5 Top Trends Employers Should Be Noticing

March 27th, 2018

Never Forget It’s a Gig Economy

There are some advantages – You can hire according to project rather than fulltime, access talent across the nation and globally, and often bypass the insurance/benefits/taxes package, but there are also challenges.

  • There is increased ambiguity in the workplace and maintaining a consistent culture identity is difficult.
  • Creating a teamwork atmosphere with a blend of permanent staff and contract staff can be rocky.
  • Remote employees – means a high level of communication technology.
  • On-the-job training is tricky.

Catering to Candidates Matters

From tweaking a candidate’s attention to engaging dialogue to signing the dotted line on a contract, talent is in control. If you want to attract and retain, it’s time to:

  • Communicate clearly and in all formats – especially mobile
  • Build your company brand
  • Adjust hiring criteria – focus more on behavior, skills, and experience; and less on specific degree requirements.

Offer Flexibility to Enhance Work-Life Balance

One thing Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z have in common is a desire for flexibility in the workplace. If you want to build a pipeline of talent, it’s time to bend. According to a recent post on The Balance,

“Flexible managers treat employees as individuals and make an effort to accommodate personal styles and needs. They provide workers with greater latitude about the way they accomplish goals. They assess the needs of employees and provide feedback, guidance, and recognition individually to optimize performance.”

Create a Health and Wellness Work Culture.

Wellness programs in the workplace are high in demand – in small and medium-sized companies as well as large corporations. It’s no longer a “perk” but rather an essential part of the company benefits program. They provide employees with incentives, tools, support, and strategies for making healthy lifestyle choices.

The truth is – wellness programs benefit the employer as much as the employee.  Successful wellness programs not only improve employee health behaviors, they also reduce healthcare costs, improve productivity while decreasing absenteeism and sustain company morale. It’s a win/win.

Focus On Closing the Gender Gap – Especially in IT.

Of course, creating an environment that encourages diversity in multiple ways is critical, but a primary focus for 2018 is closing the gender gap. Employers who implement hiring policies and benefits packages that remove the typical obstacles women face will increase their talent pool

American women earn just 75-80 cents for every dollar that men earn and fill less than 15% of Fortune 500 boardroom seats. To address this gender imbalance, it is imperative that organizations create environments that encourage diversity at all levels. Focus on building a business attracts both genders by:

  • Implementing non-discriminatory hiring policies and benefits packages.
  • Removing obstacles that women face on the job.
  • Fostering a culture of care and confidence in which women can excel
  • Creating a flat structure where ideas from men and women alike are accepted and valued.

Olympic Staffing has your back. As your strategic partner, we do more than fill positions – we craft solutions designed to increase your productivity and profitability. Olympic Staffing Services maintains an extensive network of vetted, tested, and trained professionals. We work to identify your needs and then find the individual best suited to fit those needs. Contact us today.

 

Your Company & Diversity

January 23rd, 2018

Every company says they support diversity, but how many are taking specific steps to make it happen. Are you? Let’s talk about how – but first, let’s share a little light on why you need diversity in your company.

Companies who encourage diversity – hiring based on skills, experience, personality, rather than gender, ethnicity, or lifestyle – reap in multiple ways.

  • A broader base of talent encourages more open-minded learning, which in turn, means increased innovation and effective decision-making.
  • Expanded recruiting opportunities, including improved attraction and retention rates, and broader talent pool, which turns into more productive, smarter teams. In other words, you now have a definite competitive edge when it comes to hiring.
  • Strong employee relationships and improved company culture, all which leads to increased company attractiveness and employee loyalty.
  • An increased market reach – due to your expanded awareness of trends for varying demographics, which means happier, more satisfied customers who keep coming back.
  • An improved and notable reputation with both employees and colleagues, as well as clients.
  • Improved bottom line – all of the above means a growing, healthy, and stable bottom line.

Ok – there’s a packet of reasons to build diversity, but how do you make it happen?

  • Be intentional about breaking stereotyping. You may think you don’t have a bias or preconceived ideas, but when we dig beneath the surface, most of us do – we have to choose to change our thought patterns.
  • Build a diverse network. Connecting with different organizations, and attending various conferences will connect you to a broader spectrum of talent.
  • Change your tactics when recruiting. Focus on top talent in skills – both hard and soft, experience, cultural vibes – rather than gender, ethnicity, lifestyle choices, etc. It will not only bring diversity into your company; it will give you the competitive edge of a more in-depth talent pool. Ideally, your work team should represent the full diversity of your customer base.
  • Start a pattern of not only accepting diversity but embracing it. Start at the top – what management does is much more influential than what management When you create a diverse team for a company project, encourage feedback and lively exchanges of ideas, promote by merit, express appreciation for every job well done, your employees will soon pick up on the idea that everyone has value and potential. And if someone doesn’t – it’s time for some private dialogue and laying out of your expectations. Don’t let a few ruin the whole.
  • Present opportunities for employees to express themselves.The best way to encourage innovation and fresh ideas is to provide a safe atmosphere for sharing. Respect differing viewpoints and promote a healthy exchange of perspectives. Foster group problem-solving.

