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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Asking Your Boss About Work From Home Options

December 11th, 2018

Working from home is great. You can cut your commute down to zero, be more available to your family, and potentially even get a lot more done. Plus, you don’t have to buy a bunch of business clothes and you can cook at home, saving money on food.

Unfortunately, not every company allows its employees to work from home. If the business you work for doesn’t already permit you to work out of your house, here are some tips for talking with your boss about work-from-home options:

  • Suggest a trial period: Often, employers are worried about saying yes to a stay-at-home arrangement because they aren’t sure how it will work out and they don’t want to feel locked in once they’ve said yes. You can increase the chances of your employer being open to allowing you to work from home if you suggest trying it out only for a limited time before re-evaluating whether it’s working.
  • Come prepared with a plan: You shouldn’t just ask your employer to work from home. You should paint a picture for your employer of what this would look like. Provide details on how often you want to work from home, how often you’d come back into the office, how you’d handle deliverables, and what meetings you’d need to attend. The easier it is for your employer to visualize a successful work-at-home arrangement, the more likely it is the employer will accede to your request.
  • Show how working-from-home can help the company: Working from home undoubtedly would be good for you, but your employer isn’t going to say yes just because you want them to and think working at home would make your life better. You need to explain what benefits the company would get from allowing you to work at home. If you think you’d be more productive in a quieter environment, for example, you can explain why.

If you’re looking for work-from-home opportunities, or for in-office jobs, SmartTalent can help you to find opportunities 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 to find work you’ll love that you may even be able to do from the comfort of your own home.

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Does Your Company Culture Attract Great Candidates?

December 6th, 2018

You want to hire the very best people to come and work at your organization. To do that, you need a company culture that’s attractive to the most talented people in your field. Company culture matters a lot when people are deciding where they want to work, and you need to make sure your company culture increases the chance that good people will apply and accept your offers.

So, how can you tell if your company culture is going to help you in your hiring process?  You should:

  • Conduct stay and exit interviews with current and departing employees: The best way to find out how employees view your culture is to ask them. Many companies wait until employees leave to find out how their experience with the organization has been. These exit interviews can provide invaluable insight. But, you also want to talk with people who are currently at your organization to find out what they like and what can be improved. By asking specific questions about company culture, you can find out how your employees view your organization and what changes you may need to make.
  • Read online reviews of your organization on career websites: There are a number of websites online where employees rate the organizations they work for. You can find out the unbiased opinions of people who you employ by visiting these sites where workers leave anonymous reviews. If you spot trends, you can make changes to the things many people complain about when it comes to your culture.
  • Observe interactions between your employees: You can also get an idea of your company culture by observing the way employees work and interact. Do coworkers step in to help each other out? Do managers recognize when an employee has a win? These are important indicators of whether you’ve created a collaborative environment where employees are motivated and are rewarded for their efforts.

SmartTalent can help you to find talented people in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas who will help your business to succeed – and who will help you to build a strong, positive company culture. Reach out to our staffing service today to learn more about the assistance we can offer.

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Dealing With a Dramatic Employee

November 20th, 2018

Different employees have different personalities, and some are much easier to work with than others.  Sometimes, however, you’ll find one of your staff members has a flare for the dramatic. While this can cause problems, you can also harness their energy to help your company do great things – if you know how to deal effectively with them.

Some tips to help you deal with a dramatic employee include:

  • Establishing parameters for acceptable behavior. While being dramatic isn’t a bad thing, there are certain kinds of behaviors that simply can’t be permitted in an orderly workplace. Make sure your employee knows what is out of bounds. This could include behaviors such as yelling at co-workers or crying in meetings – whatever you decide causes too much of a disruption to your workday.
  • Focusing the employee’s attention on work that needs to be done. When an employee starts to behave dramatically, focus their attention on the work at hand. When there are tasks to be done, there’s no time for unnecessary drama. Your dramatic employee’s passions can be put to good use, so the employee’s energy is harnessed for accomplishing big things.
  • Making sure to intervene before situations escalate. When an employee starts to create problems with others, such as gossiping or starting fights, it’s important to put a stop to any unacceptable behavior right away. Otherwise, your employee’s actions could be off-putting to co-workers and could create a toxic environment. A dramatic employee will need a little more hands-on management and supervision, so you can spot when something starts to go awry and act to redirect focus or prevent the employee from taking actions that go beyond the bounds of what’s permitted.

