

Another tip is to get your employees involved in the hiring process.

To ensure the candidate is the right fit for the company and the company is the right fit for them, each candidate should meet with at least two other staff members individually. If a few employees have concerns, it’s likely they aren’t the right fit for the organization.

Know that not all hires work out.

You’re only human, so even after following all these tips, it’s entirely possible that you might still make a bad hire. If you have tried to solve whatever issues have arisen as a result of a new hire, and your attempts have failed, it’s okay to let the person go. After all, you want an employee who is going to add to your company culture, not make it worse.

Say “Yes” to the Cover Letter!
Say “Yes” to the Cover Letter!

A unique cover letter differentiates you from other candidates. It is a statement that says, “I’m interested in working at your company and here are the reasons why you need to contact me.”  You don’t want to miss an opportunity to market yourself. Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences.

Below are tips to follow when preparing your cover letter:

  • Personalize it with a name-if you don’t have one, try researching the company website, LinkedIn or Google for the information.
  • Never address it “to whom it may concern.” Use “Dear Hiring Manager “or “Human Resources.”
  • Don’t write a “letter” use bullets and strong sentences stating your unique abilities-keep the length to a few paragraphs with an opening and     closing statement.
  • Consider using a success statement that illustrates how you accomplished a project or earned a promotion and how that translates to the job you’re applying for.
  • Be professional, with correct spelling and grammar.

Even if your cover letter isn’t read, it shows you went the “extra mile.” As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Are Job Descriptions Necessary?
Are Job Descriptions Necessary?

Many hiring managers will tell you they don’t have time to write job descriptions. With so many HR responsibilities on their plate and so little time, job descriptions often end up being a back burner issue.

Job descriptions are necessary for a number of reasons –

• They are critical to the success of your business
The performance of your employees has a tremendous impact on the success of your organization. If you don’t have a well-defined understanding and description of each employee’s role within your organization, how can they? Okay, so they didn’t perform to your expectations, you can always replace them, right? Right – after you patch up the issues caused by your unsuccessful employee (dissatisfied customers, poor company morale, and much more).

• Consider the prospective employee’s viewpoint
Employees need to know what the job entails and what is expected of them. When a job description isn’t available, what message are you sending to prospective talent? Most likely the message is: “I can’t invest the time to determine the role and requirements of your position (and chances are, I won’t be have the time to invest in you once you’re hired)”.

• Risk-Management
Smart hiring managers review the job description and take time to answer an employee’s questions on their first day. Finish with having the employee and the hiring manager sign it to acknowledge the description and an understanding of their roles. This demonstrates the company’s desire to provide the employee with the information they need for a successful relationship with the firm. It also serves to acknowledge the employee’s understanding of performance expectations and can thereby alleviate claims of wrongful termination if an employee does not meet the standards of the job.

Granted, job descriptions do take time to write. Once developed, however, revising and updating them can be painless. The other option is costly.

Workplace Conflict…tip for managers
Workplace Conflict…tip for managers

Conflict is never an easy thing to deal so it’s no surprise that most people either try to ignore it and hope it goes away, or attempt a direct confrontation, which often makes it worse. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for managers:

DON’T: When you know about a conflict, don’t look the other way.

DO: A conflict is a red flag. It tells you to stay alert and pay attention to what is really going on. If you have first-hand information you’ll be in a better position to coach the people involved. Using third-party information is risky and can make a bad situation worse (“So and so said that you were…”).

DON’T get into the role of parenting. It’s tempting to step into a conflict between two parties who are complaining about each other. Too often managers think that they should quickly respond to a complaint about a fellow employee by rushing off to correct the wayward employee’s behavior. Of course the confronted employee feels betrayed and becomes defensive because another employee has “tattled” on him or her instead of trying to work it out first.

DO: It’s important to encourage employees to take responsibility for working out their own conflicts. But often, you’ll need to help them figure out how:

  1. Listen carefully to the person’s complaint.
  2. Ask them what they have done so far to remedy the situation.
  3. Redirect the complainer back to the person and coach him or her on what to say and how to say it.
  4. Ask the person to report back to you on how it went, so you can offer more supportive coaching, if needed.

