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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Your Company Should Host Networking Events

September 12th, 2017

If you own a company and don’t ever host networking events, you should probably reconsider or try hiring a freelance event professional to aid you with producing them. There are a lot of different reasons why you might want to host networking events.

Get Your Company Name Out There.

Regardless of if the candidates are seeking a new job, you will be getting your company name out there. Getting your company name out there in a field that is relevant to your business will always be an asset, not only for community relations but also for potential recruit hiring and scouting. In addition, your company will be seen as a company that is known for fostering connections and promoting innovation within your field.

Foster Connections.

As an employer, it’s a good idea always to be seeking out your next talent or recruits whenever possible, even if from a passive manner. By hosting a networking event, you will be fostering connections with applicable potential employees who might want to work for you or will introduce you to someone who could work for you someday.

Give Your Employees Good Opportunities.

It’s always a good idea to give back to your employees, which can be accomplished through the introduction of company networking events in which they can meet mentors and other connections who can help them eventually further their careers. Plus, you’ll be giving them an employer-sponsored excuse to leave work early, which will put them in a good mood.

If you’re looking to hire new employees, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you hire employees who would like to attend your networking events and will also fit seamlessly into your company culture.

Preparing Now for the Holiday Rush

September 5th, 2017

Yes, it’s already September and less than 90 days until Black Friday and then the holidays. If you want to avoid production delays and extra holiday stress, it’s a good idea to prepare now for staff shortages.

Make a Plan – Create a Calendar

  • How many days – if any – do you close for Thanksgiving and Christmas?
  • Do you experience an increase in orders over the holidays?
  • Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both fall on Sunday this year. How does that affect your company-wide time off days?
  • Will you set a limit on how many employees can take vacation days between Thanksgiving and the end of the year?

Making your decisions now helps you make the best decisions for your company.

What about Inventory

Do you have sufficient supplies for additional orders? It is never a good idea to wait until the last minute. Be proactive and stock up now – before the holiday shipping delays cause problems.

Consider Temp Staffing

Bringing in extra staff now and training them will make a significant difference, saving you time, money, and stress. When extra orders, holiday vacations, etc. hit, you won’t have to worry about excessive overtime costs or loss of production – your temp support will be firmly in place.

Planning now for the last six weeks of the year will help your company avoid hitting the panic button. Call Olympic Staffing. Our temporary staffing provides you with extra staff when you need it – without increasing your permanent headcount.

Staying Motivated When Co-Workers Vacation

August 29th, 2017

If most of your colleagues are out of the office for vacation, it can be hard to stay motivated. Even though it’s easy to dream about your next time off, you actually can use this time to be productive. Here’s how to stay motivated when your coworkers are vacationing.

Use The Time to Get Ahead.

Even though it can be a bummer when your co-workers are out of town, you can use the time to get ahead, so you’re prepared when it’s your turn to vacation.  It’s also a great time to get organized; to catch up on that continual to-do list that waits on the back burner.

Plan Your Vacation.

Planning Your future vacation –  after work hours, of course, is a great motivator. Use the promise of a future break to get down and get busy. Knowing that you have been productive – delivering 100% on the job every day, not only increases your personal satisfaction, but it also enhances your enjoyment when you do take off.

Showcase Your Leadership Abilities.

You could always use your coworkers being on vacation as a way to showcase your leadership abilities. Step up and fill in the gap. Make an effort to be more available and take more initiative during this time – it won’t go unnoticed. Management may consider your leadership skills – even when your colleagues are back from their vacation.

Vacation not an option due to heavy workload? Maybe it’s time to consider a new position. Olympic Staffing is here to help you in your career. Contact us today.  We can help you connect with a job that fits your lifestyle and values, as well as your skills and experience.


 

5 Overlooked Candidate Skills

August 22nd, 2017

When recruiters are trying to fill a position one of the first things they do is create a short check list of the job requirements. Things like education, experience, and demonstrated ability using specific software or tools.

Using a checklist like this is a great way to narrow down a stack of resumes, but it’s a bad way to fill a job. The best candidates need more than just the basics to be an ideal fit. Learn how to identify the traits that are the difference between an acceptable candidate and a great hire.

Wide Skill Sets

When you focus on certain specific required job skills, it can be easy to overlook everything else a candidate brings to the table. A candidate with a wide base of knowledge has a proven track record of openness to new experiences, and they have knowledge from more sources to apply to problem-solving.

Remember, after you scan the resume for prerequisites, take a minute to see what else is there and how it can apply to your company.

High Energy

High energy people get more done than low energy people. They are also more capable of functioning under the pressure of big deadlines. Jake Villareal says, “you have to hire people who can push ahead with a project when you need it the most — usually a time when it’s least convenient. During interviews, see if candidates have the tenacity necessary to perform in these situations.

Flexibility

The longer someone stays with your company, the more changes they will experience. Candidates that handle these change well are going to be a better long term fit.

Always devote time in an interview to talking about training for new skills and taking on new duties. Identify candidates who are eager to learn and adapt.

