Don’t Leave Out Your Soft Skills on Your Résumé

May 27th, 2014

When you’re writing your résumé, you will probably focus on your education and work experience – your hard skills. There is another skillset that most job candidates don’t highlight but should due to its value in the recruiting process – soft skills.

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are values-oriented personal attributes such as: “dependable,” “self-motivated,” or “flexible.” Soft skills are not measurable and usually compliment each other.

How Can Soft Skills Be Used on My Résumé? 

One way to highlight your soft skills is to feature them in your work experience role descriptions. For example, if you have a strong work ethic and want to communicate this to your potential employer, you could mention that you demonstrated a strong work ethic by staying late to see projects to completion. Share a specific example. Or, if you are a flexible person, you could mention that you had a flexible schedule when working at that start-up to make sure everything was finished in a timely manner.

Another way to feature your soft skills is to coach your references to use specific soft skills when describing you to a potential employer. This will help your potential employers see a full picture of who you are as a person. Make sure your reference knows what soft skills you want to be promoted for this specific job. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Soft Skills?

It’s important to portray yourself as a well-rounded candidate. When you provide soft skills for employers, you are showing yourself as a person and just not a job candidate. This will help the employers decide whether or not you’re the right fit for their company. The hiring process is often inundated with flashy work experiences or job titles. When you list your soft skills on your résumé, you’re setting yourself apart from everyone else and establishing yourself as a person.

It’s important to remember that your soft skills are just as valuable of a recruiting tool as your work experience. Don’t underestimate the power of communicating your core values and strengths to your potential employer. After you have updated your résumé, contact Olympic Staffing for your employment placement needs. They will arrange for you to interview with companies that match your existing soft skill set and would help a new skill set grow.

How To Best Implement Succession Planning

May 20th, 2014

Succession planning is a complicated task that takes years of effort, performance management and communication. If done correctly, it can be an invaluable tool for any company. Here are some tips regarding how to best implement succession planning for your company:

Nurture Your Leaders But Don’t Isolate Any Employees. 

You may have an idea of which employees will someday be effective leaders for the company. That’s perfectly acceptable, but don’t isolate any employees while you’re in the succession planning process. New talent could easily arise from your existing pool of employees, so respect your employees and continue to give them growth opportunities.

You are allowed and encouraged to nurture your strongest leaders to plan for their future within your company. As long as this nurturing isn’t exclusive and allows for growth and improvement from all employees, it is to be encouraged.

Seek Diversity Within the Company. 

When succession planning, you can shape the future of your company in a structured and responsible way. One of the easiest ways to guarantee the succession planning process runs smoothly is to incorporate diversity when choosing your leaders. Choose different leadership styles, personalities and values to ensure that your company will look at decisions from all different angles. This will also allow your company to see if a certain aspect of the business should be conducted in another manner. 

Check in with Employee and Company Goals on a Regular Basis. 

The goals of the company and the employees can often be lost when in the midst of succession planning. Check in with your employees on a regular basis to see that their goals are being met and that they are contributing to the company’s overall goals. While it’s important to plan for the future, it’s also important to remain in the present so the future leaders can work with a successful company.

Succession planning takes a lot of hard work and determination.  When done correctly, it can lead to some incredible results for both your business and your employees. If you would like to hire some new candidates for your business who are leaders, contact Olympic Staffing. They will put you in touch with several candidates who display the leadership qualities needed for a succession-planning candidate.

The Pros and Cons of Challenge-Based Interviewing

May 13th, 2014

Many companies have adopted challenge-based interviewing to help decide which candidate is best suited for a particular position. Challenge-based interviewing refers to an employer requests that the candidate perform a task that matches a skill listed in the job description. For example, if you are hiring a new web designer, you can ask them to complete a code or website sample as part of the interview. If you are looking for an administrative professional, you can ask them to do some virtual data entry for you. 

Overall, challenge-based interviewing has both pros and cons depending on your company’s needs.

Pros:

Eliminate the Weak Candidates. 

