Do Your E-Mails Portray a Positive Self-Image?

July 29th, 2014

Most workplaces utilize e-mail on a regular basis as a means of communication. As a professional, your e-mails should portray a positive self-image. Here are some ways you can ensure you’re promoting the most professional version of yourself via e-mail:

Avoid Abbreviations and Shorthand. 

Because e-mail is digital, many people seem to think it’s acceptable to use abbreviations or shorthand when corresponding with colleagues or clients. However, abbreviations and shorthand can often be seen as rude and dismissive. If someone uses shorthand or abbreviations with you, it’s probably okay to mirror those same words to that particular person. But, if you’re e-mailing someone who doesn’t use them or for the first time, you’ll want to stick with traditional writing to portray yourself as knowledgeable, educated, and not lazy. 

Correct Spelling and Grammatical Errors. 

When you send e-mails that have many spelling or grammatical errors, it relays the message that you are too lazy to put time into drafting that particular e-mail. Your computer or e-mail program has a spell check, so make sure you use it. Not everyone is a great speller or writer, but thanks to technology, you can minimize the amount of mistakes you make in an e-mail. 

Check What Time You’re Sending the E-Mail. 

If you’re regularly sending e-mails after or before work hours (8-6), you might want to rethink that strategy. First of all, it’s impolite to offload a task onto someone after work hours just to remove it from your task list. Second, sending an e-mail to someone before or after work hours gives the impression that you don’t respect his or her personal time. If you need to get the task or message off your list, you’re better off drafting the e-mail and waiting to send it until the morning.

Remove Smart Phone Conventions.

If you have a smart phone, it usually comes programmed with a convention such as: “Sent from my iPhone” or “Sent from my Android.” If you have your work e-mail synced to your smart phone account, you might want to remove that convention from your smart phone. When you send an e-mail from your smart phone, you could theoretically be anywhere. Even if you do choose to send e-mails from your smart phone for convenience reasons, it’s best not to let your colleagues and clients know that you’re not in the office to maintain a professional reputation.

As a professional, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re always promoting the best version of yourself in order to increase your chances of receiving job offers and to promote networking. If you feel like you’ve built up a great professional reputation thus far and would like help finding a job that reflects your skills and experience, contact Olympic Staffing.

How to Attract Natural Leaders for Your Company

July 22nd, 2014

Every company needs for two types of employees: leaders and supporters. Leaders are the employees who set goals and take initiative for the company’s needs, and supporters are the employees who follow direction well and perform the company tasks as needed. If you’re looking to attract natural leaders for your company, consider the following steps in the recruiting process:

Seek Recruits with Leadership Experience 

When you’re doing your initial search for potential candidates, try to seek out candidates who have significant leadership experience. This leadership experience could be anything from a title to a duty, but you will increase your chances of hiring a leader if the candidate has displayed leadership initiative in the past. 

Highlight Leadership Opportunities in the Interview 

While interviewing the candidate, highlight leadership opportunities as much as you can. When you mention leadership opportunities, evaluate the candidate’s level of excitement. If the candidate is excited and asks follow-up questions about the leadership positions, you are probably interviewing a natural leader. 

Ask the Candidate a Hypothetical Problem Question 

One way to find out if a candidate possesses a leadership mindset is to immerse them in a situation that requires leadership. In an interview, the best manner in which to do this is to ask the candidate a hypothetical problem question. Essentially, present the candidate with a realistic problem that could happen on any given day within the company and ask how he or she would solve it. From the response, you will be able to tell if the candidate is a natural leader or a supporter. 

Observe if the Candidate Offers Any Solutions without Prompting

Throughout the interview, take notes of what the candidate is saying. If the candidate offers solutions without prompting, s/he is probably a natural leader. If the candidate simply answers the questions without displaying any outside initiative, that candidate is probably a supporter.

Every type of company needs both leading employees and supporting employees in order to have the company run successfully. If you have identified that you are in need of an employee who is a natural leader, contact Olympic Staffing. We will perform a thorough screening process to ensure that only natural leaders are presented to your company.

How to Bring up Salary for a Potential Job

July 15th, 2014

When you are interviewing for jobs, salary is one of the most important factors that will ultimately shape your decision as to whether or not you accept the job. Often, potential employers won’t supply salary information right away. However, there is a right way to bring up salary in an interview without making it uncomfortable:

Don’t Initiate Salary Conversations During the First Interview 

The first interview is meant to be informal in the sense that you and the potential employer are getting to know each other. You are both assessing whether or not you would be a good fit for the role and company culture. Don’t bring up salary in the first interview, because it makes you seem less interested in the job itself and more interested in the details. 

