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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Productivity

April 3rd, 2018

How’s your productivity? Notice, please, that we did not ask how busy you are? Being busy, busy, busy is often a sign of unproductivity – yes, it is! Reality: taking care of self, including getting adequate sleep, regular exercise, healthy meals, and taking time for unconnected quietness helps us get more done in less time, with less stress. Here are some great tips to get you started.

Let’s begin with sleep

Since this is often the first place that people try to carve out an extra hour for their day. In fact, for many, sleep deprivation has become their way of life.  Unfortunately, payback is coming, so do yourself a favor and take back control of your bedtime.

  • Studies show that our bodies operate best on consistency. As adults, we need 7-8 hours a sleep per night and . . . We need it close to the same schedule. So choose the time that fits you (10-6, 11-7, whatever) and stick to it.
  • Turn off all screens 30 minutes before sleep time. (60 is better, but we’re dealing with real life here). Our brains need time to get away from the screen and let our body’s melatonin kick in to increase the restfulness of our sleep.
  • Use the 30 minutes to organize for the morning – from choosing an outfit to packing your briefcase, your kid’s lunch, etc. to mentally organizing and jotting down the next day’s agenda.
  • Finally, make your room as dark as possible and if you can, position your bed so that natural light awakens you in the morning. The darkness and the light will give your body a break and then a boost.

Establish a morning routine

  • Our brains need time to reach full function – by having a consistent routine of personal and household “chores” we can slide quickly through the list and save brain function for the more critical decisions in the day ahead.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast – choose protein over empty carbs. It will provide fuel for several hours.

Schedule Tips

  • Learn to set realistic deadlines (Studies reveal that only 15-20% of people at predicting how long a task will take). Give yourself enough time to do the job, but not too much – a little (notice we said little) pressure can be a great motivator.
  • Schedule your difficult or mind-consuming tasks during your peak times. For some people it’s mid-morning, but for others, it’s early – or late afternoon.
  • Group like tasks together.
  • Set a specified window of time for email and other social media, and then stick to it. Connection is an essential part of business and personal life but left unchecked it can also be a time waster.
  • Skip multi-tasking – switching from task to task sabotages schedules in short order.
  • Go for excellence, not perfection – it’s a great motivator and an obtainable goal.

Plan a vacation

Time off from work and chores restores the whole person – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It rejuvenates creativity and gives our energy a boost. People who choose to take time off consistently, tend to be more productive when on the job.   

Now that you’re rip-roaring to go, stop in and see us at Olympic Staffing. We can help you put all that energy and productivity into a new and better position. We do it by building relationships.   We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.

 

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.

 

Proofreading Your Resume

March 20th, 2018

Last week we discussed how to create a winning resume.  The final step, polishing your resume via a thorough proofing is so critical that we decided to focus an entire blog on it.

Begin with a break. Yes, you finally finished creating this oh-so-important document. Now put it down for a couple of days. If you read it immediately, your eyes will “read” what your brain knows you meant and can easily miss errors.

The break is over. Print your resume out – seeing it in different format helps your eyes to see mistakes, and then read it out loud. Hearing what you wrote is a great way to catch those common mistakes – like writing “you’re” instead of “your.” Read it slowly – line by line, word by word. You’ll be more apt to catch an error. Reading it backward is another trick.

Be on the lookout for these common resume mistakes.

  • Grammatical and spelling errors – the #1 way to kill your resume. This includes:
  • Homophones, such as two, to, too
  • Using and for an
  • Apostrophe errors
  • Subject and verb agreement
  • Using the wrong tense
  • Inconsistent formatting. Follow the same pattern of indents, bullets, highlights, etc. throughout your document.
  • Information overload – limit your content to what’s relevant.
  • Wordiness – if a section is too long, try to reduce it 10% and then reduce again – concise content with power words pack a powerful punch.
  • An objective or summary that fails to match the job description.
  • Telling (presenting a list) rather than showing (documenting with specifics).

Don’t depend on your eyes alone – have a colleague check it too. Consider using a reliable online program, or better yet, a professional service.

Finally, your resume is finished, proofed, and ready to go. There’s one more crucial step.

Follow directions on where/when/how to submit your resume for a specific position.

Your resume shows how much your road to professional success matters to you – or doesn’t. It reveals your more than your skills and experience. It also indicates essential character traits, such as diligence and commitment to detail.  Following the resume-building steps in last week’s blog and taking time to proofread will help you create a winning resume every time.

Don’t forget – bring your resume to Olympic Staffing. Together, we 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.  We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.


 

Winning Resumes

March 13th, 2018

Creating a winning resume isn’t easy – in fact, it’s downright challenging. On the other hand, the payback is terrific. Taking time to perfect our resume may very well be the boost your job search needs. These tips will help you get it accomplished.

Getting Started

There’s more than one way around the mountain – so choose the best way for your education, skill set, and work history.