Transferable Skills

Reading a resume for skills with direct application to the task at hand is second nature for most recruiters. Sometimes the skills that don’t seem relevant at first glance are real difference makers.

Steve Leichmann talks about the way a restaurant job can prepare you to excel in other roles later in life. Any candidate you are looking at with roots in the restaurant industry understands that the core of a business is its clientele, so keeping the customer happy and coming back (i.e. acquiring regulars) benefits everyone. Your clients are happy, your business does well, and the employee earns his/her keep.”

Personality

Checking to see if a candidate has the right degree, the right amount of experience or familiarity with workplace processes is easy. Finding out if they are a personality fit is hard.

Make sure you understand the culture in the department the new hire will be working in. Finding a great personality fit is just as important as finding someone with experience using specific software.

If you are looking to hire a new employee who brings more to the table than just the basics, contact Olympic Staffing. We have the experience of sourcing candidates and pre-interviewing them to find the ones who have the basic job skills and the extra experiences that make them a real asset to your company.

Reducing Employee Burnout

August 15th, 2017

Burnout saps efficiency, damages your workplace culture, and leads to expensive and time-consuming employee turnover. According to studies quoted by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) “between 26-41% of employees feel their job is stressful or extremely stressful or that they are often or very often burned out by work.

Learning to recognize the signs of burnout and managing the problem can lower employee turnover and increase workplace productivity. Here are some major signs your workplace is adding to employee stress and strategies for making improvements:

Work-Life Balance is Off.

Everyone needs to maintain a balance between work and life to stay on an even keel. When your employees don’t have enough time away from work this balance can suffer.

Habits like working too many hours a day or too many days a week without taking time off can wear your employees down over time. Sometimes time off isn’t time off, employees who take work home or are expected to be available for phone calls and e-mails at all hours can get stressed as well.

Monitor the hours per week and days per week your employees are working. Make sure they are getting time off even if you have to encourage them. Limit after-hours communication, and if you have to have people on call after normal work hours make sure you are sharing the load and giving everyone free nights where they aren’t expected to pick up a phone.

Employees Need the Right Tool for The Job.

How often do you replace your workplace tools and equipment? Are your employees being asked to use clunky old electronics that run slow, are inefficient, or worse have started developing habitual screen freeze?

According to Amy Blackburn, “not only does the equipment’s performance reflect poorly on the employee’s production, but the failure of management to recognize the need to upgrade can also create an air of helplessness. Frustration with equipment can be one of the first symptoms of burnout, and solving this problem can alleviate work-related stressors tremendously.”

Making sure your employees’ equipment is up to date and effectively working solves two problems. It eliminates the stress from dealing with faulty equipment, and showing you are paying attention lets your staff know you are invested in them.

Don’t Ask Too Much – Or Too Little

When employees feel overwhelmed by a never ending mountain of work they start to suffer from burnout. Make sure you communicate about workload often. If your employees are complaining about never ending tasks, or saying they are afraid to take a day off because they know the pile of jobs waiting for them will be impossible to deal with they need help.

Likewise, an employee can be bored at work by performing tasks that are too easy for their skill level. An engineer who is catching customer service calls is going to be interested in new opportunities elsewhere.

An employee who is devoting all their time to low-level tasks can start feeling underappreciated and out of the loop. Making sure everyone is involved, and the workload is shared evenly can lower stress. Assign your employees tasks that will push their existing skill-set. Rotate tedious work so everyone can try something new.

If you’ve your current workplace is too stressful, and you need to make a change, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find employees with the current skills, abilities, and education level to take on the mountain of work you have built up.

How to Make Your Business People-Centric

August 8th, 2017

Building a culture within your company that focuses on people as much as it focuses on the bottom line can be a potent tool for improving results. Happier people are more impactful, here are some strategies to make sure you are enhancing your human element:

Give People the Things They Need to Feel Happy

Daniel H. Pink says people are looking for three things from work:  “1. Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives. 2. Mastery — the urge to get better and better at something that matters. 3. Purpose — the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

Empower your employees to control their productivity by focusing on results, not micromanaging the process. Offer continuous education and training, so your employees have skills that allow them to produce for you and advance themselves. And don’t forget to reinforce company culture constantly, so employees feel like they are part of an ongoing story, not just a daily grind.

Hold Employees Accountable-and Respond with Rewards  

Pete McGarahan of First American Title talks about making accountability part of a people-centric workplace culture: “They fostered a work environment that motivated everyone to do their best, and made it clear that they all worked as a team through consistent feedback and communication. Their successful, people-centric work environment became self-fulfilling with numbers to reinforce good behavior.”

By holding people accountable for their performance and encouraging their successful performance, you tie their job satisfaction to their ability to deliver for your customers.

Celebrate Success

According to Mary Devine, “people are driven emotionally and seek validation and appreciation more than anything else. Rewards and recognition are not just about giving big bonuses and arranging weekly Friday afternoon drinks, which only drives temporary satisfaction. It’s about celebrating your employees as individuals and rewarding them in ways that make them feel valued.”

Finding ways to constantly build value in people as individuals, builds value in your company and customers by making them feel like every interaction is as important as they are.