DON’T assume it’s just a personality conflict.

DO: Look for the core causes. One way to get at the real issue is to ask the person to explain the problem and then ask, “How does this affect your work?” Another way to peel away the layers of emotion is to ask “why” five times. By the fifth question, you’re usually at the heart of the matter.

DON’T try to solve an interpersonal conflict between a few people in front of the whole group. If you attempt to force a group to confront someone or hope to use group pressure to get someone to change, you are playing with fire. It is likely to blow up and become worse, adding insult to the original injury.

DO: Deal with the individuals privately and coach each of them to work with each other before stepping in. Don’t talk about the conflict with other employees.

DON’T think that telling a group of complaining employees to “stop” or “get along” is going to actually make the problem go away. They may stop telling you, but you can be sure that it will go underground and probably blow up later.

DO: Confront a chronic complainer who is constantly stirring up rumors, gossip and generally bad mouthing others. Managers tend to shy away from dealing with this type of problem employee because they do so much damage when they’re cornered. They’re also fearful that their behavior may not be directly performance related and therefore off limits to be discussed legally. On the contrary, if their behavior is ruining team morale, affecting the level of cooperation or doing anything that is affecting the customer, you have good reason to deal with it.

Safety First
Safety First

You’ve probably heard the statement “Accident prevention is everyone’s responsibility.”  We at Anderson & Associates BELIEVE this statement & know not one person can consistently watch, guide, & instruct every operation every day.

Our organization’s management team is very concerned with your workplace well-being & safety.  However, no one person is more important than you when it comes to doing your job in a safe manner.

  1. As an employee of Anderson & Associates you are responsible for:
  2.  Asking questions related to the job and the safety controls designed to reduce accidents.
  3. Ensuring you have the proper safety equipment and that it is in proper working order.
  4. Abiding  by all company safety policies and asking questions when something isn’t clear.
  5. Discouraging co-workers from engaging in at-risk behaviors while at work through active awareness.
  6. Making Anderson & Associates aware of any workplace safety concerns.

You should know how to do your job safely which requires a level of risk awareness beyond your immediate tasks.  The training you receive, the established work procedures, the general safety rules, and the use of common sense all provide the basis for you and your co-workers to go home safely and free of injuries.

Does your resume work for you or against you?
Does your resume work for you or against you?

The job market is vastly different now. Most job announcements require you to apply on line or forward your resume without the chance to discuss your qualifications in person. Hiring managers and recruiters are faced with a full “inbox” of resumes for every job opening. Because the process of identifying qualified candidates takes time, effective hiring managers use the process of elimination to “filter” the candidate pool. Here are common examples of what can send your resume to the “NO” file and how to avoid them.

• Don’t tell the employer which job you are applying for. Most employers have more than one job opening, but not the time to determine which one you are responding to.

• No dates of employment… or, conflicting dates… or, maybe just one date. These are red flags and hiring managers won’t contact you for clarification.

• Your resume shows you live in another city or state and you don’t explain why you are applying for a job over 500 miles away. It may be as simple wanting to move back to the area where you attended college, but unless you explain it in a cover letter, an employer isn’t going to call you.

• You don’t have the required experience or qualifications. Unfortunately some job applicants do this often enough that their name becomes very familiar to hiring managers – and not in a good way.

• Don’t read or follow instructions when applying. If the job announcement asks you to “submit resume via email”, do that. A telephone call or personal appearance asking for an interview gives the appearance that you can’t follow instructions and even worse, are trying to circumvent their hiring process.

• Mistakes on your resume: spelling errors, grammatical errors, conflicting dates, or an “objective” that was meant for another job.

Looking at your resume from the perspective of a hiring manager will improve your chances of hearing from employers and landing the job that is right for you for you.

Are you spending as much to retain employees as you are to recruit them?
Are you spending as much to retain employees as you are to recruit them?

From hiring recruiters, to advertising, to creating top-notch onboarding programs, it’s no secret that companies spend top $$$$ a year to attract top talent. The problem for many organizations is the investment stops there – meaning far fewer funds are allocated to retention efforts after employees are hired.

