Month: March 2013

Shaky On Your Staffing Firm Knowledge?

A staffing firm is kind of like Chandler Bing’s job: everyone knows it exists – and that it’s important – but no one can really explain what it is.

In short, recruiters help match the right candidates with the right employers. While many companies have in-house HR departments, staffing and recruiting firms can help when the company’s staffing needs outweigh its recruiting resources. Because they also specialize in sourcing and screening candidates, recruiters can help you find candidates for hard-to-fill positions, even when it seems as though you’ve exhausted every possible resource.

When it comes to utilizing the services of a staffing firm, however, it’s important to first consider your unique staffing needs and recruiting goals, as different staffing and recruiting firms specialize in different things. Below are the three most common types of staffing agencies, and their various areas of expertise.

  • Permanent Staffing Agencies: Companies typically use permanent staffing agencies when they want to hire a key person, but do not want to publicize it.  Staffing firms help them search for candidates on the sly. Companies may also leverage staffing firms when other methods of in-house recruiting – job ad placement or employee referrals, for example – have proved insufficient. Recruiters specialize in proactively tracking down and finding qualified candidates.
  • Temp-to-Perm Staffing Agencies: Companies typically enlist temp-to-perm staffing agencies when they want to “try out” an employee before taking them on full time. Companies have the luxury of evaluating an employee’s performance and cultural fit before making a final hiring decision.
  • Temporary Staffing Agencies: As indicated by CareerBuilder’s most recent Hiring Forecast, more companies are planning to hire temporary and contract workers this year than in previous years. Companies typically use temporary staffing agencies for two reasons: either to fill in for a person who is out of the office for an extended period of time (such as someone on maternity leave); or to supplement staff during peak business periods that demand more help (but not enough to create a full-time posiiton). People who take temp jobs are typically either “career temps” – people who prefer the flexibility temp jobs offer over full-time jobs – or unemployed people who are trying to supplement their income with temporary work.

Looking for a staffing agency to supplement your hiring needs? Ask a colleague or industry peer for a referral. Just as it is with hiring, referrals are often your best source to find quality, trusted professionals. Another option is to start with 2013 Best of Staffing winners, who are recognized among both candidates and clients for providing excellent service in the staffing industry.

Source: CareerBuilder

Do You Manage Your Career Like A First Date?

First date.. Career… You heard me correctly!

Do you manage your career like a first date?

I remember what it was like to be single. That was over thirty years ago but I remember the awkward feelings of trying to find someone who would just go out with me on a date.

When I graduated from high school I was 6 feet 4 inches tall and a mere 145 pounds. I had a big head of red hair. I was no chick magnet!

I was an awkward nerd.

I tried to make myself attractive to the opposite sex. I picked clothes so that girls would notice me.

Now you wordsmith your LinkedIn Profile so that recruiters will notice you. You are establishing your brand just like I was trying to be stylish.

When I asked a girl out, I was just hoping not to be rejected. You submit your applications and pray that the recruiter calls you.

When I got a date, I was just trying to make a good impression. Was she the right girl for me? I was not worried about that I just wanted her to like me. When you go for an interview you are just praying that they call you back for a second interview. You just want them to like you.

Does this sound familiar? It should because this is how many of you manage your career.

  • You scour job boards looking for a date…. oh I mean a job
  • When you find a girl….  a job that meets your requirements you send in your resume and pray you will hear a response
  • When she calls…. I mean the recruiter calls you put your best foot forward hoping not to get rejected
  • When you get the first phone interview you try to sound like a nice guy… I mean like a experienced professional but still hoping not to get rejected
  • When you get the first interview you put you really try to show your stuff off… I mean you try to demonstrate your outstanding skills and talents
  • When you get the second interview, you are thinking will I get to second base with her… no I mean get an offer.

Are you concerned that this might not be the job for you? Heck no! You just want to get the next step!

You should be concerned on whether there is the right chemistry between the boss and you. Are you going to be happy in this next position?

Your job search is just like dating! You have to date to get married. Not every date turns into marriage. In the job search you have to interview to get the job. Not every interview turns into a job. Half of all marriages end in divorce.

Your career is very much like a marriage. It is about finding common ground, compromises, happiness, successes,….

Have you gone on a date that you just wanted to walk out? I hear there are strategies for that now.

Have you gone into an interview prepared to ask all of the right questions? Is this the right job for you?

