Defeating the Skills Gap

April 11th, 2018

Every company faces it – from trades such as construction, oil and gas, and welding to manufacturing and logistics, to healthcare and hospitality, to IT and C-Suite positions, when the economy is up, and unemployment is down, finding and keeping talent is a challenge. Specific plans and decisive steps are needed to maintain a steady workforce.

Review your Human Capital Needs

Meet with your managers and team leaders. Gaining a clear understanding of your weakest areas in need of immediate bolstering, as well as projected growth areas is crucial.

  • Is your current staff overstretched?
  • Do you have expansion plans in theEVP, flexible, culture, respect, appreciation,
  • process?
  • What do you need for immediate relief?
  • What’s your projection for three months, six months, one year?
  • What level of skill is most lacking? Entry-level? Mid-management? C-Suite?

Bolster your Talent Sourcing

Review, improve, and build on your talent sourcing – build a talent pool.

  • Do you have talent sourcing activity continually on-the-go?
  • Are your managers consistently tapping into their networks, seeking talent?
  • Do you maintain an attractive employee referral program?
  • Do you throw your employee fishing net in diverse ponds?
  • Are you connected with a reliable staffing firm?
  • Is your staffing partner specialized in your area of need? For example, do they have a healthcare expert for healthcare recruiting? A construction, security, safety, oil and gas, or IT expert for recruiting in their respective industries?

Assess your Hiring Process

Creating an active, efficient, and consistent hiring process will enhance your ability to attain the right talent when you need it.

  • Do you have clear communication channels in place among the key decision makers?
  • Is there a specific written process for hiring at each level – from single interview entry-level to multiple tier interview C-level?
  • Does everyone know his/her role in the process?
  • Do the right people have the authority to move forward?
  • Do you have accommodations in place for when a key decision maker is on vacation?

Evaluate and Improve your EVP

Your employee value proposition (EVP) is critical in attracting and retaining quality talent.

  • Are you a step ahead of the market salary index for each level and position?
  • Do you offer flexible schedules?
  • Are work-from-home options available for appropriate positions?
  • Do you offer and encourage career growth and advancement for employees?
  • Does your culture support work/life balance and integration?
  • Do you have efficient internal communication?
  • Is your company culture based on respect and appreciation?

Yes, it takes time to review needs, bolster your talent sourcing and assess your hiring process. Yes, it costs money to boost your EVP.  But burnout employees who leave because another company offers more and has a higher respect for their time costs you more in both time and money. Likewise, with bad hires. The only way to win in the war for talent is to develop the best strategy and invest in the best ammunition.

Olympic Staffing is your strategic advisor and ammunition source. Since 1983, Olympic Staffing has been dedicated to your success. We maintain a network of thoroughly vetted, tested, and experienced professionals. We offer a consultive approach, working to identify your needs and find the best solution. 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.

Revitalizing your Resume in 3 Steps

December 19th, 2017

If you want to keep growing professionally, keeping your resume cleaned up, on target, and ready to go at a moment’s notice is oh-so-crucial. Here are tips from Olympic Staffing to pull your resume together and be noticed. It’s a simple as 1 – 2 – 3.

  1. Know your career goals and ensure that your resume objective shouts it.
  2. Compose a tight, descriptive summary that covers the education, training, skills, and experience that supports your ability to reach that career goal. This is your chance to grab HR’s attention and keep them reading.
  • Cover the essentials – the information that rocks – and slash out all the fluff that everyone can do. Focus on what makes you the #1 choice for the type of position you’re seeking.
  • Give specifics – rather than say you can do such and such, give an example of how that talent made an impact in a past position.
  • Tailor your skills to align both with your goals and with the job description of the position you’re seeking. (All within the realm of honesty, of course)
  • Use power words and be unique. A little buzz is good, but too much sends your resume to the slush pile.
  1. Share your vision. It’s not just about education, skills, and experience. Share your life philosophy.
  • What’s your global view?
  • Where do you volunteer?
  • Share your thoughts in a way that expresses your personality and ideal work culture.

When you have that resume ready to go – 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.

Hire The Best Seasonal Workforce Ever

November 28th, 2017

Hiring a seasonal workforce can be stressful because the holidays are enough of a stressful time already. Luckily, there are several ways in which you can circumvent these stresses to be able to hire the best seasonal workforce possible for your company.

Start Early.

The most crucial factor in hiring a phenomenal seasonal workforce is that you need to start early. If you haven’t already, get your help now because people do need time to prepare their plans for the holidays. Plus, a lot of companies need to hire seasonal support at the same time, so if you don’t start early, you very likely could run out of options for engaging reputable employees.

Be Clear About the Expectations.

Sometimes, seasonal workers come in expecting full-time hours and benefits. You do need to be perfectly upfront about the hours, time commitment, length of the seasonal employment, and anything else that could be relevant for anyone who might be applying to work for your company. When you’re clear and upfront, you won’t run the risk that people will leave because they’re confused or upset.

Have a Comprehensive Training.

It can be confusing when you’re introducing in new employees to your company, especially when you’re in a time crunch. Even though it could be tempting to rush training for the sake of onboarding everyone on time, you need to take the time to train everyone correctly and to make sure that they don’t have any more questions.

If you’re in need of a new employee to work for your company, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you find an employee who is a good fit for your business and will perform the job optimally while still being an excellent fit for your company culture.