It is quite amazing that companies often invest so much in recruiting top talent and then once they have the talent, fail to budget, develop, and execute programs to grow and retain them. Also, it is very interesting that financial executives especially spend so much time focusing on protecting cash, inventory turns, investments in buildings, etc., when people costs are often the highest expenditure in their companies! And they do very little to leverage or protect this large investment.b

No one argues it’s important to invest in attracting talent, but it should be equally as important to retain the quality employees you do have. There are numerous strategies to boost loyalty, increase job satisfaction and retain your employees.

Career development initiatives
Great employees always want to grow professionally and good companies should support this desire. Not only do employees gain and improve skills, but the company sends a very powerful message – we value you and what you bring to the workplace – so much so that we’re willing to invest in you to our mutual benefit.

Leadership training
Looking at long-term employee retention and development, leadership training should be made a priority. Keep in mind employees often lack engagement due to poor management within an organization. Help build strong leaders to strengthen your company overall by adopting a leadership training program.

Effective communication
Open communication can be a winning strategy for engaging employees and making them feel valued. Solicit feedback from employees, encourage an open door policy, conduct an annual company survey and use the results to create an action plan afterward.

Work areas
Comfortable work areas, including leading technology, encourage productivity and help employees stay productive and happy. Employees view their work environment as an extension of the level of care by their leaders so poor temperature-controlled spaces or work areas that appear to be in bad condition create negative attitudes in the minds of employees.

Rewards and recognition
Employees who go above and beyond should be recognized for their extra efforts. Managers should make it a point to personally thank hard-working employees and make sure they are recognized. Incentives beyond salary – whether a bonus or extra perk – are always appreciated and keep employees satisfied and hungry to work hard again in the future.

Flexibility and value-adding initiatives
Going the extra mile to give employees opportunities to live healthier and improve their work/life balance can be great for retaining top talent. Extras like wellness programs and the opportunity to have a flexible work arrangement can really make your organization an attractive place to work long term.

The Next Hiring Trend – Millennials
The Next Hiring Trend – Millennials

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, 3.4 million people will turn 65 in 2015 and out of the 3.4 million; approximately 9 out of 10 may choose to retire. Combine this with CNN Money report that 60% of employers expect to increase hiring in 2015, and it is easy to see that recruiting & retaining good talent is going to get difficult very quickly. Where do companies turn to fill this gap? All accounts point to the Millennial or Gen Y generation.

But who exactly are the Millennials? According to Wikipedia this generation was born between 1982 – 2000 and is sometimes referred to as the New Boomers, referring to the generation’s size relative to the Baby Boom generation. They are the most educated generation to date & have been plugged into technology since they were babies. Some 81 million have already entered college or the workforce.

To recruit & retain this group one has to understand them. Job satisfaction is very important. They want work-life balance or work flexibility – they are going to work hard, but they want to have the flexibility and time to spend with family & friends. They are curious & confident. If they think a process should be changed or improved, they want the opportunity to share their idea. They also want mentoring programs to build & measure their effectiveness. They value results over tenure & can get discouraged with the amount of time it takes to work up the career ladder. They also value an employer’s social responsibility more than any other prior generation.

Currently companies of all sizes are spending record-breaking amounts of money on recruiting this group. This generation has grown up on Social Media and building a company brand is more important than ever. Those employers whose companies’ website is not mobile friendly are losing out on recruiting this much needed pool of candidates.

Companies large and small that strive for substantial growth over the next few years will need to take this population seriously. They are the future workforce & will soon replace the Baby Boomers as they retire. Are you ready for the Millennials?

How Costly Is Your Current Hiring Process
How Costly Is Your Current Hiring Process

A recent uptick in business has forced you to start recruiting for a key role that has been vacant for a while. You interviewed several candidates, a few are very qualified, but you want to “think about it” awhile before making a decision. Besides, you have a busy week ahead of you preparing for your vacation. Those candidates will still be available when you’re back – right?

Due to an improving economy, potential employees also see an uptick in interviews and job offers. Employers who are indecisive about what they really need, or who are accustomed to taking their time to call back candidates, are finding themselves having to start the entire process over. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the time it takes to fill a job opening has increased over 50%.