Ask About Salary Before or During The Second Interview 

Salary is one of the factors that can highly influence your decision, so it’s only fair that you need to know the starting salary before moving forward with the company. If you are called back for a second interview, the time is now appropriate to initiate the salary conversation. You can either ask before or wait until you are in the interview, but you will have more negotiating power if you ask about the salary in person.

Do Your Research 

Make sure you do some research before the salary conversation takes place. You will want to know what the average salary is for people who are applying for jobs in the same field as you. This way, if the starting salary is lower than you had hoped, you havepotentially  room for salary negotiations. 

Clarify Salary

If the salary was previously advertised or mentioned in the first interview, make sure to clarify the salary in the final interview. It should be listed in the offer letter, but you will need to know the salary if you are interviewing for multiple jobs at once. This is so you can disqualify any potential jobs that don’t have a sufficient salary for your needs.

Salary is an important factor of a job, and it is not to be taken lightly when you’re interviewing for different jobs. If you know what salary you have in mind and you’re seeking new employment, contact Olympic Staffing. We will help you find interviews and meetings with companies who have your same salary requirements in mind.

How to Turn Work Gaps in an Interview into a Positive Aspect

July 8th, 2014

Many candidates have a hard time applying for jobs when there is a clear work gap in their employment history. Work gaps don’t have to be a negative factor when you are in pursuit of employment. In fact, you can levy your work gaps to speak positively about the time in an interview. One good way to frame your work gap is to explain it from a place of personal growth:

Travel 

If you were out of work for a while because you were traveling, tell your interviewer. You can talk about the skills you learned while traveling, or detail the different cultures you visited on your trip. Taking some time off for some worldly personal growth is an admirable trait, and your interviewer should be able to see that you are now ready to settle down with full-time employment.

Self-Employment

If you have a work gap because you were working on your own personal venture, that shows you have initiative and drive. It also shows your interviewer you weren’t just being lazy. Being self-employed takes a lot of time and commitment, and your interviewer should be able to recognize that.

Relaxation/Recovery from an Illness

If your work gap was due to recovery from an illness or personal relaxation due to work overload, make sure your interviewer knows. Your interviewer will appreciate that self-care is one of your highest priorities and will assume you are healthy and able to work if you are currently interviewing for jobs.

Another great way to frame your work gap is to explain it from a perspective of career growth or skill building:

Volunteering 

Even if you weren’t being paid, volunteering is a great way to explain a large work gap. If you were volunteering in a field related to your career, elaborate on your experience because it will show that you are extremely passionate about the industry and your future.

Learning New Skills Applicable to Job 

Jobs are always changing, so it’s sometimes necessary to learn new skills or computer programs in order to be better at the job you currently do. For example, if you took some time off to learn a new computer program, the work gap shows you are dedicated to being the best you can be at your job.

If you do have a work gap within your employment history, it’s extremely important to explain it to your future employer so they don’t make any misconceptions about you as a person. If you need help finding jobs to interview for with a work gap in your employment history, contact Olympic Staffing. We will match you up with an employer who will embrace your work gap and will be able to see your working potential.

 

 

 

How Much Does a Bad Hire Cost Your Company?

July 1st, 2014

When you’re hiring staff for your company, it’s important to hire candidates who are committed to the job. If the candidate leaves within a short time, you will incur both financial and psychological costs, which set your company back. Here are the associated costs of a bad hire:

Training Costs 

When you hire someone, you have routine training costs in order to introduce the candidate to the job. Even if you don’t perform a full-scale training day or week, you still will use company time to train the employee regarding their everyday job duties. You might need to have someone explain some software or company procedures to the new employee. This training represents lost time if the employee leaves shortly thereafter. 

Productivity Costs 

When an employee leaves soon after being hired, your company will lose productivity as another employee steps up to fill that role until the position is once again filled. You will have to start over again with the training and training process, decreasing your productivity until you find a good hire that is willing to stick with the company. 

Benefits 

If your company provides benefits for employees right away, you will lose the amount you invested in that particular employee. This could include vacation time, sick time, or costs associated with retirement plans.

Lower Company Morale 

One of the biggest psychological costs associated with bad hires is that your company will have a lower morale. Whether this morale is associated with reduced productivity, increased workload, or emotions surrounding the departure, it will cost your company and employees. 

Workplace Reputation

If new hires are regularly leaving, your workplace reputation risks being tarnished. Individuals outside the company will begin to wonder if the problem rests within the company itself, and not just with the candidates.

It is important to hire a responsible and loyal candidate if you are running a business so you can eliminate unnecessary costs. Contact Olympic Staffing for assistance. We will perform a thorough screening of all the eligible candidates to ensure you don’t make a bad hire.