Sometimes, you may find working with a dramatic employee is just too difficult. When you need to find workers who will be a good fit for your team and that won’t cause problems, SmartTalent can help. Give our staffing service a call to learn how we can help you to build a great team in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas.

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Should You Show Weakness on the Job?

October 19th, 2018

Most employees want to come across as strong and capable, and expressing this type of attitude is usually in your best interests. However, that doesn’t mean you never can – or should – show weakness on the job. In fact, there are certain circumstances where you and your employer may be better off when you don’t try to pretend you’ve got it all under control.

So, when should you ask for help, even if you’re afraid it may make you seem weak?

  • When you don’t understand the work you’ve been asked to perform. While you may not want to show weakness when it comes to job tasks, it is far better to admit you need help than to make major mistakes that impede productivity or hurt the company’s bottom line. Asking for advice up front when you aren’t sure how to approach something could give you the tools necessary for success.
  • When you want to take steps to show how you’ve improved. Many employers want to see workers grow on the job. If you have a skill or ability you struggle with, don’t be afraid to let your employer know about the steps you are taking to overcome the weakness and improve. Your manager should appreciate your perseverance and your successful efforts at improving won’t go unnoticed.
  • When co-workers are behaving inappropriately. If you are not being treated properly in the workplace, there is nothing weak about speaking up even though you may feel weak about asking for help. In fact, it can show a lot of courage to say that something is not right at your work. Not only can speaking up help you to hopefully put an end to unpleasant behavior, but you may also spare others from being treated improperly if those people are afraid to speak out about what’s happening on the job.

It’s important you have a position where you’re able to ask for help and support when you need it. If your current job isn’t that position, SmartTalent could help you to find a company that’s a better fit. Give our staffing service a call today to find out how we can work with you to find a job that’s right for you.

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How Can I Be a Better Employee?

October 10th, 2018

In today’s competitive job market, employees have tremendous opportunities for career growth. But, if you’re currently working at a company and you want to advance – or at least make sure your job is as secure as possible – it’s important to make sure you’re doing your very best work.

While it can be challenging to figure out if you’re performing up to par or exceeding expectations, one thing you have control over is your efforts to be the best employee you can be. The good news is, there are steps you can take at work to try to become a better employee, so you’ll maximize your chances of professional success. Some of those steps include:

  • Asking for more responsibility. If you want to become more invaluable to your boss, you should look for ways to do work that’s outside of your basic job description. By volunteering to lead a project or taking ownership of key tasks in the office, you’ll make yourself indispensable while expanding your abilities at the same time.
  • Continuing to learn and improve your skills. Valuable employees don’t get complacent and let their skills stay stagnant. They take steps to always learn more and be better. If you want to be the best employee you can be, find ways to enhance your knowledge and explore ways to learn that will help your organization succeed. This could be as simple as reading books or blogs, watching podcasts, or attending seminars.
  • Pushing yourself to do work outside of your comfort zone. The only way to improve your skills and expand your knowledge base is to do things that seem hard and you don’t already know how to do. Always push yourself to take on tasks that seem a little daunting, and you may just surprise yourself – and your boss – with how you grow into the job.

When you’re doing your best to be a great employee and you’re struggling anyway, you may not be in the right position to meet your needs. SmartTalent can help you find the job of your dreams that you’re ideally suited for, so you can thrive. Contact our recruiting professionals today to find out more about the ways in which our team can help you to advance your career.

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Why Communication With Temporary Employees is Critical

September 13th, 2018

If your company has hired temp employees, it’s imperative you communicate with these workers properly from day one. While they may not be sticking around the business long term, they can provide your company with invaluable services during the time they’re employed – provided you give them the tools to succeed.