Informed business owners and hiring managers understand the need to plan and act decisively when filling jobs.
Not acting “intentionally” can be costly in a number of ways:

• Time spent by you or your hiring manager to recruit, screen and interview new candidates
• Advertisement Costs
• Loss of productivity within your firm = slower response to your customers = potential loss of business
• Reputation – when potential candidates receive call-backs for positions that were recently closed or when job announcements reappear , it is often perceived among job seekers (as well as the business community) that an organization is ill-prepared and unsure of their needs and the current job market

Meeting with key staff, hammering out a needs analysis, determining a competitive salary, and establishing a timeline before pulling the trigger does take some time, but the alternative takes much longer and can be very expensive.

Interview Etiquette
Interview Etiquette

Your professional resume and polished cover letter were enough to get you in the door, but what happens after you land an interview?  As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and nowhere is that adage more true than in an interview.  While it may be impossible to anticipate every question  you may be asked, you can do a few things to stand out from the crowd.

1. Come prepared.  Know your resume and your work history, inside and out.  Be able to relate your past employment to the position for which you are applying. Have at least one question ready to ask the interviewer when it comes to the inevitable, “Do you have any questions for us?”  It shows the position is important to you and that you planned ahead.

2. Deal with setbacks.  Address in a straightforward manner any gaps in your work history or jobs from which you might have quit or been let go.  Your interviewer has already noticed them.  Having a well-thought out answer will make you look both professional and dependable.  That being said, however…

3. Avoid the urge to overshare.  Are you taking care of a sick parent, dealing with a difficult divorce, or have a car you can’t rely on?  Don’t give out personal details that make you look unreliable.  These will only set you back to the bottom of the stack. Remember, it’s an interview, not a therapy session.

These few steps, along with dressing professionally, being friendly and polite, can help you stand out from the rest and take the next step towards your success.

Are You Hiring Enough?
Are You Hiring Enough?

Staffing levels are a perennial challenge for employers. While it is important to hire enough people, it’s also important not to hire too many people. Increasing emphasis has been placed on selecting the right people for the right job, on competency, and other vital factors in the recruiting and hiring process. The number of people hired and assigned to particular roles can have a huge impact on productivity, morale, employee tenure, workforce stability, and profitability.

Over the past few years, during the slowed economy, employers have taken every measure possible to control payroll costs–including severely reducing staffing levels wherever possible. Consequently, remaining employees have had to pick up a lot of slack, struggling to accomplish tasks that previously had been handled by larger teams of employees.
While productivity numbers have understandably increased, making management look good, other aspects of business operations–perhaps more important–have been damaged.

When staffing is insufficient to achieve results to the satisfaction of management, customers, and the workers themselves, morale and profitability both suffer.
Customers have suffered over the past few years, sometimes tolerating poor service, sometimes complaining to no avail, and sometimes taking their business elsewhere. As economic and consumer confidence conditions improve, customers will be less tolerant. They’ll expect, no–demand, to be served. Employers must listen, adjust staffing to meet requirements, or suffer the consequences.

How are your staffing levels? Do you have enough positions, when fully staffed, to serve customers, fellow employees, and suppliers at the desired levels?
Now is the time to evaluate how many people you should employ and where they should be assigned. Don’t overlook the opportunity to cross-train people so they can fulfill the responsibilities of several positions.

Consider your needs, and then plan your staffing for today’s conditions. With that task complete, explore the potential impact of our growing economy on your business. What are the implications? What staffing plans should you make now in anticipation of a probable increase in business (demand)?

Why Should I List the Salary Range When Posting Job Announcements?
Why Should I List the Salary Range When Posting Job Announcements?

With the current recession there has been a trend for companies to omit compensation in job announcements. The idea has been that with the increase in job-seekers and HR departments being flooded with applications, they simply don’t need to include salary information anymore. However, the economy is picking up and job seekers are landing jobs much sooner than most hiring managers are accustomed to. In addition, highly qualified candidates who are employed are less willing to respond to an announcement unless they have more facts about the position. Here are three reasons why you should list the salary in your job announcements:

Red Flags – From a job-seeker’s prospective, job postings that don’t mention salary ranges often send mixed signals – the company may not have a firm job opening yet and is really just wanting to see what kind of talent is out there, or… the company hasn’t done the research to determine the value of the position, or… the company doesn’t want its current employees to see what a new employee would potentially make. Although they may not be accurate, those signals may turn a good applicant away.

