Is Your Onboarding Process Working?

January 16th, 2019


Evaluating your systems should be a way of life, especially at the beginning of the year. Take a good hard look at how you can improve your processes early in 2019. Today we’re focusing on onboarding. But how can you measure where you might be going wrong? One way to know your onboarding process isn’t working? Turnover. If you’re seeing a rapid cycle of employees quitting, it could be your onboarding system.

Be Inspirational

Remember starting your job? There’s always uncertainty. A new position can create several emotions and reactions, from excitement and curiosity to confusion and fear. Remember where you started and encourage new workers to settle into their new positions. Workers that don’t feel welcome or are overwhelmed by an ineffective onboarding process simply won’t stick around.

Assess the Process

What does it look like when your new employee completes preliminary training? Or even walks in the door? Evaluate your onboarding process from start to finish: including the more trivial details. Go through the onboarding procedure yourself, as if you were a new staff member. When you enter the workspace, is it welcoming? Do you have specific staff training new workers, and are they cheerful and well-versed in the procedure? Review what onboarding entails: You shouldn’t be tossing a packet of rules on the table and throwing them right into the deep end.

Check Your Timeframe

Is your onboarding process two days of training? Training shouldn’t be on overview of the bare minimum that a new staff member needs to know. Onboarding is referred to as a “process” for a reason. You should be looking at what your new employee receives within the first day, the first week, and even the first few months of their tenure.

  • Day One: Introductions
  • Week One: Understanding of job expectations and projects
  • First Months: A scheduled one-on-one meeting with you to discuss highlights and challenges within the new role

To learn more about how you can onboard and retain quality staff members, consult the professionals at SmartTalent. As a top Washington temporary staffing firm, we can help you gain access to top-level candidates and help you fill gaps in your team today. Check out our website today to learn more.

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Are You Micromanaging?

January 4th, 2019


As a manager, you want your staff performing at their peak. To some, that means pushing employees to their breaking point. To the best leaders, it means inspiring workers to be productive and successful. If your employees keep looking over their shoulder and finding you there, you may see a decrease in effectiveness. Ask yourself if you are micromanaging your team. Here are some of the signs.

Reviewing and Redoing

If you find yourself double-checking employee work, that’s normal. If you’re triple checking and find yourself redoing parts of the task yourself, you might be overdoing it. Take a hard look at what tasks your employee can do unsupervised or successfully without revision and give them some space to do so.

Detail-Obsessed

Tinkering with every sentence of a brief, or doing basic tasks that aren’t in your job description? You’re micromanaging. The art of delegation takes time to learn, but it is your friend. You should be able to assign a task to someone else, trust them to complete it, and move forward with your responsibilities. You can provide guidance and answer questions, but if you’re delegating it, trust that your staff can handle it. Wasting your time down in the weeds may mean your most crucial duties are being neglected.

If you’re experiencing some of the negative side effects of micromanaging, such as low employee morale and turnover, look at your leadership style and consider taking a step back. Also consider the effectiveness of your staff. If you’re struggling to see progress, don’t micromanage: make a change. Consider bringing in new or seasonal staff to bolster your productivity.

For more insight on how you can inspire your team to succeed, check out SmartTalent. Our staffing specialists can help you change your leadership approach, as well as help you find quality candidates to fill out your team. Spend less time sifting through resumes and more time doing the work that matters with help from SmartTalent.

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Are Your References Saying Good Things About You?

December 27th, 2018

Often, you’ll be asked to provide references when you look for work. In these situations, it’s important to make sure that you ask the right people to vouch for you. Otherwise, you take the risk of someone actually giving you a bad reference – or an indifferent one – and hurting your job prospects.

