Why You Should Get Rid of the “Biggest Weakness” Question

February 16th, 2016

If you’re interviewing people for jobs, the chances are that you’re going to want to ask the dreaded biggest weakness question. However, you should avoid asking this for a multitude of reasons. If you do so, you will find that your candidate pool will increase significantly. Here’s why.

It Makes People Uncomfortable

People are uncomfortable with this question because it makes them think about their weaknesses. While this is a valid thing to know, asking it during a job interview can often be seen as being inappropriate. Your candidates may act and look uncomfortable if they can sense that the question is coming.

It Provides Canned Responses

Because this question is used so much in interviews, people have had a long time to come up with a canned response. This doesn’t showcase the individual as much as it showcases their ability to research and plan for set situations. Though planning can be a good trait, it might not be the one you’re looking for necessarily by asking this question.

It Doesn’t Give You a Sense of the Candidate Under Pressure

Everyone expects this question, so they aren’t really under pressure if you asked it. If you want to see how the candidate acts under pressure, try asking them about a hypothetical situation or rewording the question, so that it’s slightly different. Even the slight variation would be enough to get them out of their canned response mode.

It Makes You Seem Unoriginal

If you ask this question, your job candidate may be questioning how much effort you are putting into the interview process. Asking about a candidate’s biggest weakness makes you seem unoriginal and like you don’t care about their answer. Once again, try asking another question if this is a part of the interview you would like to explore.

If you need help fielding candidates for interviews, contact Olympic Staffing. We are trained to do pre-screenings for you so that you only have to worry about spending your time with pre-qualified candidates. It’s our job to help you make the best hiring decision for your company.

 

Making The Most of Your New Hire’s First Day

February 9th, 2016

Hiring a new employee for your company is a big step. To get your new hire on the right foot, there are specific things you should do on his or her first day to set him/her up for success. Consider these tips.

Introduce Them to People

Make your new employee feel like they’re cared about and part of the company. The easiest way in which you can do this is to introduce your new employee to people. While they might have a hard time remembering names, your current employees will remember that there’s a new employee in the coming weeks and will make an effort to include them.

Brief Them on the Company Policies

It’s hard to be the new kid in town. One way you can combat this feeling of being new is to brief your new employee on the company policies right away. Though it might take a few weeks to stick, it would be helpful for them to start learning how to do things the right way from day one.

Don’t Overwhelm Them

Make sure you don’t overwhelm your new hire on the first day. They are going to have to learn names, policies, and rules – all while trying to do a good job for their hired task at hand. If you have a lot, you need to tell them or show them, try to break it down into deliverables that can be spread out over their first week.

Ask for Their Input/Feedback

The best way to make sure your new employee has a great first day is to ask for their input/feedback. Encourage them to speak up if they have any questions or to ask for help if they need it. After the day has concluded, you can ask them what they think about what they have been assigned so far or any other details that are pertinent to the company. Not only will you receive valuable information, but your employee will feel included and start to bond with the company.

Figuring out the right person to hire for a position can be tricky – let us help you. Contact Olympic Staffing and we will find the best and brightest candidates for your job requirements.

 

E-Mail Etiquette Reminders

February 2nd, 2016

In today’s world, e-mail is used for practically all types of communication. Because e-mail is used so frequently, it’s easy to let professional courtesy slide in situations that demand it. To be a polite and productive employee, you should strive to stay on top of your e-mail behavior. Here are a few e-mail etiquette reminders that everyone in the workplace should keep in mind:

Don’t Send E-Mails Too Late or Early

If you’re working late (or early), it can be tempting to send an e-mail at that time, so you no longer have to think about it. However, receiving a work e-mail during off-hours can often be disruptive and can be construed as being disrespectful. If you write an after-hours e-mail, either save it as a draft or schedule it to go out during work hours.

Only CC in Appropriate Circumstances

There is a simple protocol around CC’ing and when it should be used. If it’s directly related to someone, significantly relevant, or important to keep them in the loop and updated, a CC is appropriate. If it doesn’t fit at least two of those categories, don’t CC it. It will only be an encumbrance.

Be Courteous with Attachments/Links

Before you attach a huge file, think twice. Big files can slow down your recipient’s e-mail processors. Also, be courteous when you send links. It takes two seconds to hyperlink the link so your recipient can easily click on it. Make sure to write links out fully so your recipient can see what s/he is clicking on.

Pause Before Sending a Frustrated Response

If you’re frustrated, pause awhile – maybe even several hours – before responding. This gives you time to think about whatever frustrated you and write a professional, rather than emotional response – or maybe choose to not respond at all.  Often, writing the e-mail and discarding it can have a powerful therapeutic effect if you just need to vent. Either way, sending a heated e-mail is rarely a good idea.

If you feel as though you have great e-mail etiquette and are looking for a job, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you find work with a company who will take note of your e-mail etiquette and will use that as another reason to hire you.

When Should I Take Vacation?

January 26th, 2016

As an employee, vacation is crucial. It’s the time when you can finally press the reset button and undo all the stress that has been accruing since your last vacation. It can be hard, however, to justify taking a vacation when you’re busy. Here’s how you should determine when to take a vacation:

Take Holidays into Account.

Depending on your personal preferences, you may or may not want to line up your vacation to be in conjunction with built-in holidays such as Christmas or Memorial Day. Some people need a holiday that’s separate from these days as they have family traditions or set plans every year. Some may like to vacation during this time to escape the madness of the holidays.

Assess Your Workload.