Time-Saving Screening Tool – Listing the salary range also saves the hiring manager many hours of screening scores (if not hundreds) of resumes and interviewing candidates only to find out that a candidate’s salary requirements don’t match what the company is willing to offer.

Better Response – Most job seekers use the internet and list their search criteria on job boards. If your job lacks specific salary information, chances are it won’t show up and candidates won’t see it.

If you still don’t want to list the salary in your job announcement, you should understand that you might not be getting the best response and may have to put more time and effort. Some hiring managers may feel they have the time, but most can’t spare it.

How to Prepare for a Job Interview
How to Prepare for a Job Interview

The interview is one of the most important elements in the job search process. After your cover letter and resume, the interview is your best opportunity to show the employer you have the skills, background and ability to do the job. The goal of the job interview is to present your best possible self and show how you are an excellent match for that company. The best way to do this is with a little preparation.

Do Your Best

What you wear on your interview is an important part of how to prepare for a job interview. In some business climates appearances do matter, and in others it isn’t so important. However, it does make sense to dress your best for the interview. For examples of proper attire, see our blog, Dress for Success (2/21/13).

After you decide what to wear (don’t forget accessories & shoes) make sure your outfit is cleaned & pressed. It is also a good idea to try the outfit on ahead of time just to make sure everything fits.

Practice Greeting Your Interviewer

You should always greet your interviewer with a friendly smile and a firm handshake.

Practice Your Answers to the Most Common Interview Questions

If you don’t know what these are, do research on the Internet. You’ll want to have your answers ready and practice them. You should always be able to answer, “Tell me about yourself” and “Why do you think you would be great for this job?”

Be Positive

Never say anything negative about past employers, past experiences, educational courses or professors. Think of something positive and talk about that.

Be Prompt and Professional

Always arrive early and get exact directions in advance including the phone number just in case you get lost or are going to be late. If you are going to be late, call to let the interviewer know. The best time to arrive is 5-10 minutes early.

Bring Extra Copies of Your Resume.

Even if you have already given a copy of your resume to the company, bring several copies to the interview to give out if requested. Your resume will also give you details like dates of employment if you are asked to fill out a job application. You should study your resume and know everything on it because any work experience or skills you have listed may be discussed during the interview. For help with your resume, check out our blog, Resume Tips (3/19/13.)

Bring a Pen

It’s easier to have your own pen than to borrow one if you have to fill out paperwork.

Bring Your Identification

Some companies have building security & you may be asked to show a photo ID, and in some cases, you may be asked to complete an application or other new hire paperwork and may need your Social Security Card.

What NOT to Bring to an Interview

What you shouldn’t do or bring to an interview is important too.

Don’t:

  • Brings a relative or friend – you need to be able to interview on your own qualities
  • Chew gum, candy, etc.
  • Bring coffee, soda, or water
  • Bring you phone, IPod, or other electronics (if you need your phone for contact information, turn off the ringer
  • Wear a hat or cap
  • Wear too many rings – if you have many piercings, leave some of your rings at home
  • And Don’t forget to cover any tattoos

Interviewers can tell whether or not a candidate has prepared for the interview and they appreciate it if you do.

Resume Tips
Resume Tips

Many job seekers who find themselves unemployed for the first time in years are faced with having to update their resumes and are unsure how to start. Because of the competitive job market, most hiring managers will spend less than a minute looking at your resume. Knowing that, how do you get their attention?

Put yourself in their shoes. Keep your resume brief, no more than   1 – 2 pages at most –
Many job search websites recommend you list an objective or a descriptive headline at the top of your resume that broadcasts your specific career target. Employers also have objectives. One of them is getting through the stack of resumes so they can move on to interviews. Objectives or career summaries take up precious space on a resume and if written narrowly, can eliminate you from the candidate pool.