So, how can you know who to ask to serve as your reference? Just follow these tips:

  • Ask someone you know professionally: References who know you personally aren’t going to give you the type of praise that you need to impress a potential employer. You want someone you’ve worked with recently, ideally in the field where you’re currently applying to work.
  • Choose people who you’ve had good experiences with: You need to make sure that your reference isn’t going to have anything negative to say about you based on your professional relationship. Think back over your behavior with a potential reference to spot any red flags you may not want a prospective employer to know about. If you were late on a big project at one of your jobs, for example, you definitely don’t want to ask that boss to be a reference when you’re looking for new work.
  • Make sure whomever you ask is familiar with your work: Anyone who is going to be a good reference will be intimately familiar with how you perform and will be able to attest to specific accomplishments. Don’t choose a department manager who you never had contact with just because they’re higher up in the company – the manager you worked with every day is much more likely to have specific accolades to share.
  • Provide your resume when you make the request: You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to serve as a reference for you. So, provide them with your resume and a little bit of information about the accomplishments you want to highlight so you can maximize the chance they’ll say the right things to bolster your application.

By making sure you find the right people who can vouch for your talent, you can maximize your chances of getting hired. SmartTalent can also help you to boost your career prospects by matching you with companies looking for people like you. To find out how our staffing professionals can help you find work in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas, give our staffing service a call today.

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How to Determine If Your Candidate is Reliable

December 13th, 2018

Are you looking for a candidate who you can count on to meet your expectations? It can be hard to determine if a candidate is reliable or not, but if you know what to look for in an interview, you can maximize the chances you’ll be able to hire someone you can trust.

Some of the key ways to tell if your candidate is reliable include:

  • The candidate shows up on time: Showing up on time is a good indicator that the candidate understands that they need to comply with expectations. A candidate who is late, on the other hand, is likely to disappoint you time and time again when it comes to fulfilling responsibilities.
  • He or she comes prepared to the interview with questions: Anyone who cares about the job is going to do their homework and be ready to both answer questions and ask intelligent questions about your business. If the candidate has questions that show that he’s clearly done his research, this is a good indicator that the candidate cares about performing his work properly and will want to excel in his job.
  • The candidate follows instructions: You need to be able to trust that the people you hire will do the work you assign them in accordance with your specifications. You can get an indicator of this by observing whether the candidate follows guidelines in the hiring process. If you request a cover letter, for example, anyone who submits a resume without one probably isn’t someone you’d want to hire.
  • The candidate comes across in a professional way: An employee you can trust will understand how to behave in a professional situation. This means dressing professionally, being polite to everyone at your organization, and answering questions with a business-like attitude. You don’t want an employee who you’re constantly worrying might embarrass the company by behaving unprofessionally.

SmartTalent can help you to find reliable candidates who will perform well for your organization. If you’re looking to expand your staff in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas, give our staffing service a call today to find out how we can help you.

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How Often Should You “Take a Breather” at Work?

November 29th, 2018

Working too much can lead to burnout, so it’s important you take regular breaks. Not only should you take a few minutes during the workday to take a breather, it’s also important to take longer vacations as well.

Determining when to step away from your desk and take a break can be difficult, but these tips can help:

  • Pay attention to when your focus starts to wane. You can usually tell when you’ve had enough work and need a break. You’ll find your eyes start to glaze over when you’re looking at the computer screen or you start to get frustrated more easily when tasks you’re doing don’t work out perfectly. Pay attention to when this starts to happen to you and monitor how long it takes before you reach that point. Then, in the future, you can take a break a few minutes before you reach that burnout time, so you don’t push yourself to the point where you start to feel frustration.
  • Schedule regular breaks after routine work. Most people can only concentrate for a limited amount of time. In fact, there’s an entire Pomodoro technique which is built around the idea you should do work for 25 minutes, and then take a five-minute break in order to be as productive as possible. You can consider applying this technique to your own work. That way, you’ll always be focused.
  • Step away from your desk after intense tasks that require a lot of concentration.  Sometimes, work you’re doing requires a strong attention to detail or a lot of focus. In these situations, you should try to take more frequent breaks in recognition of the fact that the work is more challenging.