Communicating regularly and openly with temp workers is critical because:

  • Temp workers need to know your policies on safety. Avoiding workplace injuries should be a top priority for every business, regardless of the field. When you bring on temp workers, it’s imperative you make sure they are well-versed in safety protocols and procedures, so they do not put themselves or other workers at risk. Talking to temp workers about safety and providing adequate training could literally save lives.
  • It’s important temp workers understand your procedures. You want temp workers to complete their tasks properly to your specifications. They can only do that if they know the processes used to accomplish their work tasks. Providing them with this training can get them off on the right foot and can ensure your entire workforce is as productive as possible.
  • Temp workers need to know what is expected of them. Most temp workers want to be an asset to your organization and they hope to succeed in the position they’ve been hired for. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know how to live up to your company’s expectations if you don’t lay out the metrics for success. Temp workers will be much more productive and likely to meet, or exceed your expectations for doing quality work, if they know what you want from them. Taking a little time to explain how you define success could save you a lot of time later in correcting mistakes and could help to ensure you get high-quality work product.

While communication is key, you also need to make certain the temp workers you bring on board are qualified. SmartTalent can help you to find skilled temp employees in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas, so give us a call today to learn how we can help your business to hire the best people.

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Is Your Hiring Process Scaring Candidates Away?

September 6th, 2018

Hiring candidates is one of the most important things companies do, because the success of your business depends upon you having the right people on your team. When you go through the process of finding skilled workers, there’s nothing more frustrating than having qualified candidates turn down your offers or not complete the application process. Unfortunately, some companies find this happening to them far too often.

If many promising candidates don’t make it through your hiring process, there’s a good chance you’re doing something to scare away skilled candidates. Mistakes you could be making include:

  • Making the application process too complicated. Candidates who have in-demand skills will not be willing to jump through a lot of hoops just to be considered for a job. If your application requires lengthy answers or if you impose too many burdensome requirements on candidates, most people either won’t apply or will just give up during the process.
  • Failing to communicate with candidates throughout the process. Job seekers want to find a job quickly, so they don’t have a long period of unemployment. While they might be willing to wait a bit if you keep in regular contact to see if you make an offer, if you fall silent, they’re likely to think you’ve rejected them and will move on to considering other opportunities. If you want candidates to stay interested in the position you are offering, keep them in the loop as to where you are in the hiring process.
  • Taking too long to extend an offer to qualified candidates. Because people don’t want to be unemployed, skilled professionals aren’t likely to wait around for months while your company tries to decide – especially if they get another offer in the meantime. You don’t want your competitors to capture all the talent just because you take too long to ask someone to join your team.

One of the best ways to avoid problems in the hiring process is to work with a staffing service that can make recruiting easy. SmartTalent can help you find skilled staff members in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas. Just give us a call today to learn how we can help you get qualified candidates to join your team.

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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 Should You Apply to a Company That is Always Hiring?

August 16th, 2018

When you are searching for a job, you may see a company is continually hiring. This can make you wary of applying, as the organization’s constant need for new workers may make it seem as if their turnover levels are very high.

The reality, however, is that not all companies constantly on the lookout for workers are bad places to work with high rates of turnover. There are plenty of great organizations that always need to enlarge their staff and tons of good reasons why companies may be hiring regularly. For example:

  • The company may be growing quickly. The economy is good, and many organizations are experiencing a period of rapid growth and expansion. The fact these companies are scaling up fast and adding to their staff as they do it isn’t a bad sign, but instead indicates that the business is profitable and is likely to provide many future opportunities for you to advance.
  • The organization may always be willing to make room for top talent. Some companies may constantly advertise they are hiring because they want to receive applications from skilled candidates. These companies know that if the right person applies, they can make room on their team and it will be worth the investment because of the knowledge and skill that a great new hire can bring on board.
  • They may be quickly promoting employees from within. Companies that have a strong focus on developing the skills of their staff members may help employees to move quickly up the career ladder. If employees are regularly promoted at an organization, that business will continue to need new staff members for more entry-level roles. This is a great thing for job seekers because they stand a good chance of being hired and promoted themselves if they are talented and committed to success.

If you want to make sure you apply only to great companies during your job search, SmartTalent can help you. Our staffing services matches job seekers with top companies that provide competitive wages, great benefits, and a positive working environment. To find out more about how we can help you, give us a call today.

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