Relevance Matters –
Hiring managers pour through resumes and look for quick indicators of a worthwhile candidate. Your resume should highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the position. It can be difficult (and painful) to reduce 20+ years of professional experience to one page of bullet points. Enlisting an ally who can provide an objective opinion of what should or shouldn’t be eliminated from your resume can be very helpful.

Avoid personal information such as “hobbies and interests.”

Format – Which is the best?
Chronological resumes continue to be the most preferred. Hiring managers not only look for relevant skills – they also look for dates of employment and patterns in employment history. Begin with your most recent employer.

For those who are concerned about decades-ago positions that may reflect their age, some experts recommend going back just ten years. Keep in mind that going back just ten years may limit your ability to highlight the experience relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Use one font style. Use bullet points and short sentences to highlight your experience. Your resume should be written as an outline, not a story.

Contact Information –
Give up the college student email address for a more professional one. Using foxylady@yahoo.com (yes, that was a real email address), almost always will put you in the “no” stack.

Accuracy – In spelling, grammar, and content –
Hiring managers are besieged with resumes on a daily basis. A simple clerical error on your resume can take you out of the running for an otherwise perfectly-suited position. Mistakes in spelling and grammar reflect carelessness. Missing dates or mistakes in dates of employment may be perceived as an attempt to hide a poor work history. Don’t just count on spell-check – have a friend proof read your resume.

Writing a good resume takes time, but the results are worth it.

Do Details Really Matter?
Do Details Really Matter?

Do the details of a task drive you, or do they drive you crazy? Of course there are details we all need to pay attention to. On the personal level, keeping good financial records and filing tax returns correctly and timely is part of our job as a good citizen. On the professional level, arriving on time for an interview or a job is an important part of being a conscientious employee.

Some people seem to naturally be more detail oriented & focus on the smaller details, while others prefer to focus more on the big picture & the bigger details – such as an accountant versus an artist. Without the fine details of an accountant, many of us might find ourselves in hot water with the IRS. On the other hand, an artist most often sees the bigger picture & without their vision our world would be void of some of the greatest paintings & sculptures. We need both kinds of details to balance our world & to make it an interesting place.

So, do details really matter? The short answer is, yes! But understanding the degree of detail necessary in a chosen profession can help match your skills to your occupation. Work becomes fun when it is a natural extension of who we are.

Political Timeout
Political Timeout

As the Presidential election draws nearer the political drum beat of negativity & partisan tensions beat louder & louder. It is nearly impossible to escape the political divide of blue vs. red, conservative vs. liberal. Everywhere one turns the negativity persists – letters to the editor are filled with mean-spirited name calling & spiteful points of view; radio & television talk shows always have at least two people of opposing views shouting & talking out of turn. What does all of this serve? Nothing!

If there is one place that should be a neutral zone, it is the workplace. Unlike the House or Congress, those of us who have co-workers must work together for the common good of the company, no matter what side we are on. Employers & supervisors would serve their company & employee’s best by strongly suggesting those who work for them leave their political opinions at home. It makes for a healthier work environment when subjects as volatile as politics are discussed elsewhere. And just like a toddler, we all could use a timeout to settle us down from all the craziness.

There was a time not too long ago when one was taught to never bring up politics or religion outside the home. We might serve ourselves & those around us best if we returned to these ideals.

Social Media
Social Media

Social Media, it’s not a passing fad. MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are here to stay. Do you have an online profile? Have you considered how your profile might affect your search for employment?

According to a survey by Career Builder, of the 2,600 hiring managers surveyed, 45% use social media in their hiring process. The survey also found that one in five hiring managers used information they found online to solidify their decision to hire. However, twice as many reported NOT hiring a candidate based on information found online. Examples of such information include postings involving drug use, bad mouthing current or former employers, discriminatory comments and sharing of confidential information from previous employment.

What can you do to make sure your use of online social networking sites doesn’t cost you your next job? First, use common sense and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. Second, use the sites security settings to make your profile as private as possible allowing only those with permission to view your information. Most important remember the saying, “Say it forget it, post it regret it!”

Customer Service & Business Reunite
Customer Service & Business Reunite

According to Wikipedia, “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”

Finally it seems that customer service is becoming relevant again in the workplace. Many companies are now hiring employees with customer service skills over technical abilities preferring to hire a candidate with a great attitude & train the individual for specific responsibilities.