  • Chronological: A fact-based resume listing your employment history (and corresponding accomplishments) in order from most recent to past.
  • Functional: Highlights abilities (with corresponding positions) instead of work history. Present your skills by category – in order of relevance, rather than by a timeline of accomplishments.
  • Combination: This combines functional and chronological by first highlighting your most pertinent skills/experience, followed by a chronological work history.
  • Targeted: Tailors any of the above types to a specific position. Customizing resume’s bullet points and skills to the job position, using keywords from the job description and rearranging resume’s sections to highlight your most relevant experience. Targeted resumes take time, but it pays off – especially when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.

Choose a font that is easy to read – this is not the place to get creative and quirky – unless you’re applying for a position where creative and quirky are crucial aspects, such as graphic design.

Make contacting you simple. Include all – yes all – of your contact information.

  • Full name, street address, city, state, and zip.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address.
  • LinkedIn profile or professional website or blog – if you have them.

Getting Your Point Across

Don’t think of your resume as a “list” your skills, experience, and education. Think of it as an advertisement – you are convincing a company to choose your product – YOU.

  • Back up your skills with specific accomplishments that demonstrate those skills. Use power verbs to describe those accomplishments -quantify whenever possible – numbers talk!
  • Provide specific examples that highlight your leadership skills and present evidence that you’re a team player.
  • Include any awards or recognitions you have received for accomplishments directly and loosely related to your industry – or to skills that are pertinent to the position.
  • Show how you have continued to learn and grow. In addition to certifications you’ve earned, include industry-related seminars, conferences, etc. that you have attended – anything that contributed to your professional development.
  • Include a bulleted list of core competencies – customize it to keywords and phrases from a general job description for your industry or, better yet, to a specific job description when targeting your resume.

Polish Before Submitting

Don’t skip the final step – Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.  We’ll show you how in next week’s blog.

Bring your resume to Olympic Staffing. Together, we 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.  We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.

 

 

Online Courses Fuel Career Success

March 6th, 2018

Online courses have proven to be an excellent way to boost your resume and increase your opportunities. Many of them are free if you are taking the class online for personal satisfaction, but if you want your work graded and an official certificate that documents you completed the course, then expect to pay a fee.  Many colleges and universities offer online courses from small junior colleges to the giants, including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, Standard, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to name a few.

There are multiple advantages of taking an online course. You can:

  • Choose the course of study you want without having to move – an especially important perk if you are working or have family responsibilities.
  • Take the course at your pace and timing. If it works best to listen to a lecture on Tuesday one week, but on Wednesday another week, that’s your option. If you have extra study time one week, but a work obligation the nest – adjust your study times.
  • Forgo paying for a parking pass. No wardrobe needed. No sorority/fraternity dues either.
  • Earn your degree at greatly reduced rates.

Of course, with the professors across the state – or country – rather than the classroom, you might run into difficulties when you have questions or need a little assistance, right? Not so. Many online programs offer online support groups and most courses include a portal for asking questions. Some include peer-based coaching.

Bottom line: Online courses/certifications build your confidence, skills and career tools, enhance your portfolio, give you a foot in new doors and increase your professional value. Any way you look at it, it’s a win/win.

Looking for a new job to match your new skills? Connect with Olympic Staffing: Together, we’ll 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 Olympic’s priority. Contact us today.

 

Win the Job Search  

February 13th, 2018

It might be a talent-driven market, but the job search road can still be full of bumps and potholes. If you want to smooth out the ride and win the race (there are other seekers who want that same job), then you have to prepare, work hard, and never give up. Here are some Olympic tips for you – after all, we’re on your team.

Build a support network: You need people – to offer help, connections, and accountability. Attend events. Connect with old friends, while building new connections. Don’t forget, genuine networking is as much about helping and giving as it is about receiving.

Conduct a self-evaluation: Make a list of your strengths and identify your skillsets. Find ways to hone them. Take a class, volunteer, attend a seminar. There are multiple ways to build your value.

Clean up your digital image: It’s easy to post a pic in the moment of enthusiasm with your friends or spout off a hot response to a situation or comment from the security of your home, but unfiltered postings can come back to haunt you. Pay attention. Pause and ponder before posting.

Tackle your LinkedIn profile: Update. Update. Update. Have you won any awards, completed any classes, scored any special achievements? Include them in your profile. Pay attention to keywords and phrases that pertain to your industry and include them in your headline, summary, and experience sections – in appropriate ways, of course.

Refresh your resume: Keeping your resume updated and ready to go gives you one up on the candidate who is scrambling to add all their latest achievements, correct their contact info, etc. Of course, being ready to go means having your resume ready to customize to a specific position – a must-do if you want to get the best position for you.

Sign up for automatic job alerts: You can do this on LinkedIn, as well as various job boards.  Choose selected job titles and keywords to narrow your alerts to pertinent openings.