If you are looking to move your career to a company that maintains a people-centric culture, contact Olympic Staffing. We have the contacts and experience to place you in a company that shares the same values you have.

How to Attract Millennial Employees

August 1st, 2017

There is an entire cottage industry built around detailing the frustrations some managers have had trying to integrate millennial employees into the workforce. Here’s a wakeup call: By 2020 Millennials are expected to be fully half the workforce. Attracting millennials isn’t an option when filling job openings, it’s a necessity. Here are some basic strategies for sourcing new talent within this demographic group:

Flexibility and compensation Matter

According to Nancy Altobello, the best way to attract and keep the best and brightest is to pay them well. Millennials want choices about how to deliver a job well done. With the understanding that deadlines and client needs must always be met, they want options about where and when they work–and they want their managers clearly on board. People are looking for approval around flexibility.”

Offer Them a Path Forward

Millennials have a reputation for jumping ship. Usually, they do this to advance their career. This is why one of the most potent tools for recruiting and retaining millennials is to offer them a career map that shows them a clear path forward, including development like training and mentorship and clear opportunities for advancement.

Communication is King

Millennials grew up in the social media culture where everything is out there all the time. They require a lot of information, transparency, and opportunities for conversational give and take to feel comfortable. Give this to them.

Don’t just request an interview, send them an information packet with plenty of links to follow up on and include points of communication to ask questions or make comments. Then schedule a follow-up face to face meeting to discuss the job opening.

Use Other Millennials to Recruit Them

Tracking the ways Millennials communicate, learn, and interact is like tracking pop culture – the further away from high school and college the harder it is to keep up.

You need to use employees who are swimming in the same social media waters as them to find out if you are on the right site, using the right hashtags, meeting the right people.

If you are looking for ways to recruit millennial employees, contact Olympic Staffing. We excel in meeting candidates within that group and helping companies put together the kinds of offers that motivate them for the long term.

Providing Employees with Regular Feedback

July 25th, 2017

A lot of companies treat feedback as a yearly ritual. An annual employee review or salary review is formal, nerve wracking, and can become very tense when negatives are covered. Making feedback a regular part of the work environment can defuse the stress that often comes with criticisms and open new opportunities for you to grow as a business. Here’s why you should provide employees regular feedback.

Timing Matters.

Harvey Deutschendorf of Fast Company thinks “the time to give feedback is as soon as possible after a situation or event has occurred.” This is important with negative feedback but also important with positive feedback. You shouldn’t wait to motivate employees or help them improve. Fast feedback is also more effective than the annual sit-down. People learn best when events are fresh in their mind and can apply lessons better.

Feedback Sessions Help You Understand Your Business.

Employees may want to defend themselves or present differing views on situations than your own. This is a positive. Being a good listener helps team cohesion and gives you a chance to learn and grow as a company.

Feedback Is a Form of Training.

Thinking of feedback as a form of criticism is limiting. You should look at feedback sessions as training sessions. Treat them as an opportunity to exchange ideas, train new concepts, and motivate staff. Using feedback sessions to improve performance and leaving each session on a positive with set goals for improvement can create real impacts in your ability to deliver, sell and produce as a business. Cynthia M. Phoel of the Harvard Business Review says you should “approach the feedback session with the goal of getting a complete and accurate picture of the situation.” This will help you be more responsive and fair to your employees.

If you need to hire more employees who will help contribute to your workplace’s internal ability to learn and grow from feedback, contact Olympic Staffing. We are trained to look for potential recruits who have positive outlooks and know the value of constructive workplace dialogue.

Small Companies – Should I Accept their Offer?

July 18th, 2017

When you’re involved in a job search one of the most difficult choices you may have to make is whether to accept an offer from a small company. Big companies have name recognition, entrenched sources of income and heavy management structures that can lead to promotions down the line. Evaluating the pros and cons of a small company is a little more difficult.

Small Companies May Result in Bigger Roles

Big companies can afford to specialize employees, but small companies often take an “all hands on deck” approach to work. This means employees can gain more new experiences in a smaller company. The lack of specialization can be a problem for some employees though. Being pigeonholed as a jack of all trades, master of none in career tracks that value highly specialized skill sets is a real disadvantage that may need to be balanced with learning or certification opportunities to keep employees current.

Smaller Teams.

Smaller companies mean smaller teams are handling projects. This can be a great benefit because you develop a real comfort level with the people around you. As Kate Thora of UpHours notes, “You will see the direct results of your efforts on the company, which gives greater job satisfaction.” Of course, smaller teams can magnify friction between employees when it does occur, and smaller management means the company needs to grow to open up promote from within opportunities.

Innovation.

Small Companies are better at innovating than large ones. Ideas travel through them faster and as Brian Hill mentions, small companies, “can make quick decisions rather than having to maneuver through layers of bureaucracy to proceed with an idea.” On the other hand, big ideas can have big price tags, something larger business can more easily take on without finding expensive investors who will want equity in return.

Whether you choose the small company or the big, contact Olympic Staffing. We specialize in connecting candidates with companies every day.