One can easily separate themselves from the others by truly providing exceptional  customer service. Here are some steps to follow to get you on the customer service path.

Know your product – be an expert. It’s okay to say “I don’t know,” but it should always be followed up with ” but let me find out,” and then follow up. Never leave a customer with an unanswered question or nonreturned call.

Acknowledge a mistake– if you make a mistake, admit it and do your best to correct it. We all make mistakes, but it is refreshing when someone admits it & does something about it.

Body Language – positive body language includes smiling & eye contact. Make sure you acknowledge your customer with good eye contact. Not only is it respectful, it shows you are listening. And smile – it is much more inviting to look at someone with a smile on their face rather than a blank look.

Anticipate the needs of the customer – nothing surprises the customer more in this age of limited service than someone going the extra mile to help. Always look for ways to go beyond what the customer might expect.

And finally, always remember to the customer you are the company. The impression you make is most often the deciding factor whether a customer returns.

Balancing Act
Balancing Act

In the field of accounting it seems like there is always something to balance. There are numerous reconciliations to accomplish, and reaching that point where figures balance not only has a necessary purpose but can also have a sense of satisfaction. Balancing the accounting workload and your work day is very important as well. It is essential to get the various duties completed timely, but it is also nice to have some variety in the work day whenever possible. For maximum efficiency and job satisfaction, you might try some of these suggestions:

– Prioritize the different projects you need to work on.
– Always keep a calendar handy for deadlines, and give yourself enough leeway for upcoming due dates. Things often happen that may alter your plans for the day. When planning your schedule, be sure to also consider dates that banks and postal services are closed.
– If you need information from others to complete your tasks, be sure to allow enough lead time to receive the information so you won’t be scrambling at the last minute.
– Know when you are better able to tackle certain projects. Are you a morning person, or are you sharper in the afternoon?
– Divide your work day into two halves, then pick projects that you are better able to accomplish in the morning or afternoon,  if you have the flexibility to do so.
– Design effective spreadsheets that will keep track of a lot of the information you regularly use, then pull them out and use the information as needed. It saves time and allows you to put a lot of that paperwork away.
– Develop an efficient filling system and use it. Wasting time looking for things is time that could be much better spent on the needs of the business. It also saves a lot of frustration.
– When you take breaks from your more sedentary duties, get up and walk around; it can relieve some tension and also clear your head and give you a fresh perspective.

Managing the responsibilities and duties of the job instead of letting them manage you can help to create more balance and a win-win situation at work.

Are Job Descriptions Really That Important?
Are Job Descriptions Really That Important?

Your key employee just gave their two weeks’ notice and your head is still spinning. You’ve got to work on hiring and training a replacement fast. There’s no time to write a job description. You’ve got to place an ad, go through emails, read resumes and interview candidates – all while managing your business and keeping your clients happy. Besides, you’ll know the “right” candidate when you see one.

We realize job descriptions take much thought and time, but the energy you put into one is well worth the investment. Many hiring managers learn this when they are faced with having to release an employee who didn’t meet their expectations. They are back where they started. Writing a job description is critical for a number of reasons –

– You are forced to look at the job and determine which tasks are absolutely necessary for the position ( the essential functions), which tasks are helpful, but not necessary, and those that aren’t really needed and could be given to another employee or eliminated altogether. Positions evolve, yet some employees are required to perform redundant duties that are no longer necessary and they could be performing tasks that are more cost-effective and perhaps more rewarding.

– A well written job description is an important legal document. It outlines the essential functions of the position, the skills and experience necessary to perform the job and a timeline to benchmark performance expectations at specific points in time. Anyone who is a serious contender for a position with your firm should be provided the job description in advance. If you are using a staffing firm, they should also have the job description in order to send you only the most qualified candidates to interview. Upon hiring the successful candidate, the job description is revisited and signed by both the employee and the hiring supervisor to verify that both parties understand the job and performance expectations. This helps to prevent a claim of “wrongful discharge” if you must release an employee because they didn’t meet expectations.