Of course, there are more ideas afloat on how to build diversity, but the critical key is simple – do it!

Looking for help in building a diverse workforce? Contact our team at Olympic Staffing. We do more than fill positions. As your strategic partner, we craft solutions designed to increase your productivity and profitability. Contact us today.

Personality Traits that Impress Employers  

January 16th, 2018

Getting a job and keeping a job isn’t just about your skills and experience – even in a healthy market. Prospective employers dig deeper – yes, they want the skills and experience, but they are also looking for personality traits that will help their business grow. Do you have what it takes?

Professionalism

Professionalism is a pillar to success in the workforce. Employers are looking for candidates who present themselves professionally in every way. They know how to dress appropriately for the position. They can be depended on to do their work well and on time. They have mastered the art of communication – connecting with others, treating everyone with respect, abstaining from foul language, etc. Professionalism includes keeping the company’s reputation in mind when interacting with customers.  And one more thing – don’t throw professionalism away when it comes to social media.

 Interpersonal Skills

The ability to be a team player who can work well with diverse groups of people in a variety of situations. Being someone who can be counted on not only keep the peace but also to understand the art and value of a healthy debate – and the time and place.

Self-Motivation

Do we have to say more? Can you be counted on to get up and get there – on time – every day. Do you fulfill your job plus a little? Can you perceive what needs to be accomplished and do it? Yes, being able to receive instruction and willing to follow orders is critical, but so is being an initiator – someone the boss can depend on to keep going on their own, solving problems as they arise.

Flexibility

Everybody wants flexibility – they want the freedom to balance their work against their lifestyle, family, and other commitments, but your employer wants flexibility too. Change is a constant – they need employees who can bend in the wind when problems arise, change direction when necessary, and even fill a different role than their job description defines.

Aptitude and Desire for Learning

Employers want, and need, staff members who don’t remain happy with status quo but are consistently learning and growing, developing themselves professionally.

 Confidence

Do you have the confidence you need to do the work? If there’s a glitch, do you dig in and find the problem, consider your options, and present a solution, confident that you can complete the project?

Teachable and able to teach

Are you willing to learn from others, to receive instruction – including from someone younger? Are you ready to be mentored and coached when necessary? On the other hand, can you step in and teach/mentor someone else. Can you help them land on their feet in a new role?

Bring your winning personality traits to Olympic Staffing. Together we create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, work experience, and yes your winning personality. We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities. Helping you achieve your career goals is our priority. Contact us today.

Time Management for 2018

January 9th, 2018

Did the close of 2017 catch you by surprise? Are you still holding that list of goals you made in January, and now it’s January again? You are not alone – a lot of people share the same story, but wouldn’t you like to sing a different tune this year? Maybe it’s time for the ABC of time management.

A. Evaluate where you stand right now. For the next ten days, keep a record of all your activities – at work and when you’re off the clock. If possible, do it in 15- 30-minute You don’t have to write a book – just jot a note. The point is to see:

  • Where you’re wasting time
  • When you are your most efficient
  • When the need-a-nap bug hits
  • What activities can be combined
  • What you need to delegate
  • Which activities support your big picture goals – and what doesn’t

B. Create a plan. Use the SMART system – You know: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and, of course, Time-based.

  • Give a swift kick to all your time wasters
  • Schedule specific times for social media, phone calls, etc.
  • Now for the meat of your responsibilities – assign each must do to the best time of day according to your energy, resources, and controlled boundaries.
  • Determine when multi-tasking is efficient (for example folding wash while you listen to your child’s spelling words or planning your meeting agenda while you walk the dog.)
  • On the flip side, eliminate any multi-tasking that hinders your progress.
  • Consider whether you can afford to hire some things done to free your time for something you need to do yourself.
  • Make a “do not disturb” sign and use it

C.  Work the Plan. Begin small, but keep growing. If it’s overwhelming, prioritize – Choose the most crucial area that requires change and focus on that the first month. Track your activities the last three days of the month and compare it to your first record. Note where you have improved. It will give you courage to work on another area. By the time December 2018 arrives, you’ll be a time-management pro.