Do you even know what the right job for you is?

What kind of boss do you want?

What kind of team do you function best on?

How do you want to be rewarded? Most of us want a combination of the following:

  • The bonus check
  • Public recognition
  • Pat on the back from the boss
  • Pat on the back from your team
  • Pat on the back from your client

How much variety do you want in your day?

Do you know what you need in a work environment and then how to determine whether you are going to get what you need?

Have you taken a job and suddenly said — what have I gotten into!

Finding your next job is serious business just like finding a spouse. There must be the right chemistry to make the relationship work… oh I mean the workplace fun and rewarding.

Go find that perfect match. Go find the perfect job for you. One that meets all of your requirements and reject those that do not.

By Mark Miller: Original Posting via Purzue

Experience vs Fresh Graduate

There has been some confusion among the workplace and job seekers on whether companies will, or should, hire young individuals right out of college or hire/keep the older, more experienced employee. Being a senior in college, my worry of getting hired right after graduation has skyrocketed. Why would businesses hire a freshly graduated job seeker when they could have a more experienced one? If I were up against a more experienced worker that is currently unemployed, would they even consider me? Naturally, instead of looking at the positives I looked toward the negatives first.

The older workforce would tell you that younger workers are generally lazier than their more experienced peers. They are constantly attached to their phones and social media sites. Erica Tevis owner of littlethingsfavors and LittleThingsBaby.com said, “From my experience hiring younger individuals, they don’t take the job as seriously as older individuals do – whether they take liberties such as coming in late or asking to leave early – to coming into the job hungover from a night of partying – to continually texting and using their own social media during work hours.“

Recent graduates and younger employees often come into a job with a mindset of changing the rules and attempt to manipulate the situation to suit their own needs. Many lack the maturity to adapt to the way that corporate America works. The result, more job hoppers. Whats worse, companies are investing time, money, and resources to train these people who ultimately have a higher turnover rate than their more experienced peers. Sandra Holtzman, president and founder of Holtzman communications LLC states, “Additionally, in a small business I do not have time to train or teach someone fresh out of school. Someone fresh out of school is often still dealing with learning how to work in a business environment in addition to having to learn the job.”

Even though hiring younger job seekers is often perceived as challenging, I was put at ease when discovering that “older” or more experienced employees are not so perfect either. “People with more experience tend to have a lot of bad habits, and in a corporation where one has systems put in place, young people are much easier to mold and tend to learn much faster.” stated Alexander Cross, owner of a Law-firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is often difficult to break these habits if one already has them programmed into their routine. More experienced people tend to be stuck in their ways and adjusting in a new working environment could be difficult.

We’ve always heard that the college you attend, the degree you earn, and what you do with that really matters. “Education and experience might be a tipping point in granting an interview – but as far as hiring, they are not as important.” said Corey Leff, CEO and Founder of spendLO. She then goes on to say “Being a small business, it is important that everyone be able to interact well together and work well as a team. Personality and fit within the goals of our company are crucial.” At the end of the day, it’s ultimately up to the hiring manager to determine what’s important, what’s not, and who’s the best fit for the company.

Maturity? Reliability? Does it matter? Joseph Sherman, Editor and Social Media Manager said “Companies that overlook older employees because of their age may be losing years of experience and wisdom.” Experienced workers are looking to build a “career” with one company, rather than jump around between them. Also, I have found that they are more committed to tasks and are less likely to take off or show up late. “Unlike 20-somethings that have their eye on the door and the next rung up, experienced executive assistants (once called secretaries) are looking more for security and fulfilling work.” said Julie D. Taylor, owner of a PR firm.

So what are the benefits of looking towards a younger job seeker? Recent college grads are typically enthusiastic about starting a new chapter in their lives. They are entering the workforce on a mission to change the world. Along with constantly offering up new ideas, being well versed in the latest technologies and trends, and passionate about taking on new challenges, today’s college graduate can be a huge asset to a company. Another advantage of hiring a younger candidate is their vast knowledge in social media. My generation truly understands the power behind social networking and what it can do for a company. We can uncover what methods are not being utilized, how to engage better with a younger audience, and the details behind the technology. Hire a newbie today:)

And the controversy goes on. What makes college graduates and other job seekers so frustrated and confused? The best answer: not having any answers. Sure, the older workforce can tout “experience”, but the younger generation can tout “youth perspective” and together we can provide true balance to the workplace. Mrs. Shilonda Downing, business owner, agreed saying, “ I think that both offer key elements for a successful team and each can learn from the other. If you have a company that is one sided, you’re truly missing out on opportunities to grow and advance your business.”