– Lastly a job description increases the odds of identifying a long-term employee who will add value to your business and your business will add value to their livelihood. On the other hand, the lack of a job description may give the impression that an employer doesn’t value the position nor the success or failure of a potential employee, or …doesn’t understand the key components of the position and is willing to experience several unsuccessful hires to learn, or …is too busy and if they are too busy to consider a job description, they are most likely too busy to address more important time-intensive issues with their employees.

Your time is valuable. Would you rather invest it in a job description or spend it on refilling positions or possibly defending yourself in a wrongful discharge suit?  The payoff of consistent productivity and a positive morale among your employees should make the choice easy.

The Art of the Interview
The Art of the Interview

Interviewing is an art! Some folks are just better than others. The following 20 tips are for those who are a little more tentative or timid during the interview. Follow these great tips and you are sure to get closer to landing that great job!

  1. Make it a great resume. Cater your resume to the job description. Watch your grammar. Show your resume to a friend to edit. Make it legible and concise, use 1-2 fonts MAX and loose the objective at the top of the page.
  2. Be on time. Seems simple but you would be surprised at how many candidates show up late.
  3. Turn your cell phone off.
  4. Research the company you are interviewing with.
  5. Bring extra resumes.
  6. Bring something to write on.
  7. Dress appropriately. If you can’t show up in your best attire – then how serious are you about the job? Jeans are never appropriate. Tuck shirts in, no low cut blouses, skirts above the knee by 2 inches only, always wear hose with a skirt. Iron your clothes too – nothing says I just rolled out of bed than an unkempt shirt.
  8. Set your social media profiles to private or remove the party pictures. If you don’t think interviewers Google you or look you up on Facebook or MySpace, you’re wrong.
  9. Don’t make jokes. Too many people think they are funny when in reality they’re not. A job interview isn’t the place to test your material. Be friendly and outgoing, save the jokes for your friends.
  10. Don’t babble. When answering a question, answer the question. Don’t start out answering a question and then veer off to talk about something else. Make sure your answer directly reflects the question being asked.
  11. Don’t badmouth a boss or your last job. Find things to say about that employer that fit the reason why you left.
  12. Don’t play with your face or hair.
  13. Don’t say too much. Sometimes certain details of your life are better left unsaid.
  14. Have good eye contact. Staring at the floor, ceiling, or wall when speaking or listening makes you appear disinterested.
  15. Have goals. Maybe you don’t have any idea where you want to be in a few years professionally but figure out something to say. If you don’t and you’re asked, you appear un-ambitious, which leads an interviewer to think you’d be a lazy employee.
  16. Have accomplishments. Be prepared to talk about something that you’re proud of accomplishing, whether professionally or personally (or a failure and what you learned from it).
  17. Have passion. Be able to express why you want to work in that field/industry and what you do to further your knowledge (books, blogs you read). The more intelligent or informed you are the more impressive you’ll look.
  18. Ask Questions. At the end of the job interview make sure you have some questions to ask. If the interviewer doesn’t offer you a chance, ask to ask. Again, it reinforces your strong interest in the job.
  19. Send a thank you note to the interviewer after the interview is done.

Good luck – for more tips and tricks check back periodically for blog articles

25 Tips for Resumes That Wow
25 Tips for Resumes That Wow

Top Tips for Great Resumes

  1. Know the purpose of your resume
  2. Back up your qualities and strengths
  3. Use the right keywords
  4. Use effective titles
  5. Proofread and get someone else to review
  6. Use bullet points
  7. Put the most important information first
  8. Attention to the typography and font – make sure it is legible
  9. Explain the benefits of your skills
  10. Achievements instead of responsibilities
  11. No pictures
  12. Use numbers and figures to get your point across
  13. Include only the most important work experience
  14. Try not to have gaps in your employment
  15. Don’t include irrelevant information
  16. Don’t lie
  17. One or two pages max
  18. Use action verbs
  19. Use a good printerDon’t list hobbies
  20. Make the design flow with white space
  21. Create an pdf for ease of emailing
  22. Remove old irrelevant work experiences
  23. No fancy design details
  24. Don’t forget the basics – name, email, phone number
  25. Email address nice and clean – make sure your email is not a cutesy email address