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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.