SmartTalent will help you find a great job where you’ll be motivated to work hard, but that also allows you the leeway to take breaks when you need them. To find out how our staffing service can help you find the right position to keep you focused at work, give our staffing service a call today. We can help you to find a great company to work for in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas.

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Handling a Slip-Up at a New Job

November 23rd, 2018

Making mistakes at work is always upsetting, especially when you’re new to your job. Unfortunately, errors can happen even when you’re careful and vigilant. If you do slip up at a new job, it’s important you handle the mistake properly. Some of the steps you should take include:

  • Admitting the error right away. There’s a saying that the cover-up is almost always worse than the crime. This applies to mistakes at work too. Your employer will respect you more if you immediately own up to the error and take corrective action. Not only will your employer be less likely to hold the mistake against you if you bring it to their attention, but your employer will also trust you more in the future because they’ll be able to count on you to check your work and speak up if something is wrong.
  • Accepting responsibility. Don’t ever blame others for your error. Admit to your employer you’ve had a slip-up; acknowledge you were to blame; and apologize for making the mistake.
  • Explaining your plans to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Employers will be forgiving of mistakes – especially from a new staff member – if they are confident the problem has been fixed and repeated slip-ups won’t hinder productivity. When you bring the error to your boss’ attention, also come prepared with an explanation of what went wrong and how you’ll be making sure that a similar issue won’t develop in the future. This could mean indicating that you’ll double check your work more carefully, that you’ll ask questions before you submit work, or that you’ll do some studying up so you’re more familiar with the task that you were doing when you made the error.

 SmartTalent can help you to find a job where you’re able to use your talents to succeed so you won’t have to worry too much about making mistakes. Contact our staffing service today to find out how we can help you find work in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas.

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Finding the Motivation to Get Back to Work

November 15th, 2018

When you’ve taken some time off from work, it can be hard to get back into the routine of going to a job and performing your best every day. You’ll want to hit the ground running, so you can impress your new employer, which means you need to get yourself motivated. These tips can help:

  • Brush up on your skills. You’ll feel much more motivated about doing your job well if you are confident that you know how to do the work. Being nervous about whether you’ll remember how to perform can zap your motivation, so don’t put yourself in that position. Instead, refresh your memory by studying up on the tasks you’ll be doing and even considering taking a course to learn about anything you may have missed while you were out of the workforce.
  • Get into a routine at work. One of the hardest things about going back to work after a long absence is getting back into the professional mindset. You can transition your focus to your job by developing a new work routine. This routine could focus on a big breakfast or listening to motivational tapes on your commute or doing whatever else you need to help you get back into professional mode.
  • Think about what you love about your job. To help you stay motivated, think about why you wanted to take on this role. Think about the things you most look forward to and about your favorite part of each workday. By concentrating on everything great about your job, you’ll be excited to get up and go to work every morning.

 It helps your motivation when returning to the workforce if you like the work you’re doing and if you work for a company that’s a good fit for you. If you live in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas, SmartTalent can help you find a great job you’ll be excited to go to every day. Give our staffing professionals a call today to find out more.

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How to Learn About Cultural Fit Before Accepting the Job

August 23rd, 2018

If you have been offered a job, you may be excited about the prospect of joining the organization. But, before you accept any position, it is a smart idea to do a little due diligence and make sure the company is really one you want to work for. This includes learning about the company culture.