Is a job-change part of your solution? Consider Olympic Staffing. Together we can create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience. We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities. Helping you achieve your career goals is our priority. Contact us today.

Companies and Cell Phone Policies

January 2nd, 2018

Establishing a cell phone policy that respects employees while preventing disruption of productivity, encouraging a safe environment, and protecting company data isn’t easy. It’s downright complicated, but it’s a responsibility that cannot be ignored. Here’s some tips to help you get started.

Policies that work well for most companies –guidelines based on basic good manners and consideration of others.

  1. Keep phones on vibrate while at work.
  2. Make/take personal calls/texts during breaks and lunch time, excluding emergencies, medical calls, etc. Ensure that family and friends understand when calls are acceptable and when they are not.
  3. When calls must be made; keep them brief. If your call will disrupt others; step outside or into a private area.
  4. Keep all calls “professional” including personal calls – no arguments, foul language, intimate details . . .
  5. Never let cell phone use interfere with safety.
  6. Don’t use phones to take pictures during work.
  7. Don’t use personal cell phones to transmit confidential company information.
  8. Never let cell phone use interfere with customer service. If an employee who works with customers has an emergency, another coworker should immediately take the employee’s place.

Some companies – especially those with lots of customer contact, may find the need to ban cell phones while on the job, while others may have a very loose policy. The key is to have a policy.

  • Put it in writing.
  • Clearly communicate the policy to all employees.
  • Set specific expectations and consequences for policy breakers.
  • Enforce the policy consistently and fairly.

 

While most agree that companies need a cell phone policy – the big question remains – what should that policy be? Businesses come in various sizes and cultures. Likewise, with employee responsibilities. On the one hand, there are some policies, like those mentioned above, that make work well across the board. On the other hand, one size does not fit all – so in the end, common sense must come into play.

If you’re looking for a new employee, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find an employee in sales or any department, who is perfect for your company culture and who will be a good fit for your fellow employees.

The End of the Interview Questions

December 26th, 2017

You made it – the interview is closing, and you’re feeling pretty comfortable with how you did. But, there’s one last hurdle – “do you have any questions for us?”

Frankly, you need to have four or five questions ready and let the direction the interview went help you decide which one to ask. Better yet, ask two.

Here’s a list of questions that will help express your interest in the company and the job, reveal that you did your research, and give you insight into the opportunity that will hopefully be yours.

Questions that show your interest:

  • Who do you think would be the ideal candidate for this position, and how do I compare?
  • Beyond the hard skills required to perform this job successfully, what soft skills would serve the company and position best?
  • What are the challenges of this position?
  • What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm.
  • Is there anyone else you would like me to meet?
  • Can you tell me what steps need to be completed before your company can generate an offer?

Questions that reveal you did your research:

  • I saw that your company recently announced _______ What does this latest major development mean for the future of the company?
  • I saw on LinkedIn that you have been with the company for a while. What do you like about working here?
  • I see that ______ and _______ are your major competitors. What do consider the top three things that makes your company the best choice?
  • I read _____ (something positive) about your CEO in Business Insider. Can you tell me more about this?

Questions that give insight into the job opportunity:

  • If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?
  • Can you give me an example of how I would collaborate with my manager?
  • What type of employee tends to succeed here? What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm?
  • Where do you see the company in three years, and how would the person in this role contribute to this vision?

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.

Mistakes on the Job

December 12th, 2017

Yes, it happens. We all make mistakes on the job – sometimes small and sometimes mammoth, costly, they-will-never-forgive-me mistakes. It’s not about making the mistake; it’s about how we handle it. And what is the proper response?

Stay calm and evaluate the situation.

  • Is the mistake easily corrected?
  • Will it involve others or can you handle it alone?
  • Are there long-term consequences?
  • Does it require an immediate stop-the-presses response to prevent more damage?

So – if it’s easily fixed and will leave little or no debris in the wake; fix it and go on.

Next level – it can be fixed, may leave some debris, and probably will require help. Determine who needs to know and who needs to be involved in the correction. Be upfront and honest. It sounds something like this:

“I made a mistake. I ____________________. Possible repercussions include _______________. After evaluating the situation, I believe it will take this to fix the problem, but I will need help from so and so. Do you agree or am I missing something? Will you be willing to help me? I realize your time is valuable and I apologize for the trouble I’m causing.”

The essentials include an admission of guilt, presentation of your solution, request for help, and an apology for the trouble you’ve caused and the loss of their time. If your supervisor should know, choose an opportune moment, quietly inform them what happened and what you did to correct it.  If the mistake requires help from several sources, and cost the company some money; make an offer of restitution.