Prepare for Interviews: Research. Rehearse answers to typical questions. Arrive on time. Dress appropriately. Be courteous and respectful – to everyone. Have a few questions ready for the interviewer. End with a verbal thank-you and follow-up with a written one.

Partner with Olympic Staffing: Together, we’ll 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 Olympic’s priority. Contact us today.

Research the companies who have openings. Read the reviews, news articles, history, etc.  Get a glimpse of their culture. It will be easier to prepare for an interview.

 

 

 

Managers and Employee Engagement – Part II

February 6th, 2018

Last week we posted part I of our discussion on “Managers and Employee Engagement. We talked about saying no to favoritism, trusting your employees, and being consistent. These are all critical aspects for managers to utilize if they want to create healthy employee engagement, but they aren’t the whole picture. . . So, let’s continue.

Keep an Open-Door Policy

Engagement involves interaction from two directions. Keeping yourself available to your employees is a crucial pillar to vibrant employee engagement.

  • Be warm, friendly, and respectful – to everyone.
  • Unless your workforce is too large, get to know your employees by name. If it is too large, at least know your department heads, team leaders, etc. by name.
  • Smile – a lot. Don’t just walk pass employees – stop when you can for a brief word.
  • Encourage feedback – listen to it – apply it when appropriate.
  • Express appreciation – verbally, in written form, and in tangible
  • Encourage company fun – such as once-month-doughnut breaks, pizza lunches, company picnics, friendly competitions between departments – the list is endless.

Offer Training and Opportunity

Don’t inadvertently send your employees away by failing to give them a reason to stay. Most people want to grow in their career, to increase their skills and responsibilities.

  • Offer in-house training opportunities. When possible personalize it to their current abilities, work personalities, and career
  • Give them access to online training, webinars, etc.
  • Provide incentive – and financial support toward earning certifications that will enhance their skills.
  • Promote from within first, whenever possible.

Building strong employee engagement among your staff is hard work and takes intentional action, but the ROI is high. Engaged employees tend to stay employees. And that’s a big plus. The cost of turnover is high – reducing it makes a notable difference in the bottom line.

Olympic Staffing understands the importance of strong employee engagement. We know it begins with great hires. As your strategic partner, we do more than fill positions. We work to identify your needs and then find the individual best suited to fit those needs. Our professionals work closely with you to ensure your complete satisfaction. Contact us today.

 

 

 

 

Managers & Employee Engagement – Part I

January 30th, 2018

Employee Engagement – how do you make it more than one of today’s buzzwords? Best answer: management! This is where walking the talk comes into play.

We’ve put together 5 win/win management must-dos for cultivating A+ employee engagement among your workforce. We’ll discuss three of them today. Be sure to return next week for the rest in part II.

Say NO to Favoritism

Sure, we all enjoy certain personalities more than others. When we find an employee who’s thought train and work methodology matches is in sync with ours, it’s easy to build a work relationship and . . . admit it, to look the other direction when they mess up. We also tend to give them more work opportunities. On the other hand, the worker who, at least in your opinion, is from another planet is not so easy to praise and encourage. While this may be understandable, it’s an absolute crusher to employee engagement. So,

  • Treat every employee equally. Extend respect, kindness to everyone.
  • Recognize that people are different and embrace their diversity.
  • Uphold company rules and regulations. Never excuse in one worker any behavior that isn’t forgiven across the board.

Trust your Employees

Yes, you are a manager – which also means you are a delegator. Delegate and step back – micromanaging is not the way to prove your trust your employees. Rather,

  • Assign responsibilities and expectations.
  • Provide the proper tools and instructions.
  • Ensure that authority level matches responsibility level.
  • Stand back and let them do their work.

Be Consistent

Don’t be continually changing the priority list, rules of the game, and level of expectations. It’s confusing and frustrating to your employees.

  • Don’t let a particular behavior slide, and then suddenly “make an example” of someone who commits it.
  • Don’t be lackadaisical about reports, and then suddenly critique them with a magnifying glass.
  • Don’t move item C on the priority list up to top position without first communicating why you need to make the change and expressing a vote of confidence in your employees.
  • Don’t allow Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde leadership. (It’s a great way to turn your workforce into a horror story.)

If your company is struggling with employee engagement, Gather your management team together and start brainstorming. Dig for answers among this group. Changes are in order? Are some departments more engaged than others? What are they doing differently? How can you implement their styles across your organization? Finding answers together is the first step to a fully-engaged workforce.

Start applying the above three principles and return to our blog next week for insight on open-door policies, as well as offering training and opportunities.

Meanwhile, remember Olympic Staffing understands the value of employee engagement; the connection between it and higher productivity, which of course, improves your bottom line. That’s why we work hard to match our clients with the best employees for the position. Contact us today for great matches – the kind that make employee engagement that much easier to obtain.

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.