Only you can be the judge of when the best time is to take a vacation according to your workload. If you have worked for your company for a while or are in a highly specialized field, it can be easy to tell when your workload will be a little higher than other times. If you operate at a baseline business, however, you may just need to pick a time frame at random.

Confer with Your Colleagues.

It’s always a good idea to talk with your colleagues before you schedule a vacation to make sure they don’t also have a vacation planned during that same time frame. Even if you and your colleagues want to go around the same general time, you can likely stagger your schedules, so you don’t all leave the office empty-handed at once.

Discuss with Your Boss.

If you are in the position to do so, you should discuss the timing of your upcoming vacation with your boss. This will put you in a position of power for negotiating, and your boss will appreciate the fact that you talked to him or her. S/he may be able to provide insight into internal calendar milestones of which you might not have been made previously aware.

If you are in a workplace that doesn’t allow for you to take many vacations, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to match you up with a company that is more flexible surrounding your vacation plans and understands your need to go on vacation.

 

Making Friends at Work

January 19th, 2016

It’s no secret that work can be a drag sometimes. No matter how much you love your career, there are going to be days when you simply don’t want to get out of bed or are too busy to have time to enjoy the hobbies you love. However, making friends at work can make both of these inconveniences a lot easier to handle. Here are some other reasons why you should make friends at work:

Can Be Great for Networking.

First and foremost, making friends at work is a great way to network. When your friend moves into a higher position or vertically into a position that’s more aligned with your interests, they will be more likely to help you out than if you weren’t a friend.

Can Help Build Productivity

Having friends in the workplace can help you stay productive. It’s no secret that work can sometimes be monotonous or boring; having friends can help combat that. While you must ensure that you don’t get distracted by your work friends, having them often helps you stay motivated and productive when you start to slide into the doldrums.

Can Provide Insight into Other Positions.

If you have a friend in a different position at your company, you likely hear about his or her day and the different projects on which s/he is working. This can be a good way to get insight into other positions without having to ask for a promotion or a vertical transfer within your company. This can allow you to figure out what you like or don’t like about the different positions.

Can Boost Company Morale.

If you are friends with your co-workers, you are more likely to like where you work. This can help boost company morale overall, which is ultimately good for everyone’s productivity and spirits. Increased company morale can also lead to more promotions and raises.

Making friends at work can enhance your work day and make for an overall more pleasurable work environment. If you are in need of a job in which you are allowed and encouraged to develop positive work environments, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to place you with a company that prioritizes camaraderie and networking.

Using Technology for Enhanced Employee Communication

January 12th, 2016

There are many technological-based tools available to the modern worker in 2015. While it can be easy to get lost in the clutter of the digital landscape, there is a handful of technological resources that every employee should use to improve workflow. In particular, here are four digital resources that can be used to improve employee communication:

Slack.

Slack is a desktop-based app that serves as a glorified instant messenger service. You can message your colleagues, but you can also talk about specific subjects by assigning hashtags in your company’s Slack channel. You can share files and links in the message; you also build up a chat history so you can always go back to see when someone said something.

Trello.

Trello is a notecard-based project management system. You can visually organize your company’s thoughts and priorities in a notecard flow so tasks can be prioritized and completed. You can chat with people on the notecards, assign specific tasks, and comment on whether or not the deliverables are being handled on time. You can assign multiple boards and cards to people, so they know their responsibilities.

Asana.

Asana is a great way to communicate with co-workers in the office because you can have separate side conversations based off of specific projects. You can set the notification settings, so you are notified whenever someone makes a change to a project. If you have questions about that change, you can always reach out to them on Asana to clarify.

Skype.

Skype is a wonderful communication tool for those who are abroad. You can video chat and instant message for free. You can even opt to install the Skype app on your smart phone, so you receive communication wherever you are in the world, even if you’re mobile.

You will find that your life is a lot easier with these digital resources.  Many companies appreciate employees who are savvy with these and other technological options. Interested? Contact Olympic Staffing. We have a list of technological-minded companies in your area that may be a good fit for your professional needs and goals.

How to Write an Effective Job Description

January 5th, 2016

When you need to hire someone, the best way to tangibly figure out what you need is to write a job description. Job descriptions provide your expectations of the candidate’s qualities, as well as their responsibilities within the company. Here’s how to write an effective job description:

Consider Your Goals

Ultimately, what are your goals? This can be taken to mean in a company sense, or specifically for this position. Too many companies write job descriptions without a clear goal in mind, but this usually backfires. If you can define clear goals for your company or this new recruit, you will have a much easier time visualizing the role you need your new employee to fill.

Visualize The Perfect Candidate

If you can visualize the perfect candidate, you will have an easier time writing the job description. This will help because it can help you narrow down the skills, qualifications, and experience you actually want your candidate to possess.

Quantify Whenever Possible

It’s easy to get caught up in unquantifiable traits such as being a “hard-worker” or a “team player,” but these traits can be confusing and do more harm than good. If you can quantify your requirements such as asking someone to have 3 years’ experience with this and 3 years’ experience with that, it will be more helpful than asking someone to be “well-rounded.” The more the job description is quantified, the less chance it has to be vague.

Give Measurable Objectives

In the job description, make sure to give measurable objectives. What would you like the recruit to do, and when do you want them to do it by? Should they provide you with three references and two dates they are free to interview? Make sure to include all of that in the job description to be as specific as possible. The more specific you are; the better chances you have at achieving what you want.

If you have written a fitting job description and are in need of an employee, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to come up with a group of perfect candidates for your needs according to that job description.