The biggie – the top dogs need to know now. Processes have to be shut down. Extensive action has to be taken immediately. You get the picture. Pull the fire alarm, but remember, a calm response is much more effective than panic. Get busy and don’t stop until the problem is contained. Be prepared for a showdown and take it like a professional. Never say “mistakes were made.” Lay it on the line, “I totally screwed up, and I don’t have words to express my regrets, but I will do all I can to make this right.”

In every instance, the keys are simple: Admit it. Take responsibility. Be sincerely sorry. Have a plan and follow through. Accept the consequences.

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.

Be a Pro-Community Company

December 5th, 2017

Every company is part of their community and can play a crucial role in promoting the greater good of that community. Investing in your community is an excellent way to give back to those who have helped support your business.  The holidays are a great time for giving, of course, but be a consistent giver: Community needs exist year-round. 

Ways to Give:

  • Share Financially: Set aside a specific percent of profits to go to charities. People respond positively when they know that patronizing their business of choice also means they are helping others.
  • Share your Time: Even when the economy is down, and finances are tight, company owners, management, and staff can be actively involved in their community by giving of their time.
  • Share your Expertise: Business owners and management can often offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to local organizations and individuals who cannot afford to pay for it.
  • Involve Employees: Encourage your employees, clients, and suppliers to participate through matched giving or personal involvement. Many of your employees may already be active in local charities. Find out where they are or would like to be, donating time and expertise. Organize company involvement in those charities.
  • Partner with Community Leaders and local organizations: When specific events are occurring in your community, partner with community leaders and local organizations to promote and conduct the event.
  • Support Local Economy: Although there are many ways a company can support their community, perhaps one of the best ways is by doing local business.

Olympic Staffing, a pro-community company, is committed to our clients and our community. If you’re looking for a new employee, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find an employee in sales or any department, who is perfect for your company culture and who will be a good fit for your fellow employees.

5 Ways You Can Brand Your Company Online

October 24th, 2017

Branding your company is extremely important because it tells people who you are and what your goals are. Not only can you brand your company by word-of-mouth, but you can also brand yourself digitally. Here are some “How to” tips to get you started.

Facebook.

Facebook is one of the most preeminent ways to brand yourself. Most businesses use it, both as a way of letting people know who they are and what’s happening. Facebook is also a great platform on which to create events, let people review your business, and to network with other businesses.

Instagram.

Instagram is a great way to present a “behind-the-scenes” brand your company. Take some time to post photos that show what your employees do while they’re not at work and to showcase the different hobbies and interests they have. This is a great way to “humanize” your business.

Twitter.

Twitter is a great way to brand your company as being extremely communicative and quick to respond. A lot of customers will take to Twitter to give complaints or bring up other issues. If you respond quickly with a solution, your company will be known as a caring and responsive.

Website.

Your website is a great place to brand your company as being professional. It’s surprising how many professional businesses don’t have websites, but that’s usually the first place a potential prospect or client will look to make sure that you’re well-qualified to be conducting business in your field.

YouTube.

YouTube is a great place to showcase that you’re savvy with technology and are current with the times. Many companies use YouTube as a place to begin branding their companies as being helpful. You could try releasing a series of tutorial videos, or even doing some Q&A videos.

If you’re looking for a new employee – perhaps one who is social media-savvy, contact Olympic Staffing. We make an art of matching top quality employees with our clients. We find employees who not only are skilled but also fit your culture.

How to Talk Yourself Up – but Still Be Humble

October 3rd, 2017

If you’re at the point in your career where you want a promotion or would like to have more of an impact, you may need to talk yourself up a little bit so that you can earn recognition for the work you’re doing. However, you still need to stay humble, which can be a little bit of a delicate balance. Here’s how to talk yourself up but still be humble.

Start with a Tangible Work Example.

If you want to give yourself a little bit of credit or attention without feeling like you’re bragging, try bringing up a tangible work example in which you had an instrumental part. Bring up the work issue that was presented, how it was solved, and what role you played in it. This will help plant the seed of you being a resourceful and productive employee.

Give Colleague References.

If you’re looking for more ways to bring attention to yourself in a humble manner, you could always give colleagues specific references in which you’ve done so. This is similar to giving a tangible work example, but in this instance, you are prompting colleagues to respond to actual instances in which you may have affected their particular result or outcome at work. When you do this, it is likely that your colleagues will step up to bat for you when surrounded by your superiors, which will end up giving you more credibility while remaining humble.

End with Constructive Feedback or Suggestions.

One of the best ways to showcase your knowledge or skill with your job is to give out constructive feedback. When people see that you know what you’re talking about, they will be more likely to consider you an expert in your field and will readily listen to you.

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.