So for all the college graduates out there who are worried you won’t get hired, stop worrying and stay focused. Companies are less concerned about age and more interested in your ability to fit into their corporate culture with good work ethic, personality, and values. Stick with me, and you’re golden!

Written By: Dana Carroll

5 useful ways to fill in time when hoping for a job interview

I find too many job seekers who are ill prepared during their job search. The first two things that you should do when seeking a new employer is 1. Make sure that your social sites are private – if they are your source of socializing and 2. make certain that your voicemail message is professional – this includes “ringback” tones. You don’t want to make a bad impression before landing the interview.

What’s “Fit” Got to Do With It?

Companies today are looking for more than just education, experience, and transferable skills.  With an increasing price tag on turnover, recruiters and hiring managers are looking deeper into the intangibles.  The article below gives good perspective on what “fit” has to do with anything.

How often have you heard something like this when you’ve been rejected for a job: “We found someone who we feel is a closer fit.”

When you know in your heart that you have all the skills, experience and education that the employer seeks, it is only natural to ask: “How can they say that I’m not a right fit?”

You might reprise Tina Turner’s song with modified lyrics: “What’s fit got to do with it?”

Using “fit” can be a fudgy kind of excuse that employers give when they don’t want to risk revealing the real reason someone else beat you out for that prized opportunity. Employers aren’t under any obligation to reveal the reasons that they reject any given candidate. And, they are reticent to do so lest it open them up to unwanted protracted discussion, or even to a lawsuit.

“Fit,” however, often really is the issue. Employers are rightly concerned these days about more than just melding a candidate’s skills and a job’s responsibilities. In a landmark survey, Leadership IQ determined that a shocking 46 percent of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months, and that technical competence was only related to 11 percent of those failures.

Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, contends that the managers who fared significantly better than their peers in their hiring decisions focused their emphasis on interpersonal and motivational issues. The survey suggests that the key elements of fit that make for long-term employee success include “coachability,” emotional intelligence (or “the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, and accurately assess others’ emotions”), motivation, and temperament, which includes one’s attitude and personality.

So what is a job hunter to do?

1. Search for a great fit, not just a great job. While the need for an immediate paycheck can be very real and pressing, remember that signing on now to a job with a poor fit can be very costly for you later on. Each time you apply for a job you’ll likely have to explain all the transitions from one company to the next on your resume. If at all possible, you want to avoid in future job hunts having to explain why the job you take now just didn’t work out. Even if you’re successful in obtaining and taking an ill-fitting job now and becoming one of those 48 percent who fail within the first 18 months, you can create a red flag in your own future.

2. Look for companies that fit your personality and work style. Rather than randomly applying to a large number of jobs at many companies, look beyond job descriptions. Slow down and take the time to learn something about each company to which you want to apply. What do current and former employees say about its corporate culture? Does the company encourage teamwork and camaraderie, or is it every person for him/herself? It is a company that cares about its employees enough to have mentoring programs, and are you open to them? Are managers hard to access, likely to be available when you need them, or are they ever-present micro-managing one’s every movement? Which management style do you need to be successful? Learn about these and other fit issues on sites like Glassdoor.com, Vault.com, etc.

3. Use your interview to demonstrate your fit. You can do this in a couple of different ways if you’re well prepared. First, weave in things that demonstrate your fit into your interview. For example, if you know that a company wants to mold their employees through mentoring, you might talk about how much you appreciated being mentored in some past experience and how it helped you to grow professionally. This can be especially powerful if you can use it in answering a question, “Tell me about an area of your weakness.”

Second, if you haven’t had an opportunity to weave your fit stories into the early part of an interview, use your research when you ask your own questions at the end. You might pose something like: “I thrive in an environment where [fill in the blank with something about yourself that matches with the company’s culture]. If I were to work here, is that what I would likely experience?”

Sometimes fit really is a wimpy excuse used in rejection letters. Yet, if you can demonstrate your fit for a role in addition to showing that you have the right skill set and experience, you increase your chances of hearing: “We think that you would make a great addition to our company, and would like you to start within the next two weeks.”

Happy hunting!