When you implement challenge-based interviewing, you will automatically eliminate the weak candidates who are mass applying for jobs. By adding in that extra step or challenge, you will only receive applications from potential candidates who are truly serious about the position. 

Equalize the Recruiting Playing Field. 

It’s hard to gauge how well a candidate will fit in with your company when the candidates come from such different backgrounds, experience levels, and individual skills. By giving each of the potential candidates the same challenge to complete, you are essentially equalizing the recruiting playing field. If two candidates perform similarly on the challenge, you can then focus on other aspects that are important to you, such as personality. 

Receive Proof of a Job Candidate’s Supposed Skill Set. 

Job candidates often embellish certain skills when applying for a certain job to appear more impressive. For example, a potential candidate may say he or she is well versed in Photoshop, but actually knows little more than the basics. By asking the potential candidate to complete an advanced Photoshop challenge, you can verify that your candidate’s skill set will actually meet the skill set required for the job description.

Cons:

The Process is Time Consuming. 

You will have to spend more time looking at applications and final products if you decide to take a challenge-based interviewing approach. If you are looking for a quick turnaround time, this might not be the best approach for your company. 

You Could Eliminate Candidates Who Would Be a Good Fit for Another Position. 

When your interview with a candidate is challenge-based, it generally limits you to seeing the potential of the candidate for that specific challenge or job skill. The downside to this is that you could easily overlook and eliminate a candidate who is a good fit for another position in your company.

The Nontraditional Approach Could Backfire in Traditional Companies.

Using a challenge-based interview to recruit new employees is definitely a nontraditional way of expanding your company. This tactic could backfire in companies that place value on traditional employees with job descriptions that are fairly basic or don’t leave much room for creativity.

When you’re hiring new employees, you’re going to have to decide whether or not challenge-based interviewing is for you. If you take into account all of the pros and cons of challenge-based interviewing, as well as what your company’s needs are, you’ll make the right decision and effectively recruit the best employees.

If you’re ready to start interviewing potential job applicants for your company, contact Olympic Staffing for a customized recruiting process, which can include challenge-based interviewing.

Outsmarting the Reverse Interview

May 5th, 2014

In most job interviews, you’ll be asked the following question: “Do you have any questions for me?” For many candidates, this “reverse interview” is a tricky decision between continuing to impress the interviewer or asking legitimate questions about the job. If you learn how to handle and ask reverse interview questions in the correct manner, you should be able to leave a positive impact and improve your chances of getting hired. Here’s how you can outsmart the reverse interview:

Don’t ask about hours and salary. 

The reverse interview is not the time nor place to inquire about specifics such as hours or salary. If you ask about these specifics in the first interview (especially hours), it will seem as though you are placing more importance on your schedule than you are on the company’s values. Before you accept the job, you definitely need to know your expected hours and salary. However, the more appropriate time to inquire about these details is after you have been contacted regarding a second interview. 

Don’t ask the interviewer too much about their personal story. 

Many candidates resort to asking the interviewer about their personal story when faced with a reverse interview. This can be a great tactic if the questions are framed within the context of their career growth. Asking too many questions about the interview can seem like you are trying to brownnose or manipulate them into hiring you. Be mindful of the questions you are asking, and keep them directed within the company to avoid any mishaps. 

Ask relevant questions, even if you don’t have any. 

The biggest mistake you could make at the end of the interview is to not ask any questions. Even if you already have all the job details and specifics, make it a point to ask a few questions at the end of your interview. Asking questions shows that you have a vested interest in the company and would like to know more about it. Some great suggestions for reverse interview topics could be: inquiring about company culture, asking about the predominant management style within the company, and inquiring about company and employee growth opportunities.

Don’t be afraid of the reverse interview. Instead, learn to embrace it. You’re being given the opportunity to learn more about the company and impress your interviewer at the same time. When you start thinking of the reverse interview as a positive aspect of your interview, you’ll find yourself more empowered to ask the right questions. Hopefully, you’ll receive a job offer as a result. Once you feel confident with your reverse interview skills, contact Olympic Staffing.  They will take your unique qualifications and match you with the right companies for your employment needs.