If you’re not sure where to start researching how a company treats its workforce and what kind of working environment it provides, there are a few key steps that you can take:

  • Review the company’s mission statement. A company’s mission statement should give you a lot of insight into the organization’s core values. Look to see if the company describes itself as innovative and forward thinking, or if it comes across as more traditional and conservative. You can assess the image that the organization hopes to put forth and see if their goals are ones that you would like to help them achieve.
  • Read reviews of the company on employment websites. Today, the internet has made it easier than ever to get inside information about how a company treats employees. You can read unbiased reviews on sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed that give you ample details about pros and cons of working for an organization. These sites can also offer insider information about salaries, promotion opportunities and benefits that the organization provides to staff members.
  • Consider the benefits package the company has offered. Companies that care about staff members usually offer a benefits package for full-time workers that goes beyond just a salary. You may have access to insurance or a 401(k) plan or the company may be willing to invest in professional development. The benefits that a company provides will tell you a lot about whether it’s going to invest in you.

If you want to work for a company with a great culture that fits your personality and working style, it’s often advisable to work with staffing professionals who can get to know you and match you with a business where you would thrive. SmartTalent is here to help you to find work that you’ll do well at, so give our staffing service a call today to get help.

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Why You’re Not Hearing Back After an Application

August 21st, 2018

There is nothing more frustrating than applying for jobs and failing to hear back from companies you are interested in working for. Unfortunately, this is a routine part of searching for work and it happens to everyone.

Failing to get responses is not normal; however, there may be specific reasons why companies aren’t reaching out to you after you submit your information. Some of the key reasons you may not be hearing back include:

  • You’re applying for companies that you aren’t a great fit for. If you are sending resumes for jobs you are clearly lacking the hard skills for, you are just wasting your own time and the employer’s time. It is unlikely an employer will get back to you at all – even to formally reject your application – if you’ve applied for a job without meeting the basic criteria that was listed in the job ad.
  • You aren’t customizing your application materials. If you send off a generic resume and cover letter that don’t address the specific job you’re applying for, employers are not going to be impressed with your lack of effort. They’re not likely to waste their time replying to your application when they know that you did not spend any time getting that application ready before you submitted it.
  • There are errors in your contact information. Surprisingly, some people will send out resumes and cover letters that have old phone numbers and other contact information that is no longer valid. If this is the case, companies may be trying to contact you in response to the application that you submitted but may simply be unable to get ahold of you. They’re unlikely to try to track you down if you do not respond to the first call or email they send about the job.

If you’ve gotten frustrated with applying for jobs and never getting a callback, it’s a good idea to jump start your job search efforts by working with SmartTalent. Our skilled staffing service can provide you with help landing the job of your dreams, so give us a call today to learn more about the assistance we can offer.

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Should You Hire the Slow-And-Steady Worker or the Speed Demon?

July 3rd, 2018

When your company is looking for its next great hire, you’ll likely come across candidates with different strengths. Some workers, for example, are extremely fast with the work they perform. These workers may be able to get a lot done but may not always have the same attention to detail as their slower counterparts. This can leave many employers wondering whether it’s better to hire the speed demon or whether the slow and steady worker should win in the end.

The reality is, with the ideal candidate, you won’t have to choose. Skilled workers can determine when timeliness is the most important trait and when they’re better off slowing down to get things right. Hiring someone who can successfully balance the best of both work approaches could benefit your company in big ways because:

  • Productivity will be improved. If the candidate you hire knows when it’s important to work as quickly as possible, work will be performed much more efficiently, and productivity will be increased overall.
  • Quality will remain high. Some projects inherently require much more attention to detail to get things right. A worker who understands what type of work requires a slow approach and when working faster is the priority is going to be able to produce the highest-quality work when necessary. You won’t have to compromise on the quality of the finished product just to get a worker who can complete jobs quickly.
  • Your employee will achieve good balance. You don’t want a worker who is slow all the time, as essential tasks may not get done because there aren’t enough hours in the day. At the same time, you don’t want a staff member who rushes through everything. If you can find a worker who can adjust in different situations, you can achieve good balance and end up with an employee who completes a sufficient number of tasks on a timely basis.

SmartTalent can help you find staff members in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas who are able to effectively balance their workloads and who will work at the right pace for every task. Give us a call today to find out more about how our staffing service can help you hire the right candidate for open positions.

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