Source: US News, by Arnie Fertig

5 Ways to Become an Efficient Job Seeker

Are you the kind of job hunter who feels that the search is taking over your life? Perhaps you sense that you’re spinning your wheels, putting in lots of hours looking for that new job and never gaining traction. Maybe you can relate to the person who stays up ’til all hours of the night, prowling job boards and sending a resume to anything that looks remotely interesting. If your job hunt consumes every waking moment, it is time to put it into perspective and more effectively utilize your time and energy.

Here are some things that you can do to gain control of your job hunt, save time, and allow you to appropriately balance it with the other parts of your life:

1. Treat your job hunt as a job. Define and schedule your “on” and “off” hours. Work hard and be productive while you are “on,” but also carve out guilt-free “off” time for proper work-life balance. As you gain that balance, you’re likely to find that you’re working more efficiently and productively.

2. Organize your time. Determine in advance how much time to allocate to each task, and focus exclusively on one thing at a time according to the schedule you lay out for yourself. If necessary, set a timer on your computer or phone to prompt you to go on to the next thing. While many people feel that they thrive on multitasking, studies have repeatedly shown that this doesn’t work as well as we tend to believe that is does.

Whatever puts you closest to nailing down a job offer should get top priority, and dealing with people always trumps impersonal online activities. Top priority goes to preparing for and following up actual interviews. Next is following up with networking opportunities, then comes creating new networking opportunities, etc.

Make time in your schedule for in-person business networking, researching new companies and their openings, participating in job hunter networking groups in person and online, and expanding your personal brand on LinkedIn.

3. Organize your desk. It can be altogether overwhelming to come into your home-office and see piles and piles of disorganized papers. Allocate some time each day to throwing out or shredding whatever you can part with, and putting everything else into a file or folder.

Rule of thumb: Only touch each piece of paper once. Deal with it, and don’t just keep shuffling paper or creating piles that you plan to deal with later.

At the end of your job-hunting business day, clear everything off your desk so that you can start fresh the next day.

4. Organize your computer. Create a filing system that works for you. You will benefit by having a folders for research, applications sent, each company with which you’re actively speaking, each recruiter you’re actively working with, networking groups, etc.

5. Don’t bother reinventing the wheel. There are many repetitive tasks that you can automate so you don’t have to “rethink” them time after time.

Examples:

a. You can save the URL of search results on Google, Yahoo, and Bing as a hyperlinked cell in your spreadsheet. Make each one a separate line, and in the next column remind yourself of what the search was for. On a regular basis, repeat the search by clicking the link and your results will be updated. In a similar way you can track company websites, specific job postings, etc.

b. Use Google Alerts to follow people, companies, or topics of interest and get a note in your inbox automatically. For example, if you follow a person, every time his/her name comes up in the news or a web posting, you’ll immediately receive word.

c. Within LinkedIn you can also follow people or companies of interest. When you do, you will get ongoing updates whenever their status or something else about them changes.

Central to the effectiveness of any time management strategy must be your desire and commitment to manage your time. When you begin the process, you may be amazed to see how much more productive your time can be, how your job search process can be enhanced, and how you will enable yourself to engage in a healthy work-life balance.

Happy hunting!

US News    Arnie Fertig

Elwood Staffing is looking for HUNTERS!

E ONLYWe are looking for an enthusiastic, sales professionals with a hunter’s mentality who are experienced in business-to-business sales and able to work successfully in a fast-paced environment.

The successful ASC candidate will:

  • have demonstrated proficiency in identifying, qualifying, and closing business
  • will have proven success in selling in the service industry
  • be highly self-motivated with a key sense of urgency
  • possess a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit

Good organizational skills, the ability to work with people across all levels of an organization (gatekeepers to executive decision makers), and professional communication skills are other key traits for this position. Elwood Staffing is one of the fastest growing privately held staffing firms in the US. As Elwood Staffing continues to grow and expand, and we are looking for energetic, dedicated people who want to grow with us! We offer competitive pay and benefits, and the opportunity to work with a company that values and rewards its employees. Find out more about us at www.elwoodstaffing.com/careers.  We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please include a resume in .doc or .pdf format with your response

Job Requirements

  • Previous outside business to business sales experience
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Staffing industry experience a plus, but not necessary
  • College degree a plus, but not required

Markets

  • Montgomery, AL
  • Oxford, AL
  • LaGrange, GA
  • Lafayette, IN
  • Louisville, KY
  • Lansing, MI